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William Briggs

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The crisis of capitalism and the disappearing centre



By William Briggs

June 6, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The political centre is shrinking. The evidence is there for all to see and it is keeping the ruling class in all countries awake and uneasy.

There is a phenomenon that can be observed across the world. Bourgeois political legitimacy is crumbling. The old verities of a tightly held two-party system of centre left/centre right domination that increasingly merges in ideology and practice is being challenged as never before. People are deserting the traditional parliamentary parties, and what were only recently seen as irrelevant edges, are becoming stronger.

There is another phenomenon that has been emerging over the past few decades and is a causal factor that affects the shrinking of the political centre. There has been an economic squeezing of the middle class. It has shrunk, as its members are increasingly returned to the working class, from whence they came in earlier generations. The crisis in global capitalism has led to a rise in social inequality, the concentration of wealth into fewer hands, the proletarianisation of the developing world, a loss of security and, within the developed economies, a middle class that is becoming smaller and more threatened.

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