Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
“Glavnovosti” asks: what does a representative of Ukraine’s middle class look like? Is there still such a thing in our country in general? Or was it dissolved between rich and poor?
“The middle class is an intellectual phantom. It is a product of the ideology of global capitalism which, thanks to the encouragement of the idea of certain standards of life and income, reduces social structure to a certain standard of behaviour and income. There is no universal middle class in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries,” said the political scientist Andrey Yermolayev on the air of the “112 Ukraine” TV channel.
“Who can we call the modern middle class? The average Joe who is simply perverted by consumption and who, as some sociologists write, earns no less than $500? This, perhaps, is the middle class? The vocational student who, thanks to money earned from speculation, earned small capital, is the middle class? Or is this youth that is globalising quicker than we have time to read a new book, and easily changes their homeland because it is included in modern spheres of earnings in inflated capitalised industries, such as, for example, IT?” asks Andrey Yermolayev
According to Yermolayev, the intellectual elite of Ukrainian society was replaced by ATO soldiers and various activists – “Europlates“ (those who fight for the right to drive cars cheaply bought abroad with EU numberplates).
“We need to speak about the problems connected to the crisis of the humanitarian social class, which has higher education and occupies the niche connected to such spheres as health and education – i.e., those who were earlier called intellectuals,” considers Andrey Yermolayev.
As Yermolayev noted, now Ukraine experiences a crisis of intellectuals, which found itself in the position of people with a low income and whose activity is in a penumbra, humiliated from the point of view of their social status. It happened because a social phenomena appeared before our eyes – volunteers, volunteer battalions, Europlaters.
“So the problem is not with the middle class, we have a problem of the inflated, glorified, and corrupted average Joe, who now doesn’t have enough money, and we have a problem of a humanitarian class that is humiliated and exsanguinated, with a low income,” explained the expert.
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