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It is not only the parties that are pushed almost unanimously into the "middle". The socially and politically meant term is also booming in the public discussion about the state of German society. Even the almost disappeared "middle class" is still conjured up. It is, writes the satirist Richard Schuberth, "the social class which, since it no longer exists, everyone believes to belong to. Despite the growing social divide, there is almost no talk of a class society anywhere. Kadritzke's essay deals with this thinking beyond classes, he takes a historical perspective on the present.
The author recalls important studies on the "new middle class" from the Weimar Republic - for example by Siegfried Kracauer - and shows their current yield of knowledge, which is due to a productive examination of Marxist theory: They understand the employees, who today are located in a contourless "middle", as a "hidden" faction of the class of wage earners.
They interpret their middle-class aspirations from the political economy of their time, the offers or even promises of corporate power-sharing - and also as a response to the crises that capitalism is driving forward with inner necessity.
The Weimar analyses prove to be amazingly up-to-date. German post-war history is marked by a "middle narrative" that lives from forgetting the classes. This can also be seen in the current discourse on the undeniable extent of "social inequality". The author uses current views and concepts to explain what we remain silent about when we speak of the "middle" today.
The trivial invocation of the "people who keep the country going" determines the prevailing perception of social conditions. But the true elites profit from the illusion of a broad "middle beyond the classes" as long as the inequality researchers and the public theme salons help them in the field of conceptual politics.