George Packer on The Unwinding

The Unwinding describes the shifting fortunes of the post-war middle classes in the US, which mirrors the decline of the middle classes throughout the western world.

One tends to forget that whilst the middle classes are considered to be a measure of the health of a country, it has always been unstable and in the past a destabiliser: hippies and 19th century anarchists were both the children of the middle classes on the up. Now globalisation, technological change, changes in the nature of conservative politics and changes in global financial structures have dramatically changed things over the past 50 years. Nostalgia for a golden age of the middle class was part of the reason The Wonder Years was so popular.