The economic conditions in 1920s and 1930s germany as having a causal relationship to the social dynamics that fostered the rise in fascist or communist radicalism is a topic that has been covered quite well and many times before. Maybe not this specific angle, but the wider point has made it into every analysis on the breakdown in social order in the weimar republic and the rise of the nazi party.
I'd be careful in extrapolating that mere fact to possible future social upheaval though. It isn't so that poverty or a decline in wealth anywhere automatically or necessarily causes total unrest. In that respect the researchers seem to have covered themselves in by simply forwarding a nebulous prediction that a drop in average wealth (due to austerity) could perhaps cause 'political consequences' or social unrest. There's a whole lot of stuff preceding such events though. While I too worry about the implications of further austerity, which sadly I am almost certain will happen, I can't yet see parallels that would really warrant this specific comparison or indicate insecurity is an imminent result.
More polarisation, sure, but the current wave of polarising politics against immigration or the EU finds its origins in the 90s, when the economy was absolutely booming. The recession was fuel on an already burning fire. The new right has mostly consolidated dissatisfaction with all sorts of issues/consequences in its electoral platform, whereas the left broadly seems to be in a state of denial and preoccupation with the social activist movements from climate change to BLM.
I can see that a seemingly inevitable increase in wealth disparity, poverty and a further reduction in middle class living standards will affect radicalism. That's kind of a 'no shit' conclusion. The real problem to me is that the centre-left, left wing & right wing seem to live in different dimensions almost during this whole unfolding disaster. Moreover, noone has proven capable of formulating a coherent alternative (with popular appeal) to dominant liberal economic policy.
The political left urgently needs to reinvent and focus itself on dominant topics such as the economy, the EU and yes, migration. Rather than jumping from one single issue activist cause to the next.
Last edited by Larssen (2020-08-19 12:37:42)