On the one hand, the Industrial Revolution radically changed the material conditions of human existence and created sufficient living resources for every human being, but on the other hand, it sharpened property differences and gave birth to the social question. The rich and influential naturally tend to turn into a hereditary oligarchy, and the broad popular strata understandably try to prevent them from doing so. The emergence of the democratic system and the nation-state represented something of a compromise. Democracy was intended to enable the people to check the power of the rich, and the idea of the nation created a collective bond and solidarity regardless of class.
However, globalisation and the ideology of late liberalism allowed the wealthy class to escape the control of the democratic process
However, globalisation and the ideology of late liberalism allowed the wealthy class to escape the control of the democratic process and the nation state, and even to undermine and question their foundations under the pretext of the ‘progressive’ struggle against discrimination, racism or the climate threat. The decline of Western democracy is directly proportional to the rise of a new global oligarchy.
Ivo Budil is a Czech professor of antropology.