Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Democracy, Neoliberalism, and Financial Oligarchy

Nardy Antunes, Davi José and Tunes Mazon, Marilia (2024): Democracy, Neoliberalism, and Financial Oligarchy.

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The thesis of this paper is that the conception of liberal democracy developed by Schumpeter and consecrated by American political science has always been characterized by concealing existing power structures, presuming that the political system is impervious to pressures from the economy and society. The economic, social, political, and cultural transformations of recent decades have undermined the remaining assumptions that supported liberal democracy. A true simulacrum, the political system has become a dictatorship of the rich. This work highlights two aspects of this process. The unprecedented concentration of capital and power in the hands of a financial oligarchy has eliminated power alternatives, imposing its interests through control of the mass media and suppressing the debate on the great destinies of societies. At the same time, recent technological changes, along with neoliberal policies, have disorganized the labor market and the very structure of classes by eliminating numerous jobs and careers and turning work into an appendix of the social reproduction process, where jobs are intermittent and task-based. The result has been the re-emergence of a mass of rootless, undifferentiated, and depoliticized individuals with no capacity to understand contemporary political situations and organize in defense of their interests. These are the basis for the resurgence of fascist trends in contemporary societies.

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