How extreme inequality is damaging democracy, and what we can do about it
ISBN 9781802471373 (PB)
FORMAT B Format
‘Twenty-first-century capitalism and the democracies that enabled it are self-destructing... a sobering ― and impeccably researched ― warning of what is likely to come next’ Bruce Whitfield
The leading lights of the tech revolution – Gates, Bezos, Zuckerberg, Musk – have been hailed as savants and saviours of the modern age. And yet they are at the forefront of wealth inequality not seen since the heyday of the robber barons in the late 19th century, part of the slide to the First World War. Today, rampant inequality is inciting social unrest and undermining faith in the institutions of the democratic state. Citizens have been left at the mercy of unfettered capitalism – mere data subjects, endlessly surveilled, marshalled and increasingly angry and polarised.
The decoupling of capitalism from democracy has fostered an economic system seemingly powered by greed alone, with the marginalisation of democratic principles facilitating the rise of authoritarians and populists like Putin, Xi Jinping, Trump and Boris Johnson.
How has it come to this? And does the unanticipated fightback in Ukraine, with support from the West, show us the way to reclaiming the lost spirit of freedom inherent in liberal democracy?