It is an evident fact that we are running towards the end of a time when democracy was compatible with capitalism, and Western society has enetered the phase of post-democratic capitalism. Also, the whole world is in the pressence of a perfect feedback mechanism between the generation of growing inequality and the destruction of democracy. Is this sense the democracy is dissapearing, there is more inequality and greater limitaions of its excercise are generated.
Nowadays we have two basic conditions that made possible the social contract of democracy in the major countries with a capitalist system. On the one hand the social contract of social democracy in the core countries of the capitalist system based on economies of abundance with expectations of continued growth in the future: firstly, the economic activity in the main countries in the system of colonial-imperial capitalist world and secondly the use of basic energy from fossil fuels.
This system formed a pattern of global accumulation of wealth based on the global exploitation of nature and human labour, whose main characteristic is the fact that a high proportion of the extracted benefits from the planet and from the various forms of human labour were concentrated in the territories of those countries that were located in the centre of this new political and economic model of human coexistence. This allowed an extraordinary accumulation of material wealth in some countries and the fact that levels of material well being that were distributed unevenly in certain urban areas of the new capitalist colonial system could be attained.
First there was the massive exploitation of fossil fuels, then of coal, oil and gas that made possible the strong productive and technological advancement of the Industrial Revolution and the increase in production and urban population at a rate unprecedented in history. The energy that had been stored underground for millions of years became a very cheap and efficient energy source, easy to transport and which abundance seemed unlimited.
This was the energy source that fed the productive machinery of capitalism for two centuries, creating a material wealth that now characterizes Western societies. It reaffirmed the idea of steady progress and the human society became convinced that it was possible to generate continued growth, which would always allow better living conditions for each generation, bringing a better balance between the different social classes.
These elements that provided the basis of the capitalist system and the ready supply of energy were also accompanied by another component in the Second War, which is the emergence of the socialist field and the struggle for dominance in a bipolar world, turning the subject of global hegemony and the struggle for legitimacy of liberal societies into a central concern of all nations in the West.
It then led to the contract of central or Keynesianism capitalist. As material wealth coupled with the political demands of the bipolar world made it possible for the long struggles of the workers of the popular classes in search of better living conditions and an expansion of democracy to obtain a lot of progress during the first decades of the second World war, particularly in the countries of the North and West of Europe, achieving liberal democracy at the peak of its development in history.
In this social contract the modern state played a central role as regulator and redistributor, but from the late seventies of the 20th century there were trends toward reducing the rate of capital gains, the expansion of democratic logic and rights, as well as cultural transformations of the nascent counterculture that led to the initiation of a systematic counteraction of the neoliberals and neoconservatives sectors who saw these 'excesses' of democracy a severe threat to the capitalist system.
Among the best-known elements of this counteroffensive conservatives are the report 'The Crisis of Democracy Trilateral Commission "and" The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism” by Daniel Bell, and the governments of Thatcher and Reagan. While in Latin America the beginning of the counter-revolution was the overthrow of the Chilean government of Salvador Allende in September 1973.
Two decades later, with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the USSR, both neoliberals and neoconservatives celebrated their final victory. According to them it was the end of the political and ideological options about the future of humanity. The paradox was that just when the victory of the 'free world' and liberal democracy was declared, the conditions that had made it possible to obtain liberal democracy in the West was coming to an end. Actually it was not the final triumph of liberal democracy but a temporary and momentary triumph of capitalism.
Today we can say that liberal democracy was possible only in a short historical moment of capitalist society and to a small minority, as it was based on the unequal appropriation of expanding wealth that did not recognize the limits of the planet. And in recent decades there are two strong trends in the capitalist centres, particularly in the United States and the European Union, and these are the increasing inequality and declining of democratic areas.
Right now, the political systems of liberal democracies, their states and their political parties are being controlled, increasingly, by the financial capital. This has generated a phenomenon of divorce between capitalism and democracy. The current great inequality in the distribution of wealth is unprecedented in the history of mankind and it is notorious the aspect of its concentration in the hands of a global oligarchy.
According to the calculations of the financial group Credit Suisse, the poorest half of the world's adult population owns only 1% of global wealth. A total 3051 million adults representing 67.6% of the adult population owns only 3.3% of the global wealth. While the richest 10% own the 84% of global wealth.
Addendum: Another factor that has accelerated the decline of the neoliberal capitalist system of the West is what happened in 1971, when Richard Nixon broke the deal of Breton Woods to support American dollars with gold at $ 35 an ounce. Without gold backing national currencies they became commodities, speculation grew as well as the usurpation of real wealth of the nations. Production capacity deteriorated and the elite who had planned the privatization of the Central Bank since 1913 became even much more wealthy. Since then the gold reserves of the central banks grew by 12%, while the notes increased by 20,000%, producing an immense amount of green notes without being backed up, and reaching a figure of more than 7 trillion dollars leading the West to an imminent collapse.