“ But there’s one crucial difference between the 1890s and today: ‘early twentieth-century democracy was young.’”
Western democracy, which to the best of our knowledge began in the Hellenic city states circa 500 BCE, was old a hundred years ago, older than socialism, communism, fascism, in fact only despotism is older. Both democracy and despotism have changed. In ancient Athens the voting population was small enough that everybody could vote on everything, now we vote to elect representatives who in theory vote on our behalf and in our interests but who, in political duopolies like the USA and Britain, in reality vote in support ofthe vested interests that fund their parties.
So it could reasonably be argued that western democracy is dead, and was on its deathbed a hundred years ago. Now the oligarchies rule very much in the manner of medieval Lords.
Just as the Yellow Vests in France represent a pushback against this, so did our Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump. Though the three could not be more different politically they are symptoms of the same political malaise; the working classes and lower middle classes feel the ruling elites have abandoned them and run nations in the interests of big business and big money.
Ghosts Of ’68 Threaten Macron’s Technocratic Dream