The problem rather than the solution: Democracy in the neoliberal worldview

Far from being restricted to economic questions, neoliberalism is a global thought, a worldview, an ideology prone to sketching out schemes for the improvement of various aspects of social life and, last but not least, of politics. The writing of many neoliberals, among them a few leading figures, shows an enduring skepticism about democracy, with it being accused of stifling liberty and fostering socialism. This suspicious look at democracy is sometimes coupled with a reflection on possible alternatives and explains the interest expressed for some right-wing authoritarian regimes, the dictatorship of General Pinochet in Chile serving as a particular example here. The neoliberal reflection on democracy unveils a deep-rooted resentment of modern representative systems and the correlative quest for a form of legitimacy not based on the rule of majority but on the rule of a chosen few.