Published for the first time in 1990 this book is a new edition that has been reviewed and extended so as to take into account the great changes that have taken place in the last few years. The underlying question can be reassumed as follows: do economic-financial-technological changes and democratic growth converge or diverge? Although the global dimension of the problem makes it, in some aspects, new and extremely pressing, the theme of the relationship between economic power and political power has a long tradition both in the history of theory and in the history of events. This book describes the age-old dilemma by comparing the parabolas of classic democracy and modern democracy so as to underline the elements of continuity and discontinuity. According to the author the challenge posed by economic-financial tycoons and technological oligarchies to the supremacy of politics and, in particular, to its specific form that is to say political democracy is extremely strong and the outcome is uncertain. It would indeed be ironic if after overcoming the authoritarian and totalitarian experiences of the 20th Century democracy should succumb because it is incapable of correcting itself.
Domenico Fisichella is Vice President of the Italian Senate and professor of Political Science at the "La Sapienza" University of Rome.