Inequality has given rise to nationalism, far right extremism, anti-globalism, anti-migration, anti-Islam.
After the collapse of communism, enlightenment ideals such as democracy, equality, freedom of speech, secularism, humanism, the separation of state and religion (to some extent) gained popularity. However, these ideas of a free and fairer society, might have been popular but they were not generally accepted by everyone, and nor were they directed for everyone. Instead in the last two to three hundred years, people of brown and black skin, women, the working classes, gay people had to fight for there rights either through the process of democracy, struggle or through a bloody revolution.
Since the 1980s with the demise of social democracy, and the tear up of the post-war consensus there has been one winner and that has been individualism and power to the free market. With the quest to increase wealth, the rich have gained much from neoliberalism, whilst the middle classes and the working classes have seen their wages stagnant for decades. Global capital may have decreased poverty, and that is in the absolute sense, but relative poverty has increased. Inequality has increased to the rate of the 1970s. With this disparity, eventually, those hidden voices jumped on the negativity of what global capital produced, e.g. decrease in social mobility, the increase in migration, local context determined by global politics, the loss of sovereignty, increase in segregation as a failure of multiculturalism…
This inequality can be exploited by ambitious figures who for their personal gain or for their version of what reality should be like, can spread the message of fear and insecurity, but at the same time promise a new future.
Inequality, economic disparity are symptoms of modernity that can lead to the emergence of ISIS, the rise in far-right extremism, and where the tolerant can become the intolerant, as history has shown us in the past. But it is our duty to not to repeat past mistakes which can lead to global fatal destruction. And it is the utmost importance that we look at ourselves hard in the mirror and say that not all is perfect in the garden of Eden.