You're right, I talked about this with another member, banks are killing countries right now, and we don't need them.Neo-liberalism is the economic orthodoxy, I believe because the banks and wealthy are more powerful than any single state or other constituency, therefore all economies must, ultimately, do their bidding, protect and serve their interests.
No state can exercise control, not even moderate regulation and not even when they have majority shares in the same financial institutions, the fall out of the bankers crisis and recession are evidence enough of that.
In the UK the state privatised the central bank, the principal economic manager, and even it has said that the banks are behaving in ways which are contrary to their own interests and survival, the response from the banks was a protest that they had undertaken radical change since the recession but honestly they have not changed in any way other than supposed organisational or business culture and that is incredibly difficult to gauge or measure or judge.
There are no non-governmental or supranational regulators either, no sans frontiers unions or international fiscal controllers, such as the IMF, WTO or World Bank, which isnt operating to the same neo-liberal orthodoxy.
Now the differences between democracy and dictatorship I would suggest are largely cultural, as there are political patterns and processes shared by each which resemble one another. The countries in which political upheavels and modernisation reproduced similar regimes with different window dressing only prove the indelible mark of tradition. So Stalinism resembled Czarism in all but rehetoric.
Another example of convergence is most of the political democracies around the world have come to resemble dynastic rule in their own ways and some nations positively encourage or support it, such was and is the reception of successive family presidencies in the US for instance, like the Bush family or Clintons.
However the cultural differences are still important, the popluations of democracies can be authoritarian and support as serious authoritarianism as those in dictatorships but they also enjoy greater freedoms in fundamental and real ways provided they dont threaten the economic orthodoxy. So you can access as much pornography and argue most vehemently in favour of this or that sexual behaviour being accepted as the norm without repercussions which you may experience elsewhere. Although in either case concerted action which threatened to provoke the desertion of investment or bankers would be treated the same way ultimatley, although tactics may differ.
I see all these trends as leading to greater outbursts of market libertarianism, people are cynical and disillusioned with government, particularly the vindication of the peter principle and managerialism which it obviously represents, and they most cherish the freedom to buy which the market place offers them.
Ultimately it wont alter things, the neo-liberal politicians will protect and serve the bankers or wealthy for their share, act in ways coherent with their ideology and resort to power politics when it fails in practice. I just have no idea what will happen when capitalism and market libertarianism finally have their 1989, truly I dont and whether that advent will be too late because the resources will be spent. War drums, bad religion, some sort of slumquake, it could all be on the cards.