If democracy should eventually fail, it will be by popular vote!
No totalitarian or fundamentalist regime has the means to challenge the military might that results from the wealth generated by free enterprise. What crazed ego-maniacal self-proclaimed leaders opposed to freedom and free enterprise might be unable to do, advanced societies might still achieve on their own.
In the unlikely but not implausible free world implosion scenario, the voting citizens and politicians alike will never conscientiously oppose a free society ideology. Nor will anyone be coerced.
Rather, losing the traceability between the freedoms and prosperity enjoyed and the underlying mechanisms driving these outcomes, the masses will vote for reasonably sounding initiatives that are nontheless out of touch with those very mechanisms. This evolution to the proliferation of just such a mindset does not unfortunately exclusively belong in the realm of science fiction. Latent Industrial Revolution, neo-Marxist and materialist credo world views continue to exist in the collective psyche. Communism was decidedly defeated at the end of the Cold War but the class struggle mentality central to its ideology is witnessing a revival by way of the social inequality argument.
Once the mechanisms of prosperity are compromised, the visible means of strength of the free world will also eventually fail, leading to a power vacuum that invites alternatives. And unfortunately those alternatives exist in the form of fundamentalist and totalitarian ideologies.
The weak signals that support the theory sketched above are unfortunately already apparent in the latest developments on the international geo-political theatre. The U.S., the world’s leading democracy, is fortunately far from an inflection point. However, things have to be put into dynamic perspective. The evolution dynamic described by the above scenario implies huge inertial timeframes. If the wrong world view gains traction, the avalanche effect may kick in and a reversal of fate could take not decades, but hundreds of years. That is to say, mentalities operate on generational timeframes.