EDITOR'S NOTE: Supporters praise the World Economic Forum (WEF) for bringing together business leaders, politicians, and other influential figures to work on a range of global initiatives related to international development, economic growth, social progress, global governance, economic policy, and sustainability. Its detractors criticize it for those same reasons. Take global governance. Who elected the WEF officials to operate as “masters” of the globe? Who’s to hold them accountable? Why does the WEF believe its in a better position to solve the world’s solutions in comparison to other institutions and systems? Any individual harboring these notions would be deemed deluded. But on an organized and institutional level, it’s safe to call this a conspiracy.
Samuel Greg, a Distinguished Fellow in Political Economy at the American Institute for Economic Research and author, most recently, of The Next American Economy: Nation, State, and Markets in an Uncertain World, has written a good piece for the Spectator about the WEF on the eve of Davos 2023. He argues that if you care about liberty, democracy and national self-determination, it’s perfectly rational to be concerned about the influence of Klaus Schwab and his followers. Not because they are the puppeteers controlling politicians across the West, but because they’re ideas permeate the upper echelons of the global elite. In particular, Schwab’s belief in the top-down, technocratic form of government exemplified by the EU.
It wields no formal political power and can’t make anyone do anything. Nonetheless, since its founding in 1971, the WEF has become an organisation which embodies supreme confidence in the imperative of a particular type of person running the world from the top-down. In his famous 2004 essay entitled ‘Dead Souls’, the political scientist Samuel P. Huntington called this prototype ‘Davos Man’.
A clever moniker that neither Schwab nor the WEF have ever succeeded in shaking off, Davos Man was Huntington’s short-hand description of “academics, international civil servants and executives in global companies, as well as successful high-technology entrepreneurs” who thought alike and tended to view national loyalties and boundaries “as residues from the past”. Davos Man also looked with undisguised disdain, Huntington suggested, upon those who weren’t getting with the programme – whatever the content of the programme happened to be.
Therein lies the deepest problem with the WEF. It’s one thing for people to come together in international settings to discuss problems, share insights, and network. Business leaders, politicians, and NGO-types do this all the time.
It’s another thing for an outfit such as the WEF to decide that the time has come to rearrange the world from the top-down and remake the planet in a corporatist image. The ideal for which Schwab is aiming, judging from his speeches and writings, is something akin to a globalised EU, with its supranational and ingrained bureaucratic ways being transposed to an international level, and the levers of power vested in the hands of reliable Davos men and women.
In short, it’s easy to caricature the WEF and Schwab as something akin to Ian Fleming’s fictious Spectre and its criminal-mastermind Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Yet the agenda now being pursued at settings such as Davos is sufficiently alarming that anyone who believes in preserving things like liberty, sovereignty, and the decentralisation of power should be concerned.
Worth reading in full.
Stop Press: Robert Malone has a saltier take on the WEF’s current agenda on his Substack, particularly no. 4 on the WEF’s list of priorities: “Preparing for the next pandemic requires ending health disparities.” That’s uncomfortably reminiscent of the toxic new ideology I discussed yesterday, which combines extreme risk aversion – to pandemics, climate change, hate speech, etc. – with ‘equity’, meaning a commitment to protecting ‘vulnerable’ groups, e.g. ethnic minorities and the LGBTQ+ community. So the argument for, say, keeping mask mandates in place forever would run something like this: airborne viral diseases have a disproportionately negative effect on marginalised people because they have less access to healthcare, therefore governments have a moral duty to impose masks mandates.
Originally published by Toby Young at The Daily Sceptic