This year's World Economic Forum featured calls to "master the future" and blamed right-wing populists for the rising distrust in global elites
The World Economic Forum at Davos used to be THE place to see and be seen, but the idea of the richest and most influential people in the world hobnobbing around a common agenda for the world has lost its luster as the policies peddled by its attendees spark increased skepticism among average citizens.
Forum founder Klaus Schwab, the de facto frontman of the organization, has cranked out one distasteful hit after another in recent years. He has spoken of how the organization "penetrates the cabinets" of governments in its recruitment efforts. He coined the term "The Great Reset," about which he published a book just a few months into the Covid-19 pandemic in July 2020, advocating that the pandemic be used as inspiration to "reimagine our world" at a time when much of the globe was locked down on orders of their governments - many members of which were Davos regulars. There was little appetite to turn lockdowns into a permanent lifestyle change, but here was Klaus promoting the benefits of burying the old life - all under the pretext of an event that the WEF had already wargamed in October 2019 in New York, just ahead of the crisis, in an exercise called "Event 201." "The exercise will bring together business, government, security and public health leaders to address a hypothetical global pandemic scenario," the WEF announced at the time. It's all just a bit too creepy.
It's the constant effort of top-down global coordination around murky financial interests laundered through the Davos agenda that irks the common person. The fact that just a single leader of a G7 country attended this year's event speaks volumes about how poorly it's now viewed. The premier of the western Canadian province of Alberta, Danielle Smith, said of the WEF after her cabinet's swearing-in ceremony last October: "I find it distasteful when billionaires brag about how much control they have over political leaders. That is offensive...the people who should be directing government are the people who vote for them. Quite frankly, until that organization stops bragging about how much control they have over political leaders, I have no interest in being involved with them."
Those invited to preach at the altar during the high mass of globalism this year seemed to know exactly what kind of sermon the crowd wanted to hear. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was apparently the only G7 leader who thought it would be a good look to be seen hanging out with the unelected masters of the planet while Westerners - and Europeans in particular - grapple with the high cost of their governments' policies in their daily lives. Scholz doubled down on the same green dreams that put Germany's economy in peril with no viable backup plan once the European Union had effectively cut off Russian energy through sanctions.
"Most importantly, our transformation toward a climate-neutral economy, the fundamental task of our century, is currently taking on an entirely new dynamic. Not in spite of but because of the Russian war, and the resulting pressure on us Europeans to change. Whether you are a business leader or a climate activist, a security policy specialist or an investor, it is now crystal clear to each and every one of us that the future belongs solely to renewables. For cost reasons, for environmental reasons, for security reasons, and because in the long run, renewables promise the best returns," Scholz said in his address.
Meanwhile, Germany is firing its coal power plants back up and reconsidering its nuclear power phase-out. How about worrying about how German industry is going to function in the next year when green initiatives, such as hydrogen imports from Portugal and Norway, aren't set to even get off the ground until at least 2030? Scholz used his time at the podium at Davos to greenwash the economic uncertainties that Germany faces as a result of the EU's energy sanctions on Russia. In other words, green hopes and dreams took center stage in this pitch to global investors, thus providing a convenient distraction from the more worrisome current realities.
Greenwashing was joined at Davos by the pitching of anti-democratic initiatives via concern trolling. During a panel discussion dedicated to "disrupting distrust" - which really should have been called "How can we get people to better swallow our nonsense?" - Richard Edelman, the CEO of the eponymous global communications firm, blamed the derailments on right-wingers. "My hypothesis on that is that right-wing groups have done a really good job of disenfranchising NGOs. They've challenged the funding sources. They've associated you with Bill Gates and George Soros. They've said that you're world people, as opposed to what you are, which is local," Edelman lamented, ignoring the fact that they wouldn't have needed to fly their private jets to a "local" event. What he's really attacking are dissidents, many of whom just happen to be populists and right-leaning. And no doubt the fact that they're digging into the special interests laundered through many NGOs makes the job of PR pros such as Edelman more challenging.
"Edelman is a despicable human being - his job is literally being a professional liar!" Tweeted billionaire Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, whose controversial purchase of the social media platform and subsequent reversal of its heavy-handed censorship policies haven't exactly endeared him to the Davos crowd. Mocking Schwab's call to "master the future" in the opening keynote, Musk tweeted, "'Master the Future' doesn't sound ominous at all ... How is WEF/Davos even a thing? Are they trying to be the boss of Earth!?" Musk then took a Twitter poll that found that 86% of 2.4 million respondents answered 'no' to the question of whether the WEF should "control the world."
A WEF spokesman said that Musk hasn't been invited to the gathering since 2015. Musk confirmed his lack of interest in attending: "My reason for declining the Davos invitation was not because I thought they were engaged in diabolical scheming, but because it sounded boring af lol."
Boring, indeed - in the same way that a cult meeting where everyone nods their heads in agreement is a snooze fest. The last time things were even remotely interesting at Davos was when former US President Donald Trump showed up and rejected the Davos mantra of climate change doom. "The message represents a sharp departure from the official playbook at the World Economic Forum, where this year's theme is 'Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World'," wrote CNN in January 2020.
Who asked them, though? These elites represent no one's interests but their own, which are economic and are for the benefit of their shareholders - hence the forum's name. If the average citizen is now waking up to the fact that anything coming out of Davos should be scrutinized through that lens, then it can only be a good thing for freedom, democracy, and national sovereignty.