The World Economic Forum, was founded in 1971 by German engineer and economist Klaus Schwab where he hit upon the winning idea of organizing a ski holiday for the worlds richest people, described as a management training session or something tax deductible. Like most of these conferences, once the richest of the rich were there, everyone else had to be as long as the riff-raff were kept out. The importance of it was almost certainly not the official speeches but the deals done over drinks-with-new-friends at the bar, or on the piste. It was a chance to meet with Moguls on the moguls.
The foundation is mostly funded by its 1,000 member companies, possibly in lieu of the taxes they don’t pay to their home countries. The 1,000 corporate members are all theoretically “$5 billion dollar entities”, except the ones that are $5 Trillion dollar entities, so they are kind of like the UN of the corporate world, with five times as many members and without the hanger-on-erers. (Fifty of the UN’s members would be too small to qualify). At best, the WEF is the ultimate corporate conference club, and at worst, a kind of quasi corporate world government. The truth is somewhere in between, but where?
The WEF elites fly in to Davos in late January every year in private jets while they figure out how to save the world from fossil fuels. In their spare time they probably swap names of pliable politicians, or even meet them. They can also find out the names of great accountants, and swap ideas on how to deal with unacceptable citizens.
brought to you by Primal life Teeth Whiteners*
I wonder if Klaus hired Professor Yuval Noah Harari to speak at Davos 2020, so everyone that quoted him could be called a conspiracy theorist nutcase? It could work.
It’s hard to say these lines without sounding like a Technocratic-psycho:
“This whole idea of humans have this soul or spirit and nobody knows what’s happening inside them, and they have free will, that’s over.”
Data might allow human elites to do something even more radical than just build digital dictatorships, by hacking organisms elites may gain the power to reengineer the future of life itself.
People could look back in a hundred years and identify the coronavirus epidemic as the moment when a new regime of surveillance took over…
If we succeed in hacking life, this will be the greatest revolution in biology, since the very beginning of life.
Soon, at least some corporations and governments will be able to systematically hack all the people. “My brain, my body, my life, does it belong to me or to some corporation or to the government….
This is the intelligent design of the IBM Cloud the Microsoft cloud.
— Professor Yuval Noah Harari
He’s like the decoy Fake Time Magazine cover used to hide the real Time Magazine cover.
The gloss is coming off
The WEF is tax-exempt, which is a pretty rich wicket, and the Swiss
government taxpayers pay for security at Davos, which is worth about 32 million Swiss francs a year. On top of that the taxpayers pay another few million for “extra security”. But the free run is feeling some friction. Last year a few Swiss politicians and civil society groups criticized the security bill, and the Swiss government announced they’d cut it back by a million or so each year. Go, democracy, Go.
It’s a sign that the people are starting to notice the WEF and there may come a day when politicians don’t want to mention their WEF membership. Who wants to look like a patsy?
My favourite description of the WEF is that they are globalization’s “Mafiocracy” of bankers, industrialists, oligarchs, technocrats and politicians.
“They promote common ideas, and serve common interests: their own.”
There is some limit to WEF power, but what is it?
It would be very useful in comments if commenters can talk about what the limits are. When do the WEF get thwarted? The WEF is obviously a hot and influential club, like a radioactive octopus, but Klaus Schwab presumably brags like any shameless compulsive promoter would. So some of the politicians in his fold may be in a cult, but others just spent a weekend skiiing.
*There’s something good about seeing little corporates fight back against the biggest of the big ones.
h/t David E, Mark, Scott of the Pacific, Bill in AZ, Old Ozzie, Jill J, OriginalSteve, Brenda, Mantaray, Vlad the Impaler, Bob Dinn, Konrad, David Maddison, Marksman, Truthseeker, another Ian, Klem, Jelly34, Alistair Crooks, Len, Beth the Serf, John Connor II, Tides of Mudgee, Neville, Beowulf, Rod Stuart and Chris D