Can We Save Ourselves from The Lords of Capital at Davos While They ‘Save the World™...for Their Predations?
(I’m sorry it’s so long; I’m not even sure I’d read it if I hadn’t had to…)
The Mission Statement of the World Economic Forum, in part (my bolds):
“The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation.
It was established in 1971 as a not-for-profit foundation and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. It is independent, impartial and not tied to any special interests. The Forum strives in all its efforts to demonstrate entrepreneurship in the global public interest while upholding the highest standards of governance. Moral and intellectual integrity is at the heart of everything it does.
Ho de ho ho and lol: As my grandpappy used to say: ‘Lord love a duck, what utter codswallop’. But at least this part of their mission statement happens to be true:
“The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.”
The 2500strong Titans of Finance Tweets from the Klosters show luxury fashion show videos, ‘hes for Shes’ (parity for women, ha ha), equestrian events, Hollywood Star Power♥! writ large, schmoozing for ‘investments’ (Tsipras and others). This cartoon is one way of looking at WEF, another is that they just meeting and greeting one another, and praising one another for being at the top of the Capitalist Pyramind due to their own merit, whose duty should be the Deciders, Innovators, and Prognosticators.
But my spidey senses are telling me that this year is different. Given that as neoliberal austerity oppression and capitalism itself are causing more and more of us around the earth to begin to imagine that there’s nothing left to lose, especially as just ahead of Davos Oxfam released their annual report stating that the richest 1% now own more than the rest of the people in the world combined. Sure, as a group they’ve engaged in the pretense of caring about The Rabble, while reporting that they Sincerely Get It, and are about to send forth their fleet of Davos Fargo Wagons down the track to help. Oh yes, they’ve hatched a few plans…
The Plans seem to me to be centered around the fact that the global economy has faltered, continues to falter, peak oil has passed, commodity prices are falling, and tra la la, and even the Lords and Lordettes of Capital aren’t filling their pockets quickly enough. So: enters the scheme to rule essentially by WEF corporate fiat, bypassing over that messy, inefficient ‘democracy’ stuff. More about that soon, but think: privatization and plunder….
On WEF’s ‘what are the top global risks for 2016?’ page, under: Which Panic Buttons to Push is:
“Income disparity, which was highlighted by the report in 2014, is this year reflected in the growing interconnections involving profound social instability and both structural unemployment and underemployment and adverse consequences of technological advances.”
Note: ‘income disparity’: quite different from ‘wealth disparity’, no? Well, sure, they show world map graphics noting which nations are just too doggoned unstable and risky to conduct business in, see? A useful designation for…NATO and Africom…and deep state NGOs to…plunder while ‘helping’.
Neil Clark, writing for RT, maintains that ‘Davos is the problem, not the solution’. Well, yes indeed. For instance, some of the charts of the rankings assigned by Davos attendees:
“The number one risk in 2016 in terms of likelihood, meanwhile, is large-scale involuntary migration, followed by extreme weather events (2nd), failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation (3rd), interstate conflict with regional consequences (4th) and major natural catastrophes (5th).
Such a broad risk landscape is unprecedented in the 11 years the report has been measuring global risks. For the first time, four out of five categories – environmental, geopolitical, societal and economic – feature among the top five most impactful risks. The only category not to feature is technological risk, where the highest ranking risk is cyberattack, in 11th position in both likelihood and impact.”
Well, yeah, but cyber attack was mentioned a whale of a lot of times, and there was poll on their official Twitter account wondering if Robotic War would be less prone to ‘error’ than human war (drones, I imagine).
Except for ‘major natural catastrophes’ (whatever their definition is) are most of them not authored by the self-proclaimed Masters of the Universe? Trillions in profits from US and UK quantitative went into the coffers of the Davos Plutocrats; trillions of theirs are in off-shore tax havens; and according to the Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez, between 2009 and 2012 the top 1% of American households took 91 cents out of each extra dollar that the country earned. The other 99% of Americans had to share the remaining 9 cents between them.
Neil Clark’s coverage included: the gathering was mainly North Americans and Europeans, gazillionaire George Soros blamed Putin for the massive involuntary emigration in hopes of ‘collapsing the EU’. He hoped Soros of the ‘Open Society’ plan bumped into attendee Paul Kagame (not too many PoC there by the look of it, maybe One Token on the adjunct board). He embedded a Tweet by Lindsey German saying ‘Refugees are not destabilising Europe. Europe is destabilising them; noted the French PM’s claim that refugees could destroy the EU refuses to accept the fact that Europe helped cause the crisis”. He embedded a Tony ‘Bush’s Poodle’ Blair interview containing maximum hypocrisy overload, then gazed for a few moments at the world both pre- and post-1971 Klaus Schwab ‘European Management Forum’ in the US. Ah well, we all know only too well that the Kleptocratic Klass Predators are the not the solution to anything, but how much longer will we allow them to squeeze us to death from On High?
Now let’s look at the plan they hatched some time ago at Davos. From Nick Buxton at TNI.org (Transnational Institute), whose stated mission is: ‘TNI envisions a world of peace, equity and democracy on a sustainable planet brought about and sustained by an informed and engaged citizenry’:
“2500 corporate executives, politicians and a few Hollywood stars are expected to descend this week on Davos to discuss both the growing jitters about the faltering global economy as well as pontificate on the official theme of the conference, namely the “fourth industrial revolution” (Think robots, AI and self-driving cars).
The real concern about the WEF, however, is not the personal hypocrisy of its privileged delegates. It is rather that this unaccountable invitation-only gathering is increasingly where global decisions are being taken and moreover is becoming the default form of global governance. There is considerable evidence that past WEFs have stimulated free trade agreements such as NAFTA as well helped rein in regulation of Wall Street in the aftermath of the financial crisis.
Less well known is the fact that WEF since 2009 has been working on an ambitious project called the Global Redesign Initiative, (GRI), which effectively proposes a transition away from intergovernmental decision-making towards a system of multi-stakeholder governance. In other words, by stealth, they are marginalising a recognised model where we vote in governments who then negotiate treaties which are then ratified by our elected representatives with a model where a self-selected group of ‘stakeholders’ make decisions on our behalf.
Advocates of multi-stakeholder governance argue that governments and intergovernmental forums, such as the UN, are no longer efficient places for tackling increasingly complex global crises. The founder of WEF Klaus Schwab says “the sovereign state has become obsolete”. WEF has created 40 Global Agenda Councils and industry-sector bodies, with the belief these are the best groups of people to develop proposals and ultimately decisions related to a whole gamut of global issues from climate change to cybersecurity.
Corporations are put at the heart of this model, because they provide in the view of Klaus Schwab and corporate elites, the possibilities of “agile” governance, drawing on the private sector’s experience of “adapting to a new, fast-changing environment”. Governments are encouraged to tackle every issue by allying with private sector in public-private partnerships. And a few carefully selected civil society representatives are invited in to legitimise the process. Questions of how issues are framed, who is chosen, from what sectors, for whose benefit, and accountable to whom are brushed under the carpet.” [snip]
“…when you look at the careers of the Board members that the real driving force behind this model is clear. While half of the Board (12) are currently corporate executives, if you look at their career history, this rises to two-thirds. Only one member can be said to represent civil society (Peter Maurer of Red Cross). There are no representatives of trade unions, public sector organisations, human rights groups, peasant or indigenous organisations, students and youth.”
The quotes from the board members could be misconstrued as self-parody easily: lauding themselves for being bright enough to know when to corner markets and resources and seize the day! The CEO of Nestle (bottled water) is magnificent in his hubris.
Buxton then chooses as one model for the ‘multi-stakeholder governance’ instead of multilateralism was COP21 exactly that: no promises made, just ‘voluntary promises’, greater private/public collaboration (my term, not his), and promises to revisit the issue in five years. Their notion of ’collaboration’ being “we’ll make money from pretending to mitigate climate change with all our glorious upcoming technologies or Green Capitalism rubbish, etc.. He recites the list of NGO programs ostensibly designed to address the issue of food scarcity, rightly noting that they liberalize trade, engage in industrial agriculture (one of the two largest contributors of greenhouse gases, though he doesn’t mention it), corporate control of food and seed itself, and totally ignores food distribution, democratic access to land and food sovereignty.
Small wonder, then, that he notes at the end that:
“…the result is that we are increasingly entering a world where gatherings such as Davos are not laughable billionaire playgrounds, but rather the future of global governance. It is nothing less than a silent global coup d’etat.”
Now there are quite a few rivals for my least favorite Kleptocrats posing as Noble Philanthropists (fauxlanthropists), but let’s see what Bill Gates had to say from Davos, and why we should be happy (especially due to his programs) in 2016, then look at a whopping chunk of the reality:
Contrast with ‘Spearheading the Neo-liberal Plunder of African Agriculture’ by Colin Todhunter; some snippets:
“The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) is dangerously and unaccountably distorting the direction of international development, according to a new report by the campaign group Global Justice Now. With assets of $43.5 billion, the BMGF is the largest charitable foundation in the world. It actually distributes more aid for global health than any government. As a result, it has a major influence on issues of global health and agriculture. [snip]
According to the report, the foundation’s strategy is intended to deepen the role of multinational companies in global health and agriculture especially, even though these corporations are responsible for much of the poverty and injustice that already plagues the global south.”
The report concludes that the foundation’s programmes have a specific ideological strategy that promotes neo-liberal economic policies, corporate globalisation, the technology this brings (such as GMOs) and an outdated view of the centrality of aid in ‘helping’ the poor.” Then some bullet points about Microsoft’s tax-avoidance offshore subsidiaries, pushing private health ‘care’ and education, bio-wrecking Africa with industrial agriculture, toxic chemicals and GMOs that undermine sustainable agriculture and sovereign food security, and more.
Below are a few #WEF Tweets I’ve hyperlinked.
Ah yes, the myth of the Noblesse Oblige by the Lords of Capital is actually ‘philanthrocapitalist neocolonialism’, much like the Clinton Foundation’s.
Just before she headed to Davos, the Queen of Neoliberal Capitalism went on an African tour to help distressed nations out and boogied with these darling children.
Just before that she’d visited with our partners in peace in the KSA, and noted that ‘Saudi Arabia has performed strongly; now needs to adjust to low oil prices’. ‘Strongly’, hoo, boy. She’s also touting #IslamicFinance, whatever that means.
This struck me as just too sad: ‘will.i.am on the 21st Century Dream’ from Davos:
‘Stop Demonizing Fossil Fuel Companies, Whines Global Bank Chief’ (HSBC CEO)
One of the voices of sanity in Davos: ‘”You Can Have Stronger Growth If You Reduce the Extremes Of Inequality’ Joseph Stiglitz on Soundcloud. (At least he’s trying to show ‘trickle up economics‘ ain’t even workin’ for them )
‘Another great depression!’ (satiric jibe)
Now if I were on the Twitter Machine, I’d embed this on their account:
and highlight these lyrics:
This house is on fire
Kick off your boots, come and sit a spell
Listen to me worry, come and listen well
All you better best come and lean in boys
‘Cause I don’t dare to raise my voice
I’ve been sitting here for the longest time
Reading all the warning and the danger signs
I don’t have the gift of the prophecy
Telling everybody how it’s gonna be
Soon come, soon come the day
This tinderbox is gonna blow in your face
I don’t have the gift of the prophecy
Telling everybody how it’s gonna be
You go passing wrong for right and right for wrong
People only stand for that for just so long
It’s all gonna catch like a house on fire
Spark an evil blaze and burn higher…
We serfs are many, you Feudal Lords are few…beware of our quest for a just world for all.