This organisation has never been more prevalent in our day to day politics than the last six months. I for one, have found their... "studies" to be exceptionally interesting.
However, first things first. What exactly is the World Economic Forum?
"The World Economic Forum is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation.
The Forum engages the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.
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.
Our activities are shaped by a unique institutional culture founded on the stakeholder theory, which asserts that an organization is accountable to all parts of society. The institution carefully blends and balances the best of many kinds of organizations, from both the public and private sectors, international organizations and academic institutions.
We believe that progress happens by bringing together people from all walks of life who have the drive and the influence to make positive change."
This little summary provided by the WEF paints a positive picture that dedicates itself to be a positive influence for the benefit our society.
Did any keywords stand out to you? I'm particularly interested in the phrase - "public-private cooperation." I found it a very interesting contrast to "fascism" which is an explicitly close relationship between the private and public sectors.
The Library of Economics and Liberty defines fascism as the following: "Where socialism sought totalitarian control of a society’s economic processes through direct state operation of the means of production, fascism sought that control indirectly, through domination of nominally private owners. Where socialism nationalized property explicitly, fascism did so implicitly, by requiring owners to use their property in the “national interest”—that is, as the autocratic authority conceived it. (Nevertheless, a few industries were operated by the state.) Where socialism abolished all market relations outright, fascism left the appearance of market relations while planning all economic activities."
When I observe society today, I see a surprising similarity to the above definition and I wonder if the WEF's definition of "public-private cooperation" is meant to be the friendly, acceptable - rather palatable version of fascism. I guess we need to explore their work a bit more deeply and see what they say.
I also found the following "it is independent, impartial and not tied to any special interests." to be a terribly important sentence I will revert back to.
"Stakeholder Theory is a view of capitalism that stresses the interconnected relationships between a business and its customers, suppliers, employees, investors, communities and others who have a stake in the organization. The theory argues that a firm should create value for all stakeholders, not just shareholders."
Doesn't that sound ideal? Unfortunately, there is plenty to dissect here. I will resist getting into why stakeholder theory is misguided and dangerous as it deserves it's own blog.
Let's go back to what the World Economic Forum claim to be. They claim to be "impartial", a big claim considering the membership.
"The World Economic Forum provides a platform for the world’s 1,000 leading companies to shape a better future. As a membership organization, the Forum engages businesses in projects and initiatives – online and offline – to address industry, regional and systemic issues."
Does anything sound contradictory? The WEF provides a platform for the world's leading 1000 companies to shape a better future and yet, claim to be "impartial." Why are the leading 1000 companies in greater stead to steer the direction of society? Why are they impartial?
It is also curious as to how an impartial body charges extravagant amounts to be members of this organisation. An annual membership to the World Economic Forum costs $52,000. A ticket to Davos itself costs $19,000, plus tax (That's $71,000 for one person to come). If you want to go to the private industry sessions it costs $137,000 a year. These prices further ensure the narrowing of the pool of who can attend such vital work that supposedly benefits all society.
As well as business leaders being invited top Government officials and representatives also make regular appearances and often come away saying how beneficial it has been. The flagship event of the World Economic Forum is the invitation-only annual meeting held at the end of January in Davos, Switzerland. Oh to be a fly on the wall.
To have an idea of what the WEF claims to be, in contrast to what they appear to be, we must pay attention to their "Strategic Insights Team"which produce "expert" reports on various issues deemed important such as Climate Change and Artificial Intelligence.
They also have their "competitiveness team"which identify issues such as gender inequality and nature risks. Having read many of their endless reports, the general solution seems to be the unique definition of improving competitiveness via "government led capitalism."After reading the WEF reports you'll soon find out that there are certain truths that are actually undeniable - firstly - capitalism has failed. Again, I hope you can appreciate how bold this statement is considering it claims to be "impartial" - ironically, I find no counterarguments to this claim. It's almost as if free market economics is not to be included in the future. This is very strange because the organisation clearly states it is impartial yet only gives one side of an argument and one solution.
Another undeniable truth seems to be that Climate Change is settled science, and again, there is only one solution - a global green economy. Much like the "settled science of covid-19" other scientists and organisations that dispute or counter the cause and severity of this "global problem" never seem to be invited into the WEF to present their findings. Interesting. The Great Barrington Declaration and the World Doctors Alliance anyone?
Their third and seemingly most important priority is Artificial Intelligence, the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Global Governance. Again, this deserves its own blog so I will not delve into this too much. However, a very quick summary is along the lines of; the WEF consistently present AI as being a transformational event where data is the new power. This power cannot be contained within nation-states, it just can't. There's no actual reasons given. The rhetoric is, because it has so much potential to control our lives, we can't risk decentralised Governments being accountable to the people to be responsible (let alone individual people), so we need a Global Governance Structure to make sure "all nations work together." Ironically, not much thought is given as to how the global governing bodies are held accountable. We're told to worry about people like Kim Jong Un getting their hands on this technology, creating super beings and overtaking the world - I am not kidding. Watch this. But for some reason, a global government ends this risk... It's as if global governments would be immune to corruption. Again, a very unique take when I would suggest that the larger the governments become, the more corrupt they inevitably are. But, what do I know?! No one pays $50,000 to hear my theories.
The WEF has so much information and material to go through, I know I have left so much out. I will continue to delve into this organisation and explore their work. This blog is just trying to introduce what the WEF is, and what it claims to be.
I would like to finish by highlighting how ironic it is they keep claiming the virus has been responsible for highlighting the failures of capitalism. There's no discussion about Government policies causing this massive destruction of our economies. Such a well-funded, "impartial" think tank should be able to consider this alternative possibility. It also seems ironic that the ideology they have been pursuing for decades has become THE solution to the current crisis. Even more convenient is how every Government seems to be in agreement - "Build Back Better" they announce proudly, but I would argue, for whom? It seems very ironic that an organisation paid for and attended by the top corporations and leaders all seem to be benefiting from this crisis at the moment, whereas the common man with his small business is being forced to shut and become dependent on the other two.
Last, but definitely not least - "On 19 January 2017 the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a global initiative to fight epidemics, was launched at WEF in Davos. The internationally funded initiative aims at securing vaccine supplies for global emergencies and pandemics, and to research new vaccines for tropical diseases, that are now more menacing. The project is funded by private and governmental donors, with an initial investment of US$460m from the governments of Germany, Japan and Norway, plus the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust."
Well well well, if it isn't the usual suspects once again. Incredible isn't it? All the main players seemingly benefiting from this crisis are all working together. One could ask, "is there any conflicts of interest with regards to the advice they give and their vested interests?!"
I'm sure it is just all coincidence. It is just coincidence their solutions just so happens to give themselves more control, power and influence over society.
Please look out for my next blog where I will dig into what the WEF really argue for. (Not that they hide it.)
I managed to ask a couple of these questions to the Managing Director of the WEF, Adrian Monck, alas he didn't answer the most important ones, however I am sure he's incredibly busy. Please read my previous blog regarding my interaction with Adrian to make sense of what transpired: I've attached the tweets below: