The World Economic Forum is not your friend unless you’re close to a billionaire or a president
Canada was back at the World Economic Forum last month. But this year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and most G7 leaders stayed away. Some say it’s a blacklash against the super-rich, ultra-connected and the obscenely powerful and their crazy plans for the future. Others argue, the stay-away was just about appearances. There’s too much money and power at stake to do more than just pretend to lose interest for a week.
The WEF meets annually at Davos, Switzerland, with about 3,000 members and this year included 52 heads of state and 600 CEOS, many of whom flew in on private jets to plan the future of the world in closed-door meetings. They then hung out at glorious parties, and even hit the ski slopes. Germany’s Chancellor and China’s vice-premier were there, as were the presidents of Spain, South Korea, Poland, and the Philippines. This year Canada sent deputy-prime Minister Chrystia Freeland.
The WEF was founded in 1971 by German engineer and economist Klaus Schwab, who has talked most recently about the need for a “Great Reset” of the world economy. He appears to love all of the socialist ideologies. His favourite cause is climate change. The saying that “you’ll own nothing and be happy” was actually a reference to a WEF tweet that said, “Welcome to 2030. I own nothing, I have no privacy and life has never been better.” If you believe in your neighbour’s freedom as much as your own then the WEF is likely not for you.
Not all the super-rich are WEF lovers. As world leaders were making their way to Davos, the world’s richest man, Telsa and Twitter owner Elon Musk tweeted: “WEF is increasingly becoming an unelected world government that people never asked for and don’t want.”
The Globe and Mail disagreed, arguing that the world’s super self-important come all this way just to have a little fun. The article described the 84-year-old Schwab as “an image that looks increasingly like an elitist, ego-tripping anachronism.”
In the same article, David Parkinson writes that the Davos crowd is “a self-indulgent gathering of the out-of-touch elites congratulating each other and bouncing big ideas off their own well-insulated wall. It’s all pretty harmless – and pointless.”
Parkinson then ridiculed critics who think the WEF is out to manipulate world leaders, destroy capitalism and wipe out private property.” These are conspiracy theories, Parkinson writes.
What about those theories that don’t believe world leaders are being manipulated but do believe they would like to manipulate free-market capitalism to structure world economies to favour themselves? Nothing from Parkinson there.
Sometimes, the world catches a glimpse of what these crazy-rich and influential people really want. Said Schwab at Davos last year: “The future is built by us, by a powerful community, as you here in this room. We have the means to improve the states of the world.”
Before you get too hopeful about fabulously wealthy and influential people wanting to make things fair and right with the world, we should hear from Victor Davis Hanson, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, who has the uncanny ability to see through an elaborate ruse to its ugly core. Speaking in 2020 about the WEF members, Hanson argued that “Their power and income and wealth means they will never be subject to the ramifications of their ideology because they will be exempt. Capitalism made them wealthy. But they don’t want capitalism for anyone else. They want to close the attic door so that no one climbs up after them.”
He argued that destabilizing policies are part of the plan. The WEF supports identity politics but the most important ideology on the agenda again this year is climate change.
Interestingly, Hanson noted that with free markets in 2019, the United States had the lowest carbon emission since 1992, “that’s in almost 30 years.” Hanson added that the WEF admit that its agenda does not have popular support. “They have to manipulate people’s fear in crisis to push it through.”
The U.S. Heritage Foundation research fellow Joel Griffith, agrees. In a recent interview, Griffith noted that “The energy crisis that we’re facing now across the world is a problem that by and large has been caused by the 50-plus world leaders that are gathered there, because almost in lockstep these world leaders, from (President Joe) Biden, to the European Union leaders, to our counterpart in Canada, have declared a long-term war on fossil fuels. They’ve created this energy crisis, they’ve created the inflation crisis, created the rising price trajectory, and they are not acknowledging responsibility.”
Here’s one concrete example of how the World Economic Forum can be dangerous. The WEF encouraged Sri Lanka to go organic and in a surprise announcement in 2021 the country did. It made an almost total ban on modern synthetic fertilizer, causing crop failure, then out-of-control inflation, a famine, and finally a revolution. Hundreds of thousands of people overran the presidential palace last summer. The president resigned and fled the country. The Wall Street Journal described the uprising as the “first contra-organic national uprising in history.”