They will be Directing the Global One Percent Choir in comfort and style, learning how to take care of themselves along the way. But seriously, satirizing the affair this year…ain’t quite so funny, given the massive immiseration of so many citizens globally. But in any event, ♪ On with the Bugs Bunny Sho-o-ow♫!
(‘This years’ meeting will urge CEOs to increase their companies’ contributions to society.’) Apparently, so that they can ‘consume more’; later on that…or do they really fear the global Rabble’s many Winters of Discontent? Nah. How many years has this been a huge thing on the WEF Global Risk Report? Weird disconnect on the signs, though.
Via Aljazeera: “Is this year’s meeting significant?
The WEF says this year’s summit is important because of the debates surrounding globalisation.
But critics expect more of the same, claiming the WEF is a “talking shop” incapable of delivering meaningful change.
“The main critique is that it is a manifest failure of imagination,” Max Lawson, Oxfam International’s head of inequality policy, told Al Jazeera.
WEF attendees “have had many years now of handwringing about the growing gap between rich and poor, and very little to show for it … This is clearly because business as usual is good business for those at the top.
“Ultimately it is public mobilisation and public anger that will lead to progressive change.”
Oh, my yes: Our Capitalist Overlords in Davos are high-fiving one another because global GDP increased by 3.5% in 2017, and look for 2018 to be Evan Bettah! (for them)
There’s a Reports tab and an Initiatives tab at the WEF2018 homepage. This year’s Global Risk Report; this year these are the Top Four: ‘environmental degradation, cybersecurity breaches, economic strains and geopolitical tensions. And in a new series called “Future Shocks” the report cautions against complacency and highlights the need to prepare for sudden and dramatic disruptions.’
On morning edit: Pepe Escobar notes today that inside the report was ‘in terms of impact, they are superseded by weapons of mass destruction – a direct consequence of the Korean peninsula standoff.
It was heart-warming to note that the conference was opened by none other than Hindu Nationalist Narenda Modi who’d decried creeping protectionism and as per AlJazeera:
“The focus of this year’s edition of the annual Davos meeting is on Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World, according to the Geneva-based foundation’s website.
Modi praised India, home to some 1.2 billion people, for its commitment to democracy and diversity.
“For a society with diverse religions, cultures, languages, attires and cuisines, democracy is not just a political system but a way of living,” he said, adding that inclusion is the “main principle” of his government.
Modi’s record has come under scrutiny for his ruling Hindu-nationalist BJP’s treatment of India’s religious minorities.
India’s Muslim and the Christian communities accuse BJP supporters of targeting them since Modi led the party to victory in the 2014 parliamentary elections and formed the central government.”
Way-ull yay-uss, stir in his long record of that added to his constant failures to hold a previously guaranteed self-determination plebiscite in Kashmir and other ‘disputed territories’ is an evil one. But hey, the fact that he was once persona non grata in the US and Western Society changed once the sainted Tulsi Gabbard conducted him on two Charm Offensives across the US. Perhaps they may have mentioned to key players how valuable India could be to NATO bases as an actual member (not as with so many others: NATO partners, ‘under our umbrella’, etc., yanno, like Ukraine and Georgia, not to mention what a ‘consumer society’ those billion+ people could be. His constant Namaste utterances ring rather hollow, don’t they? Pffffft.
Mitigating disasters? Easy: public/private partnerships. The Privates make money while virtue-signaling their largesse by way of public contributions.
Now many panel discussions and reports, white papers, etc. concern The Fourth Industrial Revolution™ (IT of course) indicate that it’s the duty of the Masters of the Universe to make sure that the peons are educated in X, Y, or Z ways to not only survive the coming massive job losses to robots, but to jump right ahead to the alternative jobs market. Isn’t that kind of them to think of us first? They’ve also dubbed 2018 ‘the Asian Year’ in covert acknowledgment that Asian economies and ‘innovation’ just might be in the process of kicking their own asses to the curb.
And of course, most of the solutions to the emergencies (oopsie, I mean major ‘risks’) are solvable through increased technology: even removing the plastic from the polymer-choked oceans ahead of geo-farming it! Now I admit I was sorely disappointed to see charts about the carbon footprints by nation ranked, and a chart on the ‘causes’ of the carbon, not one of which icludedd military footprints which are yuuuuuge. But guess these Welfare Queens and Kings wouldn’t want to advertise that, now would they?
War & Peace? Ach, nah, not so much. Just this crap panel video here: ‘Achieving Sustainable Peace in a Fractured World’ Two dudes, one of whom was the Prez of Colombia, and the moderator couldn’t stop saying ‘ColUmbia’, pffft. And some other mumbled name dude… If there were others, I hadn’t spotted them.
On morning edit: ‘German Chancellor promotes militarism and great-power politics at World Economic Forum’, wsws.org
“At a luxury resort in the Swiss Alps, the acting Chancellor sought to drum up support for a European defence policy that would enable Germany and Europe to enforce their economic and geostrategic interests around the world.
“If Europe, with its 27 future members, is incapable of sending a united message to major countries like China, India, the United States or Russia, and foreign policy is instead made nationally, the attempt to become a global player will fail,” warned Merkel. “If we want to be taken seriously as Europeans, we have one further major task, specifically to cooperate in the area of foreign policy.”
Wonder what one of these adorable urban solutions to climate change costs?
“Over two billion people worldwide are financially excluded and ~200-250 million SMEs are underserved because neither cash systems nor the traditional banking model effectively serve them. These individuals and businesses then rely on riskier and more expensive methods to save, borrow, and secure their assets.
All [of the weighty experts involved] share the goal of developing sustainable collaborative models to advance access to, and use of, financial services through digital means. Lessons learned from these work streams are shared through convenings and knowledge products, bringing local work to the larger global context.”
Whaaaat in the name of Sweett Fannie Adams does that mean? Thus Modi’s version of a cashless society? How’d that work out for the peons in India? Spoiler alert: not that well.
The list of Partners is on the right side-bar; almost all of them banks, save for the fauxlanthropic Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. ‘Get African farmers SmartPhones, an watch their productivity soar! (And a few GMO seeds, too.)
‘Sweden is moving quickly towards a cashless society. “We’re looking at potentially an e-Krona, far away into the future, we don’t know if we’ll use blockchain but it will work as a one-to-one exchange rate to the Krona, as a compliment to notes and coins,” says Skingsley, representing the Swedish central bank.’
While the Western nations must be only too aware of it, I didn’t see any discussion in that section about the coming demise of the petro-dollar, though.
Who among us wouldn’t be bullish on their Brave New World initiative ‘Shaping the Future of Consumption’, ROTFLMAO!
“In this context of seismic change, the World Economic Forum’s Future of Consumption System Initiative envisions a future where benefits of technological advancement are inclusive and firmly embedded in people’s lives, making daily consumption experiences simpler, accessible, highly personal and more enjoyable while also imbued with trust and in harmony with nature. It takes a holistic view of addressing the question, “How can technological disruption drive enhanced models of consumption with sustainable benefits for business and society”, across developed and emerging markets?”
How? WTF? Just put a sexy green-washing label on food ‘products’ while noting ‘Almost GMO-free!. While both hilarious and self-servingly classist, it’s at least semi-coherent, unlike s many of the White Papers and Brilliant Reports that are utter word salads swirling down the drain, and often contain the word ‘circularity’ a dozen times.
You’ll no doubt be tickled witless that The Conference has joined the #MeToo Movement, as had NATO earlier.
‘2018 will be a year for women to thrive. We’re at a turning point.’
“Beyond policies, much of today’s conversation is about the wider social change that is also needed. And from #equalpay to #metoo and beyond, it looks like it’s coming. Time is up for discrimination and abuse against women. The time has come for women to thrive.’
I always think of Managing Director of the IMF as promoting global women’s rights, don’t you?
And hell’s bells: the female vice-CEO of Microsoft just announced that they will no longer automatically send harassment cases into binding arbitration! Wooot!
‘Democracy in a Post-Truth Era’:
This session must have been a barn-burner, as the video of the contributors was quite long (most others were as well):
“The session began with a “fake news test” with Laeri asking each participant whether a news story was fake or real. The panel did well, but in a wider survey, respondents were only able to identify half of all stories as being real (rather than fake) news.
Laeri asked (Mike) Allen (CEO of Axios) if the fake news situation is getting better in the US? His short answer was “no”. He argued that the tech giants are more aware of the fake news, but it doesn’t mean there is less of it. He suggested that the popularity of fake news comes from the fact it hits an emotional chord, which real news often doesn’t.’
Google, Facebook and Twitter are rooting all that fake ‘roosian bots creating chaos!!!’ rot out, along with anti-war, anti-Imperialism essays, thank heavens… But shucks, how distressing that Our Overlords didn’t recognize that this film should have won the award for ‘best psyop #FakeNews of 2016, speaking of ‘hitting an emotional cord’.
(You rawk, Boots, you commie hip-hop rapper…)
Zo, Trump’s speech is over, all indications are that he’d tried to thread some needle between nationalist protectionism and globalization. ‘Amerika is open for bidness! Let’s make a deal!’
(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)