Insight - Gurus Or Goons: Assessing The Theatre Of Davos
A dip into the duplicitous dell wherein corporate journalists do as they're told
This year’s Davos meeting was a stand out for banality and discretion.
The unmistakeable takeaway is that what you see ain’t what you’ll get.
Unprecedented media coverage missed the crucial offstage dialogue.
See also Moneycircus, Jan 2022 — Crisis Update: Reset In Trouble
Jan 2022 — Crisis Update: Illusion And Pharmakeia
Sep 2021 — Eurasia Notes #8 - Petrodollar Smoulders
Jul 2021 — Regaining Control of Events
(1,900 words or about nine minutes of your time.)
Jan 25, 2023
Do you think the world is run by a conclave of guru savants? Emotionally intelligent, swooning over the plight of the masses, corralling feckless politicians to get off their backsides and do something about it?
No way! That would be kinda like a society of do-gooders, a worshipful cabal. Most people, guided by the wise minds of the media, reject any suggestion of collusion in centralized government as a conspiracy theory.
With that out the way, take it as given that there is no beneficent confederacy guiding the world, any more than a cavalcade of goons machinates to lay waste to the planet and share the spoils.
But what rankles from the World Economic Forum in Davos last week is that even with 5,000 police and troops protecting them, most of the 2,700 delegates were too scared to talk to independent journalists. Not just hardy researchers and seasoned campaigners, but youngsters barely out of college, seeking to make a name for their channel by placing themselves as interface between the billions who might just be curious about what’s going on when 50 world leaders converge on a glamorous Swiss ski resort.
The security largely behaved with restraint, at least once confronted with constitutional rights, though some journalists found themselves detained by security when they returned to their home countries. 
Immediately it became clear beyond contention that the politicians and CEOs were hostile to any and all questions — many failed to return the common courtesy of a greeting as they scuttled sideways through the snow.
If the finance minister Chrystia Freeland was in Switzerland to uphold the values and interests of her dual citizenships, of Ukraine and Canada, why should she not want to promote her vision among the plebeians, even if she has to persuade them? 
Rebel News of Canada walked alongside Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla for several minutes as he failed to answer a single question even with a “no comment.” 
The only journalists to whom the Davos attendees would speak were accredited, and often fellow delegates. When asked why CNBC provided no critical journalism — effectively no journalism at all — VP and International Managing Editor Patrick Allen became defensive and aggressive. 
Corporate journalists rarely ask probing questions (disclosure, the author was a correspondent for CNBC for several years) — and if you ask vague questions you get incomplete or misleading answers.
The key to advancing knowledge is to pursue questions that you have researched and embraced in advance: embracing the question; not the answer. The question is also more important than the apparent seniority of the person you interview (often it’s more productive to interview those below boardroom or C-suite level).
To give credit where it’s due, CNBC veteran Joe Kiernan, who was very kind to me when I visited Fort Lee from London back in the day, said Davos is a place where billionaires tell millionaires what regular people think.
More significant than silence is the body language: when the Davos crowd gives you the cold shoulder, the temperature plunges by several degrees.
The common man or woman, even with their nose hairs frozen, would tell you something smells off. That smell is omerta — perhaps not an oath of silence but no less an order. No delegate to the WEF will open their mouth for fear of contradicting the line from the top.
As Young Global Leader Jacinda Ardern put it in New Zealand: the government is your “single source of truth.” The outgoing prime minister added for good measure “unless you hear it from us, it’s not truth.”
The same mindset clearly applies to prime ministers when in the presence of Klaus Schwab in Davos: they become mere minions.
To flesh this out, the WEF has never been a forum because it is not a discussion club, let alone an institution that forms policy by vote or agreement. You cannot buy a ticket to attend: membership is by invitation only, and strictly temporary.
The WEF is mechanism for recruitment and direction — to know from whom, read the previous newsletter.
See Moneycircus, Jan 18, 2023 — Insight: War, Pestilence And Davos' Great Reset
Allow Klaus Schwab to say it for himself:
“The most critical fragmentation is between those who take a constructive attitude and those who are just bystanders, observers — and even go into the negative, critical and confrontational attitude.”
And who take a constructive attitude, you wonder? The WEF alumni, of course!
“The spirit of Davos is positive; it’s constructive.”
As people like the prominent economist professor Richard Werner have discovered, if you don’t agree: you’re out.
See Moneycircus, Sep 2022 — Opinion: Not Enough Minerals For Green Energy
When delegates speak within the halls, they rehash each other’s jargon, as if batting slogans back and forth adds meaning to what even the BBC has mocked as, “a crime against the English language.” 
This raises the question whether the public debates are simply theatre — for Davos reveals that the high powered meetings take place on the sidelines, at sponsored events such as the Victor Pinchuk Foundation’s Ukrainian Breakfast, or in private.
An example of pure theatre was Al Gore’s leap off the deep end when he spoke of the climactic equivalent of 600,000 Hiroshimas a day:
“That’s what’s boiling the oceans, creating these atmospheric rivers, and the rain bombs, and sucking the moisture out of the land, and creating the droughts, and melting the ice, and raising the sea level, and causing these waves of climate refugees!”
If there’s any truth there at all you’ll have to find the message by reading between the lines.
UN Sec-Gen António Guterres provided a clue:
“We risk what I have called a Great Fracture – the decoupling of the world’s two largest economies. A tectonic rift that would create two different sets of trade rules, two dominant currencies, two internets and two conflicting strategies on artificial intelligence.”
Instead they want their oft-touted “rules based international order.” On the surface this sounds to a business person like an appeal to efficiency; to a bureaucrat like streamlining; to a regulator, enforcibility.
The university graduates of recent decades may see in this counterpoint the Hegelian Dialectic driven by continual material change. Older generations more likely suspect that both sides of the Dialectic are controlled by the same owner-investors, playing against the middle.
False dichotomy is the contrarian sister of Dialectic. Her wayward cousin is Doublethink: in which the subject is forced to internalize contradictory beliefs often at odds with their own experience. But we digress.
Guterres claims next that the world is riven by unfair access to injectables, to personal banking; of developing countries’ access to debt relief, and by the relentless unfairness of a financial system dominated by wealthy nations.
Then he gets to the point: Developing countries need “finance to reduce poverty and hunger and advance the Sustainable Development Goals... debt relief and restructuring — as well as long-term lending — to invest in sustainable development. In short, we need a new debt architecture.”
We’ll stop there because the reader knows all the touchstones and talking points that serve as the pretext for how the privately-owned central banks and the major asset management investors intend to solve the problem which they themselves created.
This is not about the poor: it’s not about hunger or sickness and vaccines; it’s not about the children or the animals; even much of the environmental imagery is just that.
It is true that the 20th century model of mass consumption has run its course. The cost of planned obsolescence in terms of minerals extracted from the ground, and waste ploughed back into landfill is unsustainable. But that is hardly new information.
If corporations wished to clean up their act no-one has been stopping them for the past 100 years: the polluted lakes, rivers and wasteland bear testament, a stain not upon humanity but the robber barons.
The reason they are still mouthing platitudes on the WEF stage at Davos in this first month of 2023 is because they indulge in delaying tactics.
They are playing for time to find a way to offload the cost onto others: the burden of their misdeeds. This has been clear since at least Rockefeller’s Club of Rome (named after his Lake Como Bellagio estate) sponsored the publication of The First Global Revolution (Council of the Club of Rome, 1991) — a sequel to The Limits To Growth (1972) — in which they admitted that they needed a cover story that would remove opposition to their objectives
“In searching for a common enemy against whom we can unite, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like, would fit the bill… All these dangers are caused by human intervention and it is only through changed attitudes and behaviour that they can be overcome. The real enemy then is humanity itself.”
This statement covers a multitude of sins, one hiding within another as in a nesting doll. This serves to attract passionate adherents to the cause, while always diverting their eyes from a secondary or tertiary motive and those that benefit from the resulting redistribution of resources.
It acts as disguise and means of transmission, for there are honourable reasons to support birth control, which is yet a product of Malthusian depopulation and eugenics. There are honourable reasons to promote alternative energy sources, yet that movement is manipulated by the wealthiest owners of hydrocarbons for their own ends.
Inequality, poverty, hunger and childhood infirmity are righteous causes, but take care you are not being used by those who leverage poverty to promote digital banking as tracking, allied to food controls, pharmaceutical profits and population suppression, in pursuit of the wonderful riches that lie in the soil beneath those shoeless children’s feet.
Such a dialectic escapes the minds of those who most often mouth the word. They cannot conceive of dichotomy and so take refuge in Doublethink.
Glad confident morning, is the answer. Those who lecture have less connection with nature than 99 per cent of humanity. They interact with a simulacrum of the world through computer models, look at their bleeping screens and shriek in alarm like a child about monsters under the bed.
I wonder if it is because those who openly call themselves an elite are really more advanced, or less. Is this fixation on modeling the world evidence of their discomfort at living within it?
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 Technocracy News, Jan 24, 2023 — TSA Seizes Passport Of Turning Point USA Journalist Returning From Davos
 Rebel News, Jan 17, 2023 — We asked Chrystia Freeland some questions; see how she runs!
 Rebel News, Jan 18, 2023 — Every question we asked Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla at the World Economic Forum
 Rebel News, Jan 17, 2023 — CNBC Vice President threatens to 'PUNCH OUT' Avi Yemini in Davos
 BBC, 2018 — Davos jargon: A crime against the English language?