Without exception, the World Economic Forum comes to the forefront of the global agenda every January. The whole world’s attention is fixed on the summit held in Davos, Switzerland.
The meetings, mostly held behind closed doors for four days, and the decisions reached by more than 2,000 participants become an object of interest. Indeed, this interest is not unjustified, especially when we consider that world leaders, executives of multinational companies, bankers and financiers who control the international capital, world famous businessmen and celebrities are coming together in this summit; on top of that, with the claim of “talking out global issues and making the world a better place”.
Davos’ list of participants, which contains people from very different countries, industries and backgrounds, and the diversity of its member profile can be deceptive at first sight. Meeting periodically at the Swiss Alps, these “distinguished” individuals also contain certain “elites” who have common values and ideologies.
These individuals who, by and large, lead the global economy, are both the backbone and the brain of the meetings. The best term that describes them, as political scientist Samuel Huntington introduced it, is “Davos Man”.
In fact, the main origin of the world’s economic issues is these Davos Men. Before heading into the reasons for this fact, let’s describe what kind of personality this Davos Man has.
Davos Man is someone who doesn’t feel connected to a country, someone who considers himself as completely international or even supranational. He considers national borders as “obstacles” and national governments as “residues from the past”. He truly believes that a global capitalism under the leadership of multinational corporations is the ideal model for the world.
He thinks that national governments are nothing more than bodies that facilitate the global operations of capitalism. For him, globalism should be forced, no matter the cost.
Without a doubt, Davos Man wants to reshape the world in line with his own goal by utilising his power and financial might. However, while doing this, he only wants to look out for the interests of global capital while ignoring the needs of billions of poor people. Therefore, he wittingly or unwittingly lays the groundwork for destruction and pain.
Following the global economic collapse, which affected first the US and then the world economy, even those who introduced them as the “new masters of the world” or “masters of the global economy” in the 1990s and early 2000s are clearly aware of their failure.
The economic model of Davos Man didn’t bring comfort, peace or happiness to the world.
Having started unexpectedly, the global crisis continues incessantly. Despite tens of trillions of dollars spent, the world economy is finding it difficult to recover from stagnation. Even some Western countries are on the verge of bankruptcy. Today, the world is ruled by horrible inequality and injustice. Just 1% of the world population owns more property and assets than the remaining 99%.
There is no doubt that Davos Man is wealthy, powerful, intelligent, ambitious, well educated, well-regarded and has a good career and position. However, his critics complain that these qualities don’t render him beneficial to society because “he is under the influence of the strict, loveless and merciless mentality of the materialist philosophy and violent capitalism”.
Furthermore, the critics say his arrogance and sense of superiority renders it impossible for him to see the truth; he has full faith in the veracity and impeccability of his model. He considers himself as the centre of the world; he believes he exists to lead the world.
Another fallacy of Davos Man is that he seeks a solution through the wild capitalist system. When the economic data is examined, it becomes clear that so-called “solution-oriented new practices” do little more than bring about new problems. While Davos Man and the corporations he represents get richer, the poor get poorer. The unfairness of the distribution of income, human rights and environmental issues and the related social, political and economic consequences multiply.
Davos Men should put themselves, their families and their loved ones into the shoes of poor and desperate, and try to feel the hardships they endure on a daily basis.
In this way, they can better understand the importance of approaching them with love, compassion and mercy instead of strict, cold and insulting attitudes.
The political and economic power, financial resources and modern technologies they own are certainly necessary for the solutions of global issues, but they are in no way enough. For radical reforms and permanent solutrun Yaions, the focus of their endeavours has to be on spiritual values.
Yes, if Davos Man really wants to change the world and make it a better place as he claims, it’s best if he starts the change with himself; that he ends the practices of global capitalism which destroy moral and spiritual values.
It is to be hoped that he listens to the voice of his conscience and abandons capitalism’s insensible and merciless spirit as soon as possible and that he embraces the spiritual values such as sharing, unity, co-operation, modesty, equality, brotherhood, justice and love that he desperately needs.
A world both ruled by a prosperous and dynamic global economy as well as social justice, comfort and peace is only possible through that mentality.
Adnan Oktar's piece in Gulf Times: