“The future is built by us, by a powerful community as you here in this room,” Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive chair of the World Economic Forum reminded the attendees at his conference in Davos, Switzerland, this week.
However, this perfect future is achievable only if the global elites act as “stakeholders of larger communities” and if they “collaborate,” he said. Mr. Schwab, a German economist, was born in Ravensburg in 1938. His father was a Nazi who served the Third Reich war effort as the director of Escher Wyss AG, an industrial company that manufactured flamethrowers to kill Allied soldiers.
Today, Mr. Schwab hosts a conference nestled in the Swiss Alps for high-powered leaders to “shape global, regional and industry agendas.” He has urged politicians, bankers, oligarchs and autocrats alike to seize on the COVID-19 pandemic to “reset and reshape the world” — basically, to use the crisis as a way to make governments bigger, more powerful and globally intertwined, while curtailing citizens’ individual liberties to quiet any dissent.
In one forum this week, Australian Safety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant, whose nation imposed a “zero-COVID policy,” locking down cities and detaining citizens who violated mandatory quarantines, suggested that some human rights, such as freedom of speech, need to be sacrificed.
“We are finding ourselves in a place where we have increasing polarization everywhere and everything feels binary when it doesn’t need to be,” she explained. “So, I think we’re going to have to think about a recalibration of a whole range of human rights that are playing out online, from freedom of speech to the freedom to be free from online violence.”
The user who first tweeted the clip of Ms. Grant saying this was suspended from Twitter shortly thereafter. Perhaps this is the “recalibration” of freedom of speech Ms. Grant was suggesting.
Conservative journalist Jack Posobiec, who was in Davos filming a documentary on the conference and its founder for Turning Point USA, said he was detained by armed police officers at the forum on Monday. More than 5,000 military personnel and local police are on the ground, and a no-fly zone over Davos has been enforced by fighter jets.
The global elites love their privacy — just not for the ordinary citizens they rule over.
In another Davos forum this week, Yuval Noah Harari, an Israeli public intellectual and a professor in the Department of History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, outlined how COVID-19 should be used to track everyday people.
“COVID is critical because this is what convinces people to accept to legitimize total biometric surveillance,” Mr. Harari said. “We need to not just monitor people; we need to monitor what’s happening under their skin.”
If that’s not creepy enough — in the name of climate change, Alibaba Group President J. Michael Evans detailed plans on how to accomplish this “total surveillance.”
“We’re developing through technology an ability for consumers to measure their own carbon footprint. What does that mean?”
He then explained exactly: “Where are they traveling? How are they traveling? What are they eating? What are they consuming on the platform? An individual carbon footprint tracker … stay tuned!”
Curbing global climate change, which Davos attendees claim is triggered by human-generated carbon emissions, was the original purpose of the WEF conference. COVID-19, however, became the new tool for these elites to amass and exact their power.
More than 2,000 billionaires across the globe became $3.78 trillion richer during the COVID-19 pandemic. On Monday, Oxfam International said 573 people became new billionaires during the crisis, at the rate of one every 30 hours. In the first 24 months of COVID-19, billionaires’ wealth rose more than in 23 years combined, according to the report.
Meanwhile, a million people could fall into poverty at the same rate this year, as the cost of essential goods rises faster than it has in decades, the report detailed.
Davos attendees discussed how the global energy upheaval will serve as a “transition” to green energy. This, as experts predicted up to 1,500 individual private flights flew in and out of airfields serving the Swiss ski town this week.
Norwegian finance CEO Kjerstin Braathen admitted there will be mass shortages and economic hardship for millions, but the “pain” is “worth it” for a green economy.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the “economies of the future” no longer will rely on oil and coal. And President Joe Biden — while not in Davos — echoed their comments Monday, saying: “When it comes to the gas prices, we’re going through an incredible transition.”
The ruling class can afford this transition, but can the rest of us? The billionaires in Davos don’t care — so long as they can hold onto their wealth, power and position.
And this week, they were hatching a plan to do just that.
• Kelly Sadler is the commentary editor at The Washington Times.