The Making of Klaus Schwab and the World Economic Forum
Whatever you may believe the Great Reset to potentially entail, Klaus Schwab and the World Economic Forum (WEF) have all sorts of ideas about what it will involve, from a new, rent-based “circular economy” to beer made from recycled wastewater. But before you say cheers and dive headfirst into that delicious environmentally-friendly sludge — and before you sign over your firstborn to global-government-mandated gender reassignment therapy or start living out a real-life episode of Black Mirror, it is worthwhile to examine just what life experience, philosophy and Weltanschauung informs these superiors of ours and the Davos set and the managerial and technological elites who enable them.
Let us take Schwab himself as a case study.
Who is Klaus Schwab? What formed him into the intellectual and moral god-among-men that he is today? What does he truly believe behind those predatory jowls?
Schwab’s biography is not overly remarkable at first glance. He was born in 1938 to a Swiss mother and German father with partly Swiss roots in the southwestern German city of Ravensburg. Schwab’s father ran a now-defunct Zurich-based mechanical engineering company called Escher Wyss which specialized in steam turbine construction for power plants and ships. The well-to-do family enjoyed an upper-class life, but moved away during the war to the small town of Au, in Switzerland’s Zurich Canton when Schwab was a small boy. Here he went to school from 1945 to 1947.
Returning to Ravensburg after the war, Schwab went to the local Spohn school which taught a humanism-based curriculum. He graduated in 1957 and after the war was also involved in trying to help reconcile young Germans and French people. Schwab went on to study at the Swiss Institute of Technology where he finished in 1962 as well as obtaining concurrent degrees in economics and social sciences at the Universities of Zurich and Fribourg, meanwhile working at his father’s engineering firm. He also went on to earn a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government as well as past experience teaching at the University of Geneva. Let me translate: he’s really hardworking and smart.
He’s also really strange.
In addition to a large number of awards from numerous democratic governments and prestigious organizations, Schwab was awarded the China Reform Friendship Medal in 2018 by Xi Jinping for his role in increasing ‘cooperation’ and fostering an economic relationship with the totalitarian communist police state, which is currently conducting mass incarceration, enslavement and genocide of its Uyghur Muslim population.
Schwab went on to start the WEF in 1971 and currently leads it as executive chairman. He is also the founding member of the Climate Leadership Council and involved in projects such as the Global Citizenship Commission that seeks to make the UN Human Rights Declaration more in line with the ideals of global citizenship. As Schwab puts it, “in a nutshell, global governance is at the nexus of all these other issues,” and the fact that “family structures are being redefined” is also regarded by him as a positive development.
The WEF is essentially a talent pool for moving forward the new collectivized economic system and ending traditional practices around ownership that stand in the way of corporate and central government control by increasing bypassing the pesky controls and resistance of various political systems, ideologies and identities.
In a January, 2020 piece for GlobalGeneva, Peter Hulm wrote that “Jean Calvin, Lenin and the treacherous Russian nihilist Sergei Nechayev may have been the scariest revolutionaries to haunt Geneva’s streets. But a one-time Geneva professor with a vision and a mission to humanize business may have a more benign impact on the 21st century.”
For his part, Schwab is aware of the perception of Davos and the WEF as elitist and has pushed back, saying they’re just trying to ‘help save the world’. Perhaps we should start calling him Saint Schwab:
“It’s very easy to say that Davos is a rich man’s club or a club of the powerful and construct a kind of conspiracy of people committed completely to shareholder principles and ruthless organization against humanity… [but] it’s just the contrary. What we want to show is that ruthless organization or thinking about business without taking into consideration social dimensions in the end is self-destructive.”
Instead, Schwab says the Davos Man is a forward-thinking realist who is able to contend with the changes taking place and propose improvements and solutions. “Davos Man is the person who is at the forefront of this new revolution taking place — call it the Internet revolution or whatever — the change of life caused by technology. There are very few people who really understand what is going on.”
The best way to get a read on what Schwab believes and wants to promote is via his output, including his 2016 book The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), his 2018 tome Shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution and his current offering co-written with Thierry Malleret entitled COVID-19: The Great Reset.
The main 4IR concept is that humanity experienced a First Industrial Revolution moving from handcrafting and agrarianism to machine production and steam power between 1760 to 1840, to a Second Industrial Revolution from 1871 to 1914 with the expansion of railways, telecommunications, electric grids and modern production, through to the Third Industrial Revolution occurring near the end of last century when digital technologies and the internet launched us into a tech-savvy future that will increasingly see the interconnection of everything in a giant technological web, which Schwab calls the Fourth Industrial Revolution. If not managed properly it could become Hell on earth, even potentially including — gasp — the horrors of rising populism and nationalism: if responded to effectively we can, presumably, enjoy nice relaxation on a virtual beach somewhere with our kinky cyborg girlfriend while collecting some sort of government check.
As Schwab outlines in his books and this brief explainer, the Fourth Industrial Revolution will require a “full reset of the social contract,” and essentially entails a full-cycle technological transformation of our identity, production, consumption and perception of reality and existence itself. As technology automates production and smart systems tie together individuals, cities, political orders, militaries and economies, the old way of life will rapidly become obsolete. Civil society, business and all aspects of life will change at a “breathtaking speed like a tsunami.”
“We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before,” Schwab wrote in 2016, sounding just a little like a Bond villain.
One of the key points Schwab is emphasizing is that the shift is going to accelerate faster than most people can handle. He writes:
“Sooner than most anticipate, the work of professions as different as lawyers, financial analysts, doctors, journalists, accountants, insurance underwriters or librarians may be partly or completely automated… The technology is progressing so fast that Kristian Hammond, co-founder of Narrative Science, a company specializing in automated narrative generation, forecasts that by the mid-2020s, 90% of news could be generated by an algorithm, most of it without any kind of human intervention (apart from the design of the algorithm, of course).”
These changes, Schwab assures the public, will make everything better, from blockchain to distributed ledger technology to 5G, facial recognition advances, medical innovation and even behavior-influencing and thought-reading predictive technologies. The world will be even safer, even if your private thoughts won’t. As he says: “As capabilities in this area improve, the temptation for law enforcement agencies and courts to use techniques to determine the likelihood of criminal activity, assess guilt or even possibly retrieve memories directly from people’s brains will increase. Even crossing a national border might one day involve a detailed brain scan to assess an individual’s security risk.”
And here you were thinking you’d get off traveling with just your COVID-vaccination card.
Writing sentences that would — up until a few years ago — have been ascribed to a raving schizophrenic at a bus stop, Schwab often delves into his enthusiasm for synthetic biological technology and topics like reading minds through high-tech implants, waxing poetic about how “implanted devices will likely also help to communicate thoughts normally expressed verbally through a ‘built-in’ smartphone, and potentially unexpressed thoughts or moods by reading brain waves and other signals.”
Surely a hyperconnected world with no privacy left, prevalent bio-hacking, sophisticated AI weaponry and drone technology, digital identity systems, hyperscale data centers, cashless payments and destruction and coopting of the private economy doesn’t strike you as potentially problematic, does it? What are you paranoid or something?
Embrace the future, my son.
Still, even as Schwab admits it’s not all going to be sunshine and roses, he routinely talks of the coming shift in terms of inevitability as if he is just a kindly old man here to help you manage necessary change. He has commented on a rise in anger among the unemployed and those in the “gray economy” who aren’t counted and has said that “dialog” and “the stakeholder system” must talk about a “fairer world” which must be created to minimize the fallout from those who are left behind economically and socially.
Responding to the “growing public backlash,” Schwab and Co. are determined to present the coming digitization of life as a net positive that is basically a behavioral and social engineering psyop to addict and irrevocably tie people to technology as it gains an increasingly inherent part of their life, bodies and minds. The internet and digital systems won’t be a key part of life, they will be life.
Schwab and Malleret draw a parallel in The Great Reset, that just as 9/11 led to a “new normal” for security screening and heightened protective measures, so too will COVID-19 (which he terms comparatively “mild” in the book) will eventually lead to a new normal: “all around the world, new security measures like employing widespread cameras, requiring electronic ID cards and logging employees or visitors in and out became the norm. At that time, these measures were deemed extreme, but today they are used everywhere and considered ‘normal.’”
“Many of us are pondering when things will return to normal. The short response is: never,” Malleret and Schwab smirk in The Great Reset. In Shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Schwab grapples more with what comes next for human beings, writing that:
“Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies will not stop at becoming part of the physical world around us — they will become part of us… Today’s external devices — from wearable computers to virtual reality headsets — will almost certainly become implantable in our bodies and brains. Exoskeletons and prosthetics will increase our physical power, while advances in neurotechnology enhance our cognitive abilities. We will become better able to manipulate our own genes, and those of our children. These developments raise profound questions: Where do we draw the line between human and machine? What does it mean to be human?”
As former Google CEO Eric Schmidt phrased it in 2015 at Davos, “the internet will disappear. There will be so many IP addresses… so many devices, sensors, things that you are wearing, things that you are interacting with, that you won’t even sense it.” This sentiment builds on concepts described by influential computer scientist Mark Weiser, who noted in a 1991 essay that the most powerful technologies “are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.”
Schwab’s ideology — emanating from the scientism and atheistic humanism that is in many ways the heart of the modern European civic religion — is, at its core Luciferian-tinged transhumanism. It is technological liberationist progressivism wrapped in a bow of false environmentalism and bequeathed with the evolving structure for full social and economic control. From designer babies and digital banking to mandatory vaccinations and cyborg overlords, the whole sci-fi script is just waiting to play out.
While individuals like Schwab like to style themselves as lucid visionaries facing the realities of technological and economic progress, they are more accurately regarded as skilled salespeople and techno-feudalist fanatics who explain all the upsides of the coming digitized future without seriously probing its massive downsides. Although Schwab acknowledges that “the Fourth Industrial Revolution may indeed have the potential to ‘robotize’ humanity and thus to deprive us of our heart and soul,” it’s not entirely clear why this doesn’t seem to pose more of a problem for him as he evangelizes.
Instead of looking at how technology can be made to serve humanity — as he claims to be doing — Schwab and the managerial elite are most definitely looking at how man can be made to serve the elite and their transhumanist vision.
Schwab is a Dutch doctor sitting with a family by the bedside of their elderly relative and pressuring them to euthanize her to “end the pain,” with a falsely compassionate smile on his face, except in this case he’s talking about euthanizing humanity.
It’s already happening.
The world’s nations are drowning in debt and economies and private enterprise is crumbling under COVID-19 as populations scramble toward left and right populism in attempted response. Those who hold institutional and economic power from Big Tech to Big Business and Big Politics are increasingly calling for what will amount to high-tech authoritarian socialism in the name of humanism and solidarity. Sure, the coming restrictions and technological controls won’t apply to them as strictly as it will to the masses, but ‘fairness’ can be massaged a little every now and then.
The bottom line is clear: if you go too far down the rabbit hole into scientism and hubristic technology worship you end up emerging into a techno-feudal Luciferian Hellscape with a smirking Klaus Schwab looming above you on giant video screens promoting drinking your own piss or killing your grandma to save humanity.
Who could have guessed the Apocalypse would be so utterly lame?
As Shoshana Zuboff notes in her book Surveillance Capitalism: “Despite all the futuristic sophistication of digital innovation, the message […] barely differs from the themes once glorified in the motto of the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair: ‘Science Finds—Industry Applies—Man Conforms.’”
The mantra for all who wish to remain human must be the same in response to these transhumanist megalomaniac masterminds, communist Chinese facial-recognition freaks and nattering nasal-Schwab nutjobs: humanistic techno-feudalism: Not. Even. Once.
Cover art: “The Shwab Reset” by Mark Granza
Paul Brian is a freelance journalist and writer currently based in Brazil. His website is paulrbrian.com.
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