N HIS opening speech at the WEF Crystal Awards in Davos, Klaus Schwab referred to the many ‘crisis’ [sic] facing humanity, asking the question ‘How to master the future?’ To put it simply, humanity is a management problem from the point of view of the masters. From the point of view of humanity, the problem is the management.
To back up this presentation of permanent crisis, the WEF publishes a list of Global Risks, projecting future concerns for the next several years to the next decade. Those who answer these surveys seem to be more concerned about the weather than anything else.
There is no mention of the fact that most of these crises have been caused by the very management to whom we are to entrust the mastery of our future. Debt-fuelled instability, the ruinous financial and social costs of lockdowns, the global hatred of the unvaccinated, epidemic mental illness and growing evidence that screen-based alternatives to human relations are harming our children are but a few of the policies which might feature on a list of concerns.
Yet this list is not written from your point of view. It is meant for public consumption, not the result of feedback. There is no mention of the abolition of basic liberties once thought fundamental to the West, including the vanishing principle of pluralism, which distinguished us as morally superior to societies which did not entertain opposing points of view. The crises we face are the result of the kind of technocratic management which is prescribed by the WEF as a cure. What is the nature of this ultra-modern medicine?
The WEF is of course inspired by the kind of posthuman futurism popularised by people such as Yuval Noah Harari. Presaging a future in which humans effectively become cybernetic organisms, the idea is that to survive we should prepare to be dehumanised in significant ways. There is simply no argument for this nightmarish vision without a compelling emergency. It is for this reason the WEF promotes climate alarmism to the top of its Global Risks Agenda.
The posthuman project is not confined to dystopian visions of implants, social credit systems, a total surveillance state and the abolition of private property and privacy. It is an ideology which includes the rejection of every meaningful dimension of human experience beyond the self and its desires. The rejection of God, notably by the omission of any mention of Christianity from the constitution of the European Union, is one aspect of the posthuman agenda. Another is moral inversion, which is the result of the abolition of any wider moral framework than individual desire.
The moral decline of the West is a genuine crisis of humanity. Rather than being framed as the consequence of a form of governance increasingly reliant on the very technology which is destroying human-scale relationships, this is seen by the WEF as an opportunity to usher in a post-human cybernetic future involving blanket biometric surveillance and the permanent fusion of humanity with machines.
This vision of the future – our future – sees humanity itself as a problem to be solved. This startling realisation demonstrates two disturbing positions: that the fitness of humanity itself in toto can be assessed by a technocratic neoliberal elite, and that they solely possess the instruments by which humanity can be altered. To what end? To secure us against the dangers of ourselves. Humanity causes managerial inefficiencies, and so it must be rationalised.
The origins of the WEF make for compelling reading. Rather than being the sole brainchild of Klaus Schwab, it was the result of his introduction to Herman Kahn and J K Galbraith in 1970 which led to the launch of what would become the WEF. The man who introduced these people to one another was Henry Kissinger.
This took place under the sustained expansion of the US National Security State under Richard Nixon, a process directed by Kissinger. Herman Kahn ran a think tank called the Hudson Institute, which was focused on the application of future technologies to the problems of population management. In one notorious video, Kahn discusses the pacification of civil unrest by the introduction of tranquillisers into the water supply. Later, the discussion moves to the potential in future computing to build what amounts to a total surveillance programme. This is in fact what happened in the US, through the Total Information Awareness project in the early 2000s. It would later become LifeLog, and finally reach the public as Facebook.
The extension of the national security state is the projection of its technique of permanent emergency into the core of human nature. Its worldwide programme is one of posthuman tropes. Godlessness, hypersexualised, childfree, gender-fluid and based on the ethics of individual pleasure-seeking, it seeks to harness technology to bring about a permanent state of human degradation. This is the answer presented to the many crises to which we are subjected. Most of the real crises are themselves caused by the technocratic managerialism which claims to be the agent of salvation. The World Economic Forum is but one example of the presentation of human degradation as progress, which is an idea derived from a managerial concept of power with a 90-year heritage in the US.
The novelty with the WEF is provided by advancing technology – gene editing, biometric surveillance, information control – and its opportunity is presented by the largely successful marketing of a growing alarmism over the climate. No sane person would take the emergency exit the WEF is offering in its mastery of the future. This is the reason that mass hysteria, mental illness and the breakdown of settled ways of living do not feature in their list of global risks. Every crisis which blights your life is to them an opportunity to commend their upbeat vision of a dehumanised, but significantly more efficient future world.