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Optimism is the only sane response to Davos


I DON’T worry about the World Economic Forum achieving their stated goals for 2030, and you shouldn’t either. If history rhymes, it positively sings with the failure of such grandiose projects. The history books are littered with the corpses of centralised top-down ideas. The reason why we are not talking enough about the impossibility of Klaus Schwab’s Great Leap Forward is because the opposition are guilty of the same failure of basic understanding. The opposition is making the flawed assumption that this project is doable. In fact, the future is resistant to shaping. What we should all be preparing for us the failure of the WEF’s programme. This should be a cause of profound optimism. Put simply the universe works against centralised top-down systemisation. ‘They’ are swimming against the teleological tide of creation – an impenetrable future, the inevitability of the new, while we are surfing the wave of ontological emergence with decentralisation as the key to developing solutions via free and open debate.

‘Mann Tracht, Un Gott Lacht’ – man plans and God laughs – is a Yiddish proverb. Well, she must be positively ROFL at the collection of billionaires and world leaders gathered in a fake village in Switzerland busily stitching together their own petards. 

As David says in Psalm 59:8, ‘But you, O Lord, shall laugh at them: You shall have all the nations in derision.’ Derision and ridicule are the correct responses here, not abject panic. They are not going to succeed; Iron Mike got it right when he said ‘Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the face.’ For the Conservatives amongst you, when Harold Macmillan was asked what had been the greatest influence on his administration when he was Prime Minister he replied, ‘Events, dear boy, events’.

Schwab and his collection of command and control technocrats have taken the ideas of Stalin, Chairman Mao, Pol Pot and whoever wrote WeWork’s business plan and dressed them in new clothes. These threadbare robes are camouflaged with words such as ‘stewardship’, which actually means the absence of democracy; ‘sustainability’, roughly translated as ‘you eat bugs while we flambé the wagyu’; ‘inclusivity’, which is a big club and you ain’t in it, and ‘equity’ which redistributes assets to billionaires and associated parasites.

‘Everything a lie’ as Terrence Malick said (ironically via the establishment apparatchik Sean Penn) in The Thin Red Line. Same flawed ideology, different era.

Every plan falls apart when you pull on its assumptions. The Great Reset sits on the implicit assumption that everything in nature can be known, ordered and controlled via technology. Some twisted fantasy they call artificial intelligence. A general theory that they claim applies to everyone and everything everywhere. Globalism from above is just another in a long line of narrative fantasies stretching all the way back through the failed ideologies of the last century – communism, fascism, religious fundamentalism and so on. 

Our vital objective should be to avoid the fate of the victims of these failures. Anger is certainly a rational response to this prospect. I view it as a transition emotion. Get angry, then get with the repudiation. Get with the presentation and promotion of decentralised, ground up, emergent philosophies. Get with the optimism. We are on the right side of history; they are on the precipice.

In the real world it’s what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. The unknown unknowns, to quote Mr Rumsfeld. However, Donald missed another crucial category – unknown knowns, those things we think we know that just aren’t true. Hubris defines Davos man, convinced by his own righteousness, wedded to his view of the world as closed and knowable. The technocrat who only sees the world as the ratio of this thing he knows to that thing he knows will inevitably be destroyed by infinite possibility.

Technology has created the illusion that the world is comprised of bits put together. However, to quote Iain McGilchrist from The Master and his Emissary, ‘things are unique, whole, and indivisible not just instances of a type, substitutable by something else, and mechanically put together from bits. Each thing is precisely itself and not another thing, as Wittgenstein was fond of observing’. The Great Reset will be destroyed by a failure to see that the aggregate of these individual units does not add up to the whole. Technology has deluded the Davos drone into believing he has a tool of the gods. A hubris as old as man. Fortunately, the world interacts to create an unseen and unpredictable future which no amount of Schwabist shaping can control. The knowledge of the position of every molecule in the universe is not going to help you even if you could devise it. Centralisation is an inexorable path towards a single point of failure. The idea that there is one path irrespective of context is like a vortex which draws participants to an unseen edge. The reaction to failure is not to remake the system, as they claim, but to prescribe, with fateful predictably, more of the same – and the same solution is always a deluded attempt to hold the future to account.

So, we shouldn’t lie wake at night worrying about the inevitable success of the Great Reset. Rather, we should concern ourselves with its failure and what we can do to adapt, survive and thrive in its inevitable demise. We should deride all the proponents of top-down theories. We should ridicule those afflicted with the delusion of control. We should calmly and patiently present ground-up, emergent, decentralised adaptations to the challenges of our times. Most of all, recognise that optimism is the only sane response to this crazy world. Because out of optimism arose everything we hold and holds us dear.

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Michael Driver
Michael Driver
Michael Driver is a Serial Entrepreneur.

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