You may not read or hear the word “Illuminati” relative to the annual World Economic Forum gathering now underway at a Swiss ski resort in Davos, Switzerland, but conspiracy theories swirl around the annual event.
In 2021 during the covid pandemic, the World Economic Forum theme was “The Great Reset”, which proposed a stakeholder model for capitalism. According to this model, government, businesses and individuals collaborate. Longer-term planning for future generations replaces short-sighted presentism, and “better measures of success allow us to move beyond a myopic focus on GDP and short-term profits,” WEF founder and Executive chairman Klaus Schwab wrote in a WEF blog.
Conspiracy theorists took Schwab’s stakeholder model and ran with it. “The Great Reset” — a conspiracy theory triggered by the WEF 2021 theme of the same name — claims that the global elite plan to dismantle capitalism and enforce a socialist world order.
In the new world order, covid-19 would solve overpopulation, pandemic survivors would be forced to get the vaccine and be enslaved by it, and private property would be abolished.
Invited guests at World Economic Forum 2023 include the foremost politicians, business and cultural leaders, celebrities and other stakeholders who are convening Jan. 16-20.
An international non-governmental and lobbying organization, the Geneva, Switzerland-based World Economic Forum was founded in 1971 by Schwab. Its reason for existence, according to the WEF website, is to engage “the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas” for public-private cooperation.
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This year’s 700-plus attendees include heads of state such as German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and CEOs like Larry Fink from Blackrock. FBI Director Christopher Wray and Avril Haines, the director of national intelligence are expected to attend. Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Kyrsten Sinema, (I-Ariz) and Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp attended private events this week on the WEF sidelines, CNBC reported.
Also in attendance at the annual event are Rashad Bilal and Troy Millings, hosts of the financial literacy podcast and educational platform Earn Your Leisure. They describe themselves on their website as “educators, change agents, and legacy builders for our community.”
Private events on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum often serve as meet-and-greets between CEOs, billionaires and government officials, CNBC reported.
Here are five things to know.
First, there was the Illuminati
The Illuminati is the world’s most famous, possibly oldest, conspiracy theory about the New World Order. For hundreds of years, legends have spread about the mysterious international organization. Its ultimate goal is supposedly to establish a New World Order, although this has never been proved or disproved. The Illuminati is thought to be made up of the world’s top political and social elites controlling the world behind the scenes, wrote Italian economist and businessman Giancarlo Elia Valori in Modern Diplomacy.
New name, old conspiracy theory
“The Great Reset” — a conspiracy theory triggered by the World Economic Forum 2021 theme of the same name — claims that the global elite plan to dismantle capitalism and enforce a socialist world order.
“Once called New World Order, the Great Reset is a complete overhaul of nations’ economies,” wrote Washington Times online opinion editor Cheryl Chumley. The Great Reset, Chumley added, “is targeting America, specifically, to flip capitalism on its head and usher in its place a new system that puts social justice and social agendas at the helm of corporate considerations. In place of profits.”
Fighting back against conspiracy theories at Davos
WEF is fighting back against Great Reset conspiracy theorists who say it and founder Schwab want global domination aimed at stripping the masses of their private property, de-industrializing the economy, and making everybody eat bugs, Michael Shellenberger and Izabella Kaminska wrote for Public.
Part of the reason why WEF attracts conspiracy theorists is that the organization itself is highly secretive, even as it urges corporations to be transparent. When Public asked WEF how the namesake forum founder and director Klaus Schwab Foundation invests its assets, a WEF spokesperson noted that the Foundation differs from WEF and added, “Swiss law does not require financial reporting for foundations.”
An international non-governmental and lobbying organization, the Geneva, Switzerland-based World Economic Forum was founded in 1971 by Schwab. He earned a master’s degree in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and worked as a professor of business policy at the University of Geneva for more than 30 years. Since 1979, he has published the annual Global Competitiveness Report, which assesses the potential of countries around the world for increasing economic growth and productivity.
Jumping directly from hypothesis to conclusion
Why is the head of America’s FBI attending an organizational meeting aimed, in large part, at advancing the anti-American, anti-freedom Great Reset agenda, Chumley asked? “America’s intel has become weaponized against the American people, Chumley replied, possibly by way of answering her own question. “Now they’re going to Davos to learn more insider tricks, more communist manifestos, more Great Reset model of Marxism to bring home to America?”
An important feature of conspiracy theorists is that they cite some trivial and overlooked incidents and then propose a perfect explanation compared to an embarrassed official response, according to Brian L. Keeley, a philosophy professor at Pitts College and student of modern conspiracy theories.
“The reason why the conspiracy theory explanation can be widely disseminated is that it has no argumentation process to deny,” economist Valori wrote in Modern Diplomacy. “It is just a judgement that jumps directly from hypothesis to conclusion. In the argumentation process, it is only a subjective interpretation of the event.”
Despite the hype, ‘things are not looking good for Davos’
Conspiracy theories that WEF and Schwab are hellbent on world domination helped make them more famous than ever in the past couple of years. The forum presents speeches from world leaders, forums about the big issues of the day from poverty and climate change to inequality. Bankers come to meet potential clients and do deals in hotel suites. Politicians meet their peers and businesspeople.
There are two main reasons why Davos matters, Ed Conway wrote for British free TV news channel Sky News. “The first is: convening power. The second is … most of the delegates here benefit from a world where capital and trade move freely from one part of the world to another.”
And on both of these fronts, things are not looking good for Davos, Conway added.
While there are plenty of A-list delegates at the forum in 2023, the guestlist looks considerably less heavyweight than usual.
Battling inflation at home, the U.S. president and U.K. prime minister stayed away. Even Emmanuel Macron gave the meeting the cold shoulder.
The Davos forum’s official motto is “Committed to Improving the State of the World.” The idea of the World Economic Forum was that by engaging more sensibly with each other, stakeholders could all get along.
But there is a war in mainland Europe, relations between China and the West are at a new low, and covid dealt a blow to face-to-face events such as these. As countries re-engineer their supply chains, “the era of untrammeled globalization seems to be ending,” Conway wrote.
Could it be that this is the end of globalization itself? The very world Davos thrived in is disintegrating, Conway wrote. “Quietly, almost indiscernibly, this place is becoming less important as the world around it changes.”
Photo: Rashad Bilal and Troy Millings, hosts of the financial literacy podcast and educational platform Earn Your Leisure, announced on Twitter that they are at the World Economic Forum in Davos. They are educators, change agents, and legacy builders for the community. Photo: https://naacpimageawards.net/nominee_category/outstanding-social-media-personality/