There follows a guest post by Eugyppius, the always entertaining writer, about an interview in a Swiss newspaper with
SPECTRE WEF chief Klaus Schwab. You can find Eugyppius’s Substack newsletter here and subscribe to it here.
So, on the eve of the annual WEF meeting in Davos, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung published a quietly hilarious interview with Klaus Schwab. In it, the world’s most banal and uninspired supervillain talks about how the pandemic has made him more active online, how he likes writing stupid books because they help him organise his thoughts, why he disinvited all Russians from this year’s meeting, why he’s not worried about declining WEF memberships and dues, and how his hatred of armed conflicts began when somebody hit him on the head with a rock as a boy.
Here and there you get brief glances into the cavernous, hollow emptiness that is this man’s mind, as when he tries to dispense the far-sighted wisdom of an éminence grise and ends up babbling about idiot stakeholder-capitalist newspeak jargon like ‘trustshoring’:
The world will be more fragmented, probably more fragile. The world will be more in flux. It may become a bipolar, perhaps a multipolar world. Above all, we’ll be concerned with the question: Who can still be trusted? We’ll no longer be able to rely on everyone adhering to the same framework of values that we’ve set for ourselves. Instead of ‘reshoring’ or ‘homeshoring’, we should increasingly talk about ‘trustshoring’. This means that when a company designs its supply chains, it not only wants to be more resilient, but it has to ask itself who it can trust. Not only in relation to its suppliers, but also in relation to the states behind them.
Or when he talks about the people who have most influenced him and mentions… Nelson Mandela:
I’ve been especially influenced by two people with whom I’ve had long-standing connections. One was Nelson Mandela. The other was Lee Kuan Yew, the first head of government of Singapore. He once explained to me his view of the difference between the West and the East: The West is characterised by the protection of the individual from encroachment by the collective. … In Asia… it is the other way round: There, politics is about protecting the collective from the individual. We can’t say that one is right and the other is wrong. Covid has also brought this conflict to light. To what extent do we succeed in reconciling… the right of the individual with the interests of the collective? This will continue to occupy us.
You get this from reading The Great Reset, too: Schwab has a clear interest in authoritarian Chinese approaches to government, but his expression is always scattered and unsystematic. He never integrates his sporadic Sinophilia into any broader theories or ideas about government and institutional authority. It’s very similar to Gates, who loves isolated technological solutions to health problems, but has no broader conception of the purpose of medicine, what it means to be healthy, or even what third-world charitable interventions can achieve.
Q: The WEF has always been a target of critics of globalisation. In social media, this has now assumed a new dimension, one directed against you personally. You’re being branded as part of a world conspiracy, the WEF as lacky of an elite that aims to oppress people with a ‘great reset’ and deprive them of their freedoms.
A: I am shocked. I’ve tried to talk to such people. But unfortunately this has turned out to be almost absolutely pointless. When someone has fallen victim to a conspiracy theory, they no longer listen to rational arguments. In my book The Great Reset, I described the possibilities of new technologies and later referred to possible downsides of things like the surveillance state. I want to prevent abuse. But the conspiracy theorists claim that if Klaus Schwab says something is possible, he’s advocating it.
Q: How do you deal with that?
A: A media entrepreneur… once gave me some good advice, which I still take to heart today: He said the most I could achieve was that 30% of everyone think what I’m doing is great and another 30% are basically fine with it. Then 30% are rather sceptical, and 10% virulently against it. He advised me not to focus on these 10%, but to deal with the 60% in the middle. That is, the more positive and the more sceptical.
Amusingly, neither Schwab nor his interviewer appear to know that he’s just mangling the banal folk wisdom that a third of everyone will like, hate or be indifferent to what you do – with proportions substantially more favourable to him, of course.
Q: Has Corona added to the vehemence of the accusations?
A: I received threatening letters, our house was photographed and the picture put on the internet. They said absurd things, like that I support the famous maxim “You will own nothing and be happy”, which I never said or wrote. This is at another level. Many are seeking simple explanations for complicated questions.
Q: Do you draw conclusions from these hostilities?
A: I only give a few interviews now and tend to keep a low profile in the media. Fortunately, we have more and more of these so-called fact-checkers, who can show that the spiteful insinuations against me are just false.