live – The Guardian
This year, then, is proving itself to be the Davos of denial, the year that the disconnect between rhetoric and reality became more obvious than ever. The founder of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab, is on some level a plutocratic power-broker just like many other rich and powerful men, but his dream of bringing the world together in the service of peace and prosperity is, or was, a genuine one. It has even been bought into by leftist critics who complain that Davos is increasingly where global decisions are being taken and moreover is becoming the default form of global governance. The truth, however, is that with the exception of a few public-health initiatives, the Davos model of multi-stakeholder initiatives and global redesign has utterly failed in its stated aims. The grandiloquence is as lofty as ever, but the world has not come together; instead, it is fracturing, and the World Economic Forum s manifold Leaders are reduced to the status of impotent spectators. Some men just want to watch the world burn; Davos Man wants nothing less. But, right now, that s all he can realistically do.