It isn’t mad, however, to regard the WEF as a dangerous force in global politics. The WEF is a dangerous force in global politics. To adapt Joseph Heller, just because you are paranoid, doesn’t mean the WEF isn’t after you. A shared distrust of the WEF brings together anti-capitalists on the left and culture-warriors on the right. But that distrust is based on a misunderstanding of what the WEF is these days really all about.
For many WEF critics, the vileness of the organisation can be encapsulated in one word: ‘neoliberalism.’ It’s a term that conjures up images of plutocrats and untrammelled markets ravaging the planet and exploiting blue-collar folk in the name of profit. Funnily enough, Chairman Schwab agrees with that assessment of the world’s ills. Once upon a time, the WEF prioritised the necessity and benefits of economic globalisation. That has not been the case for many years, however. In October 2020, Schwab stated that:
[S]hibboleths of our global economic system will need to be re-evaluated with an open mind. Chief among these is the neoliberal ideology. Free-market fundamentalism has eroded worker rights and economic security, triggered a deregulatory race to the bottom and ruinous tax competition.