Every year, the Elites of the political, economic, and cultural worlds gather in Davos, Switzerland to talk about global ‘stuff’ – what’s trending, what’s wrong, and their global ways of fixing them what they believe is wrong – for the betterment of us all. Hate to keep sounding like a broken record but even with the caveat that I will never be as successful as they have been, sometimes things to have to be pointed out. Here’s what Davos founder Klaus Schwab said:
“We have a general morality gap, we are over-leveraged, we have neglected to invest in the future, we have undermined social coherence, and we are in danger of completely losing the confidence of future generations,” said Klaus Schwab, host and founder of the annual World Economic Forum.
“Solving problems in the context of outdated and crumbling models will only dig us deeper into the hole.
“We are in an era of profound change that urgently requires new ways of thinking instead of more business-as-usual,” the 73-year-old said, adding that “capitalism in its current form, has no place in the world around us.”
I am oft criticized by those that don’t like that I keep things black and white; I rather think that I’m bringing things down to basic principles. In this case, it’s necessary.
Let’s pull it apart (and who’s this “we” bit, kimosabe?):
- “We have a general morality gap” – a problem with practiced morality
I’ll agree with this: we DO have a lapse in what I consider traditional morality, of absolute right and wrong. Europe has already “progressed” to a post-Christian morality (which really is a regression). Why am I calling this a regression? I disagree with atheists and secular humanists that hold that one can have a worthwhile sense of morality without God. Frankly, the comparison that holds (to a degree) when a new owner takes over a company and proceeds to strip out the assets over time. Sure, things look good for a while – and sometimes for a long time. However, sooner or later, the capital does run out and the company goes bankrupt. You can also analogize from an epidemiology standpoint. As long as everyone else is vaccinated, those that choose not to are still well protected as long as they are relatively isolated. However, when fewer and fewer stop getting vaccinated, that protection finally runs out – and we could get a whale of plague. I think that the analogy to morality holds true – the lapsing of our “absolute Christian vaccination” is finally starting to show.
- “we are over-leveraged”, – a problem with practiced morality and NOT a financial problem
True, compared to “normal” times, we are over-leveraged and I have seen some stats that shows that Europe is NOT de-leveraging. However, the US is – not our Government but private corporations and individuals are shedding debt. But why is it a morals problem and not a financial one? People wanted more than they could afford. They coveted what others had (even if the neighbors went into even more hock to get it). The materialistic arms race raced out of control at the individual, corporate, and governmental basis – people lost sight of basic truths, absolute truths. But what else can one say – how can spending more than you can afford NOT a moral issue? Either personally (putting your family at risk), corporate (putting the shareholder / owner value at risk), or national (where government leaders spent future generations’ money on the present)?
- “we have neglected to invest in the future” – a problem of prioritization and of morality
Governments have spent plenty and in fact, more than enough. Like I just said, many top level governmental leaders (like all those “Elites” now gathered in Davos) spent future generations’ financial resources before they were born. And simply, they spent it on the wrong stuff! Spending it on infrastructure can be helpful IF done correctly, wisely, and on the right stuff. Simply spending it enabling individuals and family to become dependent on entitlements, from one generation to another, from a burgeoning Welfare State and furthering the moral hazard of letting people and institutions make bad decisions and enduring the consequences.
- “we have undermined social coherence” – a problem with practiced morality
Well, it is the Elites the world over, the same Elites that have passed the laws, overseen the corporations, and changed our culture that are now convened in Davos. Question for you chuckleheads – if you are in charge, and things are not right, are YOU folks the problem? Can you not recognize that by your principles, you have changed our system of capitalism to one of crony or state led capitalism (with the resulting problems seen with centralized system and the unholy alliances between Big Government and Big Business). And now you wish to double down on that which has caused our current problems? Is that not a problem with your morality, with the hubris that you can change us all for the better yet cannot come clean with us (or yourselves) that your collective morality has led us to this point?
Government, when allowed to get too big, decides first that it has to change peoples’ behavior. Then it decides it has the right to do so. And finally, it becomes a totalitarian state to ensure “equality”. As Diane Lacy said here (but for other reasons), this is nothing more than a “race to the bottom” which by definition, yields “social incoherence”. When Government and the Elites that run it decide that they can do the social engineering, then they need to own the mess they have created – and then go away and let us naturally form our own “social coherence” freely.
- “we are in danger of completely losing the confidence of future generations” – a problem with present morality
Now that is a mish-mash of a thought! Tell me, sir – how can you know of the minds and the souls of the yet unborn? You may be right when those future generations look back and exclaim “you stole our future, our present, away from us because you were too greedy for your now”. The Elites, in their social engineering, are spending the seed corn that those generations would need. Instead of providing for the future, the Elites decided to placate the present.
And the morality is that you refuse to face your own mess – a refusal to be forthright, tell no lies, be accountable to yourself and to the rest of us, and are willing to blame others for your mistakes and (sometimes) outright malfeasance.
If you look at all of these points, what do you see? Yes, a lack of morality (or the practice of a wrongheaded bastardization of what used to be called Christian / Classic Western liberalism).
Capitalism is an economic system – not a moral system. It is, in essense, amoral – without morality. And no, one cannot excoriate it on that “amoral” basis. What you CAN excoriate is the morality of the people that engage in it – and then use it for their own nefarious reasons. The problem with our capitalistic system is not that in its simplest form is simply me paying a price for a good or service that I believe benefits me – and the seller believes that they have also received a superior value. Capitalism is a tool – how that tool is used is in the hands of those that wield it and engage in it.
At all times, it is the morality of people that should be of primary interest. By Schwab’s own words, we can be assured that whatever the world’s Elites come up with will take away our economic freedom to trade voluntarily. He sees problems that he claims that the free market has created; what he refuses to see that in many ways, we do not have free markets as they are distorted (mostly by the systems the Elites themselves have set up). By his own words, he says that our society’s underlying morality is at fault – but refuses to acknowledge that and proclaims that it must be something else.
Thus, I am fearful that a solution will be put into place, over our protestations, that does not solve the actual problem and in this case, will make it worse.