Sunday, May 22, 2022

DAVOS 2022

Ten years ago Davos was the mandatory meeting place for the world's mighty and brightest.  A nod from Klaus Schwab, originator of the gathering, was like a knighthood in the world's elite.  Now the gauge train, made famous in Thomas Mann's Magic Mountain might carry less passengers in their quest of the professor's Graal.

Davos stood for the worship of globalisation. There was an aura of almost pagan idolatry of the chosen entrepreneurs, politicians and bankers who acted less as custodians than as prophets. The onlookers became sycophants.

Some start to feel now sorry for the past euphoria or hubris.  Indeed divergence has now won the battle over convergence. The former pillars which supported the post- Cold War "order" became dubious. The UN or the EU start to look as tiresome as a never-ending Wagner production. Besides, occasional partners who still unite around opportunistic goals do not act as if they really mean it.

So, Davos goes on, albeit in minor key. Globalisation remains a worthy goal. It suffered major setbacks, both by its own arrogance and by circumstances that have led to overstretch. 

Obviously Ukraine is creating havoc worldwide and disruption in the West. It would be wrong however to over-prioritize legitimate emotion, while climate, hunger and other perverse war situations abound everywhere. If Davos gets a new lifeline it should be about more globalisation than less. If everything continues to unravel, we might as well get ready for another 100 Years War in various parts of the planet.  Davos should not be allowed to die off, like the Club of Rome.

Actually since nobody wants to cross any longer the doorstep of the perceived hostile other, Davos could also become an alternative for "accidental" dating, internet-like.

Ukraine is, tragically, a repeat of the Guernica horror. Anything has to be considered to halt this war crime en direct. Elsewhere Orwellian horrors multiply, unchecked.

The omen is not good, unfortunately. The luring dangers which risk to topsy-turvy the food chain, transport, supply and demand warrant urgent preoccupation, far from intrusive observation.

Yesterday's prophets have failed.  Today belongs to the likes of Elon Musk & Co., who waste little time with "academic" trivia. After all The Greening of America was followed up by another best seller The Closing of the American Mind. For Europe we can consult the Brexit file and its mediocre consequences.

Who knows, Klaus Schwab might still come up with a spring surprise, but a repeat of his former optimistic Bildungsroman will be an uphill battle.

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