Davos, 2023: Preserving an Unjust World

By Atilio Borón on January 23, 2023

Last Monday, January 16, the World Economic Forum met in Davos. This is the 53rd meeting of the world’s economic and political elite, or what Fidel more appropriately called the “imperial bourgeoisie”. Unlike the vast majority of the world’s population, exploited and oppressed by capitalism, which fails to create a Davos-type structure to coordinate the great struggles of our time, the right wing knows and appreciates very well the virtues of a world organization and the design of global strategies of intervention.

This powerful global conglomerate exalts individualism but knows very well that the only effective way to maintain its privileges is by enhancing the collective action of the capitalist classes around the globe. This means acting in concert on the world geo-economic and geopolitical chessboard to confront, as a unit, the multitude of critics and opponents of capitalism who still insist on fighting locally against an actor that has a global and unified strategy.

To illustrate what we have been saying: it is not possible to fight against Bayer’s pesticides and transgenics, whose production and application in agriculture obeys a global strategy, with isolated and unconnected protests, with little local or regional impact, at best.

From the outset, the Davos meeting has had precisely this mission. To strengthen coordination efforts among the dominant actors of contemporary capitalism, to refine their strategies and tactics of struggle, and to reach a consensus on the diagnosis of the situation and possible ways to confront the challenges it poses. Also to make a show of force, summoning heads of state and government from the five continents, hundreds of politicians, economists, experts and countless social communicators who will expand and disseminate urbi et orbi the agreements sealed in that Swiss locality. Some 2,700 leaders of global capitalism are expected to attend Davos this year.

The meeting will call for international cooperation in a fragmented world, which is a recognition that the old liberal globalization is fractured, that there are actually “two globalizations” or international economic subsystems. One, in the North Atlantic world with its tributary extensions in Japan, South Korea and Australia; and another, economically more powerful, with its epicenter in China and which radiates throughout Asia and, through the “Belt and Road Initiative”, reaches between 128 and 144 countries (depending on the year) on the planet.

In this context, the experts and strategists in Davos will try to reach a consensus on how to face the simultaneous challenges posed by slow economic growth, inflation, the energy and food crises and, to put it mildly, the extremely serious geopolitical situation worldwide, which is expressed with unusual force in the war in Ukraine. Aware that the legitimacy of global capitalism is increasingly questioned, the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab, proposes to strengthen “the bonds of cooperation between governments and the private sector”.

However, at the height of the pandemic, Schwab proposed the need for “a recharged capitalism”, in which the role of states in the recovery of the economic cycle would be considerably accentuated.

Indeed, he went so far as to speak of a “state capitalism”. Now he seems to have softened his approach and revalued the role of markets, hidden under the euphemism of “private sector”. But in no case, neither before nor now, did Schwab and his colleagues hint at the slightest intention to democratize the capitalist states or to make any effort to redistribute, even minimally, the wealth that has been scandalously concentrated in recent years, especially since the outbreak of the pandemic and, subsequently, the war in Ukraine. The data provided by the Oxfam 2023 reports are shocking.

Just consider that the “billionaires became richer in the last two years than it had taken them 23 years earlier; food and energy billionaires are $453 billion richer than they were two years ago, while 263 million people fell into ‘extreme poverty’ in 2022.”

For another concrete picture, Oxfam sums it up: “It would take 112 years for a person in the poorest half of the world’s population to earn what someone in the richest one percent would earn in a year”.

Finally, “the richest one percent grabbed nearly two-thirds of all new wealth worth $42 trillion created since 2020, almost twice as much money as the bottom 99 percent of the world’s population,” reveals a new Oxfam report. Over the past decade, the richest one percent captured about half of all new wealth; now they capture two-thirds of it. It is this unfair world that Davos wants to stabilize.

Source: Cubadebate, translation Resumen Latinoamericano – US