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The actual behaviour of big business continues to confound its stated wishes

World Economic Forum headquarters (cropped).jpgHaving been postponed on multiple occasions due to COVID pandemic, the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum this year was sheduled for 22 to 26 May 2022 in Davos with the theme – History at a Turning Point: Government Policies and Business Strategies.

Its themes included the Russo-Ukrainian War, with Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy giving a special address at the meeting, thanking the global community for its efforts but also calling for more support. For the first time since 1991 there was no Russian delegation, and at the Russian house was presented an exhibition of Ukrainian war photos. The absence of a Russian delegation was described by The Wall Street Journal as signalling the

“unraveling of globalization.”


A Financial Times journalist wrote about the 2022 international non-governmental and lobbying organisation World Economic Forum (WEF) that the  Davos conference was

“more out of touch with the state of the world than it has ever been in the 20-odd years I have attended the conference.”

The problem, as the reporter notes, is that the actual behaviour of big business continues to confound its stated wishes. They want better infrastructure and higher standards of education — yet they resent paying the taxes necessary to fund these common goods.

From healthcare to skill levels, corporate leaders want the state to step up, while systematically undermining its capacity to do so, through demanding privatisation, deregulation, outsourcing and a general shrivelling of the public power to intervene. At the forum, people from all over the world present their series of reports, and find a platform for leaders from selected stakeholder groups to collaborate on multiple projects and initiatives.

Recently Davos attendees have made strenuous efforts championing “stakeholder capitalism,” whereby the interests of the environment, employees and communities are somehow factored into their decisions.

As “woke” seems to be the hype word, big fashion, it is now denounced as “woke capitalism” and there is a pushback, in the US in particular, demanding a return to an exclusive focus on shareholder returns as the measure of business success.

Money paid to the state in taxes is cash not handed to shareholders in dividends or executives in mega-bonuses, for example.

There is a logic in that neoliberal critique according to the Morning Star.

Davos businesspeople are trying to push water uphill, as long as they remain wedded to capitalist competition.

For that newspaper when it comes to the future of the capitalist system,

Davos really has nothing useful to say. Davros with his signature injunction — exterminate! exterminate! — may be more on point when it comes to capitalism’s future. {Davos and the masters of the world pushing water uphill}

With so many years behind us, one can only conclude that all those big meetings with debates have achieved little.

A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research investigated the sociological impact of the WEF. It concluded that the WEF do not solve issues such as poverty, global warming, chronic illness, or debt. The Forum has, according to the study, simply shifted the burden for the solution of these problems from governments and business to “responsible consumers subjects: the green consumer, the health-conscious consumer, and the financially literate consumer. {Giesler, Markus; Veresiu, Ela (28 August 2021). “Creating the Responsible Consumer: Moralistic Governance Regimes and Consumer Subjectivity”. Blick. Vol. 41, no. 3. pp. 840–857. doi:10.1086/677842. JSTOR 10.1086/677842.}


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Published by Guestspeaker

A joint effort of several authors who do find that nobody can keep standing at the side and that “Everyone" must care about what is going on in today’s world. We are a bunch of people who do not mind that somebody has a totally different idea but is willing to share the ideas with others and to be Active and willing to let others understand how "today’s decisions will influence the future”. Therefore we would love to see many others to "Act today".

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