Private Monopoly Interests Have Captured the Public Authority

World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland

Private Monopoly Interests Have Captured
the Public Authority

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses World Economic Forum in
Davos, January 23, 2015.
Comment on the World Economic Forum and Its Politics

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has become a foremost ideological and political proponent of imperialist globalization and the control of public institutions by private monopoly interests. With 500 employees mainly in Europe and the U.S., and mountains of cash from its wealthy patrons, the WEF engages in constant ideological and political work for its imperialist agenda.

The WEF views control over the public authority by private interests as the means by which specific monopolies can sustain and grow their accumulated social wealth. This aim is summed up in its doctrine: “The WEF is an International Institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation. [It] engages political, business, academic and other leaders of society in collaborative efforts to shape global, regional and industry agendas.”

The material on the WEF website consistently pushes its doctrine advocating practical politics in favour of the private monopoly interests of its membership. To this end, the material and politics are pragmatic and open to whatever works or is necessary within the conditions the owners of social wealth face. In order to succeed, it argues, accumulated social wealth organized within the structure of the most dominant private monopolies must exercise control over the public authority or state in all its forms and institutions.

Private monopoly control of the state and its public institutions translates into dictatorship over the people and economy. This guarantees the most dominant monopolies, which control the state, the power and freedom they need to defend and enlarge their social wealth through the exploitation of the working class, the social instruments of production and the natural resources found at home and abroad. Of course, this also guarantees constant tension and struggle amongst the monopolies competing both within the economy and for control of the state, which can erupt at any time into open civil warfare. At this time, the fight for control of the state amongst competing monopolies and individual owners of social wealth is most pronounced in the United States.

Canada is a member within the WEF recognized imperialist system of states. The public funds and institutions of the Canadian state are mobilized in favour of the privileged monopolies. All state institutions have become or are becoming public-private partnerships dedicated to enlarging the social wealth of certain privileged monopolies. Official politics is reduced to defending the private interests of the monopolies that control the state. The society, people and resources are geared to guarantee the success of the privileged monopolies in their exploitation of the working class at home and abroad, and in their competition with other monopolies within the imperialist system of states.

Any opposition to the monopoly-controlled politics is deemed illegitimate and denigrated both at home and abroad. Internally this is expressed in increasingly repressive legislation and police powers to suppress the right to conscience and the right to resist exploitation. In the incessant march around the world to extend imperialist globalization and defeat their competitors, the monopolies and their state come into conflict both with people who do not want to be oppressed and exploited, and with other states controlled by private monopoly interests who are competing for the same target. The Harper government is now embroiled in an active war in Iraq to gain absolute control of the region on behalf of the private monopolies that control the U.S. and Canadian states.

On the international scene, the WEF rarely mentions countries. It recognizes only economies, industries, companies and regions. The politics of countries that may defend their own interests in opposition to imperialist globalization or in competition with the monopolies of Canada and the U.S. are labelled as illegitimate and actively “illegitimatized.” The “illegitimatized” states become a target for regime change such as Syria, Cuba, the DPRK, Venezuela and Russia.

The WEF never mentions social classes as this runs counter to the private interests of its monopoly patrons. The WEF has eliminated the reality of social classes and class struggle from its lexicon if not from its practical politics. The way people acquire their living as the manner to determine their social class is replaced with the notion of inequality of social wealth or one’s position on a scale of earnings. For the WEF, inequality of social wealth or earnings exists outside any social condition of classes and class oppression, exploitation and resistance. Problems of inequality are for the owners of social wealth to resolve, mainly through charity, but also through social programs that prove lucrative to particular monopolies.

Regarding problems in the imperialist economy, the WEF is pragmatic and not hidebound within its worldview. For example, it promotes both austerity and anti-austerity as long as the aim of the measures serves the private interests of the privileged owners of social wealth who are in control. On its website and in forums, representatives of the World Bank and IMF promote strict adherence to neo-liberal austerity orthodoxy side by side those such as U.S. politician Larry Summers who writes, “deflation and secular stagnation are the risks of our time” and calls for economic stimulus, Quantitative Easing (injection of state money into the economy in excess of its growth), and infrastructure spending. The WEF applauds and encourages whatever works to serve the aim of the privileged elite, who have seized control of the economy and state, to defend and enlarge their social wealth.

Certain WEF articles call for an end to all restrictions of monopoly right so that owners of social wealth and their monopolies can more easily increase their holdings without consideration of the social and natural consequences. Other articles declare that particular state measures are necessary, for example, to restrict CO2 emissions so that privately owned green monopolies can expand and prosper. Former U.S. Vice-President and now green billionaire Al Gore, Chairman and Co-Founder of Generation Investment Management always seems to be present at WEF events or contributing to its activities. Gore along with Pharrell Williams, Creative Director and Brand Ambassador, Bionic Yarn, are organizing a series of Live Earth concerts to promote their businesses, and the WEF appears to be an active partner.

The WEF and its privileged collective of owners of social wealth attempt to consolidate their ideological grip over the people and society by eliminating the working class as the essential human factor in the modern economy, of course not in practice but in ideology. The dynamic social forces in the economy are presented as companies and consumers thus erasing the working class as the actual producers with independent thinking, ideology and politics. The WEF sees, “The alliance of companies and consumer as a driving force for change in society.”

As consumers, the working class engages with companies as equals in the marketplace. The companies have a service or goods to sell and workers have money to spend. Both engage in simple exchanges of goods and services and both expect full value in the exchange. To promote this relationship as “a driving force for change” eliminates the basic contradiction in the modern economy between the social nature of mass production and its private ownership and control. It also erases from social consciousness the working class, as the only organized factor capable of moving society forward to harmonize the relations amongst individuals, between individuals and collectives, and between individuals and collectives with society. In this regard, the WEF avoids speaking of the relation of the working class with owners of social wealth in the workplace. This relation of production is profoundly unequal, unstable and overripe for revolutionary change.

The WEF boils down its views into one-nation politics where contending social classes and strata give up their independent views, interests and politics, and bow down and submit to the rule of the dominant monopolies that control the state. The actual producers, the modern working class, are deprived of their right to affirm their leadership of society and to own and control the socialized means of production and the distribution of the economy’s goods and services, which workers produce using the instruments of production they previously produced.

The contradiction between the social forces of production and their private ownership and control is at the root of all the intractable problems in the economy, which remain unresolved, and the cause of the recurring economic crises, growing inequality, the constant predatory and inter-imperialist wars, and the destructive and arbitrary nature of class privilege.

The most dominant monopolies have extended their power and class privilege to direct control of the public institutions of the state. In this situation, the state represents and defends the narrow private interests of certain owners of social wealth in contradiction with all other members of society. The state has become the tool of not just the class of owners of social wealth but a privileged elite within that social class. This can only lead to deepening insecurity, anarchy and violence both within the society and in its relations with other peoples of the world. A new direction for the politics and economy of Canada is necessary that challenges the control of the state and its public institutions by a small privileged ruling elite of owners of social wealth and their representatives.

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