Alexandra rang me from London to enquire about a man by the name of Klaus Schwab: ‘He sounds like the greatest threat of our time. Should I be worried?’ ‘Nah,’ I answered. ‘He’s just another typical smooth-talking, smarmy Davos Man. ‘That’s what scares me,’ said the wife.
For the very few of you who have not heard of Klausie baby, he is the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, or WEF, a grandiose title and well deserved to be sure, although it once created a social media video that contained the slogan: ‘You will own nothing, And you’ll be happy.’ The WEF is where technocratic dreams make contact with business and political biggies high up in the Swiss Alps. Personally, I think it’s a networking scam, and the media have for a long time shielded the public from its goals. Except when Forbes magazine published a WEF think piece back in 2016 headlined: ‘I own nothing, have no privacy, and life has never been better.’
Hence Alexandra’s worries about the kids and grandkids having nothing after reading about a future that is ‘a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres’, gobbledygook so typical of Davos and WEF slogans. I’m not so worried, but then I’m only a father and grandfather; mothers tend to fret more than us macho tough guys. What does worry me is globalisation, a sleight of hand by haves to have more, while small- town rubes get less. J.D. Vance, bestselling author of Hillbilly Elegy, has just won the Republican nomination for the Senate in Ohio, where millions upon millions of cars were built between the 1960s and 2000, until Nafta kicked in and 200,000 jobs went to Mexico and other such places.