Born in Ravensburg in 1938, Klaus Schwab is a child of Adolf Hitler’s Germany, a police-state regime built on fear and violence, on brainwashing and control, on propaganda and lies, on industrialism and eugenics, on dehumanisation and “disinfection”, on a chilling and grandiose vision of a “new order” that would last a thousand years.
He enthuses: “While it may not feel momentous to those of us experiencing a series of small but significant adjustments to life on a daily basis, it is not a minor change—the Fourth Industrial Revolution is a new chapter in human development, on a par with the first, second and third Industrial Revolutions, and once again driven by the increasing availability and interaction of a set of extraordinary technologies”. (5)
But this does not stop him presenting them in a positive light, as when he declares that “public crime is likely to decrease due to the convergence of sensors, cameras, AI and facial recognition software”. (27)
He describes with some relish how these technologies “can intrude into the hitherto private space of our minds, reading our thoughts and influencing our behavior”. (28)
Schwab predicts: “As capabilities in this area improve, the temptation for law enforcement agencies and courts to use techniques to determine the likelihood of criminal activity, assess guilt or even possibly retrieve memories directly from people’s brains will increase. Even crossing a national border might one day involve a detailed brain scan to assess an individual’s security risk”. (29)
There are times when the WEF chief gets carried away by his passion for a sci-fi future in which “long-distance human space travel and nuclear fusion are commonplace” (30) and in which “the next trending business model” might involve someone “trading access to his or her thoughts for the time-saving option of typing a social media post by thought alone”. (31)
Talk of “space tourism” under the title “The Fourth Industrial Revolution and the final frontier” (32) is almost funny, as is his suggestion that “a world full of drones offers a world full of possibilities”. (33)
But the further the reader progresses into the world depicted in Schwab’s books, the less of a laughing matter it all seems.
The truth is that this highly influential figure, at the centre of the new global order currently being established, is an out-and-out transhumanist who dreams of an end to natural healthy human life and community.
“This gives rise to an inequality that goes beyond the societal one described earlier. This ontological inequality will separate those who adapt from those who resist—the material winners and losers in all senses of the words. The winners may even benefit from some form of radical human improvement generated by certain segments of the fourth industrial revolution (such as genetic engineering) from which the losers will be deprived. This risks creating class conflicts and other clashes unlike anything we have seen before”. (51)
Schwab was already talking about a “great transformation” back in 2016 (52) and is clearly determined to do everything in his not inconsiderable power to bring about his eugenics-inspired transhumanist world of artifice, surveillance, control and exponential profit.
But, as revealed by his reference above to “class conflicts”, he is clearly worried by the possibility of “societal resistance” (53) and how to advance “if technologies receive a great deal of resistance from the public”. (54)
Schwab’s annual WEF shindigs at Davos have long been met by anti-capitalist protests and, despite the current paralysis of the radical left, he is well aware of the possibility of renewed and perhaps broader opposition to his project, with the risk of “resentment, fear and political backlash”. (55)
In his most recent book he provides a historical context, noting that “anti-globalization was strong in the run-up to 1914 and up to 1918, then less so during the 1920s, but it reignited in the 1930s as a result of the Great Depression”. (56)
He notes that in the early 2000s “the political and societal backlash against globalization relentlessly gained strength”, (57) says that “social unrest” has been widespread across the world in the past two years, citing the Gilets Jaunes in France among other movements, and invokes the “sombre scenario” that “the same could happen again”. (58)
One of these “narratives” whitewashes the reasons for which 4IR technology needs to be installed everywhere in the world as soon as possible.