by Joaquin Flores, Strategic Culture:
Combining Marxian ideas of historical materialism and technological determinism with fascist-futurist ideas of technocracy and bureaucratic managerial scientism, the World Economic Forum pursues a path of ‘inclusivity’ for the managerial class elite.
“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
– The Holy Bible (Luke 16:13)
“Modern bourgeois society, with its relations of production, of exchange and of property, a society that has conjured up such gigantic means of production and of exchange, is like the sorcerer who is no longer able to control the powers of the netherworld whom he has called up by his spells.”
– Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto, Chapter 1 – Bourgeois & Proletarians
Klaus Schwab most certainly has based his career on the maxim “The height of originality is skill in concealing origins”. For indeed, Marxian sociology and poststructuralist, post-fascist derivatives have been established by the World Economic Forum, and the prestigious academic institutions, as the foundational methodology in the execution of their long-term plans. Generally this involves the study of the relationship between the evolution of technology and its changes upon law, social organization, culture, and the power relations between socioeconomic classes.
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In the last chapter we looked at the post-fascist derivatives from critical theory and poststructuralism, that combined Marxian structuralism with reconstituted technologies from fascism, and from Heidegger. In this chapter we look at the tremendous influence of Marx upon Schwab who conceals his sources on multiple fronts. This will be once again demonstrated in the following chapter on the bifurcated neo-fascism of the burgeoning technocracy, settings aside critical theory and poststructuralism, and instead looking at this same question through the development of ‘stakeholder’ business management and administration as a partial refutation of Milton Friedman’s ‘shareholder theory’ ethos, the so-called Friedman Doctrine.
In Marx’s work we discern that the age of industrial revolutions, unlike previous ages, brings about a new kind of social order which overwhelmingly subsumes the consciousness of its various and incidental actors. It possesses them, like a demonic being from the netherworld in the image of Mammon himself, the logic of the machinations of capital.
It lays the framework for understanding AI, and how that system could become effectively self-conscious, or at least from observations, indistinguishable from a conscious living being. It shows how, with the rise and implementation of new technologies, the logic of that techno-industrial system is far more complex than in prior historical stages, such that its processes mimic or even evidence a consciousness of its own.
A Sorcerer with the Powers of the Netherworld
From Marx we find that modernity’s ruling class, arising formally into power as the financiers of the 1st Industrial Revolution, had summoned up from the netherworld through its complexity, that the logic of its process constitutes an artificial consciousness beyond the control of industrial society itself.
Thus, the beginning of the 4th Industrial Revolution stands at the precipice of late modernity and post modernity, bearing the birthmarks of the old society, at the great divide before a new paradigm which situates beyond the control, comprehension, and class interests of the ruling class of modernity.
The aim of Klaus Schwab is to be the sorcerer who can control, comprehend, and manage the spirits of the netherworld into the next paradigm while delimiting the havoc and contradictions which such undertakings had in prior historical epochs brought forth.
Klaus Schwab attempts to serve two masters. First, the netherworld spirit of Mammon, conjured by the ritualized capital accumulation of the plutocracy, which in turn possesses them. Second, God: through certain discoveries, technological and otherwise, that benefit the whole of humanity such as 3D printing. But Schwab, with his sorcerer’s robe, cannot serve two masters.
In Klaus Schwab’s 2016 primer “The Fourth Industrial Revolution”, we are introduced to immediately in Chapter 1.1 (pg. 6) to a direct paraphrasing of Marxian historical materialism, without attribution:
“Revolutions have occurred throughout history when new technologies and novel ways of perceiving the world trigger a profound change in economic systems and social-structures. Given that history is used as a frame of reference, the abruptness of these changes may take years to unfold […] the transition from foraging to farming – happened around 10,000 years ago and was made possible by the domestication of animals […] The agrarian revolution was followed by a series of industrial revolutions that began in the second-half of the 18th century…”
The chapter goes on to express Schwab’s greatest concern, that there is a problem in elected leadership who do not understand what is required for this revolution to be realized smoothly and effectively. Part of his immediate solution is global cultural hegemony and the use of a class of political commissars (a diversity trained set of individuals) to enforce it. He believes that if done correctly, they can mitigate the class struggle, by dividing the disenfranchised and displaced working class along ‘community’ lines (race, gender/orientation) such that populations will not revolt along the lines of class:
“Second, the world lacks a consistent, positive and common narrative that outlines the opportunities and challenges of the fourth industrial revolution, a narrative that is essential if we are to empower a diverse set of individuals and communities and avoid a popular backlash against the fundamental changes underway.”
But why would there be a popular backlash, if such changes are universally positive?
Because such changes aren’t. There is an overarching inability to tackle the problem of planned obsolescence, and also takes the position of the plutocracy as an immovable given. This is connected to a slow-down of innovation and future technologies in the sense understood in modernity, because the return on investment would, on the whole, tend to decline in inverse proportion to the rise in production technique.
Planned obsolescence has long been tied in our paradigm to innovation, that innovation of features was so great that the use of higher quality construction goods was unnecessary. This forced consumers into newer models that had novel features and functions, even if the core technology or utility of the commodity was not significantly improved compared to the waste created. This allowed for a return on investment for very minor innovations of questionable utility, and relied instead on advertising and conspicuous consumption as integral to the distribution process.
While the World Economic Forum’s discourse dances adjacent to a future paradigm, the logic of the industrial mode of production is an unchangeable variable. This, even though the planned obsolescence of the era of the 3rd Industrial Revolution was tied to extracting surplus value from human labor, from monopolistic pricing, from usurious lending, and employment as a form of social control (idle hands do the devil’s work), all of which are exceptionally redundant in an age of total automation.
In pieces like Coronavirus Shutdown: The End of Globalization and Planned Obsolescence – Enter Multipolarity we develop a foundation for understanding that the real aims of the Great Reset are towards further slavery, despite that the technological possibilities presented by 3D printing and the internet of things (IoT) organically tend towards localism and decentralization (away from globalization). It is evident that planned obsolescence is greatly wasteful and is responsible for perhaps most of the waste that damages the environment (whether or not we accept the anthropogenic global warming thesis).
Whatever other cause of carbon emissions, pollution, or unsustainable environmental harm we can imagine, we can almost always tie that outcome to some part of the cycle of production and distribution of goods which are being unnecessarily replicated (from energy production to product delivery), thousands of times a day, because of planned obsolescence.