Every civilization is built upon layers of mythology. In his recently published book, The Great Narrative, the founder and chairman of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab, promotes a new global mythos based on empathy and cooperation.
This is remarkable considering that five years ago, in The Fourth Industrial Revolution, he calmly explained that successful societies of the future would be “smart” termite colonies crawling with bipedal cyborgs. Then a year and a half ago, in The Great Reset, he declared that the COVID-19 pandemic “represents a rare but narrow window of opportunity to reflect, reimagine and reset our world,” making way for a polycentric technocracy—possibly run on a Chinese digital currency.
Because most of us don’t want to become gene-edited, neuroenhanced, bionic welfare recipients put out of work by robots, and because his accent sounds like zee Stasi villain, Schwab has become a magnet for blame and popular hatred—a fascist to some, a communist to others, a technocratic mastermind to most.
Now, as if we all forgot our suspicions, he’s calling for a new narrative, a great narrative, where all you need is love:
“This emerging narrative is most helpful because it shows that this capacity to care—a prerequisite for successful collaboration—is contingent upon sentiments, qualities and emotions that can be encouraged, promoted and even taught. Love and affection, while possessing a social dimension, are deeply personal and hard to emulate at the societal level, but other qualities can be more easily harnessed for social good. Empathy (the ability to understand and share the feelings of another) is one of them.”
Knowing that Klaus Schwab controls the premier globalist ideological hub, the World Economic Forum—which exerts tremendous influence over our politics, especially through donors, and over corporate culture through boards of directors—his “great narrative” is a grave concern. It signals a strategic moral framework, meant to manipulate leaders and masses alike, wherein willingness to submit is good and refusal to comply is evil.
While Schwab (and his consistently ignored co-author, Thierry Malleret) act as if their message of empathy and cooperation is a radical new paradigm, they’re drawing from a deep well of evolutionary science and philosophy. The broad theory holds that Darwinian evolution has produced two general survival strategies: competition and cooperation. Both traits are expressed, in varying proportions, in pretty much every organism. The key to this theoretical framework is this: more cooperative organisms—such as wolves, ants, or humans—will out-compete more solitary, “individualistic” organisms.
The big fish eat the little ones, but a bigger school of fish will marginalize them both.
These metaphors reflect our human reality quite well, but the meaning shifts under the pen of a globalist technocrat who’s hellbent on spreading hyperconnected “public-private partnerships” across the planet—a blob-like, digitized superorganism that consumes everything in its path.
For those struggling against global technocracy, “cooperation” means capitulation and “empathy” means pathological altruism.
Herr Schwab’s Transhuman Fantasy
The Great Narrative hinges on five core themes, all familiar from Schwab’s previous books—economics, environment, geopolitics, and society, with a manic emphasis on technology:
“Hope, and the possibility of optimism, stem from the following observation: we are at a juncture in history when new discoveries and new technologies do not follow linear growth rates but exponential ones, drastically accelerating innovation. … Peter Diamandis [co-founder of Singularity University] believes that, ‘in the next 10 years, we’re going to reinvent every industry’ and ‘we’ll experience more progress than in the past 100 years.’”
Sounds great if you want a trode in your dome, but many of us aren’t too thrilled to fuse our bodies and brains with the machine.
To understand the deep mythos behind the Great Narrative, you have to look back to Schwab’s thesis in The Fourth Industrial Revolution, published in 2016. He argues that innovations from the previous three industrial revolutions—the mechanical (steam engine, railways), the electrical (lightbulbs, telephones), and the digital (computers)—are culminating in a fourth that will transform humanity itself.
“The convergence of the physical, digital and biological worlds,” Schwab writes, “is at the heart of the fourth industrial revolution.”
What does this mean in practice? Despite the book’s calm, dispassionate tone—one that suggests an AI simply scanned Schwab’s brain and translated his thoughts into text—from time to time the reader gets slapped with a jarring example. Schwab is particularly obsessed with synthetic biology, designer babies, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), and most unsettling, the Internet of Bodies (IoB):
“Consider remote monitoring—a widespread application of the IoT. Any package, pallet or container can now be equipped with a sensor, transmitter or radio frequency identification (RFID) tag that allows a company to track where it is as it moves through the supply chain—how it is performing, how it is being used. … In the near future, similar monitoring systems will also be applied to the movement and tracking of people.”
Schwab writes about surveilling human movements with RFID chips as if he were predicting warm weather this summer. You see, zee forced industrial revolution “is not only changing the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of doing things but also ‘who’ we are. … Simply put, major technological innovations are on the brink of fueling momentous change throughout the world—inevitably so.”
What sort of changes? The 52-page appendix, comprising nearly a third of the book, gives us a good idea. Entitled “Deep Shift,” the section lists twenty-three “technology tipping points and social impacts,” drawing on a survey of 800 executives—aka, the managerial elite. The list begins with “implantable technologies,” then strolls cheerfully through “driverless cars,” “designer beings,” “smart cities,” “AI and decision-making,” and so on, with “neurotechnologies” tying a carbon-black bow at the end.
“82% of respondents expected [by 2025] the first implantable mobile phone available commercially.” The authors don’t specify where surgeons will stick this device, but I have a suggestion. They go on to write:
“People are becoming more and more connected to devices, and those devices are increasingly becoming connected to their bodies. … Smart tattoos and other unique chips could help with identification and location. Implanted devices will likely also help to communicate thoughts normally expressed verbally through a ‘built-in’ smartphone, and potentially unexpressed thoughts or moods by reading brain waves or other signals.”
In this cyborg scenario, the “positive impacts” of implants include a “reduction in missing children.” So if parents don’t want to be negligent, they should chip their kids. “Digital tattoos not only look cool but can perform useful tasks, like unlocking a car, entering mobile phone codes…or tracking body processes.”
Even though 2016 and the following year saw waves of transhumanism coverage, from The Guardian to National Geographic, the fact that the World Economic Forum had given their blessing to a sweeping transhumanist revolution sat silently in the background. It’s as if no one was supposed to talk about it.
Then last summer, Schwab quickly penned COVID-19: The Great Reset—so quickly, you’d think he already had his outline ready to roll. In this slim volume, he openly declares a global initiation rite into the fourth industrial revolution:
“Almost instantly, most things became ‘e-things’: e-learning, e-commerce, e-gaming, e-books, e-attendance. … With the pandemic, the ‘digital transformation’ that so many analysts have been referring to for years…has found its catalysts. One major effect of confinement will be the expansion and progression of the digital world in a decisive and often permanent manner.”
While humans were robotized, the robots were humanized:
“From the onset of the lockdowns, it became apparent that robots and AI were a ‘natural’ alternative when human labour was not available. … Our lingering and possibly lasting fear of being infected with a virus (COVID-19 or another) will thus speed the relentless march of automation. … Those that adapt with agility and imagination will eventually turn the COVID-19 crisis to their advantage.”
Without shame, The Great Reset celebrates this unprecedented “opportunity” to accelerate the “convergence of the physical, digital and biological worlds.” To the extent Schwab laments what’s being lost, he does so like a grinning paleontologist digging through a pile of Triceratops bones.
Swindlin’ Schwab Is Lookin’ For Love
The term “pathological altruism” was coined by Barbara Oakley in a 2011 volume by the same name. The idea is that human kindness can veer toward the suicidal—anything from becoming a love slave to serving dictators. In predatory relationships, your conscience can be weaponized against you.
Although The Great Narrative is allegedly based on conversations with “50 of the world’s foremost global thinkers and opinion-makers,” it’s such a tone-deaf attempt at milking human kindness, I wonder if Klaus Schwab asked an AI text-generator how to make people stop hating him. In addition to “conspiracy theories” and job-killing automation, the book’s central concern is climate change—an “existential threat” that only experts can detect, and only global compliance can fix.
“How can we make these ideas palatable,” Schwab asks, “so that a large majority of citizens embrace them?”
The key is to increase empathy and cooperation through story-telling. “[N]arratives shape our perceptions, which in turn form our realities and end up influencing our choices and actions. They are how we find meaning in life.” Schwab pays special attention to “dystopian visions” and “implicit biases” about out-of-control technology.
So the technocrat who infuriated half the planet by promoting brain chips and global governance is now urging his minions to spin cosmic propaganda. To be fair, Schwab does express concern about cybercrime, AI warfare, and misuse of synthetic biology. But his solution? More technology, stronger government, and tear-jerking stories.
“The first critical step is to overturn the dominant narrative…that man is a wolf to another man.” Anyone familiar with Big Tech surveillance or drug cartel murder porn would read this as utter nonsense—but only because they don’t understand the “wiring” behind our empathic “circuitry”:
“[S]ince our neural networks are set up to interact with the neural networks of others in order to perceive their emotions and to differentiate them from our own, a lack of empathy makes it much harder to live with one another without constantly fighting or feeling threatened by others. … A growing body of research, notably in neuroscience, shows that, ‘If you change your mind, you can change the world.’”
Therefore in order to compel cooperation, authorities must trigger the public’s empathy circuits through “prosocial policies.” If that doesn’t warm your heart, nothing will.
One specific approach was formulated by Raghuram Rajan. His scheme “consists of ‘strengthening and empowering communities’ [because] global governance must coexist with local power in a way that makes it inclusive.” Otherwise, you risk a “populist backlash”:
“[T]hey’ll exclude global markets and become exclusionists, or they’ll exclude immigrants, and it will be America for native-born Americans. What I have in mind is what I call ‘inclusive localism.’ … Borders encircle your local community but they’re porous borders. … Anybody who wants to join can come in.”
Something tells me that neither the World Economic Forum nor China will be adopting “inclusive localism” anytime soon. To understand the point of this rhetoric, just imagine a world where the populist West has dropped its defenses while elites spanning the globe strengthen theirs.
Ultimately, the idea of globalists manipulating empathy to weaken their opponents should be as infuriating as the desire to jab skulls with brain chips. Not that ol’ Klaus has forgotten about those:
“[With technology] a sense of great optimism prevails—a sentiment expressed by all scientists whom we interviewed for this book. Michio Kaku went the furthest. … ‘Brain-net (when the human mind is merged with computers) will take a few decades to get off the ground, but investors are already jumping into it.’”
According to Swindlin’ Schwab, The Future™ is an “inevitable” technocracy. After peeling away the absurd warm and fuzzies, his Great Narrative is the story of designer babies with antennas plugged into their heads wandering around hyperconnected smart cities while robots take over their jobs and immigrants flood across their borders—because “climate change” and “inequality.” Call me a cynic, but the final scene of his cosmic narrative doesn’t look so great.