Today I'll follow up on the point I was emphasizing in my last post and even tie in the topic that I explicitly chose to pass over in the process. Last week I warned about what we might call the monolith fallacy: misconstruing the ruling class as all powerful. A popular version of this fallacy is the now widely referenced agenda of the World Economic Forum (WEF). In some circles this organization, also commonly referred to as Davos, is attributed vast powers of conspiracy and control. This is understandable when its leader is captured on video crowing about how they have infiltrated governments around the world with their own disciples. And Canada, so much in the news until recently, was particularly singled out as a success story in government capture. Of course, they wouldn't use the word "capture."

In the most extreme version of the WEF story, a host of calamities from the pandemic to the apparent fiscal vandalism visited upon countries across the Western world, even before the pandemic, dramatically accelerated ostensibly in response to it, have been orchestrated by the WEF toward achieving its goals. And these goals involve a Great Reset, which will produce a new economic and social order, built around a one world governance structure, a single (digital) currency, and an ideology imposed on the world through ESG scores assigned to anyone who wants access to capital investment. We will all embrace a simpler life, resembling universal Airbnb-ism, devoid of toxic practices like meat production and consumption. In the now famous slogans, you'll own nothing and be happy, living in your pod eating bugs.

The version of this story I find most interesting is that of financial and geopolitics analyst Tom Luongo, who describes the WEF as being the front for old European money that wants to remake the world using the EU as its model. Countries surrender their sovereignty, citizens their franchise, in deference to a transnational, globalized governance structure run by technocrats, eliminating the irrationality of messy political debate. Toward this end the United States as a hegemonic, global power must be destroyed. The devotion of large elements of the U.S. ruling class to promoting socially corrosive ideologies and suicidal fiscal and monetary policies reflects capture by Davos of the American ruling class to their agenda of gutting the U.S. in the interest of an "ethical" and "sustainable" new world order of global governance.

I hope I've done justice to the analyses here. I haven't intended to strawman anyone. If I haven't gotten everything right to the detail, I do believe this description corresponds to the fundamental spirit of the interpretation of the WEF which I want to address. As mentioned, such a view of the WEF strikes me as tending toward succumbing to the monolith fallacy. Part of what makes Luongo's analysis more interesting to me is that he acknowledges that for all the success he sees them having in capturing a faction of the U.S. ruling class - who as members in good standing of the managerial class are highly sympathetic to Davos technocracy - by no means, he argues, has the WEF fully succeeded in entirely enlisting the U.S. managerial class in the gutting of America. The reason for this failure is that not all members of the ruling class share perfectly dovetailing interests. And, interestingly, it is precisely the U.S. commercial banks, with their influence over the Federal Reserve, which he argues are most resistant to the agenda of Davos. To paraphrase one of his favorite aphorisms: do you really think Jamie Dimon is going to allow Klaus Schwab to put him out of business?

I won't go into the details of Luongo's analysis. He does a better job of explaining it than I can be expected to do, here. But for those who saw my last post, this will sound familiar. I argued then that it was precisely the big five chartered banks in Canada that pulled out the rug from under Trudeau's draconian power grab efforts with his initial announcement of extension of the Emergencies Act: two (or three?) months to flatten the convoy, you might say. I used these developments to remind my readers that the ruling class is never monolithic, but always subject to conflicts and human foibles. It is these intra-class factional divisions and conflicts which provide the spaces for broader human freedom, as captured in the idea of the circulation of elites. Today, though, I want to make a sharper point.

First, let me contextualize my remarks by observing that I remain unconvinced by the most extreme, or dramatic, version of the WEF narrative. I could explain why I'm unimpressed by some of the evidence that others find convincing, for instance, that the pandemic was deliberately planned by anyone, including the WEF. Which should not be misunderstood as me saying those claims are untrue; I'm only saying I've not seen (at least, yet) evidence that persuades me of their truth. This would be too much of a diversion from the main point, though.1 What I certainly do concede is that the WEF is a long established, well organized, highly funded, and very influential institution with a clearly articulated agenda. That agenda isn't really open to dispute; they talk about it regularly in their publications, at their events, and on their website. To dismiss that as "conspiracy theory" is nothing more than amateurish gaslighting.

Further, a very large number of people, in influential positions across business and government are adherents, to one degree or another, of the WEF agenda. Though, it is absurd to suggest that anyone who ever attended any of their events is a clandestine agent of that agenda.2 Nonetheless, such disciples do exist, and, in many cases, it may not be unfair to characterize them as effectively agents of the WEF agenda. Nor do I have any qualm with the allegation that they at least made a concerted effort to weaponize the pandemic on behalf of the WEF agenda. Klaus Schwab published a book promoting just such a strategy.

Clearly this organization and its adherents constitute a powerful faction of the globalist wing of the managerial class, and one which both realist political analysts and populist activists alike would underestimate at their peril. Having said all this, my contention in this post is that February 23, 2022, was for them, a very, very bad day.3

Two momentous events for them occurred that day. The first was Justin Trudeau's remarkable about face over his claimed intent to perpetuate his extra-constitutional and extra-judicial draconian powers through the Emergencies Act. The other was of course the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Without the promoters of the WEF agenda saying so explicitly, it isn't hard to read into that agenda a movement toward a more draconian order of governance. If the term "totalitarian" gets up the hackles of some4, it certainly seems fair to describe it as a global administrative structure of social engineering governance, backed by mass propaganda and surveillance, and surgical coercion. As we saw with the over-reaction to the January 6, 2021, riots in Washington, a coordination of reality-curation by the media oligarchs, combined with strategic intelligence and policing intervention, could effectively suppress real-time popular dissident turmoil, while criminalizing through association sentiments associated with that turmoil, and thereby cowing further expressions of such popular dissent. The suppression wasn't perfect, but it didn't have to be. It had to snuff out the moment of crisis, while raising the cultural costs of contemplating further such manifestations. That it accomplished.

In Ottawa, the situation was at first blush more challenging, but likewise presented a greater opportunity. It was more challenging because the rationale for the intervention was nothing as evident as it was in Washington: whereas in Washington the media oligarchs displayed an orgy of violent images, no such images came out of Ottawa. Try as they might to make an outrage out of draping a Canadian flag over the Terry Fox statue or discovering the appearance of urine-soaked snow (deposited by someone of some species) by the war memorial, weekend after weekend the pictures coming out of Ottawa were of joyous Canadians turning the streets in front of Parliament, amid the frigid Ontario winter, into the world's longest running street party, celebrating national pride and freedom.

None of that prevented the media oligarchs and apparatchiks of the administrative state from endlessly slurring the protestors with all the usual litany of isms and phobias. How effective these Psy-Ops were remains unclear. It certainly seemed that many who claimed to believe them were doing so willfully and strategically. In any event, however effective the slur campaign may or may not have been, they never did get their J6 moment. It's quite possible that the puppet show known as Justin Trudeau5 tolerated the "occupation" of Ottawa as long as it did precisely in the hope of getting just such a moment to legitimize the draconian measures which they wanted to implement all along.

But, while this lack of justifying violence presented a challenge to legitimizing their draconian measures, there was also an opportunity: normalizing a far lower bar for draconian intervention then had been established in Washington. If the Trudeau Show could get away with using powers that exceeded those invoked in Washington, to suppress protests that vastly fell short of the violence that seemed to legitimize the Washington actions, a far lower bar could be established for future uses of coercion to suppress expressions of populist resistance. And, at least initially, it seemed to be working.

The protestors were removed from Ottawa. Yes, there was lots of bad international publicity generated from images of harsh police actions which struck people around the world as incongruous with the image of Canada as a peaceful, democratic society. But if they could weather the storm, just a while, this could be turned into a major victory. The declaration on February 21 that the Trudeau Show intended - even after Ottawa had been cleared of protestors - to maintain their extra-constitutional, extra-judicial powers for up to several months more indicated that this was precisely the strategy they were following.

However, as I discussed last post, within two days this entire strategy had blown up in their faces. Another powerful faction of the ruling, managerial class found their interests being compromised by the actions of the Trudeau Show. If there was any power struggle at all going on behind the scenes between these two factions of the managerial class, it didn't take long for it to become evident which one, at least for now, wields the greater power and influence.

Insofar as the WEF agenda does entail this inclination to a social engineering governance backed by media reality curation and surgical coercion, the Trudeau Show's astounding about face constituted an embarrassing loss of face. To unsophisticated analysts it revealed a weakness and lack of resolve; to sophisticated analysts it revealed the Achilles' heel of the entire WEF agenda: as a ruling class, the managerial class is not a monolith. There are competing interests, with conflicting agendas, and apparently, insofar as the Trudeau Show is a proxy for the WEF (as many, including Klaus Schwab, seem to suggest), that faction of the managerial class isn't even the most powerful of those factions.

Really, what the WEF faction of the managerial class needed above all was some major event to draw international, public attention away from the embarrassing defeat they'd suffered with the Trudeau Show's comical flip flop on its initially bold muscle-flexing over the Emergencies Act. And, right on cue, Russia invaded Ukraine.

However, as valuable as this distraction from focusing on their embarrassing failure in Ottawa was for the Davos crowd, the invasion itself is an even more devastating hit to the WEF agenda - at least as it has been construed by its critics. It's much too early to be making predictions about how the war is going to turn out.6 There certainly are though outcome paths that severely damage the EU, which as mentioned above is the template for the WEF future world governance agenda. What is not in doubt though is that if the acolytes of the WEF and promoters of that faction of the managerial class thought that they were on course for a complete sweep to global control, as the pervasive imposition of draconian social controls during the pandemic may have led them to believe, they just received a rude awakening.

It turns out that there are large parts of the world, still, that want nothing to do with managerial liberalism7 and what they see as its corrosive values. And not only off in China and India, but right in Europe itself, with Russia, Hungary, and to lesser degrees others. Still, in the minds of managerial liberalism's promoters, resistance is just an obstacle to be overcome; over time, the continual advance of the social acid which is managerial liberalism effectively wears down the defenses of those quixotic stragglers to the new global order. Given enough time and cultural imperialism, so the theory goes, all conservative societies, all religious cultures, see their bulwarks erode, as managerial liberalism seeps in and takes control. The defenses collapse. What the globalist factions of the managerial class in general, and the WEF faction in particular, don't seem to have anticipated is that their archaic, presumed to be moribund, opposition might go on the offense. They say: the best defense is a good offense.

No doubt there are many ways to analyze the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but clearly one of them is that Russia was not prepared to sit by and suffer the death by a thousand tiny cuts, that so many other countries and cultures have accepted as they've slowly seen the erosion of their culture and sovereignty. Furthermore, despite the triumphalist assertions of so many spokesmen of the globalist faction of the managerial class (see Biden's State of the Union address) that the world is united in their condemnation of Russia's actions, in truth a rather big part of the world is precisely declining to join the figurative pile-on that the WEF faction of the managerial class is hoping to wish into existence. China, India, Pakistan, Georgia, Serbia, UAE, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, to name some noteworthy cases, at the time of writing, have declined to join the pile-on.

So, indeed, February 23, 2022, was a very bad day for the managerial class' globalist faction. After the embarrassing capitulation of the Trudeau Show in its aborted power grab, they were spared the withering international scrutiny and scorn which was gaining momentum by a world-historical event that has the potential to entirely gut their globalist agenda. Again, if the WEF crowd thought that they were enjoying success in the spread of the globalist agenda during the expansion of the pandemic-justified draconian measures, they've just received noticed that there's a very large part of the world not yet so keen to sign up for managerial liberalism.

In my next post, I'll flesh out further just what is at stake in these events - the war and the international aligning of forces around it - using as a foil some of the key ideas of the philosopher who has been characterized as "Putin's brain": Alexander Dugin.

So, if you haven't yet...

1 I suspect too often people resort to conspiracy-based explanations when some form of emergent order, arising from a specific alignment of interests, biases and dispositions, provides a more parsimonious explanation. An example of this kind of argument may be teased out of remarks I offered elsewhere in response to a commentator to this blog.

2 To suggest, for instance, that Vladmir Putin or Viktor Orbán are such agents strikes me as resorting to preposterous speculation about 7-D chess.

3 Okay, obviously, this timing conceit is somewhat self-centric. I appreciate that things happened on different days for people living in different time zones - including for Ukraine and Russia. But don't ruin the fun of my dramatic device.

4 Frankly, I believe that is the technically correct word, but I understand why some people have sincere objections, given the association of the term by those like Hannah Arendt to the murderous regimes of the mid-20th century.

5 To repeat my observation from last post: it is not clear to me that Justin Trudeau runs (or is capable of running) anything, nor that he is anything more than a well packaged front boy for those who are really devising the strategy and making the real decisions from within the PMO (the Prime Minister's Office). For an analysis of how political power in Canada has increasingly concentrated in the PMO, see: Donald Savoie, Governing from the Centre: The Concentration of Power in Canadian Politics (Toronto ; Buffalo: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division, 1999).

6 That was truer when I wrote the first draft of this post. It now is looking more and more like Russia is handily accomplishing its military objectives. What the long-term political consequences will be though are still to be determined.

7 Managerial liberalism is the successful strategy of the managerial class that emerged from the mid-20th century, when the other managerial class strategies (i.e., communism, fascism and Nazism) failed so decisively. I elaborate all this in detail in my must-read book, The Managerial Class on Trial. However, I will also expand on these ideas in my next post. Assuming, of course, some other world-historical event doesn't distract me.