AMERICAversusEUROPE


CHAPTER THREE

                      THE DAVOS CULTURE (HOW THE  FEW RULE THE MANY)


THE DAVOS CULTURE
 
 ANGLE ON:
 The hierarchy that dictates the lives of the many...the confused many.
 
 From the book "American Mania" by Peter C. Whybrow, M.D.

 Some of the world's largest economies are now corporations with budgets higher than the gross national product of significant industrialized countries. The annual budget of General Motors, for example, is higher than the gross national product of Denmark. The powerful corporate voices that dominate the global marketplace are now concentrated within the boardrooms of a few hundred companies, about 40 percent of which are American.

 We have entered a new age of mercantilism. The goals of the mega-corporations of today are to exploit the world's markets, natural resources, and labor pool to the advantage of their own dominion. In the new mercantilism, the private diplomats of multinational corporations, investment houses, and policy think tanks have joined central bankers and ministers of government in the creation of a new commercial elite.

 Samuel Huntington, the Harvard political scientist, has called this powerful cosmopolitan group the "DAVOS CULTURE", after the world economic forum that is held each year in Davos, Switzerland. The world economic forum considers itself to be the major international venue for global economic strategy and elite consensus building.

 Each year business and political leaders, academic experts and media executives come together "to shape the global agenda in a unique atmosphere" The new elite champions the power of the market and the wisdom of Laissez Faire capitalism in shaping the future of all human societies. Much of their deliberation is focused on how to foster a safe commercial environment throughout the world.

 As the preeminent entrepreneurs of globalization, they live in the fast new world of computers, cellular phones, airline schedules, and international currency exchange. These are the new international nomads- those of the manic lifestyle- who set the frantic pace of contemporary business and who through their commercial power drive the daily lives of billions of people across the world. Their loyalties and personal values derive not from any traditional community or national identity but from the business ethos of capital markets.

 In the Davos culture, the expansionist dream of American commerce has been adopted as a state of mind. In commerce America is now the workshop of the global imagination. The United States seeks no empire comparable to that of Europe a century ago, for it has gained a commercial empire of the mind- a new order of the ages- where American style consumerism is mankind's preferred pursuit. This is exactly what worries many Europeans and an increasing number of Americans.