by Pepe Escobar, via Strategic Culture
So the annual Bilderberg meeting placidly came and went behind heavily secured doors (and fence) at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski in Dresden – conveniently upstaged by the murky story of a US-born Muslim and registered Democrat, with a steady job in global security firm 4GS and no previous criminal record, suddenly converting into an alleged Daesh-inspired urban jihadi unleashing hell on LGBT targets.
Some of the usual Masters of the Universe – but mostly their selected paperboys – did hit Bilderberg in a jolly Goldman Sachs-meets-Google mix. Feel free to enjoy drawing the possible connections among the official participants, all of them lavishly welcomed by organizer Airbus.
What really matters at Bilderberg is what is discussed only by selected masters and messengers behind closed doors – not those steering committee «sessions» with invited guests (and that includes media reps from The Economist, Bloomberg, the FT or the Wall Street Journal). Bilderberg is like a redux, ultra-selected version of Davos, more akin to the meetings of the Trilateral Commission.
Bilderberg follows an extremely strict «Chatham House Rule»; if you are a participant you may use any information you receive from your fellow gatherers, as long as you don’t reveal your source. That’s pretty much how the Beltway/Wall Street axis operates.
So what do these up to 150 exponents of what Zygmunt Bauman would define as the cream of the crop of (transatlantic) liquid modernity elites – two thirds from Western Europe, the rest from North America – talk about?
Predictably, what finance ministers and mega-corporate CEOs talk about; the preservation of what Immanuel Wallerstein describes as the «world system», as in turbo-financial capitalism; and the necessity to change a few things so nothing substantial changes at all. Think of it as seven-star groupthink.
As my (European diplomat) mole told me, this year some key items in the New World Order (NWO) agenda were imperatively discussed, such as how to block both Donald Trump in the US and Brexit in the UK by all means necessary, as well as how to shove the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) over European public opinion’s throats, also by all means necessary.
But other globalist imperatives were as relevant, such as the creation of a virtual online passport – an Internet ID – without which no one will be able to say, or buy, anything. The excuse for it is to promote «cybersecurity». The idea, not surprisingly, came out of the Orwellian European Commission (EC).
Plutocracy X precariat
It’s been a long and winding road since the inaugural 1954 meeting at the Hotel De Bilderberg in Oosterbeek, Netherlands. Yes, the NWO does conduct business at Bilderberg, as much as it did in the Trilateral. Even the official spin – we discuss megatrends and «major» global issues – applies. So conspiracy theorizing is idle. The point is to infer how and for what purpose this politico-economic Valhalla will implement items in the agenda – from progress in artificial intelligence (AI) to cybersecurity’s new frontier.
But it’s not only about deals. A key theme this year was the precariat – as in British economist Guy Standing’s definition of «alienated, anomic, anxious and angry» masses who are terrified of losing their jobs and plunging into an even more miserable life.
If we go by their general description – «…the perpetual part-timers, the minimum-wagers, the temporary foreign workers, the grey-market domestics paid in cash… the techno-impoverished whose piecemeal work has no office and no end, the seniors who struggle with dwindling benefits, the indigenous people who are kept outside, the single mothers without support, the cash laborers who have no savings, the generation for whom a pension and a retirement is neither available nor desired» – that accounts for the overwhelming majority of the global urban proletariat/lower-middle class.
Across the industrial West, that ties in with the swelling electoral mass supporting Trump in the US and assorted right-wingers in Europe. No wonder the 0.00001% is alarmed. Not that their high-speed liquid modernity routine allows them to know anything substantial about the precariat’s ordeals – even as the defining battle of the times is how the plutocracy will contain those rising proletarian masses.
Anyway, some Bilderberg attendees at least offered a delicious glimpse of revolving door interpolations. Picture disgraced former CIA director and Iraqi surge superstar David Petraeus now shining as an employee of billionaire Henry Kravis of KKR, who is linked to senior fellow from the Hudson Institute Marie-Josée Kravis, actually a board member of massive French advertising and PR company Publicis and a director of LVMH. CIA-KKR-LVMH; what’s not to like? How subversive-chic.
Picture academic cheap shot imperial cheerleader Niall Ferguson, a quaint «professor of history, Harvard University», but mostly a board member of boutique investment outfit AMG (managing $642 billion in assets), his jaw dropped to sub-oceanic depths at the prospect of spending four days locked up with his idol, nonagenarian war criminal Henry Kissinger; Ferguson is of course Kissinger’s self-anointed biographer.
Picture a nice, little, cozy, hardcore weaponizing session grouping Italy’s arms giant Finmeccanica, defense giant Honeywell (engine builders for Reaper drones), Saab (via major stakeholder Jacob Wallenberg) and with Alex Karp of data giant Palantir, backed by the CIA, serving the martinis.
Do you accept PayPal?
Bilderberg of course has traditionally been a prime lobby for Big Oil and Too Big To Fail (TBTF) Banking. So it goes without saying that Bilderberg’s official candidate in the US presidential election is Hillary Clinton.
But Bilderberg is now also about Silicon Valley majors. Here’s PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel – also a board member of Facebook and chairman of Palantir – engaging in a post-modern definition of transparency: «I think we have a lot of problems in our society … We need to find ways to talk to people where not everything is completely transparent. Libertarianism is not synonymous with radical transparency. That’s often an argument the Stasi would make, in East Germany, where everything had to be monitored by society. And I think often you have the best conversations in smaller groups, where not everything is being monitored; that’s how you get very honest conversations and how you can think better about the future».
So there it is. Transparency is all about shades of grey, and who controls the shades. Which brings us to some things that were not – transparently – discussed at Bilderberg, and still affect us all.
Few Atlanticists – but certainly not serious movers and shakers – noticed what happened to JPMorgan Chase’s CEO Jamie Dimon’s plan to create a code of best practice for US boardrooms, as in implementing real corporate governance.
Nothing. Nada. Zilch. The idea was essentially scotched by $2.2 trillion asset management firm Fidelity. It’s always essential to remember that Fidelity (CEO: Abigail Johnson), BlackRock (CEO: Larry Fink), Capital Group (CEO: Tim Armour) and Vanguard (CEO: Bill McNabb) have tremendously serious holdings on all major banks that compose the Federal Reserve, not to mention a who’s who of massive US corporations.
In a nutshell; these Big Four ultimately control the US Fed, as they ultimately control major US banks and substantial chunks of Western corporations. These indeed are among the prime Masters of the Universe – or what Adam Smith, way back in 1776, called «the masters of mankind». Transparency? They are even less transparent than Bilderberg. They don’t even need to go to Bilderberg. They want it all to remain this way.
And they don’t accept PayPal.