I recently attended the World Economic Forum’s Fifty-Fourth Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. The theme was “rebuilding trust,” and today, I can truly say that I’ve never been more hopeful about the future of democracy.
That’s not because I was impressed by the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ shock at “the systemic undermining of principles and standards” or convinced by Chinese Communist Party Premier Li Qiang’s case for “all sides” to “treat each other with sincerity and work in the same direction.” Nor was I particularly persuaded by Professor Klaus Schwab’s call for more “open, transparent conversations” as I watched him and his friends set the agenda for the Great Reset while hobnobbing in a remote town in the Swiss Alps.
The reason I am confident about the future of democracy is because these elites are profoundly unimpressive. For seventy-two hours, I watched speakers who supposed themselves to be the most powerful people in the world fret about a “trust” they knew they’d lost and wouldn’t get back. They represented multinational companies and NGOs—and had nice titles like “Undersecretary,” “Co-chairman,” and “Chief Sustainability Officer.” But few had started a successful company, taken a real risk, or even won an election. These were the managerial elite—the mediocre technocrats who held the real power in Communist and leftist regimes alike.
And I am not the only one to realize the emperor has no clothes. Around the world, and in America in particular, more and more people are seeing through the façade. We know the Davoisie don’t want to “rebuild trust”—they want to control our lives. And more importantly, we know they only have as much power as we give them.
They’re old. They’re tired. They’re scared. And they should be. Their time is up. That’s what I told them, right to their faces.
But they won’t relinquish their weak grip on power voluntarily. So how can we depose them from their lavish throne in the Alps?
The answer is a simple, timeless motto: “Live not by lies.”
That was the title of an essay the great Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn released on the day of his arrest fifty years ago this February, and it is as true today as when it was first written.
The heart of the essay is Solzhenitsyn’s insistence that it is not the corrupt elites “who are guilty, but we ourselves.” Because the people “wait inertly” for the regime to collapse while accepting and repeating the lies that give it power.
Of course, Solzhenitsyn was writing about the Soviet Union, but the time he predicted would come—“when our thoughts can be read, and our genes altered”—has arrived.
Just look at our country. Are we not constantly commanded to comply and affirm lies dished out by the ruling elite—be they in government, academia, or corporate America?
Consider how often people accept the delusion that a man can become a woman. Think about how many “gender affirming” procedures are conducted every day, how every new building features an “all gender” bathroom, or how many folks include their pronouns on their resumes or in their social media profiles. The same people who affirm this farce then have the nerve to turn around and say, “follow the science.”
Finally, to take on the favorite subject of the Davoisie, mull over how much time and money we spend trying to stop “climate change”—a meaningless term itself. Year after year, government bureaucrats, ESG fund managers, and college professors lecture us to stop innovating, stop building things, and stop having children because sea levels are going to rise dramatically, and the world is going to end in a flood.
It isn’t true. The Good Book says as much. And our leaders must stop going along like it is.
In 2024, our world will not end, but the decadent world of Davos will collapse. They maintain power as long as their lies are affirmed and their surrogates elected. If “We the People” wake up and simply change course, the game is up.
This is the year we’re going to take our power back and restore self-governance once again. We’re going to reject the lie that the border is secure and that states can’t resist illegal immigration. We’re going to stop obeying the so-called “experts” for their opinions on public health, public safety, the environment, sexual ethics, and the rest. We’re going to oust bureaucrats from our government. And we’re certainly not going to ask anyone from Davos, the EU, the UN, the WTO, or the WHO for their permission or advice.
Together, the American people possess more talent, drive, courage, and honesty than the managerial elite represented at Davos and in Washington, D.C. All we need to do is refuse to “rebuild trust” with those who don’t deserve it and choose to “live not by lies.” To quote Solzhenitsyn, “We will be amazed at how swiftly and helplessly the lies fall away.”
This piece originally appeared in The National Interest https://nationalinterest.org/feature/what-i-learned-davos-future-democracy-secure-208938