Thursday, December 26, 2013

Davos Man

From Jerry Bower in Forbes, on 'Davos Man':
A Christian Alternative To 'Davos Man' And The Federal Reserve 
[The World Economic Forum in] Davos. That’s not my phrase; Davos Man is something in the financial press, some of the columnists in the Financial Times refer to Davos Man. What is Davos Man? Well, there’s Cro-Magnon man; there’s Neanderthal man; there’s Homo sapiens, that’s you and that’s me — that’s ‘wise man’; and then there’s Davos Man, the next stage in human evolution. 
Davos Man (it’s almost always man except for a few token women) has gone to a highly prestigious university, is extremely influential, and is extremely powerful. They do not think of themselves as part of the human race; they are above the human race. C.S. Lewis writes about them in The Abolition of Man, that wonderful essay, or…his novel That Hideous Strength. National identity is really no longer a factor for them. They’re almost like virgin births: They’ve come out of something but now they’ve left it behind, no matter what their humble circumstances. They now will save the world… If only you will obey them. If you will give them power, if you will leave religion, and the traditional moral code, and nationhood, and family, and neighborhood, and entrepreneurship behind and embrace the future, the Eurozone future of a constitution that’s [tens of thousands of] words long and cannot find one sentence to acknowledge the influence of Christianity in the formation of Europe. The post-moral, post-religious, post-national, post-modern man will save you.
Davos Man is a theanthropos, he is a god-man, he is the new man of human evolution. Embrace him — obey him– and you will be secure. And the world will be stable. And the markets will settle down. And you won’t have to be afraid about food, about what you shall eat or what you shall drink or what you shall wear. You won’t have to worry about those things anymore; there’s a welfare state for those things and you can just be the cog in the great machine of humanity, which has no reference to anything outside of itself, and you’ll finally have peace, [have] shalom under Davos Man. Of course, it’s all bunk. The new man is Christ. He is the theanthropos, the God-man; He is the next stage in human evolution, not in the sense that He evolves through randomness, but in the sense that He is the advancement on Adam. Adam’s the first man; he failed, he is of the earth, earthy. Christ is the heavenly man, the God-man. He succeeded. He is of the heavens, He is heavenly. He is the new man, and so everybody incorporated into Him is the new man. By man – ‘anthropos’ in Greek [I mean] ‘human’ — not ‘Andros’, not masculine. So there’s neither Jew nor Greek, Chinese nor Western, white nor black, male nor female in the new man, who is Christ. So who’s the real new man? It’s the Christian. 
The Christian has no illusions that we’re going to save the world through economic power. We know that the world doesn’t need us to save it, because it’s already been saved. All we have to do is act like it’s already been saved — we don’t have to save it. If you try to save it, you’ll destroy it. All we have to do is walk as though it’s already been saved. 
Why am I here, why did I come? I came here because Davos Man is failing as he has never failed before in my lifetime. The more power they have, the more decisions they make, the more Basel I’s or Basel II’s or new financial architectures, the more meetings they have in Jackson Hole, the more meetings they have in Davos, Switzerland, the more meetings they have of G-20s and G-10s, the more rules they impose, [then] the more chaotic financial markets become. If somebody tries to rule the world in place of God in the name of stability, they do not produce stability. They produce chaos. We are living in the age of financial chaos because we gave in to the men who said, “Treat me like a god and I will give you stability.”
Bower, remarkably, is optimistic:
So it’s a great moment in history. It’s a great time to be alive. I can’t think of any time in history – I’m at the end of something and I’m at the beginning of something. You and I stand at a hinge point in history. A friend of mine just started a university devoted to the study of the writings of St. Augustine, who was the theologian who was there at the fall of the Roman Empire. He said, “Jerry, we’ve already started the university but what do you think of the idea?” I said, “Great timing! Rome fell; a new civilization started; you’re at just the right point in time.” 
Europe is going and it’s going fast. Christendom that has become apostate is falling faster than any civilization in history and we get to see that. And then, we see the Gospel moving East. Now we see the revitalization of civilization from the East. Paul had a vision from the spirit: “Come West! Go to Macedonia,” and he followed and it was fruitful, and [then] they disobeyed and now they’re falling. Now the spirit says: “Okay, come East!” Why was the West such a great place for the Gospel to take hold? Not because it was great but because it was so terrible. It was broken. Why did it go through the Greek world? Why did the Gospel go through the Greek world? Because they had been destroyed, obliterated by the Romans. They were a culture in decline. Northern Europe, my former people, were the lowest of the low in global civilization – so why did the Gospel go through there? Not because God said ‘I want to choose the genetically best people in the world’. He went to loser land. 
Socialism is a catastrophe. Capitalism works, more or less. It is a remarkable generator of wealth. But, as Pope Francis has been pointing out, capitalism has its evils, and in some ways the evils may pose more of a danger to us than socialism does.

No one who lives under the boot of socialism-- national or international socialism-- ultimately has any illusions about it. The dehumanization and the violence and the moral rot are obvious. But capitalism has its enticements. It can be quite alluring, like comfort food, and lead us to forget what really matters in life, which is God and our relation to Him.

Our world-- capitalist and socialist and every gradation between-- is a skirmish in a much grander spiritual war.


  1. Wow!
    Excellent piece, Mike.
    A great bit of commentary, too mate. The eggnog and turkey have not slowed you down one bit!
    Davos man, indeed.

    I would simply add that there seems to be internal culture(s) within the Davosian group. That is to say, there are intense rivalries.
    These wealthy (enough), elitist, connected, educated, √úbermenschen are not quite so superior as not to be driven by the pettiest of ambitions. Not so 'evolved' as they cannot be corrupted to the core by the most basic and ancient means.

    It is extremely refreshing to see the recognition of this classes/cliques by magazines such as Forbes and respected personalities such as yourself.

    Thanks for posting something I can sink my teeth into other than mince pie.

  2. Egnor,

    Trust you to take an incoherent article and write a commentary that has nothing to do with it.

    I agree that capitalism is a better economic system. Its opposite is Marxism, not socialism. 'Socialism' was originally coined as the opposite of 'liberal individualism'.

    Marxism is state ownership of the means of production. Socialism is organisation of individuals into communities in order to achieve common aims.

    Historically, communist states have tended to be socialist - they organise their subjects into state controlled bodies for the benefit of the state as a distortion of socialism - and capitalistic states have tended to be individualistic. Although national socialism, although capitalistic, was still socialistic - it had its Hitler Youth and SA.

    The early Christian church was socialist in that it had a sense of community, of mutual aid.

    Pope Francis is making the point that capitalism encourages excessive inequality. Inequality isn't something that should be avoided - it does encourage people to worker harder to achieve desired outcomes - but when excessive, becomes wasteful and destructive.

    The man with the most toys still dies, and all that.

    Personally, I still find Pope Francis refreshing, with his personal demeanour. Eschewing the pomp and ceremony of previous popes. Living in modest quarters in the Vatican. Driving a second hand care. Personally phoning people.

    1. backfiend says: "Personally, I still find Pope Francis refreshing..."

      Don't you see Pope Francis is trying to win you over to become a better man? You can start by stopping insulting anyone you disagree with, especially Dr. Egnor who is noble enough to never censor your lame comments.

    2. Pee pee,

      No. Pope Francis is trying to tell the truth as he sees it. When he right about something I give him credit for it. As I give credit to Egnor on the very rare occasions he's also right.

      I'm still waiting for you to be right on something, anything.

  3. I also notice that you're persisting in your exercise in bestiality, necrophilia and sadomasochism (ie flogging a dead horse...) by accidentally posting tomorrow's thread, and then removing it, on the nonexistent link between Darwinism and eugenics.

    1. I'm flattered that you keep so current on this blog. The post is for ENV, probably a couple of weeks from now. I compose on my blog and forward it. When it goes up on ENV (something I don't control) I post it here as well, to allow for comments.

      I posted it accidently before it was time. Oops.