Top leaders, owners, movers and shakers of the world wide capitalist
system, gather for the 2011 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to confront
the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Theme: Shared
Norms (World Hegemony?)
Last year, French President Nicolas Sarkozy
called for an overhaul of the capitalist system. The Forum's
founder, Klaus Schwab, said the system "fails to meet its
obligations to as many as three billion people in the world.
Our civic, business and political cultures must be transformed if we
are to close this gap." Mr. Sarkozy's
overhaul would target excessive bonuses paid to bankers.
This year the new reality, according to organizers of the event,
calls for a global recovery that is more inclusive in its growth,
thus to restore our faith in its leadership.
Last year Mr. Schwab said, "...you become aware that it's not
only your own interests that count but there are
other groups who have different interests. And if you can adapt,
in the process of interaction in Davos,
your own point of view, then I think we have managed a great
This year, according to the organizers, governments and corporations
must live by a system of shared norms.
And how will these be established? Cocktail parties and
black-tie events outside the forum are where new contacts are made
and deals are brokered. Will three billion people be privy to
the norms thus established, and can any of us but wonder who will be
Nonetheless, the noble window dressing does illustrate an awareness amongst participants that faith in
the system they commandeer has dissipated. Their proffered
restoratives, also nonetheless, provide a temporary relief only and
do not acknowledge the need for fundamental change. And what
might that be?
Let's review the idea of shared norms. What do we all normally
Our humanity. Each one of us is a child of the universe, beyond
any conceivable date, back through our terrestrial evolution into the
reaches of space and the evolution of countless galaxies. A
single glass of water, the stuff of which our bodies are mostly made,
has a history no one can write. There are not nearly enough
words. Each of us is more of a miracle than most realize.
That's the norm we all share, more fundamental than money or
So now is the time, as it has always been, to realize it in everyday
life. No one can do everything. We exchange and barter,
buy and sell, create money and economic systems -- and these latter
things need not be done without regard to our humanity.
Quotations in this article are taken from the following: