Elites and Peasants

News: Commentary
by Lincoln Brown  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  June 21, 2022   

What is 'stakeholder capitalism'?

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The World Economic Forum, whose disciples can be found in governments throughout the world, advocates for an economic system known as "stakeholder capitalism" — but what exactly is stakeholder capitalism, and why is it a pillar of the WEF's agenda?

In June 2020, Klaus Schwab, the founder of the WEF, wrote an article titled "Now Is the Time for a 'Great Reset.'" In it, he claimed:

The world must act jointly and swiftly to revamp all aspects of our societies and economies, from education to social contracts and working conditions. Every country, from the United States to China, must participate; and every industry, from oil and gas to tech, must be transformed. In short, we need a "Great Reset" of capitalism.

You've probably heard the term "Great Reset" before. Perhaps you've heard it dismissively labeled a conspiracy theory, but, as you can see, it comes directly from Schwab himself, who argues that current economic models fail to address the challenges that humanity is facing (namely, that of climate change, an issue the WEF takes very seriously). For instance, one WEF video claims that if nothing is done to combat climate change, the state of Florida will be underwater by the year 2100.

YouTube: WEF video
 

The WEF solution to the challenges? Stakeholder capitalism.

Another Schwab article explains that "stakeholder capitalism is a form of capitalism in which companies seek long-term value creation by taking into account the needs of all their stakeholders, and society at large." In other words, stakeholder capitalism is the idea that businesses must consider the interests not just of shareholders, but society at large, placing societal needs above profit. Customers, suppliers, governments and local communities (among others) are considered legitimate stakeholders because their respective microcosms are impacted by businesses.

The WEF believes climate change is an imminent existential threat.

This sounds noble — even Catholic — at first blush. After all, businesses ought to be ethically responsible. However, the question arises, Who determines what is in society's best interest, and how is this vision to be achieved?

The WEF believes it gets to decide, and it has determined that climate change is an imminent existential threat to humanity that requires a reset of our economic systems.

Schwab's article continues:

The planet's health, we now know, is dependent not just on individual or national decisions, but on the sum of the decisions made by actors from around the world. If we are to safeguard the planet for future generations, every stakeholder will therefore need to take responsibility for its [sic] part in it. … It is incumbent on all of us, as global citizens, to optimize the well-being of all.

Basically, when the WEF refers to "stakeholders," it simply means every single human being and the planet itself. In other words, your decisions contribute to climate change; therefore, you must "take responsibility" and adjust your life accordingly. Never mind that climate change predictions never come true. Who could forget Prince Charles' 2009 prediction that we had 96 months left to save the world from climate change?

What does the WEF's proposed "responsibility" look like? It's shifting away from fossil fuels to "green" energy sources such as wind and solar power. It's reducing your consumption of meat, making up the difference with a diet of insects. It's buying an expensive electric car that must be continually recharged for operability. And potentially, it's having your "carbon footprint" tracked by your government.

News Report: Pope Francis, Biden and the CCP
 

At the recent WEF annual meeting in Davos, the president of Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba, J. Michael Evans, told attendees that an "individual carbon-footprint tracker" is being developed. In my home state of South Australia, the state government recently declared a "climate emergency." Perhaps Evans intends this technology to be for voluntary use, but any government that believes (or wants you to believe) there is a "climate emergency" will likely be eager to make such technology mandatory. It's an "emergency," after all.

'You'll own nothing and you'll be happy' is not consonant with the Church's teaching.

There is a grain of truth in the stakeholder model presented by the WEF. It even seemingly channels Pope Benedict XVI's encyclical Caritas in Veritate, wherein the pontiff writes:

Today's international economic scene, marked by grave deviations and failures, requires a profoundly new way of understanding business enterprise. ... Outsourcing of production can weaken the company's sense of responsibility towards the stakeholders — namely the workers, the suppliers, the consumers, the natural environment and broader society — in favor of the shareholders.

Benedict rightly observes that a business's moral duty is not merely to its shareholders but to the common good. The Church condemns both communism and unrestrained capitalism that places the laws of the market above human needs. Governments and employers have ethical obligations to citizens and workers to prevent such dehumanization. Indeed, paragraph 2425 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church provides:

Regulating the economy solely by centralized planning [e.g., communism] perverts the basis of social bonds; regulating it solely by the marketplace fails social justice, for there are many human needs which cannot be satisfied by the market. Reasonable regulation of the marketplace and economic initiatives, in keeping with a just hierarchy of values and a view to the common good, is to be commended.

Is the WEF promoting "reasonable regulation of the marketplace and economic initiatives"? No, its ideas are based on questionable motives, tied up with the fiction of man-made climate change. They're not in keeping "with a just hierarchy of values and a view to the common good," for their ideas would, in practice, pervert the basis of social bonds by diminishing individual agency in the name of a manufactured crisis — a convenient excuse for aspiring tyrants to seize control. Their socialistic view of the common good, which they once promoted with the slogan "you'll own nothing and you'll be happy," is not consonant with the Church's teaching, which defends the right to private property.

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Pope Benedict XVI 

The faithful's just skepticism that climate change poses an existential threat doesn't mean Catholics don't strive to conserve the environment. The Church holds that we have a duty to protect the earth and to use it responsibly. As Benedict XVI wrote in Caritas in Veritate, "The environment is God's gift to everyone, and, in our use of it, we have a responsibility towards the poor, towards future generations and towards humanity as a whole." Like true social justice, true environmentalism, or good stewardship of creation, is a profoundly Catholic concept — but pseudo-scientific apocalyptic fears, tyrannical declarations of "emergencies" and talk of carbon-footprint tracking (and all corollary restrictions) are not.

The WEF elites are false prophets of doom, peddling fear of an imminent disaster to gain power. That is how cults operate. Catholics should be alert to this and understand that when they hear the WEF talk about stakeholder capitalism, it's simply sugarcoated language for introducing draconian laws and regulations at the corporate level.

Davos elites claim to be saving the world with stakeholder capitalism, but all that really means is restrictions will be placed on your life under the guise of a climate emergency. While the language they use may sound Catholic, their vision of a good society differs greatly from that of the Church.

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