Saturday, June 1, 2024

Stakeholder Capitalism by Klaus Schwab: Saving humanity is 'multinational corporation's burden'

In his book Stakeholder Capitalism: A Global Economy that Works for Progress, People and Planet, Klaus Schwab makes the case that the large private corporations should focus on taking care of the needs of all their stakeholders: customers, employees, shareholders, investors, community, society and humanity as a whole. 

There is nothing new in this thesis, which smacks of old fashioned egalitarianism. It is also an attempt to whitewash the sins of the big American and European capitalist corporations which fund Schwab’s global-scale junkets and other political and social activities. 

“Taking care of humanity” is a euphemism for exercising total power. What Schwab wants is a world ruled by his capitalist cronies, the ones who fund and attend the big junkets that his group World Economic Forum organizes in Davos. 

In the 20th century, Rudyard Kipling proposed the theory that saving humanity was the “white man’s burden.” This theory was quickly discredited as a tool for perpetuating imperialism. In the 21st century, Klaus Schwab and his cronies are proposing that saving humanity is the “multinational corporation’s burden.” 

The multinational corporations, mostly owned by the oligarchs of America and Western Europe, are supposed to save humanity, lead us all to the promised land where there is peace, prosperity and political power for all—this is Schwab’s utopian vision. 

In his Davos manifesto of 2020, Schwab said that there were only three alternatives in the world: shareholder capitalism, state capitalism and stakeholder capitalism. He said that since shareholder capitalism and state capitalism had failed, stakeholder capitalism was the only option. 

Why should anyone believe Schwab? The arguments that he presents in his book are flimsy, banal and biased in favor of big Western oligarchs. He is not convincing at all. 

Stakeholder capitalism might be the only option for American and West European oligarchs who would like to maintain their geopolitical hegemony. Why should people in Asia accept a global economic model which gives all power to Western corporations?

In his book, Schwab adopts the tone of a medieval mullah who is proclaiming the message of God to his flock. He shows no sign of wisdom and knowledge of history. He is not a deep thinker. I think that his strength lies in his networking skills and ability to organize junkets attended by the world’s top oligarchs, lobbyists, investors and politicians.

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