12 January 2012

Corporate chiefs beginning to see the dark side

The world's capitalists are worried. The World Economic Forum, an organization composed of 1,000 of the world's most powerful corporations, is concerned that the financial crisis gripping the global economy may be leading us to a "dystopian future."

In its report Global Risks 2012, the Forum warns, "a society that continues to sow the seeds of dystopia—by failing to manage aging populations, youth unemployment, rising inequalities and fiscal imbalances—can expect greater social unrest and instability in the years to come." It went on to say, "Two dominant issues of concern emerged from the Arab Spring, the 'Occupy' movements worldwide and recent similar incidents of civil discontent: the growing frustration among citizens with the political and economic establishment, and the rapid public mobilization enabled by greater technological connectivity."

Although we may quarrel with the Forum's priorities and their business bias (for instance, they had little to say about the undermining of democracy by corporate power, a major concern of the "Occupy" movement), they at least seem to recognize that "rising inequalities" is now a serious problem contributing to "frustration among citizens with the political and economic establishment." We must give the capitalists a little credit—they are learning.

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