Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Arpad Szakolczai
International Political Anthropology
‘On Imbecility as a Contemporary Mode of Exercising Power: Davos Thinking as a Version of Modern Gnosticism’,
Optional Fields
Gnosticism, Eric Voegelin, creative destruction, World Economic Forum, Great Reset
Taking up Eric Voegelin’s ideas on modern Gnosticism, this article argues that the contemporary obsession with “creative destruction”, which from economic theory and the business schools through COVID escaped into the political sphere, could be considered as an imbecile modality of Gnosticism. Central to Gnosticism and similar ideas, like neo-Platonism, hermeticism, and alchemy was a belief about the saving power of abstract and decontextualised knowledge. With modernity, and especially in our days, such ideas not only moved from occult undercurrents into the mainstream but gained a particular and systematic focus on destruction as the way to pursue in order to then apply universal and decontextualised knowledge on a global scale. Given that the current, manifold crisis situation is due exactly to the previous application of such techniques of creative destruction, characteristic not only of free-market business schools but also of various Marxist regimes, this implies not learning from past mistakes committed, thus is a modality of imbecility. The article analyses in some detail the 2020 book The Great Reset, co-authored by Klaus Schwab, founding organiser of the Davos World Economic Forum, perhaps the single most powerful and strictly non-responsible political platform in the globe.
Grant Details