Yes, it happened at the Davos conference of bigwigs, insiders, and their sycophantic hangers-on, where the elite meet to munch canaps and discuss the way the world works, or, in this case, the way it isn’t working. The conference was heavy with the sort of pessimism that doesn’t usually accompany a gathering of the rich and pompous, yet instead of the usual self-congratulatory vaunting of their own virtue and “concern” for the world’s peasants, these aristocrats of the conference table were less than ebullient about the downward spiral of the global economy — which, you’ll remember, yesterday was touted as the savior of us all, but these days is portrayed as the instrument of our collective doom.
While the walkout of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan grabbed the biggest headlines — he didn’t like it when David Ignatius of the Washington Post shushed him in favor of letting former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres drone on uninterrupted — the real shocker was Vladimir Putin’s peroration, which sounded more like Ron Paul than the leader of a nation that has intruded the state into the economy and polity in a big way.
Putin likened the economic crisis the world is facing to “the perfect storm, which denotes a situation when nature’s forces converge in one point of the ocean and increase their destructive potential many times over.” This is very similar to the apocalyptic tone not only of Rep. Paul, but of gold bugs and libertarians outside the Beltway: save your candles, the dark ages are coming!
Yet our leaders were unprepared: in spite of strong indications that the crisis was breaking over our heads, only a prescient minority realized that our chickens were coming home to roost, while the “majority strove to get their share of the pie, be it one dollar or a billion, and did not want to notice the rising wave.” As the Remnant looked on, Western elites were oblivious to their onrushing doom.
Justin Raimondo [send him mail] is editorial director of Antiwar.com and is the author of An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard and Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement.