The Vulnerability Of The Elites

Tyler Durden's picture

In a post-financial crisis world, the lack of viable international leadership is potentially troubling. In 2013, the WEF believes, this breakdown of international coordination will go increasingly local: in such a world, governments will focus more on their domestic agendas, which will create new risks in and of itself. Most importantly, the growing vulnerability of elites makes effective public and private leadership that much more difficult to sustain. Leaders of all kinds are becoming more vulnerable to their constituents, generating more reactive and short-term governance. Whether one looks at the dismal approval ratings of the U.S. Congress or the impact that more open flows of information is having on the Chinese ruling elite, it is clear that people are becoming more and more uninspired by their governments. When it comes to unemployment, the widening disparity of wealth, or environmental degradation, highly complex or even intractable issues set politicians up for failure in the eyes of their constituents. Underperformance erodes elites’ legitimacy, making it that much harder for them to lead effectively. Against this backdrop, a host of key 2013 risks and opportunities takes shape.


Vulnerability Of The Elites by

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Uber Vandal's picture

Perhaps there is a better word or phrase for the "elites" than "elite"


That sums it all up nicely.


IridiumRebel's picture

cocksuckers? Selfish assholes? I got more......

Uber Vandal's picture

Mine is a play on the unfortunately ubiquitous phrase "gun nut".


A Lunatic's picture

I don't believe anything I read anymore. What a cruel fucking world we've created for ourselves; and we had so much promise.........

Lucius Cornelius Sulla's picture

So the Senate is trying to triple H1-B visas and give citizenship to illegals.  Yeah, right ... the elites are really on the run </sarc>

ReptilianSlaveMaster's picture

I kind of find the recent pro obesity, pro gay, apro freeloader/food stamp nature in humanity  alarming- kind of makes you wonder if the future is just going to be naked guy bumming each other for food stamps in a chaotic disorder mess - debt brother 2020

Poor Grogman's picture

"In a post-financial crisis world, the lack of viable international leadership is potentially troubling"

That statement depends entirely on ones perspective...

IridiumRebel's picture

This one is for the plebes!

The Gooch's picture

Get a passport!

Change your name to Simon Bond!

Move your gold offshore, to various allied nation vaults!

Move to Ecuador!

Start a dairy farm!

Those "elites" will never find you!

Live happily ever after, until...

lasvegaspersona's picture

Yes Obama COULD do a lot of good things. BUT he seems insistent upon starting a civil war by enacting an unconstitutional gun he'll be busy with that for a while.

Cookie's picture

WEF??? Any long time ZH reader could have knocked this out in an afternoon

knukles's picture

Another NWO propaganda conduit, no?

newengland's picture

The NDAA passed by O'bomba on New Year's Eve 2012 is intended to deal with any eventuality. Meanwhile, CONgress allows it, and pockets the proceeds of the gangster bankster class which it bails out with taxpayer money and labor.

Foward, comrades! To the gulags...

Interesting that the same santimonious 'educated fools' and 'useful idiots' who damned Bush have nothing to say about O'bomba expanding the fascist regime.

knukles's picture

Oh yes they do!

I point these types of things out and they say; "It's different."  Or "Bush did it, too."

Any excuse under the sun to justify his majesty's actions

Fucking Ridiculous

Seer's picture

Anyone who thinks that IF Obama didn't want to sign it that he could have has rocks in their head.  This is the fucking MIC for fuck's sake!

H.R. 1540 (112th): National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012
Apr 14, 2011 (112th Congress, 2011–2013)
Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon [R-CA25]
1 cosponsors (1D) (show) Smith, Adam [D-WA9]
Seer's picture

Because I cannot ask those 'educated fools' that you refer to I'll just ask you: Did YOU  say anything about Bush's crimes?

I can at least say that I've opposed all of these fuckers' empire-building practices.

newengland's picture

Opposed, how? By excusing O'bomba because he came after Bush? Waa waa waa. More whining from arm chair scribblers.

Big Brother loves you. Keep watching the main scream media.

Seer's picture

WTF did you bother asking a question that you already had ((fabricated an) the answer for?

I have no need to engage with silly people.

Thanks for playing.

Wanton1's picture

Deep Underground Military Bases


q99x2's picture

Their closing paragraph was a doozey. Obama's re-election and a brighter United States. Were they implying nuclear warfare in the US?

With papers like that...we sure are in a world of hurt.

Seer's picture

I think that paper is the least of our problems...  Being totally dependent on a system of perpetual growth on a finite planet is a bit more of a danger...  And, really, anyone sitting around waiting for TPTB to announce this needs to reevaluate their thinking process.

gwar5's picture

When things really start to go tits up they'll hit the accelerator over the cliff so the elites can claim we need them to lead us to food and water. Slow collapses give people too much time to think and blame and become self-sufficient.


Rogue Trooper's picture

Thank you Seer..... from the other side of the world many of us are having these conversations.  One person at a time folks are slowly walking up.

It's ironic but because Obama promised so much he is only creating disappointment.  TPTB should have gone with Romney.  He would have been Bush IV and then there would have been hope that the progressives would be back in 2016 and the game could last longer... Playin' with the proles mind it could back fire on 'em.

RockyRacoon's picture

It's worth posting in its entirety:

We Don't Need Them

by Joe Carpenter

November 2, 2005

But the proles, if only they could somehow become conscious of their own strength, would have no reason to conspire. They needed only to rise up and shake themselves, like a horse shaking off flies. If they chose, they could blow the party to pieces tomorrow morning. Surely, sooner or later, it must occur to them to do it? And yet . . . -- George Orwell, 1984

I've never understood the idea of speaking truth to power. The truth, surely, is that in almost all countries of the world, political and economic systems are designed to benefit only the rich and powerful, at the expense of those with less money and power. This is how the world works, and I see no reason to think that the powerful don't already understand that. After all, they designed it; they maintain it.

They steal our money, sacrifice our children in their wars, send the poorest and most victimized among us off to jail for petty mistakes, and crush those of us who might present a real threat to the arrangement. They know we don't like it. They don't care. They don't need to care. They also control most of our avenues of dissent. It's a very simple, very elegant design.

Meanwhile, we get angry and toddle off to tell the truth to the powerful. We have been telling them the truth for centuries. We travel to their great palaces by the hundreds of thousands, to express our anger and despair. We shout and sing and stomp and whine. We threaten. We plead. Sometimes we're beaten up, or sent to jail. It's a tradition of great courage and personal sacrifice, no doubt.

We go to tell them to stop using our money and our children and our energy and intelligence to further rob and rape and murder us. We tell them to be more respectful and compassionate. We're like angry but terrorized children, anxiously scolding our stern, all-powerful parents. And, in the end, we look to the Democrats or to some congressional panel or to the Supreme Court and demand that they come to our aid. As my friend Harry puts it: “We're left in the terrible position of trying to decide which elite group will be less likely to prey on us.”

Well, the government and their pals are not going to stop using and abusing us. They're not going to stop preying on us. They cannot stop! Republican or Democrat, they are rich and powerful precisely because they prey on us. They are rich because they rob us. They're robbing us right this minute. They are powerful because they dominate every aspect of our lives, because they've taken control of all the major social, political, economic, and communication systems in the world. These systems were designed to increase their wealth and power by taking both from all the rest of us.

But, we are not children, and they are not our parents. We're not little people and they are not big people. We're not insignificant and they are not significant. In fact, we do not need them.

They are very few and we, here in the US alone, are roughly 300 million. We don't need to rush out to tell the few that they are abusing the many. They already know that. We need to stand upright and walk out to tell the many that they are being slowly devoured by the few, for -- incredibly, they do not know. We need to look to our next door neighbors, and to their next door neighbors and to the folks all along the block. We need to tell the truth to each other -- for we are the answer.

While hundreds of thousands of anti-war demonstrators gathered in Washington, DC, back in September, hundreds of millions of American citizens went about their business without even a vague awareness of the protests. The media to which most of them attend barely mention such things -- obviously. And, most Americans don't live in the DC area, so they didn't see a thing.

Most Americans live in my neighborhood, or in your neighborhood. Most Americans eat breakfast right next to you in the local cafe. Most Americans get their car fixed at the same garage as you and I do. Most Americans visit my library, my bookstore, my grocery store, my local park -- or yours.

But the rich and powerful have convinced us that we cannot -- we must not -- communicate with the people we can see and hear and touch, right here, right now. They have convinced us that we need to travel to some government office to persuade elected officials and bureaucrats to change our world for us. The government and media drone on, endlessly, hypnotically, and convince us that if we just elect the right leaders, they'll talk to our next door neighbor for us.

Government programs, they promise us, will fix that gaping hole in the pavement right out beyond your driveway. Government will help poor Mrs. Wilson, languishing in the old, dilapidated house right across the street. Government will settle your dispute with that family right down the block. Government will take care of your neighbors who can't escape the hurricane:

'It's OK, just hop in the SUV and go, we'll take care of everything!' Government will help; government will heal; government will bring us together.

That's not going to happen, of course. The elites are too busy dividing us, setting us against each other, exacerbating every animosity, every misgiving, every anxiety, however slight. They insinuate themselves into every new crack and crevice and offer convoluted, expensive legislation and bureaucracies to bring us back together again. 'There oughta be a law,' says the old complaint. Well, there will be, to be sure -- but it will just make things worse.

We're all looking in the wrong place for reason and compassion and justice. It's not anywhere to be found in Washington, DC. It's not in governments or state houses. It's not there in that prestigious gathering of experts and big brains.

It's right here. It's wherever you are, and it's right next door and it's everywhere along your street and all around your neighborhood. It's in the cars that pass you on the roadways and in the shops where you buy your dog or cat food. There's no need to travel a thousand or even a hundred miles. It's not necessary to make the climb up to the penthouse. Our hope, our possibility -- our only hope, our only possibility, lies in the ordinary people who compose our world, who are the very stuff of our lives.

Want to change the world? Tell the truth to the plumber. Begin with the lady who hands you the stamps at the post office. Talk with the checkout people at the grocery store. Chat with the waiter at your favorite cafe. Speak with the cops who sit down at the next table. Gab for a few minutes with the guy who changes your oil or with the elementary school teacher with whom you've been discussing your child's future. Lean out of your window while stopped at the light and tell the truck driver some truth he's certain to recall and ponder.

Feel the need to march? Gather a bunch of folks and wander about your neighborhoods with signs and leaflets. When people walk by, stop and gab with them. When that huge guy with the Hemi-powered Ram pulls alongside and tells you to 'love it or leave it,' ask him to stay and talk. Smile, offer your hand, make nice. He's one of us. He'd make a wonderful ally. When a carload of high school jocks slows to offer some single-fingered communication, hand them some cold colas and tell them about the probability of a draft. They're our people, too. Convince yourself that this is so, then convince them.

Get together with like-minded people and think of simple, brief, meaningful ways to communicate with the folks all around you. Think about little things, easy things, immediate things. Think about what you can do together, and what you might accomplish alone. Think about your real day-to-day life, and how many opportunities there are to educate and enlighten, every day. Blab and babble and blunder and tell the truth, one ordinary person at a time. We're all ordinary people, and we are our only hope. Tell the truth to the guy who pumps out the septic tank -- he's one of us! Forget about telling the government, forget about the hot shots.

To the extent that we believe we need them, exactly to that extent will we continue our dependence upon ruthless, murderous plunderers, people entirely opposed to our needs and deepest longings. As long as we believe we need them, exactly that long will we live life on our knees, begging -- as Mickey Z. says -- for crumbs from their table.

The depth of our apparent need is the measure of their height above us. The nightmare of our poverty is our dream that they have a right to take our money. The illusion of our impotence is the chimera of their monstrous strength. We shall be slaves as long as we're convinced that we have masters, and not one moment longer.

Time to wake up, time to grow up. We're not children. We do not need to ask permission to live like sane, reasonable, thoughtful, compassionate human beings. We do not need to beg or bow or kneel. We do not need to look to government or to experts or to the rich and famous. Whatever we need, we can get it ourselves. Whatever we want to stop -- we can stop it ourselves. Whatever must be done, we can do it ourselves. We do not need them; we need each other.

All else is distraction and delusion.

Joe Carpenter is a guy living in Southern Oregon who has traveled extensively and kept his eyes open. He can be reached at:


IamtheREALmario's picture

Hey, I am willing to give it a try without elitists thinking they own the world, without wars, without debt slavery, without price fixing and power abuse through fiat money creation, without the overthrow of local government and assassinations, without descrimination, without captured lying propagandist media, without continous and intrusive spying, without discrimination, without a pokice state, without unfair and random laws, without drug running, without secrecy, without rigged markets, without suppressed technology, without hidden history  ....

Yup willing to give it a try without shithead elitists.

Zwelgje's picture

"There is no try. Do or not do."


ebworthen's picture

Wait...someone presented that paper at the World Ponzinomic Forum at Davos's Headquarters?

Were the Daleks there?

Does Soros know?


sitenine's picture

Wait. There's actually a REASON our 'leaders' aren't leading beyond the fact that they are self righteous, self serving, ideological and pathological liars?

AgShaman's picture


What happened to the pretty colors?

AnAnonymous's picture

Different kinds of elite can not be lumped together.

The Chinese elite are submitted to different pressures than 'american' nations' elite. Differences that can lead the Chinese elite to be sentenced to death in some cases.
A vulnerable position indeed.

'Americanism' has provided the 'american' elite with extreme resilience.

The trouble for elite like the Chinese elite is they have not yet decentralized the autority of power exercise. They are therefore responsible.

In 'american' nations, responsibility is diluted.

The King class, the 'american' middle class empowers their elite but do not take responsibility for execution of power.

The elite, as simple executive staff that answers to orders from their masters, take no responsibility for their acts.

A very resilient structure is given.

The article also misportrays the 'american' middle class.

The 'american' middle class are served by their elite. Their elite is just front men to them.

So you can get 'american' middle classers pushing up for wars ('american' middle classers are addicted to war) and when the war is triggered, claim the whole responsibility lays with the elite.

Duplicity is a key word in 'americanism'

The staged discontment of the 'american' middle class to their elite is just that, staged. It does not represent the empowerment bind that exists between an 'american' middle class and its elite.

And usually, it ends with elite being rewarded, even though supposedly, they were hated by We The People.

Most chinese elite wish they get 'americanism' as soon as they can so they can be rewarded rather than punished.

dunce's picture

The WEF failed to recognize that obama is the single most destabilizing factor in the world today which renders every thing they say as piffle. Even without that major flaw ,every point was hedged with if, and or but. Reading it was waste of time other than i learned not to read any their future platitudes.

slackrabbit's picture

"Leaders of all kinds are becoming more vulnerable to their constituents"


What do you mean I actually have to give two fucks about my voters? When did this happen? 


but the best bit of this self congratulatory wankfast is

'Growing disenchantment with political leaders may discourage the best and brightest from entering politics in the first place.'


what fucking arrogance...

luckylongshot's picture

The problem is not so much the elites but the disproportional amount of power that the elites have. One possible solution is to focus on the power rather than on the elites. By reversing the flow of power from the periphary to a small elite in the middle and ensuring power is as widely spread as possible a better system is possible. Most major episodes of crimes against humanity occur when too much power is in the hands of too few pwoplw.

verum quod lies's picture

After reading it I feel the need to first summarize what is said and implied, then I'd like to take a shower as I now feel dirty. Here are the key points to take away from it (i.e., the "elites" perspective as of today):

1) The centralization of power & one world government good, decentralization & nationalism is always bad.

2) Capitalism is now and going forward to be blamed for anything bad that happens; and it would be a crying shame if China blew up and that "model" was discredited.

3) The Internet is bad and needs to be controlled/regulated; for example, "a cyber Cuban crisis will lead to a code of conduct before we run into a cyber Pearl Harbor." Specifically, they are fearful of the Internet's ability to quickly provide the truth and would hate to see, for example, a Wiki leaks type expose of say the red Chinese's "leaders" graft and corruption.

4) They do not want to allow a country to leave the Euro zone because of their fear of "contagion". In short, we need to use the crisis to grab the brass ring of one federal government/"fiscal union" while the getting is good; and like a roach motel once you are in you only get out by being dead (i.e., economically and/or possibly physically).

5) Barry Soetoro is good and they are relying on him to continue globalization while most other elites back off and lick their wounds.

6) Slowly boiling the frog in the pot is the most effective strategy: "incremental steps are still steps in the right direction." In short, back off for now (i.e., except Barry) and look to not waste any crisis to push the memes of nationalism bad, capitalism bad, and overall things are so complex that we must keep globalizing trade and putting "reasonable" restrictions on things that are clearly out of control like the Internet or man caused "global warming".

Overall, I found it a useful read in that it shows where they are currently focused and will likely focus in the next year or two ahead. Nothing good for freedom lovers and Americans especially (i.e., there is some good news in that they are currently baffled by their seeming inability to push for more centralization of power and that, at least to me, is somewhat funny), but it's better to know than endlessly speculate and possibly the information can be used to effect countermeasures.


Fedaykinx's picture

/golf clap.  nice summation.  none of it was terribly surprising, the article just stated the obvious really.  they should be nervous that obumbler is going to go too far too fast though, some of us are feeling "kinda froggy."

kurt's picture

I say, sir, I like the cut of your jib! Spot on. Now I should like to enlist you to protect me and the good fellows down at the club. You, of course, may not be a member, but we may be willing to hire you as a lookout at our  "parties", oh the perversion, it's so titillating. We really have nothing better to do, being so booord and such, even that is getting tiresome. Some of the fellows feel a good old-fashion dust up, a war, is in order. We do enjoy watching the little people DIE. I'd write more but I'm spent.

Monedas's picture

Good post .... but, stop with the Barry Saetoro .... his real father was Frank Marshall Davis .... a "Communist" on the CIA payroll !

verum quod lies's picture

While I personally would put the odds of Davis of being his biological father at just above 50%, his legal last name was (i.e., 100% known to be when it was changed to that name), and likely still is, Soetoro (also, I believe it's Soetoro not Saetoro). That is, he never had it legally changed to whatever he tells others to call himself now a days. So, no I will not stop trying to lend some accuracy to my name calling. Oh, and not exactly wanting to be pedantic, yes, he could be most accurately described as a usurping cultural Marxist racist (i.e., anti-white) homosexual narcisisstic dullard (I probably left out a few terms, but you get the idea) with the legal last name of Soetoro who's actual biological father might be a communist pornographic deviant with the last name of Davis. There, do are fine with that description (i.e., is it accurate enough for you)?


verum quod lies's picture

While I personally would put the odds of Davis of being his biological father at just above 50%, his legal last name was (i.e., 100% known to be when it was changed to that name), and likely still is, Soetoro (also, I believe it's Soetoro not Saetoro). That is, he never had it legally changed to whatever he tells others to call himself now a days. So, no I will not stop trying to lend some accuracy to my name calling. Oh, and not exactly wanting to be pedantic, yes, he could be most accurately described as a usurping cultural Marxist racist (i.e., anti-white) homosexual narcisisstic dullard (I probably left out a few terms, but you get the idea) with the legal last name of Soetoro who's actual biological father might be a communist pornographic deviant with the last name of Davis. There, do are fine with that description (i.e., is it accurate enough for you)?


Cloud9.5's picture


Every dick that was a dictator who found himself in a bunker needing to blow his brains out always blamed the event on the follower’s failure to follow.

Monedas's picture

Capitalism heals and serves in a million ways .... Socialism corrupts and destroys in a million ways !

Monedas's picture

All new housing should be for the elite .... then everyone else gets to move up .... if they have earned the right .... by serving humanity in the free market !   In a pure Capitalist society .... you get what you deserve .... by being helpful and productive .... and interacting peacefully in the market place .... like a gentleman !

knowless's picture

it's just all the false binaries man, if you need a guiding philosophy then cobble one together like the rest of us.