08w14:3 The Superclass

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The rise of the superclass | Laura Miller
“‘Davos man’ is an epithet coined by the conservative scholar Samuel Huntington to describe the very specific type that attends the conference. These are people who, as Huntington wrote, ‘have little need for national loyalty, view national boundaries as obstacles that thankfully are vanishing, and see national governments as residues from the past whose only useful function is to facilitate the elite’s global operations.’ […] Rothkopf’s credible, if not especially original argument in ‘Superclass’ is that over the past several decades a ‘global elite’ has emerged whose connections to each other have become more significant than their ties to their home nations and governments. They schmooze regularly at conferences like Davos, go to the same schools, serve together on corporate and nonprofit boards, and above all do business with each other constantly — to the point that they have become a kind of culture in themselves, a ‘class without a country,’ as Rothkopf puts it. Furthermore, these people are ‘the new leadership class for our era.’ […] In the concluding pages of ‘Superclass’ it becomes increasingly difficult to dispel the impression that you have just read what amounts to a 380-page business card. Many recent nonfiction books on ‘current affairs’ are little more than that. Organized around a catchy concept and extensively researched by underlings, they win their authors jobs in think tanks and speaking engagements at corporate workshops and conferences — all of which pay much, much more than anyone can expect to make on a book. There are a handful of important ideas in ‘Superclass,’ it’s true, but many of them have been gleaned from other, more original thinkers. There are also a lot of facts and statistics, presumably gathered by Rothkopf’s assistants.”

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