Some 6,000 people, about one for every million in the world’s population, drive the decisions that directly affect the global economic climate in which our governments, corporations, military leaders, technocrats and workers must strive. In other words, they run our lives.
So declares Rothkopf (International Affairs/Columbia Univ.; Running the World: the Inside Story of the National Security Council and the Architects of American Power, 2005, etc.), who dubs this elite the “Superclass.” Members may be found in places like Davos, Switzerland, where the World Economic Forum convenes annually, or at gatherings in California’s Bohemian Grove, where Republican powerbrokers howl and grunt like Neanderthals. Though international in origin, they share a number of traits: wealth (sometimes mega-wealth), blue-chip educations garnered at world-renowned universities and access to networked ways of getting things done that few of us can even imagine. Key clusters of these individuals comprise the top functionaries of national governments and those who peddle influence among them, the corporate elite, the power media and the military/industrial complex (now far more integrated and tightly knit across national borders). Together they are essentially herding the industrialized nations, including Asian giants China and India, into a corral that the author labels “global governance.” His book details the means by which they acquire, negotiate and exercise the clout to do this. “It is hard to ignore the many ways they are the primary beneficiaries of the global order that they shape,” opines Rothkopf, partner in an international consulting firm and a Washington insider in the Clinton Administration who boasts firsthand experience of how power is wielded.
An impressively knowledgeable guide to the world’s elite and how they have coalesced as a kind of natural order.