Anarchism not State Socialism

 by Marion, anarchist since 1982

In this article I am going to give some definitions of anarchism, contrast some different schools of anarchist thought and show that the idea of freedom is essential to all of them, as it seems many anarchists these days do not see free action or free speech as that important or even desirable. I will contrast anarchism with socialism and also say a bit about capitalism. I will give some examples of where anarchism has worked, albeit sometimes temporarily, and where it has turned into authoritarianism or been defeated and why. I will also suggest how an anarchist society could deal with viruses.

Anarchism equals no government; this includes no leaders, rulers, laws or prisons, and a stateless society. That is the basic definition of it. Within that, there are various types of anarchism but it always means no government or states. A good definition I have seen, from Lexico dictionary, is ‘belief in the abolition of all government and the organization of society on a voluntary, cooperative basis without recourse to force or compulsion’. Max Nettlau in his book A Short History of Anarchism (1932-34) says about anarchism that it ‘starts from the earliest favourable historic moment when men first evolved the concept of a free life…a goal to be attained only by a complete break from authoritarian bonds and by the simultaneous growth and wide expansion of the social feelings of solidarity, reciprocity, generosity and other expressions of human co-operation’.

anarchyartThere are many schools of thought in anarchism. All of them have in common an opposition to the State and all believe that people are in fact capable of organising a society without the State that is co-operative, safe, equal and produces prosperity and abundance for all, while governments can never do that.

Anarchist communists or libertarian socialists (Russian 19th/20th century anarchist Peter Kropotkin among others) advocate the abolition of the State and capitalism in favour of a horizontal network of voluntary associations and worker-run enterprises through which everyone will be free to satisfy his or her needs without capitalism or money. They argue that any economic system based on wage labour and private property requires a coercive state (implying lack of liberty) to enforce property rights and to maintain the unequal economic relationships that will inevitably arise. Instead, local communities would make decisions collectively, with collective ownership of the means of production (raw materials, tools, machines etc.).

Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman became anarchist-communists after seeing Bolshevik communism’s ‘devastating reality first-hand in Russia and after the Red Army’s crushing of the Kronstadt uprising’, when 5000 sailors left the Communist Party because the revolution had not achieved what had been promised and strikes broke out because of hunger, cold and economic hardship. What distinguishes anarchist communism from other forms of communism is the former’s opposition to all forms of political power, hierarchy and domination. It believes in a sudden revolution rather than a gradual change and does not advocate taking control of the State to make the transition. Errico Malatesta in the 19th Century used the word communism but is seen as an anarchist communist because he conceived communism as something to be followed voluntarily. However, I think it is unwise to associate anarchism with communism or socialism, as true anarchism is nothing like the tyrannical communism that is practised in various countries today and thus has very negative connotations, as I will show. The Anarchist Communist Federation in the UK renamed itself the Anarchist Federation some time ago, for that reason I think. I also think collective decision-making could endanger the freedom of the individual, though that may depend on how the decisions are made, which I will come to. Note the name of the anarchist website Libcom.

anarchy is freedom

Individualist anarchists say that anarchist-communism or collectivism would suppress individuality and personal autonomy by forcing people to belong to a community and relinquish private property. Consequently, individualist anarchism tends to endorse private property and free economic competition. As in other forms of anarchism, the State has to be abolished; the individualist anarchists saw the State as the source and protector of big business’s monopoly, with a power to impose taxes, conscription to the military, laws etc., and therefore of the labouring classes’ suffering and deprivation. Individualist anarchism has sometimes been labelled right-wing anarchism, but I would say that if a society is without laws, prisons, politicians etc., it cannot be right-wing. However, I wonder how a free market can lead to equality, rights or freedom for everyone because would it not necessarily mean a society of haves and have-nots, conflict, discrimination and under-privilege of disabled etc.? Another difference between individualist anarchism and communist anarchism is its opposition to revolutionary action; the 18th/19th Century English anarchist William Godwin said the State would become increasingly irrelevant and powerless through a gradual process of reform and enlightenment. But, as I shall go on to say, the State and its leaders are not likely to want to give up their power.

Max StirnerClosely linked to individualist anarchism is Nihilism and Max Stirner’s Egoism. Instead of the State there would be associations or unions of sovereign individuals. For Stirner, the individual and the State ‘are in “deadly hostility” since a person exercising self-mastery is in fundamental opposition to the state whose sole purpose is to “tame, limit, subordinate the individual”. Says Nettlau about Stirner, ‘He wanted the social revolution but, since he was sincerely anarchist, his so-called egoism represented the protection the defence, which he considered it was necessary to adopt against authoritarian socialism and any statism that the authoritarians might infuse into socialism’. Stirner viewed existing society as a coercive entity that compels its members to consider the well-being of the community as a whole at the expense of individual freedom.

Mutualism lies somewhere between collectivist and individualist anarchism since it endorses forms of collective ownership – a co-operative, equitable society of worker-owners in federations – but also private property. It is a social system based on the sovereignty of the individual over herself, his affairs and her products, and was espoused by such people as Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and Benjamin Tucker. Mutualism opposes capitalism and large-scale property ownership (because both lead to exploitation and inequality) but allows small-scale private property, though not factory owners and workers or landowners and rent-payers. Under mutualism, people would exchange goods and services equitably and fairly through mutually beneficial economic contracts; there would be ‘stabilization and cheapening of the means of exchange through the establishment of the Mutual Bank’. Interest would be abolished. People can develop their own mutual aid infrastructure to ensure that people’s basic needs are met, without interference from the State. Proudhon believed this would bring about the isolation of the State and eventually its liquidation. He says the State sustains inequalities and interferes with liberty, and that to be governed is to be ‘watched over, spied on, directed, legislated, regimented, closed in, indoctrinated’. There seems to have been different types of mutualists; Tucker was an advocate of mutualism but actually ended up accepting a need for police to break strikes, to give freedom to the employer, so I don’t recognise him as anarchist; a true anarchist society cannot include an employer and worker situation. Some mutualists see a need for the State to be disbanded straight away and I would agree with this. ‘The State is symbolic of power…and from power naturally flows privilege’, says Clarence Lee Swartz.

rudolfrocker3Anarcho-syndicalism was espoused by the French anarchist Georges Sorel, Emile Pouget and Rudolf Rocker (pictured) and was very operational during the Spanish Revolution 1936-39 through the CNT, though the origins can be traced back to the First International, also known as the International Workingmen’s Association (IWA), formed in 1864. This was a socialist organisation which aimed at uniting a variety of different left-wing political groups and trade unions that were based on the working class and class struggle. Anarcho-syndicalism was a development of the social aspirations most strongly held by the libertarian or anarchist wing of this. Anarcho-syndicalists encourage workers to organise independently of government, bosses and bureaucrats. Anarcho-syndicalist groups are more about hands-on solidarity and the achievement of better rights among workers (and tenants and other oppressed people) and (admirably) get involved in or help with people’s workplace issues, often within a workplace sector where networking is encouraged, sometimes encouraging industrial action. Ultimately they believe in the workers taking control of the workplaces and creating an anarchist society. From ‘(Anarcho-syndicalism) proposes revolutionary change should come about through the organization of workers into horizontal confederations of unions, and the utilization of the general strike to seize control of the economy…overthrowing capitalism and the state through unionism, replacing corporate production with economic democracy internally in the unions…’.

Anarcho-primitivists reject “civilization” in favour of “wildness.” More specifically, they call for the abandonment or destruction of technology in favour of subsistence that is not based on technology. Some people have been doing it in small ways, by re-wilding, guerilla gardening etc., or in a slightly larger form in communities around the world. I like the idea of it; if we continue to plunder the earth’s resources the human race (and probably all other species) will disappear, so in that sense Anarcho-primitivism could be the most sensible type of anarchism, in theory. I think it could only ever exist in these communities, never in an entire country or the world, because people will never give up their technology which is, on the contrary, advancing all the time. But it is interesting that The Federal Bureau of Investigation apparently sees the potential of a radical environmental movement, since it has deemed eco-terrorism the number one domestic terrorist threat (


I don’t fully embrace any of these. Mutualism seems to give people the most freedom while recognising the need for a collective society and mutual cooperation but I’m not sure that the problems of the world, like over-use of natural resources and inequality, could be solved if we still have some form of capitalism however small-scale. So I would advocate a social system that protects the freedom of the individual but without the use of money and probably even without bartering as some may go without if they are not able to barter. So people would work because they want to. There would be no dictating from the community on how to live. Private property technically would not exist but nor would property be owned by the community.

All branches of anarchism are, if the ideology is followed properly, very different from socialism or communism, or at least any that has been practised in the world to date. It may be just that socialism has come to mean something different from what it was intended (state socialism and submission of the people to the State, rather than power in the hands of the people). Communist countries that exist today are state-controlled and tend to be pretty tyrannical. China and North Korea allow the people very little autonomy over their own lives and Frank Fernandez in Cuban Anarchism says, ‘After 40 years the Cuban revolution has ended in economic deprivation, desperation, sharp class divisions…and a criminal tyranny that suppresses all dissent’ (which sounds eerily familiar as regards what is happening worldwide today).

Hammer and sickleHe explains that this happened because, ‘instead of handing over the fields, factories and workshops directly to the workers after expropriating them from their owners…the Cuban government placed all of the great businesses, industries, banks, transportation networks, etc., under the control of the state’. In 1959, after the revolution, the Partido Comunista Cubano took control of all the unions, saying their domination would last only until new union elections but ‘the temporary became permanent’. The Castro regime instituted unpaid overtime to workers and caused huge damage to the environment which created food shortages. And Castro insurgents created military dictatorships in Latin America who were backed by the CIA! If Nicaragua and Bolivia have less tyrannous governments they are exceptions; occasionally a leader emerges who is not power-hungry but that is rare. As Colin Ward says in Anarchy in Action, ‘And when socialism has achieved power what has it created? Monopoly capitalism with a veneer of social welfare as a substitute for social justice.’ And about Marx he says ‘He wants what we want, the complete triumph of economic and social equality, but he wants it in the State and through the State power, through the dictatorship of a very strong and, so to say, despotic provisional government, that is by the negation of liberty’.

States are not going to be agents of transformation in a good way. There do seem to be different definitions of communism and socialism, or perhaps different kinds of socialism. In his ‘Declaration of Principles of the Social Democratic Alliance’, Bakunin established the differences between authoritarian socialism and libertarian socialism that the anarchists advocated. Marx believed in the withering away of the State, but I don’t see how the latter is going to want to give up its power voluntarily, even if the leaders have good intentions at the beginning; power corrupts, with few exceptions. The State only loses its power by the people taking it back, not by a ‘withering away’. There are also varying opinions on the difference between socialism and communism. Some say socialism allows private property, communism does not. While calling themselves socialists, Proudhon and Bakunin denounced ‘communism.’ Proudhon said communism is a ‘dictatorial, authoritarian, doctrinaire system [which] starts from the axiom that the individual is subordinate…to the collectivity; the citizen belongs to the State’. Bakunin wrote, ‘I detest communism because it is the negation of liberty…necessarily ends with the concentration of property in the hands of the state’ and ‘Socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality’.


I think it is because socialism has come to mean ‘nanny state’ and capitalism has come to be associated with freedom (to exploit) that liberty and libertarianism has come to be seen as ‘right-wing’. As I have said, anarchism is very far removed from the socialism or communism that is practised in some countries, but capitalism cannot ultimately go hand-in-hand with anarchism, as an unequal society inevitably leads to poverty and homelessness for some and the need for prisons, tyranny and violence, as well as to war and ecological destruction. But we do not have to choose between freedom and equality! We can have both, and in fact we can only have freedom if we have equality and can only have equality if we have freedom. There are some interesting comments in this article: ‘Freedom and equality are sometimes represented as antagonists, but at the extremes they coincide…complete equality implies freedom, since those who suffer restrictions cannot be the equals of those who impose them’. How very true,; so why has Freedom Press now changed its mind, now seeing a need for government controls!? If anarchists can’t handle the truth that anarchism is not leftism (and nor is it on the right) then maybe they would prefer a society where everything is decided for them, the State ‘knows best’ and nothing can be done without its permission. black-starThe powerful have brilliantly managed to divide the anarchist movement, in the same way they always try to divide and rule, one part of it going along with the socialists and obedient brainwashed ones, believing all the crap the media, government and NHS put out, the other part believing in personal autonomy, protecting the livelihoods of the general population and also protecting health in a much better way. This is all engineered. We anarchist freedom lovers are having to fight against the State and international powers alongside people we don’t always agree with on some issues, partly because there are not enough of us to organise our own struggle after capitalist power has divided us, but also because this is so big – we can only end the tyranny by uniting with the general population against the 1% or 0.1% or whatever it is, and saying ‘No!’; if we don’t, we will never get our lives back. A word about political groups, organisations, printed and online publications etc.: There are things we read that we may agree with and other things we disagree with from the same organisation; that does not mean that everything they say should be dismissed. I disagree with some of the anarchist library website, just as I disagree with some ideas I hear from anti-lockdown groups and ‘The Light’ newspaper. Take what you like and disregard the rest. Or argue about the issues; different opinions and discussion is healthy, hate, division and violence is not.

Political parties are inherently authoritarian, even if at times they may have seemed fairly radical; at their most radical they are about state socialism. Colin Ward says, about the UK, ‘At its annual conference in 1918 the Labour Party finally committed itself to that interpretation of socialism which identified it with the unlimited increase of the State’s power and activity through its chosen form: the giant managerially-controlled public corporation.’ Other countries who supposedly have a liberal government, such as Portugal and Canada, have used draconian restrictions just like some that lean to the right. There is not really a lot of difference between state capitalism and state communism; usually it’s just a matter of slightly better wages for the workers in the latter. ‘As we saw in France in 1936, Chile in 1973 or Greece in 2014, parliamentary participation and nationalisation policies do not open up space for working class movements…‘democratic’ frameworks that will always be rigged against us…’ (‘Insurrection and Production’ pamphlet, Subversion Press).

* * *

anarchist barricades

During the Spanish Revolution of 1936/37 and the experiments in collectivisation there, everyone in the militias drew the same pay and were equal with no hierarchy. George Orwell said in Homage to Catalonia, ‘there was a feeling of having suddenly emerged into an era of equality and freedom when human beings were trying to behave like human beings and not as cogs in the capitalist machine’. After the defeat of the fascist uprising in Catalunya, the CNT rank and file organised factory councils and neighbourhood assemblies, but the CNT delegates caused problems and were isolated from the movement, allying themselves to the authoritarian socialist and republican parties. This impeded the anarchist revolution. Says Peter Gelderloos, ‘One of the chief reasons the CNT leadership gave for collaborating with the authoritarian parties was that abolishing the government in Catalunya would be tantamount to imposing an anarchist dictatorship. But their assumption that getting rid of the government…meant replacing it with the CNT showed their own blinding self-importance’. They failed to grasp that the working class was developing new organisational forms, such as factory councils, that might flourish best by transcending pre-existing institutions – whether the CNT or the government – rather than being absorbed by them’.

In the 1850s and 60s there was a community on Long Island near New York called ‘Trialville’ or ‘Modern Times’. Here people lived in their own way, exchanging goods locally among themselves with labour notes, without any official authority. Instead of being divided, they were much more united than other communities, showing that liberty unites and coercion divides. The Community was based on and formed by followers of Stephen Pearl Andrews’ book ‘The Science of Society’. Also after the Civil War, monopolies grew more powerful and the community dispersed. But the ideas were taken up by others, including Tucker, who fought against statism and its interference of collectives.

In Hungary in 1956, when thousands of protesters took to the streets demanding a more democratic political system and freedom from Soviet oppression, there was no authority for weeks when the government collapsed and workers’ councils took control from the ruling Hungarian Working People’s Party (which of course was not the ‘people’s party’ at all, like all political parties). Anarchist self-discipline prevailed; the people (including criminals) stole nothing and did not get drunk!

cape townThe Symphony Way squatted settlement in Cape Town in 2008/2009 organised their community without the government, having mass assemblies but also a lot of individual initiatives. They were evicted from Symphony Way in 2009 but they have continued to organise in Blikkiesdorp, under the banner of Symphony Way and have continued their struggle for land and housing. In the neighbouring government camps crime is rampant, but the Symphony Way people have night-watchmen to deal with anti-social behaviour and people feel much safer there than in the government camps and do not want to move to them even though they would get free food and water there.

The people on the island of Rotuma, north of Fiji, were traditionally stateless people. Today they exist under an imposed government but they avoid contact with it and dependence on it. They are brought up to be non-violent and villages are autonomous. The Rotuman murder rate is 2 per 100,000 people per year, three times lower than in the US. The Rotuman view of crime is of something causing harm or hurting social bonds rather than the violation of a code or statute, showing that without laws people will act according to what they think is right.

How are issues resolved in autonomous societies if not by a government making decisions and enforcing them? The people of Oaxaca in Mexico organise themselves by having street assemblies in which they vote after a period of discussion. Other communities have used different forms of consensus decision-making where they don’t stop the debate until everyone agrees; this can be preferable, if time-consuming, as the alternative (voting) means the minority loses. The Nubian farmers in Egypt operate by cooperation and mutual responsibility. Disputes are resolved in a family council, with a goal of reaching consensus. They consider it immoral to bring in the government to solve them! The Mbuti in Central Africa have lived without government, according to some since the time of the Egyptian Pharaohs. They resolve problems by having long discussions. They sometimes break up into smaller groups, then come back together in another season which requires the cooperation of the larger group. Global economic companies and mining for cellphones is destroying their region and way of life now. The Native American Hopi, a sovereign nation within the United States, use shame and levelling mechanisms to deal with people who are domineering. They overcome conflict through rituals. For them, artistic conflict resolution encourages new ways of looking at problems and avoids facilitators gaining power. In Bolivia there is an informal city called El Alto. People came here in the 1950s, when the mines and farms were shut down, and formed Juntas and then in 1979 the Federation of Neighbourhood Councils; these have pooled resources to build housing, parks, schools, clinics, housing and cooperatives and install utilities, garbage collection etc. to fill the hole that the state and private sector have left. Each junta contains about 200 people who meet every month and make decisions through public discussion and consensus decision-making. Political party leaders, merchants, real estate speculators and those who collaborated with the dictatorship are not allowed to be committee delegates. While supporting Evo Morales’ reversals of neoliberal policy, they are critical of the Movement Towards Socialism knowing they face the danger of being incorporated into the state.

black flag

These examples of self-organisation by people show that we don’t need governments or police, that we can govern and police ourselves when given the opportunity. Says Colin Ward, ‘The principal of authority is so built in to every aspect of our society that it is only in revolutions, emergencies and ‘happenings’ that the principle of spontaneous order emerges’. In an anarchist society there would probably be agreement on basic right and wrong but not laws as such. Some would say that if we had anarchism people would do what they want regardless of the harm to others; that theft, violence, murder etc. would be rife. But in an anarchist society there would be far less of those problems and when they did happen the people would make it difficult for anti-social behaviour to happen, protecting individuals, banishing perpetrators. The State, governments, socialists, and even many so-called anarchists perhaps, believe that the general population and working class are incapable of dealing with problems and making sensible decisions if left to their own devices and need to be controlled. If you don’t believe that people can make decisions for themselves without being controlled, how on earth can you believe an anarchist society is possible? I believe that the general population are wiser than these holier-than-thous think they are. Max Nettlau mentions something interesting (and disturbingly similar to what is happening now): ‘Malatesta must have suffered greatly from 1879 to 1882, as he saw Andrea Costa and many other old comrades abandoning the ideas they had fought for…’.

Errico Malatesta
Errico Malatesta

In the UK and elsewhere people are not encouraged to think for themselves. From school to college to job we are taught what the system wants us to think, to keep us under control and their dictatorship (under the guise of democracy) going. And this has got worse recently as schools are taking on more (formerly) parental jobs and showing ‘news’ programmes to the children. Except in certain subjects or professions, we are not encouraged to form our own opinions or look for solutions. If the State believes we may need to make decisions sometimes, that is only on the basis of ‘information’ that we are given. We are taught to subordinate ourselves to authority and to believe that it knows best. But actually science is always evolving; there are many different theories on each scientific subject and those are constantly changing through time. Yet throughout history, and very much continuing today, those who espouse an unusual or new scientific theory have been vilified, ridiculed, censored and persecuted, though very often those theories have ended up becoming accepted. It is the same with political views, philosophies around health and medicine and other subjects.

* * *

But we need governments to protect us from environmental destruction! Really?! States, including communist states, cause the exploitation of nature and environmental destruction because they are always in league with big business; China has huge companies competing on a global scale. Multinationals encourage the people to destroy their environment with adverts for cars, new ‘goods’, unnecessary goods; more profits are made by manufacturing items that will not last and companies make sure replacing is cheaper than repairing. I believe capitalism is worried about surviving because of people’s concerns about climate change, so they are claiming that they will solve the environmental crisis and are taking control of the environmental movement as much as they can. But the only thing they will ever to do is encourage solar panels and the like, which themselves use a lot of resources. Big corporations do not benefit from people re-using, buying less and sharing. Capitalism will never save our environment.

cageThe cause of animal liberation has often been linked with the anarchist movement. Many animal rights advocates have recognised that if someone is prepared to exploit and imprison animals they are also prepared to exploit people and take away their freedom. There is an interesting comment, again strangely in the aforementioned Freedom Press article: ‘Recently there has developed an animal welfare movement which goes beyond animal welfare to animal liberation, and with it a school of anarchist thought which sees human liberation as a special case of animal liberation’. Anyone, even those who do not call themselves anarchists, who is involved in or concerned about animal liberation ought to also believe in human liberation (are we not animals too?). What happened to ‘Human freedom, animal rights – one struggle, one fight’? In fact we went further than that and changed ‘animal rights’ to ‘animal liberation’.

People in most countries in the world were allowed to be freer, in their speech and their actions, through the centuries and up until the 20th Century. This is increasingly no longer the case. Recently governments the world over have massively increased their control over the people; the only way governments (or rather a worldwide elite) have been able to do this is by telling us there is a dangerous pandemic, that it’s for our safety. Incidentally, the same thing was said to people in Germany before WW2 to encourage them to join the Nazis. As I said earlier, there is not a conflict between the welfare of the individual and that of the community, which is made up of individuals! Lockdowns, distancing etc. have been detrimental to all kinds of people, but lockdowns have a disproportionately bad effect on minorities; elderly and disabled unable to see family and friends, disabled people’s lives being made even more difficult, poorer business owners badly affected, cities (where a lot of poorer people live, many with no gardens) have had more lockdowns. Yet some who call themselves anarchists think that all the social distancing is a good thing and therefore are quite happy with the government imposing it and follow their guidance on everything, implying the government (Tory in UK but Starmer’s Labour would be no different) knows best!! I have heard people saying they are actually following NHS guidelines, but the NHS is part of the government.

charset=Ascii binary comment

On the other hand, big pharma is making huge amounts out of vaccines and out of ill-health, and the tech industry is also benefiting from lockdowns enormously; so is Amazon, Facebook etc. Lockdowns have not actually been done to benefit people’s health but for a much more sinister reason involving increasing the power of the States, the World Economic Forum etc. It is very obvious that governments are trying to destroy small businesses and benefit multinational corporations. It is also obvious that lockdowns do not work, as we still apparently have a pandemic despite them. There do seem to be some countries which are freer; Sweden, Iceland, Hungary and Latvia have had some kind of voluntary lockdown, which at least is not as bad. In Japan lockdown is illegal so they have not had a compulsory one. And there have been no more deaths per million of the population in those countries, though far less misery, destruction and death from measures imposed. Taiwan has had no compulsory lockdown but only seven deaths in total from Covid, Nicaragua has had no lockdown at all but only 167 deaths, and the Amish people in America were asked by a journalist why there has been no Covid among their people; their reply was that it’s because they don’t watch television!

An anarchist ideology should also include free movement of people. Division of the world into states often hampers this. Perhaps international travel should be stopped for three weeks during a real pandemic. But generally we all need to be free to move; that is our right, not the right of governments to restrict. Refugees and immigrants need to be free to leave countries where they are in danger or cannot live well. People in the west need to be able to leave their country, their town, their house, especially when they are living in a tyranny. I don’t see many anarchists pushing for this at the moment. Generally, anarchists have not in the past dwelt on the issue of freedom because we have, in the west, been relatively free! It was only really mentioned when campaigning against prisons, animal exploitation, civil rights. Anarchists have, however, talked a lot about free movement of people, refugees, immigration. The issue of not being allowed to go where we want (to another country, another town and sometimes even to leave our house) really ought to be a big issue for the anarchist movement. People returning to the UK from another country (often for the purpose of seeing relatives) are having to pay to isolate in a hotel with a band put on their wrist which tracks their every move. Health passports are being talked about by governments. Why is the anarchist movement not fighting against this? Brainwashed?

The curbs on free speech is also increasing at an alarming rate. Much of it is about banning what are simply alternative viewpoints on issues like natural remedies and vaccination. If a viewpoint is expressed which is hateful, censoring it (on social media for example) is not the way to get rid of it; rather, counteract it with a contrary or alternative comment. Banning the expression of views only creates a backlash and increases the prevalence of those views, just like wars do not stop terrorism but increase it.

* * *

ascona2I don’t see evidence of a pandemic at the moment except for what the governments and media tell us, which is not evidence, and that some hospitals are stretched (due to staff shortages because non-English nurses have left and half the remaining nurses are isolating). Covid-19 was actually downgraded by the WHO as a pandemic back in March last year! So the reasons for lockdown must be for something else entirely (state control, surveillance, increase the wealth and power of big business etc.; in fact a ‘Great Reset’). But there do seem to be some viruses going around which are hitting the older and more vulnerable people. So how should a true anarchist advocate dealing with a pandemic if there was one, or with viruses which are always around, without loss of freedom, jobs, happiness and sanity? It would do that by encouraging healthy lifestyles with good diet, natural remedies and preventions, vitamins, more exercise and sport (instead of banning sport!) and sunshine. Some may choose not to go to very crowded indoor places unless their immune system is very good; perhaps clubs would close in January. We would shop for those people who are vulnerable or elderly, help them to go out for exercise and recreation. One important point: anarchism does not entail policing each other! I wonder if some anarchists think that snitching on your neighbours, telling people not to hug each other and putting other restraints is an anarchist way! Anarchism is about policing oneself. It includes no local government, no group of people telling others what they can and can’t do, where they can and can’t go, who they can and can’t see. Why have the rights to earn a living, have an education, socialise and have intimate relationships become unimportant because of a flu-like illness?! And perhaps if we weren’t being fed fear and propaganda and virus-obsession by the media and government, more people might realise that the virus is not really so virulent and does not need mass vaccination (the vulnerable often the ones most susceptible to damage from vaccine!). The vaccination issue is too big to go into here but the dangers of it can quite easily be found on the British Medical Journal and government’s own websites, not to mention the surveillance reasons for it.

To sum up, anarchism is absolutely necessary, because it is the only way to get a free and equal society and save the planet, and absolutely possible; people only need to realise that. And freedom is essential to anarchism. Let’s be careful that we don’t ask for anarchism but get state socialism.

* * *

When we look at the powerlessness…and ask ourselves why they are powerless, we have to answer not merely that they are weak because of the vast central agglomerations of power, but that they are weak because they have surrendered their power to the state.’ (Colin Ward, Anarchy in Action)

The functions of the State, then, were to overcome and subdue persons, secure and maintain dominion over territory, preserve itself against revolt from within and aggression from without, and, in short, to insure its existence. To do this effectively…it has had to crush, not merely the invading enemy, but likewise its own subjects, through punishment for treason, when they too strenuously differ from its policies…’ (

Marxists and others who set up a strong government in the hope of eliminating government, do not just fail to attain their objective, but end up with more of what they were hoping to eliminate. Anarchists at least give themselves a chance of ending up with a society freer than it would otherwise have been’. ‘Reformists measure progress by how near they are to attaining power. Anarchists measure progress by the extent to which prohibitions and inequalities are reduced, and individual opportunities increased.’ (

So in two weeks’ time we’re allowed to meet one other person we don’t live with in an outdoor area! Wow, thanks Boris! How generous to give us such freedom!


What is real anarchism?
Anarchist against freedom
Anarchists and the Coronavirus

Back to top

The Acorn – 63

Number 63

In this issue:

  1. Breaking point draws near
  2. Guided by the light of life
  3. Nevermore on the anarchist response to Covid-19
  4. Safe & Sanitized: interview with artist Jordan Henderson
  5. Wanted: a new resistance movement
  6. Georges Bernanos: an orgrad inspiration
  7. Acorninfo

1. Breaking point draws near

Netherland riots

A year after the start of the Covid crisis, the fault lines of major social conflict are becoming apparent.

On the one side, authorities are ramping up the repression as they seek to push us all permanently into their New Normal of techno-fascist global slavery.

On the other side, as the Great Reset agenda becomes more widely noticed and understood, resistance is growing, albeit largely under the radar of corporate media subservient to the dictatorship.

“Europe is in revolt against lockdown. Protests, riots and civil unrest have broken out across the continent. People are starting to reach breaking point,” says this February 2021 report by Paddy Hannam of Spiked Online.

Dutch people reacted angrily and courageously against a police-state curfew imposed on their country for the first time since it was occupied by the (original) Nazis.

Netherland riots2

Youths torched a COVID-19 testing center and threw fireworks at police in the fishing village of Urk, reports DW.

“Police in the capital of Amsterdam also used a water cannon to disperse an outlawed anti-lockdown demonstration on a major square ringed by museums,” adds AP.

John Jorritsma, mayor of Eindhoven, where major riots broke out, warned: “We’re on our way to civil war”.

The Dutch love of vrijheid (freedom) was considered worrying by US pro-system propagandist Frida Ghitis, who described how “political extremists, hoping to shake up and undermine the system, blended into the crowd, turning the protests into an explosion of violence”.

Denmark protest2In Copenhagen, Denmark, “crowds of black-clad protesters have taken to the streets, launching fireworks, torching an effigy of Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, and clashing with cops”.

There have also been big protests in Denmark’s second biggest city, Aarhus.

In Brussels, Belgium, hundreds of people defied a police-state ban on protesting, with nearly 500 arrests.

Brussels protest

Meanwhile, some 10,000 people marched through the centre of the Austrian capital, Vienna, to protest against “Covid” restrictions and to demand the resignation of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

There were reports of police removing their helmets in apparent solidarity with the crowds.

In France, resistance has been focusing on opposing the Macronist regime’s fascistic Global Security legislation, a cause which has mobilised part of the traditional left as well as Covid dissidents.

The brutal way in which protests have been attacked by riot cops has caused widespread outrage and fuelled concerns over the direction in which the country is being taken.

sécurité globale manif

On Saturday February 13 protests continued all across the country (Brest, Strasbourg, Montpellier, Chapelle-en-Vercors…)

There is a call for angry citizens from across France to descend on Versailles, symbol of the pre-revolutionary ruling elite, on Saturday February 27 to demand the restoration of freedom for the people and the end of the Macronist regime.

And in London, UK, the first anniversary of lockdown, on March 20, is set to be greeted with a huge protest in the capital, with a target of 50,000 people in London at a location yet to be announced.

Unite for freedom 20.3.21

All the time, all across the world, people are standing up to the global tyranny, often on a very local level.

For instance, on Monday February 15 “anti-lockdown protesters clashed with police” at Eaton Mall in the Oakleigh area of Melbourne, Australia.

Oakleigh Austr protest

On the same day, a group of protesters “representing a range of different ethnicities” gathered outside New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s offices in Auckland to protest against the latest lockdown measures.

In Jerusalem, “ultra-Orthodox” Jews have been at the forefront of lockdown resistance.

Reports The Times of Israel: “Some demonstrators blocked traffic, burned trash bins, damaged vehicles and heaved stones and other objects at officers.

“Police used water cannons to disperse the protest and arrested at least one person on suspicion of disturbing public order”.

Protesters have labelled Israeli police “Nazis” and “kapos” – Jews who collaborated with fascism during World War II.

Israel lockdown protest

In Lebanon, people took to the streets of Tripoli, Beirut, and Sidon for several nights to protest against the two-week extension of curfews and lockdown.

In Vancouver, Canada, protesters rallied to demand an end to PCR testing.

In the USA there have been anti-vaccination protests in Los Angeles and elsewhere, with system propaganda warning of a “dangerous new anti-vaccination movement growing in California”.

When the system’s mouthpieces warn of bad omens and dangers, we know that there is still hope that we can win this great battle for our freedom.

Back to top

2. Guided by the light of life

woodcut sun

by Paul Cudenec

The last year has been an extremely disorientating one for those who have always used a traditional political compass to navigate their way through the contemporary world.

All the readings that previously served to guide their thoughts, affiliations and reactions have been madly scrambled.

What used to be left now looks more like right, human rights have been rebranded as bio-hazards, telling the truth is now regarded as spreading dangerous misinformation and what was once the dividing line between state and corporate power now looks like just another link in the 21st century chain of total control.

Our political compasses don’t work any more because we are no longer living in the old manufactured political reality, in the liberal spectacle of “democracy” and “human rights” and “rule by consent”.

The illusion has been abandoned and now there is nothing above us but raw force and nothing below us but fear, obedience and servile conformity.

boot stamping 2

It is hard to find words that do justice to the empty, odious and inhuman future that the global elite are trying to impose on us.

They want to stop us from breathing, from living, from loving, from talking, from singing, from laughing, from dancing, from dreaming and from thinking or acting for ourselves.

They are prepared to use every weapon they have, from toxic brainwashing propaganda to brutal physical force, to destroy humanity as we have known it, to crush the last vestiges of organic community that have survived their previous onslaughts, to break all real connection and communication between us and reduce us to total dependency on their matrix of techno-fascist control.

The struggle ahead of us is no longer about fine-tuning the kind of society we want to live in, about discussing exactly where our priorities lie or the way we want to organise things.

Our fight is for the survival of free human beings and the natural world which gave birth to us.

In order to find our bearings in this struggle we have to throw away our now-useless political compass, and the outdated ideological maps that go with it, and take our position on the fundamental basis of right against wrong, good against evil, light against darkness.

Here too, confusion abounds, since, with their usual low trick of inverting truth, the corporate pharaohs have been busy disguising the means of our enslavement as tools for our liberation and their own goals as being for the “sustainable” and “inclusive” benefit of all.

We are not going to be able to tell good from bad if we listen to their version of reality, a version which is being zealously spread by the robot armies of sycophants and mercenaries they have assembled to advance their plan.

guruInstead, we have to listen to what Indian tradition calls the jagad-guru, the universal guiding wisdom to be found inside each one of us, deep within our hearts.

One of the great tragic traps in the Christian religion is the suggestion that the divine light only shines through one figure, Jesus Christ, and that to achieve redemption the rest of us miserable sinners have merely to obey the commands of those who claim to represent him in our world.

In fact, every single one of us is a small and transcient manifestation of the whole universe and we can all allow the light of truth and liberation to shine through us, if we can only rid ourselves of all the petty fears, vanities and jealousies that block its way.

This is what we all have to do now, at this time of unprecedented danger. We must open ourselves up to the light and trust it to guide our thoughts, words and actions in this holy human war against the enemies of life.

Back to top

3. Nevermore on the anarchist response to Covid-19

nevermore cover

Extracted from an article in the first issue of a new review from Canada, Nevermore.

The Covid19 crisis has presented a challenge to anarchists and others who believe in a fully autonomous and liberated life.

We write this today because we feel too many people who in better times carry these political and philosophical banners are setting aside their core beliefs – or worse – by twisting and contorting those beliefs in wholly disappointing ways, conforming to the mandates of technocrats and politicians, and are convincing themselves that doing so is some grand act of solidarity with the most vulnerable people in our societies.

We say loudly that if the political tenets you promote and encourage in the best of times whither and shrink in times of crisis, then your political tenets are worthless.

Any system of organization or any belief about human autonomy that needs to be set aside when history lays a challenge at our feet, is not worth keeping around when the emergency subsides.

For truly, it is times of difficulty and challenge that place our ideas on the scale of utility to tell us whether or not they are as robust as we may believe.

As anarchists, autonomy over one’s own mind and body are essential to our values. We believe that human beings are intelligent enough to decide for themselves how to assess their surroundings and to make determinations on how to go forth living in a way that meets their needs and desires.

Of course, we recognize that this autonomy comes packaged with genuine responsibility not only to one’s self, but to those with whom they are in community – including the non-human world.

anarchistflagWe certainly recognize that individuals may be asked for their cooperation in achieving a collective goal. But we also recognize the fundamental importance of consent in such situations, and that force and punishment are antithetical to an anarchist worldview.

That is why we write today. To reach out to our friends, our comrades, our intellectual and philosophical allies to ask that if you haven’t yet, that you begin to seriously critique and question the state responses to the Covid19 pandemic that we are witnessing around the world.

We have watched over the preceding year, meekly, quietly, as other anarchists have toed the lines drawn by state bureaucrats. We have remained silent when witnessing anarchists act with hostility towards those who have pushed back against state mandated curfews and lockdown orders, only because those doing the most pushing are affiliated with right wing politics, unfortunately ceding this ground to the right wing, instead of forging their own critiques of state policy and thus providing an intellectual home for those who have in isolation grown antagonistic towards those in power who are trifling with our lives.

The impetus for this behaviour amongst anarchists seems to be rooted in their desire to do well by those in need, and as this particular crisis is being caused by a virus, that seems to unfold as an enthusiastic willingness to accept state mandates and to shame those who would violate them.

It is admirable to want to do well by the elderly and infirm, but that instinct is where the conversation should begin, not where we should resolve to set aside our fundamental principles and to justify this by taking technocrats and politicians at their words, using the pronouncements of sanctioned experts as a gospel by which to claim our lack of resistance to mandate is because the mandate makes such good sense.

Politicians lie. They select the analysis and the technicians who promote their agendas.

Corporate executives line up to support them, knowing that the public purse is open to them when they do so. And the media, always wanting to be in the good graces of those with political and fnancial power, manufacture consent in twenty-four hour news cycles. We know this.

We have libraries full of books that we have read and recommended explaining in detail the workings of this reality. Therefore, to be critical of politicians who declare that their emergency violations of basic freedoms are warranted by crisis is always a necessity.

To be critical of pharmaceutical executives who tell the public that only they hold the keys to a future of freedom and safety, and of the media who act as propaganda machines in service of official narratives, is always a necessity.

Anarchists seem to know all of this instinctively when the war politicians want us to wage is a war fought with literal weapons, when the victims are more obvious, when the propaganda is more nationalist, xenophobic, and racist.

nevermore2But with the Covid19 crisis, the war being waged by those in power is ostensibly a war to save lives, and this shift in presentation seems to have effectively hacked the hearts and minds of so many anarchists who at the bottom of everything, carry a deep and genuine care for others.

But we must pull back and think critically about our situation. It is forgivable when in the throes of a quickly unfolding emergency, while lacking the information necessary to make confident decisions, to want to go along with the experts that are put before podiums when they ask that we all pull together for the greater good.

That is no longer the situation. Much time has passed since SARS-COV-2 was a mysterious new respiratory virus. Data has been pouring forth from researchers around the world, and there is now no excuse for fear-based decision making, for accepting as gospel the perceptions and prescriptions stamped by the state and distributed by their lackeys in the media.

We believe that this crisis is like all the crises that came before it, in that it is a period of time in which those with power and wealth see an opportunity to extend their claws and to steal more of both.

It is a moment of collective fear and uncertainty they can exploit to seize more control and to enrich themselves at the expense of the masses of humanity.


The only thing that seems to separate the Covid19 crisis from those that came before it, is just how willing so much of the public (sadly including many anarchists) is to willingly and enthusiastically support the loss of their own autonomy.

As anarchists, there are principles we return to as guiding stars in the dark night of the unknown, and these include freedom, autonomy, consent, and a deep belief in the ability of people to self-organize for their maximum benefit as individuals and as communities.

No one knows one’s needs better than they do themselves, and truly, most people have self-preservation instincts that cause them to select behaviours that lead to their own safety and survival, as well as that of those they care for.

At the outset of the pandemic, when information was scant, we very much witnessed people making choices to distance themselves from crowds and gatherings they did not believe were essential, while they also began efforts to support and care for those who might be more vulnerable to a circulating respiratory illness that did not have well-established treatment courses within the medical field.

While we welcome information and data, even that which is unpleasant, that describes the continually unfolding circumstances, we also believe that people need to be trusted to analyze that information.

The current paradigm has the state and their selected technocratic experts filtering the available data and only highlighting that which supports the policy decisions they already decided to implement without any public input.

greenanarchy2Information and analysis that can be considered “good news” has been largely ignored by the state and their technocrats, while also being blacked out by the media.

“Experts” can always be found to justify horrors.

Indeed, we would likely be hard pressed to find a case in recent history in which massive crimes against humanity did not come packaged with a stamp of approval from some consortium of experts whom everyone else was asked to blindly trust.

The Covid19 pandemic is no different, and as anarchists we just ask that you remember that debate, critique, and dissent are all essential components of societies that value liberation and autonomy.

We ask that whatever you decide about the efficacy of lockdown measures, that you recognize no situation, no matter how dire it may seem, warrants edicts from on high that use the threat of force and violence to accomplish their aims.

Our steadfast commitment to human autonomy, and to our belief that no authority is valid without the consent of those it is exercised over, is what makes anarchism a thing apart from other political philosophies.

We will not abandon this commitment, and hope that you will not either.

Back to top

4. Safe & Sanitized: interview with artist Jordan Henderson

charset=Ascii binary comment

Fine artist Jordan Henderson has just released his third painting exposing the COVID-19(84) deception. The following is a interview with Jordan conducted by John C. A. Manley regarding the new work, Safe & Sanitized.

JOHN: Why do you associate a face mask (which is promoted as a life saving miracle) with a skull (a long dead head)?

JORDAN: The association of the face mask with the skull illustrates what COVID-19 restrictions really are: a cause of death, suffering and loss of freedoms. The people most likely to die of “COVID-19” are those who believe the official narrative. For example; they lock themselves away, live in fear, get a test, test positive, agree to a ventilator and are then killed by the ventilator.

JOHN: The mask appears not to merely be a face covering, but a gag. Can you speak more about this?

JORDAN: The mask acts as a gag, because forced covering of the human face is a direct assault upon freedom of expression. It is nothing less than suppression of dissent, “Oh, you see through the lie, well you must act as though you believe in it. Under threat of fines and imprisonment, we order you to act like you believe the official lies, and we order you to force anyone entering your business to do the same”.

JOHN: Now, masks are common enough these days; what about the handcuffs?

JORDAN: The handcuffs represent the lockdowns and restrictions on movement and travel. Blood is suggested through streaks of red paint underneath the handcuffs as a reminder of the very real deaths brought about by COVID-19 mandates. The blood is kept in the shadows, almost ignored; the same way the destruction caused by government mandates is ignored by the establishment media and figureheads.

JOHN: There’s nothing more sanitary than a bleached skull. Can you speak about the brilliant title you chose?

JORDAN: The title Safe & Sanitized is intended as dark humour, for the purpose of illustrating the hypocrisy of the Medical Police State. Death, destruction, censorship, imprisonment, persecution, and the ensuing loss of health and freedom for the general population are carried out under the guise of “safety” and “sanitation”.

SafeSanitizedJordanHatworkJOHN: You said you felt driven to paint this horrific image. What message are you trying to convey?

JORDAN: My drive in creating this image was the desire to visually encapsulate the end goal of all COVID-19 policies — the subjugation of the general populace. The subjugation of a human or group of humans by another human or group of humans is the common denominator to those things universally regarded as evil; murder, torture, rape, genocide, and slavery, all involve one human or group of humans being forced under the authority of another human or group of humans.

JOHN: Despite the horror of it, there is a definite and striking beauty to the painting.

JORDAN: While the subject matter is dark, the painting itself is meant to be aesthetically pleasing; hands, skulls, and blood, all have a beauty of their own. The beauty of these three elements (hands, the skull, and blood) hopefully remind the viewer of how marvelous human beings are, thereby increasing the viewer’s empathy for any human being forced under the authority of another.

JOHN: Thank you very much for taking the time to both paint it and answer my questions. Where can readers go to purchase the original or prints?

JORDAN: The original is for sale at And prints, as well as stationary cards, T-shirts and other memorabilia, are available at

John C. A. Manley has spent over a decade ghostwriting for medical doctors, naturopaths and chiropractors. Since March 2020, he has been writing articles that question and expose the contradictions in the COVID-19 narrative and control measures. He is also completing a novel, Much Ado About Corona: A Dystopian Love Story. You can visit his website at

Back to top

5. Wanted: a new resistance movement

Edge Fund poster

Earlier this month we published a new investigation presenting shocking evidence that UK “leftists” and “anarchists” are being secretly funded by the world of impact capitalism.

The implications are historic and merit being widely digested. Since the article is long and detailed, here is a summary of its contents and conclusions.

* In 2013 many UK anarchists received an email from Sophie Pritchard of Edge Fund looking for “groups that need funding for their work to bring about justice and equality”.

* Edge Fund has gone on to fund various antifascists and anarchists, plus Black Lives Matter and Rising Up (the network behind Extinction Rebellion) and many “intersectional” groups.

* Edge Fund is closely linked to EDGE Funders Alliance (Engaged Donors for Global Equity) in the USA, whose sponsors include the Rockefeller Foundation.

* Rose Longhurst of Edge Fund and EDGE Funders Alliance is part of George Soros’ Open Society Initiative for Europe and of the Atlantic Fellows scheme founded by Chuck Feeney, described by billionaire Warren Buffett as “my hero and Bill Gates’ hero”.

Bill and Melinda Gates2* Edge Fund’s Longhurst is also part of Bond, “the UK network for international development and humanitarian organisations”, which is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

* Edge Fund chair Isis Amlak is a trustee of Olmec, a “social enterprise” which supports BLM but which is in fact clearly belongs to the world of impact capitalism.

* Edge Fund co-founder and coordinator Sophie Pritchard is closely linked to Alliance Magazine, which is partnered with a range of impact businesses and New Philanthropy Capital (NPC).

lankelly chase Thinking Big* Edge Fund activities have been funded by Lankelly Chase, which was involved in the world’s 1st social impact bond alongside J Paul Getty Jr Charitable Trust, K L Felicitas Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation and Ronald Cohen.

* Katie Boswell of NPC, a fan of Edge Fund who like them writes for Alliance Magazine, is a member of Klaus Schwab’s Global Shapers.

Edge Fund is clearly an integral part of an impact capitalism scam, “wokewashing” hypocrisy of the first order, in which profiteers pretend to be acting in the interests of the very people they are exploiting.

A “radical” movement so thoroughly riddled with corporate corruption has obviously come to the end of its useful life and is completely discredited.

We need to start again with a radicalism that challenges the system to the core, a resistance to the global wealthy elite that is deeply and fundamentally opposed to everything they are promoting in their bid to further enslave and exploit us.

revolutionaries2Our resistance needs to be based on solidarity and unity in the face of oppression, rather than on divisive classification and fetishisation of people along lines of race or gender.

It has to be rooted in a love of freedom, independence and self-expression rather than grafted on to a fearful cowed obedience to authority and its propaganda.

We need to say clearly that the values we cherish have nothing to do with the low money-lust of the corporate crooks and their sweaty dreams of endless profit and power.

Turning our backs for ever on their corrupt transhumanist death-cult politics of artifice, hypocrisy and deceit, we need to stand tall and loudly proclaim our belief in nature, in humanity, in truth, in beauty, in justice, in the life energy itself.

Back to top

6. Georges Bernanos: an orgrad inspiration

The latest in our series of profiles from the orgrad website.


The Civilization of the Machines is the civilization of quantity opposed to that of quality”

Georges Bernanos (1888-1948) was a French novelist and commentator who strongly criticised the industrial capitalist machine.

After a youthful flirtation with the far-right Action Française, he went on to condemn fascism as “disgustingly monstrous” and was a prominent supporter, from exile in Brazil, of the Free French Forces resisting the Nazi occupation during the Second World War.

From a radical organic perspective, he is significant for his outspoken opposition to the industrial capitalist world and its crushing of the human spirit.

In a 1944 interview Bernanos said: “This world, described stupidly as modern as it were sufficiently justified by the very fact of existing today, has enormous means at its disposal, and notably a propaganda system whose power, efficiency and all-embracing scope simply cannot be compared with anything man has previously known or even imagined.” (1)

la france contre les robotsThree years later he penned the essay ‘France Against the Robots’ (‘La France contre les Robots’), in which he declared war on those he described as “the imbeciles”. He condemned the machine-civilisation and its technology, declaring: “The Civilization of the Machines is the civilization of quantity opposed to that of quality”. (2)

Bernanos warned that the headlong plunge into productivism, consumerism and money-making was threatening humanity and its spiritual well-being.

He wrote: “We can understand nothing about modern civilisation if we don’t first accept that it is a universal conspiracy against all kinds of interior life”. (3)

Jacques Allaire nicely summed up Bernanos’ analysis of the industrial-commercial malaise: “Having has replaced being. In our modern societies, blinded by the speed with which they can produce, the sense of having has become the one and only sense. Having is even the essence of being”. (4)

Inevitably, Bernanos’ critique of industrial capitalism led to him being accused of being backward-looking or reactionary. But this was far from the truth and he always insisted that it was not a question of going into reverse gear but of changing the direction in which are moving forward.

He wrote: “The rule of Money is the rule of the Old. In a world which has succumbed to the dictatorship of Profit, anyone who dares to put honour before money is automatically reduced to powerlessness. It is the spirit of youth which is rejected. The youth of the world has a choice to make between two extreme solutions: surrender or revolution”. (5)

Audio link: Une vie, une œuvre : Georges Bernanos (59 mins)

georges bernanos art

1. Georges Bernanos, interview with Diaro de Belo Horizonte, June 1944.
2. Georges Bernanos, ‘La France contre les robots’, cit. Aux origines de la décroissance – Cinquante penseurs, coordonné par Cédric Biagini, David Murray, Pierre Thiesset (Paris: L’Échappée, 2017), p. 28.
3. Bernanos, ‘La France contre les robots’, cit. Aux origines de la décroissance, p. 31.
4. Jacques Allaire, Aux origines de la décroissance, p. 30.
5. Bernanos, La France contre les robots, cit. Aux origines de la décroissance, p. 31.

Back to top

6. Acorninfo

“The future of humanity is literally in our hands… We will not be silenced and we will not allow our children to become the slaves of a pharmaceutical technocratic dictatorship!” Powerful and intelligent video from Henna Maria.

Henna Maria

* * *

“We really are in the middle of a power grab by billionaires! Creating confusion and making people comply with nonsense is a proven and long-tested technique of breaking a nation’s spirit”. ‘Pandemic, Meet Panopticon. Panopticon, Meet Pandemic‘ is the latest article from Tessa Lena.

Tessa Lena

* * *

In a fascinating interview with independent journalist Eva Bartlett, Professor Mila Aleckovic-Bataille, a Serbian professor of psychopathology and psychology, with a doctorate from Sorbonne University in Paris, talks about ‘Black Psychiatry and Covid19 Measures’.

Prof Mila

* * *

“The Great Reset is packaged as a ‘great solution’. Just like how the ruling class has marketed ‘green capitalism’, it’s designed to prop up capitalism but also to transform capitalism to control of social relations while keeping the capitalist hierarchy intact”. So writes Hiroyuki Hamada in his latest piece, ‘Mechanism of Invisible Empire‘.

Hamada illus

* * *

“We have a limited window of time to reclaim the things that make life worth living: family, community, cultural heritage, the social sphere, public institutions, common spaces, and free movement. That window may be closing quickly, but it is not fully closed yet”. ‘The Great Covid Class War’ by Alex Gutentag can be found on The Bellows website.

The Bellows art

* * *

Irish medical consultant Prof Seamus O’Mahoney has spoken out against the corruption of his profession in a new book. He says: “Despite its global dominance, this medical-industrial complex has given us meagre, feeble comforts at vast expense. Its chief concern is its own survival and continued dominance”.

Seamus O Mahony

* * *

“Bankers once saw tackling climate change as a niche issue. Now it is a chance to fuel future profits”. This statement, surprisingly, doesn’t come from the No Deal for Nature campaign or investigative journalist Cory Morningstar, but from a perceptive article by Gillian Tett in The Financial Times. More on the climate capitalists here.

FT green is good

* * *

Would you like to make a donation to help set up the Stuart Christie Memorial Archive, a “catalogue of the hidden and subterranean history of workers’ resistance” in tribute to the inspirational Scottish anarchist? If so, go to this crowdfunder.

Stuart Christie

* * *

Enemies of the modern world is a new fictional work by Winter Oak writer Paul Cudenec, a triptych of novellas in which we find ourselves in chillingly close proximity to conspiracy theorists, denialists, technophobes and extremists, to anti-social misfits who turn up their noses at global smart governance, insist on the value of a reality that is not virtual and cling to outmoded notions of naturalness, community, truth and freedom… The book can be download for free here.

Enemies of the Modern World cover

* * *

Acorn quote:

“We didn’t make this culture. We didn’t turn the world into the battleground and cemetery it has become. We didn’t turn human relations into the parody they have become. But now it is our responsibility to overcome what our culture has created. Maybe you could say that now we must be what we must be to overcome it”.

John Zerzan


(For many more like this, see the Winter Oak quotes for the day blog)

Back to top


If you like this bulletin please tell others about it. Subscribe by clicking the “follow” button.


Back Issues

The Acorn 62

The Acorn 61

The Acorn 60

The Acorn 59

The Acorn 58

The Acorn 57

The Acorn 56

The Acorn 55

The Acorn 54

The Acorn 53

The Acorn 52

The Acorn 51

The Acorn 50

The Acorn 49

The Acorn 48

The Acorn 47

The Acorn 46

The Acorn 45

The Acorn 44

The Acorn 43

The Acorn 42

The Acorn 41

The Acorn 40

The Acorn 39

The Acorn 38

The Acorn 37

The Acorn 36

The Acorn 35

The Acorn 34

The Acorn 33

The Acorn 32

The Acorn 31

The Acorn 30

The Acorn 29

The Acorn 28

The Acorn 27

The Acorn 26

The Acorn 25

The Acorn 24

The Acorn 23

The Acorn 22

The Acorn 21

The Acorn 20

The Acorn 19

The Acorn 18

The Acorn 17

The Acorn 16

The Acorn 15

The Acorn 14

The Acorn 13

The Acorn 12

The Acorn 11

The Acorn 10

The Acorn 9

The Acorn 8

The Acorn 7

The Acorn 6

The Acorn 5

The Acorn 4

The Acorn 3

The Acorn 2

The Acorn 1

Follow Winter Oak on Twitter at @WinterOakPress

Controlling the left: the impact edgenda

 by Paul Cudenec

  1. Suffocating artifice
  2. “The power attached to the money”
  3. Who’s getting paid?
  4. A network of global funders
  5. Rose Longhurst
  6. Isis Amlak
  7. Sophie Pritchard
  8. Connecting the dots
  9. The implications
  10. The future

1. Suffocating artifice

guydebordartCROP“There remains nothing, in culture or in nature, which has not been transformed, and polluted, according to the means and interests of modern industry”, wrote Guy Debord in his superb 1988 book Commentaires sur la société du spectacle.

He warned darkly of “provocation, infiltration, and various forms of elimination of authentic critique in favour of a false one which will have been created for this purpose”.

Today this manufactured astroturf “dissent” covers practically the whole political and cultural terrain, with only tiny green shoots of authenticity able to occasionally break through the plastic carpet of suffocating artifice.

It will not, perhaps, have come as much of a surprise to clued-up anti-capitalists and anarchists to learn that the Global Shapers movement set up by the World Economic Forum does not really represent the views of the the world’s youth but of big business networks pushing the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Likewise, there is something predictable about the way the impact capitalism promoted by Tony Blair’s banker Ronald Cohen uses the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to lend a cloak of apparent virtue to its profiteering efforts.

Left-wingers will not have felt unduly perturbed to hear that Rob Hopkins of the Transition Towns movement, never noted for cutting-edge radicalism, has been receiving an annual stipend from shady social impact organisation Ashoka and blatantly promotes the Great Reset agenda.

Exinction Rebellion was always a bit on the fluffy side, cosying up to the police and pushing a “we’re all in it together” message, so it was not too much of a leap to accept that it is a creature manufactured by climate capitalists hoping to get rich from a fake-green “transition”.

gf PICA few feathers were no doubt ruffled by the revelation that Guerrilla Foundation, funders of Extinction Rebellion but also dozens of other “activist” groups, also belong to the world of impact capitalism.

But any anti-capitalists worth their salt know that there is a strict limit to this ideological contamination.

Once you move into the sphere of real full-on social justice activists and self-defined anarchists, the sort of people prepared to take direct action for revolutionary change, there is no way that they could be secretly funded by big business interests.

The idea that they could be connected in any way to impact capitalism, to Bill Gates, Ronald Cohen or the WEF’s Global Shapers could only be the invention of the most deluded of conspiracy theorists, couldn’t it?



2. “The power attached to the money”

Searching back through old emails, I came across a message dating from October 3, 2013, which had been forwarded on a list for UK anarchists.

It read: “We’ve always said we wanted to reach groups that don’t normally hear about funding opportunities so whilst we use the normal fundraising websites etc we also rely on people who can help us spread the word on the ground. At some point someone mentioned to you that Edge Fund was open for applications – can you be that person for someone else please?

“If you know any groups that need funding for their work to bring about justice and equality, especially those who perhaps do not use the internet very much and may not hear about us otherwise, please let them know we might be able to support their work”.

It was signed Sophie Pritchard for Edge Fund.

Edge Fund 2013 email

So what is Edge Fund? Its website states: “Edge Fund is a grant-making body with a difference. We support efforts to achieve social, economic and environmental justice and to end imbalances in wealth and power – and give those we aim to help a say in where the money goes.

“Learn more about our unique model of funding which is not just about giving money away, but also the power attached to the money”.

A post from May 18 2015, now only available on web archives, says that Edge Fund supports groups “taking action for a just, equitable and sustainable world”.

“Equitable” and “sustainable” are both words that ring alarm bells for anyone who has delved into the world of impact capitalism and they made me want to look deeper into Edge Fund.

This task was not totally straightforward, as they have evidently been doing a bit of online housekeeping of late and a lot of pages no longer exist on their actual website.

This key page of links, for instance, entitled ‘What We Fund’, was last seen on November 25 2020, a few days after Winter Oak published an investigation into fellow activist-funders Guerrilla Foundation.

what we fund page missing

what we fund archived

But visitors to their site can still read about their Funding Values.

Here they say they “create opportunities for people and groups to build alliances with each other, and particularly those they might not normally cross paths with, and to share their learning and experiences”.

This immediately reminded me of Guerrilla Foundation’s role of facilitating “unlikely collaborations” between activists and the world of high finance, even paying the former to attend a capitalist Impact Hub “Unlikely Allies” event.

Edge Fund says it is committed to “removing as many barriers to funding as possible”, such as “activists being regarded as ‘too radical’” because they are “looking for real and lasting radical change”.

It explains: “We are an alternative fund for groups who find that traditional sources of funding are closed to them due to their radical approach… Edge Fund is a pioneering, innovative project. We are willing to take risks in our structures and processes as well as in our funding decisions. We aim to be fluid and dynamic”.

Edge Fund poster

3. Who’s getting paid?

Recent versions of Edge Fund’s ‘Previous Grants’ seem to be have been redacted, so I have supplemented current information with an archived version from May 2020 to get a fuller picture of where their money is going.

There are a couple of big names in there, including Black Lives Matter UK, which was awarded £3,000 by Edge Fund in July 2017.

Says the entry: “In Britain, there is a tendency to see racism as something that happens on the other side of the Atlantic. Through their work, they aim to challenge that view, and open up conversations about racism in Britain today. They strive to challenge the structural racism reproduced by the British state through community organising, education and peaceful direct action”.

Another big hitter is Rising Up, the network behind Extinction Rebellion, which received £1,500.

We learn: “Rising Up are focused on system change through non-violent uprising (knowing that is ridiculously ambitious!). They deliberately don’t identify with a particular political orientation (e.g. anarchist or socialist) because they believe in creating the conditions for genuine dialogue / participation rather than imposing pre-determined models”.

Rather worryingly, given my concerns about the influence of impact capitalism, one of Edge Fund’s grantees is called Positive Impact Community (“campaigning for justices for young people, predominantly those who are East african, and refugees who are facing deportation”).

ubeleQuite a lot of the groups that have received Edge Fund money since 2012 are involved in issues around race or refugees, such as the Brighton & Hove Black Women’s Group, the International Federation of Iraqi Refugees (“Support their integration into their new societies”) or The Ubele Initiative (“an African Diaspora social action focused organisation” focused on “intergenerational leadership and social action processes”).

There is also PAC45 Foundation in Manchester, which works “to create spaces and opportunities for the Black community to comprehend, articulate and challenge the racist practices that lead to a life of exclusion in our so-called post-racial society”.

Taking a more pro-active position are Speaking Statues (“repurpose and subvert the ways in which these white supremacist symbols exist in our society with very little challenge”) and Mixed Race Families Scotland (“challenges the social acceptance of Blackface for Halloween and other regional festival and cultural celebrations such as ‘Up Helly Aa'”).

There are also several groups involved with gypsy, Roma and traveller issues such as Travellers and Roma Against Prejudice, United Europe Roma, Hampshire’s Romanys and Kushti Bok.

Other recipients are focused on mental health, such as Recovery in the Bin (“a group of Mental Health Survivors and their supporters”), Phoenix in Leicester (“a collective of working class mental health survivors”) and Empowering Renewal UK (“Sustainable activism and radical mental health in the UK”).

Feminism is represented, such as by Feminist Webs (“campaigning to challenge sexism and develop a fairer world for young women and girls through liberatory youth work”).

transprideTransgenderism features prominently, for example with TransActual (“amplify the voices of trans people”), Childcare Collective in Glasgow (“women, non-binary identifying, and trans-masculine folk”), London Trans+ Pride (“actively opposing any transphobic legislation”), and CliniQ in London, a “holistic, wellbeing service set up by the trans community for the trans community” which is “providing resilience strengthening community-level programmes”.

There is also Open Lavs, which is apparently “a practical, online tool for finding non-binary (gender neutral) loos across the UK”.

But Edge Fund clearly has a special liking for projects which invest in victims suffering from more than one element of oppression or domination.

Here are some examples of funded groups boasting this identity politics “intersectionality”:

African Rainbow Family. “Run horizontally by LGBTIQ people seeking aslyum and refugees with lived experiences of persecution based on their sexuality, gender identities, religion, race, ethnicity, disability”.

Association of Black Parents of Disabled Children. “Make sure their voices be amplified, and their needs considered”.

swouSex Worker Open University. “Working to end state and societal violence against all sex workers, and to dismantle the structures of oppression through which many sex workers face compounded violence: such as transmisogyny, racism and xeno-racism, classism and homophobia”.

Beyond Bars. “Queer and trans prison abolitionists who send books and other educational materials to LGBTQAI+ people who are incarcerated”.

Ffena – Black Women Living with HIV. “Building social capital”.

Global Majority Network. “A coalition of black, brown and diaspora people, including migrants, LGBTQ+ people, Muslims and revolutionaries from different campaigning and community groups”.

LGBT Unity, Scotland. “The only place in Scotland where the space is held solely for LGBTQ asylum seekers and allies to come together”.

Phillippa Willitts. “The intersections of disability, race, class, sexuality and gender identity”.

Sisters of Frida. “They would like to build a sisterhood, a circle of disabled women to discuss, share experiences and explore intersectional possibilities”.

Just Books – Belfast Solidarity Centre. “Providing people at the receiving end of intersecting oppressions the resources to resist”.

Lesbian Immigration Support Group. “They challenge myths about LGBT people and about asylum seekers and refugees”.

6 Rang. “A group of concerned Iranian lesbian individuals”.

Queer AF BrightonQueer AF Brighton. “Formed in response to the rise of racism and transphobia in the community and beyond”.

Rainbow Noir. “A community group for Black Minority Ethnic (BME) Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer (LGBTQ) people”.

In a testimonial on the Edge Fund site, a representative of Black Lives Matter UK reports their delight at the intersectionality on offer at an Edge Fund meeting in Birmingham on July 15, 2017.

They write: “It was so invigorating to know how much grass routes [sic] work is being done all over the country across the issues of sex worker rights, housing, climate change, LGBTQIA+ rights, mental health, addiction recovery, and racial justice”.

Antifascist groups have also received Edge Fund cash, such as Brighton Antifascists (“part of the South East Antifascist Regional group and also the nationwide Antifascist network”), Leeds Anti-Fascist Network and Berkshire Anti Fascists, who are “more interested in action than political philosophy”.

Edge Fund grants have gone to many groups which are familiar to me and which I have campaigned alongside or had dealings with.

There is the Brighton and Hove Unemployed Workers Centre, Smash IPP, the Black Triangle Campaign, Focus E15, Fuel Poverty Action, Glasgow Autonomous Space, Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh, Liverpool Social Centre Collective/Next to Nowhere, Belfast Solidarity Federation, Peace News Summer Camp, Space Hijackers, Fitwatch, Anti Raids Network, Green and Black Cross, Reel News, Empty Cages Collective, Food Not Bombs London, Haringey Housing Action Group, UK Uncut, Undercover Research Group and the Stop the Arms Fair Coalition.

transition heathrowMoney has been given to environmental groups which I have supported, such as the Land Justice Network, Transition Heathrow, Coal Action Network, Rossport Solidarity Camp, Misson Springs anti-fracking camp, Frack Free Upton, The Campaign to Protect Pont Valley, Kirby Misperton Protection Camp, Frack Free South Yorkshire, Frack Free North West, Keep East Lancashire Frack Free, Frack Free Five Valleys, Residents Action on Fylde Fracking, Anti-Fracking Nanas and Fracking Free Ireland.

The London Anarchist Bookfair, which I attended for decades and where I have run various stalls and workshops, is on the Edge Fund list.

g8 sticker for print_Layout 1Even Stop G8, with which I was heavily involved in 2012-2013 received a “small grant”.

The Edge Fund grant recipients also include Shoal Collective, of which I was a member until a year ago and for whom I wrote a number of reports on the Gilets Jaunes uprising in France. More on that later.

I mention my personal connections not just for the sake of transparency, but to make it clear that I am not coming from a position of a priori hostility to this radical left milieu and that I am not suggesting (how could I?) that people who have been involved in these groups are necessarily “dodgy” or “controlled opposition”.

All I am doing is stating that these organisations are all listed by Edge Fund as having applied for and received financial grants.

4. A network of global funders

When I started researching Edge Fund, it quickly became clear that it is very much part of a broader network which seems a million miles away from the radical left which it helps bankroll.

For instance, in this 2014 report by Philanthropy News Digest, Edge Fund appears alongside the likes of the Shell Foundation and its contribution to the theme of ‘Balancing funder power’ is listed just before that of ‘100% Impact Investing’ as exemplified by the USA’s KL Felicitas Foundation.

In the report, Edge Fund is praised by Maria Chertok, director of the Russian branch of the Charities Aid Foundation (“We consult with the world’s leading brands. Inspiring, enabling and transforming their purpose into impact”).

maria chertok

It seems that Chertok likes the Edge Fund idea of “balancing funder power” because this is “another new approach to funding”.

Chertok previously worked for the Ford Foundation and is also “a member of the Editorial Board of Alliance magazine“, a publication which we will encounter again later.

Edge Fund also crops up in a 2016 report on ‘Internet Philanthropy in China’ from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) China.

This notes that Edge Fund’s approach allows it to “better target needs and ensure community ownership over the management process” and concludes that “the greatest area for improvement in the management and reporting system lies in ensuring consistent and thorough reporting and performance tracking across organizations”.

Edge Fund in UNDG report2

The same report also praises the Shell Foundation, noting that it “exemplifies the increasing comprehensiveness of internal evaluations” and that “this kind of transparent and honest evaluation is valuable for the effectiveness of philanthropy more broadly”.

It is difficult, for an outsider, to understand where exactly Edge Fund fits in to this strange and murky world of so-called philanthropic funding.

So I was pleased to discover a 2018 report from Edge Fund’s Influencing Funders Group which helps shed some light.

Pritchard Amlak BoaseExplaining its own history, the Group says: “This initiative began to really gather momentum after three members, Sophie Pritchard (Edge co -founder), Isis Amlak and Patrick Boase (Network for Social Change) attended the Funders for a Just Transition meeting in La Bergerie, Paris (14-16 March 2014).

“The meeting was organised by what has since become Edge Funders Alliance Europe. The main objective was for the funders present to share information and to begin exploring possible ways of collaboration.

“In April 2015 we were selected to facilitate a workshop at the EDGE Funders Alliance’s conference, Towards A Just Transition, in Baltimore”.

Edge Funders AllianceEDGE Funders Alliance, based in the USA, is not the same entity as Edge Fund in the UK, but is closely linked.

It tags itself “Engaged Donors for Global Equity”, which explains where the “Edge Fund” name comes from, apart from being an obvious pun on ‘Hedge Fund’.

Professor Michel Chossudovsky of Global Research wrote about this US organisation in 2016, saying: “In 2013, the Rockefeller Brothers representative Tom Kruse co-chaired EDGE’s program committee.

“At the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Kruse was responsible for ‘Global Governance’ under the ‘Democratic Practice’ program.

“Rockefeller Brothers grants to NGOs are approved under the ‘Strengthening Democracy in Global Governance’ program, which is broadly similar to that put forth by the US State Department”.

baltimoreA glance at the programme for the 2015 Baltimore event attended by the UK Edge Fund delegation confirms the Rockefeller connection.

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund is listed as one of the conference’s sponsoring groups, along with the Ford Foundation, Open Society Justice Initiative, the American Jewish World Service, the Wallace Global Fund, Fondation Charles Léopold Mayer, The JMG Foundation and New Venture Fund.

Chossudovsky points out the presence on the EDGE Funders board of a representative of the Open Society Initiative for Europe.

Today, this presence is even more evident, with the board co-chaired by an employee of George Soros’ Berlin-based organisation.

This is of particular interest for my little investigation, because that person is none other than Rose Longhurst of the UK’s very own Edge Fund.rose longhurst pic

5. Rose Longhurst

In her Twitter profile, Longhurst describes herself as “wearing many hats”, adding elsewhere that “the work I’m involved in is quite unusual”.

One of the 38-year-old’s hats is that of a director of Global Greengrants Fund UK (seeking “solutions to make a lasting impact on the health of our planet and people’s rights”).

This organisation is funded by Swift Foundation “financial activist” Jen Astone, “an RSF Integrated Capital Fellow focusing on transformative food system investments”, plus an impressive range of individual and institutional donors.

The UK outfit is part of the US-based Global Greengrants organisation whose secretary Katherine Pease is director of impact investing at Cornerstone Capital Investment Advisors and “regularly speaks about the intersection of impact investing and social equity”.

We also learn from the EDGE Funders website: “In 2017 Rose helped to establish FundAction, a participatory fund and platform for European activism” .

FundActionFundAction is described as “a new participatory fund making grants for social transformation, organised around a community of activists based in Europe to support social movements working towards a transition to a just and equitable world”.

This helpful information comes from Guerrilla Foundation, the funders of Extinction Rebellion and other “activist” groups exposed in November 2020 as belonging to the world of impact capitalism.

They explain: “FundAction was born out of conversations between activists and funders at several occasions. At the EDGE Funders Alliance European Retreat in 2016, four foundations (Open Society Initiative for Europe, European Cultural Foundation, Charles Leopold Mayer Foundation and Guerrilla Foundation) decided to pool funding”.

The Guerrilla Foundation presentation of FundAction even features a lovely photo of Edge Fund’s Longhurst running a workshop during an EDGE Funders Alliance Meeting.

rose longhurst guerrilla f

Another article mentioning Longhurst’s involvement in FundAction describes the project as “imagining an alternative to the rise of popularism and extremism”.

This is a strange phrase to find associated with an initiative supposedly interested in funding radical change! A fear of “popularism and extremism” is more what you would expect from those interested in protecting the status quo, isn’t it?

The quote in question in fact comes from Longhurst’s profile as an Atlantic Fellow (“for social and economic equity”) – yet another of the many hats she wears!

The Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity programme, based at the International Inequalities Institute at the London School of Economics and Political Science, is “building a catalytic, values-led global community of people who are committed to using collective leadership to work towards social and economic justice for all”.

It says it is “empowering a new generation of change-makers, including policy-makers, activists, researchers, practitioners and campaigners, to work together across disciplines, backgrounds and borders”.

Over 20 years, the scheme “will support over 400 Fellows drawn from both the global South and global North” and was “established with a landmark gift from The Atlantic Philanthropies in 2017”.

Atlantic Philanthropies was formed by American tycoon Chuck Feeney in 1982.

Atlantic Philanthropies

It uses the slogan “Big Bets for a Better World” and declares “Today’s Investments Pay Big Dividends for Many Tomorrows”.

chuck feeney and bill gatesAmerican billionaire Warren Buffett has described Feeney as “my hero and Bill Gates’ hero” and Gates himself hailed Feeney in 2012 as “a remarkable role model”.

Longhurst’s Atlantic Fellows profile also reveals that in 2013 she joined Bond, “the UK network for international development and humanitarian organisations”.

We learn from this organisation’s own site that “Bond’s work is funded by member subscriptions, income generated through paid-for service, and grants, including strategic funding from UK aid through the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation”.

Bill and Melinda Gates2

6. Isis Amlak

The chair of Edge Fund is Isis Amlak, a 54-year-old American citizen living in London.

The Edge Fund Annual Review 2017-2018 reveals that she attended an EDGE Funders Alliance conference, with Longhurst, and “spoke on the closing plenary panel”.

Isis AmlakIn 2020, Amlak also took part in an EDGE Funders Alliance webinar entitled ‘Dismantling philanthropy. Towards a True Just Transition’, alongside Limay Ho, executive director of Resource Generation.

Ho’s organisation aims to “organize 18-35 year olds with access to wealth who are among the richest top 10% of individuals or families in the U.S.”. It has been funded by the Ford Foundation and the Kellogg Foundation and provided with New York office space by the Mertz Gilmore Foundation.

Amlak, speaking from 57 minutes in, introduces Edge Fund in the UK to an international audience, declaring: “Our raison d’être is that we recognise that grassroots activist campaigners and social movements are the people who are at the vanguard of seeking to reconfigure society and we are all about systemic change. So we realise that in order to bring about systemic change, to do the work that they’re doing, they need resources”.

Isis Amlak video

She says Edge Fund are pioneers of a “participatory” model of philanthropy, which is now being adopted elsewhere: “It is important to understand that we were established specifically to do this kind of work”.

She adds that the project is about “building a movement and keeping that movement growing”.

Although she is sometimes described as an “anti-racism activist”, Amlak in fact boasts very specific professional expertise.

A profile explains: “Isis’ leadership experience includes successfully managing partnerships, service level agreements (contracts), building effective relationships and liaising with a range of stakeholder groups and audiences, across sectors”.

This information comes from the website of an organisation called Olmec, of which Amlak is a trustee.

Olmec describes itself as “a BME led Social Enterprise which champions race equality through economic and social justice”.

It says: “We support people into jobs, into social businesses and on to Boards. We work as a catalyst for social change”.

olmec blm

The home page of its website is very much focused on Black Lives Matter and it even boasts a whole page dedicated to the “movement”.

But its 2014 report on ‘First Steps in Social Enterprise’ paints a slightly different picture of its allegiances.

olmec first steps report cover

For a start the report’s sponsors include those well-known campaigners for “economic and social justice” the City of London and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Furthermore, the language and content of the report makes it quite clear that Olmec belongs to the world of social impact investing, or “impact capitalism” as Sir Ronald Cohen calls it.

olmec methodologyFor example, under the heading “methodology” it lists “Focus on migrant-led social enterprise”, “Programme Impacts on social housing residents”, “Impacts on Olmec as the delivery organisation” and “Linking First Steps in Social Enterprise case studies with socio-economic impacts”.

The report adds: “Because of its social enterprise perspective, Olmec is able to help migrants to design dynamic organisational structures which embed their community’s social aims, channel surpluses to meet social objectives and foster active stakeholder involvement”.

Olmec go on to describe a “social impact study” carried out by the Housing Associations’ Charitable Trust (HACT) with funding from Affinity Sutton and Catalyst.

They say: “HACT is also working on a pilot microfinance initiative programme to develop viable and scalable micro-loan fund for housing association residents. The pilot is being developed with a number of partners including Community Development Finance Association (CDFA), regional community development finance institutions and Big Society Capital“.

Big Society Capital, is of course, the institution set up by Cohen, the father of impact capitalism.

As Amlak herself once said: “There is also a great deal of suspicion, rightly so, about sources of funding; who are the benefactors/philanthropists behind the scenes? What is the real agenda?”


7. Sophie Pritchard

Sophie Pritchard is, according to the Open Democracy website to which she has contributed, “the coordinator and co-founder of Edge Fund”.

The 44-year-old from Bristol tells the Edge Fund site: “Prior to working in grant-making I mostly worked as a fundraiser for animal rights, environmental and social justice organisations”.

In 2007 she was listed as working for Friends of the Earth International in the Netherlands and shortly afterwards she set up a blog called ‘Food for Change’.

This very much pre-empted the attack on traditional animal agriculture currently being pushed by corporate fake-greens like George Monbiot and the rest of the Great Reset crowd.

“A reduction in beef and pork consumption could cut $20 trillion off the cost of fighting climate change”, declared Pritchard in 2009.

Sophie-PritchardTurning her back on the organic approach to animal welfare, she even publicised a report claiming that “intensive animal farming is better for the environment than extensive farming”.

Pritchard commented: “Whilst farmers and environmental groups battle it out; the truth is clear. When it comes to animal agriculture there isn’t a sustainable, environmentally responsible solution”.

More recently, Pritchard has been coordinator of Bristol Energy Network.

She is also a director of TIGER (Teaching Individuals Gender Equality & Respect), who describe themselves as “intersectional feminists” who want to “encourage young people to question and challenge gender norms, stereotypes and unconscious biases”.

They say: “We strive to improve mental health and well-being through our wide range of training and workshops for schools, youth groups and also businesses, by exploring and challenging the impact that different strands of gender biases and discrimination can have in the school environment and in the workplace. In doing this we aim to push for higher aspiration amongst young people and increase productivity for staff in the workplace”.

Note the use of the word “impact”, the talk of “aspiration” and the confessed aim to “increase productivity”…

In March 2013, seven months before she sent out the Edge Fund email to anarchist groups in the UK, Pritchard was attending an event in London entitled ‘Social Justice Philanthropy Implications for Practice and Policy’, where she spoke on ‘Using philanthropy to promote economic and social inclusion’.

Alliance Magazine2The University of Kent’s (archived) report on the conference features a link to Alliance Magazine, a journal to which Pritchard and Rose Longhurst have both contributed and which takes a keen interest in the work of Edge Fund and the EDGE Funders Alliance.

In a 2017 article for the publication, Longhurst enthuses about “the emergence of innovative forms of charitable giving such as flow funding, impact investing and direct cash transfers”.

She praises FundAction, the initiative she helped set up with financier Antonis Schwarz’s Guerrilla Foundation, as offering “a low-risk way of dipping a toe into new ways of working”.

Pritchard herself wrote a four-page article for Alliance Magazine in September 2013, in which she introduces Edge Fund and cites the work of Global Greengrants Fund of which colleague Longhurst is a director.

Her connection to Alliance goes even deeper as she “discussed questions arising from Alliance magazine’s September 2013 special feature on Philanthropy and Power at the September 2013 Alliance Breakfast Club held in association with Philanthropy Impact“.

alliance breakfast

In February 2014 Pritchard’s 2013 article was praised on the Alliance Magazine site by Tris Lumley, in a piece entitled ‘Power to the people?‘.

He writes: “Sophie Pritchard of the Edge Fund gives an exhilarating tour of a number of philanthropic vehicles in which beneficiaries are involved and sometimes lead the decisions about where money should go.

“This brief article should be a source of great inspiration to us all, and spur innovation in new forms of philanthropy. At NPC we’ve been arguing for a greater focus on outcomes and impact for well over a decade”.

NPC is New Philanthropy Capital, where Lumley leads its work on “innovation, developing new approaches, programmes and ventures” and “developing NPC’s relationships with core funders—philanthropists, foundations and businesses who have a shared commitment to transforming the social sector to achieve its full potential”.

tris lumley

New Philanthropy Capital is listed on Alliance Magazine’s website as one of its official partners, alongside, by a remarkable coincidence, EDGE Funders Alliance and Bond, the Gates-funded network to which Edge Fund’s Longhurst belongs.

Spring ImpactOther partners include the China Global Philanthropy Institute, the African Youth Philanthropy Network, the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network and the British Asian Trust, “founded in 2007 by HRH The Prince of Wales” whose “mission is to unlock the potential of disavantaged people in South Asia by maximising the impact and support from the Asian diaspora and beyond”.

There is also the European Venture Philanthropy Association (“creating positive societal impact through venture philanthropy”), the Fondazione Lang Italia (“Strategic Philanthropy to increase the impact of social initiatives”), Philanthropy Impact and Spring Impact.

Another Alliance Magazine partner is the UN Development Programme, famous for its Sustainable Development Goals (a key framework for impact capitalism).

New Philanthropy Capital itself is described as being “a charity think tank and consultancy that occupies a unique position at the nexus between charities and funders, helping them achieve the greatest impact”.

Its website explains that NPC sets out to “create the conditions for impact”, with its ‘Open Impact’ page revelling in the “opportunity” presented by the use of “digital technologies and data” to “break down some of the barriers preventing progress”.

NPC open impact

NPC, initially and very briefly known as Project Utopia, was set up in 2001 by David Robins, Peter Sweatman, then vice-president of JPMorgan, and Peter Wheeler, formerly of Goldman Sachs.

Harvey McGrathWherever NPC is mentioned, the term “impact” crops up.

Current director Harvey McGrath said in a 2014 interview: “Drawing on my business background I have always tried to find ways in which you can get leverage and NPC provided that.

“I would have to say that I am particularly pleased with NPC because of the cumulative impact the organisation has had on the sector”.

In fact, NPC, for whom Edge Fund is such a “source of great inspiration”, sometimes actually brands itself “the social impact think tank and consultancy”.

NPC social impact

It is, thus, no shock to find that former NPC director (2005 to 2007) Danielle Jeannine Walker Palmour went on to sit on the board of impact capitalist Ronald Cohen’s Big Society Capital between 2011 and 2019.

Or, indeed, to discover that McGrath himself is also on the board of Big Society Capital and is, in fact, introduced on its website as its chair.

Harvey mcgrath big society capitalNEW

8. Connecting the dots

A name that crops up time and time again when researching the world inhabited by Edge Fund is Lankelly Chase.

For instance, in March 2018 this organisation co-produced and funded, with Edge Fund admirers NPC, a brochure entitled ‘Thinking Big. How to use theory of change for systems change‘.

lankelly chase Thinking Big

Lankelly Chase has directly funded Edge Fund activities in recent years. Reports the Edge Fund website: “Following the work of our Influencing Funders group, we received a grant from Lankelly Chase, so that they could learn more about participatory grant making, shadow and support us in our model of participatory, member-led funding. This grant allowed us to run a funding round, 3 sharing forums and a workshop on fundraising for grassroots groups”.

And again: “In August, with the help of a grant from Lankelly Chase, we opened our 11th funding round with over 150 groups applying for funds”.

lankelly chase Edge Fund

lankelly Chase Edge Fund2

It was also on Lankelly Chase’s site that Edge Fund’s Rose Longhurst boasted in 2019 that “the work I’m involved in is quite unusual”.

She went on to explain that she had attended a “recent retreat convened by Lankelly Chase”.

Longhurst says that the EDGE Funders Alliance, of which she is co-chair, insists philanthropy “must embrace an alternative praxis” and “create brave and safe spaces”.

She adds: “One such ‘brave and safe space’ was the Lankelly Chase convening. As I emerge from the retreat, I’m galvanised to connect the dots between the local, the national and the global”.

lankelly chase logoOthers might feel “galvanised to connect the dots” regarding the role of Lankelly Chase in the Edge Fund project…

Lankelly Chase describes itself as an “independent foundation”, whose money originally came from the property development sector.

It says it is “working in partnership with people, across the UK, to change the systems that perpetuate severe and multiple disadvantage”.

On July 27, 2017, Lankelly Chase was proud to publish on its website a press release revealing its involvement in the “world’s 1st social impact bond”.

Other investors in this Peterborough Social Impact Bond included the J Paul Getty Jr Charitable Trust, the K L Felicitas Foundation, the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation.

ronald cohen bookAlso involved in the scheme, needless to say, was the R&S Cohen Foundation.

Indeed, pioneering impact capitalist Ronald Cohen boasted in his 2020 book Impact: Reshaping Capitalism to Drive Real Change that it had “paid investors 3.1 per cent a year on top of their capital”.

Another dot worth connecting regards Katie Boswell, one of the authors of Langkelly Chase’s ‘Thinking Big’ brochure.

She has written approvingly elsewhere of Edge Fund and the way it has “embraced collective decision-making structures”.

Like Edge Fund coordinator and co-founder Sophie Pritchard, Boswell frequents Alliance Magazine Breakfast Club events.

katie boswellShe wrote after a “great discussion” on feminist philanthropy in December 2019: “So much that philanthropists of all stripes can learn: focus on power & intersectionality, think about how you structure relationships & fund movements, change who makes decisions & who decides what ‘impact’ looks like”.

Just like her colleagues at Edge Fund, she has also written a number of articles for Alliance Magazine.

Boswell is a trustee of The Finance Innovation Lab, under chair Sue Charman, recently retired as head of “Sustainable Business” at WWF-UK and formerly with Barclays Bank. WWF-UK is one of the Finance Innovation Lab’s founding partners.

Fellow trustee and vice-chair David Carrington is “an experienced non-executive board member, adviser and consultant, working with social purpose organisations on governance, income generation and the development of social impact investing” and “a non-executive director of the Impact Investing Institute“.

His profile explains that he is a founder-director and chair of Inspiring Impact and has been a member of the Social Investment Task Force and the Commission on Unclaimed Assets (see here).

Carrington was a director of Cohen’s Big Society Capital from 2012 to 2017. Funny how this organisation keeps cropping up!

He was also a founding director of the Alliance Publishing Trust, publisher of Alliance Magazine, which has been so generous in its support of Edge Fund.

Finance Innovation LabFinance Innovation Lab treasurer is Kate Ormiston Smith, formerly working on “sustainablity” with PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) and now working with Richard Branson’s The B Team.

Boswell herself is employed by NPC, those close collaborators of Lankelly Chase and Edge Fund, where she “works with a range of charities and funders to improve their strategies and maximise their impact”.

Her profile reveals: “As a result of her work, Katie has received several honours and awards, including an RSA Fellowship for her community research work, and the title of Global Shaper at the World Economic Forum”.

Yes, that’s right. Boswell is actually part of Klaus Schwab’s Global Shapers Community, a fact confirmed on that insidious organisation’s own website.

katie boswell global shaper

9. Implications

In an important January 2021 article on her Wrench in the Gears website, Alison McDowell warns of the sinister agenda behind impact capitalism.

Alison McDowellShe writes: “It is the ‘impact metrics’ that enable the world’s richest to profit off misery. The general idea is that social problems are assigned a cost, which creates an offset that is used to fund ‘evidence-based’ ‘solutions’.”

“Philanthropists, acting on behalf of finance and technology interests, fund academics at elite institutions to formulate ‘human capital’ equations that justify this predatory enterprise”.

This is “wokewashing” hypocrisy of the first order – pretending to be acting in the interests of the very people you are exploiting.

As the result of the research I have detailed above (now summarised in this Twitter thread), I am entirely convinced that Edge Fund is an integral part of this impact capitalism scam.

It stands out from the rest of the impact crowd only because of its particular approach to funding, which enables it to reach beyond charities and other institutions into the world of left-wing and anarchist activism.

When an arm of the capitalist system surreptiously pours money into networks which are often avowedly anti-capitalist, there is obviously a question of control at stake.

end of lineUp until very recently I would have said it was simply about taking control of radical groups and networks to ensure they present no real threat to the system.

There is certainly this element. By diverting radicals’ attention and energy into the dead-end narcissism of identity politics, the 0.01% ensure that their own domination is not challenged.

Firstly, this compromised left actively promotes and amplifies the causes and ideologies favoured by the wealthy elite, namely those calling for a more “inclusive” capitalist system.

Secondly it enforces this “new normal” way of thinking within what used to be the anti-capitalist movement, taking on a “thought police” function in shaming and excluding all those radicals who refuse to toe the line.

This is why the “woke” die-hards never seem prepared to discuss the issues, or to “agree to disagree” like most of us are prepared to do with comrades.

Their job is to impose a particular, very narrow, way of thinking and so they jump to insult and intimidation to try and get their way, with no interest in consensual compromise.

It seems very telling to me that many of the people and groups imposing “politically correct” identity politics also turned their back on any questioning of the climate capitalist agenda, dismissing all such analysis as “conspiracy theories”.

They have also generally taken the side of the system since the Covid crisis began, supporting lockdowns and masks and shaming dissidents (see this article or this one).

shoal logoI have had some personal experience of this, not least with Shoal Collective, a group funded by Edge Fund (and other similar organisations), to which I belonged until a year ago.

My exit from Shoal (Shexit?) began at a meeting in north London on December 4 2019 at which I said that I wanted to keep working with Shoal, but did not want to be censored in any way.

Pushed for an example of the kind of censorship I had in mind, I cited, on the spur of the moment, the absurd gender-politics insistence that there is no difference between trans women and women born as women, or indeed between trans men and men born as men.

This was a fairly hypothetical issue, in fact, as I had never really dealt with gender issues in my writing. But as a matter of principle around free speech it felt important.

My point of view was not acceptable to my comrades, who, despite my insistence that I had no problems with trans people on a real-life individual basis and that my objections were on the level of simple common sense logic, declared me guilty of “transphobia”.

To back up some observations about the Big Pharma connection to transgenderism, I subsequently sent my comrades a link to this important article by feminist Jennifer Bilek.

centaurOne of them replied (December 8 2019): “I remain unconvinced by the argument that trans movements are driven and shaped by the interests of corporations. In my view they are grassroots movements by an oppressed section of society. These movements are bringing about a major change of people’s mindsets about gender. Something I think is incredibly important, and revolutionary”.

Another chipped in: “i found it completely offensive the other day when you said ‘if one day i decide that i’m a horse does that make me a horse?'”.

She added a few days later that “the theory that the pharmaceutical industry is driving the trans movement” was “just like what the Daily Mail says” and therefore automatically wrong.

With her comrade still adamant that “denying that trans women/men are women/men is oppressive”, I drifted away from Shoal, aware that my views were considered deeply problematic, but unsure as to whether or not I had been definitively excommunicated.

However, after I started challenging the Covid coup in the spring of 2020, I heard back from Shoal, who were unhappy that my website profile still identified me as part of their collective.

One of them wrote on April 21 2020: “A number of people have now approached us to critically ask us about your writings and tweets around coronavirus, as they think that we are still working with you”.

She went on to accuse me of spreading “conspiracy theories” and “misinformation”, such as by criticising 5G, suggesting “that numbers (cases/deaths) are being exaggerated” and reproached me for my “continuous tweeting about Bill Gates”.

black-starShe added: “it’s really sad because although you may be gaining more respect from certain people (your views are also views of a lot of far-right people, as well as David Icke), you are also losing respect of anarchists in the UK who previously really valued your work and your contributions to anarchism, and who saw you as a comrade”.

It is a strange world indeed where challenging a global techno-fascist coup is regarded as a resignation letter from the anarchist movement!

Since exploring the world of impact capitalism, I feel that the role of the identity-politics thought police goes further than simply preventing meaningful opposition to the system.

It is clear that they are actually working for impact capitalism, either directly or via the pressure of conformist groupthink.

bankstersImpact capitalists have only one interest in life and that is to make money.

If they are prepared to go to such lengths and take such risks by “investing” in far left groups, it is because they are hoping for a considerable financial return.

Proponents of identity politics act as agents of influence for the impact industry, as their ad reps, their marketing staff, their PR division, their security wing. 

Maybe they would have been doing all this anyway, for ideological reasons, without any cash from Edge Fund or Guerrilla Foundation or FundAction, but if the impact capitalists can show that they have invested even small amounts in these groups, they can then claim credit and financial benefit from the results they help bring about.

So impact leftists not only help push public opinion into accepting that impact-related causes are worthy of support and therefore of taxpayer funding, not only help silence those who question these agendas, but also – through the very fact of being traceably funded by impact networks – help the impact investors reap profit when desired “outcomes” are reached and financial returns are triggered.

And why are impact investors so keen on intersectionality? Could it be that, for them, identifying an intersection of “problems” to be “solved” in one single individual is like spotting a “triple word score” when playing Scrabble?

If they make good use of the opportunity to show they have funded several successful outcomes with one single investment, do they reap a greater profit?


10. The future

A “radical” movement so thoroughly riddled with corporate corruption has obviously come to the end of its useful life and is completely discredited.

Maybe, to be fair, those unwittingly caught up in the phenomenon (like me, to some extent) should be given one last chance to come clean and join the resistance.

capitalism pyramid2If they decline to leave the corporate camp through this narrow window of opportunity, they should henceforth be regarded not as former comrades in the international struggle for freedom, autonomy and justice, but as hostile infiltrators working for our historical enemy, the global ruling class.

More than this, the sterile, divisive mindset they have been spreading on behalf of their corporate paymasters should be thrown on the scrapheap of ideological history, where it belongs.

As Miguel Amorós has warned, an “intersectional game of oppressed minorities” has gradually been replacing a collective resistance to established power.

For years now, fake leftists have been pouring scorn on authentic opponents of the system.

They have branded anyone analysing and challenging the corporate elite and their imperialism as “conspiracy theorists” or apologists for foreign powers.

Any criticism of the financial ruling class is declared to be automatically “antisemitic”, even when ethnicity or religion is not the issue, with the whole anti-globalisation movement dismissed out of hand as “an anti-Semitic brown-green-red alliance”.

The impact left have smeared women standing up for their rights as “terfs” or “transphobes” and tried to claim that anti-industrialism and a love of nature is “fascist”, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

We need to ditch all this accumulated toxicity and start again with a radicalism that challenges the system to the core.

We need a resistance to the global wealthy elite that is deeply and fundamentally opposed to everything they are promoting in their bid to further enslave and exploit us.

We need to be delving into their machinations and manipulations, exposing their scams and denouncing their lies.

medieval sowerOur resistance needs to be based on solidarity and unity in the face of oppression, rather than on divisive classification and fetishisation of people along lines of race or gender.

It has to be rooted in a love of freedom, independence and self-expression rather than grafted on to a fearful cowed obedience to authority and its propaganda.

We need to say clearly that the values we cherish have nothing to do with the low money-lust of the corporate crooks and their sweaty dreams of endless profit and power.

Turning our backs forever on their corrupt transhumanist death-cult politics of artifice, hypocrisy and deceit, we need to stand tall and loudly proclaim our belief in nature, in humanity, in truth, in beauty, in justice, in the life energy itself.



Ronald Cohen, impact capitalism and the Great Reset

Guerrillas of the Great Reset

Corporate-branded activism

Klaus Schwab and his great fascist reset

Great Reset page of resources

Shapers of slavery: the awakening

The Great Battle for the Future

Back to top

Ronald Cohen, impact capitalism and the Great Reset

  1. Introduction
  2. Blair and Brown’s banker
  3. Financial services for the poor
  4. Meet the impact gang!
  5. Saving capitalism
  6. Privatising government
  7. Problems and solutions
  8. The fascist model
  9. Freed from regulations
  10. Profits before people

1. Introduction

Social impact investing is at the heart of the Great Reset. It reduces human beings to the status of potential investments, sources of profit for the wealthy elite.

In ‘Guerrillas of the Great Reset‘ we saw how the Guerrilla Foundation, ostensibly a body that gives grants to activists involved in “a variety of social causes”, in fact very much belongs to the world of social impact investment.

antonis-schwarzFounder Antonis Schwarz (pictured) even actively promotes a WEF-supported course on ‘Impact Investing for the Next Generation’ aimed specifically at young billionaires.

And our five-part series on the WEF’s Global Shapers revealed that impact investment is one of the pillars of their New Normal project.

There is a section of their website entitled ‘Impact’ and the term crops up time and time again, like an sinister leitmotif, throughout their activities in the UK, Europe, the USA, Africa and India.


If you want to understand what impact investment is all about, we recommend you explore the work of Alison McDowell of the Wrench in the Gears site – here and here, for example.

But why take the word of an outspoken opponent of impact investment? Why not go straight to one of the leading figures behind its development and find out what he has to say about it?

Blair and Cohen

2. Blair and Brown’s banker

Sir Ronald Cohen, a 75-year-old UK businessman and political mover and shaker, is sometimes called “the father” of impact investment.

He is notorious in the UK for bankrolling the neoliberal “New Labour” governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

Reported The Evening Standard in 2006: “Sir Ronald is believed to have donated up to £800,000 to the Labour Party, and is clearly carving out a role to become the Chancellor’s ‘private banker’.

“Sir Ronald and his wife Sharon have rubbed shoulders with Prince Charles and are friends of Bill and Hillary Clinton, who they regularly entertain at their luxury second home in New York”.

Cohen is apparently a member of the executive committee of the International Institute of Strategic Studies, “a world-leading authority on global security, political risk and military conflict”.

IISS’s funders include NATO, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the UK Ministry of Defence, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the British Army, the Canadian Department of Defence, the Carnegie Corporation, BAE Systems, GKN Aerospace, the Embassy of Israel to the UK, the Kingdom of Bahrain, The Nicky Oppenheimer Foundation and US Friends of the IISS, which “allows the Institute to raise tax-deductible contributions in the United States”.

On its website it offers visitors “analysis with impact”.

iiss impact

Cohen has been involved in controversy in the past.

He was chairman of venture capital firm Apax Partners at the time of the Apax-owned British United Shoe Machinery pension collapse in 2000, which left 544 workers, many of them with long service, without any pension. (1)

MPs Edward Garnier, Patricia Hewitt and Ashok Kumar all called for a proper enquiry, Garnier citing the “mysterious circumstances” under which the pensions “disappeared”.

But no new investigation took place, leading Kumar to say: “I feel so angry on behalf of decent upright citizens robbed of their basic human rights. Somebody should be made responsible. There should be a public inquiry into this. People should be brought to account. These are greedy, selfish, capitalists who live on the backs of others”. (2)

These days Cohen is involved with Klaus Schwab’s World Economic Forum, whose website describes him as “a preeminent international philanthropist, venture capitalist, private equity investor, and social innovator, who is driving forward the global impact revolution”.

The WEF adds: “He is Chairman of the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment; Chairman of the Education Outcomes Fund for Africa and the Middle East; Chairman and co-Founder of The Portland Trust; co-Founder of Social Finance UK, US, and Israel; co-Founder of Bridges Fund Management UK, US, and Israel; and co-Founder of Big Society Capital.

“Each of the initiatives he leads today aims to shift the allocation of human and financial resources to creating positive impact”.

Cohen’s Big Society Capital is all about social impact investment, which it insists is “a trend that is set to continue”.

As its chairman, he enthused in 2014: “I believe there is, at the very least, an untapped $1 trillion of private sector impact investment”.

ronald cohen bookCohen explains his interest in impact investment in much greater detail in a book published in 2020, entitled Impact: Reshaping Capitalism to Drive Real Change. (3)

Here, he explains that we can thank him for having introduced venture capitalism to the UK, since during his continuing education at Harvard he “discovered venture capital just as it was emerging”.

Cohen adds that the arrangement for his studies in the USA required him to bring back something of value to the UK: “I ended up bringing back venture capital, for which I was knighted in 2001”. (4)

The businessman explains that he later switched his attention to impact investment, mainly through the Social Investment Task Force, which he set up in 2000 at the request of Tony Blair’s regime.

He recalls: “After David Cameron’s Conservative election win in 2010, he elevated responsibility for impact investment to the Cabinet Office which reports directly to the prime minister, where Frances Maude, Nick Hurd and Kieron Boyle led, among many other initiatives, the effort to establish Big Society Capital as a social investment bank that can drive the advance of the impact ecosystem”. (5)

In 2013, he says, Cameron “asked me to lead the G8 Social Impact Investment Taskforce, in order ‘to catalyze a global market in social impact investment’”. (6)

3. Financial services for the poor

Like his WEF colleague Klaus Schwab, and the business organisation’s phoney “youth movement” the Global Shapers, Cohen likes to depict “impact capitalism” (7) in the rosiest of lights.

As we will see later, the impact network’s presentation of its activity as indisputably worthy and in the general public good performs a crucial role in its overall strategy.

Thus Cohen coos that impact capitalism “will lead us to a new and better world” (8) by “helping those in need and preserving our planet”. (9)

It will address “a variety of social issues”, including homelessness, affordable housing, community organizations, childhood obesity and mental health, (10) not to mention “poverty, under-education, unemployment, an aging population and environmental destruction”. (11)

It will do this by “helping disadvantaged young people”, (12) supporting “refugee and immigrant integration” (13) and boosting “women’s empowerment and gender equality”. (14)

Impact projects aim to provide “financial services for the poor”, (15) “affordable and green housing” (16) and to “transform the lives of more than 12,000 households in rural Kenya and Uganda”. (17)

Cohen declares: “We must shift our economies to create positive outcomes”. (18) Make a mental note of that particular phrase…

gs leadership

4. Meet the impact gang!

Unfortunately for Cohen, the effect of all this “wokewashing” verbiage is severely undermined by his own account of the organisations and individuals who are on board his impact gravy train.

He tells us: “All big movements, including recent neoliberalism, were funded by philanthropists, and the same is becoming true of the impact movement. The Omidyar Network, Ford, Rockefeller, MacArthur, Kresge and Hewlett Foundation in the US; Europe’s Bertelsmann Stiftung in Germany and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Portugal; Lord (Jacob) Rothschild’s family foundation, Yad Hanadiv, and the Edmond de Rothschild Foundation, in Israel; and Ratan Tata and the Tata Trusts, in India, have all supported the impact movement”. (19)

He adds: “One of the most promising new family foundations is the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI). In 2015, at the age of 30, Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan announced that they plan to direct 99 per cent of their $45 billion wealth into CZI. Their goal is to make a substantial commitment to impact investing that is focused on ‘personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities’”. (20)

Cohen approvingly quotes Megan Starr, the global head of impact for the arms-dealing Carlyle Group (closely linked to the WEF and its Global Shapers – see here and here), when she remarked that “it’s no longer possible to generate high rates of return unless you invest for impact”. (21)

Bill and Melinda GatesHe lists Goldman Sachs, “another big-name asset management firm that is involved in impact investing”, (22) “Unilever, under the enlightened leadership of CEO Paul Polman”, (23) The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, (24), Accenture, (25) Nestlé (26) and Coca-Cola. (27)

Cohen tells us that Bono, of U2 and Band Aid fame, has, through his Rise Fund, “become a powerful advocate for the use of impact investment”. (28)

He mentions Emmanuel Macron (29) and Richard Branson’s B-Team, (30) while praising both Andela (31) in Nigeria (see here) and Ashoka, (32) that strange cult-like organisation so closely linked to Klaus Schwab’s Global Shapers as well as to the Transition Movement’s Rob Hopkins.

No self-respecting “philanthropist” billionaire today would be caught without his own personal foundation and Cohen explains why. “The nature of foundations makes them a perfect leader of the Impact Revolution. Because of their charitable status and sense of mission, they can experiment with different roles – acting as grantors, investors, guarantors or outcome payers. They can fund efforts to support the growth of the impact field, as well as influence delivery organizations, governments and investors to collaborate in new ways in tackling social problems”. (33)

And he does nothing to dispel suspicions of something rather alarming going on when he describes the activities of one particular foundation.

“Silicon Valley alumni Charly and Lisa Kleissner’s KL Felicitas Foundation is going all-in by dedicating its total assets of approximately $10 million to impact investing, and they are encouraging their peers to do the same. Under the umbrella of Toniic, a global action community of impact investors, the Kleissners co-founded the ‘100 per cent Impact Network’, a collaborative group of more than one hundred family offices, high-net worth individuals and foundations who have each pledged to dedicate their portfolios to impact investment. The group has a collective $6 billion of assets, with more than $3 billion already deployed, and aims to create an international movement of impact investors”. (34)

Gilets Jaunes

5. Saving capitalism

A fascinating aspect of the thinking behind Klaus Schwab’s Great Reset is his avowed fear of “political backlash”, “antiglobalization and “social unrest”.

The same anxiety seems to underlie Cohen’s mission to bring about what he repeatedly describes as the “Impact Revolution” (35) but which, in this light, would clearly better be termed the “Impact Counter-Revolution”, or the “Impact Coup”.

He writes, for instance, of his fear that a “curtain of fire” could soon separate the rich from the poor in our cities, as people revolt against injustice: “We have recently seen this curtain rise in countries such as France, Lebanon and Chile, which have suffered violent protests, while in the UK rising inequality was a factor in the decision taken in the referendum of June 2016 to leave the EU”. (36)

Cohen argues: “The fact is that our existing social contract has expired and we are now in the process of drawing up a new one in the form of impact capitalism”. (37)

In other words, his impact revolution aims to save capitalism by reshaping it. It is part of the Great Reset.

Cohen talks about “a historic transition”, (38) “resetting investment for a new reality”, (39) and dedicates a whole chapter to the thesis that “Impact investing sets the New Normal”. (40)

“Impact changes everything,” (41) he says. “Impact thinking will now transform our economies and reshape our world”. (42) “There has never been a more tangible opportunity to make a transformative difference”. (43)

klaus schwabUsing the very same term as Schwab, the Global Shapers and the Guerrilla Foundation, Cohen believes in the importance of making “systemic change”, (44) and makes it quite clear in which direction this would take us.

He writes: “Impact entrepreneurs leading delivery organizations will be able to raise the funding they need to implement their innovative approaches at scale, bringing systemic change – just as venture capital and tech entrepreneurs brought systemic change through the Tech Revolution”. (45)

Indeed, Fourth Industrial Revolution technology inevitably forms part of Cohen’s vision, with talk of “drones and driverless cars”, (46) biotechnology, (47) and equipping schools in rural Africa with “an individualized e-learning platform, computer tablets and broadband access”. (48)

Like Schwab’s Great Reset, the Impact Revolution is apparently “an idea whose time has come”. (49)

Cohen announces, with all the thunderous authority of the Old Man of Davos: “It will take at least a decade to transform our system, and the transformation will unfold in stages: starting with impact investment and impact measurement; through the development of impact economies; to a new global system of impact capitalism”. (50)

private keep out6. Privatising government

So what precisely is impact capitalism and how, on a practical level, does it work?

It essentially amounts to a privatisation of the role of governments across a wide range of spheres, in which bringing about certain social outcomes is treated as a potentially profitable financial investment.

In Cohen’s words, describing an early scheme hatched up with New Labour’s Jack Straw: “If our effort helped the government save money, both investors and the organizations they funded could pocket a fraction of the money saved”. (51)

The word “impact” has been used in this context for the last 14 years. Recalls Cohen: “It was in 2007, at a meeting hosted by the Rockefeller Foundation at its Bellagio Center in Italy, that ‘impact investing’ was coined as a term to replace ‘social investment’”. (52)

Data is central to the way that impact schemes work, because investors need evidence of a positive outcome in order to justify the eventual profitable dividend. These are “pay-for-success investment models”, (53) explains Cohen.

He says: “If we regard impact investing as our rocket ship to social change, impact measurement is our navigation system. It will lead to change and the establishment of new norms”. (54)

The new norm for the large part of the world’s population is that their lives will be regarded as nothing but investment opportunities for the financial elite and their hopes, fears, successes and failures reduced to statistics on a centralised database.

Global Value Exchange2

Cohen speaks warmly of the Global Value Exchange, “a crowd-sourced database of over 30,000 impact measurement metrics that offers valuations in a similar way to the Unit Cost Database. For example, you can find out the annual cost of a homeless person who is out of work in the UK based on the benefits payments they receive, their lost income tax and national insurance payments, and their lost economic output”. (55)

Cohen explains more about the rules of  this lucratively entertaining new game of gambling on the ups and downs of ordinary people’s lives across the world: “Social impact bonds involve three key players: outcome payers, social service providers (these are generally non-profit organizations, but they can also be purpose-driven businesses) and investors”. (56)

Children’s lives are of particular interest to the financial vampires of the impact scene, particularly those most ripe to be “improved” in a “pay-for-success” context.

Cohen writes about the work of the Education Outcomes Fund for Africa and the Middle East, which “aims to raise $1 billion to improve the education of ten million children”. (57)

He reveals it is “supported by an international group of foundations looking for innovative ways to maximize improvement in education in Africa and the Middle East, notably the Aliko Dangote Foundation, Ford, Omidyar, The Big Win, ELMA, UBS Optimus, Hewlett and DFID”.

CAMFED - CopieIt will “help catalyze investment in effective education delivery organizations, such as Camfed, an NGO that has supported the education of over 500,000 girls in the most deprived communities of Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Ghana, Zambia and Malawi”. (58)

Cohen wants to “integrate impact investment into international development aid” to create a new kind of impact imperialism closely tied in to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which “will require $3.3–$4.5 trillion each year over the next decade”. (59)

He is pleased to report that the UK’s Department for International Development in the UK “launched its Impact Programme in 2012 and planned to provide up to £160 million ($212.8 million) over 23 years, in order to catalyze the market for impact investment in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia”. (60)

For impact capitalism, everything is a potential source of investment and, thus, profit – from nature to education, from the oceans to gender.

Cohen says: “Bringing impact measurement to the bond market, which as we have previously seen totals $100 trillion, will also have a major effect. The place to start here is with green bonds (climate), which are now being followed by blue (oceans), education, social and gender bonds.

“For example, Prince Charles, founder of the British Asian Trust, and Richard Hawkes, its CEO, have announced the launch of a $100 million gender bond to provide access to better education, jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities for half a million women and girls in South Asia.

“The market for green bonds stands at around $750 billion today; if they and other purpose-driven bonds that measure their impact come to account for 10 per cent of the $100 trillion bond market over the next ten years, this would bring $10 trillion of funding to companies for projects that contribute to the SDGs”. (61)

For Cohen, this “new model for philanthropy and aid” (62) is the start of something big and he says it is “time to scale Outcome Funds”. (63)

These are “professionally managed vehicles that sign outcome-based contracts with social delivery organizations” and their goal is to “drastically reduce the time and cost it takes to put them in place”. (64)

“We must shift our economies to create positive outcomes”, (65) he declares. We told you to bear that phrase in mind. All is becoming clear!


7. Problems and solutions

Impact investing is all about problems and solutions.

“As the natural torchbearer of the impact movement, philanthropy has the power to usher in a new dawn for charitable organizations, investors, entrepreneurs, businesses and governments, to bring solutions to the greatest social and environmental problems of our time”, (66) writes Cohen, glossing over the fact that impact capitalists are not so much bringing solutions as selling them.

In order for Cohen and his friends to be able to sell a “solution”, the “problem” which this supposedly addresses needs to be officially recognised as such.

It is here that the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals play a key role.

They define specific areas in which governments should be taking action and require them to find money to pour into these issues.

Cohen is, in fact, a member of the UNDP’s Global Steering Group for Impact Investment.

Ronald Cohen SDG impact

SDG Impact, as it calls itself, “is a UNDP initiative tasked with developing resources under three central pillars to accelerate investment towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030”.

It boasts that its “transformational impact” will involve “opening up $12 trillion in market opportunities”.

Cohen notes, with appreciation, in his book, that “in 2015, the impact investing movement gained focus and urgency with the release of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals”. (67)

But he adds: “It has been estimated that financing the achievement of the SDGs will require an additional $30 trillion in investment over the next decade”. (68)

UN SDGsWhere is a typical cash-strapped government going to get that all money from, apart from by increasing an already-crippling national debt to the global bankers?

Cohen suggests that states “release unclaimed assets to establish ‘impact capital wholesalers’”.

He explains: “Imagine that you could snap your fingers and create an extra $2.5 billion in a country’s budget, without either raising taxes or cutting crucial programs. Governments around the world are starting to discover that they can do this by using unclaimed assets, essentially creating money out of thin air”. (69)

He adds that in this way a government “can access money that is public money but not tax money, such as unclaimed assets in banks, insurance companies and investment funds. This money can be used to develop a strong sector of impact investment managers who provide start-up and growth capital to charitable organizations and purpose-driven businesses”. (70)

So he thinks the money created “out of thin air” by these “unclaimed assets” should be diverted, by the state, directly into the impact investment slush funds with which he is involved, so that they can be essentially lent back to the state in the form of pay-for-success social investments, to the eventual profit of impact capitalists?

There certainly seem to be significant sums involved. Cohen writes: “In 2019, the Dormant Assets Commission chaired by Nick O’Donohoe reported that up to an additional £2 billion ($2.7 billion) could be released from unclaimed assets held by insurance companies, pension funds and investment funds”. (71)

Nick O'Donohoe

It is no coincidence that Cohen himself was chairman of a similar initiative, the UK’s Commission on Unclaimed Assets, from 2005-2007. (72)

He reveals: “The UK was the first country that saw the potential of unclaimed assets to spark real change in society. In 2011, following the recommendation of the Commission on Unclaimed Assets (2005–7), which I chaired, Francis Maude, who was then leading the Cabinet Office, asked me and Nick O’Donohoe from JP Morgan to establish a social investment bank along the lines recommended by the Social Investment Task Force in 2000.

“The Cameron government, he informed me, was prepared to provide £400 million ($532 million) of unclaimed bank assets for this purpose. In 2012, this money, having been supplemented by an additional £200 million ($266 million) from Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and the Royal Bank of Scotland, went to establish Big Society Capital (BSC), with me as Chair and Nick O’Donohoe as CEO.

“Since then, an additional £600 million ($798 million) has been released to the Reclaim Fund, which collects the flow of unclaimed assets and distributes them according to the instruction of the government”. (73)

It interesting to note that fellow impact investor Antonis Schwarz of Guerrilla Foundation, funders of social justice “activists”, has spoken about his “campaign to unlock dormant assets for social impact investing in Germany”.

Impact capitalists also have their eyes on pension funds, as former employees of British United Shoe Machinery may not be surprised to hear.

Cohen writes: “The world’s pension funds held $38 trillion in 2016, nearly 20 per cent of the world’s total investment assets. If our pension fund managers were to optimize risk–return–impact, they could significantly support the achievement of the SDGs”. (74)

“Pension fund regulations are a priority for governments, given that pension funds hold so much money globally. It is reasonable for pension savers to be given the option, as happens in France, to choose savings programs that will invest in line with their values – for example, portfolios that aim to contribute to the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals”. (75)

8. The fascist model

It is clear from all this that the impact capitalists have taken a big step away from the classic liberal free market mentality which regards the state as purely an impediment to entrepreneurial activity.

Instead, the state plays a crucial role in their plans. The merger of public and private which they seek is not the state-communist idea of government taking over business, but rather the fascist model of business taking over government (see here, here and here).

Cohen, in his book, specifically states that the “new system” of impact capitalism “aligns the private sector with government” (76) and makes it quite clear that impact investment could not work without the active involvement of the state.

After all, the whole idea is that the debt-crippled nation-state cannot afford to provide the “solutions” demanded by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and is therefore obliged to seek pay-for-success investments in these areas from impact capitalists.

Cohen makes no effort to hide what impact capitalists want from governments.

“Governments can accelerate the transition to risk–return–impact economies. They are best positioned to catalyze rapid growth in impact investment, just as they did for venture capital in the late 1970s”, (77) he writes.

The Entrepreneurial State“The role of governments in creating systemic change is crucial. Mariana Mazzucato rightly argues in The Entrepreneurial State that governments have actively shaped and created markets. This is what governments need to do for the impact market today. They can stimulate its growth in very clear ways”. (78)

“Governments can provide financial support for incubators and accelerators that nurture purpose-driven enterprises, help prepare them for impact investment and mentor them so that they are capable of delivering impact at scale”. (79)

“Philanthropy can only do so much to help governments meet these challenges: philanthropic foundation donations stand at $150 billion each year globally, a small figure relative to government expenditure”. (80)

“I hope the new thinking revealed in these pages will lead our governments to direct their massive economic measures in such a way that it creates the maximum positive social impact”. (81)

“As the risk–return–impact model disrupts prevailing business thinking, and governments introduce new incentives to drive impact entrepreneurship, impact entrepreneurs will revolutionize our approaches”. (82)

“Shifting the mindset of government procurement from pre-scribing services in detail to paying for outcomes achieved through SIBs will drive the use of pay-for-outcomes approaches, and create a thriving outcomes market for the first time”. (83)

“It is time for governments to lead us on the new path of impact investment, towards impact economies and impact capitalism”. (84)

“Governments must play a role in facilitating and nurturing the impact market, by developing standards in measurement and reporting, building market infrastructure and introducing incentives for investors”. (85)

Yep, we’ve got the picture, Ronnie.

Ronald Cohen1

9. Freed from regulations

Of course, the fly in the governmental ointment for the entrepreneurial class is that states do insist on regulating and limiting money-making activities in order to curry favour with The Voters, those poor saps who imagine that the politicians they elect are there to represent their interests and not those of the Global Business Community.

However, as Schwab noted with some satisfaction in his own 2020 book, the Covid crisis means that those inconveniently democratic days are now behind us and we can march forward to a glorious New Normal of totally unchecked profit and exploitation.

“There has never been a better time to launch an impact business, in part because the legal and regulatory environment is becoming much friendlier,” (86) declares Cohen.

He looks back nostalgically to the last major round of financial regulation that allowed him to amass his own personal fortune at the expense of the rest of us: “The explosion in venture capital in the 1980s offers an example of how an industry can be radically transformed through regulatory changes and tax incentives”. (87)

“After 1979, pension fund commitments to venture capital rose dramatically as a result, from $100–200 million a year during the 1970s, to more than $4 billion each year by the end of the 1980s. This important change in regulation combined with the reduction of capital gains tax to 28 per cent in 1978 and to 20 per cent in 1981 gave a big boost to venture capital, which has since grown to become about a trillion-dollar global pool”. (88)

Apax Partners“The experience of my own firm, Apax Partners, shows what is possible when a change in regulations opens up a market. Our first fund in Europe, which was raised in 1981 to invest in the UK, amounted to just £10 million ($13.3 million). Our last European fund before I left the firm, raised in 2002, amounted to €5 billion ($5.6 billion), and Apax has since raised an €11 billion fund ($12.2 billion)”. (89)

Cohen and his fellow impact capitalists have been doing all they can to anticipate and avoid any government regulation or taxation that might hinder their activities.

By aligning their investment strategy with the UN Sustainable Development Goals – or should that be the other way round? – they ensure that their schemes are officially classified as “doing good” and thus “we avoid the risks that accompany investments that do harm: the risk of future regulation, taxation and even the prohibition of activities that could put a halt to business altogether”. (90)

But he would still like to see positive state help in this respect: “Government must adapt to the new thinking about risk–return–impact, and use its regulatory power to accelerate its advance”, (91) he insists. It should “boost the supply of impact capital through changes in regulation and tax incentives”. (92)

“We saw earlier that changes in regulation can be a huge boost in the financial arena. We must widely replicate the initial breakthrough in the US, where a change in regulation opens the door for trustees of foundations and pension funds to make impact investments”. (93)

Ronald Cohen impact

10. Profits before people

The bottom line behind all this talk of “social impact”, as will be blindingly obvious by now, is good old-fashioned profit.

Cohen is, in fact, quite eager to point out the lucrative potential of the project, perhaps anxious that some might be fooled by all the talk of “helping those in need and preserving our planet” into imagining that he has gone soft in his old age and is no longer the hard-headed business tycoon we all know and love.

He recalls: “For me, the breakthrough in impact thinking came in September 2010, when for the first time we linked the measurement of social impact to financial return”. (94)

“We wanted to make an impact through investment, so we thought like investors and set out to find a way to deliver measurable impact, alongside a 10–12 per cent annual financial return. Eighteen years on, Bridges has raised over a billion pounds and delivered an average net annual return of 17 per cent”. (95)

“The Peterborough SIB achieved a 9.7 per cent reduction in the number of convictions, and paid investors 3.1 per cent a year on top of their capital”. (96)

pile of gold - Copie“Being able to supply underserved populations with products and services allows businesses to tap into huge demand, which in turn creates the opportunity to grow more quickly than companies that serve mainstream markets at higher prices”. (97)

“When entrepreneurs aim for profit and impact at the same time, they are able to define ways to succeed without sacrificing financial returns and are often turning their impact into a key driver of their success. Because they place impact at the core of their companies’ business models, their profits grow together with their impact”. (98)

Cohen is very proud of the fact that the world’s first Development Impact Bond in India, put together by Instiglio, the Colombia-founded impact finance advisor, was “a success”.

UBS OptimusHe relates: “UBS Optimus Fund recouped its initial funding of $270,000 from the outcome payer, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, plus $144,085 representing a 15 per cent annual return”. (99)

“Starting an impact venture is a reliable way to be more successful”, (100) Cohen stresses. “Investors will come to realize that we are able to increase returns not in spite of impact, but because of it”. (101)

“When we view the world through an impact lens, we discover opportunities to achieve higher growth and returns that we would otherwise pass by”, (102) he explains. “Impact thinking uncovers opportunities that we would otherwise miss”. (103)

“Investment returns from risk–return–impact will be at least as good as the returns from risk–return, and most likely better”. (104) “Impact helps deliver higher rates of return”. (105)

One possible pitfall awaiting the impact capitalist model regards the supply of raw materials from which they can extract these significant financial returns.

These raw materials are the “problems” for which the investors sell the “solutions”. As Cohen puts it himself: “Impact entrepreneurs thrive wherever there are major social and environmental issues to tackle”. (106)

One way to ensure that there are enough problems from which to profit is to define a certain state of affairs as “a problem”, have that definition officially recognised and then get paid by the public purse for “solving” it.

If, for instance, the fact that large parts of the population of Africa or India live close to nature and are not connected to the internet is defined as a “problem”, then the “solution” of technological “inclusivity”, pushing them into the digital world, is going to pay out for impact investors.

intersectionalityIn the “woke” world to which these capitalists are so strangely close, there will always be another oppressed minority waiting to be discovered and championed. On a pay-for-success basis.

The other way that impact capitalists can rely on there being enough problems for which they can offer “solutions”, is to ensure that, while they might be able to statistically prove “positive outcomes” in very narrow and specific areas, the poor underlying conditions remain intact.

They are, of course, doing just that by treating the wide-ranging damage caused by capitalists as just another money-making opportunity for those very same capitalists to exploit.

By getting richer and richer from their investments, the impact investors actively make sure that social injustice remains a problem for which they can keep selling so-called “solutions”.

By promoting the Fourth Industrial Revolution and all the mining, manufacturing, power consumption and waste that comes with it, they are making it inevitable that the environmental destruction they claim to be solving with their snake-oil fake-green technologies will not just continue but will massively increase.

This means that they can keep making money by selling yet more “solutions” to the problems they are helping to perpetuate!

Wall St tradersIn addition, as Alison McDowell points out, economic parasites can also make money by gambling with these impact deals on the financial markets, so that even failure can turn out to be profitable for some.

She writes: “Bundling the debt that SIBs represent transforms them into liquid securities that are immediately available for high frequency trading.

“The level of risk associated with these derivatives fluctuates as data flows through digital platforms linked to public service delivery.

“As bets and counter-bets are made by elite financial investors, the future prospects of real people are woven into the oppressive operations of global financial markets”.

While Cohen may see all this as “a win-win-win situation”, (107) it represents nothing short of disaster for humanity and our Mother Earth.

Like some demented monster feeding furiously off its own excrement, the impact capitalist empire will keep expanding, bloated with its own endlessly recycled toxicity, until its insane and insatiable greed has destroyed us all.

Unless we can stop it.

2. Kumar, described as “fearless in pursuit of what he saw as right”, was found dead in his home in Middlesborough just before the 2010 general election. The Indian-born 53-year-old was not believed to have been unwell but his death was quickly declared by police to be of natural causes.
3. Ronald Cohen, Impact: Reshaping Capitalism to Drive Real Change (London: Ebury Press, 2020). All subsequent notes are ebook position references (%) to this work.
4. 3%
5. 65%
6. 4%
7. 78%
8. 2%
9. 78%
10. 69%
11. 63%
12. 67%
13. 67%
14. 59%
15. 59%
16. 59%
17. 68%
18. 63%
19. 63%
20. 62%
21. 33%
22. 33%
23. 37%
24. 61%
25. 37%
26. 37%
27. 37%
28. 33%
29. 36%
30. 37%
31. 20%
32. 25%
33. 62-63%
34. 60%
35. 74%
36. 2%
37. 78%
38. 72%
39. 35%
40. 26%
41. 63%
42. 5%
43. 6%
44. 57%
45. 57%
46. 17%
47. 19%
48. 56%
49. 78%
50. 78%
51. 10%
52. 6%
53. 53%
54. 13%
55. 13-14%
56. 10%
57. 56%
58. 56%
59. 67%
60. 68%
61. 77%
62. 53%
63. 55%
64. 55%
65. 63%
66. 63%
67. 28%
68. 29%
69. 68%
70. 64%
71. 70%
72. 1%
73. 69%
74. 31%
75. 71%
76. 4%
77. 64%
78. 65%
79. 71%
80. 3%
81. 2%
82. 26%
83. 64%
84. 73%
85. 72%
86. 24%
87. 70%
88. 64%
89. 71%
90. 27%
91. 72%
92. 70%
93. 76%
94. 5%
95. 9%
96. 11%
97. 16%
98. 25%
99. 54%
100. 16%
101. 27%
102. 28%
103. 18%
104. 74%
105. 78%
106. 26%
107. 10%


Klaus Schwab and his great fascist reset

Great Reset page of resources

Shapers of slavery: the plan

Shapers of slavery: the leadership

Shapers of slavery: the empire

Shapers of slavery: the virus

Shapers of slavery: the awakening

The Great Battle for the Future

Back to top

Shapers of slavery: the awakening

We began this series by quoting a filmed interview with Catherine Austin Fitts in which she warns that we are being pushed into a nightmarish future of complete control, a technocratic “slavery system”.

The video was removed by YouTube after 2.7 million views but at the time of writing was still available on vimeo.

Fitts says that we have been put in a trap by the Covid-19 corporate coup: “But the door hasn’t shut”.

Our only hope, she says, is transparency, in revealing to people what is being imposed on them without their willing consent.

“The first thing you have to see is you have to get a good map. In other words, you can’t nagivate this unless you can see the transhumanist system that is being built and who’s building it”.

Nobody outside the power elite wants the vast part of the whole human species to be effectively turned into “livestock”, she points out. Our rulers are “very afraid” that a critical mass of the public will see the trap that has been laid for them and reject it.

“We have the power to change this”.

Gs logoIt is in this spirit that we have been writing about the WEF’s Global Shapers, who are playing a key role in advancing the techno-slavery agenda.

As we have seen, this insidious organisation is against:

Democracy. Instead of letting people decide how to live their own lives, it uses its power and money to create fake public opinion backing its own narrative and plans.

Community. It wants to cut us off from each other in the real world so that we have to lead our lives online and are thus tranformed into digital products for its profit.

Freedom. In its future of total control, we will be caged in a “smart” prison. We will not be able to go where we want to go, see who we want to see, live how we want to live, say what we want to say or even think what we want to think. We are getting a taste of this already!

We urge you, our readers, to play a part in this vital struggle to stop the slavery system getting a grip on humanity’s future.

We need to counter the dictatorial and corporate-owned Global Shapers Community with our own decentralised and autonomous community of Global Liberators!


As well as sharing the information that we have presented in this investigative series, we would ask you to help expose more details about the Global Shapers, their connections and their machinations.

There are more than 400 Shaper hubs in 151 countries across the world. As their own site reminds us: “There is always a hub near you”.

GS hub searchThe hubs are listed alphabetically in the annual report and can be found via the Global Shapers site.

We would encourage everyone to explore and expose the identity and activities of hubs in their own area, starting with the information the Global Shapers have so helpfully provided for us.

We would also encourage you to seek out your local Global Shapers and confront them with questions, whether via social media or in the real world.

GS annual report coverBear in mind that one or two of these individuals may, like many foot soldiers in the Transition Towns movement or Extinction Rebellion, be blissfully unaware of the real agenda they are serving.

As well as trying to “get on in the world” by mixing with powerful people, they may even be gullible enough to be fooled by the WEF’s “woke” rhetoric into thinking they are involved in something worthy.

The aim is not to insult them, but to make sure that they know what exactly the Global Shapers organisation is all about and that they understand that its aims are totally unacceptable, indeed morally abhorrent, to the vast majority of their fellow citizens.

You might ask them, for instance:

* Why are you part of an organisation which subverts democracy by promoting “stakeholder” rather than popular rule?

* How do you feel about being part of a gang systematically using lies and manipulation (“storytelling” and “narratives”) to trick people into going along with its plans?

* Do you think it is acceptable to deliberately whip up fear over a “pandemic” in order to “reset” human society into a mode more profitable for a tiny clique of sociopathic parasites?

* Why are you, via Global Shapers, helping to turn proper education into online training and using the pretext of digital “inclusivity” to force children into “social impact” exploitation?

* Do you really welcome a future in which our children are nothing but “human capital” for the profit of the ultra-rich?

* Why are you part of an organisation linked to arms dealers like the Carlyle Group?

* Why are you involved in an organisation which is openly spearheading a massive wave of imperialism, particularly in Africa, pillaging land for mineral resources and turning people into products?

* Why are you, by your involvement with the Global Shapers, trying to destroy human relationships and communities, to push us into sterile and isolated existences in which we depend on the corporate matrix for everything we need and do?

* How can you sleep at night knowing that you are part of an astroturf operation run by billionaire profiteers which is attempting to enslave all of us, our children and our children’s children?

* Do you have any moral scruples, or indeed legal concerns, about participating in a conspiracy to make vasts amounts of money by committing crimes against humanity?

As well as asking these questions we also need, of course, to make a stand against the whole Great Reset coup being promoted by the Global Shapers.

We need to refuse to believe their “storytelling”, refuse to buy their “solutions”, refuse to go along with their “social distancing”, refuse to take their “vaccines” and refuse to be herded like sheep into the nightmare future they want.

The big advantage we have over the billionaire transhumanist-technocrats is that we far outnumber them, even though they have hired an army of “influencers” to work for them.

There are around 10,000 Global Shapers and we might imagine that there are ten times as many individuals as that in all the various projects working in parallel for the same agenda.

But with 7.8 billion people in the world that leaves 7,799,900,000 potential Global Liberators!

People of the world, awake and arise!


* * *


Shapers of slavery: the plan

Shapers of slavery: the leadership

Shapers of slavery: the empire

Shapers of slavery: the virus

Klaus Schwab and his great fascist reset

Great Reset page of resources

Back to top

Shapers of slavery: the virus

The long months since the start of the Covid-19 phenomenon have been incredibly difficult for billions of people.

We are witnessing lives in tatters, individuals isolated, families divided, friends estranged, pleasures lost, freedom curtailed, plans abandoned and hope crushed.

But Klaus Schwab, boss of the World Economic Forum, has a different take on things.

He announced in June 2020: “The pandemic represents a rare but narrow window of opportunity to reflect, reimagine, and reset our world to create a healthier, more equitable, and more prosperous future”.

As we have previously explained, Schwab and his accomplices are using the Covid-19 crisis to bypass democratic accountability, to override opposition, to accelerate their totalitarian technocratic agenda and to impose it on the rest of humankind against our will.

It was therefore to be expected that Covid-19 would take a prominent place in the activities of the Global Shapers Community, the fake-grassroots “youth” network set up by Schwab in 2011.

Indeed, the Shapers have more than 150 articles under the Covid-19 heading on their website.

One of these in particular comes across as significant, as it announces the formation of a brand new Covid-related project called Reimagine Society.

We learn on its website that Reimagine Society (“the action tank for systems change“) was founded in March 2020 by two WEF Global Shapers.

“As the pandemic awakened the collective to long-standing system gaps, we mobilized a global community to reflect, reimagine, and reset our world”.

Reimagine Society is presented as a sort of Global Shapers in miniature, involving “60 Communities” and “100 Shapers”.

GS Reimagine Society

And all of this was dreamed up and established before the end of March 2020 in direct response to the then-breaking Covid-19 “pandemic”. Incredible!

One of the two Reimagine Society founders is Alexis J Taylor, “a global leader in activating and connecting entrepreneurial ecosystems for economic prosperity”, who works as director for global engagement at the Global Entrepreneurship Network (“building one global, entrepreneurial ecosystem”).

GS Alexis J Taylor

The other is Miguel A Rozo,”a Canadian-based policy advisor and social entrepreneur passionate about lots of things including climate action, global affairs and innovation”, who has worked for the Canadian Department of Global Affairs and the United Nations Development Program.

And what was Reimagine Society’s totally authentic and original response to Covid-19?

“We believe the pandemic represents a rare window of opportunity for us to build back better”.

Well, fancy that! Young Alexis and Miguel spontaneously came up with the same “narrow window of opportunity” thought as Global Shapers founder Klaus Schwab!

gs miguel a rozoAnd they even managed to slip in the “build back better” slogan which has been parroted by politicians across the world in recent months.

Brownie points all round!

Alexis and Miguel aim to provide “the latest knowledge on emerging systematic gaps and large-scale solutions in response to the COVID-19 outbreak”.

To this purpose they feature headings on “Climate and Sustainability”, “Education and Employment” and “Inclusion and Diversity”, although there is no actual content, just the tantalising promise of “more details to come!”.

Brownie points cancelled. Must do better!

In the face of this unfortunate dead end, knowledge-seekers are forced to turn to other Covid-19 Global Shaper projects in order to gain an idea of how they intend exploiting that “narrow window of opportunity”.

Gs logoSome of the local projects appear harmless enough, promoting practical help for vulnerable individuals and communities.

But others betray the reality that the Global Shapers initiative is, as we have seen, really all about promoting the techno-slavery of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Schwab’s Shapers are very keen to impose a full-spectrum New Normal in which human beings are isolated in the real world and forced to seek connection only through the infrastructures of technological control and exploitation.

They therefore go out of their way to “raise awareness about COVID-19 and spread positivity amongst people from all over the world, encouraging them to stay home and stay safe”.

One hub has been producing an “easily replicable image that can be stenciled and printed globally” so as to “promote everyone working together by staying home”.

“Now that the Coronavirus pandemic requires us to stay home and stay safe, Shaping Fashion and Fashion Revolution have joined forces for digital activation and empowerment of citizens”, says another project, which promises the compensation of “virtual sustainable shopping events”.

When people do venture out of their homes, it is obviously very important that they remain isolated and engage in no social interactions that cannot be tracked and monetised. They must comply with “the ‘new normal’ situation of social distancing”.

Klaus’s Shapers identify “a need to increase awareness among the community about the utilization of hand sanitizer” as part of this pathological obsession with personal and social “hygiene”.

But it seems that “amidst Covid19, working parents are struggling to help their young (2-6 year old) children change their hygiene behaviour overnight” and so Shapers have created “Behaviour Change Cards for Hygiene” to get the tiny tots in line.

GS Behaviour change cards

“Living with the virus requires many adjustments to our way of life including the use of masks”, say Shapers.

Projects include supporting vulnerable women by providing them work through making masks, writing a handbook on how to make medical masks and take care of them, online webinars on mask making”.

“The M.A.S.K. (Make and Sew Kindness) Project is an effort to change public behavior around the usage of masks in times of COVID-19 crisis”.

GS face shield

The hub in Bhubaneswar, India, even got involved with manufacturing what they call an “innovative face shield”, pictured above, while their colleagues in Pakistan promoted “anti-viral walkthrough gates”, pictured below.

GS anti-viral gates

“Help our heroes: doctors, policemen and people working during the quarantine”, declare Shapers.

They never use the word “propaganda” to describe their output, but talk rather of “a social media campaign” or an “awareness tool for spreading authentic information about COVID-19“.

This latter project ensures that “people who show interest in registering themselves as volunteers with several health related organizations and institutes for spreading authentic information can be accurately tracked along with other necessary details to guide them further on the registration and information distribution process”.

This is needed, they say, to “multiply the momentum of the COVID-19 global awareness campaign and fight the spread of misinformation that is prevalent on social media”.

“There has been a lot of misinformation, conspiracies and fake news”, claim Shapers.

“According to Princeton University and the University of New York, older adults are the main victims of false news. Young people should become the reliable source of information in each home”, insists one project.

gs 1984

Shapers are eager to “participate in global initiatives to share truthful educational content regarding the coronavirus and bust myths which may exist”.

One campaign included “a diverse panel of medical experts and influencers who shared insightful information and recommendations for staying safe”.

They really do seem very worried about people not buying the official Covid line.

Unreliable and false information is spreading around the world to such an extent that some commentators are now referring to the misinformation that’s accompanying the COVID-19 pandemic as a ‘disinfodemic’.”

Don’t panic! Don’t panic!

The London hub also seemed to be breaking out into a cold sweat over crumbling Covid narratives.

“There is a concern that younger people are starting to get impatient and the Hub feels there is a role for us to play in this time. The campaign is designed to encourage particularly younger people to pledge ways to help with the pandemic efforts”.

These pledges include “stay at home”, “befriend an elderly resident virtually” and, of course, “help stop the spread of misinformation”.


Obviously, as the hubs are all genuine grassroots entities, expressing the personal views of the young people involved, they will all have hit upon slightly different approaches.

So in Nigeria, on the one hand, they came up with this:

“In view of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the Lagos Hub initiated a talk series where we invite medical experts, especially experts involved in managing the pandemic in the country, to help educate people and give clarity on the myths currently circulating on social media”.

Whereas thousands of miles away in Moldova, on the other hand, they had this to say:

“In view of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the Chisinau Hub initiated an online talk series where we invite experts, especially experts involved in managing the pandemic in the country, to help educate people and give clarity on the myths currently circulating on social media”.

thoughtpoliceCertain projects have gone even further, advancing beyond mere shaping ‘n’ propagandising to a hands-on thought-policing role.

“Global Shapers Copenhagen is collaborating with WHO Europe for information sessions from WHO directly to Global Shapers hubs across Europe and Eurasia.

“As part of this initiative, this project will arrange weekly calls throughout the month of April with a WHO representative for Shapers in Europe and Eurasia to receive a weekly update about COVID-19 across the region and to ask questions about the pandemic.

“Furthermore, this initiative provides WHO with an opportunity to gather information from Shapers on any rumours or potential misinformation that is circulating in different cities within the region”.

Another project, entitled “Combat COVID. Stop misinformation”, announced: “The world and our generation now sit on the edge of a paradigmatic shift in the way we operate our daily lives and plan our immediate futures. In such times we, as Global Shapers, need to be more united than ever.

“In support of the ‘COVID Action in Europe’ project collaborating with WHO Europe – an initiative that, amongst other things, provides WHO with an opportunity to gather information from Shapers on any rumours or potential misinformation that is circulating in different cities within the region – the ‘Combat COVID. Stop Misinformation.’ project aims to amplify our reach in collecting rumours or misleading information.

“Through sharing between 8 and 12 posts on social media accounts over the next 6-8 weeks, calling upon readers to share any rumours or potential misinformation they hear, the project endeavours to generate information for the WHO Europe to inform their communication around COVID-19″.

A report under the heading ‘Global Situation and Strategic Direction‘ confirms the way the Global Shapers “youth network” has been deployed to help impose the official narrative.

gs 1984b“A major difference of the current pandemic compared to pandemics in the past is the widespread misinformation through different sources.

“This leads to panic, anxiety and fear among the global community. In addition to discussion on the existing situation in different countries, an important aspect is to discuss the role of youth in this unfortunate time and the strategic direction of the respective governments.

“For this purpose, Facebook live sessions were organized with the support of Global Shapers Hubs around the globe in which the discussion revolved around the current pandemic situation in different regions.

“The goal of the process was for intellectual support and a collaboration with a think tank named Centre of Progress and Inclusive Development (CPID) was an impressive result.

“Topics explored included emergency ethics, role of community, strategy of governments and health practitioners, Sustainable Development Goals, e-learning for education among others. The series involved 32 Global Shapers Hubs and was viewed by more than 15,000 people from all over the world”.

At the same time, of course, Shapers were advancing their Great Reset agenda, with “online workshops” and “training courses to be transitioned online” plus bids to “help those who are digitally excluded”.

GS learn from home

Covid brought the good news, for technocrat entrepeneurs, that “schools have no choice but to start online classes”. It does, after all, represent a “narrow window of opportunity” for accelerating their lucrative business agendas.

As David Timis of the Brussels hub reminds us: “Online learning is a fertile ground for multi-stakeholder partnerships, such as those between tech companies and universities.

“Now is the time to reimagine the learning ecosystem and experiment with new ideas. There is no going ‘back to normal’. If we do, then we would lose a golden opportunity to revolutionize education in order to overcome the challenges of the 21st century”.

One man’s pandemic is another man’s “golden opportunity”.

A Global Shaper project reports: “According to UNESCO, schools across the world that are forced to close and switch to online teaching due to the global pandemic has impacted more than 1.5 billion children and young leaders, leaving millions of poor children out to education as a result of a lack of digital devices.

“As Professor Klaus Schwab once said during a Global Shapers Town Hall Meeting, ‘Young people and better use of technology are the two main drivers to help us reimagine, redesign and rebuild a new system’, this virtual roundtable will offer an oppotunity to help us reimagine education in the post-COVID-19 world”.

Others “are exploring the idea of supporting the health sector through using 3D printing”.

There is not a lot of talk about vaccines on the Global Shapers site, although one group notes that “we will have to live with the disruption for a year or more until a vaccine can be developed”.

Perhaps they are wary of people noticing Shaper connections to Big Pharma businesses such as Sinovac (see Shapers of slavery: the empire).

gs sinovac

But they have not been backwards in selling various other “solutions” to the Covid “pandemic” which they have been working so hard to persuade us is so unique and world-changing.

BlockCOVID is a month-long virtual summit to activate anyone anywhere to build COVID-19 solutions on the blockchain. By providing a collaboration platform and technical support, we aim to inspire and catalyze implementable products to address societal challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic by the end of the incubator“.

3D printed facial shields. Really easy to do on a large scale with our 3D printers and using PVC for the shield. Up to today, we delivered more than 450.000 facial masks and we are working to produce them faster and with more comfortable designs for users. Companies such as Leroy Merlin, PcComponentes, BQ, Renault, KPMG and SAP are helping us with resources to print more units“.

The Johannesburg Global Shapers, in partnership with non-profit organisation RUACH 3D, Alpha Pharm and the wider 3D printing community, are collaborating to produce and distribute 3D Printed Face Shields to healthcare workers across South Africa at no charge“.

There is a ‘Biotech for Good’ project “to present new tools to overcome the virus” and a scheme in India “to improve the livelihood of women artisans through new skills training, such as blockchain and sustainability“.

Shapers set out to “bridge the new digital divide” by “delivering devices and monitoring the whole impacts“.

The use of the word “impact” here is far from benign. The “social impact” investment industry, which wants to farm human beings for profit, needs us all to lead our lives online.

gs social impact art2

Entrepreneurialism is always lurking behind Global Shaper initiatives: “The Bilbao Hub, together with several entrepreneurs, has decided to create a gymkhana or digital escape room”.

But the Munich hub is quite blatant about it: “It is needless to mention how the pandemic has impacted businesses and individuals. Our focus is on social impact startups in the area of health, education and climate. There is a huge need to access the network of investors, founders and experts to accelerate their growth”.

And the ‘HackCovid19 Cordoba’ project involved “more than 85 mentors (some Shapers) and nearly 40 experts guiding entrepreneurs, with the aim of generating value for our community”.

“Creating value” is a favourite euphemism in WEF circles. They just mean making money. The sly wording used by one group is a useful reminder that the motivation for all the Covid propaganda is profit: “How do we combat disinformation and fake news? How do we add value from communication?

But the final word on the Global Shapers’ Covid agenda should go to Shaper “Golden” Timis of Brussels.

GS David Timis crop

He wrote for London’s Chatham House “think tank” in July 2020: “The COVID-19 outbreak has forced millions of people around the world to stay indoors for months in what has been one of the most significant social experiments in history”.

Although for many people, working from home has become the new normal, he continues, the impact of the lockdown and social distancing policies is far more profound.

“It has radically transformed our collective perspective of what is considered essential work. But the window of opportunity to invest in human capital and help those most affected by the recent developments is closing rapidly”.

* * *

Our next report concludes this investigative series and calls for a worldwide awakening against the Great Reset.


Shapers of slavery: the plan

Shapers of slavery: the leadership

Shapers of slavery: the empire

Shapers of slavery: the awakening

Klaus Schwab and his great fascist reset

Great Reset page of resources

Back to top

Shapers of slavery: the empire

The World Economic Forum organises its Global Shapers Community by means of hubs – there are more than 400 of these in some 150 different countries.

The idea is to give the impression of a worldwide youth movement, a groundswell of opinion from the new generation endorsing the WEF’s call for a Great Reset of our society and our lives.

But, of course, in reality the Global Shapers set-up is not a “community” at all, but a centralised structure in which young recruits are merely puppets, obedient mouthpieces for those actually running the show.

Gs logoThe real agenda behind the Global Shapers is made very clear by looking at its leadership, as we did in our previous article.

The Shapers in all these hundreds of hubs are effectively working for the likes of WEF boss Klaus Schwab, Chinese Big Pharma billionaire Eric Tse and David Rubenstein of the war-profiteering CIA-linked Carlyle Group.

This is a world of “social impact investing”, of lucrative human and natural “capital”, a world of blockchain, robotics and AI, of equity funds and pharmaceutical businesses, a world of exponential profit and exploitation hidden behind a rhetoric of “inclusivity”, “sustainability” and “systemic change”.

Their agenda is nothing less than the acceleration of global corporate control to a level we can barely imagine, the imposition of a full-on techno-tyranny in which freedom is abolished for 99.99% of humanity and in which future generations are reduced the status of digitally-farmed cattle for the profit of the parasitical elite.

To illustrate this shocking reality, we here take a closer look at Shapers and their connections in some key global locations: London, Brussels, Silicon Valley, Beijing, Lagos and New Delhi.

gs london


The London hub of the Global Shapers describes itself as a “large, vibrant and extremely diverse group” of young people who “care deeply about having an impact in London and the wider world”.

It is currently listed as being involved in four projects:

Shaping Fashion. “Now that the Coronavirus pandemic requires us to stay home and stay safe, Shaping Fashion and Fashion Revolution have joined forces for digital activation and empowerment of citizens”.

Covid Action in Europe. “This initiative provides WHO with an opportunity to gather information from Shapers on any rumours or potential misinformation that is circulating”.

United Against C19. “Stay at home. Help stop the spread of misinformation”.

Combat COVID. Stop misinformation. “Calling upon readers to share any rumours or potential misinformation they hear, the project endeavours to generate information for the WHO Europe to inform their communication around COVID-19”.

GS rory daniels 2One of the rising stars among the 42 hub members is Rory Daniels.

Daniels came to the public’s attention when he stood as Liberal Democrat candidate for Llanelli in the 2017 General Election while still a 19-year-old student.

Presented as “passionate about the EU“, he finished last of five candidates with a meagre 548 votes and even lost his deposit.

But a total lack of democratic mandate has not held him back. Daniels spoke at a UNESCO conference in Stockholm in 2019, where he was listed as “Young Leader of Industry, European Commission” and since September 2019 he has been a member of Amnesty International’s first Global Youth Task Force.

GS world forum for democracy

He has described Jeremy Corbyn’s warnings about the post-Brexit sell-off of the NHS as part of “Russian disinformation” and in November 2019 he attended a Council for Europe “World Forum for Democracy” event in Strasbourg entitled “Is Democracy in Danger in the Information Age?”. 

In September 2020, Daniels was named as a new board member of the Sutton Trust, a charity set up by private equity tycoon Peter Lampl, who is described by Wikipedia as a “philanthropist“.

In 2020, the Sutton Trust was providing “briefings on the impact of COVID-19 on social mobility” concluding that “moving work experience and internships online can give a fairer opportunity to all and delivers benefits for employers too”.

The London hub’s founding curator Kate Hampton is chief executive of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, an “independent philanthropic organisation, with offices in Addis Ababa, Beijing, London, Nairobi and New Delhi”.

gs kate hamptonCIFF claims it is all about “championing children”, working “with a range of partners seeking to transform the lives of children and adolescents in developing countries”.

But it also explains that it is “a private philanthropy focused on systemic change” seeking “integrated solutions that follow children along the life course”.

This is very clearly the social impact investing which Alison McDowell has been warning us about.

CIFF confirms this when it says it intends to be “nimble” and to “take risks where the potential pay-off is big”.

It adds: “We know that the returns on smart investments in areas such as children’s early development and adolescent girls are especially high”.

“Championing” children or exploiting them for profit, Ms Hampton?

gs chris hohnThe CIFF exercise in so-called “smart philanthropy” was started in 2002 by hedge fund billionaire Chris Hohn and his then-wife Jamie Cooper. 

Hohn, given a knighthood by David Cameron’s Tory government in 2014, was revealed in 2019 as having donated £50,000 to Extinction Rebellion, with a further £150,000 handed over by Hampton’s CIFF.

At the same time it was reported that he had built a £630m stake in Heathrow Airport via a range of investment companies.

Hampton is not the only London hub member involved with the world of impact.

Vyonne Bajela, “previously a Senior Investment Manager at Mitsui & Co”, is today “the Founding Member and Principal at Impact X Capital, a UK based venture capital fund”. 

GS Yvonne bajela

Jasnam Sidhu works for PricewaterhouseCoopers, or pwc as it brands itself, a multinational professional services network famous for its Social Impact Lab and “founding partner of the Social Enterprise NL and Ashoka platforms”.

GS pwc social impact lab

As we reported in Shapers of slaver: the leadership, Ashoka is a strange organisation, funded by “charitable foundations”, which links ultra-wealthy individuals such as Antonis Schwarz with “activists” like Rob Hopkins and also provides advice to organizations including the World Bank.

Sidhu’s “typical day” involves “mapping out disruptive technologies such as blockchain, AI, or drones”.

GS Jasnam Sidhu

Kenny Imafidon is the co-founder and managing director of ClearView Research Ltd: “We specialise in gathering culturally-informed insights on diverse audiences, to inform business and marketing strategies, and to support social impact evaluation”.

His personal website reveals that “he was named by Impact Squared as one of 100 young leaders (under 25) across the globe making a social impact to transform our world”. He has mingled with royalty.

GS Kenny Imafidon

Jordan Abdi joined the London Global Shapers hub in June 2020.

In 2018, having graduated in medicine from Imperial College, London, he was picked out as a Schwarzman Scholar for the graduate fellowship at Schwarzman College, based at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Abdi declared at the time: “China has a unique political and economic system, and in a world where China is posed to play a greater role, understanding its systems will be vital to successful multilateral engagement.

“My entrepreneurial background coupled with my interest in public policy makes this programme so appealing to me as its modules span business, policy and international relations at a time when greater global collaboration will be needed to solve our shared future challenges”.

Imperial College, whose modelling famously predicted a massive Covid death toll at the start of the “pandemic”, boasts in its report on Abdi’s scholarship that it has “strong connections with China” and is “the UK’s top academic research collaborator with China”.

Stephen A. Schwarzman, chairman of Schwarzman Scholars who funded Abdi’s time in China, is a former Lehman Brothers billionaire who co-founded global private equity firm Blackstone and is “a long-time friend” of Donald Trump.

GS Jordan AbdiAbdi is very keen on the “automation of healthcare” and on old peole being looked after by robots.

A “serial entrepreneur”, he is now “strategy and business development lead” for Singapore-based international business Holmusk, which is involved in “data driven medicine”, “behavioral health and neuroscience” and “innovation among pharma companies”.

Earlier in 202O, Abdi retweeted Boris Johnson when the UK Prime Minister declared “This is going to be a fantastic year for Britain” and Abdi later took to Twitter to announce: “2O21 is going to be great”.

But great for whom, precisely?

Hub member Faheem Ahmed is “a global impact investment advisor and ESG analyst, specialising in sustainable healthcare financing, delivery and innovation”.

In September 2020, he contributed an article to Forbes business magazine entitled “All Public Health Roads Lead To Private Equity”.

GS Faheem AhmedHere he enthused: “Global healthcare is the fastest growing and most lucrative sector for private investors, closing over $100 billion worth of deals in 2019 alone”.

He noted that “sustained government spending cuts to social care has [sic] presented lucrative opportunities for private equity worldwide”.

Are we alone in finding that statement totally abhorrent?

Ahmed concluded that “by shifting away from risky, average leverage ratios to impact-oriented patient growth capital, PE [Private Equity] can provide a much-needed lifeline to support the fragile health and social care systems we all depend on. In the end, all public health roads lead to private equity”.

A profile of Ahmed on the London Business School website notes that he has been appointed as a fellow of its Wheeler Institute for Business and Development, which “brings together business, government and NGOs for social impact”.

It adds that his “passion for social entrepreneurship” led him, in 2017, to co-found HealthMakeSpace.

HealthMakeSpace “aims to accelerate change across the NHS by connecting industry and entrepreneurs with clinicians to foster clinically guided innovation” and, it turns out, was “developed in partnership with Imperial College Health Partners”.

Imperial College again! What a coincidence that the London Global Shapers, whose projects are so focused on holding up the Covid pandemic narrative, are also linked to the insitutition whose projection helped fuel the panic!

GS Bien KingBien King “is an experienced agile project management professional, community builder and youth leader with over 15 years of experience in enabling impact-driven organisations delivering multidisciplinary projects in the UK and across the globe”.

She was therefore presumably well over the current age limit of 27 when she joined the London hub in June 2020!

King is founder of Let’s Reinvent, which is interested in “reinventing value and opportunities” and aims to “take a robust collective action to generate awareness and opportunities to successfully onboard a full representation of the different segments of our society into the future of technology”.

She “can’t wait to get jabbed” with the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

GS Claudine Adeyemi

Claudine Adeyemu is a former “Rising Star” in the “We Are The City Awards” and number one in the 2018 EMpower/Financial Times Top 30 Ethnic Minority Future Leaders List.

She works for Mishcon de Reya, a law firm with offices in London and Singapore, which says it is “here to help our clients benefit from new economies, new geographic centres of wealth, the new global movement of people and capital, and the impact of new technologies and new knowledge”.

In 2018 it was accused by the family of the murdered Maltese anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia of harassment, intimidation and an attempt to “cripple” her financially.

gs laura Round picHub member Laura Round is a Conservative Party activist and a former special adviser to the UK Defence Secretary and Secretary of State for International Development.

She is a councillor in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and was one of the 2018 Tory candidates reportedly reprimanded by a pub manager for being obnoxious and allegedly plotting how to “spin” the Grenfell Tower tragedy when out canvassing.

Round is “associate director at the PR company freuds advising clients on purpose and social impact projects” and “a strong advocate of the role that the private sector can play in sustainable development”.

On January 4, 2021, she tweeted her delight that, with the UK’s involvement, India’s drug regulator had approved the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine.GS Dylan Itzikowitz

Other London hub members include Dylan Itzikowitz, “venture associate” at Founders Factory (“we’re backed by the world’s most influential companies”) and Maxine Mackintosh, co-founder of One HealthTech.

Mackintosh’s research involves “routinely collected data from electronic health records”. She is “an advocate of digital health approaches and maintains that data analysis has the potential to transform traditional approaches to healthcare”.

GS Maxine Mackintosh

You get the picture. Well-connected and wealthy young entrepreneurs obsessed with data gathering, private equity, venture capital and social impact investment.

Just a typical cross-section of London youth!

gs brussels2


According to the city’s Global Shapers, “Brussels is where frontiers become foundations of inclusive projects, the capital where Belgium’s diversity meets into a nation; the heart of the European Union”.

They add: “Brussels best embodies the notion of thinking global and acting local, as it is home to the grand vision that underpins the European project and of challenges facing communities at a neighbourhood level”.

The hub is listed as currently being involved in four projects:

Museum of the Future. “Companies and institutions must be able to anticipate the changes of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and adapt quickly, and cities and communities must be able to do the same. Whether its [sic] understanding the impact of virtual reality, artificial intelligence, big data or the Internet of Things, Shapers want to enable all actors to play an active role in shaping the future of Brussels”.

The Future of Work. “One-third of our lives is spent in a work environment that is being rapidly transformed by emerging technologies. Global Shapers have the opportunity and the responsibility to influence the Future of Work”.

Brussels Happiness Project. “Provides the framework in which people are able to share their progress and get peer advice, encouragement, and support”.

Vote! “A project dedicated to improving awareness, debate, and ultimately youth voter turnout and engagement for the next European Parliament elections”.

GS Brussels hub

One of the key figures in the 31-strong hub is former curator David Timis.

His personal website describes him as “a keynote speaker focused on the impact AI will have on the future of work” and notes that he “has guest lectured at renowned universities, such as Cambridge University in the UK and the College of Europe, and delivered presentations for a diverse range of clients, including Google, the European Commission, and AIESEC”.

Timis is interested in “human capital” and in 2018 was “a Project Manager at Google, where he coordinates the most ambitious digital skills training program in Romania, Atelierul Digital”. This project also taught young people “entrepreneurship”.

In 2017 he became “a social innovator at Ashoka” – the strange organisation we mentioned in relation to London’s Jasnam Sidhu and also in Shapers of slavery: the leadership.

GS David Timis

Timis is also co-founder and project manager of European Heroes, which is part of the Future of Europe initiative (“New narrative for Europe: Bringing more Union into the European Union”) funded by the European Commission’s Europe for Citizens Programme.

GS Nadine Khouzam

Fellow hub member Nadine Khouzam is involved in attempts to format young children’s brains for the requirements of the coming techno-tyranny. Her CodeNPlay business “trains computational thinking — the ‘thought process of machines’ — through robotics in a playful way to kids aged 6 and older”.

Explains one report: “In classes of maximum 12 students starting as early as 6 years old, CodeNPlay teaches the logic of programming through robots and coding as game”.

CodeNPlay’s partners are Digital Belgium, (the Brussels Planning Agency) and Google.

gs codenplay

Oana Popescu works in “Business Acceleration Services” at the European Innovation Council. This Euro-body was “introduced by the European Commission to support the commercialization of high-risk, high-impact technologies in the European Union”.

gs oana popescuIt works to promote “a European Green Deal” and “a Europe fit for the digital age”.

It is concerned that “Europe’s venture capital market remains underdeveloped” and aims “to put Europe on top of the next wave of breakthrough and disruptive innovation that creates new markets, in particular by combining physical and digital products and services based on new technologies business models”.

The project is, of course, all about channelling public money into businesses developing “future and emerging technologies”.

“The EIC Accelerator will enable higher levels of support to target cases where risks are too high for private investors and which have innovative scale up potential”.

Sabina Ciofu is head of EU and trade policy at techUK, which works at “championing technology’s role in preparing and empowering the UK for what comes next, delivering a better future for people, society, the economy and the planet”.

It lists its “partners” as The Broadband Stakeholder Group, The Cyber Growth Partnership, DigitalEurope, European Cloud Scout, Tech Partnership Degrees and UK Spectrum Policy Forum.

GS Sabina Ciofu

Ciofu’s firm aims to “make the UK good for tech” and “ensure the UK is the best place for technology companies to locate and thrive”.

It is interested in “accelerating innovation” and sets out to “explore the applications of emerging technologies and champion their use. From cloud and 5G to artificial intelligence and quantum, we analyse the significance and opportunity of new tech and identify how they fit into the thriving UK tech ecosystem”.

It says it “works with businesses and stakeholders to develop effective policy and regulatory solutions to promote the digitisation of the economy and drive productivity and inclusive growth” and adds that “techUK believes technology has the power to strengthen society and we work with the government and stakeholders to build a smarter state”.

Ciofu previously spent nearly ten years as a policy advisor in the European Parliament, focusing on tech-related legislation, international trade and EU-US relations.

Alarmingly, she “holds an MA in War Studies from King’s College London”.

gs ugur kan hekimUğur Can Hekim is an international trade lawyer and vice-president of the Paris-based law association Jus Gentium, which says it promotes “internationalism, globalism and human rights” and supports Black Lives Matter.

Jus Gentium explains on its website that it “provides a platform for our network to develop legal, intellectual, and political influence. The principal objective of Jus Gentium is to educate and train young changemakers, diplomats, economists, government staff and international lawyers”.

gs koen hoornaertThe Brussels hub’s founding curator is Koen Hoornaert, a partner in the corporate law practice at Van Olmen & Wynant.

He is said to be a specialist in “cross-border mergers and acquisitions and private equity”.

Antonella Vagliente is co-founder and director of Young Water Solutions – “empowering young social entrepreneurs to kick-start their own water and sanitation solutions”.

gs antonella vaglienteHer organisation says it wants to “make an effective and scalable contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals” by “empowering young leaders and entrepreneurs, providing them the tools to carry out water and sanitation projects and launch social businesses in their communities”.

Youssef Kobo is an “entrepreneur and strategic innovation consultant” and former advisor to the Brussels Secretary of Digitalization.

He is the founder and managing director of several projects claimed to be “empowering vulnerable communities in Europe, Africa and the Middle East”, including one set-up called A Seat at The Table.

GS Youssef Kobo

Kobo says: “We want to inspire young people and show them how ambitious they can be themselves and thus create their opportunities”.

The context for this statement is that it appears on the website of Brussels’ Impact House, where “social entrepreneurs, supporting organizations, impact investors, inclusive corporates and civil society come together”.

gs impact house

Organisations featured as involved include Impact Capital (“impact focussed ecosystem”), Oya Seed (“be disruptive and change the system”), SI2 Fund (“deploying human and financial capital”), Shaerpa (“provides management services to impact investment funds”), Klimaatzaak (“force the Belgian authorities to fulfil their climate promises”), C2C Platform (“guides companies towards Cradle to Cradle (C2C) certification”) and, of course, the ubiquitous Ashoka, with its mission “to identify, connect and support these changemakers to accelerate social innovation and trigger systemic change”.

Triggering systemic change into a 21st century slavery system, some might say…

gs palo alto


The Palo Alto hub of the Global Shapers describes itself as “a group of dreamers and doers from diverse professional and cultural backgrounds who seek to make a difference through advocacy, initiatives and projects”.

It adds: “Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, the Hub strives to capitalize on its unique location by gathering highly accomplished young individuals to address regional and global challenges in a world where youth are central to solution building, policy-making and lasting impact”.

The hub is only linked to one project on the Global Shapers site, namely Technology to Decrease Inequality. “Palo Alto is a major center for many of the innovations associated with the Fourth Industrial Revolution, whether artificial intelligence, big data analytics, mobile-based lifestyle tracking, 3D printing and nanotechnology. Yet a communication gap exists between the leaders engineering these technologies and the populations that they impact”, they write.

“Only through inclusive dialogue will Palo Alto be able to shape the Fourth Industrial Revolution and create a future that reflects the city’s and citizens’ common goals”.

gs Palo Alto hub 2

There are 18 listed members of the Palo Alto hub.

Paul Klimos is a leading figure. Indeed, since October 2020, he has even been promoted to the WEF’s Global Future Council on Agile Governance.

Klimos is an attorney with global law firm DLA Piper, which boasts that its clients include more than half of the Fortune 250 rich list, that it advises “governments and public sector bodies”, has a longstanding partnership with UNICEF, is a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact and “strives to be a leader in environmental sustainability”.

In 2012 it was the twelfth-largest donor to President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

In his work with DLA Piper’s Corporate practice, Klimos “helps founders navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship and emerging technologies” and advises on matters such as “private investment fund formation and operation, as well as domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions”.

gs paul klimos

Klimos has worked for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and at the Central Bank of Lebanon as well as “at international financial institutions and regional law firms in Central America and the MENA region” and has contributed to a United Nations Development Programme “peace building project”.

He is “passionate about empowering youth, shaping public policy, and redefining opportunities in the midst of the 4th Industrial Revolution”.

Andrea Carafa is a an “entrepreneur, design thinker and educator” who has worked for the European Commission on “managing emerging technologies for social and economic impact” and with the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), where he “identified technological trajectories and suggested ways to accelerate the emergence of new technologies that can positively impact society”.

gs andrea carafa page

gs andrea carafaCarafa is an “entrepreneur in residence” with global private equity firm Blackstone (see also the London hub report, above), where his work is to “seed and incubate new technology ventures”.

He “chaired the Impact Entrepreneurship Initiative at President Obama’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit and advocated the establishment of the Sustainable Development Goals at the United Nations”.

gs karishma jadejaKarishma Jadega is a “bioengineer”, a “budding entrepreneur” and medical account manager at Health Tap, “the leader in providing access to high-quality virtual primary healthcare to all. For individuals & organizations”.

Their “personalized AI-powered symptom checker” is, HealthTap tells employers, “a modern approach to keeping workers healthy”.

A lot cheaper than providing them with access to real healthcare, that’s for sure.

David Capelli is a tech entrepreneur,  the founder of TECH Miami and involved for many years in “blazing the trail to equitable smart cities“.

Describing her work with Capelli in 2016, fellow Smart Cities specialist Carla Mays said: “Our current research includes strategies around revenue models for building and sustaining smart city infrastructure vs. just cost savings and modernization efforts”.

gs david capelliShe said their work involved encouraging “strategic partnerships to support digital public infrastructure for smart cities, in relation to increased automation and leaning of the global labor force”. 

“Topics include cybersecurity, new business and revenue models development for public sector organizations, access to capital to build new markets, diversity and inclusion in entrepreneurship to support new market growth, disruption and innovation of community and economic development, uses of AI, blockchain in fintech and smart contracts in public sector enterprise cloud and mobile.

“We are almost 17 years into the 21st century, and we must innovate and invest in a ‘New Deal’ that helps Americans compete in the innovation economy and thrive and live in diverse smart cities”.

A clever way to push smart cities is to pretend that they are in some way “green”, although, like the Fourth Industrial Revolution in general, their world of digital “connectivity” involves an acceleration of industrialism and power generation and also, therefore, of environmental destruction.

smart city toronto

Capelli and Mays are now working together on the #SmartCohort Program, “the #1 comprehensive program for Smart & Sustainable Cities Development”.

In this 2017 article they complain that “the public sector currently heavily relies on corporate sustainability and philanthropic dollars to fund Smart Cities development” and insist that “public administration must lead in establishing equitable frameworks for Smart Cities development, design and implementation”.

Palo Alto hub member Jimmy Au works for cloud computing business Salesforce, one of the Global Shapers’ official partners, headed by billionaire Marc Benioff, owner of Time magazine and inaugural chair of the WEF’s Forum Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in San Francisco.

In this Salesforce video, Au’s voice-over explains that he is a senior product manager of the Einstein AI “prediction builder” team. His slideshow tells us: “Intelligent automation will drive the next level of productivity”.

gs salesforce einstein

gs salesforce einstein2

Au is also a mentor with FoundersHK, or 港創人, an organisation set up to connect the “tech community” in Silicon Valley and Hong Kong.

It says its mission is “to build Hong Kong as the next tech hub of the world” and it sees itself as “an entryway for Hong Kong founders to Silicon Valley and the rest of the world”.

Au’s fellow mentors at 港創人 include Frances Lam, senior product marketing manager at Microsoft and Edith Yeung, general partner at venture capital firm Race Capital (“we invest in what matters to humanity”).

Another mentor is Cindy Chow, executive director of Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund.

Alibaba founder Jack Ma was listed, as we saw in Shaping slavery: the leadership, on the Foundation Board of the Global Shapers Community.

gs beijing


The Beijing hub of the Global Shapers announces that it consists of a “large and diverse group of young people, including investors, entreprenuers, artists, doctors, and corporate managers” who are “engaged in such industries as tech, Internet, healthcare, education, art, and many more”.

There are three projects associated with the hub on the Global Shapers website:

Shaping Fashion. “This is a great time to call for a sustainable fashion industry after Covid-19. Now that the Coronavirus pandemic requires us to stay home and stay safe, Shaping Fashion and Fashion Revolution have joined forces for digital activation and empowerment of citizens”.

Shapers Connect: Promoting COVID-19 Global Solidarity. “Schools across the world are forced to close and switch to online teaching due to the global pandemic… Reimagine education in the post-COVID-19 world”.

WeStillHaveArt2020. “A global online art movement that encourages people to create daily art and bring inspiration to each other in the tough time of the COVID-19 epidemic”.

gs Liu RuoxiThe message is very consistent there. Because of the “epidemic”, everything we do in life now has to be done online!

Hub curator Liu Ruoxi is currently “working on reducing the gap among social entrepreneurs, government officials and venture capital investors” and explains that the project involves “several social enterprises which leverage blockchain and big data technologies to solve social credit problems”.

She is employed as an adviser at Tau Investment Management, a New York and Hong Kong-based growth-equity venture investment firm.

Tau is headed by Munich-educated Oliver Niedermaier, who is also on the boards of international technology-led services and payments specialist EQ (Equiniti Group plc) and of the World Policy Institute, which until 1982 went under the splendid name of the Institute for World Order.

gs Oliver Niedermaier

In 2014 the firm invested $200 million in the textiles sector in Bangladesh, the sum being a portion of a billion-dollar Tau Transformation Fund “seeking to change the global supply chain over next three years as part of their Clinton Global Initiative to upgrade the apparel and textile supply chain in promising garmenting destinations such as Bangladesh and the likes”.

Tau adds on the “opportunity” section of its website: “As e-commerce has become pervasive in global apparel markets, consumers are emphasizing availability and fast delivery of a wide range of apparel products. It is now imperative for global apparel brands to identify rapidly evolving fashion trends and ensure that they capture the market by supplying the right apparel to their customers both quickly and with high quality”.

Call us cynical if you will, but could there just possibly be a link there with the Beijing hub’s involvement in the “Shaping Fashion” project?

gs tau

Beijing hub member Chen Xiaohan was one of three young Chinese Shapers invited to the WEF’s Davos conference in January 2017.

gs chen xiaohanIn an interview on the WEF site, she enthused about the advantages of social media by declaring: “A Chinese university student can have the latest breaking news at his fingertips from Weibo and initiate a conference call on WeChat to discuss a West African social innovation project with his partner, whom he met in a LinkedIn group”.

Chen works as associate director of public affairs at Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University, which hosts international Schwarzman Scholars, such as London Global Shaper and Imperial College graduate Jordan Abdi (see above).

The college and scholarship are named after Stephen A. Schwarzman, the former Lehman Brothers billionaire who co-founded global private equity firm Blackstone, which employs Andrea Carafa of the Palo Alto hub (see above).

Beijing hub member Shaoqian “Steve” Deng also works at Tsinghua University, where he specialises in “machine learning, industry data analytics, and computer architecture”.

He is in charge of “designing machine learning algorithms and hardware architectures for the MATRIX blockchain” and is due to speak at the Blockchain Expo at the Business Design Centre in London in September 2021.

gs Steve Deng blockchain

So what is his project all about? A 2018 article on the Matrix AI Network website sheds some light.

It states that “AI’s progress has been throttled by its own technical challenges. A nagging economic paradox continues to feed skepticism around transformative technologies”.

The problem, apparently, is that “there is a still a major disconnect for productivity in the real economy” and technological advance has not proved sufficiently profitable.

“The growth rate for labor productivity in the US steadily fell to less than half its rate in 2005”.

gs steve cheng matrix twitter

The Matrix AI Network article reveals that Deng and his team have discovered “ways that AI could make breakthrough advances in areas hindering the growth of blockchain”, such as slow transaction speeds, cyber security risks and “zero value creation from scarce computing resources”.

It adds: “Blockchain’s promise to serve as the backbone of all other technologies has spurred a wave of aspiration to restructure entire sectors of the economy by integrating blockchain with tech applications like AI and Internet of Things (IoT).

“While governments, enterprises and big banks remain apprehensive about blockchain’s swift growth, first movers are convinced that this innovation is not the next cloud — It’s the next internet”.

gs steve deng pic

Beijing Hub member Dai Wei is the founder and chief executive officer of the bike-sharing company ofo, which runs its schemes via a smartphone app.

gs dai weiIt was all going very well for a while, but a report in the South China Morning Post on December 27 2020 says that ultimately Ofo’s “cash-burning tactics failed to pay off”.

According to MSN news on December 28 2020, Ofo is in “bad financial shape and earlier this year abandoned its bike-sharing interface and transformed itself into a shopping app”.

The writing had been on the wall. Forbes reported back in December 2018 that Dai had been “blacklisted by a Beijing court for not meeting his debt obligations”.

Ofo has received backing from Alibaba, the business empire of Jack Ma, the Chinese billionaire who has recently disappeared from sight – and indeed from the Global Shapers’ online version of their Foundation Board (see Shapers of slavery: the leadership).

gs eric tseThe highest profile Beijing hub member is Eric Tse, who seems to have replaced Ma as China’s representative at global leadership level.

Although the young Big Pharma billionaire is from Hong Kong, he is said to have “close ties” with “mainland Chinese politicians”.

His father Tse Ping was previously a committee member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the country’s top political advisory body.

CNN report that on October 1 2019, the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, “the younger Tse attended Beijing celebrations open only to invited guests and dignitaries”.

On December 7, 2020, Tse’s Sino Biopharmaceutical invested $515 million in Sinovac, the company behind the CoronaVac vaccine.

gs sinovacCoronaVac has already been declared “safe” in Brazil and over a million doses had arrived in the Latin American country by the start of December.

Says this report: “On Monday, December 7, Indonesian President Joko Widodo said that Indonesia received 1.2 million doses of CoronaVac, in preparation for potentially distributing the vaccine in Indonesia early next year. Indonesia is also set to receive another 1.8 million CoronaVac doses in January”.

Sino Pharmaceutical’s investment “is expected to fund further development, capacity, expansion and production of CoronaVac in exchange for further equity stakes”.

Sinovac said the new stream of funding would help the company double its manufacturing capacity to produce over 600 million doses of CoronaVac per year.

In reaction to the news of its massive vaccine investment, shares in Global Shaper Tse’s Sino Pharmaceutical “jumped 4.93 percent“.

gs lagos2


Africa is a key target of the 2020s corporate exploitation agenda.

As Cory Morningstar wrote in her October 2020 article ‘The Enclosure of Africa‘, “the race to recolonize African citizens, as techlonial subjects, has begun”.

Lagos, in Nigeria, is the most populous city in Africa and is a major financial centre for the whole of the continent.

We should therefore not be too surprised by the revelation on the Global Shapers website that “the Lagos Hub was one of the first Global Shapers Hubs created”.

It says that its 37 members are “dynamic young leaders drawn from business, non-profit, private, public service, across major sectors of the Nigerian economy” who are “committed to positively impacting our community”.

The Lagos hub is involved in four projects:

Shaping Fashion. See Beijing, above.

Covid-19 Dialogue Series. “We invite medical experts, especially experts involved in managing the pandemic in the country, to help educate people and give clarity on the myths currently circulating on social media”.

Covid-19 Relief Lagos. “The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on the livelihoods of some of the poorest in the population”.

COVID-19: Global Situation and Strategic Direction. “A major difference of the current pandemic compared to pandemics in the past is the widespread misinformation through different sources. The goal of the process was for intellectual support and a collaboration with a think tank named Centre of Progress and Inclusive Development (CPID) was an impressive result”.

Lagos hub curator is April Amorighoye, a “corporate communications and strategic brand management specialist”.

gs April AmorighoyeIn a 2019 video she appears sporting a Global Shapers t-shirt, “championing” the WEF’s ‘Shaping My City’s Future’ project (see Shapers of slavery: the plan).

Amorighoye says that “achieving a sustainable city and community in Lagos sounds like such a Herculean task” but that she is promoting “accessible designs of the future by the Fourth Industrial Revolution”.

She says that she is standing in a place where “a lot of people lost their lives due to bad buildings and bad structures”.

The hub curator says she has learned from the WEF’s ‘New Champion Awards‘, which honour “companies exploring business models, technologies and sustainable growth strategies that will be needed in the Fourth Industrial Revolution”.

“I plan to give back to the community”, she concludes, by trying to “shape this city’s future”.

It sounds very much like Amorighoye and the WEF would like to see the old parts of Lagos rased to the ground to make way for a “sustainable” smart city, a digital prison of total control and surveillance in which Nigerians would be reduced to the condition of “human capital” for the global corporate slavemasters.

Amorighoye also set out her agenda in a June 2020 article on the WEF website.

She writes: “The COVID-19 pandemic is revolutionizing digital and online education globally but kids in rural and underserved communities in Lagos State, Nigeria, are being left behind as they are not equipped to adapt or transition to the new methods of learning”.

This is the famous “digital divide”, a fake-humanitarian storytelling term by which the megalomaniac technocrats want to force Africa and the whole world online (in the name of “inclusivity”) and thus subject to their control and exploitation.

Amorighoye is worried that there may be “a severely diminishing pool of young adults who have not garnered the necessary skills to stay ahead in the future”.

She adds: “With Nigeria already behind in preparing its young people for the workplace of the future, the effects of the pandemic further exacerbate this issue.

“There are measures that must be taken to help bridge the divide when the urgent needs of the pandemic subside. They centre largely around Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) and government aid”.

She writes: “Government aid is needed in terms of investing in educational tools of the future alongside a total revamp of the educational sector.

“Reforms in the national curriculum post-pandemic would be an effective way to bridge the gap in inequality.

“Priorities should include the introduction of courses such as coding and robotics which can usher students into the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and prepare them for jobs of the future”.


Amorighoye’s article recommends the Teach for Nigeria project, which declares on its website: “Millions of children in Nigeria lack access to an excellent education that will give them a successful future.

gs teach for nigeria2“This results in more and more people continuing to join the cycle of poverty, making it increasingly difficult for our nation to live up to its vision of a better future. Teach For Nigeria exists to change this narrative”.

The real “vision” behind Teach for Nigeria is revealed by its “partners”, which include:

Aluko & Oyebode. A law firm “noted for its work in banking and finance”.

Africapractice. “A strategic advisory firm, operating at the nexus of industry and government”.

ExxonMobil. US oil giant “well positioned for future’s evolving energy landscape”.

FBNQuest. “The unified brand name for the Merchant Banking and Asset Management businesses of FBN Holdings Plc, one of the strongest and most dependable financial service groups in sub-Saharan Africa”.

pwc. PricewaterhouseCoopers, a multinational professional services network famous for its Social Impact Lab (see London, above).

Grace Lake Partners. An investment and advisory firm which “builds and operates profitable businesses that address important societal needs in Nigeria while creating economic value for GLP and its shareholders”.

Sterling Bank. “A full service national commercial bank in Nigeria”.

Swift. “The global provider of secure financial messaging services”.

Verod Capital Management. A leading West-African private equity investor “backed by a rich blend of mainly foreign and institutional investors”.

Amorighoye’s plan to “give back to the community” of Lagos evidently means making them more “productive” for global finance.

As she writes: “Aid provided in this direction can be viewed as an investment in human capital”.

Founding curator of the Lagos hub is Osayi Alile. She works as a consultant to Nigeria’s Access Bank, which since 2019 has been “the largest bank in Africa” and which enjoyed “a breakout growth in earnings” in the third quarter of 2020.

gs osayi alile2Alile is also CEO of Aspire Coronation Trust (ACT) Foundation, which is, in fact, supported by Access Bank.

ACT announces on its site: “Our mission to drive sustainable impact across Africa pushes us beyond boundaries”.

ACT expresses concern at the direction Africa has been taking in recent years.

It states: “As the rates of unemployment and underemployment continue to soar all over the continent, the value of human capital, as well as the pace of development begins to plunge.

“Today, some extreme political and religious organizations have taken advantage of the situation which may gradually become difficult to contain.

“Sustainable solutions are therefore urgently required to counter the challenge of unemployment in Africa.

“We believe that entrepreneurship is key to driving growth in most developed economies; hence, our support is extensively directed towards the youth population who sit at the heart of innovation.

“By instilling entrepreneurial values in the minds of young people, we intend to drive sustainable socio-economic impact in African communities”.

In another article, Alile’s organisation complains that “the poor development of the continent is unimpressive when juxtaposed with its vast potentials in rich human and natural resources”.

In order to make better use of that human and natural capital, ACT is “committed to revitalizing leadership in Africa”.

It explains that its call for new “leadership” is shared by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

gs nepad logo new

Launched 20 years ago, NEPAD is interested in “accelerating economic co-operation and integration among African countries” and has partnerships with international development finance institutions — including the World Bank, G8, European Commission, UNECA and others — and with the private sector.

Its ongoing projects include:

* The launching of a ‘green revolution’ in Africa.
* Numerous trans-boundary infrastructure projects and the launch of a Pan African Infrastructure Development Fund.
* An “e-schools programme” in partnership with several large IT companies.

In June 2015 NEPAD was involved in special session at the World Economic Forum Africa with the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative (see Shapers of slavery: the leadership).

And it has the enthusiastic backing of Blair’s friend Tony O. Elumelu, one of the Global Shaper leaders.

Elumelu and Blair

For instance, the Nigerian billionaire said in 2017: “A coherent and coordinated approach is needed to mobilize institutional investors while limiting their risk exposure.

“African governments need to work on creating conducive environments to attract these investments which are so vital for the continent’s growth and development.”

Hub member Temitope Adediran is a software developer at Andela, a US business with operational campuses in several locations in Africa.

Its co-founder and CEO Jeremy Johnson previously co-founded 2U (“we power world-class online higher education”).

gs temitope adediranAndela describes itself as a “global talent network that helps companies build remote engineering teams” and Johnson was delighted to note in September 2020 that “Covid-19 has dramatically accelerated the trend toward remote work”.

According to Andela, “an accelerated shift to permanent remote work allows engineering leaders to rethink their staffing strategies, tapping more global resources, which can increase productivity and cultural diversity”.

Its site reveals: “Andela is backed by investors including Generation Investment Management, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Spark Capital, and Google Ventures”.

Lagos hub member Sinmisola Nojimu-Yusuf has been interviewed by the DevelopAfrika site ( the page is tagged “African Youths” and “Youths Making Impact”).

She said: “Nigeria as we all know is what you would call a developing nation. The painful thing however is the very slow process in which this development is happening. There’s little or no progress and we are moving at a snail speed. I feel responsible for creating the future that I want”.

The Future We Want. Nice bit of WEF branding!

Nojimu-Yusuf continues: “I believe the world is going beyond formal education yet we still place all our value on it. There’s a need to equip youths with the soft skills needed to thrive in the future of work”.

Future of Work. Another one. Well done!

Looking back at 2018 on her personal website, she writes: “I got accepted to the World Economic Forum Global Shapers Lagos Hub! With this platform, I’m taking a step forward on my journey to being a nation and continent builder on a global scale.

“Still linked to the above I was offered a the [sic] role of strategy and structure lead at a fantastic NGO called Project Zeros focused on poverty alleviation and of course I accepted it with open arms”.

gs sinmisolaIt seems the NGO is actually called Project Zero and is “deployed to tackle the menace of out-of-school children by supporting and re-enrolling children who are out of school or on the verge of dropping out of school”.

“The initiative, in partnership with Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LASUBEB), is deployed to trace, mobilize and support children who have dropped out of school due to socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 pandemic”.

Another report explains that this “social remedial project” also involves “some private partners”.

We learn that in July 2020 LASUBEB “commenced a 10-day digital literacy training programme facilitated by Microsoft in partnership with ATB Technosoft Solutions for over 12,000 Primary School Teachers”.

The report continues: “While emphasising the importance of technology to learning, the LASUBEB Chairman stated that its relevance has become more pronounced with the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic which has changed the ways of doing things globally”.

gs new delhi


The New Delhi hub describes itself as “one of the earliest Global Shapers Community Hubs in India” which “has garnered an interesting profile of Shapers and undertaken myriad initiatives”.

It says it works with “individual and institutional sector specialists and impact driven local organizations”.

It describes the Global Shapers Community as “a network of young people” and insists its activities in India “focus on larger public good”.

The hub is currently linked with eight projects.

Magic Collar Initiative for Street Animals. “1,100 collars will be put on dogs and cattle”.

Smart Mobility. “Regulate the flow of traffic through smart technologies and sensors”.

Upskilling for Girls from Marginalized Communities. “Projects towards maximum possible impact”.

COVID-19 in South Asia. “The fight against this virus is seen on every level; from a global scale to local municipalities”.

Indigenous Masks – Covid, Climate & Art. “A hybrid project framework that lies at the intersection of pandemic response, arts and climate & biodiversity conservation by functioning on the multi-stakeholder theory”.

COVID-19: Global Situation and Strategic Direction. “A major difference of the current pandemic compared to pandemics in the past is the widespread misinformation through different sources”.

COVID-19 Resources in Regional Languages. “Crucial myth-busters and more”.

Virtual Community Huddle & Webinar Series. “Discussing the impact on big business and understanding the post-COVID-19 world”.

gs new delhi hub

There are 32 listed members of the New Delhi hub, one of whom is Utkarsh Amitab.

Amitab is the founder of Network Capital, variously described as “a peer-to-peer mentoring community” and “a remote-first company”, which has “organically grown to become a global tribe of 100,000+ mentors from 104 countries”.

We learn from his profile: “Being passionate about public–private partnerships, Utkarsh shaped Network Capital’s partnership with Government of India’s Atal Innovation Mission to build India’s largest mentoring program”.

This scheme was set up “to create and encourage an environment of innovation and entrepreneurship across schools, educational organisations, research institutes and industries”.

Among its key initiatives are Atal Incubation Centres, focused on supporting “technological innovation” in areas including artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and cyber-security.

gs utkarsh amitabhIt is also developing Atal Tinkering Labs, described as “learning spaces for students between Class 6 to 12 for them to develop skills and become adept at new technologies such as artificial design (AI), design and computational thinking, adaptive learning, etc.

“The modules have been created by partners such as Microsoft, Adobe, SAP Labs, Wipro, and other such leading tech-based companies”.

Amitabh is also known as “the torchbearer of Ashoka University’s Young India Fellowship”.

Readers will recall that Ashoka is a strange organisation funded by “charitable foundations”.

And there is something very strange and cult-like about the language and imagery featured in the current recruitment brochure for the “flagship residential postgraduate diploma in liberal studies”.

gs yif6

gs yif2“A Fellow for Life”, it declares. “The Fellowship Never Ends”.

“Adapting to the new normal will require an empathetic, collaborative and interdisciplinary approach to problem solving and leadership.

“Young India Fellows together form a community of diverse leaders and changemakers from all walks of life, driven to generate transformational impact on society. Members of the community continue to demonstrate a spirit of service towards the Fellowship and Ashoka”.

gs yif4

The brochure reveals that “since 2011, the YIF has groomed over 1700 socially conscious leaders and change-makers for the 21st century”.

The use of the word “groomed” is interesting, there.

One of the “post-fellowship pathways” presented by the scheme for which Amitabh bears the torch is headed “Create Social Impact”.

The brochure suggests that young Indian people interested in “creating meaningful change in society” might like “apply to the values-driven 18-month Mother Teresa Fellowship programme at Ashoka University’s Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy”.

gs yif5a

Bonus fact about Amitabh: “He previously worked at Microsoft and helped build India’s first smart village“.

gs nikoreNew Delhi hub curator Mitali Nikore describes herself as a “feminist economist examining infrastructure, gender & structural barriers”.

She is the founder of Nikore Associates,  “a youth-led policy and research group aiming at policy efficacy and design”.

Nikore herself is totally on board with Klaus Schwab’s Great Reset agenda.

She insists, for example: “Smart infrastructure is essential to lay the foundation for the fourth industrial revolution in developing countries.

“It is time for governments and private sector to work together, so that underserved populations can leapfrog to their new normal”.

gs nikore smart

She has also written an article for The Times of India which “highlights the need to increase the investment in the digital infrastructure and analyses India’s readiness to transition to 5G and suggests a 4-point action plan to achieve the $1 trillion digital economy”.

In September, Nikore participated in the WEF’s Sustainable Development Impact Summit 2020 (“Putting the world back on a path of sustainable, equitable, and inclusive growth will require more than a global recovery; it will require a Great Reset of social and economic systems”).

In a video presentation she explains that she is currently advising the Asian Development Bank on a plan to “improve the competitiveness and efficiency” of Indian businesses.

She is also “advising the World Bank on transport and logistics” and exploring how to “reduce the logistics costs in a country as large and wide as India”.

With this in mind, she explains that the aim of her “think tank”, Nikore Associates, “is to work on gender and infrastructure together and see how we can actually work with industries, private sector, and convince them to make the investments that are required to bring women into workplaces”.

gs nikore with book

Nikore Associates’ interest in gender issues is reflected in the fact that its team “spent a large part of 2019” compiling a chapter for a book called The Indian Woman’s Journey: The Last Five Decades.

Their chapter “analyses women’s participation in the Indian economy since its independence”.

And its title? “Women’s Human Capital”.

Nikore is also an advisor for the BRICS Chamber of Commerce.

This international organisation, covering the so-called BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), uses the marketing slogan “gearing up for the future”.

It states that it is “determined to change the system” and is “working hard to bridge the gap between the worlds of education and business”.

Its chairman, Vishwas Tripathi, kicks off his ‘message‘ to readers of the website by talking about praying for “peace in the cosmos”.

But his organisation seems to think that this will best be achieved by working with the arms trade!

The BRICS CCI Aerospace & Defence & Homeland Security team boasts “decades of defense-specific consulting experience” and provides “comprehensive business, technical, manufacturing and project solutions to clients for the Ministry of Defense, Front Line Commands and the supply chain”.

It describes itself as “a single-window platform/voice to promote the best interests of the Industry”.

gs brics cci arms

Hub member Sonakshi Chaudhry is also interested in what Nikore Associates term “Women’s Human Capital”.

In a June 2020 article on the Outlook India site, she expresses concern that “women are dropping out of the country’s workforce at an alarming rate” and adds that “despite an increase in education and training, estimates suggest that in 2020, only 15 percent of India’s youth entering the labour force will be female”.

Chaudhry complains that this is happening despite the fact that “Indian girls and women are more educated than ever”.

She asks: “If this is not translating into jobs in the ‘real’ world, what is the purpose of education in India then?”

She muses: “For those of us with the privilege to believe it, education may be an end unto itself, but…”

But what exactly? In fact, unbelievable though it may seem, Global Shaper Chaudhry is arguing that education for India’s girls and women is a bad thing!

Indeed, the article in question is entitled ‘Is Education The Reason Women Are Disappearing From India’s Workforce?’

gs sonakshi chaudhry article

Chaudhry puts the blame on “mismatches between aspirations, skills, and availability”.

She explains: “Improved literacy rates across the country have led to an exponential increase in qualified potential female workers.

“Despite this growth opportunity, however, there has not been an equivalent increase in the available white collar jobs because job creation has been largely in the informal sector.

“Thus, while India’s women are becoming more educated, they are not always able to find jobs that are commensurate with their educational qualifications.

“Dr. Deshpande sums it up succinctly with an example, saying, ‘A girl who has completed class 10 or class 12 may not want to be a manual worker…'”.

gs sonakshi chaudhryChaudhry says that, instead of being educated in the way we currently understand it, young people should be trained with “the necessary skills for 21st century jobs”.

This would obviously be good news for the businesses hoping to exploit their labour for profit and whose agenda dictates the sly narratives spun by the likes of Chaudhry.

Indeed, she references her leaders’ position in her article, writing: “A World Economic Forum project suggests that closing the nation’s skills gap could add US$1.97 trillion to India’s GDP by 2028.

“Thus, the economic implications of India’s youth being unprepared for the modern job market make updating education and adding skilling programmes an urgent need”.

Chaudhry is also research and editorial lead at the Women In Labour Podcast.

Its “about” page says it is “a podcast on women and work. With laughs”.

It goes on to express the same concerns as those voiced by Chaudhry in her Outlook India article.

“Since 2005, the percentage of Indian women in paid work has dropped from 35% to less than 24%, but no one is talking about why. Until we did, and Women in Labour was born (pun intended).

“A comedic take on a serious issue, Women In Labour explores a veritable feast of topics related to women, work, family, power, and everything in between. Why do Indian women do the most unpaid work in the world? Why do we preface our work emails with ‘I was just wondering…’? Why do we still watch movies that stereotype women’s roles? And the big one—what’s keeping us away from India’s workplaces?”

A section tucked away at the bottom of the page, entitled ‘A big thanks’, states: “We are grateful to an awesome team of passionate women at the American Center in New Delhi who have supported our vision and made this possible. But, here’s the legal bit, the views of our podcast do not necessarily represent the views of the American Center or the U.S. Government”.

“Not necessarily”!

gs american center

The New Delhi hub’s founding curator is Neeraj Bharadwaj, a man with considerable experience in the global corporate realm.

He graduated from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, in the USA, and received an MBA from Harvard Business School.

He has previously held senior roles at The Goldman Sachs Group (an American multinational investment bank and financial services company), McKinsey & Co (an American worldwide management consulting firm) and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co (another American multinational investment bank and financial services company).

Bharadwaj was managing director at tech firm Accel India and partner at private equity investment group Apax Partners.

He is currently a director of Confluent Software, a $4.5 billion-valued Silicon Valley cloud computing company started by Jay Kreps, co-founder of LinkedIn.

GS neeraj bharadwajBharadwaj is also a director of New Delhi’s Global Health Pvt Ltd, which deals in “diagnostic, rehabilitation, and other hospital services”.

He is a “non-independent non-executive” director of Mumbai-based SeQuent Scientific Ltd, “an integrated pharmaceutical company with a global footprint” which aims to “create value in the global animal health space”.

Managing director Manish Gupta says that although it already has a healthy annual turnover of $165m, the firm is “well poised to a new phase of development” in which it could become “one of the top global animal healthcare companies”.

The reason for this optimism? SeQuent has a “new promoter group” and is now backed by a big concern which is “no stranger to the Indian Healthcare sector”, has “a deep understanding of the market and an ability to create value” and for whom the SeQuent transaction was “their largest control deal in India”.

gs carlyleThe identity of this new business backer? Why, it’s none other than the Carlyle Group which, as we saw in Shapers of the slavery: the leadership, was identified in 2003 as being “at the epicenter of the military-industrial-complex-Bush-Cheney-crony-capitalism administration” and is heavily involved in the arms industry.

David M. Rubenstein, a CIA-linked American billionaire who is part of the Global Shapers leadership,  is co-founder and co-chief executive officer of the Carlyle Group. 

And who is the managing director of Carlyle India Advisors Private Limited, handling “growth capital and buyout opportunities across sectors in India”?

It’s Neeraj Bharadwaj, founding curator of the Global Shapers New Delhi hub, that “network of young people” famous across all India for its “focus on larger public good”.

GS neeraj bharadwaj carlyle

Our next report focuses on the Global Shapers and Covid-19.

* * *


Shapers of slavery: the plan

Shapers of slavery: the leadership

Shapers of slavery: the virus

Shapers of slavery: the awakening 

Klaus Schwab and his great fascist reset

Great Reset page of resources

Back to top

Shapers of slavery: the leadership

It should be quite clear from our opening article on the Global Shapers Community that the project is fundamentally anti-democratic.

A democratic society shapes itself – by means of the participation of its citizens in discussing and deciding how things should be organised and to what ends.

But, as even their name reveals, the Global Shapers want to “shape” society from above and in their own interests.

They are not doing so openly, by declaring a World Dictatorship of the Wealthy Elite, but dishonestly, by pretending that this “shaping” is coming from below.

The deceitful term “stakeholder democracy”, which means absolute rule by big business interests, is matched in terms of hypocrisy by the term “The Global Shapers Community”.

A community is something organic, a coming-together of people from below.

Gs logoThe Global Shapers project is the opposite of that. It is a manipulation of people from above, dressed up as something else.

It is, as investigative journalist Cory Morningstar has said, “a grotesque display of corporate malfeasance disguised as good”.

As an entirely top-down organisation, Global Shapers of course has a leadership.

As we will now see, the identity of these leaders is very illuminating regarding the agenda and interests lying behind this worldwide anti-democratic conspiracy.

The organisation’s website tells us: “Global Shapers Community is governed by a Foundation board that includes leaders from business, government and civil society”.

Top of their list of leaders is, needless to say, Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, whose authoritarian transhumanist agenda we explored in some depth in our October 2020 article ‘Klaus Schwab and his Great Fascist Reset‘.

klaus schwab

Underneath him in the Global Shapers list of leaders is David M. Rubenstein, co-founder and co-chief executive officer of the Carlyle Group, a private equity firm identified in 2003 as being “at the epicenter of the military-industrial-complex-Bush-Cheney-crony-capitalism administration”.

One of the great beneficiaries of the Small Reset following 9/11, the secretive Carlyle Group is heavily involved in the arms industry. It has “profited handsomely” from war, as this 2020 article puts it.

Rubenstein himself is, in the predictably bland language of Wikipedia, “an American billionaire businessman and philanthropist”.

He is chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, which is closely linked to the CIA.

Rubenstein is also a funder and chairman emeritus of the Brookings Institution, a high-profile US “think tank”, which, as we detailed on this site four years ago, gets funding from the likes of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, bankers JPMorgan Chase, John L. Thornton (former president of Goldman Sachs) and the state of Qatar.

In July 2016 CIA director John Brennan gave a key speech to Brookings’ Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence, in which he spoke about “emerging challenges for the US, enhanced interrogation techniques, drones, cyber threats, and terrorism in Saudi Arabia”.

gs brookings

Rubenstein has donated $60 million to the Harvard Kennedy School, an institution which seems to play a key role in the global “storytelling” machinations behind the Great Reset, as we explained in this November 2020 analysis.

Specifically, it provides an exclusive training course for “staggeringly wealthy” young members of the global elite, in order to steer them into the world of “social impact” investing. The course is held “in collaboration with” the WEF.

Next in the WEF’s list of Global Shapers leaders is Ellyn Shook, chief leadership and human resources officer at Accenture, one of the Global Shapers’ official partners.

This multinational professional services company has recently been involved in pushing “a complete business and technology transformation” in the Canadian housing sector, in setting up a “California Statewide Automated Welfare System” and in rolling out smart meters to UK homes.

Accenture is also, of course, very interested in “community impact”.

gs accenture

gs EllynShookShook’s profile on Accenture’s site reveals that she is also an “active member” of an organisation called World50.

This describes itself as “a private community for senior-most executives from globally respected organizations to intimately share ideas, solutions and collaborative discovery free from press, competition and solicitation”.

In this video, World50 CEO David Wilkie explains that it deals with issues like “macro-economic events, what’s going in the world, what’s reshaping the future of the landscape around us, disruption, innovation” and aims to help business leaders “make a bigger impact in the world around them”.

Key terms: “Reshaping the future”. “Disruption”. “Impact”.

A little more light is shed on World50’s activities here: “Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and founded in 2004, World 50 is an exclusive, invite-only peer-to-peer network and knowledge exchange platform serving senior executives at leading corporations”.

In general, perhaps not surprisingly, World50 does not seem keen to divulge, in any detail, what its activities actually involve.

World50 site

It boasts on a page aimed at potential employees: “We keep a low profile. (Don’t believe us? See what you can find on your own.) And we like to keep it that way. Let’s put it this way: Everything we do is in the service of our members. But we do quite a bit of stuff. And much of it is incredibly cool”.

It explains that its World 50 Internal Summit is “a gathering of experts, leaders and provocateurs that sparks internal conversations about how we can reshape the world around us”.

And it declares: “It’s our job to be relevant—to our members and ourselves. We sometimes use jargon like innovation, change management and geopolitical forecasting to discuss unwieldy concepts, but we really just mean that we’re friends with some of the smartest people in the world, and they help us understand it better. (They’re really pretty smart.)”

Oh yes, they are all so “incredibly cool”, these “really pretty smart” individuals who aim to “reshape” the world by means of “internal conversations” which exclude anyone outside their elite circles.

It is easy to see why World50’s Ellyn Shook was such a great fit for the WEF’s Global Shapers offensive.

gs Wanjũhĩ-NjorogeGlobal Shaper Wanjuhi Njoroge, from Kenya, is founder of People Planet Africa. We learn from this organisation’s website that it is “a consultancy firm in the field of sustainability Inclusive Development that incorporates rural communities which constitute 70% of Africa’s population”.

It works closely “with corporates and governments” on “innovative solutions, business models, programs, initiatives and activities that are socially inclusive, environmentally sustainable, generate profit and elicit active participation of an organizations [sic] key stakeholders”.

People Planet Africa makes good use of the WEF’s corporate newspeak dictionary when it adds: “We work with rural communities and assist government agencies and organizations incorporate sustainability into their businesses thus increasing their positive impact and profit”.

Impact and profit go hand in hand for the sustainably parasitical elite.

Njoroge is also the founder and president of Nelig Group Ltd, a “young and dynamic group with an objective to change the African narrative”.

According to the Nairobi Global Shapers hub, Njoroge “is passionate about education and inclusive development that doesn’t exclude the rural communities that make up 70% of Africa’s population”.

This line is actually quite useful for understanding what the WEF and its co-conspirators mean by the apparently fluffy word “inclusive”.

It, in fact, refers to their desire that no single human being on earth should live free from their industrial system of exploitation and control, even those currently living close to nature in Africa.

They are all “human capital” to be hoovered up and transformed into yet more profit and power by global business “stakeholders”.

In 2019 Njoroge took part in an ‘Impact!Africa‘ virtual conference jointly staged by the British Council, an executive non-departmental public body sponsored by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, and Ashoka.

Ashoka is a strange organisation funded by “charitable foundations” which links ultra-wealthy individuals such as Antonis Schwarz with “activists” like Rob Hopkins and also provides advice to organizations including the World Bank.

gs ashoka africa

The stated aim of this event was to “change Africa for good“, the double sense of that phrase typical of the twisted terminology of the Great Reset.

The talk was of “crowding in private sector capital and skills to reduce Africa [sic] economic vulnerability, providing market based solutions to the continent’s most pressing needs” and of “how social entrepreneurs can prepare themselves to engage with impact investors”.

There was a session on “venture philanthropy and impact investment success”, whose wording serves as a handy reminder that “philanthropy” in modern parlance is not about rich people giving their money away to the poor, but about rich people getting even richer by ramping up their exploitation of the poor.

In this context, the statement that “young people are the demographic dividend for Africa” is a telling one.

KS covidAs has been made plain in Schwab’s books, one of the aims of the WEF and its Great Reset is to sweep away all those pesky regulations which have been put in place to protect people and communities from the rapacious attention of big business vampires.

So, of course, the Impact!Africa event included “assessment of innovation regulation in Africa and the necessary steps to advance a positive policy environment that encourages innovation and entrepreneurship across the continent”.

Another African Global Shapers leader is Tony Onyemaechi Elumelu, who is inevitably described by Wikipedia as a “philanthropist“.

Elumelu is the chairman of Heirs Holdings, the United Bank for Africa and Transcorp. He is also an advisor to USAID’s Private Capital Group for Africa and a member of the Global Advisory Board of the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All Initiative.

The Nigerian billionaire is involved, through his Tony Elumelu Foundation, with the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative.

The two Tonies’ modestly-named organisations are involved in “a partnership to strengthen the private sector’s role in the economic transformation of select African countries”, known as the Blair-Elumelu Fellowship Programme.

Elumelu and Blair

Blair’s plans for Africa involve “transformational governments” which will “enhance competitiveness” and “attract and nurture private investment”.

Declared Elemelu: “Africa is lucky to have a friend like Mr. Blair”.

We wonder if they are saying the same thing in Iraq, which is coincidentally the home country of one of Elemelu’s fellow Global Shapers leaders, Basima Abdulrahman.

gs basima abdulrahmanFounder and CEO of KESK Green Building Consulting, she is a self-described “female entrepreneur” in the business of “green city planning and sustainable architecture”.

Abdulrahman is evidently one of those who have done very well out of “building back” Iraq after the destruction wrought by the illegal invasion and occupation famously backed by Blair.

Other leaders of the Global Shapers include Khalid Alkhudair, executive vice-president of the Riyad Bank in Saudi Arabia, “activist” filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, and Juan Jose Pocaterra, co-founder and CEO of ViKua, a “Smart City start-up” business based in Venezuela.

Right at the bottom of the list on the Global Shapers site is Eric Tse.

gs eric tseIn fact, he does not appear at all on the Foundation Board line-up in the Global Shapers 2019-2020 annual report.

Described as executive director of Sino Biopharmaceutical, this young Chinese billionaire was in fact gifted his fortune from his family’s company in 2019.

Although he is from Hong Kong, Tse has close ties with mainland Chinese politicians.

Adds this report: “That’s not surprising, as his father Tse Ping was previously a committee member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the country’s top political advisory body”.

On October 1 2019, the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, “the younger Tse attended Beijing celebrations open only to invited guests and dignitaries”.

So we have a Big Pharma billionaire, who is working with the WEF to push for yet more global corporate control and exploitation, celebrating the founding of a communist state!

Eric Tse at 70th anniv

Tse’s place on the Global Shapers Foundation Board appears to have come at the expense of another Chinese participant.

The Foundation Board presentation on page 32 of the pdf of the Global Shapers Annual Report 2019-20 also includes the name of Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, the massive Chinese multinational technology and e-commerce business.

But he is not listed on the online version currently available.

Ma Yun, as he is really called, is one of the wealthiest people in China. His net worth, according to Forbes, is $58.4 billion.

There is currently a lot of fevered speculation about Ma’s whereabouts.

gs jack maThe International Business Times said on January 4 2021: “Ma, who ranked 25 in Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, reportedly disappeared after he criticized global financial regulators and called for economic reform in a speech at a conference in Shanghai in late October.

“What Ma said wasn’t well-received by Chinese authorities, who reportedly suspended a $37 billion IPO of his fintech firm Ant Group Co”.

Although Ma is a member of the Chinese Communist Party, media reports say that the Chinese government’s moves against Ma and his companies include “an antitrust investigation into Alibaba”.

Sooner or later, even the greatest of empires will crumble into dust.

* * *

The next report in this series looks at some key Global Shapers Community hubs.


Shapers of slavery: the plan

Shapers of slavery: the empire

Shapers of slavery: the virus

Shapers of slavery: the awakening

Klaus Schwab and his great fascist reset

Great Reset page of resources

Back to top

Shapers of slavery: the plan

“What we are watching is a change in control and an engineering of new control systems. So think of this as a coup d’état”.

So says Catherine Austin Fitts in an excellent recent video interview about what lies behind the Covid-19 agenda. It was removed by YouTube after 2.7 million views but at the time of writing was still available on vimeo.

The global ruling elite are trying to install “economic totalitarianism”, she warns, a new way of ordering the world based on technocracy, transhumanism and complete control over every aspect of our lives.

She declares: “I would describe this as a slavery system”.

Klaus Schwab2When Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum initially announced his plan for a Great Reset, a New Normal or Fourth Industrial Revolution “unlike anything humankind has experienced before”, few of us understood quite what he had in mind.

In recent months this has been changing, with more and more people doing research and realising the alarming truth about what is currently being foisted on us.

The system’s gatekeepers have being doing their best to dismiss this awareness as mere “conspiracy theories”. Schwab’s views are just the words of one elderly German man, they argue, with a limited capacity for influencing the way the whole world is actually run.

But, in fact, Schwab’s Great Reset is not just rhetoric: he and his corporate accomplices have been busy, for many years, building up a massive networks of collaborators to spring their heist.

One of these is the Global Shapers Community, set up by Schwab in 2011, registered in Geneva, Switzerland, and based at the World Economic Forum offices.

It describes itself on its website as “a network of young people driving dialogue, action and change”, representing “the power of youth in action”.

gs brochure 2

The site explains that the organisation involves nearly 10,000 “Shapers” and 3,000 “Alumni”, organised in more than 400 hubs across 150 countries.

“Projects are wide-ranging – from responding to disasters and combating poverty, to fighting climate change and building inclusive communities. Shapers are diverse in expertise, education, income and race, but are united by their desire to bring about change”.

The “story” that the WEF tells us (to use its own term) is that the Global Shapers scheme is about “building a movement”.

It declares: “We believe in a world where young people are central to solution building, policy-making and lasting change.

“This generation has inherited enormous global challenges, but has the ability to confront the status quo and offer youth-led solutions for change”.

A “story” indeed. The Global Shapers are centrally run, from WEF HQ, and their “solutions” are far from “youth-led”.

As its 2019-2020 annual report makes clear, the project’s aim is to “mobilize” people to “influence policy and drive action”.

It is a sophisticated attempt to use a phoney worldwide “movement” to push human society into a direction which will profit a tiny group of business sharks.

GS annual report coverIt is the negation of democracy, because the future they have in mind for us, their nightmarish system of slavery, is obviously not one which most people desire.

They can only get away with it by pulling the wool over our eyes, by dressing it up as an attempt to “fight Covid” or “save the planet” or increase “inclusivity”.

This deception at the heart of the Global Shapers scheme means that it can accurately be described as a conspiracy – a conspiracy by a self-interested elite launched against the vast majority of humankind.

Because the WEF’s “movement” is a sham, and is intended purely to advance the views and interests of the WEF and its backers, not just any young person is allowed to play a “central” role in the kind of “lasting change” the WEF has in mind.

A careful filtering and screening process has been set up to ensure that only the right kind of young person, aged between 18 and 27, is allowed into the “movement”.

The Brussels Global Shapers specify that they are looking for those who are “exceptional in their potential” and who have “the desire to create impact”.

The London Global Shapers explain: “Each application is assessed by at least four Shapers, based on a broad range of criteria and the mean score is taken”.

The listed criteria are “impact motivation”, “commitment & community mindset”, “achievement” (“we’re looking for candidates who have established a track record of leadership and demonstrated impact in their field, or who are firmly on a leadership trajectory”) and “leadership potential”.

gs brochure3

Would-be recruits are warned that they are expected to make an effort for the Shaping cause: “We require a minimum of 1–2 hours per week of time for the hub, additional commitment in terms of attending local and regional events, and active leadership and/or participation in hub projects.

“Every year we struggle with more amazing applicants than available spaces and it’s important that every hub member contributes to our community”.

And why should any young person want to be part of the Global Shapers?

“As Shapers, we have the unique opportunity to launch and participate in projects with support from the community and WEF.

“Aside from projects, the extraordinary convening power of both WEF and our own members allows us access to organise and attend events with world-class speakers and other participants.

“Moreover, membership of the hub provides access to engage with the broader World Economic Forum community, including the opportunity to apply to attend the WEF Annual Meeting in Davos and other major events”.

The Global Shapers like to use the word “impact” a lot, even in their recruitment material.

GS leading for impact

They probably think they are being very clever, because some of the young people they are trying to attract, as well as the general public, will imagine that “impact” just means something about making a big difference to the world.

But, in fact, it is a blatant reference to social impact investment, one of the most insidious elements of the Great Reset agenda, in which people are reduced to the status of “human capital” for financial parasites.

Alison McDowell explains this rather well in this 10-minute illustrated video.

The Global Shapers even have a section of their website called Impact, presenting, under thematic headings, various projects from their hubs.

Gs logoFor a flavour of their thinking, let’s dip into one of these sub-sections, entitled ‘Shaping My City’s Future‘.

Note that the future for the Global Shapers can only be about cities, not small towns or villages or rural living.

This sterile metropolitan outlook is reflected in their logo, in which their world “community” is represented by a range of slightly-differently shaped office blocks.

No room for trees or animals or real people in the future they want…

The brave new tomorrow envisaged in these 55 Shaper projects is one of “inclusive entrepreneurship“, “storytelling“, and “smart mobility“, in which life will be focused on building “smart energy grids, e-governance devices, 3D printing to tackle homelessness” and on “tackling the digital gap” by working “to connect populations without internet access“.

There will be “digital tourism” for which it is hoped to “connect infrastructure electronically through an IoT network“, “smart road infrastructure“, “smart buildings“, “IoT technologies” and “responsible trash management” via “a mobile-app solution that gamifies the trash management of each citizen“.

And who could fail to look forward to the prospect of authorities being able to “use human emotional recognition technology by mapping the facial expressions of citizens during their interaction with a governmental service“?

All of this, of course, forms part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution as described at some length by Klaus Schwab in his various books.

It is hardly surprising that it is mentioned so often by the phoney “community” he and his colleagues have manufactured.

Indeed, one of the Global Shapers’ official partners is cloud computing business Salesforce, headed by billionaire Marc Benioff, owner of Time magazine and inaugural chair of the WEF’s Forum Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in San Francisco.

marc benioff

Nevertheless, the sheer relentless insistence with which the term “Fourth Industrial Revolution” is pumped out in report after report in the ‘Shaping My City’s Future’ section is still quite astonishing!

The onset of the fourth industrial revolution presents opportunities for innovative solutions“.

Companies and institutions must be able to anticipate the changes of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and adapt quickly, and cities and communities must be able to do the same“.

The key to thriving in the Fourth Industrial Revolution will be to lead the transformations it entails. This will require two elements of agile leadership: awareness of disruptive technologies and strategies to make the most of them“.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution brings a lot of changes, opportunities and challenges that impact a vision of the cities and societies of the future“.

4IRjThe Fourth Industrial Revolution will have fundamental implications on how humans interact and how we define work“.

Prepare for 4IR technologies and the future of work“.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), driven by artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, will transform everyone’s lives“.

The new narrative that respects opportunities and risks of the 4th Industrial Revolution“.

Scales up efforts in creating more innovative business environment and helps young people to seize opportunities of the 4IR for employment and entrepreneurship“.

Nurture communities that are skilled in proficiencies related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution“.

A defining trait of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is the speed of change“.

Just in case you were in any doubt as to what the Fourth Industrial Revolution involves, the Global Shapers provide a handy description in a corner of their website dedicated to that very theme.

Some may find their wording rather chilling: “The Fourth Industrial Revolution represents a fundamental change in the way people live, work and relate to one another. The speed, breadth and depth of this revolution is forcing us to rethink how countries develop, how organizations create value and even what it means to be human”.

Even what it means to be human…

* * *

The next report in this series focuses on the Global Shapers leadership.

Main image: Detail from Sheep, Shepherds, and a Goat by Jordan Henderson.


Shapers of slavery: the leadership

Shapers of slavery: the empire

Shapers of slavery: the virus

Klaus Schwab and his great fascist reset

Great Reset page of resources

Back to top

Enemies of the modern world: a triptych of novellas

As the benevolent forces of Progress whisk us towards a better and more secure tomorrow, there are always those in society who insist on dragging their heels.

They turn up their noses at global smart governance, they insist on the value of a reality that is not virtual, they cling to outmoded notions of “naturalness”, community, truth and freedom.

By spreading misinformation, voicing malicious opinion and breaching public safety norms they endanger both lives and economic sustainability.

In this triptych of novellas, Paul Cudenec introduces us to some of these sinister anti-social misfits. We find ourselves in chillingly close proximity to conspiracy theorists, denialists, technophobes and extremists – in short, to sworn enemies of the modern world.


Enemies of the Modern World by Paul Cudenec (2021, ISBN 9782957576807) is available to buy online and, in the spirit of non-commercialism, is also available as a free pdf.