The World Economic Forum event revealed how elites are more afraid of leftwing populists, than rightwing ones like Bolsonaro
Last week, the World Economic Forum (WEF) brought thousands of neoliberal elites – as well as an army of feted journalists and scholars – to the popular Swiss ski resort of Davos. There, the emerging relationship between the Davos set and far-right populists was plain to see. And it is far rosier than either party would like to admit.
In the absence of US President Donald Trump, the spotlight was on Jair Bolsonaro, the newly minted president of Brazil, who was also the keynote speaker at the WEF. Attendees were initially somewhat uneasy with the far-right president, who openly praised military dictatorship, and therefore mostly held their applause before his speech. But after he had touted “a new Brazil … that’s open to business”, the room warmed up rapidly.