This week the meeting of the Davos Forum, a significant barometer of the state of the world, will be organized, a priori, around four clearly different themes: the technological revolution brought about by digital technology, oil prices fall, the worldwide slow-down in economic growth and terrorism.
All those concerns are seemingly unrelated.
And yet, if we look closely, they form a continuum of great logic and relentless consistency. The digital revolution began more than 30 years ago with the birth of the personal computer, invading all sectors of production and consumption, the first consequence of which was to bring down the prices for all commodities, and thus that of human labor, less and less necessary, and increasingly precarious. And since increasingly consumers cannot afford to pay goods that are made better and faster, a great frustration is creeping in around the world.
Falling oil prices are the direct result of the digital revolution: thanks to technological advances, new reserves of fossil fuels are found more and more; existing reserves can be better used; new resources, such as solar energy, are becoming cost-efficient; and major savings can be achieved by replacing energy with information. Thus, oil supply is increasingly outstripping demand; and the return to the market of Iranian oil will accelerate this process, destabilizing the middle classes from the most mismanaged oil-producing economies. The slowing down of the world economy thus is mainly due to the gap between product offering made more abundant and varied by technical progress and demand becoming more and more limited by increasing income insecurity, that encourages the wealthiest members of society to forget others and to devote a greater part of what they earn to precautionary savings, invested increasingly in high-risk products, enjoyed only by the wealthiest and best informed.
Terrorism then finds its daily bread in the injustices of the world, world unable to give meaning to the tide of events, multiplying mistakes while believing it stands up for its values, ruining its allies without giving work or hope to nearly all the youth of the world.
Because, and this is the most important, of which Davos will probably also be the merciless mirror: the powerful of the world march praising the merits of their management, and virtually none of them actually place their action into a moral or ethical frame, placing humans, and first the weakest, that is to say, children, young people and women at the top of their preoccupations. It is not surprising therefore that the weaker of the weakest, that is to say, young men stand and fight against a system that does not respect them, integrate them, and that does not use their talents.
Then it may be expected to see other forces being undermined, with consequences becoming more tragic by the day. In developed countries, deflation will only accelerate unemployment and the decline in purchasing power of young people who will be increasingly incapable of finding decent housing. Their parents, with increasingly longer lives, will no longer be able to help them by passing on all their wealth to them, and the time of the inheritance coming too late, these young people will have less and less children, accelerating the suicide of their nations.
Young people being more numerous in emerging countries, they will continue to start revolutions that, as is so often the case, will have an opposite effect to the aspirations of their promoters. Until an ethical principle is at the center of the world, as the measure of the raison d'être of technical progress and the legitimacy of the dominant and the powerful, until the rule of law does require that technical progress be directed towards what is socially worthwhile, the worst can be expected. Even the worst of the worst. Once both will be implemented, it will be understood, then, that a beautiful world is within reach.