“People don’t like companies, but deep down, they love companies.” Such comments are common at the Bilderberg conference. There, the ‘people’ are psychoanalysed, manipulated, playing with as an instrument to the interest of the conference’s many parties. MIR was able to sneak in an undercover journalist at the 2016 edition of the conference, which ran from the 9th to the 12th of June 2016. The Bilderberg Conference first grouped in 1954, it now is composed of over 90 international members from the finance sector, politics, academia, and the media. Every member is an “influencer”, and collective they strive to sway the course of modern history. Their interests lie in the liberalisation of markets worldwide and in increasing their clout.
This year the Conference, chaired by Henry de Castries, AXA CEO and Chairman, convened with two critical events looming: the Brexit vote in two weeks’time and the American presidential elections next fall. Bilderberg interests favour the Remain camp in the Brexit vote, and presumptive Democratic candidate Hillay Clinton in the American elections. Bilderberg also supports both the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, as well as further European integration.
Yet Bilderberg members are aware of going against the contemporary flow of things. Many are doubtful of Clinton’s chances, whose rising unpopularity can read as a bad omen to all present at the conference. While some are already busy picking Hillary Clinton’s future cabinet, a fringe of members are pushing for the candidacy of Lindsey Graham to the presidency of the United States of America. However, the Republican Senator from South Carolina, who sits in the Bilderberg conference, also has his skeptics, such as Honeywell CEO David Cote, who directly challenged the Senator: “What have you done for multinationals? Until you can answer that we won’t vote for you.” Mr. Cote himself advocated for Bernie Sanders, and usurped Lindsey Graham’s dynamic with his “Banging for Bernie” movement, and claimed to the assembly: “We must feel the burn, we must fell the power of populism!” Yet, the resolution for Bilderberg to support Sanders failed.
Measures of a smaller scale are in the works too. The Bilderberg conference plans on capitalising on its online influence and aggregate brand power to impact ballot results. Social media campaigning, direct or indirect funding, lobbying, policy-designing, hacking… All these tactics are included in the Secure Fair Finance Attain Media Transparency Defend Voter Integrity Resolution! (SAD!) that was adopted by the assembly. It was amended for every mention of Hillary Clinton to be struck from it, as the majority of members remained on the fence about her candidacy. However, one of its main focuses remains to undermine Donald J. Trump’s bid, and the Leave campaign efforts. In the surprising event its efforts would bear no fruit, the Bilderberg Conference did hedge its bets as contingency plans were thought out and included in SAD!.