Hail To The Bureaucrats

the guest list at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos is a thumbnail sketch of who holds power—or would like to. Most recently, the big shots were the titans of banking, private equity, hedge funds and sovereign wealth funds—the chief beneficiaries of globalization, and, in a phrase popularized by political scientist Samuel Huntington, examples of Davos Man, the superclass who see national governments as anachronisms "whose only useful function is to facilitate the elite's global operations."

But this year, forum promoters say "a record 41 heads of state or government" will attend, suggesting that just as power is flowing from New York to Washington, power is flowing from Davos Man toward national governments. Few saw this coming. Huntington once described an executive who "confidently predicted" that soon the "only people who will care about national boundaries are politicians." Huntington died in December. Davos Man may have died, too.