It’s that time of year again! June 7 to 10 marks the 66th annual Bilderberg Conference, the secretive meeting of North American and European politicians, royalty, and elite representatives from the worlds of finance, business, academia and media that’s taking place this year in Turin, Italy.
Topics of discussion at this year’s conference include populism, Russia, artificial intelligence, and “the ‘post-truth’ world.” American guests include Wall St. Journal columnist Peggy Noonan, attending for her third year in a row, along with familiar faces such as Henry Kissinger, retired general and CIA director David Petraeus, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and Palantir Technologies co-founders Peter Thiel and Alex Karp. Notably absent is Eric Schmidt, former chairman of Google parent company Alphabet, who resigned from his Alphabet chairmanship last year but remains a company board member. He also remains listed as a member of Bilderberg’s steering committee.
Populism in Europe “is at the top of this year’s agenda, having moved from eighth place last year” notes Alexandra Ma of Business Insider. It’s somewhat ironic that “the inequality challenge” is second on the list, given the number of billionaires in attendance at the incredibly exclusive, elitist meeting. Where “Russia in the international order” and “the Near East” were discussed last year, this year’s topics include simply “Russia” as well as the comparatively more specific “Saudi Arabia and Iran.”
As usual, we’re likely to learn little of what specifically is discussed at the closed-door conference, operating as it does under the so-called Chatham House Rule, “which states that participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s) nor any other participant may be revealed,” according to Bilderberg’s website. “Thanks to the private nature of the meeting, the participants are not bound by the conventions of their office or by pre-agreed positions. As such, they can take time to listen, reflect and gather insights. There is no desired outcome, no minutes are taken and no report is written. Furthermore, no resolutions are proposed, no votes are taken, and no policy statements are issued.”
Other notable attendees of this year’s meeting include Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, Larry Summers of Harvard, political analyst Charles Cook, and Jose Barroso, chairman of Goldman Sachs International. Beyond the vague list of topics and who will be there, it’s anybody’s guess as to what sorts of plots and schemes our alleged social betters will bring up as they hammer out their elite consensus this weekend in Turin. Yet even from what little information is publicly available to outsiders, it seems clear that Bilderberg as an institution can exist for little other possible reason than to perpetuate the status quo and ensure continued domination by this entrenched elite.