But the self-selected elite in today’s world are leap-frogging that question to talk about a “post-truth” world.
That’s one of the topics announced for the Bilderberg meetings in Turin, Italy, which begin Thursday.
The secretive group, typically, has released no explanation or elaboration.
CNBC noted the topic listing suggests it is one of the “most pressing concerns” of the group of wealthy and influential leaders.
The leaders of industry, finance, academia and the media also will talk about more mundane subjects such as Russia and free trade.
CNBC, calling the group “infamously secretive,” reported 131 participants from 23 countries have confirmed their attendance, Bilderberg’s organizers said.
Some of the names include the president of the World Economic Forum, Borge Brende. the CEOs of Airbus, DeepMind and Total, as well as Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, and Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary.
The meeting is chaired by French businessman Henri de Castries.
This year’s conversations are to focus on populism in Europe, the inequality challenge, the future of work, artificial intelligence, the U.S. before midterms, free trade, U.S. world leadership, Russia, quantum computing, Saudi Arabia and Iran.
CNBC said some issues, such as “the rise of anti-establishment politics and populism in Europe, persistent inequality, the West’s trick relationship with a resurgent Russia and Saudi Arabia and Iran’s enmity have been around for a while. Others, like the rise of artificial intelligence and quantum computing, reflect uncertainty over mankind’s relationship with technology.”
The report suggested “scandals involving allegations of the mass use of social media to influence elections also relates to a blurring of objective fact and fiction — hence the ‘post-truth’ world the Bildergroup group will discuss.”
“Post-truth, which was Oxford English Dictionary’s word of the year in 2016, is an adjective defined by the dictionary compiler as ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.’”
The Bilderberg gathering has been taking place since the 1950s.
The organization explains: “The conference is a forum for informal discussions about major issues facing the world. The meetings are held under the 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.”
A year ago, it was held in the United States, at the Westfield Marriott in Chantilly, Virginia.
“The secretive nature of the event cannot be understated. All rooms are booked at the Westfield Marriott, and public meals at the hotel are canceled through the event. In the end, no resolutions are voted upon. No minutes are taken, and no statements are issued,” WND reported then.
Reports suggest Henry Kissinger, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency David Petraeus, anti-Russia Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum, her husband Radoslaw Sikorski, and Vidar Helgesen, Norway’s ambassador for the ocean, also would be there.
The Bilderberg attendance list also includes Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, under whose watch the state was blasted by the U.S. Supreme Court this week for exhibiting “hostility” to the Christian faith of a baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a homosexual couple.
As for truth?
The online Got Questions resource explains truth is “that which corresponds to reality,” “matches its object” and is “telling it like it is.”
It is not “what makes people feel good, what the majority says is true, defined by what is intended, or what is believed,” and can, in fact, offend.
“As Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias puts it, ‘The fact is, the truth matters – especially when you are on the receiving end of a lie,’” the site says.