How clever are the Global Establishment? It is an important question.
One answer is 'They are cleverer than the masses - and that is all which is necessary'.
The masses did not need to be cleverer than Them in the past, because the masses were led by common sense and their personal experiences; and their evaluations were rooted in religion. So long as religion was central to their world view, there was a limit to how far the masses could be fooled.
Now the masses have been trained to ignore the divine and spiritual; to regard public discourse (especially in the mass media) as the only really-real reality; and to disregard their own experience and common sense.
Another answer: 'They are cleverer than the intellectual classes - whom they are leading by the nose to their own annihilation'.
It has always been easier to mislead the intellectual classes, since abstraction is prone to mislead when applied to Life; and abstraction can lead someone much further from the natural and spontaneous than instinct.
But now that the intellectual class are mostly anti-Christian and almost-wholly materialist in terms of what they take-seriously - then the intellectual class will 'believe' (i.e. go-along-with, base their career and self-respect upon) pretty much anything - especially when is the opposite of obvious common sense reality.
Furthermore, as of 2021 the intellectuals cannot think. To live by abstraction and be unable to think means that They control the intellectuals like puppets.
But the best answer is 'They are clever enough for what they want to accomplish: which is destruction'.
The Global Establishment strategy is that of Satan: the damnation of as many Men as possible; which is a destructive agenda aimed-at God, divine creation and all that is Good (truth, beauty and virtue).
And destruction is much easier than creation. It takes a genius to devise a complex functional machine, but any fool can throw sand in its works, or smash it with a mallet.
It takes God to create - but any demon or human fool, madman or servant of evil can wreck creation and any one of a million ways.
To successfully implement a strategy to guide Men towards choosing salvation is difficult and the options are restricted; by contrast, to encourage the corruption of Men is trivially easy and requires few resources and little planning.
Thus scores of mutually-reinforcing, Goodness-degrading policies can be pursued simultaneously, on multiple fronts - and are.
The take home message is that They are quite clever but in an un-creative way, and they are prone to wreck their own plans by treachery and spite.
But; in a world that has self-subtracted god and the spiritual, and has thereby excluded all possibility of rooted consecutive reasoning; Their malice is eternal and sleepless.
And what They are attempting is something to which any-being - no matter how dumb or lazy - can contribute towards...
So Their numbers are legion, and growing.