Have you heard about the ‘Great Reset’? It’s the World Economic Forum’s new plan to reshape the post-Covid world. It’s top of the agenda at the next conference in Davos. You might not like some of the ideas in it, but they are presented as if they have been decided on your behalf.
BY SIMON MARCUS FOR SPIKED
On the Great Reset website, you are blasted with visions of the apocalypse. Klaus Schwab, founder of the WEF, shares his views:
‘Covid-19 has shown us that our old systems are not fit anymore for the 21st century. It has laid bare the fundamental lack of social cohesion, fairness, inclusion and equality. Now is the historical moment, the time, not only to fight the virus but to shape the system for the post-corona era.’
Among those involved are Prince Charles, the secretary general of the United Nations, the managing director of the IMF, the CEOs of Mastercard, BP, the president of Microsoft, an official from the People’s Bank of China, and other global players. And recent UK attendees of Davos are a diverse group. Tony Blair, Sir David Attenborough and Prince William, for example. Greenpeace, the WWF and trade unions regularly cosy up with big oil, bankers and officials from some of the most brutal regimes on the planet.
The Great Reset calls on a vast global network – thousands of world leaders from business, politics and civil society. They all share variants of the Davos worldview. And they are supported by a vast income from corporate membership fees. Davos also has a youth wing – the Global Shapers Community. Over 9,655 ‘shapers’ work from 428 ‘hubs’ in 148 different countries.
So what’s not to like? The Great Reset wants to fight against bad things like racism, nationalism and climate change. And they want more good things like equality, inclusion and help for the poor. They like Big Tech, too.
But it may not be as simple as this. We are talking about a vast and unaccountable combination of big business and big government. These elites have a homogenous worldview and it tends to get its way. Remember Brexit? They spent four years trying to overturn democracy in response. So with that in mind, their ideas are worth proper scrutiny.
Those behind the Great Reset have decided that ‘capitalism and socialism will need to merge’. It’s hard to know what they mean by this, but you can assume it’s the worst of both worlds – think China, not Sweden. This is also where you meet their doublespeak. They acknowledge that privatisation has delivered poor public services. But the WEF is an organisation full of corporations growing fat on public-sector contracts. So their answer is more of the same, including rip-off public-private financing. You won’t find any articles on the WEF website about what elected governments could achieve with the state, even when it can borrow money at zero per cent interest.
Thankfully, the Great Reset has thought of a good way of compensating us for crap public services: Universal Basic Income. We will pay for this by taxing wealth and passive income. But before you celebrate, that means the middle class will eventually be crushed by a double whammy of tax and inflation.
The Great Reset is ‘woke’, too. Its advocates think it is ‘important to acknowledge “white privilege”’. The Great Reset also seems to have embraced Black Lives Matter. In the UK, white working-class boys have fallen behind black and Asian boys, and girls from all ethnic groups, in education at most academic levels. Evidence suggests they are failing massively in life outcomes, too. But the global elites who run Davos say they are privileged.
The Great Reset also envisages the Covid crisis as permanent. The breathless updates on its website present a fire-and-brimstone vision of the pandemic. But it is just as true to say that the panicked and irrational responses to Covid have caused the current crisis. And even though the UK, for instance, experienced fewer excess deaths in July 2020 than in July 2019, the crisis is never allowed to end. It is not hard to see the threat to civil liberties that the perma-hysteria on Covid could lead to. The WEF has even floated the idea of ‘Health Passports’.
But if the Covid crisis does burn itself out, then the Great Reset always has the climate crisis to fall back on. That won’t do much good for the jobs we have left.
Essentially, the Great Reset wants action in every part of our lives. Its ‘Transformation Map’ seems to cover everything from the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ from information technology to sustainable business, justice, gender, blockchain, human rights, biodiversity and taxation.
Everything in the Great Reset. Nothing outside The Great Reset.
But it’s not just the ideology that’s problematic — there are moral and technical issues, too. First, the failed ‘systems’ of which they speak are the very ‘systems’ they own. Davos has played host to the world’s governments since 1971. So much that has gone wrong was on their watch.
Of course, it hasn’t all been bad news. Since 1990, the number of people in poverty around the world, mostly in China and India, has fallen from 1.9 billion to around 0.7 billion. But this shift of wealth from West to East has played a large role in hollowing out the middle class in the USA and in Europe. This, along with mass immigration and the erosion of traditional values, has led to widespread disaffection. Hence Trump, Brexit, populism and so on.
The Great Reset is a good example of not letting a crisis go to waste. But will those on the receiving end of these proposed transformations in every area of life get a say? That’s unlikely. The Great Reset doesn’t do democracy. In fact, you will be hard put even to find the word democracy anywhere on the website. Instead we are told, chillingly, that Covid is ‘changing the traditional context for decision-making’. Respect for democracy is a good proxy for the kind of people you are dealing with. People who don’t like democracy want power without accountability.
Real leaders, like Mahatma Gandhi, lived the changes they believed in. The hallmark of the Davos elite is ‘do as I say, not as I do’. That means Klaus Schwab and his corporate chums won’t have to worry about equality or tax on their family home as they blow millions on hospitality in an exclusive Davos resort.
Finally, the language of The Great Reset conforms to type. It is opaque, Blairite, shape-shifting nonsense. There are ‘historic crossroads’, ‘purpose-driven communities’, ‘collaborative solutions’, ‘key stakeholders’, ‘sustainability’ and ‘solidarity’. These words can have any meaning their users want, which can be changed as they please.
The WEF clearly wants to change the world without asking us. It wants to do so on the back of Covid, which has been tragically mismanaged. And it has adopted all the thought-crushing, woke ideas of the day to use as handy off-the-shelf weapons which can fight against any objections.
But what it fails to understand is that Brexit and the populist reactions against the globalist agenda have happened for a reason. Hundreds of millions of people had their lives damaged. They were unhappy with the way the world was being run. Even Conservative prime minister Boris Johnson boycotted Davos last December in recognition of this.
The Great Reset is a worrying reminder that, even in spite of the ballot-box revolts, we are probably going to get a lot more of the Davos agenda.