from pandemic pandemonium to populist panacea
What is a Great Reset, and why should I want one?
Lately, there’s been an awful lot of talk about this alleged “Great Reset”. If you haven’t heard about it let me give you a rundown.
In a nutshell, it goes something like this:
Every year in Davos, Switzerland, for our benefit (always) more than a few of the largest and most powerful corporations, business leaders, and politicians on the planet get together, and, under the auspices of the World Economic Forum, decide the fate of our existence. That is to say our individual rights, our personal freedoms, and our collective happiness.
The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization established in 1971 as a not-for-profit foundation. Its stated purpose is a “commitment to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas”, and according to its mission statement claims “it is independent, impartial and not tied to any special interests. The Forum strives in all its efforts to demonstrate entrepreneurship in the global public interest while upholding the highest standards of governance. Moral and intellectual integrity is at the heart of everything it does.”
Okay, that sounds pretty noble indeed.
So, why all the fuss?
Well, it’s the convenience (for them) and timing of the arrival of Covid19.
From the outset, the response to the pandemic by governments around the world was haphazard, to say the least. Each country responded to the crisis in its own way. Implementing their own set of rules and regulations resulted in a mishmash of misinformation and mistrust that led ordinary citizens down a path of not really knowing who or what to believe. That in turn fuelled the conspiracy bonfire which grew out of control. But now that the virus occupies the headlines no more and the crisis and pervasive fear is all but gone, our collective attention is directed elsewhere as other matters overshadow the flu. Even so, as the pyre of suspicion still smolders, in Davos the plot thickens. The time is nigh upon us as the last piece of the puzzle has fallen into place.
Two plus two makes four, except when it’s five.
The WEF and its wide-ranging diegesis have been simmering for 50-plus years. The arrival of Covid19 presented the opportunity to “never let a good crisis go to waste” and gave the WEF the impetus needed to set this Great Reset in motion. According to WEF founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab, and as outlined in his book (aptly titled “The Great Reset”) his proposal is a less-than-sinister but assuredly more-than-devious plan to completely overhaul the current social order. One that would give us a one-world government, with a one-world digital currency, and brand all of its citizenry with a unique one-world digital ID. Oh, and vaccinations for all. And maybe a universal basic income. This he proclaims will solve all our problems. This; The Great Reset.
The gist of the WEF scheme revolves around those fundamental ideas. Of course, the claim is it’s a win-win for all: big business, small business, and everything in between, people, animals, the entire planet, and all who inhabit. And while arguments can be made for and against, the underlying notion of the common man is the entire concept is nothing more than a descent into a dystopian nightmare where personal freedom and privacy give way to a twenty-four-hour surveillance state that will not only monitor your digital and physical whereabouts, but assign a score based on your social behaviors as well. The dangers and misuse of authoritarian overreach and state-ordered compliance cannot be understated. Especially with the advent of a programmable digital currency.
While each of those is distinctly unnerving, it’s the statement circulating the internet, “You will own nothing, and be happy” that oddly enough seems to have hit a raw nerve and given rise to the loudest resistance.
That suggestion, widely distributed and rumored as having been uttered by Klaus Schwab, on the surface has, at the very least, most definite and ominous Orwellian overtones. The problem is Schwab never said it. In fact, no one from within the World Economic Forum has actually stated anything of the kind. The only hint of it is the first caption in a one-minute and thirty-three-second video (with no audio) produced by the WEF in 2016 outlining eight predictions for the year 2030, and then further dramatized in an essay by Danish MP Ida Auken, also published in 2016, entitled “Welcome To 2030: I Own Nothing, Have No Privacy And Life Has Never Been Better” where she re-imagines and postulates how those eight predictions might play out in a fictional future lifestyle.
The truth is it’s an entirely false claim. According to Reuters, “The World Economic Forum does not have a stated goal to have people ‘own nothing and be happy’ by 2030. Its Agenda 2030 framework outlines an aim to ensure all people have access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property.”
Simply put, it’s the same fanciful musings that you might see in those 1950s-era Popular Mechanics magazines describing how we’d all be in flying cars, or using only our brain waves to communicate by the year 2000. Cool ideas, but not necessarily indicative of reality.
This is not to say Klaus Schwab and the WEF have not proposed a profoundly dismal future world. Certainly one in which our personal freedoms (as an inconvenience to the state) would be severely limited. And, “You will own nothing...”, whether stated outright or implied, does indeed come across as a dictatorial directive that could suitably find its way into any post-apocalyptic science fiction narrative, but I would say looking at it from the context of its delivery it should be the least of our concerns.
That’s what she said.
Minimalist living. Scaling down. Tidying up. It’s the trendy new thing right now. At least in some circles, and for the time being. Marie Kondo has become a New York Times bestselling author espousing just that. Get rid of things in your life that don’t “spark joy”, she writes. You will own nothing and be happy is essentially the subtext of what she’s saying.
As with quantum entanglement, it’s all about the spin. From a gentle Japanese soul it doesn’t sound all that bad. Very zen-like. A cathartic spiritual cleanse. And so too a bit of intimate soul-searching might lay bare the realization that unburdening one’s self from unnecessary consumption may do more for the psyche (and the planet) than any New World Order ever could. Especially if that consumption is fuelled by debt. The credo of owning less may indeed be the path to true happiness after all.
But no matter who says it, first and foremost it must be a personal decision.
The right and consequence of free choice.