Your Betters Think You Need to be Reset
By now you might have heard of the phrase “The Great Reset.” It refers to the “opportunity”—that’s the eager noun often used by would-be Great Resetters—presented by Covid-19. Yes, some think that we should look past the awful tragedy of the coronavirus and instead see great opportunity. That is, the opportunity for a Great Reset: The wholesale re-engineering of economies and societies, with an eye toward not only combating the virus, but also achieving other goals, notably, fighting climate change.
This phrase, Great Reset, originated with Klaus Schwab, founder and chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF). A Breitbart News reader probably knows a lot about the WEF, which convenes every year in Davos, Switzerland; as James Delingpole has written of these confabs, they’re a place where “billionaires go to lecture millionaires on how ordinary people live.” In addition, “Davos Men” and “Davos Women”—plus perhaps, others—gather elsewhere during the year, even as they produce a steady stream of “thought-leader” materials.
Just this past May, Schwab announced a conference with world leaders and luminaries—including Prince Charles, that well-known expert on everything—to discuss his latest brainchild:
The meeting will see various guests from the public and private sector make contributions on how we can achieve a “Great Reset” of our global economic system in the post-COVID era.
And in July, Schwab published a book, COVID-19: The Great Reset, in which he argued:
The scope of change required is immense, ranging from elaborating a new social contract to forging improved international collaboration. Immense but far from insurmountable, as the case for smart investment in the environment shows.
Since then, the phrase has gained steam. On a September 29 video conference with the United Nations, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared that the current crisis provided an “opportunity of a reset.”
Meanwhile, Time magazine published a cover story and special section entitled, yes, of course, “The Great Reset.” The magazine introduced the idea by explaining:
The COVID-19 pandemic has provided a unique opportunity to think about the kind of future we want. TIME partnered with the World Economic Forum to ask leading thinkers to share ideas for how to transform the way we live and work.
And then the reader was presented with 23 guest essays elaborating on the subject, penned by everyone from Tony Blair, the former British prime minister; to Kristalina Georgieva, the head of the International Monetary Fund; to Prince Harry and Meghan, the self-exiled Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who are even more highly regarded than Prince Charles for their planetary problem-solving acumen.
As an aside, we can observe that while Time was once one of the most important publications in America, these days, the title—now a web-only portal—is of interest mostly because it is the platform for the politically active Big Tech mogul, worth $10 billion, Marc Benioff. So if a commoner wants to know what Benioff and his friends are thinking about, Time is a good place to find out.
With so much coordinated hype, it’s little wonder that mentions of the phrase Great Reset, according to Google Trends, have multiplied 100-fold in the past year.
Yet of course, whenever an elite meme gets that much traction, some are sure to see trouble, even a conspiracy; although, of course, it’s not a quite a conspiracy when it’s all out in public. It’s more like, one could say, a movement: a movement of the elite to decide what’s good for us—and, of course, what’s good for the elite.
Still, our betters were obviously worried about the growth of the meme #TheGreatReset—you never what the pitchfork populists can do—that the elite media were tasked with tamping things down a bit, so as to keep the yokels pacified. Thus on November 17, The New York Times sought to swat down concerns with a piece headlined, “The baseless ‘Great Reset’ conspiracy theory rises again.” Trust us, intones the Times. Such fact-checking words should soothe populist fears, right?
So what do the Great Resetters actually want to do? To read through their materials is to see that they mostly want to keep doing what they’re doing now, only more so. That is, more trade, more international governance, more efforts to fight climate change, more aid and loan programs to ameliorate poverty, especially in Africa.
For those more curious about the Great Reset, here are four articles — oops, make that five–from Breitbart News over the last six months on the movement. The acerbic James Delingpole, for example, puts his cards down when he calls it “the latest code phrase for green global tyranny.”
To be sure, not everyone will agree with such a caustic assessment, and yet whether one sees the Great Reset as malign, benign, or somewhere in between, it’s undeniable that the phrase has potency, serving as a rallying point for Davos Men and Davos Women.
Indeed, the Great Reset bids to be the latest proof of what conservative academic Richard Weaver wrote back in 1948, “Ideas Have Consequences.”
The New World Order: A Case Study in an Idea with Consequences
If we want to see the power of an ambitious idea when it’s injected into the global jet stream, we might consider the phrase “New World Order.” Those words from 1990 set a predicate for American military intervention, around the world, over the next quarter-century, from Kuwait to Somalia to Haiti to Serbia to Afghanistan to Iraq to Libya to Syria.
Of course, most Americans don’t think that all those interventions have been a good idea, costing, as they have, thousands of lives and trillions of dollars. And yet public opinion, as we are seeing, can be bypassed, if not totally ignored. The U.S. is still actively engaged, for instance, in Afghanistan.
Yet back on September 11, 1990, when President George H. W. Bush spoke the words, “New World Order” to a joint session of Congress, the elite was ecstatic: Here is a chance to do global good! To open up markets for Hollywood movies! To bring to the U.S. more refugees to speed along diversity!
As Bush said those 30 years ago, the end of the Cold War against the Soviet Union should not be an occasion for the U.S. to stand down and do less; it should be an opportunity to stand up and do more. And the United Nations, he added, should be at the forefront:
We are hopeful that the machinery of the United Nations will no longer be frozen by the divisions that plagued us during the cold war, that at last—long last—we can build new bridges and tear down old walls, that at long last we will be able to build a new world.
Warming to his internationalist theme, Bush continued:
We have a vision of a new partnership of nations . . . a partnership based on consultation, cooperation, and collective action, especially through international and regional organizations; a partnership united by principle and the rule of law and supported by an equitable sharing of both cost and commitment; a partnership whose goals are to increase democracy, increase prosperity, increase the peace, and reduce arms.
Here was his grand peroration to borderless globalism:
I see a world of open borders, open trade and, most importantly, open minds; a world that celebrates the common heritage that belongs to all the world’s people, taking pride not just in hometown or homeland but in humanity itself.
And he closed with this ringing call to action:
The world must know and understand: From this hour, from this day, from this hall, we step forth with a new sense of purpose, a new sense of possibilities. We stand together, prepared to swim upstream, to march uphill, to tackle the tough challenges as they come not only as the United Nations but as the nations of the world united. And so, let it be said of the final decade of the 20th century: This was a time when humankind came into its own, when we emerged from the grit and the smoke of the industrial age to bring about a revolution of the spirit and the mind and began a journey into a new day, a new age, and a new partnership of nations.
Such words might make one woozy, but most of the elite, in both parties, loved Bush’s speech. Neoconservatives looked forward to more wars, and liberals looked forward to more humanitarian rescue missions. And so as a compromise at the pinnacle, neocons and liberals agreed to have both. That is, wars and do-gooding–often at the same time.
Yet interestingly, the American people as a whole were unmoved by all this gleeful anticipation of planet-straddling. Americans had performed heroically during the Cold War—it was they, after all, who had paid the taxes and provided the manpower for the hot wars along the way, such as Korea and Vietnam—and now they wanted just to sit still and catch their breath. There was plenty of work to be done, after all, to build up the homefront, as blue-collar bard Bruce Springsteen had always been reminding us.
Indeed, a direct political test of the New World Order came in 1992—and Bush 41 flunked. In that year, running for re-election, Bush won just 37 percent of the popular vote, thereby losing to Bill Clinton.
So yes, big ideas have consequences, not all of them pleasing to the starry-eyed big thinkers.
And that’s because the ideas of ordinary people, too, have consequences. Regular folks don’t write for or read Foreign Affairs, for instance, and yet they can still make their opinions known at the ballot box.
The Power of Populism and Its Weakness
Interestingly, Bill Clinton proved to be even more of a do-gooding interventionist than Bush. In fact, Clinton’s performance in office demonstrates the power of a big idea that ensorcels the elite; if enough muckety-mucks love the notion, politicians will simply ignore public opinion once they’re in office. Similar elite ensorcelling was the story, too, of the Bush 43 and Obama administrations—and that’s how we got to “endless wars.”
So the lesson, here, is that the people have to defend themselves, peacefully—and not just on election day. That is, for their own sake, they must not only vote, but also stay engaged with politics; otherwise, the politicians, who once harkened to the siren song of the New World Order, will now be lured by The Great Reset.
In the face of such lures, only consistent popular pressure will keep the political class from looking around the world and seeing the need to “engage” and to “do more”—with someone else’s money, sons, and daughters.
In other words, people need not only to vote, but also to organize. Only organization will preserve the power and influence of an election in which the people spoke. Yes, it’s only ongoing organization that can nudge politicians continuously, reminding them of what the voters want. Otherwise, most pols, elected and re-elected, will settle into their terms of office and spend their time reading about themselves and listening to lobbyists and pressure groups—and we know what that will mean.
The point here is not necessarily to create a new organization; any extant group, sufficiently informed and energized, will do fine. Yet the organization must be always vigilant in maintaining its principles, while reacting to news and events as they come.
So now, today, Joe Biden: We must, to be perfectly practical, consider the real prospect that he will be the 46th president. If he is, in fact, sworn in on January 20, who will be his White House policy team and Cabinet? Will they be Great Resetters?
We don’t yet know the answer to those questions, but we should consider some early indicators. For instance, on November 18, Anne Applebaum, a blue-chip D.C. establishmentarian, tweeted: “The world is not the same as it was in 2016. Nobody should imagine that Biden will bring about a restoration. To succeed, his administration will have to carry out a revolution.”
The world is not the same as it was in 2016. Nobody should imagine that Biden will bring about a restoration. To succeed, his administration will have to carry out a revolution. https://t.co/w5iwmeCn5G
— Anne Applebaum (@anneapplebaum) November 18, 2020
We might pause over that last word: “revolution.” We can assume that Applebaum is using that “r”-word as a synonym for the other “r”-word, reset. And in an accompanying article in The Atlantic—that being a favored publication for Great Resetters—Applebaum cited many revolutionary/reset issues, from trade to human rights to climate change.
Are you on board with all that? Are you on board with paying for, and submitting to, what the Resetters have in mind? If not, then you’d better make your opinion known. And it’s best, too, if you join with others in peaceful political action, creating a solid bloc of resistance. Yes, the right, too, can #Resist.
It’s true that these days, populists, nationalists, and conservatives don’t have much money relative to the left, and yet they do have precious assets: their power to vote—two senatorial elections are coming up in Georgia, by the way—their ability to organize, and their right to peacefully petition the government.
Of course, any sort of activism must now exist in the shadow of the Tech Lords, who are wielding their digital control over the rest of us. We saw that reality, big time, with the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop revelations.
Yet once again, even here, we have the power to push back. On November 17, the Republican-led Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Big Tech; in that session, Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri scooped the world, confronting Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about a hitherto unknown surveillance tool.
Interestingly, in that same hearing, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, added this blast at BigTech:
You have built terrifying tools of persuasion and manipulation . . . You have made a huge amount of money by strip mining data about our private lives and promoting hate speech and voter suppression.
We might note that while Hawley and Blumenthal, being of different parties, might express themselves in different ways about different specific issues, there’s nevertheless a common overlap of alarm there—and that’s the potential beginning of a broad coalition to push back against Big Tech.
Oh, and did Virgil mention that Big Tech is all aboard the Great Reset Express?
So yes, there’s plenty to be done: The hard work of freedom is just that: hard work. Every day, politicians need to be reminded that voters, and their organizations, are paying attention—and that the ideas of Main Street, too, have consequences.
We must realize that the Resetters have their agenda, and that they see Joe Biden as a vehicle for the Resetting they crave.
And so even those who aren’t yet interested in the Great Reset should realize: The Great Reset is interested in them.