By titling their recently published World Economic Forum treatise Covid-19: The Great Reset, the evident glee with which the authors – economists Klaus Schwab and Thierry Malleret – greet the pandemic as a harbinger of their proposed socioeconomic upheaval, suggests that if Covid-19 hadn’t come along by accident, they would have created it – had they been able *taps nose*. But in fact, World Economic Forum founder Schwab was already energetically hyping the Great Reset – using climate change as the triggering crisis – before the Chyynese Virus outbreak provided him with an even more immediate pretext for touting his plans to remake the world. The authors quickly get to the nub of the matter by proclaiming that “the world as we knew it in the early months of 2020 is no more,” & that “radical changes will shape a “new normal.” We ourselves will be transformed. “Many of our beliefs and assumptions about what the world could or should look like will be shattered in the process.” Throughout the TGR, the authors seem to gloat over the presumed effects of widespread “fear” of the virus, which is supposed to condition people to desire the radical changes they envisage. They employ technocratic psychobabble to announce that the pandemic is already transforming the human mentality to conform to the new reality they consider inevitable.
“Our lingering and possibly lasting fear of being infected with a virus … will thus speed the relentless march of automation ”
“The pandemic may increase our anxiety about sitting in an enclosed space with complete strangers, and many people may decide that staying home to watch the latest movie or opera is the wisest option.”
“There are other first-round effects that are much easier to anticipate. Cleanliness is one of them. The pandemic will certainly heighten our focus on hygiene. A new obsession with cleanliness will particularly entail the creation of new forms of packaging. We will be encouraged not to touch the products we buy. Simple pleasures like smelling a melon or squeezing a fruit will be frowned upon and may even become a thing of the past.”
This is the voice of would-be Global Governance. From on high, experts decide what the masses ought to want, and twist the alleged popular wishes to fit the profit-making schemes they are peddling. Their schemes centre on digital innovation, massive automation using “artificial intelligence,” finally even “improving” human beings by endowing them artificially with some of the attributes of robots: such as problem-solving devoid of ethical distractions.
Engineer-economist Klaus Schwab, born in Ravensburg, Germany, in 1938, founded his World Economic Forum in 1971, attracting massive sponsorship from international corporations. It meets once a year in Davos, Switzerland – last time in January 2020 and next year in May, delayed because of Covid-19. So what exactly is the WEF? It’s perhaps best described as a combination capitalist consulting firm and gigantic lobbying service. The futuristic predictions are designed to guide investors into profitable areas in what Schwab calls “the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)” and then, as the areas are defined, to put pressure on governments to support such investments by way of subsidies, tax breaks, procurements, regulations and legislation. In short, the WEF is the lobby for new technologies, digital everything, artificial intelligence, transhumanism. It is frighteningly powerful today because it is operating in an environment of State Capitalism, where the role of the State (especially in the US, less so presently in Europe, has been largely reduced to responding positively to the demands of such lobbies, especially the financial sector. Aloof & insulated from the obscure & ignorable wishes of ordinary people, most of today’s politicians would not function without the “guidance” of lobbies such as the WEF in telling them needs to be done.
In the 20th century, the stunning economic success of the US armaments industry during World War II gave birth to a Military-Industrial Complex, which has now become a permanent structural factor in the economy. It is the dominant role of the MIC and its resulting lobbies that have definitively transformed the US nation into State Capitalism rather than a Republic. The proof of this transformation is the unanimity with which Congress never baulks at approving grotesquely inflated military budgets. The MIC has spawned Media and Think Tanks which ceaselessly indoctrinate the public in the existential need to keep pouring the nation’s wealth into weapons of war. Insofar as voters do not agree, they can find no means of political expression with elections monopolized by two pro-MIC parties. The WEF can be seen as analogous to the MIC. It intends to engage governments and opinion manufacturers in the promotion of a “4IR” which will dominate the civilian economy and civilian life itself. The pandemic is a temporary pretext; the need to “protect the environment” will be the more sustainable pretext. Just as the MIC is presented as absolutely necessary to “protect our freedoms,” the 4IR will be hailed as absolutely necessary to “save the environment” – and in both cases, many of the measures advocated will have the opposite effect.
So far, the techno-tyranny of Schwab’s 4IR has not quite won its place in U.S. State Capitalism. But its prospects are looking good. Silicon Valley contributed heavily to the Joe Biden campaign, and Biden hastened to appoint its moguls to his transition team. But the real danger of all power going to the Reset lies not with what is there, but what is not there :
any serious political opposition.
The Great Reset presently has captured the zeitgeist for the simple reason that there is nothing in its way. No widespread awareness of the issues, no effective popular political organization, nothing. Schwab’s dystopia is frightening simply for that reason. The 2020 presidential election has just illustrated the almost total irrelevance of the American electorate. That may sound odd considering the violent partisan emotions displayed. But it was all much ado about nothing. There were no real issues debated, no serious political questions raised either about war or about the directions of future economic development. The vicious quarrels were about persons, not policy. Bumbling Trump was accused of being “Hitler,” and Wall Street-beholden Democrat Warhawks were described by Trumpists as “socialists.” Lies, insults and confusion prevailed.
A revival of democracy will only stem from organized, concentrated study of the issues raised by the Davos planners, in order to arouse an informed public opinion to evaluate which technical innovations are socially acceptable and which are not. Cries of alarm from the margins inhabited by the Puffinati will not influence matters. What is needed is for people to get together everywhere to study the issues and develop well-reasoned opinions on goals and methods of future development. Unless faced with informed and precise critiques, Silicon Valley and its corporate and financial allies will simply proceed in doing whatever they imagine they can do, irregardless of the social effects. Serious evaluation should draw distinctions between potentially beneficial and unwelcome innovations, to prevent popular notions from being used to gain acceptance of every “technological advance,” however ominous. The political distinctions between left and right, have grown more impassioned just as they reveal themselves to be incoherent, distorted and irrelevant, based more on ideological bias than on facts. New and more fruitful political alignments could be built through confrontation with specific concrete issues. Perhaps a little 6th form unicornish with added FF glitter, but the only practical alternative to this is a teardown of the societal status quo. In the meantime, perhaps we should take the proposals of the Great Reset one by one and examine them in both pragmatic and ethical terms……..
© DJM 2020
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file