As the global environmental and economic situation are rapidly deteriorating the rich and political class show once more how out of touch they are with reality – and hope to get us to join in with them.
Norbert Häring is a financial journalist at the German daily business newspaper Handelsblatt, blogger, and an award-winning author of popular books on economics and finance.
You can read the original version in German here
The club of the world’s richest people and the largest enivronment-destroying corporations want the “Great Reset”. Instead of poverty, disease, overpopulation and destruction of the environment, the mega-rich promise us a fair world in harmony with nature. Despite its obvious absurdity and the cynicism behind it, this initiative should not be ignored. There is a dark plan behind it.
According to its own description, the World Economic Forum is “THE international organisation for public-private cooperation” and has as its main objective “to improve the state of the world”. The foundation, founded in 1971 by German economist Klaus Schwab, lacks neither power nor self-confidence. For years now, almost all the world’s major heads of government have made the pilgrimage (mostly in their private jets) to the annual meeting in Davos to pay their respects to multinational corporations and billionaires.
The World Bank, a close collaborator of the Forum, has made it a strategy to only support development projects that the member companies of this club can earn money from. The United Nations (UN) have been made highly dependent on the money of the corporations and can do practically nothing that does not promote their interests or even runs counter to them. Even the International Monetary Fund (IMF) now acts quite unabashedly as a door-opener for multinationals when it is supposed to help a poor country in difficulty or assess its financial system.
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So this powerful organisation, the World Economic Forum, has been working for nearly 50 years to make the world a better place, with great success, it claims:
The World Economic Forum has developed a reputation as a trusted platform for informed collaboration and cooperation between all stakeholders – reinforced by a track record of success over five decades.
However, if you watch the short film that the Forum has released to get you in the mood for the Great Reset, you can’t help but judge that it has either failed miserably in its main objective, or – more likely – that it wants to improve the state of the world just for its members. In this case the huge profits of the large corporations and the increasing inequality of income, wealth, and power are signs of great success.
The film’s mapping of the current situation consists of a hectic sequence of dystopian scenarios: rubbish tips, epidemics, protests against inequality, environmental destruction… Then, on an old computer, the reset button is pressed, and suddenly all is well. Images of shoals of fish in the blue ocean, beautiful green landscapes, happy babies…
After this not so subtle introduction, the video continues with an extremely high profile line-up of testimonial-givers. They include the British heir to the throne, the head of the International Monetary Fund and the Director-General of the United Nations.
So that you don’t have to do it, I have watched it, until my capacity for cliché intake was exhausted at about the middle of the film. Klaus Schwab declared at the beginning that “Now is the time to design the system for the post-Corona period.” UN Secretary General Guterres and Prince Charles talked about peace on earth and a society in harmony with nature. Nothing is said about how we get there.
Improving the state of the world (for the rich)
IMF boss Georgieva stressed the urgency of overcoming the digital divide, i.e. ensuring that US digital companies can make money in every corner of the world. Then she drifted into unintentional sarcasm when she, the head of the organisation that has forced the dismantling of social benefits all over the world for decades, emphasised how important it is “to invest in people, in the social cohesion of society”. One must make the social systems more efficient, she seriously demanded, while her people on their missions in poor countries were probably working on about a dozen social reduction programmes at the same time. What she did not even mention was the possibility of creating additional IMF money, the so-called special drawing rights (SDR), and distributing it preferentially to developing countries that have fallen into existential distress as a result of Corona. Nor did she mention the possibility of debt relief.
The boss of Mastercard, Ajay Banga, finally explained how the transition to the Great-Reset-paradise can be managed “from the point of view of the companies”, at least in principle: “In order for it to work, the private sector must make it part of its business model”, i.e. be able to make money from it. Otherwise it won’t work, we learn. To do this, you need “enormous trust between the private and public sectors, which is very difficult to achieve”. But thanks to Corona, there is more of that trust now. States now entrust companies with much more data for free processing. More of it, and all will be well.
If politicians and aristocrats are only interested in spreading euphonious phrases, and the corporations only want what they have always wanted, namely to earn money, then why all the big boost with star cast?
The path is the goal
The answer lies in the planning for the Great Reset, not in its highly unlikely implementation. They took a page from the Buddhist playbook: The path is the goal. It’s not about a new start, but about steering and monopolising the discussion about a possible radical new start. Freely based on the motto: If a movement could become dangerous for you and you cannot defeat it, establish yourself as its leadership.
I’m certainly not the only one who came up with the idea of calling a book-project “Reset”. Subtitle: “How Capitalism Works and How We Can Overcome It”. This kind of thinking is in the air, when in such a deep economic crisis like we are currently experiencing the richest people in the world gain many billions in wealth and the stock markets act – after a brief moment of shock – as if nothing had happened. However, before the World Economic Forum also came up with the “Reset” label, I had already changed the somewhat abstract working title to the more concrete one: “The World being led on a nose ring: How the corporations are taking power and what we can do about it”.
From the enormous interest of the readers of my blog in these topics, I conclude that the feeling that something is going terribly wrong and that a reset is really necessary is very widespread in society. Thus, for those who benefit most from the current situation, there is an urgent need to control the discussion and to either isolate or embrace all those who (could) come up with powerful radical ideas early on. And this is exactly what the Great-Reset-exercise is for.
The next annual meeting in Davos is to be a “twin summit”: On the one hand, the usual rendezvous of the corporation leaders and billionaires with the heads of government and the media. On the other hand, all important stakeholders are to be represented, at least digitally, to help plan the Great Reset. “Stakeholders” is a managerial buzzword for representatives of groups with a stake in the companies’ actions, which have been hand-picked by the companies themselves.
Let’s take a look at the list of stakeholders of this event that the World Economic Forum is convening. It seems to be somewhat exhaustive, if one takes the following at its word: “The announcement of the ‘Great New Start’ was made by H.K.H. The Prince of Wales and Professor Schwab during a virtual meeting, followed by statements by UN Secretary General António Guterres and IMF Executive Director Kristalina Georgieva. Their statements were supported by voices from all stakeholder groups in world society, including
- Victoria Alonsoperez, founder and CEO of Chipsafer, Uruguay, and a Young Global Leader;
- Caroline Anstey, President and CEO of Pact, USA;
- Ajay S. Banga, Managing Director, Mastercard, USA;
- Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Brussels;
- Ma Jun, Chairman, Green Finance Committee, China Society for Finance and Banking, and member of the Monetary Policy Committee, People’s Bank of China;
- Bernard Looney, Managing Director, BP, United Kingdom;
- Juliana Rotich, Venture Partner, Atlantica Ventures, Kenya;
- Bradford L. Smith, President, Microsoft, USA;
- Nick Stern, Chairman, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, United Kingdom.
Microsoft, BP, Mastercard, an investment company, an IT start-up, garnished with a trade unionist and the head of an American development organization, who was previously a banker and advisor to the World Economic Forum, these are the “voices from all stakeholder groups in world society”. Environmental protection is represented by a Chinese official who has taken up the phoney cause of Green Finance and an economist who advocates at least the modest sum of one percent of the gross domestic product be used for measures against global warming.
If the whole thing was just about discussions between these representatives and profiteers of the status quo, it could safely be ignored, even if it is supported by the Who’s Who of “global governance” (world government).
But the core of the program is something else: Schwab said, according to the Forum’s press release, “The ‘Great Reset’ will require us to integrate all stakeholders of the global society into a community with common interests, goals and actions”. In the video, he is even more explicit about the claim of monopolizing the debate: “This initiative will integrate everyone in the world who has a voice and who has a particularly innovative proposal to improve living conditions.”
The squid extends its tentacles
In order to find all these people worldwide, the World Economic Forum will, over the next six months until the Davos meeting, extend its tentacles, which it has so far remained unseen. Its network of nearly 10,000 “Global Shapers” in 428 cities (hubs) and 148 countries, will be activated for the purpose. The shapers are something like the junior organization of the World Economic Forum. Its purpose is to identify high potential people who could become influential in business, politics, and culture at an early stage, let them network with each other and to introduce them to the World Economic Forum.
If they prove to be sufficiently ambitious and manageable, their careers will be promoted. In this way, Klaus Schwab and the members of his club have someone in an influential position in business, politics or culture almost anywhere in the world whom they can call if they need to know something or need a favour.
For the purposes of the Great Reset, the World Economic Forum has declared these Global Shapers to be the representatives of the young generation, who are to ensure that the reform plans are in the long-term interest of future generations (of elites). In the next six months, the young established people are to identify people in the catchment area of their hub who are pushing noteworthy reform initiatives. They are to invite them to participate digitally in the Davos Great Reset Pow Wow via their hub.
That is then only the beginning. Whoever turns out to be potentially impactful and therefore dangerous will be embraced and made to feel important, flown to conferences in all parts of the world, lured with job offers, stipends and other support, imperceptibly entangled in a web of dependencies from which he or she cannot free themselves without fear of falling into insignificance.
Or else, one resists and withdraws from the embrace from the beginning. Then, one may have to watch how other reformers with less fear of being corrupted are stylised into beacons of hope.
In this way, the World Economic Forum hopes to make sure that reform movements do not get out of control, for example, those who want to tax away some of the wealth of the mega-rich, or who would strive to ensure that this obscene wealth does not come about in the first place, by reducing the excessive, anti-competitive intellectual property rights, or by strengthening the rights of employees, or by forcing big corporations to pay taxes like everybody else.
That is how it works, albeit rarely presented as openly as in this reform prevention project of the elites called the Great Reset. If they come for you, you know now, what they want from you.