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'Against the Great Reset': Leading thinkers take aim at globalist elites in new volume

This week, 17 preeminent intellectuals and academics, including renowned Stanford historian Victor Davis Hanson, released a collection of essays critically examining the World Economic Forum's "Great Reset Initiative."  

Published: October 20, 2022 6:50pm

Updated: October 20, 2022 11:28pm

For nearly 50 years, a Switzerland-based membership organization called the World Economic Forum (WEF) has flown under the radar. Its founder, a German economist named Klaus Schwab, has spent decades cultivating a cabal of like-minded international thought leaders, multinational corporate executives, and political decision makers. But few outside the world of high finance had ever heard of Schwab or his forum, whose annual confab is simply known as "Davos" after its host town in the Alps.

That all changed in mid-2020 during the early days of COVID-19. It was then that Schwab made a grand entrance onto the world stage by declaring that the global pandemic was "an opportunity" to completely rebuild and reorder society. "I see the need for a Great Reset," he announced during an interview with CNBC in July 2020.

Schwab's Great Reset Initiative, which was formally set down in a 2020 book coauthored with economist Thierry Malleret, presses political leaders around the world to "tie government aid to the green economy" and to "revolutionize" and "digitalize" society. The pandemic, he declared, was a "call for action" to address global warming and "create sufficient drive for each government to be more open for global cooperation." 

With its audacious agenda to upend society, The Great Reset, along with an associated plan termed "Build Back Better," was immediately met by harsh criticism from independent researchers and journalists who called the effort a thinly veiled repackaging of past attempts to implement a transnational governance regime (a la the "New World Order" of the 1990s).

Initially, the legacy media collectively panned these critics as a "rightwing echo chamber" and dismissed their concerns about an apparent alliance of multinational corporations and globalist bureaucrats as a "conspiracy [theory] smoothie."

But disapproval of the World Economic Forum has endured, and has even crossed over the aisle with journalists from outlets like the New York Times publishing broadsides against Schwab and his "billionaire circus" in Davos. At least one left-leaning organization has come out against the Great Reset, blasting it as a "corporate takeover of global governance that affects our food, our data and our vaccines."

This week, iconoclastic author and journalist Michael Walsh released a compilation of eighteen essays written by leading academics and intellectuals in an essential volume, "Against the Great Reset." 

In an essay titled "The Great Regression," renowned historian Victor Davis Hanson places the Great Reset in historical context. He begins by offering a few words of warning about the "Orwellian philology" of the words "Great" and "Reset." He writes:

"Assume the worst when the adjective "great" appears in connection with envisioned fundamental, government-driven, or global political changes. What was similar between Lyndon Johnson's massively expensive but failed "Great Society" and Mao's genocidal "Great Leap Forward" was the idea of a top-down, centrally planned schema, cooked up by elites without any firsthand knowledge, or even worry, how it would affect the middle classes and poor. So often, the adjective "great" is a code word of supposed enlightened planners for radical attempts at reconstruction of a society that must be either misled or forced to accept a complete overhaul."

The word "reset" is also suspicious, according to Hanson. In the same way that Barack Obama used the word "reset" in his foreign policy initiatives, Schwab's usage presumes that "all that came before was flawed … and all that will follow, we are assured, will not be so defective."  

Hanson proceeds to explain how the Great Reset is essentially an example of transnational elites intending to, in the immortal words of Rahm Emmanuel, "never let a crisis go to waste." The political left exploited the fear and uncertainty brought about by the coronavirus pandemic to push and implement policies that would not have been palatable to the public in normal times.

Next, Hanson dissects Schwab's specific proposals, including ESG (environmental, social and governance) scores, global governance, the "fourth industrial revolution" (basically the monopolization of every economic sector by Big Business) and "stakeholder capitalism."

Schwab's proposals are critically examined further in other essays in the collection. Canadian financier and newspaper publisher Conrad Black elaborates on stakeholder capitalism in his essay "The War on Capitalism," while author and market analyst Martin Hutchinson demolishes the digitalization agenda in "The Anti-Industrial Revolution." 

In summing up Schwab's proposals, Hanson argues that the technocrats of Davos do not trust the ability "of elected leaders and legislatures of Western constitutional governments to solve problems independently."

In his concluding section, "Our Passe Constitution," Hanson warns that the prescribed centralization of bureaucratic power is reckless and dangerous. The Great Reset, he argues, is only the latest in a long line of attempts to implement global governance, which is incapable of securing and protecting individual rights and civil liberties in the way that national governance, built upon the sovereignty of nations, has successfully done. Thus, Hanson concludes, the Great Reset is not progressive, despite the claims of its advocates. More accurately, he offers, it should be labeled a "Great Regression."

Other leading contributors to Against the Great Reset include Michael Anton, Roger Kimball, Jeremy Black, Richard Fernandez, David P. Goldman, Salvatore Babones, Alberto Mingardi, Douglas Murray, James Poulos, Harry Stein, John Tierney, Janice Fiamengo, and the late Angelo Codevilla.

The collection covers not only the ideas trumpeted by the World Economic Forum, but also the agendas pushed by the organization's allies, including the academic establishment. 

The late international relations expert Angelo Codevilla's contribution is titled "How to Defeat the Education Establishment." In it, the former Boston University professor emeritus and senior Claremont Institute fellow argues that due to its near-total reliance on taxpayer funding, establishment academia has never been more vulnerable to swift reform

Retired English professor Janice Fiamengo also takes aim at the destructive cultural effects of the education establishment, though she focuses on the role played by the radical waves of the feminist movement. Several other essays address similar "anti-woke" themes, including the relentless attacks on faith and family.

With its unforgiving exposure of the immense anti-American forces at work in 2022, Against the Great Reset should prove to be an invaluable resource for years to come. Though the Great Reset might be new, the type of threat it represents has existed for millennia. This collection supplies the rhetorical tools and intellectual framework to mount a counterrevolution.   

Seamus Bruner is the Director of Research at the Government Accountability Institute, and author of "Compromised: How Money & Politics Drive FBI Corruption" and coauthor of Fallout: Nuclear Bribes, Russia Spies, and D.C. Lies. Follow @seamusbruner

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