The so-called Great Reset has been a topic of considerable interest since a video resurfaced of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau telling a United Nations meeting in September that the pandemic gives an “opportunity for reset,” providing a chance to “accelerate our pre-pandemic efforts to reimagine economic systems that actually address global challenges like extreme poverty, inequality, and climate change.”
Read what you will into Trudeau’s words or the merits of the Great Reset itself, there is legitimate concern when it comes to implementing global systems of economic and social governance.
There’s no risk of being accused of entertaining conspiracy theories here as the World Economic Forum (WEF) does indeed have a five-point plan to enhance sustainable economic growth following the global recession caused by the COVID-19 lockdowns.
Unveiled in May by Prince Charles and WEF executive chairman Klaus Schwab, the Great Reset advocates for global socialist policies such as wealth tax and sweeping green initiatives aimed to curtail free markets in the name of climate change.
“Every country, from the United States to China, must participate, and every industry, from oil and gas to tech, must be transformed,” wrote Schwab in an article published on the WEF website.
For those who support free markets and national sovereignty, these proposals have hit a nerve, to say the least.
Trudeau’s statement to the U.N. prompted Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre to create a petition titled “Stop The Great Reset,” in which he urges Canadians to “fight back against global elites preying on the fears and desperation of people to impose their power grab.”
As is often the case, the devil is in the details and an eyes-wide-open approach to any proposed plan by a conglomerate of world leaders is necessary when the economic structure of the world is at stake
Initiatives like the Great Reset, even if the intentions behind them are good, represent a human tendency towards hubris—that our reason alone is sufficient to reshape the world.
The Socialist Opiate
Re-imagining intricate economic and social systems so they fare better for the average global citizen is a formidable endeavour. Unfortunately, the only model that grants the power to compel nations and citizens to adhere to such an ideal is the socialist-communist one. At its core, socialism prioritizes the functioning of the collective over the sanctity of the individual and justifies curtailment of individual freedom for the benefit of the “greater good.” Socialist systems of governance rely on mankind’s ability to manipulate the environment and social structure according to a theoretically pragmatic but incomplete view of the world, one that is only interested in the supremacy of the collective.
Despite the initial promise and logic of socialism, it fails catastrophically. Any system of governance that aligns with the socialist model not only fails to deliver on its utopian promise but invariably delivers the opposite. In this light, it is important to consider the violent history of socialist regimes before globally implementing a “reset” based around the same assumptions. In any imagined global utopia there will be little appetite for the autonomy of a nation, let alone the individual.
The theory that a global social system could be arranged cohesively in a complex world does not account for the inherent difficulty of the task, and fails to acknowledge that sovereign nations and cultures must be allowed to chart their own course and honour their own traditions and belief systems.
Canada for example, evolved from the Anglo-Saxon Magna Carta tradition of political and civil liberties. These are good foundational values worthy of preserving. They created a nation rightly held up as a beacon of good governance.
The Marxist system of governance and thought has retained a firm hold in intellectual circles, not just in the United States but across the world, shaping the discourse of many global organizations like the U.N. where value neutrality reigns supreme.
While Marx famously stated that religion is the opiate of the people, it was Raymond Aron who countered that Marxism is the opium of the intellectual.
In his book “The Opium of the Intellectuals,” Aron outlined how Marxism serves as a quasi-religion and the communist party a surrogate church. For those who embraced Marxist theology, the cause was all that mattered and any amount of violence or deceit could be justified in achieving the socialist utopia. Aron points out that Western intellectuals retain an affection for Marxism despite its historical record for totalitarian rule, mass violence, suppression of liberty, and abject poverty.
In this light, a great reset of another kind may be more fitting and conducive to our age of increasing tribalism and strife, and that is an internal one in which we accept with utmost humility our limited capacity to steer the direction of the world and remember that the human equation alone cannot solve the existential crises of our time.
Ryan Moffatt is a journalist based in Vancouver.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.