Jérôme Blanchet-Gravel | The Great Reset: what should we learn from this book?

What should we retain from The Great Reset (2020) by Klaus Schwab, the president of the World Economic Forum, and Thierry Malleret, a consultant for various companies? Here is what I retained from this book often perceived in "conspiracy" circles as the intellectual matrix of the "new world order".

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By Jérôme Blanchet-Gravel, a French Canadian essayist, journalist and columnist.

A book-program for a new world

First of all, it should be emphasized that contrary to what is often said on social networks, the book does not contain any call for the establishment of a world dictatorship. The authors do not advise the feeding of fear, nor do they advocate the formation of authoritarian regimes, in the West or elsewhere on the planet.

Instead, this is clearly a programmatic book advocating profound structural changes throughout the world. Political, economic and ideological changes on a massive scale. Changes that can be interpreted as requiring the “breaking” of the liberal model on which Western societies are based, with rights and freedoms appearing to be an obstacle to the advent of a greener and less individualistic world.

An ecological Great Reset

Klaus Schwab and Thierry Malleret propose nothing less than a revolution in mentalities. They present their reset as an “absolute necessity” and indeed, as the process by which humanity will be able to survive the environmental crisis.

For the two authors, humanity simply has no chance of survival in the face of climate change if states do not “take advantage” of the health crisis to implant new habits, or even a new way of life in the population. This is the most important point of the book: they propose outright to keep the social and consumption habits based on distancing taken during the pandemic.

Telecommuting is of course one of the first habits to be maintained, which would become the norm. Addressing especially the (enlightened) elites, Klaus Schwab and Thierry Malleret urge to favor the digital transition in order to allow societies to develop a virtual economy that is supposed to be less polluting, more just and more competitive. A seemingly paradoxical economy.

A world focused on security

Tracking people through various technological devices is also for the authors a reasonable solution to end the present pandemic and prevent future ones. Technology should be used to identify who has been infected and with whom. Klaus Schwab and Thierry Malleret admit, however, that privacy could be severely undermined by the implementation of such surveillance systems, which is why they ask states not to abuse them.

The new world proposed by the authors is above all a world focused on security in all its forms. Health and ecological security in particular, but also economic and psychological security, because health and “personal well-being” are to become the supreme values of the emerging era. As social democrats, they also propose that states develop better programs for the redistribution of wealth and intervene more in the economy. This may of course appeal to some on the left.

As I have already written in a few texts, we are going to move from a world focused on identity to a world focused on security, the global safe space being the ideal par excellence of a hyper-anxious century where people are looking for a meaning to their lives.

Implementing new habits

Thus, it is not forbidden to think that Western governments (including Quebec’s) are exaggerating the seriousness of the Covid-19 crisis, in order to accelerate the implementation of new habits that are supposed to be those of tomorrow’s societies. In this perspective, the pandemic would have become a launching pad for these futuristic projects. This is at least exactly what Schwab and Malleret propose: there is nothing conspiratorial about underlining this fact.

The pandemic is real and governments had and still have to take a number of measures to counter it. Now, if it is not a conspiracy, the maintenance of often useless and scientifically and democratically unjustified sanitary regulations is strangely consistent with the Great Reset agenda.

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