Friday, November 27, 2020

Too Hot to Handle: The Great Reset

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

The only substantive difference between the Great Reset and other conspiracies is that the Great Reset is right out there in the open, more or less declaring itself for what it is in hope that the generation has finally come along who will take up its ideas and make them successful. The movement has its own websites, branding and literally trillions of dollars in backing. If you haven’t come across it yet, you probably will shortly.

Tom: The Great Reset idea is the product of eighty-something German engineer and economist Klaus Schwab, whose detractors refer to him as “the new Karl Marx”, and an organization he founded called the World Economic Forum. Schwab has been pushing his utopian vision since the early ’70s, but the outbreak of COVID-19 across the world this year is the latest pretense for finally implementing it. IC, maybe you can give us a quick executive summary of the concept.

A Simple Concept

Immanuel Can: On its face, the concept is very simple. It says, “The world has gone badly wrong. We need a reset.” And in a sense, Tom, that sounds very good, doesn’t it?

Tom: Well, sure. And the idea of a reset is naturally going to resonate most with those who feel they are being shortchanged by our current system.

But when something has gone wrong — which our world most certainly has — there are two things which may happen when we start to muck about with it: (1) we can make it better, or (2) we can make it worse. Whether we do the one or the other will depend on successfully diagnosing the root problem, and whether it is actually within our power to cure it once we find out what it is.

Let me ask: what exactly does the World Economic Forum propose needs resetting?

IC: Essentially, everything … our relationship with the planet, our relations with each other, our relationships with technology, society, values, the economy, nations. There are a lot of high-flown hopes gathered around the idea of “resetting”. If I tell you what the propaganda material tells you, these things are clustered in four categories: changes in “mindset” (meaning specifically our skepticism of human nature, and our capitalism), changes in “metrics” (meaning from measuring success by wealth to measuring it by “welfare”), changes in “incentives” (this one is really unclear), and changes in “distance” (meaning we drop individualism and nationalism, and turn to globalism and digital connection). But all of that is really jargon and nonsense. They’re not telling you exactly what they’re up to. Read between the lines, and you can see it’s not actually a program at all; it’s a set of flags you’re supposed to salute.

When he has been pressed further, Schwab himself doesn’t know how the Great Reset is going to play out; it’s going to have to be “discovered through dialogue”, he says. But socialism keeps coming back, and globalism, environmentalism, and a weird utopian view of technology. It’s as creepy as it is vague.

Imagine No Possessions

Tom: Reporter James Delingpole sums it up with John Lennon’s catchphrase, “Imagine no possessions,” a notion rather unconvincing in the mouth of a multi-millionaire. In this new world order, the average man or woman would own no house, no car, no property, no clothing, and may well have no job, depending on the needs of the collective. Everything we have use of would be at the discretion of the “resetters”, whoever they might be.

To understand that, we need to back up a bit. Klaus Schwab organized the first annual meeting of the WEF in 1971. The foundation is currently funded by 1,000 member companies, global enterprises with more than five billion U.S. dollars in annual turnover. So basically it is a bunch of retail, industry and tech billionaires coming together to persuade and “educate” political leaders about how to go along with their ideas about what would make the world a better place. Canada’s Justin Trudeau is a true believer in the vision these men propose, as were both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, Germany’s Angela Merkel, and numerous others. My uneducated guess is that these billionaires do not intend to make sweeping changes at the expense of their own personal power or affluence. If they did, who would control the big bucks they propose to lavish on the rest of us? Bill Gates is part of this, as is George Soros and numerous powerful, unelected men who have strong ideas about how the rest of us should live.

IC: Oh, yes … absolutely it’s not about what it appears to be. It’s about getting much more power and control of the world for these billionaires, and turning the rest of us around the globe into lab rats for their utopian experimentations. That’s the real agenda, the one they will not declare. But you can tell about all the “love” they have for people when you see how they foam on and on about the “golden opportunity”, the “unprecedented opportunity” (their words) of agitating the COVID crisis to the point where everybody becomes desperate and will make the sorts of changes they want. They actually glow with enthusiasm when they mention that.

The Scope of the Project

Tom: There’s an interesting graphic on the main page of their website that hints at the scope of what they are looking to do. It lists fifty or more categories of control that interest them, from digital identity to ocean management, internet governance, finance, sustainable development, aviation and tourism (meaning travel for us but not for you), global governance, biodiversity, cities and urbanization, climate change, geoeconomics, global health, the future of food, air pollution, justice and the law, gender, LGBT inclusion, robotics, AI, and many, many more. Basically there is no area of human governance, education or scientific discovery that the big money people are prepared to keep their hands off.

Christians recognize where this sort of monumental arrogance originates: it’s revived Babel and the Beast in one neat package — perhaps not in their final, apocalyptic form, but definitely a product of the same spirit and the same goals.

IC: On the Beast concept, one thing we haven’t mentioned regarding the Fourth Industrial Revolution they crow so much about is this: the fusing of human beings with robotic and other information technologies. We’re talking cybernetics, artificial environments, longevity technologies, neural implants, and all kinds of very weird things we can hardly even imagine right now. Their view is that when we eventually seamlessly blend human physiology with technology, it’s just going to be a really, really good thing.

No Big Secret

Tom: If what you’re saying here sounds outlandish ... well, it is. But it’s also not any big secret. Their own websites and promotional materials are talking about this sort of thing as if it’s already fait accompli, and as if it’s an unmitigated good.

Moreover, as you say, the COVID-19 crisis presents the WEF with the best opportunity they’ve ever had to realize their mission ... and that’s assuming they didn’t instigate the thing in the first place. When you see people with appetites this huge, you don’t wonder what they would be prepared to do to realize their goals, you wonder what they wouldn’t.

IC: Right. And at long last, now that media has gone truly global, cell phones are nearly universal, global positioning devices are everywhere, personal-information gathering is abundant, economics are all on credit, governments are ever bigger, and so on, the chance for a megalomaniacal project of world manipulation has never been better. These are people with huge, bloated egos, who really want to see how far they can take the business of bringing everything under their control. And they feel that this is their window of opportunity. No less a person than Prince Charles himself has exhorted them to seize it.

The Perfect Audience

Tom: And they have the perfect audience to sell it to. Millennials have been told they will never own the things their parents did. The Boomers consumed three lifetimes worth of wealth in the span of a single generation and have left their grandchildren and great-grandchildren nothing but a big pile of debt all across the West. You have more neuroses, more drug dependency, more depression, more ignorance of math and history, and more incoherent thinking in the last couple of generations than at any time in memory. So if you offer these poor schmucks relief from their school debt, free technology, free education and a warm bed to sleep in — even if none of it is really theirs — these kids are ready to sign away their autonomy in a heartbeat. They are children in need of a nanny; millions of Greta Thunbergs passionately and ignorantly certain that everything they grew up with needs to be torn down and rebooted ... and who better than their generation to do it?

IC: Right. And they have no sense of history and of how disastrously wrong these sorts of socialist utopia projects have gone in the past: that well over 100,000,000 human beings have been turned into corpses by these projects in the last century alone. They can’t imagine how that would ever happen — they, themselves think they’d never do that — and they long to try it again.

The Church and the Reset

Well, Tom … where is the church in this situation?

Tom: “Where is the church” you say? Um ... cowering at home in our basements, of course. Most of us live in zones where meeting together would be allowed if we wanted to, but close to 2/3 of us haven’t gone back to gathering in person after the COVID lockdowns, even though we could. I don’t mean the 80-year olds, who have some statistical incentive to be careful. I mean the forty-something parents of three kids who are all but immune to the virus, but mysteriously haven’t been sighted since March. Some are comfortable Zooming from home. Some are genuinely scared by all the rhetoric and don’t understand numbers very well. Some have been reminded that a few of those folks they used to gather with were kinda hard to get along with, and found that meeting in the living room with a few family members is more fun.

Oh, sorry ... you mean the real church. Apologies.

IC: Yes, the real church. The one Christ will actually save. What is the right course of action for Christians in light of all this?

Tom: Well, we don’t need a reset. The world we live in is far from perfect, but we always knew that; many of us came to faith in Christ because we recognized the incorrigibility of mankind as a species and the presence of evil in our own hearts. We were looking for something real and lasting and true, and we found it in Jesus Christ. We knew this whole mess is going to burn at some point anyway.

The Hope of the Gospel

IC: Yes, right. That’s perspective. Sounds to me like one thing we’ve definitely got to do is get really loud and urgent about sharing our blessed hope with people. It’s time to take standing for the gospel to a whole new level. There’s no other hope for the world; we’ve got to speak out very boldly, to as many as we can reach and God will save. There’s no longer any time for holding back, taking it slow, or saving the opportunity. Say the truth. Say it now. Say it loud.

Tom: Amen to that. Our faith is certainly not in institutions or smart billionaires with big ideas. We have seen those sorts of things fail repeatedly. Even when they start off well, the very best human initiatives become horribly corrupted within a few generations. Compare the original wording of the U.S. Constitution to the current state of the American Republic if you want confirmation of that.

And the Great Reset initiative can’t even claim to be starting with pure motives. Far from being a groundswell movement, it’s a top-down attempt by the global elite to consolidate and cement their own control of the world economy and the levers of geopolitical power at the expense of everyone else. No Christian should be on board with a bunch of globalist shills with overstuffed pockets using our own gullibility and goodwill against us.

IC: So … no more compromise. No worrying about our public image or our popularity with the New World trends. No more strategizing for the right position when the dust settles. And it isn’t safe to be average anymore, or to join the crowd in the direction it’s going. Of course, we know it never was safe to do that; but now, more than ever, we have to choose whom we serve, correct?

Tom: Right. Even if we had no other reason to reject human-sponsored resets, we have the scripture, which tells us the only world government we will ever be able to trust and which will ever be able to get the job done is the millennial government of our Lord Jesus Christ, because when he comes to rule, “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” and he will “decide with equity for the meek of the earth”. Now THAT’s a great reset. Anything else is a pathetic, grasping counterfeit that should cause us to run pell-mell in the opposite direction.

What to Do About It

Now, what can we do about it? Well, we can start by not voting for it, assuming we’re ever asked our opinion, which seems a little unlikely. Look at how much luck the #Brexit forces have had extricating Great Britain from the gaping maw of the E.U. ...

IC: What about our church life and practices, the internal stuff, Tom? How does that need to change in light of the new situation?

Tom: One thing I’d love to see us do more of is teaching a hermeneutically-sound, unfanciful, thoroughly-biblical premillennialism, and teaching it clearly and understandably. Far too many kids in the Reformed tradition stand to fall for this sort “save the world” nonsense because they have been falsely told that the primary job of the church is to reform institutions and nations, and that our Lord cannot be expected to return until Christians have turned the earth into a utopia for him. People who already believe in the value of “resetting” the world in the strength of human energy are more likely to buy into the claims of goodwill made by the Davos folks. They may even believe throwing in our lot with the Great Reset is the “Christian” thing to do.

Worship When It Matters

IC: Can I add one more, Tom? It’s one that’s near and dear to my heart, but also, I believe, nearest and dearest to God’s. We have got to worship, and worship with our whole hearts. In particular, we have to absolutely insist that every Christian gets to the Lord’s Supper — and, I suggest, every week. The Lord himself asked us to “do this in remembrance of me” until he comes. I have felt personally convicted, just in the last week, that no matter what COVID-prevention measures are enforced, and no matter the price, we’ve got to uphold that memorial in some form, right to the end.

Tom: And preferably without performing it like a pantomime in an operating theater. Hey, we will all worship in heaven one day, where there will be no cost to it, but also no special reward. Here, we have a chance to worship Christ sacrificially, at some genuine cost to ourselves. That sort of worship has real value to him.

IC: If I die at that table, I am content. But I do not want the Lord to come, and we his people to have given up this precious responsibility he laid on us in the night in which he was betrayed. There is no higher or holier responsibility we have. We have got to be found faithful in that, above all else. I really feel that.

Tom: And that, I think, is the perfect place to end this conversation.

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