Written by John William O’ Sullivan
If you are familiar with political discussion in 2020 then you’ve probably heard the phrase the ‘Great Reset’. The Great Reset is a strange notion. If you put the term into Google, you will see New York Times articles denouncing it as a conspiracy theory next to Time articles hailing it as a plan for the world as the lockdown recedes.
So, which is it: dark conspiracy theory or mainstream plan for global governance? The truth is: something in between. Unlike other conspiracy theories, the Great Reset is a real, verifiable plan. It is formulated by influential economists at the World Economic Forum (WEF) and carried in the mainstream press. But because of its totalitarian overtones it is also a conspiracy theory. If we take what proponents of the Great Reset are saying literally then there is no escaping it: this is a dark, totalitarian plan being advocated by transnational organizations whose relationship with sovereign nations states is dubious at best.
The Great Reset theorizes that there has been a ‘fourth industrial revolution’ tied to internet technology. Proponents argue that this technological revolution renders much of our freedoms and civil liberties redundant. Famously, the WEF tweeted a ‘prediction’ that in the future people would not possess private property. Rather they would rent the objects they use from state and corporate agencies. Obviously, this sounds suspiciously like financialized communism. The subheadings of the Great Reset are likewise creepy. From the WEF’s archive on ‘human enhancement’ and transhumanism’ to urban-rural travel bans, the Great Reset materials are peppered with the sort of green-red-posthuman lunacy sure to set off any conspiracy theorist into a fit of hysterics.
As late as last week I was furiously typing rebuttals of the so-called Great Reset into my phone – often late at night and much to the dismay of my wife. Multiple WhatsApp contacts – generally the sharper people I talk to – were telling me that the Great Reset was coming. I told them over and over that this is simply not how things work and that there was no devilish grand plan for the future of humanity.
True, arch-creepy guy Klaus Schwab has written a book about how a technocratic elite should use the COVID19 crisis to impose a ghoulish vision on humanity. True, the World Economic Forum has endorsed this vision. But just because some floppy NGO is publishing fantastic speculations on their website does not mean that these plans are going to be passed into law by national governments. And surely no mainstream politician would be crazy enough to actually advocate this scary and dangerous nonsense.
Wrong. I sat in stunned silence as I watched a grainy video of amateur actor-turned-Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau explain how he wanted to impose the Great Reset on his country. The next day the video was everywhere. Tucker Carlson ran a whole (must watch) segment on his show. Twitter was on fire.
One video a conspiracy does not make. But it is quite clear that a certain segment of the global elite has bought into Schwab’s dark vision. These are people of an authoritarian bent and they have been handed unprecedented control by the response to the COVID19 pandemic.
If the Great Reset roughly means “the ideology by which this elite will continue to use the mechanisms introduced by the pandemic response to institutionalise their dubious agenda” then sign me up. I am red-pilled, or black-pilled – or whatever the relevant pill is these days.
Okay, fine. But what would it actually look like? One component of this agenda is a permanent universal basic income – this is used to support the large component of the population that is laid off to reduce carbon emissions or whatever the rationalization is. Well, that is basically already in place in many countries around the world. In Ireland it is called the ‘Pandemic Unemployment Payment’ or PUP.
Given that unemployment is rising fast and we have an elite that, at least to some extent, buys into something resembling the Great Reset vision, the path of least resistance would be to render PUP permanent in the future. This would effectively be the government instituting universal basic income or, as I like to call it, the ‘superdole’.
Let’s put some numbers on this to get a sense of what we would be looking at. Ireland’s COVID-adjusted unemployment rate – that is, people on the regular and the superdole – peaked at around 30% of the working-age population at the height of the first lockdown. It currently stands at around 20%.
If we assume that a Great Reset-inspired program is going to be implemented in 2021 and that, due to the enormous economic depression that will also set in that year, unemployment will climb, it is not unreasonable to think that starting now 20% of people will receive the superdole and over the course of next year this will rise back up to 30%. So, one in three working age people will be ‘reset’.
PUP varies by previous earning power, ranging from around €200 to around €400 a week. Since Great Reset adherents love equality, and since the system is cumbersome, this will likely be harmonised – let’s say to €300 a week. That means the basic income recipient will be getting around €1,300 per month. The average monthly income in Ireland, net of taxes, is around €2,200 so that is a drop of around 40% for the average person.
Let’s consider rent. Average rent is currently around €1,400 in Ireland. For the superdole recipients that will be unaffordable. Since they will make up 20%-30% of the working age population, rents will have to fall sharply. Since the average person spends around 65% of their salary on rent in Ireland, let’s say that the same will hold true for those receiving the superdole. That means that rent for them should fall to around €850 per month.
This means that, excluding rent, if something resembling this plan is ever actualized in Ireland, 20%-30% of the population will be reduced to living on around €100 a week after rent. Looking at where PUP payments are going we can tell that many of these people would have been previous employed in the service sector, but that will change somewhat as the depression sinks in in 2021 and people in other sectors are laid off.
None of what I am highlighting is crazy. 20%-30% unemployment is consistent with an economic depression and an economic depression in Europe is already baked in for 2021. You do not need to assume a massive conspiracy to imagine the elites keeping some version of the PUP in place as they realise the damage their lockdown restrictions have caused. There is plenty of evidence that the ‘Great Reset’ is becoming popular with the global liberal elite to rationalise all of this to themselves.
But it is a truly dark vision. One in three working age Irish people living on €100 a week after rent? Many of these people having been solid workers throughout most of their lives? And those are just the immediate economic ramifications. Reading through the Great Reset materials it looks likely that these state-payments will be tied to various rules seeking to govern behavior. Initially these will probably be tied to various lockdown-related restrictions, but from there they will be broadened out to encompass an entire ‘green-progressive’ agenda.
It sounds awful. Dystopian. But in truth it is basically what we are experiencing as I write these words. The only additional assumption I am making is that this is not so much a temporary situation, as a transitionary period to a new subsistence economy like the one described by the creepy guys at the World Economic Forum.