A review of “COVID-19: The Great Reset,” by Klaus Schwab and Thierry Malleret (Forum Publishing, 282 pages, $10.99)

Be Not Afraid! 

It has been almost two years since the world entered into an alternate reality brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Even in its early stages, many (including myself) have observed that there were two types of viruses: COVID-19 itself and its antecedent, fear. First, it was the fear of the unknown: The general population had no idea what this virus consisted of and what kind of impact it would have. Then came the fear of the medical and political system that, in the last two years, has proven to be quite oppressive and anti-human. 

Anyone who even remotely questions the current structure of our society is branded a conspiracy theorist, anti-vaxxer, and generally a bad person. The revelations of the so-called Great Reset and subsequent discussions about it sound like something out of a James Bond novel and film: a globalist S.P.E.C.T.R.E organization under the leadership of Ernst Stavro Blofeld is planning to take over the world. It seems far-fetched, yet at the same time, plausible. After all, globalist ideology has dominated among the elites set on breaking down national sovereignty, especially that of the United States. 

Although most globalist power players are not Bond villains who like to pet their cats while making evil plans, the concept of the “Great Reset” is not a conspiracy theory. At the same time, it is nothing we haven’t heard before directly from the mouths of Bill Gates, George Soros, Klaus Schwab, and other proponents of globalism for the last 20 or so years.

COVID-19: The Great Reset, published in July 2020, is a book written by the aforementioned Schwab and Thierry Malleret. Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, and Malleret, the managing partner of the Monthly Barometer, as well as the founder of the Global Risk Network at the World Economic Forum, outline a plan on how the entire world should address the pandemic. Of course, Schwab and Malleret are entitled to their opinions, but what makes this “practical” manifesto troubling is that the suggestions for how to “make the world a better place” sound more like coercive strategies that, by their lights, world leaders will have no choice but to accept and implement. 

“The fault lines of the world—,” write Schwab and Malleret, “most notably social divides, lack of fairness, absence of cooperation, failure of global governance and leadership—now lie exposed as never before, and people feel the time for reinvention has come. A new world will emerge, the contours of which are for us to both imagine and to draw.” A return to normal will never arrive, and “the coronavirus marks a fundamental inflection point in our global trajectory . . . we should take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity to reimagine our world . . . one path will take us to a better world: more inclusive, more equitable and more respectful of Mother Nature.” 

This idea of “start from zero” is a usual leftist principle. It always seeks to first destroy and then build something else, which is more aligned with ideology. The slogan “Build Back Better” falls into the same category, and instead of actually addressing the science behind this pandemic (something Anthony Fauci likes to talk about a lot), globalists such as Schwab are concocting a plan to restructure society using COVID as the reason (or the excuse) for getting the ball rolling. 

Schwab and Malleret in the book attempt to address different spheres of human life and how all of them will need to be reset. They divide it among macro (economic, social, geopolitical, environmental, technological), micro (industry and business), and individual resets, in which we are called to “redefine our humanness.” The book is filled with contradictions: on one hand, everything will change and we are dealing with the “Black Death”; on the other hand, we shouldn’t make such dramatic statements. Everyone will get used to the changes and digitization of one’s identity, yet at the same time, this will not change the way we live. 

It is a distinctly secular outlook, with a “morality” based on globalist ideology. In fact, Schwab and Malleret have written a book rooted in Karl Marx’s historical materialism (whether they know it or not). It uses history as the primary mover and decider of the new reality, even as it is peppered with noncontextual and cherry-picked quotes from Nietzsche, Camus, and other serious thinkers to give the book more credibility. The Great Reset, in fact, is a dull work of gnostic atheism and social scientism, in which a particular ideology is crammed into an already established mindset and already envisioned result.

Schwab and Malleret are correct about one thing, however: The world has changed and it can’t go back—but that merely states the obvious. History marches on, yet they don’t seem to understand that their outlined “suggestions” might be met with resistance. They assume everything will go according to plan because people will fall in line. If anything the last two years have shown us that implementing the “great reset” has proven to be a rather difficult task. 

These looming political, economic, technological, and media powers have created fear among people, who are either terrified of the virus or of their authoritarian measures. Supply chains of material goods are in danger, but the constant supply of fear and anxiety is always available. Those metaphysical shelves are always filled. It has been a whirlwind year, yet we have experienced much of the same, and fear continues to dominate our society. Do we stop to ask whether we should continue to be afraid? 

Much of this problem lies within the spiritual framework of our society. In his 1994 book, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, Pope John Paul II points to the root of the problem, the effects of which we still see today, and are related to the human response to the crisis of modernity. “Hegel’s paradigm of the master and the servant is more present in people’s consciousness today than is wisdom, whose origin lies in the filial fear of God,” he writes. “The philosophy of arrogance is born of the Hegelian paradigm.” 

Once we make man the measure of all things, then the only relationship available will that of master and slave. One person can affect another in such a way that one’s entire metaphysical constitution may be under threat or possibly even taken over. This is what we have witnessed in the last two years. 

Daily worries about how life might continue in its present state are entirely normal. We are not made of stone; we have emotions and ideas that fluctuate based on events that are unfolding before our eyes. But the fear that I am speaking about is a deep, existential fear, in which an entire personhood is under threat of annihilation. It is a metaphysical condition that thrives on human despair and listlessness. 

As we head into another year of this sort of mental tyranny, it is only natural to wonder what the new year will bring. People naturally engage in such yearly reflections and look to the future under normal circumstances. All the more so in our current times of upheaval. In the midst of these worries, one thought keeps coming back to me: “Be not afraid!”—words spoken by John Paul II on October 22, 1978. They still ring true. 

Man must free himself existentially from the clutches of oppressive systems, and choose love and responsibility, even (and especially!) in dark times. It is essential to not lose hope. This choice also proves the strength of the human spirit and an affirmation of human dignity, which no ideology can destroy.

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About Emina Melonic

Emina Melonic is an adjunct fellow of the Center for American Greatness. Originally from Bosnia, a survivor of the Bosnian war and its aftermath of refugee camps, she immigrated to the United States in 1996 and became an American citizen in 2003. She has a Ph.D. in comparative literature. Her writings have appeared in National Review, The Imaginative Conservative, New English Review, The New Criterion, Law and Liberty, The University Bookman, Claremont Review of Books, The American Mind, and Splice Today. She lives near Buffalo, N.Y.

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