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'You'll Own Nothing'—and Like It. Or Will You?
David Solway • 05 Aug, 2022 • 5 Min Read
The return of S.P.E.C.T.R.E.
The much-circulated slogan “You will own nothing, and you will be happy” was coined by Danish MP Ida Auken in 2016 and included in a 2016 essay published by the purveyors of the so-called “Great Reset” at the World Economic Forum (WEF) headquartered in Davos, Switzerland. It is, of course, only half true. Nonetheless, the phrase is certainly apt and should be taken seriously. For once the Great Reset has been put in place, we will indeed own nothing except our compelled compliance.
The world’s farmers and cattle raisers, deprived of their livelihoods on the pretext of reducing nitrogenic fertilizers and livestock-produced methane, will own next to nothing. Meat and grain will become increasingly rare and we will be dining on cricket goulash and mealworm mash, an entomorphagic feast. We will be driving distance-limited electric vehicles rented from the local Commissariat and digitally monitored by Cyber Central—assuming we will still be allowed to drive. Overseen by a cadre of empowered financial managers who can “freeze” our assets at any time, we will possess bank accounts and credit ratings, but they will not be really ours.
Subject to a conceptual misnomer that is nothing but a vacuous abstraction, we will have become “stakeholders”—the WEF’s Klaus Schwab’s favorite word—with no real stake to hold apart from a crutch. In fact, what Schwab’s “stakeholder capitalism” really means, as Andrew Stuttaford explains at Capital Matters, is “transferring the power that capitalism should confer from its owners and into the hands of those who administer it.”
Beware the Magic Mountain.
Should the Great Reset ever be fully implemented, we will have been diminished, as Joel Kotkin cogently argues in The Coming of Neo-Feudalism, to the condition of medieval serfs, or reduced to the status of febrile invalids, like those in Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain, which, as it happens, was also set in Davos. As Mann ends his novel, addressing his main character Hans Castorp: “Farewell, Hans…Your chances are not good. The wicked dance in which you are caught up will last many a little sinful year yet, and we will not wager much that you will come out whole.”
Modern-day Castorps, we will indeed own nothing, and most assuredly, we will not be happy. As Schwab writes in his co-authored Covid-19: The Great Reset, people will have to accept “limited consumption,” “responsible eating,” and, on the whole, sacrificing “what we do not need”—this latter to be determined by our betters.
What strikes me with considerable force is the pervasive indifference or cultivated ignorance of the general population respecting what the Davos cabal has in store for them. A substantial number of people have never heard of it. Others regard it as just another internet conspiracy—though it is not so much a conspiracy since it is being organized in full sight. The majority of “fact-checkers” and hireling intellectuals wave it away as a right-wing delusion.
Others I have spoken to simply cannot grasp the enormity of so vast, diabolical, and methodically orchestrated a scheme. “Surely, you’re joking,” my neighbor said to me. I was tempted to parrot Leslie Nielsen’s snappy one-liner, “Don’t call me Shirley,” as a correlative idiocy. The general state of public stupefaction and complacency is precisely what may ensure the success of what is nothing less than a social apocalypse, epically scalable and coercively networked by an unholy alliance between government, corporations, NGOs, academia, techno-elites and a coterie of the world’s billionaires. It is real. “It matters,” writes Ben Sixsmith at The Spectator World, “that some of the world’s richest and most powerful people are so interested in ‘resetting’ the way we live.”
The evidence is everywhere though the majority refuse to recognize it: one pandemic and variant after another, strictly on schedule: Covid, Omicron BA.4, BA.5, Monkeypox, Bird Flu, with more to come; vaccines whose deadly consequences are legion; the creation of a new category of political prisoners; climate alarmism presaging the end of mankind—an extinction which is continually deferred; the systematic suppression of civil rights and Constitutional guarantees; supply-chain disruptions; currency deflation and its result, rampant inflation; ballooning taxes of every shape and form: gas taxes, equity taxes, capital gains taxes, carbon taxes; and the growing campaign against energy and food, the essentials of life and prosperity, leading to the culling of the world’s population—we have the Malthusian word of Bill Gates on that.
Taken together, this is the Reset idea in a nutshell, a dystopian blueprint whose effect will be devastating, and which most people remain blind to. It is sometimes the glaringly obvious that is most obscure, the onset of a tectonic shift dismissed as a mere tremor, until it is too late to prepare and react.
Yuval Noah Harari, author of the bestselling Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, represents an interesting case in the ongoing debate over the nature of the Great Reset. Often condemned by skeptics as a vigorous promoter of the movement, he appears to be more of a Cassandra prophetically surveying the evolution of our political, economic and technological future, which, he believes, may well be unstoppable. He suspects that artificial intelligence (AI) and the algorithmic revolution will generate a “global useless class.” Disruptive technologies,” he says in a New York Times interview, “which have helped bring enormous progress, could be disastrous if they get out of hand.” These new technologies “could hijack democracy, and even our sense of self,” which would spell the doom of “liberal democracy as we have known it for the last century.”
Harari is often closely associated with Schwab, but his predictions should be taken in—not out of—context, as an insightful foray into what is looming on the horizon, for better or worse. In referring to “hackable humans,” he is not advocating for but warning against how the new technologies, such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Neural Evidence Aggregation Tool (NEAT) program, are envisioning the future and how, if we are not careful, they can go wrong. Harari’s warning is the content of the Great Reset’s proposed aspirations—but he seems to be misunderstood rather than heeded.
A new book, Against the Great Reset, edited by The Pipeline editor Michael Walsh and scheduled for October, would doubtlessly enlighten the crepuscular sensibilities of an apathetic and irresponsible demographic, the incipient victims of an unprecedented global upheaval. But most of the people I daily meet at their trades, and enter into conversation with, do not read anything apart from the agitprop drivel of the mainstream press. Even so, such a volume, featuring many of our most prestigious scholars, needs to be “out there” as a curator of ideas. One never knows. It may change some minds among the literate and nudge the news cycle, at least to some extent, in the direction of sanity.
The only event, however, that I can see radically forestalling what has begun to seem inevitable would be the total collapse of the economies, traditional pursuits, communal trust in national leadership, and, in effect, the structural cohesion of nations, as in Sri Lanka, Argentina, and possibly Holland and Canada in the approximate future. Such convulsions may serve to rouse the masses. Otherwise, we may be inviting a fait accompli. Barring the unforeseen, one thing is certain. The oligarchs and poser-brokers who are busy installing the insidious measures and manorial provisions of the Great Reset, should they succeed in their plans, will have much to look forward to. They will own everything, and they will be happy. Very happy.
David Solway is a Canadian poet and essayist. His most recent volume of poetry, The Herb Garden, appeared in spring 2018. His manifesto, Reflections on Music, Poetry & Politics, was released by Shomron Press in spring 2016. He has produced two CDs of original songs: Blood Guitar and Other Tales and Partial to Cain, on which he was accompanied by his pianist wife Janice Fiamengo. His latest book is Notes from a Derelict Culture.