The Great Reset that alarmists on the more ‘radical right’ are reacting to, is in fact a proposal by the World Economic Forum (WEF) to rebuild the economy sustainably following the COVID-19 pandemic. While many have expressed a desire to ‘go back to what they refer to as ‘normal’ others have realised that this could be the moment in time where God stopped the world just long enough for us to think about what isn’t working and rethink whether or not there could be a ‘Better Way’. People all across the world and locally are doing just that. While the WEF are people in positions of influence, they are not alone in their endeavours.
The ‘Great Reset’ was unveiled in May 2020 by the United Kingdom’s Prince Charles and WEF director Klaus Schwann. It’s apparent goal is to ‘improve capitalism’. Now, I would have thought an improved anything, let alone capitalism would be a good thing in theory. The question will always be however, improved for who? Still, in an imperfect world where imperfect people have this God-given job of making choices as to how we organise ourselves we cannot escape the responsibility.
When I ask questions like:
• how has capitalism with no social conscience worked for a majority of people to date?
• has socialism or communism done any better?
• is there a way to harness the productivity capitalism delivers without the apparent cost to society as a whole?
• does God prefer one system over the other?
• is there a ‘BETTER WAY’?
- Is it possible that both capitalism and socialism have their strengths and weaknesses and
- could aspects of both be applied in different situations to achieve specific outcomes within the big picture?
I tend to suspect their is value in both if we are not blind to the ‘blind spots’ of both. I also suspect that we can only know precisely ‘which aspects work and when’ when we are being guided by the spirit of the living God and we are understanding ‘the times’ and the circumstances.
The knee-jerk reaction of some, who have a degree of comfort in the status quo, to panic at the thought of change, and to spread their panic on social media, surely cannot be because they think capitalism is perfect, maybe they just don’t trust those trying to improve it. And who can blame them when human beings have the distinction of getting so many things wrong and even messing up what we get right. The way I see it however, is that this does not excuse us from trying to do better – assessing the damage we’ve done, self evaluating and trying again.
WEF for example are suggesting that investments be more geared toward mutual progress and focusing more on environmental initiatives. These are people who are likely to be investors or those that hob-nob with investors. They are also just as likely to be direct or indirect beneficiaries of such proposals. Be that as it may, the concept of gearing investment toward mutual progress – providing of course that this actually means ensuring progress does not only benefit and enrich already rich countries and an elite group of ‘haves’ to the detriment of the ‘have nots’ – should not in my view, be a bad thing. At the same time a focus on investing in the environment also in and of itself – and in terms of our mandate to be ‘good stewards’ as Christians – should also not be cause for concern. I concede however, that a ‘greater’ focus does seem unrealistic and could be potentially facilitating enrichment of those well placed to benefit.
The response, to WEF proposals has been another wave of theorists linking these proposals to a grand conspiracy in order to bring about a New World order and comments that private property must be eliminated are highly inflammatory on the part of the ‘Great Reset’ drafters. The idea that people will own nothing and be happy, is ludicrous as clearly someone will be in possession and control of all that ‘the people’ will NOT own. WEF proposals also see personal consumption being cut in half. Now, consumption is not entirely a bad thing but it is problematic if it doesn’t go hand in hand with production, earnings and allowing for the replenishing of the earths resources.
While some of the proposals made by the WEF think tank may be questionable and even outrageous they are openly revealing the thinking of people considered successful in their fields of expertise. These leading personalities may well have reasons above and beyond the best interests of the people of the world – reasons that align with their own best interests and beliefs but this is called human nature and if there is a conspiracy it is not exactly hidden.
The understanding of Christians of course, is premised on the rebellion of Satan against God and his age-old conspiracy to stop as many people as possible from ending up with their creator having journeyed through this life. This seems to me to be a major reason many christians see the unfolding of time in terms of a conspiracy and assume rightly or wrongly that people are consciously working together to fulfil Satan’s agenda. While I get this logic I am also conscious that the people who may or may not be caught up in less than Godly plans, are the very people God sent His only son to die for on the cross. I am inclined to believe that the arrogance of man and the quest for more and more, never being satisfied, sets people up, (on all sides of the theories), to be vulnerable to many agenda’s – their own and at times the agenda’s of others that suit their own agenda for a season.
This I suspect will be an ongoing conversation for some time to come and we will all very likely have much more to say on the issues in the days ahead.