Debate about The Great Reset needs some nuance



Steef de Bruijn, RD

Photo iStock

Is a Great Reset coming? Or a New World Order? Will everyone lose their income in eight years? Will Christians be 'plugged out' unable to buy and sell if they refuse to participate? Is a crisis approaching in which corona is only a child's play?

It is a few weeks ago (October 10th, ed.) that a Dutch pastor, Dr Paul Visser, raised all sorts of those questions in a sermon. How concretely may one speak about the end times, and how does one explain the visions in the bible book of Revelation?

Some questions are about the book "Covid-19: The Great Reset" by Klaus Schwab. Wild stories are circulating about this book, published in July 2020, especially in circles of conspiracy theorists.

What is Schwab's book about, and what does The Great Reset mean?

The Great Reset is a World Economic Forum WEF plan to recover the world economy after the corona pandemic. Klaus Schwab founded the WEF in 1971 and has been a professor of business policy since 1972. He proposes a series of changes at the macro, micro, and individual levels in his book. Through this change, mankind should be able to cope with future crises.

Will all people soon be connected to computers?

Dr Visser spoke about "transhumanisation" as the first point of The Great Reset. However, this word does not appear in Schwab's book. The WEF's plans do provide the stimulation of education, the promotion of literacy in developing countries, and technological developments, such as robotics and artificial intelligence. Schwab wrote a book on the latter topic in 2017, in which he also discusses its drawbacks and objections.

However, no one believes that by 2030, our brains will be connected to computers and will be able to enhance each other's capacity to create a more brilliant whole. One of the projects that have developed furthest is Neuralink from Tesla owner Elon Musk, but scientists are placing big question marks.

But computer systems are already watching all kinds of things about us?

Of course, there are algorithms and navigation systems that follow us. That is indeed a trend you can be concerned about. But this is already going on (if people allow it on their smartphones), regardless of The Great Reset. Schwab is optimistic about its possibilities, also for fighting a pandemic. But at the same time, at the end of chapter 1, he warns sharply against the risks, especially if privacy is not adequately safeguarded.

Does Schwab want to abolish all salaries: no more property, everyone happy?

Photo EPA, Laurent Gillieron

This misconception surrounding The Great Reset is widespread. The story comes from a Danish politician, Ida Auken, who wrote an opinion piece in 2016 about an ideal image of a city in 2030. It was posted on the WEF site and has taken on a life of its own in a Facebook video. Several fact-checkers have debunked these claims: this form of income politics is not the objective of the WEF or The Great Reset. It is also clear from Auken's story: she outlines the disadvantages and downsides of such a plan, creating a societal divide.

A misrepresentation is that Schwab wants a society where you have to surrender your freedom or be 'plugged out' if you do not participate.

Can you still say that you are a man or a woman?

Schwab's book barely mentions it, but it is one of the important themes of the WEF: LGBT inclusion. There, by the way, it is in a long list of 107 "global issues", just like corruption, blockchain, hydrogen, and religion's role.

Since 2006, the WEF has been working on the so-called "gender gap", the inequality between men and women. This theme cannot be compared one-on-one with the discussion about gender neutrality as we see this, for instance, in the Netherlands. It covers a wide range of issues, such as employment for women, access to education for girls, equal wages for men and women – issues that Christian organisations in developing countries are also working on.

But indeed, the WEF also advocates emancipation of LGBT people and is concerned about problems caused by religious 'misunderstandings'. That a pastor puts his finger on this is therefore entirely justified. But this theme is not limited to the WEF but plays a vital role in the United Nations' plans as in our own Ministry of Education. However, it is a misunderstanding that gender ideologists want to prohibit people from saying: I am a man or a woman.

Will The Great Reset solve the climate problem?

The WEF indeed considers the climate crisis a major problem and is looking for solutions to it. The organisation advocates investing heavily in sustainable technology that reduces carbon dioxide emissions. The first plans for this date back to 1992. Over the past decade, the WEF has produced dozens of reports on sustainability and the climate. These plans have nothing to do with The Great Reset, the beast's vision from Revelations 13 or any diabolical plan.

Should Christians then embrace Schwab's plans?

Schwab is very optimistic about the opportunities of globalisation for the world economy and the prevention of crises. All kinds of critical comments can be made about this. His line of thinking corresponds to that of the Dutch government: "Together we will get corona under control." The WEF and The Great Reset lean heavily on the belief in social engineering and the power of economic recovery and do not drill down to the deeper cause of the corona crisis, the abandonment of God and His healing commandments.

An earlier version of this article was published previously in the Dutch Reformatorisch Dagblad on October 25th, 2021



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