A new conspiracy narrative is currently spreading in communities opposed to the COVID-19 measures: “The Great Reset”. Simply put, according to this narrative, a global financial elite is planning a reset of the current world economic order, calling it “The Great Reset” and using the COVID-19 pandemic as a justification.
How did it all really start?
The namesake for this new conspiracy narrative, which is currently spreading in communities opposed to COVID-19 measures, is the World Economic Forum, which takes place annually in Switzerland. Next year, the super-rich, journalists and economic powers will meet again, this time in Lucerne in May and under the slogan “The Great Reset”. There is also a book of the same name by Klaus Schwab – the founder of the World Economic Forum – and Thierry Malleret. It describes why there needs to be a new order after the pandemic: the global economy needs to become greener and more social. The authors argue for a fusion of capitalism and socialism, which should lead to more justice in the world. More social and financial justice are good ideas in general, but the project has links to a new conspiracy narrative. It revolves around the book “The Great Reset” and the meeting of the World Economic Forum under the same motto and is very reminiscent of the classic antisemitic conspiracy narratives in which rich individuals or families – mostly of Jewish faith, such as George Soros, the Rothschilds or, ideally, the “Illuminati” – operate as a rich world power and decide the shape of the global order.
The conspiracy narrative evolves: From “Great Reset” to “Digital Dictatorship”
The fact that it is financial elites and the rich of all people who speak out in favour of such a change may arouse scepticism in some people, yet for others, it directly provides the argumentative foundation for their conspiracy narratives: Already at the end of July 2020, a video appeared on YouTube with an explanation of the “Great Reset” by Ernst Wolff. The self-proclaimed economic expert, who was already sure at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic that the international financial elite had its fingers in the pie again, has now received the “evidence” for his crude theories. In his video, he explains what the economic elites have to gain from the COVID-19 pandemic. According to him, the previous capitalist system is on the verge of collapse: “Robotisation” and artificial intelligence coupled with algorithms will cause people to lose their jobs and this will lead to social uprisings. It therefore suits the super-rich to blame these circumstances and the fragmentation of societies on the COVID-19 pandemic and no longer only on the “selfishness of the elites”.
According to Wolff, this in turn means that all governmental and international measures to curb the COVID-19 pandemic are primarily “in the interest of the 0.001% richest people in the world” and are intended to help maintain their system. Ostensibly positive innovations such as discussions about universal basic income or climate protection are only the cover for the disastrous effects of capitalism and serve to create new incentives to generate artificial demand.
However, according to Wolff, “enlightened” people around the world are no longer willing to put up with this: They see it as their mission to enlighten unsuspecting people – “Systemlinge” or adherents to the system – and to join the resistance. They are apparently resisting the coming “digital dictatorship” by spreading their alternative truths and opposing the alleged mandatory vaccinations. Incidentally, at the end of the video, there is a request for a donation for the conspiratorial channel “KenFM”. The video does not have too many clicks, but a member of the “Neuen Schmalkaldischen Bundes” (New Schmalkaldic League) (which also features conspiratorial ideologies) gave it a like:
Where the conspiracy narrative is spread
In another video with more clicks, Robert Stein of NuoViso.TV, a channel susceptible to conspiracy narratives, gives a talk on the upcoming “Great Reset” at the “Regentreff Kongress”. In the comments, there is applause and recognition for the honesty and straight-talk he dares to give. At the “Querdenken” (“Lateral Thinking”) demonstration on November 21, 2020 in Hanover, the now suspended detective chief inspector Michael Fritsch gave a speech and appealed with the audience to engage with Klaus Schwab and the “Great Reset”, because “that’s what it’s all about, not COVID-19”. One has to wonder where all these skeptics were at previous meetings of the World Economic Forum, since they were all about “Shaping the Post-Crisis World” (2009 slogan) or “The Great Transformation” (2012 slogan).
“The Great Reset” in the USA
In the USA, Glenn Beck and Steve Bannon – both of whom are very receptive to right-wing agitation – are ensuring that the conspiracy narrative is spread, among others. The central figure of the conspiracy narrative in the USA is Joe Biden, the newly elected president of the USA. His campaign slogan, “Build Back Better”, is said to be a euphemism for the secretive plan of the business elite. Biden’s victory is said to lay the foundation for the plans of the super-rich: they want to abolish private property and implant people with a microchip that will supposedly read their minds (see Frankfurter Rundschau).
A letter from Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, in which he writes that Bill Gates developed a vaccination programme against COVID-19 and, in the same move, a programme to abolish property, somehow ended up being read aloud in all seriousness on the Trump-affiliated FOX News channel. Lara Logan, a journalist at the same network, explains: the slogan “Build Back Better” actually means “smashing everything to pieces”. The network’s journalists also pointed out that Joe Biden has a “disturbing connection” to the “Socialist Great Reset Movement”. For that matter, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is also part of the conspiracy, after all, he had spoken relatively often about an “opportunity for a reset” in a speech (see Handelszeitung). That heads of state are said to be involved in such things may surprise few, but that even Sesame Street is promoting health dictatorship demonstrates enormous creativity – or delusion. James Delingpole, journalist at the alt-right blog Breitbart, also sees in Sesame Street the hidden propaganda of the economic elite: Elmo teaches children to take precautions for a pandemic and to get vaccinated, which of course benefits the super-rich – obviously.
The conspiracy ideology of a “New World Order” is an antisemitic classic that keeps taking on new guises. Now, under the banner of “The Great Reset,” that time has come again. Similar to “QAnon”, a strong adaptability of the conspiracy narrative to local circumstances, local politicians and “elites” is evident, resulting in its transnational success.
This article was originally published in German.
The article’s image was published under the license CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 .