The Great Reset and its Believers

Belief in the “Great Reset” narrative and how the world is allegedly transforming into a socialist eco-dictatorship has gathered pace thanks to the pandemic – with politicians now weighing in on the issue. What do the right-wing media and activists have to say about it?

This article was originally published in German on Belltower News

By Erika Balzer

According to believers, blame for the Great Reset can be placed at many different doors: the secret elite who are seeking to steer world politics and the economy toward a model of eco-fascism; totalitarian governments seeking to reshape society through the restriction of fundamental rights and lockdowns; or left-wingers committed to combating racism and championing sustainable environmental policies. Whatever the case: the voices behind this conspiracy narrative believe the new socialist world order is gathering pace. 

These proponents have a common enemy: the World Economic Forum, which is paving the way for digital, environmentally friendly and just changes across all aspects of politics, the economy and society. This, at least, is how Klaus Schwab, Executive Chair of the World Economic Forum (WEF), and economist Thierry Malleret have described their vision for the changes that may be coming in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic in their book, “Covid-19: The Great Reset” (published 2020). The WEF has spent several years now looking at how the Fourth Industrial Revolution could take shape, and is in support of a radical transformation in various areas of society. Following the effects of the pandemic on humanity as a whole, these ideas were compiled and published in a book, and these ideas on humanity’s future – some of which are highly utopian in nature – have been rightly discussed and criticised by experts, not least because they were conceived by two extremely rich individuals. Despite the criticisms, the book is now, one year on, being touted in certain circles as the new manifesto of the secret elite and globalists, as well as of woke left-wingers who have already been indoctrinated in these new values and objectives. This has prompted fear among those who reject this form of politics, which is why they are now trying with all their might to get humanity to “wake up”. 

Investigative masterpieces 

Thus far, it is the “alternative media” and right-wing populist formats that believe they have sussed out the “Great Reset” for what it is. These are voices that have made it their business to expose the alleged lies of the mainstream media and bring the truth to light. A visitor to COMPACT Online, for example, would be virtually unable to avoid references to or thinkpieces on the “Great Reset”. Every event and failure are inextricably linked with a specific concept of the “enemy” – a concept that no longer needs clarification: Globalists are the reason Hungary should no longer put up with the demands of the EU and leave the union. As it contends in COMPACT, “[…] Katarina Barley stated (in support of George Soros and his followers) that dissident countries such as Hungary and Poland should be starved by cutting off all financial support”. Elsewhere on the site, the Left is accused of using the catastrophic flooding in the German district of Ahrweiler to push the Great Reset through, while the Rockefeller Foundation apparently saw the pandemic coming back in 2010, which was caused by a Freemason – as it states in an article titled “Satan’s lodge brother: The Freemason who devised the Great Reset” on the COMPACT website. Time and again, the articles feature antisemitic dog whistles: from the Rothschilds and the Bilderbergers to George Soros, globalists and Freemasons. As a result, structures built around antisemitic conspiracy narratives are consistently reproduced. 

Alongside the well-established bogeymen, China is now taking on a key role in the narrative: “The Wuhan conspiracy: Biological weapons for the Great Reset” is the title of one article by chief editor Jürgen Elsässer. The article purports that wealthy Chinese citizens staged the coronavirus crisis to destroy the economy in the West, with the money usually invested in industrial production being diverted to the pharmaceutical and genetics branches. In turn, it is alleged that these biological weapons will help usher in the Great Reset by making it easier to oversee the development of a socialist system. 

Fear of a totalitarian world government cloaked in a green jacket 

Other “alternative media” outlets are jumping on the conspiracy bandwagon and have sought to substantiate the idea of the Great Reset – already well entrenched – with some convincing examples. PI News, a rabble-rousing portal that is under observation by the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, warns of a decline in prosperity and a “totalitarianism of health” that people refuse to acknowledge: Those who believe the world will need to transform its energy, mobility and/or transport sectors in the next few years, the portal states, are under the spell of politicians and are already victims of the Great Reset. 

Efforts to slow down the effects of man-made climate change are seen as total madness. According to PI News, an increase in prices for petrol and gas, the development of renewable energy sources, etc. are clear proof that “eco-fascism” has arrived. 

Freedom of opinion and fundamental rights – under threat of being swept aside – are another major topic. On the anti-Muslim blog Philosophia Perennis, texts written in an apocalyptic style warn of how Germany will soon fall to an onslaught of totalitarianism, censorship, control and slavery. According to the author, the measures introduced during the coronavirus pandemic are the basis for this new system, while the provisions enforced by the German government to contain the pandemic show how easy it is to bring about a dictatorial system that restricts people’s rights and, furthermore, how willing people are to give up their freedoms – and even stand in solidarity with such a system. The language and arguments are the same as those used by the “Querdenker” protestors who spent months demonstrating against the coronavirus restrictions. What, ask these right-wing voices, is worse than a totalitarian system? A totalitarian system that seeks to impose green policies on society. 

Those who propagate the narrative say that the increasing popularity of the Green political party is a clear indication of the success of the Great Reset in Germany. The right-wing populist blog “Achse des Guten” [The Axis of Good] has long believed that the eco-lobbyists in Germany already have everything under their control. 

According to the blog, the World Economic Forum and the politicians that support it are attempting to create a new type of human being that is bred to obey, that places no stock in freedom of opinion, and that heeds a green doctrine. The only way to escape the kind of socialist system embodied by Stalin, it contends, is for society to wake up. All in all, the alternative media scene is alarmed by the creation of a socialist global society, while the green jacket in which it is cloaked seems to be the source of a great deal of fear in particular. 

The “Great Reset” in the German parliament 

It could be contended that this narrative holds no sway over parliament or politics – but this would be disingenuous. For example, in Alternative for Germany’s (AfD) programme for the German parliamentary elections in 2021, the party warns of “green state socialism” and substantial environmental degradation. Marc Bernhard, a member of parliament representing the AfD, gave a speech at the Bundestag alerting listeners to the Great Reset and that essential values such as freedom, property and basic rights are in danger of becoming lost. During an event discussing a union of values at the end of 2020, CDU politician Hans-Georg Maaßen – who flirts with right-wing rhetoric – warned that submission to the principles of the Great Reset would constitute a declaration of war on the democratic constitutional order. Sven von Storch, the husband of Beatrix von Storch, had the following to say on the right-wing YouTube channel “Freie Welt TV”: “Anyone unwilling to wake up in an irreversibly changed world in the foreseeable future and unwilling to be a slave in this ‘new normal’, this new totalitarian, neo-Marxist social order, has to see the reality of the situation for what it is today. […] We have to stand up now and fight in the surroundings in which we find ourselves, in all those places where we can have an impact – for our freedom, for our free world, and for our civilisation as we know it. Now, today, with immediate effect.” These are just a few examples taken from many politicians who are fearful of a “green swing to the left” and thus seek to make the Great Reset a tool for their own polarising politics. 

The Right wants to develop a counter-theory 

A fear of the Great Reset has also been cultivated in extreme right-wing podcasts and in podiums where Identitarian and racist ideals are shared and discussed. These are less apocalyptic and conspiratorial than COMPACT and PI News, and more sober and rational. They give the impression that alternative right-wing voices are fed up with having to constantly “expose the lies” of the Left; they want to go a step further and develop a counter-theory accepted by the Right. “The spirit as the means” is the primary concept referred to by neo-Nazi Frank Kraemer (member of the band Stahlgewitter) in his podcast when he speaks to various guests about needing a more well-organised ideological touchstone. They are less troubled by a restructuring of the economy than by the alleged restructuring of society as a whole. They claim that an agenda of “black racism” is being pursued against whites, while racism committed by whites is nothing more than propaganda. They fear the loss of their national identity by the “globalist institution” that is the EU. As Frank Kraemer and his guest Peter Steinborn state in one episode of the podcast, this is an institution that wants to take away the last thing that allows a person to define themselves as French or German – a national identity. 

In his podcast, the right-wing alternative publicist and YouTuber Gunnar Kaiser compares the World Economic Forum to the Bilderberg meetings, stating that in the past people assumed they had nothing to fear from the latter. Kaiser does not say exactly which negative outcomes resulted from these meetings, and appears it is enough to simply say the word “Bilderberg” without further explanation to prove that something evil is afoot. According to Kaiser, the reason people are willing to give up their freedoms and fundamental rights – besides the current state of the nation and technology – is the media: all outlets are allegedly following the same party line, with reports being published according to the whims of the powerful. 

At the summer academy held by the Institute for Government Policy (IfS) – recently labelled as an extreme right-wing body – the “New Right” political scientist Benedikt Kaiser gave a speech that made reference to the Great Reset, or “woke culture as the new prevailing ideology”. The enemy here is “the Left”, which Kaiser accuses of doing “the dirty business of the ruling class”. He believes this is evident in the digital and analogue “struggle against the Right”, a struggle in which the values and principles of the Great Reset are being propagated. For him, only the Right has woken up sufficiently to criticise these ideas. He asserts that the introduction of “they” as a pronoun and the fight against racism represent initial successes in the “Great Reset”, and states with a certain degree of pomp that “the conflation of post-modern left identity politics with the contemporary interests of capitalist players is complete”. As a result, Kaiser calls for the development of an “alternative Right block” and the empowerment of national identity by means of anti-globalist theory and practice. 

Some warn against the “abolition of humanity”, of transhumanism, of a new agenda of socialist world politics, and of the notion that people will soon no longer be entitled to own anything. Others leverage this mood to render projects organised with right-wing extremists legitimate. Even if the arguments and justifications sound absurd, the Great Reset is firmly ensconced in the media and among right-wing extremists and politicians in parliament, and it is being used to deliberately pit a democratic civil society against democratic parties. 

Photo Credits: Rijdende Redactie / Shutterstock