By Jose Maria Sison, Chairperson Emeritus

International League of Peoples’ Struggle

June 1, 2022

The  ideologues, propagandists and advertising experts of the monopoly capitalist states and corporations cooked up and  started to hype the notion of the “Great Reset” in the 2010 in the wake of the great financial crash of 2008, which exposed the persistence of the crisis of overproduction, overaccumulation of private capital and the falling rates of profit. The worsening bankruptcy of the world capitalist system is manifested by the ever growing pubic debt burden.

What may be construed as a “great reset”  actually occurred when the decades of the revisionist betrayal  of socialism and restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and China led to 1991 when the collapse of the Soviet Union  categorically ended the  bipolar world of  the Cold War and made US imperialism  the sole superpower in a “unipolar” world.

Bush the elder celebrated this major development by proclaiming the “new world order” and proceeded to wage a war of aggression against Iraq to begin a US-Israeli Zionist campaign of wiping out  previous Soviet influence in Arab states and other pro-Palestinian state and destroying the government with independent or nonaligned policies. What led to a  series of “ceaseless wars” would come under the so-called neoconservative policy.

Under  this policy, the US is supposed to take advantage of the full-spectrum of its power, ranging from the soft tactics of diplomacy to the threat or use of high tech military superiority in order to put the 21st century under the dominance of Pax Americana. In general, the former revisionist ruled states were just too eager to come to terms with the US under its policies of neoliberalism and the US became   more confident of waging wars of aggression because of the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact.

Russia and China went through the troubles and pains of converting their economic and political systems into capitalist ones before the end of the 20th century and stabilized themselves as the 21s century began. On the impulse of the so-called global war on terror, as a result of the 9-11 incident, the US carried out a policy of favoring its military-industrial complex and outsourcing much of its consumer manufacturing to China. The frenzy of war production and wars of aggression aggravated its strategic decline. 

After letting the US expand the NATO, unleash wars of aggression in  Iraq and Yugoslavia and go  further on a rampage under the pretext of a “global war on terror”, China and Russia tended to assert their independence and initiative from the US by forming the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the BRICS and the New Development Bank. In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crash, economic competition and political rivalry among  the traditional and new imperialist powers started to surface, the inter-imperialist contradictions became noticeable as the financial crash set off a prolonged global depression. 

The “Great Reset” Is a Mere Rhetorical Reaction to Catastrophe

With the foregoing as background, the notion of the great reset can be understood not as some kind a great beginning of a positive series of developments but as a reaction to events adverse to global capitalism and as a desperate wish to rise from catastrophe.  In fact, the book  by Prof. Richard Florida that launched the notion  in 2010 was titled, The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity.

The book dealt with the financial crash of 2008, to describe the future of cities.

It examined the  economic incentives which had driven American society in the past. It compared the depression to two similar periods in recent history, the 1870s and the 1930s.  Since 2010, the crisis of the world capitalist system has worsened, with all major contradictions intensifying. And the inter-imperialist contradictions have come to the fore. 

To cause war and disorder, the US and NATO unleashed the “color revolutions” in former Soviet republics and the “Arab spring” in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria. Subsequently, the US under the Obama regime publicly acknowledged the economic and military rise of China as a threat to the US and called for a strategic pivot to East Asia. The Trump regime adopted a more aggressive policy against China, like the trade war and reduction of trade with China and accusations against its stealing technology from the US. 

The US persisted in carrying out its neoconservative policy despite the heavy costs of the wars of aggression and inability to expand economic territory.  It could not subjugate Iraq completely and was unable to control the Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds at the same time. It could not defeat Syria and its alliance with Russia.  It became unable to control Afghanistan and had  to accept defeat and withdraw from it in 2021. 

In Ukraine from 2014  to 2022, the US and NATO had set the stage for US puppets and fascist organizations to oppress the Ukrainians of Russian nationality and provoke the war of counter-aggression begun by Russia and by the anti-fascist Russian Ukrainians in 2022. But to the dismay of the anti-Russian Ukrainian oligarchs and fascists, the US and NATO have not provided the high degree of military support and intervention that they previously  expected.

The phrase “great reset” was adopted as the name or banner line of the 50th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), in June 2020. This brought together the billionaires and high political leaders who were convened by Prince  Charles of Wales and the WEF, with the theme of taking advantage of the global crisis to rebuild society and the economy in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic .  The “great reset” has been made notorious by accusations that the billionaires  and their political agents have  been using the pandemic to make superprofits from it and to control and repress the people with the compulsory vaccinations and lockdowns.

Klaus Schwab, who founded the WEF in 1971 and who is its current CEO, has described the three core components of the Great Reset as follows: the first involves creating conditions for a “stakeholder economy”; the second component includes building in a more “resilient, equitable, and sustainable” way—based on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) metrics which would incorporate more green public infrastructure projects; the third component is to “harness the innovations of the Fourth International Revolution for the public good.

The great resetters use the phrase “stakeholder economy”  to deny the existence of exploiting and exploited classes and class struggle and to extinguish the differences of the billionaires and the toiling masses of workers and peasants. They grab the the issue of environmentalism  in order to put a greencolor on their plunder and destruction of the environment and deny the monopoly capital culpability for global warming. And they express their determination to own and control science and technology from the the Third to the Fourth Industrial Revolution for the purpose of taking private superprofits and maintaining wage slavery by the monopoly bourgeoisie.

“Great Reset” Offers No Solution to the Worsening Crises

Klaus Schwab has pontificated that the conditions for the “stakeholder economy” are created by improving policies and agreements on taxes, regulations, fiscal policies and trade to result in “fairer outcomes”. He conforms to the neoliberal policy of maximizing profits and capital accumulation in the hands of the monopoly bourgeoisie as the presumed creator of wealth, cutting back taxes on corporate income and the personal incomes of the wealthy, pressing down wages, privatizing profitable public assets, reducing outlays for social services, liberalizing investments, trade and credit for the monopoly bourgeoisie and denationalizing the client economies.

Schwab has prescribed that  large-scale pandemic spending programs with private investments and pension funds ought to improve on the old system by building a new one that is more “resilient, equitable and sustainable” over the long term, building green urban infrastructure and creating incentives for industries to improve their track record on environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics”. He does not condemn or criticize the plunder and destruction of the environment by monopoly capitalism, the global persistence of fossil fuel being 85 per cent source of energy and the accelerated worsening of global warming, which can now be termed as global heating because  of more widespread droughts and heat waves.

Schwab is beside himself in hyping the fourth industrial revolution  for  blurring   the lines between “physical, digital and biological spheres” and for  fusing such technologies as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage and quantum computing.”  He ignores the fact that the digital revolution (electronics and information technologies)  in the third industrial revolution since the mid-1990s has so automated the  production process that it has aggravated the crisis of overproduction, the falling rates of profit and drastic fall in the income of the proletariat and other working people. One-sidedly in favor of the monopoly bourgeoisie, he simply celebrates  the harnessing of technological innovations as inevitably resulting in the public good.

Prince Charles of Wales and state leaders of monopoly capitalist countries have been  profuse in expressing  expectations of benefits to the people from one or all components of the “great reset.”  Prince Charles puts the stress on environmentalist initiative of the private sector in putting the world on the path of sustainability through carbon pricing. John Kerry of the US and other delegates has underscored rebuilding the “social contract” in a post-COVID world. 

In relation to the  Covid-19 crisis, the Brookings Institution favors  a three-stage plan of response in the near term, recovery in the medium term and reset. For the near term it involves response, for the medium term this involves “rebuilding economic and social activity in a manner that protects public health, promotes societal healing and preserves the environment and for the reset establishing through our “collective imagination”  a “new equilibrium among political, economic, social and environmental systems toward common goals.” So much academic and technocratic bombast, without confronting the privatization of the public health system and the shrinkage of public funds for a truly social health system for the benefit of the people.

The World Economic Forum itself holds the general view that the capitalist world and its crises are best managed by a self-selected coalition of multinational corporations,  governments and civil society organizations (CSOs). It considers periods of global instability – such as the financial crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic – as windows of opportunity to intensify its programmatic efforts. Schwab himself thinks that the “great reset” would not change the  economic system but could improve it to make it  “responsible capitalism.”

The brains, the billionaires and bureaucrats that make up the World Economic Forum expose and condemn themselves as charlatans who use a lot of glittering generalities to assure  the people that a better future is in store every time a catastrophic crisis of monopoly capitalism afflicts them.  They seem to be unaware that their “great reset” is not effectively deceiving the intelligentsia and the people because the ever worsening crises of the world capitalist system are generating the great resist.  

They have  aroused a great number of  serious critics and have facilitated the task of criticism. They ignore the fact that all major contradictions of the world capitalist system intensifying and multiple crises are becoming worse and more frequent, generating anti-imperialist and democratic mass struggles and creating the conditions for the global resurgence of the proletariat and the socialist cause. The epochal struggle between the  monopoly bourgeoisie  and the proletariat will continue until the vast majority of the people will win victory.  

The proletariat and other working people cannot accept but will always resist and eventually triumph over the  continuing unjust and iniquitous system in which  the social wealth is created by them  but is  in the main appropriated  by the billionaires, the environment is plundered and destroyed by monopoly capitalism, pandemics run rampant, the inter-imperialist conflicts are once more posing the dangers of annihilation to human kind through nuclear war and bio-chemical warfare and  the further advances of sciences and technology and labor organization in the  fourth industrial revolution are prospected for maximizing private superprofits and  waging wars of aggression and not for truly serving the public good and realizing socialism. ###

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