Click Link: November Issue 2020
The Great Reset: A Peak Behind the Veil of the New Soft Authoritarianism
By Thomas Doane
The secular world has long held to a mythos, lasting well into the postmodern era with its disdain towards the existence of metanarratives, that humanity was progressing towards a bright and glorious future. If one were to ask the question to what direction was this progression heading, the answers over time evolved from the grand future of western civilization, being considered the highest ideal of modernity, to the idea of the fruits of progress being shared globally after the upheaval of the world wars. As the cold war ignited, the idea of progress shifted to that of a victory of liberalism over the forces of authoritarianism and after the fall of the Soviet Union, the path towards global progress could be resumed with total fanfare.
The world was forever changed in the intervening years of the great calamities of the twentieth century that bookended the hope of modernism and the scrutiny of postmodernism into the era of late modernity. The forensic approach towards the failings of last modernity fractured the direction of progress into the factions that sought to restore the grand vision of modernity and those who, due to its failings, looked to overhaul, if not start anew progress towards a hopeful future. Does that mean that each proceeding worldview builds upon the rubble of those which it seeks to replace or are they a mere repackaging of an older concept to market something grander in vision?
A great unveiling has been rapidly coalescing from widely disparate parts, each overly concerning to the survival of the liberal values long held as sacrosanct. These disparate parts, once visible only through fleeting glimpses through the veil, have rapidly come into focus, first as the turbulence of the rise of nationalism blew at the thin veneer that had long been the marketed version of what was to come. Either as a manifestation of the adage of never letting a crisis go to waste, or part of a labyrinthine enterprise to move forward a globalist agenda, The Great Reset.
What would have been dismissed merely a year ago as a sheer conspiracy theory, the Great Reset has been announced a proposal to “reset” the global economy, that mirrors the sweeping changes proposed by the Green New Deal . The plan proposes broadly socialist policies and reforms, calling for an end of private ownership and the usual call for equity, inclusion, and social justice as a measure to move the world forward into a glorious vision of the future. Now that the veil has been fully drawn open, the era of plausible deniability has passed.
To those who have been closely watching the leftist agenda over the last few decades, this may come as no surprise as the Great Reset follows the trajectory the progressives have long since been on. Before Covid-19, it looked as if the forces buttressing the rule of law in the west would be able to at least put up a fight in the halls of the legislatures and courts, the pandemic now seems to have been a carrier for something far more virulent than any pathogen. What we are seeing is the goal of the progressive left finally being exhibited for a tired and frightened world as an antidote for their malaise. We can only sit back and wait to see if the gaslighting and sloganeering of the left has been enough of a candy coating for the general populace to be able to swallow this large pill.
To those who have been at the front lines of the culture wars, this serves as no surprise as it has been the expressed position of the left for well over a century. We have seen the gradual infiltration of the halls of academia and the government and we have been warning of the consequences. Now that the veil has been lifted, we must now double our efforts to stem the tide of this grand leftist telos; slowly revealing the great marketing schemes used to promote this shift towards global socialism. The Great Reset will be the greatest threat faced in a millennia; the unholy marriage of socialism and globalism with the groomsmen of big tech and the bridesmaids of academia, once consummated, will be irreversible outside of divine intervention. Lenin must be smiling in his embalmed state; the rebranded Comintern has come to fruition.
“The Great Reset,” World Economic Forum, accessed October 31, 2020, https://www.weforum.org/great-reset/
Daniel Allott, “Introducing the ‘Great Reset,’ World Leaders’ Radical Plan to Transform the Economy,” Text, TheHill, June 25, 2020, https://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/504499-introducing-the-great-reset-world-leaders-radical-plan-to
“BILLS-116hres109ih.Pdf,” accessed October 31, 2020, https://www.congress.gov/116/bills/hres109/BILLS-116hres109ih.pdf
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Releases Green New Deal Outline,” NPR.org, accessed October 31, 2020, https://www.npr.org/2019/02/07/691997301/rep-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-releases-green-new-deal-outline
What I am presenting here is my oversimplified Theory of Postmodernism and Modernity.
Postmodernism, a terminology that requires no introduction for my present discourse, is a philosophical movement that has rooted itself deeply into every spectrum of academic discipline from which it has transformed the actions and beliefs within institutions of power from governments to corporations around the globe. Postmodernity—is the argued period in which we live within a postmodern society versus that of Modernity (1500-?). I join Jacques Barzun’s timeframe found within his book, From Dawn to Decadence: 1500 to the Present (500 Years of Western Cultural Life). The Protestant Reformation changed the nature of power forever. Humanism and Protestantism shared a three-legged pedestal as Catholicism ruptured underneath the cataclysmic abrasion that has been festering decades prior to the Reformation. Modernity gains its preeminence from the idea that mankind with the use of science, reason, and technology can be improved at a nearly limitless potential. A product of thought that the Enlightenment took forth as their lamp for the future. While Luther, Calvin, Knox, and Zwingli believed that human nature was corrupt under the weight of sin that only Jesus Christ can redeem, it was their revolution that transferred the role of interpretation and potential over to the common. For good and for bad this set into motion our present state of late modernity—a perpetual state.
Perpetual State Theory
Simply put, I am arguing that postmodernism is a reflection of reality, not the actual source but a still water or a mirror that is reflecting the present state of the human mind. Modernity has not ceased to exist. Modernity has successfully entered into a warp state, a state of the hyper-real; hyper-individual; and hyper-sensitive. Postmodernism is the warp state of modernity. Modernity is a product of its own success which solidified four core essential elements of existence into the modern psyche: 1) Secularism; 2) Liberalism; 3) Socialism; and 4) Capitalism.
Out of this cycle, modernity was able to produce an unreal state of human existence outside the last five-thousand plus years of human civilization in only a short span of time. Capitalism slowly removed the old walls of government control and sustenance into a market state. Liberalism prides itself on the might of the individual. Socialism was and remains a reaction to both as it calls for community and regulation outside of a total free-market state. Lastly, secularism alone is not new, however, it gained popularity as cultures shifted from industry to post-industry and decadence. Science and technology play central roles in all four elements of modernity. Lastly, religion remains, almost as an antagonist, yet also a tool in the modern utilisation of puissance. Social justice, Critical Race Theories, Feminist movements, Gender studies are all examples of this layering of the Self as the quintessence of time and fortune.
Anti-liberty entities whether under the names of Fascism, Communism, Socialism, Maoism, or Totalitarianism; it changes nothing in that the present reality stands between two polars, a state of liberty or tyranny, liberalism or illiberalism. Social attitudes are now forced to conform under a perpetual state of flux. Late modernity has birthed neoliberalism, a merger between capitalism and liberalism, that can also include another ism—Corporatism.
Corporations are the High Churches of Modernity; the Cathedrals of yea or nay. Under a neoliberal market state the general public has great difficulty in explaining differences between private or public, real or fake, good or evil. Everything runs together into a stream of confusion at a speed that no single person can maintain without a collision, a collision of ideas and values and beliefs. This is now constantly happening as society is confronted with insurmountable conflicting differences; a wrecking of contradictions.
In a Secular Hyper-state, the only apparent resolution is a totalitarian reaction. Modernity cannot principally escape itself. There is nothing beyond Modernity except Pre-modernity. If liberalism and capitalism represent freedom then all other opposition is bound to represent oppression. Now that is not an absolute statement. There are “third-way” examples of communitarianism or another alternative of Theonomy that argue a way out of the cycle but truthfully they all fall prey to the dilemma of rights of the individual, liberty for all, and freedom without restraints (again not an absolute statement).
So what we are left with, I am arguing, is a discourse of conflicts: nature versus mankind; eat vegan or you are a horrible person; give up your religion; don’t tell me what to do; join the movement; hate speech… it all blends into an in-cohesive state, the perpetual state.
(Note to my readers: Originally I intended this piece to be of the category, Special Report, meaning a stricter standard in how information is analyzed and cited. Essentially that standard requires greater in-depth study. While I personally believe what I wrote here today to be true and factual, it did not meet my standard of a Special Report. Therefore, I qualify this as an opinion piece.)
Classical Liberalism On Edge
Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought. A theory however elegant and economical must be rejected or revised if it is untrue; likewise laws and institutions no matter how efficient and well-arranged must be reformed or abolished if they are unjust.— John Rawls, A Theory of Justice, p. 3
Individuals have rights, and there are things no person or group may do to them (without violating their rights). So strong and far-reaching are these rights that they raise the question of what, if anything, the state and its officials may do.— Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia, p. xix
In the course of human history there have been principles worth abiding by when considering a deep, problematic societal concern that has and can continue to have great ramifications if it either remains unresolved or attempted to mitigate. Oftentimes issues of such magnitude fall within realms that provoke or placate the values and emotions of a populace. Justice, an essential value concerning human nature, is one of those realms. To better grasp such a realm, an acquisition of human institutions are required; those social institutions specifically include Faith, Tradition, Reason, and Imagination all of which can help an individual and society uncover values above and beyond themselves. Yet, what arises when these institutions dissolve, for whatever reason that may be, is a culture that moves away from interaction towards disengagement and then usurpation. Of all the institutions, reason is the most fragile and in a liberal democratic society, the failure to reason is the sign of a metaphysical collapse.
Classical liberal theory is a term to describe the belief in the rights of the individual, the freedom of markets, and private property. Within the context of the United States, the U.S. Constitution is a document representative of classical liberal thought though not entirely. Presently in the United States of America a climax has occurred on several ideological fronts. One such shift is the rise of woke culture from the far-left through its permeation into governments, corporations, universities, and other private-public institutions. No western post-industrial society is free from its wake.
Extensive analysis fills the web concerning critical theory, postmodernism, and cultural marxism. While additional analysis is necessary that is not the focus of this article. Therefore, a simple explanation will suffice concerning the meaning of Woke, Wokeness, or Woke Culture.
To be woke means a form of “awakening” to injustice particularly linked to racial injustices yet intersectional toward other oppressed minority/identity based groups e.g. trans/cisgender. Woke cultural markings have evolved into a dangerous ideology of critical, liberation, and social justice movements that developed ties to Marxism, Postmodernism, and other leftist identity based theories and organizations who oppose so-called Eurocentric or Westernized systems (e.g. Capitalism, Free Speech, Merit Base, Scientific Method, etc). To be presently woke means joining a collective that is centered on destroying entire westernized structures, not reforming them. And therein lies the problem.
End of Discussion
Oversimplifying for the sake of a greater argument, it can be said that Christians and Conservatives, though fundamentally different, share a unique appreciation and understanding of the needs for the layout of faith, tradition, reason, and imagination. One based entirely on the faith in Jesus Christ and the other a philosophical movement in response to the French Revolution both seeking to challenge the hearts and minds of men in a sacred responsibility. Christians nor Conservatives are strangers to cultural critique including of liberal society (e.g. Capitalism or Free Speech) and upholding standards beyond the relative values of the day. As the conservative thinker Russell Kirk explained, “The pure democrat is the practical atheist; ignoring the divine nature of law and the divine establishment of spiritual hierarchy” (The Conservative Mind, p. 137). A synergy exists between the two over their respect for God and a moral law. However, neither fail to recognize liberalism’s overarching value to the world through their shared principles concerning human liberty, freedom, and rights. Both critique liberalism but never demanding the obliteration of classical liberal thought. In no fashion is that an attempt to whitewash history. Every side has its rabble that claim to uphold righteous values only to commit atrocities, however, as long as homo sapiens exist so shall their brutal behaviors. Historically Christianity, Liberalism, and Conservatism have peacefully coexisted despite their differences.
Far from the spectrum of coexistence, woke ideals hold a Socialist-Marxist predisposition in uprooting systems by devaluing people who oppose them and belittling constructive debate that could possibly cultivate ideas across ideological lines. Almost a hundred years ago (98 to be exact) the economist and social theorist Ludwig von Mises published, Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis (1922), warning against socialism:
According to the Marxist conception, one’s social condition determines one’s way of thought. His membership of a social class decides what views a writer will express. He is not able to grow out of his class or to free his thoughts from the prescriptions of his class interests. Thus the possibility of a general science which is valid for all men, whatever their class, is contested… Thus Marxism protects itself against all unwelcome criticism… Marx and Engels never tried to refute their opponents with argument. They insulted, ridiculed, derided, slandered, and traduced them, and in the use of these methods their followers are not less expert. Their polemic is directed never against the argument of the opponent, but always against his person. Few have been able to withstand such tactics (pp. 18-19).
Those words ring equally true today. As I mentioned in Part 1 of my series Mob Rule, Mob Rules:
Mob rule means a collective identity group must win. Mob rules serve the interests of that collective. Liberty and her institutions are being tested by this eruptive behavior, serving as a reminder that when pure rage is the predicate for judgement, tyranny is never far behind. What comes next will be decided by the public will for civility or lack thereof. Humanity itself may not only end up alone but alone with no way out.
Without question the radical left are not alone in their threat against a liberal order but they are defining the times as R.R. Reno wrote in his book, Return of the Strong Gods (2019):
Today’s technocratic ethos defines political legitimacy in terms of the weak gods of policy expertise, therapeutic delicacy when speaking of sensitive topics, and the rhetoric of diversity and other motifs of inclusion (p. 141).
Catholics like Reno represent a necessary deflection against the left vs right attitudes of our time. Believers in the good, the beautiful, and the true recognize that there can be shared critiques without shared beliefs in radical, revolutionary uprisings found within Communism or Fascism. Catholicism has long promoted “social justice” issues including its claim that the idea itself comes from the book of Matt: 25:31-46. That claim, true or untrue, points to a long line of thinkers from the Apostle Matthew to Thomas Aquinas and onward, a line of pre-modern thinkers rather than modern thinkers like Karl Marx whom heretical christian groups have adopted; a movement rooted in gnosticism rather than Christian teaching.
If those on the fringe would only listen and grasp that there are means to redemption, a shared bond in both the craving for justice and the rights of the individual—the Rawls-Nozick dichotomy—can be reached without destroying the very foundations that granted them their rights and privileges in the first place. Unfortunately, extremists have broken through in a trojan horse disguised as inclusiveness, diversity, equity, and universals (e.g. healthcare, housing, etc) on the back of a neoliberal order that momentarily makes even Socialism look promising by the untrained eye. They are not interested in listening, they are here to destroy.
Dr. James Lindsay, a physicist and mathematician from New Discourses, is one of the leading thinkers on critical theories and social justice practices including on why woke culture is anti-debate wrote:
The deeper, more significant aspect of this problem is that by participating in something like conversation or debate about scholarly, ethical, or other disagreements, not only do the radical Critical Social Justice scholars have to tacitly endorse the existing system, they also have to be willing to agree to participate in a system in which they truly believe they cannot win. This isn’t the same as saying they know they’d lose the debate because they know their methods are weak. It’s saying that they believe their tools are extremely good but not welcome in the currently dominant system, which is a different belief based on different assumptions. Again, their game is not our game, and they don’t want to play our game at all; they want to disrupt and dismantle it.
Fundamentally the critical ideological framework cannot coexist with our present rights, freedoms, and liberties; our culture is an anthemia to their ideals.
What Happens Now?
Pessimism can easily set in when surveying the political landscape. There are no guarantees of success if that success means a complete and total reversal. Instead the pressures of life require those who oppose all forms of radicalization to be truthful and loving at a moment when anger and rage can easily persevere but only at great unnecessary costs. Reason will not work. Only the actions of a people who can rely on truth beyond reason, a movement beyond mere modern beliefs, and uphold eternal principles regardless of threat can withstand the revolutionary spirit filling the air. “Be still, and know that I am God…” (Psalm 46:10, ESV), that is the required spirit. Believers (and unbelievers) in God must testify truth and goodness through the acknowledgement of present hurts which no doubt exist within the black community and the latin community and the LGBTQ community. Again, there is a shared bond, a means to redemption beyond the ruin of an already broken world. Demands for justice need to be heard but never at the abandonment of truth, reality, and morality or it only becomes another form of injustice.
Christians can lead in this through their understanding that while they may be alone, they are never truly alone and our calling is above ourselves. Conservatives can resonate in that understanding. And those beholden too Liberalism, especially classical liberal thinking, know what it means to sacrifice and stand against tyranny when it rises; prize an ideal beyond their present estate. All three prize liberty though in different forms but rooted in the greatest of ideals: Human Freedom.
We must not become radicalized in response. Let their injustice show by speaking up for justice and speaking out against injustice; truth over untruth; reality above irreality; goodness over hate. Death by virtue versus radicalized ideals that seek to breakdown and destroy. Fight but with real love, not the fake dignity espoused by those who insult, deride, and traduce people no matter their origin.
Wednesday August 12, 2020
Aug 13 – Get Woke or Get Broke: When Reason Fails to Stand (A Special Report)
Aug 14 – A Visual Philosophy Series (Aesthetics) A Mere Beauty In Truth
Aug 17 – Mob Rule, Mob Rules (Part 2) Mob Mentality & The Trump Administration
Grant Mitchell (MOT/ OTR/L) (Licensed Specialist in Occupational Therapy)
- Blog: MillennialOT
- Article: Defining Mental Health, Purpose. and the Meaning of Life
- Grant and I will be doing a future cross dialogue on the questions concerning Health, Purpose, and the Meaning of Life.
Prof. Kaleb ‘Kal’ Demerew (Adjunct at Concordia University School of Business and Communication; Specialist in International and Comparative Politics; Ph.D student at USF School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies)
- Featured: The Abstract Elephant Magazine
- Article: Africa’s Socialist Legacies: Why Americans Should be Wary of ‘Revolutionaries’
- “Increasing political polarization, rioting, and socialist ideals are becoming the norm for American society, but is this really what we want?”