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The Great Reset, Part V: Woke Ideology | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on March 2, 2021

“The battleground is in people’s heads, and if the battle is won on that ground then the peace and tranquility of society are guaranteed.”2 Ideology on this account is not the same as world view. It is rather the mental programming necessary for domination and control short of the use of force. Ideological indoctrination is easier, less messy, and less expensive than state and state-supported violence.

Michael Rectenwald

In previous articles, I’ve discussed the Great Reset and introduced several ways of understanding the economics of it. The Great Reset can be thought of as neofeudalism, as “corporate socialism,” as “capitalism with Chinese characteristics,” and in terms of “stakeholder capitalism” versus “neoliberalism.” In future installments, I intend to treat the technological (transhumanist) and monetary (centralized banking and digital currency) aspects that Klaus Schwab and others anticipate and prescribe.

But in this essay, I wish to consider the ideological aspect of the Great Reset. Just how do the planners mean to establish the reset ideologically? That is, how would a reset of the mass mind come to pass that would allow for the many elements of the Great Reset to be put into place—without mass rebellion, that is? After all, if the Great Reset is to take hold, some degree of conformity on the part of the population will be necessary—despite the enhanced, extended, and more precise control over the population that transhumanist technology and a centralized digital currency would afford.

This is the function of ideology. Ideology, as the Marxist historian of science Richard Lewontin has argued, works “by convincing people that the society in which they live is just and fair, or if not just and fair then inevitable, and that it is quite useless to resort to violence.”1 Ideology establishes the “social legitimation” that Lewontin sees as necessary for gaining the assent of the ruled. “The battleground is in people’s heads, and if the battle is won on that ground then the peace and tranquility of society are guaranteed.”2 Ideology on this account is not the same as world view. It is rather the mental programming necessary for domination and control short of the use of force. Ideological indoctrination is easier, less messy, and less expensive than state and state-supported violence.

Some may argue that the ideology of the Great Reset is simply socialist-communist ideology. After all, in many respects, socialist-communist ideology supports what the Great Reset promises to deliver. And this may work for some. There are those who would welcome, on socialist grounds, the “fairness,” “equality,” or “equity” that the Great Reset promises. Socialists might overlook or excuse the oligarchical control of society on the basis of the supposed fairness, equality, or equity among the mass of the population, and on the presumption that the oligarchy will be overthrown in the not-so-distant future. Socialism embeds a levelling predisposition that puts a premium on “equality” among the visible majority, even when that equality comes as a great loss for many otherwise “middle-class” subjects. In fact, when I briefly entertained the rantings of members of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, including its leader, Bob Avakian, they admitted to me that worldwide socialism would mean reduced standards of living for much of the world, especially in the United States. They had no problem with this; in fact, they seemed to relish the prospect. No doubt, as Friedrich Nietzsche suggested, socialism is fueled, at least in part, by ressentiment—by resentment and envy for the property owner. Much could be said about socialists’ apparent approval, or at least conditional and temporary acceptance, of big monopolistic oligarchical corporatists and their preference for big business over small.3 Socialists see monopolization under capitalism as inevitable, as necessary for producing a more consolidated target to be overthrown, and as a sign of the imminent collapse of capitalism and the coming socialist-communist apocalypse.

Likewise, many socialists will be amenable to the Great Reset on principle—especially those who accept its rhetoric at face value. But for all its newfound popularity, socialism-communism still doesn’t represent the majority. While popular among Millennials and other millennialists, socialism-communism remains unsavory for many. It is regarded as alien, obscure, and loosely connotes something negative. But more importantly, for reasons that I’ll give below, socialist-communist ideology is not the ideology that best fits the goals of the Great Reset. This is where wokeness comes in.

What exactly is wokeness? As I write in Beyond Woke,

According to the social justice creed, being “woke” is the political awakening that stems from the emergence of consciousness and conscientiousness regarding social and political injustice. Wokeness is the indelible inscription of the awareness of social injustice on the conscious mind, eliciting the sting of conscience, which compels the newly woke to change their be­liefs and behaviors.4

This is as close to a definition of wokeness as I can manage, gleaning it as I have from the assertions of those who embrace it. Of course, the etymology of the word “woke,” and how it became an adjective describing those who are thus awakened into consciousness of social and political injustice, is another matter. I discuss the etymology in Google Archipelago:

“Woke” began in English as a past tense and past participle of “wake.” It suggested “having become awake.” But, by the 1960s, woke began to function as an adjective as well, gaining the figurative meaning in the African American community of “well-informed” or “up-to-date.” By 1972, the once modest verbal past tense began to describe an elevated political consciousness. In 2017, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) recognized the social-conscious awareness of woke and added the definition: “alert to racial or social discrimination and injustice.”5

Yet there are as many definitions of wokeness as people who’ve heard of it, as is the case with most anything the least bit controversial. I’m sure that others can and will add to the definition or suggest that wokeness should be defined altogether differently. But the above definition and historical-semantical renderings are sufficient for our purposes. According to adherents, then, wokeness is enhanced awareness of social and political injustice and the determination to eradicate it.

But what could wokeness have to do with the Great Reset? As a corrective, wokeness is not aimed at the sufferers whose complaints, or imagined complaints, it means to redress. Wokeness works on the majority, the supposed beneficiaries of injustice. It does so by making the majority understand that it has benefited from “privilege” and preference—based on skin color (whiteness), gender (patriarchy), sexual proclivity (heteronormativity), birthplace (colonialism, imperialism, and first worldism), gender identity (cis gender privilege), and the domination of nature (speciesism)—to name some of the major culprits. The list could go on and is emended, seemingly by the day. This majority must be rehabilitated, as it were. The masses must understand that they have gained whatever advantages they have hitherto enjoyed on the basis of the unfair treatment of others, either directly or indirectly, and this unfair treatment is predicated on the circumstances of birth. The “privilege” of the majority has come at the expense of those minorities designated as the beneficiaries of wokeness, and wokeness is the means for rectifying these many injustices.

And what are the effects of being repeatedly reprimanded as such, of being told that one has been the beneficiary of unmerited “privilege,” that one’s relative wealth and well-being have come at the expense of oppressed, marginalized, and misused Others? Shame, guilt, remorse, unworthiness. And what are the expected attitudinal and behavioral adjustments to be taken by the majority? They are to expect less. Under woke ideology, one will be expected to forfeit one’s rights, because even these rights, nay, especially these rights, have come at the expense of others.

Thus, wokeness works by habituating the majority to the reduced expectations that I introduced in my first installment on the Great Reset. It does this by instilling a belief in the unworthiness of the majority to thrive, prosper, and enjoy their lives. Wokeness indoctrinates the majority into the propertyless future (for them, at least) of the Great Reset, while gratifying the Left, its main ideological propagators, with a sense of moral superiority, even as they too are scheduled to become bereft of prospects.

One question remains. Why is wokeness more suited to the objectives of the Great Reset than socialist-communist ideology? To answer this question, we must recall the selling points of socialism-communism. Despite the levelling down that I mentioned above, socialism-communism is promissory. It promises benefits, not deficits. It does not operate by promising the majority that they will lose upon its establishment. Quite to the contrary, socialism-communism promises vastly improved conditions—yes, fairness, equality, or equity but also prosperity for the mass of humanity, prosperity that has been denied it under capitalism. The workers of the world are called to unite, not under the prospect of reduced expectations, but on the basis of great expectations—not, according to Marx, to establish utopia, but at least to destroy and replace the current dystopia with a shared cornucopia. We know, of course, how this promise is kept. But it is nevertheless still proffered and believed by all too many in our midst.

We have seen, on the other hand, the subtractive character of woke ideology. Wokeness demands the forfeiture of advantages on moral grounds. Unlike socialism-communism, it does not offer empowerment or advocate the takeover of the means of production and the state by political means. Wokeness is a form of recrimination that compels the abdication, not the acquisition, of goods.

Woke ideology, I contend, has tilled the soil and planted the seeds for the harvest that the Great Reset represents to the ruling elite. Was wokeness intentionally crafted for this purpose? I don’t think so, but it nevertheless can and is being adopted for these ends, just as other ideological formations have been used for other ends. The ruling elite appropriates the available means at its disposal to effect its plans, including available ideologies. Woke ideology was available and ready for appropriation and application. Wokeness serves the Great Reset best, and thus we see the language of wokeness in the books and other literature devoted to its establishment: fairness, inclusion, etc.

Naturally, wokeness will not work on everyone. But the demand has been made so universal that unapologetic, noncompliant dissenters are figured as regressive, reactionary, racist, white supremacist, and more, and are dismissed, if not punished, on those grounds. Wokeness has thus attained dominance. Countering it will be a major requirement for challenging the Great Reset.

  • 1. R.C. Lewontin, Biology as Ideology: The Doctrine of DNA (New York: HarperPerennial, n.d.), p. 6.
  • 2. Lewontin, Biology as Ideology, p. 7.
  • 3. Matt Bruenig, “Small Businesses Are Overrated,” Jacobin, Jan. 16, 2018,
  • 4. Michael Rectenwald, Beyond Woke (Nashville, TN: New English Review Press, 2020), pp. 7–8.
  • 5. Michael Rectenwald, Google Archipelago: The Digital Gulag and the Simulation of Freedom (Nashville, TN: New English Review Press, 2019), p. 42.


Contact Michael Rectenwald

Michael Rectenwald was a professor of liberal studies at New York University (retired).

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Why “Stakeholder Capitalism” Is a Disaster for Entrepreneurs | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on February 25, 2021

We cannot take for granted that the heart of a peaceful and prosperous economic system is respect for private ownership of property by individuals. Private property rights need to be strictly delineated in an objective and absolute way. When ownership of property is shared with “society,” as in stakeholder capitalism, there will be inexorable conflict. Because stakeholder capitalism is built on a collectivist version of property rights, free market advocates should fully denounce it.

Thomas Spain

During the 1990s there was a legal and philosophical idea, championed by Milton Friedman among others, that a corporation exists to serve the interests of the shareholders, being that they are the rightful owners of the corporation. Progressive thought leaders responded with the countertheory of stakeholder capitalism. Under stakeholder theory the shareholders have a stake in the success of the firm, but the firm also has a competing obligation to other entities deemed “stakeholders.” Stakeholders are employees, customers, suppliers, and the community. While this theory is presented as a commonsense truism, it has one specific foundational flaw: it dilutes and undermines the principle of private property.

To own a thing in principle is to have control over its use. An owner of a company, in a market system, has ultimate discretion over and responsibility for how the assets of the company are used. In a joint-stock company, the decision-making is shared by the various owners of shares. But in stakeholder capitalism, all of the stakeholders have influence in company decisions. Therefore, stakeholders are de facto joint owners of the corporation, and advocates of stakeholder capitalism would seek to make this ownership a legal reality.

When stakeholder capitalism is expounded by its advocates, it’s easy to believe that it is not as much a social theory as simply good advice. Businesses seek to develop mutually beneficial relationships that will last into the long term. As a means to that end, it is good business practice to maximize the contentedness of your employees, deal honestly with your suppliers, survey the needs of your customers, and keep a good image in the community. However, stakeholder capitalism goes beyond good practice by putting government power on the side of the stakeholders.

We can see what the joint ownership of stakeholders looks like in practice. For employee stakeholders, control would mean union representation on the corporate board. For supplier stakeholders, industry oversight associations would oversee contracts, making them impossibly difficult to terminate while outlawing any market choice. Customers would be represented by consumer protection bureaus. And community stakeholders would mean democratic approval of business actions by government committees.

While in the free market stakeholders vote directly with their dollars, in stakeholder capitalism the nominal stakeholders never exercise their ownership stake directly. Rather they are represented indirectly or bureaucrats are imbued with the authority to interpret their desires. The driving force behind the stakeholder capitalism philosophy is precisely that it creates opportunities for political actors to assert disproportionate control over the economy’s resources. Rather than create real wealth for society, politicians and bureaucrats use their social ownership of companies to extort economic resources for their purposes.

In such an environment, entrepreneurial decisions are reduced to a political process. The entrepreneur is made impotent to improve the status quo, because any intrepid decision will be vetoed by political stakeholders who fear to lose. Prices can never rise. Wage rates must always rise. Risk must be averted. Nothing must be allowed that would inconvenience the community or make anyone uncomfortable.

Recently, the most dangerous aspect of stakeholder capitalism has been its amalgamation with the climate change agenda. Any minute decision a business makes will infinitesimally affect the climate for people all over the globe. Therefore, the concept of a community stakeholder is expanded to the entire world, eliminating individual and local sovereignty. Under a climate change regime, decisions as small as remodeling an office building will be as politically charged as the ongoing Keystone Pipeline fiasco.

Clearly, many of the principles of stakeholder capitalism have been implemented in different ways for a long time, including politicized unions, regulatory schemes, and extortion of campaign contributions. But the threat to private property has also worsened in the US in recent years. In particular, politicians openly extort corporations with the threat of targeted regulation, like the Big Tech companies are facing over fake news and censorship. Socialist bureaucracies have unaccountable authority to investigate and persecute businesses, like suing petroleum companies for vague climate change damages. Large investment firms use their customers’ accounts as leverage to push politically driven reforms that are not in the financial interest of the account holders, like divesting from fossil fuels. Not to mention corporate leaders are swarming to affirm every social justice fad.

We cannot take for granted that the heart of a peaceful and prosperous economic system is respect for private ownership of property by individuals. Private property rights need to be strictly delineated in an objective and absolute way. When ownership of property is shared with “society,” as in stakeholder capitalism, there will be inexorable conflict. Because stakeholder capitalism is built on a collectivist version of property rights, free market advocates should fully denounce it.


Thomas Spain

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MSM SILENCE: Elitists Gather In Swiss Town To Finalize Our Enslavement, “The Great Reset,” & NWO

Posted by M. C. on June 19, 2020

Mac Slavo

Make no mistake, this will be absolute tyranny on a global scale. The mainstream media is silent as the elitists who want power over every human on Earth plan to meet in a Swiss town to discuss “the Great Reset,” a push to a one-world currency – one in which they have ultimate control.

The plan is to make sure a “post-COVID” world is built the way they want it. Slavery and totalitarian control. If you haven’t figured out now that the system was put there to protect them, not you, line up for the Bill Gates sponsored vaccine.  Things are going to get much uglier, and quick. The objective of this meeting is the “rebuilding” of the world’s economic and social system in order to make it more “sustainable.”

It sounds good, right? But, by more sustainable, they mean more enslaveable.

“Nothing will ever be the same again.” It was the mantra that we heard in many countries at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. It came with a warning that a “new normal” would replace the existing order. Easy travel, interpersonal relations, large gatherings, even things like shaking hands would have to give way to long-term social distancing, drastic rules, and surveillance. But these changes on the personal level are only a part of the picture. The World Economic Forum, together with Prince Charles of England and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has launched an initiative revealingly dubbed “The Great Reset,” with the objective of “rebuilding” the world’s economic and social system in order to make it more “sustainable.” –Life Site News

The Great Reset Is Here: Prepare For The NWO & Enslavement

If you cannot be bothered to understand that the best way to protect yourself is to remove yourself from the system of slavery that was already set up, that they are desperately trying to keep you in, then you’re going to likely get caught up in this mess.

The idea of a “Great Reset” has received the full support of the United Nations secretary-general, António Guterres, former president of the Socialist International from 1999 to 2005. Is anyone surprised? The reset has been planned for a long time:

The End Game Has Arrived: ‘All Signs and Evidence Point to the Great Global Economic Reset’

It was already being talked about before the Chinese coronavirus was moving out of Wuhan. On December 30, 2019, for instance, the Financial Times published a YouTube presentation under the title “Why capitalism needs to be reset in 2020.” (As if any country has capitalism anymore.  Most, and yes, even the United States, are now at the very least, corporatocracies – the merging of governments and corporations, masquerading as crony corporatism.) But the globalists are pushing a theme that capitalism (which means no interference in the market/economy) is the problem, even though literally everything is centralized.  The recurring theme is “stakeholder capitalism,” by which “a company’s approach to people, the planet, and innovation — including how it protects and applies the value-added of its data — must figure more prominently in capital-allocation decisions” (as the WEForum site explains).

Prepare by refusing to accept their new one-world currency.  Stock up on precious metals, gold, silver, and lead.

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Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment » Larry Summers As An Economic Fascist

Posted by M. C. on September 7, 2019

Yes, Summers is now an economic fascist. Yes, he is calling for an American Hermann Göring.

Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers is out with an op-ed in the Washingon Post.

In his essay, he appears to give full support to the Business Roundtable declaration that corporations should no longer solely be seeking profit but have “a fundamental commitment to all stakeholders.”

This declaration on its own reveals the lack of understanding of the nature of free markets and the profit and loss system. See: Should the ‘Business Roundtable’ Change Its Name To ‘The Profit-Haters Roundtable’?

But Summers takes things even further down the halls of economic distortion mirrors.

He writes:

If the Business Roundtable is serious about stakeholder capitalism, and if responsible firms are to flourish and spread their benefits, it will not just decree principles according to which its firms will operate but will also push for laws and regulations that support firms’ ability to stand up for their stakeholders. These might include minimum-wage and benefits requirements and broader mandates to protect companies that want to do right by their workers from those competing companies that are ruthlessly pursuing shareholder interests. Or they might include rigorous restrictions on advertising and promotion practices, so firms who are honest and transparent are not placed at a competitive disadvantage. Or universally high capital standards on financial institutions, so that imprudent willingness to take on risk cannot be a competitive advantage.

I am careful about throwing the term fascist around but his call is for economic regulation of corporations in an across the board fashion for the “better of the nation” that can not be labeled anything else.

Under his proposed policy scheme, it would mean that corporations are private in name only and that the true ruler becomes the state. It would be a massive step in the direction of the destruction of free markets and result in the accompanying inefficiencies, suffocation of creativity and cronyism that are inherent in the middle to late stages of a centrally planned economy.

As Murray Rothbard put it:

 [P]rivate ownership, subject to comprehensive government control and planning. This [is], of course, fascism.


 … since ownership is, de facto, the control of a resource, a Nazi, Fascist, or other “centrally planned” system is as much “socialism” as a Communist regime that officially nationalizes property.

Yes, Summers is now an economic fascist. Yes, he is calling for an American Hermann Göring.


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