In my podcast that will release tomorrow, I take on The Great Reset, and how it plans to use “Stakeholder Capitalism” in order to solve the inequities of our world. Stakeholder Capitalism, as proposed by Klaus Schwab, is a method in which public-private partnerships are used to ensure that our economy works for everyone, and that business owners, the government, and employees, all have a say in how the company produces. In theory, this three-way partnership would allow for everyone to have a say, and a share, of the profit that the company produces. For the government, they can educate the company on what would be most beneficial to society and the nation as a whole; for the owners and shareholders, they would reap the benefits of a market where there is almost guaranteed to be a buyer; and the employees reap the benefits of a business structure that is focused on ensuring that they get the lion share of the profit. Win-win-win, right?
As I researched this, I watched podcasts on it from various pundits. Majoritatively they were from the right, with Glenn Beck being the most prominent, though the Lotus Eaters (which includes the highly controversial Carl Benjamin) and (form the Left) Tim Pool have also weighed in on it. I also sought out other commentary on it, though it was sparse, in support of the Great Reset. Then I dove into the World Economic Forum’s website, and started watching what they had on offer.
I have done both a written review of The Great Reset, which immediately precedes this article, and tomorrow’s podcast, so I won’t get into the meat of it, but being a Finance guy, I dug into the economics of it. After all, no system is perfect, and if the economics of the system work, we can keep the good and ditch the bad. As I was reading, keeping an open mind and trying to ignore the allegories from both Beck and Pool on how this was going to lead to Fascism or Neo-Feudalism, respectively, I came to a startling conclusion: this has been done before.
Stakeholder capitalism was a wildly successful economic system used in the mid-twentieth century, and helped several nations climb out of the Great Depression through industrialization, social programs, public-private partnerships directing economic growth for the benefit of the nations they were implemented in, and their allies. It could have easily been implemented world-wide, and the leaders of the nations that did so garnered high praise, one of which even rose to be Time Magazine’s Person of the Year.
By now I’m sure you’ve figured out that I’m referencing Economic Fascism, and the person in question is Time’s 1938 winner, Adolph Hitler. While Germany did not practice Fascism, instead adapting a similar system known as National Socialism, the economics were essentially the same; the latter simply had some more integrated social programs. The way Schwab introduces this method to the people is insidious, talking about how it will make people more equal, and resolve the environmental and economic problems worldwide. He can assert this because it was done in Italy in the 1930s, and had Germany not decided to make everyone equal by eliminating all those who had the misfortune not to be “ideal” in the eyes of the regime, would have worked in similar fashion in Germany. That’s the problem with fascism: if you ignore the brutal authoritarianism, it actually works. Considering the efficiency of the economic system in rebuilding nations, it’s understandable that one would attempt to extract the economic system without adopting the less desirable elements of the system.
Unfortunately for Schwab, even in his own writings, it’s obvious that you cannot extract the economic system without implementing the authoritarianism. The very economic system itself requires the authoritarianism in order to function, and whilst you can in theory eliminate the worst excesses of both fascism and National Socialism by getting rid of the genocide part, you will still be required to oppress a large proportion of your population to make the machine of the largely government-operated economy move. This is a similar problem to that of Mainland China, where the CCP has essentially adopted the basics of the economic system while retaining the particular flavour of Maoist communism. It’s arguable whether they crossed the line from Modern Chinese Communism to Fascism, which contrary to what everyone in the political class seems to think, are so similar in many ways that they’re hard to separate.
So now we’re looking at a society that is either neo-fascist (maybe without the genocide, but probably not), maybe Chinese Communist (maybe without the starvation, but probably not), or neo-Feudalist (maybe without the widespread serfdom, but probably not).
Welcome to the Cyberpunk Dystopia!