The Great Reset Dialogues: DC Miller vs Eugyppius

Note from the Editors: The following written exchange is part of our dialogues series, which aims to bring together the best minds to analyze and debate controversial issues in depth.

Elite Conspiracy or Systematic Incompetence? Daniel Miller and Eugyppius debate the Great Reset Agenda

Daniel Miller: Since the beginning of the global pandemic narrative around March 2020, efforts to grasp the main factors behind the extremely destructive response have been defined by the antimony between elite conspiracy and systematic incompetence. You’ve argued forcefully for this second hypothesis. Perhaps I could begin by inviting you to put forward your thesis? 

Eugyppius: Well, to start, I don’t discount the possibility (or even the probability) of conspiracy; particularly in the early stages there were multiple important conspiracies. The most obvious is the international effort – apparently coordinated out of China – to convince one national public health establishment after the other to abandon all prior pandemic plans and implement some version of Chinese-style lockdowns. We may never fully know the motivations and goals of all the people involved in this; but, crucially, the key western actors in this project generally weren’t the kinds of people you’d identify as ‘elite’ – they were rather scientists and bureaucrats. These early conspiracies set off a preference cascade within the institutional apparatus of our countries and the broader, well-networked international public health establishment. Very rapidly, the initiative behind devising and implementing lockdown policies came to rest with the vast numbers of corporate, educational, and governmental managers who run our lives, and from that point on the policies no longer had any central direction or purpose, arising instead from a kind of broader institutional super-organism. Corona policies continue to demonstrate characteristics of spontaneous order to this day. 

I find many conspiracy theories metaphorically accurate and enjoyable, even if I’m not persuaded, but I’ve counter-signaled the Great Reset approach because I think it makes a critical error. I work with a quasi-Burnhamian model of Western liberal democratic government. Crudely speaking, you have a political and economic elite at the top who struggle to set policy and to govern, but in general, their plans can only be implemented by the vast institutional apparatus beneath them. States act via their institutions. Policies that cannot properly engage the bureaucratic machinery may never be realized; in extreme cases, the bureaucrats can even nullify programs they don’t like. To implement policies, elites are most often reduced to indirect actions, i.e. efforts to shape the bureaucracy itself. Theories in the Great Reset genre imagine that the elite have seized control of the world under the pretense of Corona, and are somehow getting the bureaucratic machinery to dance to their tune. But I think all evidence shows it is the opposite. Corona represents a managerial or a bureaucratic coup, one in which the institutional apparatus, beginning with public health departments and extending outwards, has seized control over vast areas of public policy. The bureaucracy is powerful, and for the most part the elites have played along, although now and again they’ve tried to retake the reins. Schwab’s book, The Great Reset, was very much an attempt to pivot back towards elite-supported climate policies, for example. 

Daniel Miller: The distinction between the elites and the managers, and the relationship between them, is the key political question of our era. To help frame this question we can propose two different extremes which both must be wrong: one the one hand, the notion that elites have total control; on the other hand, the idea that elites have no control whatsoever. In other words, elites have at least some control. The question is how much.

You correctly point out the existence of a giant bureaucratic machine subject to internal conditions, inertia and frictions that limit the extent to which it can simply be wielded. Nevertheless, this machinery can be directed and influenced. You suggest that the “key western actors” in the project of imposing the lockdowns “generally weren’t the kinds of people you’d identify as ‘elite’. They were rather scientists and bureaucrats.” It seems to me that the term ‘actor’ is well-chosen. In many cases, the pro-lockdown ‘scientists’ given media coverage or algorithmic assistance to advance their agendas were little more than men and women in white coats. Others were fraudsters and charlatans with invented credentials. Almost all of these ‘scientists’ were linked financially to specific transnational bodies including the World Health Organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, GAVI, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the World Economic Forum. I think they were wheeled out to supply political cover. They were not the ones calling the shots. 

If we are trying to generate a draw of map of global power we can also acknowledge the CCP, the Democratic Party, pharmaceutical companies, intelligence agencies, and various other enterprises. To the extent these bodies, or individuals within these bodies share overlapping interests, they can rapidly consolidate into conspiracies. But they can also plan and execute conspiracies. It seems to me this is what happened here. There was a clear, deliberate plan with concrete goals. This plan is still being implemented. Part of it has involved triggering preference cascades. Switches may also have been tripped accidentally. Nobody can plan for every possible eventuality. No doubt there also are mini plans, within but distinct from the main plan, just as mafia capos have projects askance to the plans of the big boss.

Let’s consider foundations, which, as our writer John Smoke has emphasized, are something like the dreadnoughts of contemporary global power. These bodies are funded by members of the global elite and functionally serve as their tools. I suppose that we could conjecture a kind of runaway foundation hypothesis, in which the elite actually has no control over the foundations they fund, but this seems implausible. You speak of a coup, but nobody is being held hostage here, or at least, not by anybody we see. If Bill Gates, an Epstein client, did not agree with what the Gates Foundation was doing, he could replace the directors tomorrow. What it is doing is executing his will, or at least the will of whatever is playing him.

Gates’ will apparently was lockdowns and vaccines, despite the fact neither policy was justified medically. In order to impose his will, he spent money on mercenaries: scientists, journalists and politicians for sale. He transferred millions of dollars, for instance, to the Tony Blair Institute of Global Change. One can think of this as a multibillionaire Duke, enlisting a multimillionaire Baron, although of course it is not just about money. The Baron communicates with his own loyal retainers, consisting of various personages in key strategic positions. For instance, Matthew Taylor, the Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation formerly served as chief adviser on political strategy to Prime Minister Tony Blair. Taylor knows that he has been rewarded for loyally serving Blair in the past and may expect to continue to receive rewards for serving him now. So Taylor lobbies repeatedly for masking and lockdown curbs, which is the Gates plan. This is not a preference cascade, it’s a functional structure of power, just waiting to be turned on.

It would be possible to trace this same chain of influence probably hundreds of times; each individual filament is almost nothing at all, which is also partly how individuals justify acting so cynically, but collectively they compose a general system. I am not claiming Gates is the supreme global leader (despite Curtis Yarvin nominating him to the post) but only the most visible node in the network – he is obviously not acting alone. I think there are multiple factions, in shifting alliances and competitive rivalries at the top of the global elite. They’re all in the same game, but they are not the same houses. It’s more like the Five Families in New York. 

Eugyppius: While I don’t disagree that NGOs and other globalist foundations are the primary vehicles of elite vision and therefore a malign influence, there is a twofold pitfall that many of my intellectual opponents here fall into. 1) A neglect of the historical and chronological details of what happened; and 2) a tendency to assume that the thesis has been proven, as soon as different parties have been brought into association with each other. It takes more to establish that early scientific or bureaucratic advocates were merely ‘wheeled out to create political cover’ than the appearance of a grantmaking agency or an NGO somewhere in their CV.

Mass containment (the quarantine of the healthy population, mass testing, contact tracing) had never been contemplated by any western public health establishment before 2020. The plan was always minimal mitigation measures to ‘slow the spread’ and the messaging from German bureaucrats and scientists was consistent with this policy all the way through February 2020. Then, at the end of the month, the WHO issued a surprise endorsement of China’s Wuhan lockdown. By March 10, Italy had locked down, and a massive information campaign, managed at least partly out of China, descended upon all of Europe (but initially not upon America). Germany resisted at first; Angela Merkel gave a widely reported speech in which she said she expected 70% of Germans to catch the virus. As our neighbors began locking down, though, her government finally agreed to enact temporary closures set to expire at Easter. Immediately afterward, Lothar Wieler, the head of the RKI (our CDC), and Christian Drosten, a celebrity virologist at Berlin Charité, urged the Ministry of the Interior to come up with a rationale to widen and extend these closures and make lockdowns an enduring instrument of German policy. The Ministry convened a bunch of mid-level scientists to draw up a literally fake modeling study; two people on this panel were unqualified academics with close connections to China, who were clearly interfacing with shadowy Chinese advisors the whole time. A reasonable view would be that the connection was facilitated in some way by the WHO. In this way, China collaborated on dictating German mass containment policy, and the ‘strategy paper’ that emerged from this process was used behind the scenes to scare journalists and to pressure German politicians and other bureaucrats into going along with indefinite closures. 

What do we learn from this little history? First, the earliest pressure to lock down proceeded from China and the WHO, and then from the international scene, as closures in neighboring countries put pressure on German politicians. The WEF and BAMGF are uninvolved at this early stage, and only start parroting the talking points later. Within Germany, it was the bureaucrats at RKI and the scientists who first pushed for lockdowns. The role of Wieler and Drosten is complex; Drosten, for example, at times clearly is an ‘actor’, in your intended sense, as he has often been deputized to provide a facade of scientific authority to prior political decisions. But at times he also seems to use his platform to advance his own views. Thus I think there are two ways to view the early Wieler/Drosten lockdown advocacy: either the two men were simply well-networked within the broader western public health establishment and their position reflected a new consensus that had emerged among their colleagues; or, alternatively, they were acting as agents on behalf of China in these early moments. I suspect the truth is closer to the latter, but it’s hard to exclude the former, and in any case, they’re not mutually exclusive. 

You write of there being “a clear, deliberate plan” but also of overlapping agendas and multiple conspiracies. Here again I believe reality is much closer to the latter, and that in the case of any specific plan, we should not assume that events as they unfolded reflect prior conspiratorial planning in any direct way. Lockdowns are extremely complex policies, and they are shaped and enforced by tens of thousands of people. It’s hard to know whether or to what extent the events of 2020 reflected the intentions of the early lockdown cabal. I suspect that the goal was for closures to end after spring 2020 and for Science to declare a general victory over SARS-2 and move on, but by April the architects of these policies had long since lost control and could no longer moderate or direct the pandemic juggernaut. Consider the ensuing fortunes of that early lockdown advocate and state media scientist Christian Drosten. By late 2020, the Merkel government admitted to their exclusive advisory circles a bunch of lackluster pandemic modelers, whose purpose was to justify ongoing restrictions, but the effect was also to dilute Drosten’s influence as the sole incarnation of mass containment, by flooding the market with a bunch of regime-dependent nobodies. After the elections in 2021, this gaggle of court astrologers was dismissed, and Drosten too lost his podcast and even stepped down from his advisory role. He has now been confined to relative obscurity, as the new health minister has sought to consolidate control of pandemic policy within his office. Lothar Wieler is similarly out of favor and rarely appears in public anymore. What we are seeing here, is successive attempts by the politicians to retake the reins, and in most countries, they’ve at large succeeded. 

On the role of globalist foundations: I view the WEF as basically a conference circuit, which serves above all to coordinate elite messaging. This is very far from nothing, but I think it makes it easy to overestimate the influence of Schwab and those in his circles. They’re very good at attaching their brand to trends and policies that are already in the works. The BAMGF, for its part, is a massive grantmaking foundation. I basically agree that it’s a vehicle for Gates’s preoccupations and wishes, but given its size and the number of people involved, it’s a vehicle for a lot of other things too. The globalist elite does have power and influence, but they often have trouble acting directly on the institutional machinery. Both the WEF and the BAMGF are attempts to exercise a kind of indirect influence on the managers, by shaping broader cultural attitudes and directing funding to pet causes. And this works! But, it takes a long time, and the elites behind these institutions don’t have much direct control over how their preferences are enacted. Green policies are their central concern, and in many ways are a useful comparison case to Corona. Over decades, the Davos set has indeed managed to instill substantial support for green energy initiatives across the institutions of our countries; they’re even on the verge of causing the lights to go out in Europe, which is no small thing. At the same time, though, they’ve never enjoyed the pervasive, immediate all-hands-on-deck enthusiasm that lockdowns evoked in 2020. The latter was an initiative that took hold of the bureaucratic ranks from the inside, and it had a much harder, immediate grip. 

Neither the BAMFG nor the WEF promoted mass containment before March 2020, i.e. they were well behind China and the WHO on this. As late as October 2019, at the BAMGF-sponsored Event 201 pandemic tabletop exercise, the messaging from these goons was all about the necessity of maintaining open borders and international travel and relying on advisories rather than outright restrictions. Among other things, they preferred milder mitigationist policies, because they feared the disproportionately negative impact that mass closures would have on the third world. Which brings us to the vaccines. You write that the purpose of BAMGF is to execute Gates’s “will,” and that “this was lockdowns and vaccines.” But it’s important to view vaccines and lockdowns as separate initiatives, perhaps as separate conspiracies, which were even at loggerheads throughout 2021. The meaning and purpose of lockdowns changed over time; by the second winter wave, they had been repurposed as a means of driving people to vaccination, and the Zero Covid crowd (or its more politically respectable No Covid successor) was gradually disentangled from the levers of policy, though in many countries this took a long time – again demonstrating the complexity of mass containment and the great many people implicated in its realization. 

Twentieth-century campaigns to eradicate first polio and then smallpox developed enormous momentum and resulted in what you might call an entire international vaccinator establishment, complete with dedicated organizations like GAVI, focussed largely on the immune systems of third-worlders. Much of the blind arrogance of our vaccinators in 2021 was a good taste of what foundation-driven healthcare must look like in Africa. You get the mass administration of subpar pharmaceuticals, and nobody cares if it cures you or makes you sicker, or what you think at all. Crucially, though, while we had third-world policies enacted upon first-world populations, Gates didn’t get what he wanted even here, which was above all third-world policies in the third world. There’s a lot to say about the efforts of the vaccinator establishment to refocus the immunization campaign on the disadvantaged peoples of the southern hemisphere, and their quiet yet relentless defeat at the hands of national governments, which reserved all available doses for their own domestic populations. The discussion around Ivermectin and other treatments was heavily manipulated from the very beginning as a part of this silent battle. But Gates lost. He’s massively disillusioned about the failure to vaccinate the third world against SARS-2 and pessimistic about the prospects of GAVI, and also seriously disappointed in the vaccines, saying at one point that he thought masks had worked better.

So I think our disagreement reflects a difference in approach. I prefer to work backward, from policies on the ground to their origins, as for me the most important thing is what actually happens and who is responsible for specific initiatives. My opponents work in the other direction, beginning with elite literature and policy statements, and trying to find how these resonate with events on the ground.

Daniel Miller: I agree that the pure fact of attending a meeting in Davos doesn’t automatically mean someone is a made man in the mob. I also agree that the executive influence of Schwab and the WEF is exaggerated, not least by Schwab himself. Nevertheless, I think that the WEF does reflect the globalist vision and project more or less accurately and serves as a functional node in the globalist power network, in the same way that, say, Documenta is a node in the globalist contemporary art world. It doesn’t control the art world in the sense that it issues commands, but business is done there, and influence exercised through it, because ambitious curators and artists want to end up there. 

The WEF’s annual budget is $500 million. This degree of financial power buys considerable influence. The WEF can offer high speaking fees to people to say things the global elite wants to hear, consequently, people start saying these things to be invited to Davos. Absent an underlying commitment to ethical principles, this structure entrenches a kind of obsequious cynicism: from this perspective we could speak of a conspiracy of motives. We now have this problem across multiple sectors, and organizations like the WEF both symbolize and exacerbate them.

The WEF embodies the managerialist “evil of banality” that defines the globalist project. I agree that Schwab’s book is completely inane. But there is also fanaticism. The global elite thinks in ‘Schwabisms’, which is to say they don’t think very well. The WEF also operates the Young Global Leaders program whose alumni include figures of extraordinary malice and depthlessness like Justin Trudeau, and the “Global Shapers” program which has featured people like Eric Feigl-Ding. Ambitious politicians with prospects are selected for fellowships, which include a generous stipend, and the opportunity to network with people who can help their careers. Schwab famously boasted that WEF-linked associates have “penetrated” national cabinets, and the facts support this claim. I think this implies coordination: perhaps not necessarily by the WEF, but at the very least through it, and also the psychology which it privileges, and the ideology it creates. When people speak of the WEF, this is what they are speaking of: not Schwab as world controller, but Schwab as the visible tip of a subtler set of arrangements, like Joe Biden. Schwab is the charismaless blur of managerial globalism; Biden the demented aggression of the rapidly decaying USA.

What became clear very early was that the policies that were being imposed and the explanations being supplied were irrational and self-contradictory on their own terms. People were forbidden, for example, from walking in the mountains or from surfing on an empty ocean. It’s difficult to understand how they could have been arrived at this by assessing the medical facts. Your explanation, if I understand you correctly, conceives China-pushed panic entrenching into bureaucratic inertia. If we follow this to the end, we are forced to conclude that current global political structures are completely dysfunctional, insane, and destructive, to an almost unimaginable degree. The fact of the matter is none of this is actually rocket science. You and I, two random intellectuals, and tens of millions of others are able to see the facts clearly and draw the right lessons from them. But there is nobody in Germany with any political power at all who can see them and act on them? The idea seems incredible. So I conclude that there was always considerable calculation involved, and still is. Perhaps global political structures are actually working quite well? Just – to paraphrase George Carlin – not for you.

John Ioannides established as early as March 2020 that the lethality of the virus had been wildly exaggerated. One might have imagined the world would have breathed a sigh of relief. Instead, he was vilified. This same pattern repeated itself for every politician and scientist who refused to go along with the global plague narrative or who questioned the lockdown policies. For example, Sunetra Gupta, and her Great Barrington Declaration colleagues were relentlessly demonized by BAMGF-funded media, in particular the UK Guardian. The Great Barrington Declaration itself was delisted by Google. Peter McCullough has been attacked for two years. Meanwhile, a global network of ‘scientists’ with financial links to the WEF and the BAMGF, and the big pharmaceutical companies, supported by BAMGF-funded journalism was aggressively pushing for lockdowns. How do you account for this?

Evidently, the empirical effort to track precisely what happened, how, and why, is very difficult, and made even more by the uncertainty of the information we have. Herein lies the antimony of paranoid reason. In the age of the psyop the reality principle cannot be recovered. It could be that what initially seem like particular incriminating facts have been planted, and pseudo-critical narratives seeded to throw us off track. This is what happened in January 2020. One never actually graduates from the school of suspicion. Nevertheless, I think there is enough evidence to demonstrate a conscious intention to deceive. I think this intention existed from the beginning and persists in the economic policies which are now being imposed. The goal of these policies is to immiserate the independent middle class and consolidate globalist control over the economy. You say that for you the key thing is “what actually happens.” This indeed is what has happened, and is happening.

With respect to the question of the roles of the WHO and the CCP in particular, we owe Michael P. Senger for his detailed analysis showing that the CCP launched an extremely complex propaganda operation involving, for example, staged footage of people spontaneously collapsing in the street. These clips were all over Twitter in January 2020: it was this information, which they thought had been smuggled across the Great Firewall, by the way, that the NRx anons initially calling conspiracy theorists “floomers” were responding to. In any case, if I’m recalling correctly, Senger proposed that the Chinese objective was to psychologically manipulate the West into destroying their economies through lockdowns. This argument seems less plausible now than it did at the time it was published, given that China is continuing to impose some of the most repressive lockdown policies in the world. Why are they doing that?

I would also argue that restricting the locus of conspiratorial action to China is simplistic. I wouldn’t say that I have a deep grasp of the global political position of China, but Niall Ferguson and Moritz Schularick’s coinage “Chimerica” seems closer to reality than the idea that the US and China constitute two radically distinct blocks. The fact that Anthony Fauci was funding Peter Daszak’s gain of function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology is a case in point. With this in mind, Senger’s work can be supplemented by his Tablet colleague Lee Smith’s essay “The Thirty Tyrants“, in which he makes clear that the US elite and the CCP are functionally united by greed. “For decades, American policymakers and the corporate class said they saw China as a rival,” Smith writes, “but […] the Chinese Communist Party became their source of power, wealth, and prestige. Why did they trade with an authoritarian regime and send millions of American manufacturing jobs off to China thereby impoverishing working Americans? Because it made them rich. They salved their consciences by telling themselves they had no choice but to deal with China: It was big, productive, and efficient and its rise was inevitable. And besides, the American workers hurt by the deal deserved to be punished — who could defend a class of reactionary and racist ideological naysayers standing in the way of what was best for progress?”

Herein lies the embryo of the whole psychopolitical problem, namely naked self-interest, laundered through progressive theology. This is the mindset that now governs, as standard, more or less all Western institutions. And insofar as this mindset is also calculable and predictable it is also the platform on which bigger plans are hatched. So although you are right that the earliest lockdown pressure came from the CCP and the WHO, and that “globalist organizations, like the WEF and BAMGF” only became involved later, I think this is a distinction without a meaningful difference. The BAMGF and the WHO are not distinct organizations. They are more like divisions in network-like global power. Gates is the biggest private funder of the WHO and helps to set their agenda, together with the CCP. But again, Gates is just something the Global Health Minister for what is now and then called the Cabal. The main point is the WHO is an oligarch-controlled organization, and a tool of the globalist oligarchs’ interests, which is the entrenchment and extension of global power into territory previously occupied by national power.

It seems to me that this is the general agenda behind the plandemic and the key to understanding it. A global elite wants to impose global government, just as, in previous centuries, a national elite wanted to impose national government. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries national power shattered the feudal system through wars of religion and witch hunts and in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries it installed the society of discipline famously mapped by Foucault; prisons, armies, factories, insane asylums, schools. Today, global power is installing what Deleuze called the society of control: digital identities and digital currency, biometric surveillance, and algorithmic manipulation. It is a question of imposing political technologies enabling world domination, subsuming the technologies of national domination. To be sure, from this point of view we are no longer even exactly discussing conspiracy but something more like the Hegelian cunning of history. But the world spirit nonetheless operates agents. The pandemic project was theirs. 

For this reason, your theory that lockdowns and vaccines were distinct, rival conspiracies is not really convincing. You are right that the public rationale for the lockdowns kept shifting. But I think it shifts in response to propaganda objectives, not because of genuine changes of heart or agenda. With all this in mind, in order to understand whether Gates has lost, as you claim, we must understand what he aimed to achieve, or what whatever was playing him aimed to achieve. Perhaps he’s lost influence in the globalist senate. Nonetheless, Gates and other oligarchs have made a huge amount of money through their vaccination investments and established a precedent to make a lot more, with the government-mandated perpetual update paradigm which the last two years have normalized. We’ve lived through the biggest wealth transfer in history and we are still living through it. The pandemic has rapidly accelerated the globalist project, and the installation of new forms of digital global control technology modeled on China – it is Gates who has been spearheading new efforts to develop digital identification linked to vaccination status via ID 2020.

The big conspiracy theory that vaccines were linked to the depopulation agenda that Gates and others have often articulated I think remains undecided, but you can see how the new biometric and social credit control system enables this kind of policy in the future. From a technocratic perspective, after taking control of the birth rate, the next step is to take control of the death rate: indeed, it would be irresponsible not to. It does not seem to me that Gates has lost.

Eugyppius: It is important to be clear about the origins of mass containment. These aren’t Western policies; they come straight from China and reflect the Chinese experience with the SARS outbreak of 2003. Wargames and tabletop exercises in the West going back decades never contemplated — in fact, often explicitly rejected — the use of containment measures en masse. We can’t dismiss this as mere messaging, because in public health, messaging is policy. The purpose of heavily publicized planning events is to accustom political leaders, the press, and ordinary people to the policy response, and the dominant message from the planners, including at the WEF and BAMGF co-sponsored Event 201 from October 2019, was that heavy restrictions in the face of a fully developed pandemic would be counterproductive. If lockdowns had been the plan of a Western cabal, we would’ve heard of them before 2020. When China announced the Hubei lockdown, the WHO remained noncommittal through February; one of their members even called the policies untested and of uncertain value. All of this changed, of course, when the joint WHO-China mission issued its report, but it’s important to emphasize how contingent the western lockdowns were. They almost didn’t happen, precisely because of that decades-long mitigationist planning tradition which called for not doing very much – a tradition to which the WHO, Schwab’s WEF, and Gates’s BAMGF had all contributed. If the early February containment measures in Lombardy had never been implemented, if Italy had never locked down, if Neil Ferguson had never written his 16 March modeling paper, then major European nations like the UK and Germany wouldn’t have folded, and you’d have had lockdowns in a few places at most, or none at all. 

We can’t call the WHO a branch of the Gates Foundation any more than we can call it a branch of the US government – although US funding substantially exceeds Gates’s contributions. The WHO has its own board and internal administrative structures. This is not to say Gates has no influence on WHO actions; his monies are mostly earmarked towards specific initiatives that he wants to put his name on, but Gates is not directly involved in moment-to-moment decision-making there, any more than major donors of any charity organization have control of daily operations. There’s good reporting on internal WHO negotiations through January and February, so we don’t have to speculate about what happened. Deliberations were repeatedly hampered by what you might call a Sinophilic faction, which in January opposed any attempt to declare an international emergency in line with Chinese insistence that the outbreak was either not that serious or would be contained. Then came the Wuhan lockdown and China declared victory over the virus via mass containment. The effect was to align the previously opposed Sinophilic and alarmist factions in the WHO — both could now agree that there was a pandemic and that lockdowns were the way. Perhaps you’ll counter that the reporting is unreliable or a false story fed to the masses, but if that’s true, “globalist conspiracy to shut down the world” doesn’t win by default. If we can’t trust the reports, we simply don’t know what’s going on. For my part, I’d suggest that reporting on the pandemic has grown more politicized and manipulated over time, but in the beginning, it was much more credible.

You’re absolutely right that highly manipulative messaging campaigns attended the lockdowns. There was considerable anxiety, on the part of Western planners, about the feasibility of securing population-wide compliance with their restrictions, and so they embarked upon a deliberate fear campaign to terrorize people into staying home. What this tells us about the intent of the people who advocated lockdowns, though, is obscure. These are highly complex policies; many, many different parties are involved in them, and this means you can’t easily reduce them to any single narrative. It would be just as naive to say that they were purely about suppressing infections, as it would be to say that they were purely about extending the authority of a globalist cabal. But again, the messaging is important because it is a big part of what lockdowns were, and the first-wave lockdowns were sold as temporary measures (“two weeks to crush the curve”), after which we’d get a regime of reduced restrictions until some poorly defined endpoint. A foundational (and, at the time, deeply influential) text is Tomas Pueyo’s Medium essay, “The Hammer and the Dance“; reviewing it now, it’s instructive how small a part vaccines play in the whole thing. After the first-wave lockdowns, you had politicians like Jens Spahn telling the press that closures would never again be necessary and that we’d get by with masks and social distancing. But everybody locked down again for the second wave. The initiative was no longer with the WHO and the Chinese-connected lockdown cabal, but with the vast bureaucratic apparatus of our respective countries. And yes, somewhere in these second- and third-wave lockdowns, the restrictions became about incentivizing mass vaccination. 

The vaccines, in contrast to mass containment, are native Western policies. Accelerated vaccine development programs feature prominently in many pandemic planning exercises, and since SARS, anticipating spillover events and vaccine-related GoF research have become well-funded research endeavors. The bat sampling research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology was very much a part of this SARS-inspired research industry, and it is highly possible that the GoF research which gave rise to SARS-2 was in some way related to sarbecovirus vaccine development. One of the reasons I don’t very much like Great Reset-style concepts, is that they’re too low-resolution to capture some of the very real and very nefarious scenarios that the evidence suggests. The SARS-related virus research program was approaching its second decade, without any subsequent zoonotic events in humans, and researchers who had made their careers in the field faced an uncertain future. Likewise, the mRNA technology plugged by startups like Moderna had proven mostly useless against cancer, and the developers faced dim prospects peddling unprofitable niche vaccines to third-world populations. Then, along comes a virus… 

You write that “the pandemic has accelerated the globalist project” and that the policies of the past two years express the “interests” of a “cabal” dedicated to “the entrenchment and extension of global power into territory previously occupied by national power.” Amid legitimate worries about digital IDs and currencies, it’s easy to forget that the major players in the pandemic were national governments and national institutions. Compare this to the true globalist cause, namely climate change, which is steered (albeit clumsily) by a patchwork of globalist organizations and international accords. This is why the WEF was anxious to move beyond Corona and get back to its core sustainability themes, as I discussed a few days ago on my blog. The pandemic was far from an unalloyed win for the globalists, and it even saw the emergence of a kind of perverse hygiene nationalism. If the broader political and bureaucratic establishment truly wants digital IDs, currencies, and social credit scores, then we’ll get them, no pretense necessary. First will come a massive information campaign from the press about why these things are absolutely “necessary” and “for our own good”, then the major political parties will demand them, and that’ll be it. The Western elite and sub-elite establishment, particularly since the consolidations after 2011, are too powerful to bother with subterfuge, and too poorly coordinated to manage it.

In conclusion, I doubt there’s a cabal, only because I think there are many, many cabals – made of different enterprising personalities, mostly in the bureaucratic sector, but also in the press and politics, and in globalist organizations great and small. Most of their plots fail, but a few win because they succeed in gaining massive buy-in from a critical number of nodes in the increasingly decentralized institutional neural network that runs our society. We could talk about why Corona succeeded in animating so many people, against which the reception of the climate change agenda appears positively lukewarm; I think there is much to learn here. But the chronology supports this basic model: China put mass containment on the table in January; in February, the WHO promoted lockdowns to the West. The lockdown cabal then took these policies and feverishly promoted them across the European (and later American) public health and political establishments. They were active for a space of a few weeks at least, a few months at most. Almost as soon as the policies were enacted, the work of the cabal was done. From then on the momentum lay with the institutions that planned and enforced the lockdowns, and this is objectively true. Just look up any individual regulation or lockdown ordinance and follow it up the chain. You’ll end up at some public health office, transit authority, educational department, or similar. You’ll end up with the bureaucrats. 

Daniel Miller is a writer, critic, and IM—1776’s literary editor.

Eugyppius is a writer and researcher. He writes on

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