It has become increasingly common to hear those on what we may call the conventional right claim that the main threat facing the historic American nation and the American way of life is “socialism.” These warnings have grown with the rise of the so-called Great Reset, ostensibly a broad effort to reduce inequality, cool the planet (i.e., “address climate change”), and cure various social ills, all by decreasing alleged overconsumption. In other words, its mission is to persuade people, at least in the developed West, to accept lower standards of living in order to create a more just and equitable world. Since the conservative mind, not unreasonably, associates lower standards of living with socialism, many conservatives naturally intuit that the Great Reset must somehow be socialist.

I believe this fear is at least partly misplaced and that the warnings it gives rise to, however well-meaning, are counterproductive because they deflect attention from the truer, greater threat: specifically, the cabal of bankers, techies, corporate executives, politicians, senior bureaucrats, academics, and pundits who coalesce around the World Economic Forum and seek to change, reduce, restrict, and homogenize the Western way of life—but only for ordinary people. Their own way of life, along with the wealth and power that define it, they seek to entrench, augment, deepen, and extend.

This is why a strict or literal definition of socialism—public or government ownership and control of the means of production in order to equalize incomes and wealth across the population—is inapt to our situation. The Great Reset quietly but unmistakably redefines socialism to allow and even promote wealth and power concentration in certain hands. In the decisive sense, then, the West’s present economic system—really, its overarching regime—is the opposite of socialistic.