The Great Reset: Humanity demands leaders walk while chewing gum in the 21st century

The criticism most often levelled at President Franklin D Roosevelt – President of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1945 – is that he did not tackle racism and inequality.

Excuses are made that the Great Depression and then World War II were such serious issues that political capital and attention had to be focused there at the expense of progress on other worthy issues.

There are many parallels between then and now in this what I have termed the Great Reset era.

Climate scientists are rightfully concerned that the longer the battle humanity necessarily wages against the COVID-19 pandemic the more focus may be diverted from battling the Climate Crisis, which if left unchecked may render the planet uninhabitable for much of extant life on Earth, including humanity. 

Moreover, many top-level international bureaucrats believe that a robust recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is imperative to provide the economic platform to support the necessary restructuring to address climate change.

Actors in the civil rights space, now some 90 years after commencement of the Great Depression, are concerned that both issues will divert focus from finally addressing diversity and inclusion even though both crises have highlighted inequality as a major vulnerability for worsening and perpetuating them.

In the US in recent months it has become apparent that even though ethnic minorities have been disproportionately impacted in the COVID-19 pandemic, disproportionately high numbers of Caucasian Americans have been vaccinated early in their programs.

In other words, even with the social justice campaigns including Black Lives Matter raising awareness to unprecedented levels, systemic biases have led to Caucasian Americans being favoured to receive protective vaccines ahead of minorities due to insufficient foresight or effort gone into addressing these biases.

There is no medical or scientific advantage to this. On the contrary, an argument could be made that a vaccination program aimed at reducing the impacts of the pandemic most promptly would result in minorities being favoured for early vaccination.

If on a social cohesion basis this were considered untenable, for fear of an uproar about “reverse racism” – there’s that timidity about being frank about what is (and what is not) racism – at the very least care should have been taken to ensure that the vaccine rollout occurred proportionately across society.

Recent events prove that there is much to do to address diversity and inclusion within society – systemically in our bureaucratic systems, in our workplaces, in our education systems and especially in early education, and broadly throughout society.

Just as in FDR’s time, it first requires committed key leaders amongst our political, bureaucratic and private enterprise leaders to drive that change.

It will not be a quick and easy path, however. Like the climate change response and pandemic preparedness for future challenges, developing sustainably cohesive, diverse and inclusive societies is a multi-generational process.

Some nations have started down that path already even though the challenges remain significant. It is noteworthy that there is a parallel between those progressive nations acting on diversity and inclusion and those nations that acted compassionately to save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic and in doing so placing their societies and economies in the best of positions for recovery.

Other nations seem to be held victim to some form of virulent toxic masculinity which has prevented their leaders from authentic recognition of the severe human impacts from the pandemic, as well as affecting their response to other key issues, because vulnerability is the last character these leaders are comfortable expressing publicly.

Note, I like many others credit mostly our State leaders for Australia’s fortunate position with COVID-19,  and from early in the pandemic I voiced serious concerns at the PMs ability to manage the national response.

As I predicted in March 2020, shortly after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, humanity has shown in so many ways that it will not settle for returning to the status quo within political and civil society that prevailed as 2019 closed.

Even before then my writing consistently highlighted that cohesion was the necessary ingredient to combat the major challenges humanity faced.

This Great Reset era is a time of change – it is inevitable. Unlike earlier periods, though, it is not just activism by the young and ‘naive’ – naive because their optimism has yet to be squashed by the “politics is the art of the possible” narrative.

No, this period of change is for all to be involved, even the less young and the cynical, because we have already proven just what can be achieved when we really set our minds to it!

Who would have thought we could do the things we have in society to protect each other? Who would have thought within a year of the pandemic commencing some people would already be vaccinated with vaccines 95% efficacious!

Who will accept now that change is not possible or that it must be iterative and slow with so little momentum as to be continually susceptible to reversal?

Yet the pandemic has opened up the fissures in our society revealing the underlying racism, prejudice and bias, and the brutality of those with an inhumane sense of privilege and power.

It is true that there have been catalysts that have led to collective action on a scale not seen in decades. Of course I allude to the Black Lives Matter protests in the US, Australia and throughout much of the developed world, as well as actions to protest against gendered violence, along with other issues.

I wonder, however, if the scale of the responses would have been so great if we were not in an era where people, having experienced the most significant shock to humanity since WWII, collectively are saying “we do not accept that we must return to the status quo that prevailed before last year – we are not satisfied with leaders who say that change is not possible!”

I wonder whether the scale of the responses would have been nearly as strong and deeply resonating if we were not already in the Great Reset.

Leaders who attempt to sweep change back under the mat suggesting that their attention must be prioritised, as if they can not walk and chew gum at the same time, in this day and age with the technological sophistication and human capital at our disposal, do themselves and all of us a great disservice.

In this charged climate of the Great Reset such incompetent leaders run the risk of tripping on their own gum and falling down the chute (or snake) without a redeeming ladder in reach…

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© Copyright Brett Edgerton 2021

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