The common theme in conspiracy theories about a New World Order is that a powerful and secretive elite with a globalist agenda is conspiring to eventually rule the world through an autonomous world government, which would replace sovereign nation-states and put an end to international power struggles. Significant occurrences in politics and finance are speculated to be orchestrated by an extremely influential cabal operating through many front organizations. Numerous historical and current events are seen as steps in an on-going plot to achieve world domination through secret political gatherings and decision-making processes.
Prior to the early 1990s, New World Order conspiracism was limited to two American countercultures, primarily the militantly anti-government right, and secondarily fundamentalist Christians concerned with end-time emergence of the Antichrist. Skeptics, such as Michael Barkun and Chip Berlet, have expressed concern that right-wing conspiracy theories about a New World Order have now not only been embraced by many left-wing conspiracy theorists but have seeped into popular culture, thereby inaugurating an unrivaled period of people actively preparing for apocalyptic millenarian scenarios in the United States of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Political scientists warn that this mass hysteria may not only fuel lone-wolf terrorism but have devastating effects on American political life, such as the far right wooing the far left into joining an insurrectionary national-anarchist movement capable of subverting the established political powers.
History of the termEdit
During the 20th century, many statesmen, such as Woodrow Wilson and Winston Churchill, used the term "new world order" to refer to a new period of history evidencing a dramatic change in world political thought and the balance of power after World War I and World War II. They all saw these periods as opportunities to implement idealistic or liberal proposals for global governance only in the sense of new collective efforts to identify, understand, or address worldwide problems that go beyond the capacity of individual nation-states to solve. These proposals led to the creation of international organizations, such as the United Nations and N.A.T.O., and international regimes, such as the Bretton Woods system and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which were calculated both to maintain a balance of power as well as regularize cooperation between nations, in order to achieve a peaceful phase of capitalism. These creations in particular and internationalism in general, however, would always be criticized and opposed by American paleoconservatives on isolationist grounds and by neoconservatives on benevolent imperalist grounds.
In the aftermath of the two World Wars, progressives welcomed these new international organizations and regimes but argued they suffered from a democratic deficit and therefore were inadequate to not only prevent another global war but also foster global justice. Thus, activists around the globe formed a world federalist movement bent on creating a "real" new world order. A number of Fabian socialist intellectuals, such as British writer H. G. Wells in the 1940s, appropriated and redefined the term "new world order" as a synonym for the establishment of a full-fledged social democratic world government.
Despite how the meaning of the term "new world order" when it is used by capitalists sharply contrasts with when it is used by socialists, conspiracy theorists of the American secular and Christian right during the Red Scare of 1947–1957 — who embraced and mongered unfounded fears of Freemasons, Illuminati, and Jews being the driving force behind an "international communist conspiracy" — began misinterpreting any use of term "new world order" by members of the power elite in the U.S. and other great powers — even when they were simply brainstorming on how to modernize their country's foreign policy, and intergovernmental organizations, in order to account for shifts in the international balance of power — as a call for the imposition of a state atheistic and bureaucratic collectivist world government, which controls the means of production, while the surplus ("profit") is distributed among a ruling class of bureaucrats, rather than among the working class.
In the 1960s, a great deal of right-wing conspiracist attention, by groups like the John Birch Society and the Liberty Lobby, focused on the United Nations as the vehicle for creating the "One World Government", and contributed to a conservative movement for United States withdrawal from the U.N.. American writer Mary M. Davison, in her 1966 booklet The Profound Revolution, traced the alleged New World Order conspiracy to the creation of the U.S. Federal Reserve System in 1913 by international bankers, who she claimed later formed the Council on Foreign Relations in 1921 as the shadow government. At the time the booklet was published, "international bankers" would have been interpreted by many readers as a reference to a postulated "international Jewish banking conspiracy" masterminded by the Rothschilds and Rockefellers.
Claiming that the term "New World Order" is used by a secretive elite dedicated to the destruction of all national sovereignties, American producerist writer Gary Allen, in his 1971 book None Dare Call It Conspiracy, 1974 book Rockefeller: Campaigning for the New World Order and 1987 book Say "No!" to the New World Order, articulated the anti-globalist theme of much current right-wing conspiracism in the U.S.. Thus, during the 1990s, the main demonized scapegoat of the American far right shifted seamlessly from crypto-communists who plotted on behalf of the "Red Menace" to globalists who plot on behalf of the New World Order. The relatively painless nature of the shift was due to growing right-wing opposition to the globalization of capitalism but also in part to the basic underlying apocalyptic millenarian paradigm, which fed the Cold War and the witch-hunts of the McCarthy period.
In his 11 September 1990 Toward a New World Order speech to a joint session of the U.S. Congress, President George H. W. Bush described his objectives for post-Cold-War global governance in cooperation with post-Soviet states: Until now, the world we’ve known has been a world divided – a world of barbed wire and concrete block, conflict and cold war. Now, we can see a new world coming into view. A world in which there is the very real prospect of a new world order. In the words of Winston Churchill, a "world order" in which "the principles of justice and fair play ... protect the weak against the strong ..." A world where the United Nations, freed from cold war stalemate, is poised to fulfill the historic vision of its founders. A world in which freedom and respect for human rights find a home among all nations. The New York Times observed that American progressives were calling the new world order a rationalization for American imperial ambitions ambitions in the Middle East, while conservatives rejected new security arrangements altogether and fulminated about any possibility of U.N. revival. However, Chip Berlet, an American investigative reporter specializing in the study of right-wing movements in the U.S., writes: When President Bush announced his new foreign policy would help build a New World Order, his phrasing surged through the Christian and secular hard right like an electric shock, since the phrase had been used to represent the dreaded collectivist One World Government for decades. Some Christians saw Bush as signaling the End Times betrayal by a world leader. Secular anticommunists saw a bold attempt to smash US sovereignty and impose a tyrannical collectivist system run by the United Nations. American televangelist Pat Robertson with his 1991 best-selling book The New World Order became the most prominent Christian popularizer of conspiracy theories about recent American history as a theater in which Wall Street, the Federal Reserve System, Council on Foreign Relations, Bilderberg Group, and Trilateral Commission control the flow of events from behind the scenes, nudging us constantly and covertly in the direction of world government for the Antichrist.
Observers note that the galvanization of right-wing populist conspiracy theorists, such as Linda Thompson, Mark Koernke and Robert K. Spear, into militancy led to the rise of the militia movement, which spread its anti-government ideology through speeches at rallies and meetings, through books and videotapes sold at gun shows, through shortwave and satellite radio, and through fax networks and computer bulletin boards. However, viral propaganda on the Internet is what most effectively contributed to their extremist political ideas about the New World Order finding their way into the far left literature of some black nationalists, but also the previously apolitical literature of many Kennedy assassinologists, ufologists, lost land theorists, and, most recently, occultists. The worldwide appeal of these subcultures then transmitted New World Order conspiracism like a "mind virus" to a large new audience of seekers of counterknowledge from the mid-1990s on.
After the turn of the century, specifically during the financial crisis of 2007–2010, many politicians and pundits, such as Gordon Brown, Henry Kissinger, and Barack Obama, used the term "new world order" in their advocacy for a Keynesian reform of the global financial system and their calls for a "New Bretton Woods", which takes into account emerging markets such as China and India. These declarations had the unintended consequence of providing fresh fodder for New World Order conspiracism, and culminated in former Clinton administration adviser Dick Morris and conservative talk show host Sean Hannity arguing on one of his Fox News Channel programs that "conspiracy theorists were right". Fox News in general, and its opinion show Glenn Beck in particular, have been repeatedly criticized by progressive media watchdog groups for not only mainstreaming the conspiracist rhetoric of the radical right but possibly agitating its lone wolves into action.
In 2009, American film directors Luke Meyer and Andrew Neel released New World Order, a critically-acclaimed documentary film which explores the world of conspiracy theorists, such as American radio host Alex Jones, who are committed to exposing and vigorously opposing what they perceive to be an emerging New World Order.
National-Anarchism, a syncretic political ideology articulated by British dissident Troy Southgate, is one of many fringe political movements which have called for an insurrection against, or secession from, the New World Order. In its collapse, national-anarchists seek to establish a regional network of politically meritocratic, economically secessionist, and ecologically sustainable village-communities, which practice racial, ethnic, religious or sexual separatism as a means to achieve "authentic cultural diversity".
There are numerous secular and religious conspiracy theories through which the concept of a New World Order is viewed. The following is a list of the major ones in relatively chronological order:
For over 2,000 years, apocalyptic millenarian Christian theologians and laymen have feared a globalist conspiracy as the fulfillment of prophecies about the "end time" in the Bible, specifically in the Book of Ezekiel, the Book of Daniel, the Olivet discourse found in the Synoptic Gospels, and the Book of Revelation. They assert that human and demonic agents of the Devil are involved in a primordial plot to deceive humanity into accepting a satanic world theocracy that has the Unholy Trinity - Satan, the Antichrist and the False Prophet - at the core of an imperial cult. In many contemporary Christian conspiracy theories, the False Prophet will either be the last pope of the Catholic Church (groomed and installed by an Alta Vendita or Jesuit conspiracy) or a guru from the New Age movement or even the leader of a fundamentalist Christian organization like The Fellowship, while the Antichrist will either be the president of the European Union or the secretary-general of the United Nations or even a virtual actor serving as the figurehead for a supercomputer.
Some of the most vocal critics of end-time conspiracy theories come from within Christianity. In 1993, American historian Bruce Barron wrote a stern rebuke of apocalyptic Christian conspiracism in the Christian Research Journal, when reviewing American televangelist Pat Robertson's 1991 book The New World Order. Another critique can be found in American historian Gregory S. Camp's 1997 book Selling Fear: Conspiracy Theories and End-Times Paranoia, which has been described as "impressive both as a historical and theological work". Camp warns of the "very real danger that Christians could pick up some extra spiritual baggage" by credulously embracing conspiracy theories. Progressive Christians, such as American preacher-theologian Peter J. Gomes, argue that the Bible must be read carefully to avoid misusing the text to legitimize reactionary prejudices in the dominant culture. They caution conservative Christians that a "spirit of fear" can distort scripture and history by dangerously combining biblical literalism, apocalyptic timetables, demonization, and oppressive prejudices, such as sexism, homophobia, classism, xenophobia, racism, and antisemitism. They therefore call on Christians to repent for indulging in conspiracism.
More broadly, preterist Christians argue that some or all of the biblical prophecies concerning the end time refer literally or metaphorically to events which already happened in the first century after Jesus' birth. In their view, the "end time" concept refers to the end of the covenant between God and Israel, rather than the end of time, or the end of planet Earth. They argue that prophecies about the Rapture, the defiling of the Temple, the destruction of Jerusalem, the Antichrist, the Number of the Beast, the Tribulation, the Second Coming, the Last Judgment, and the resurrection of the dead were fulfilled at or about the year 70 when the Roman general (and future Emperor) Titus sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the Second Temple in Jerusalem, putting a permanent stop to the daily animal sacrifices. According to Preterists, many passages in the New Testament indicate with apparent certainty that the second coming of Christ, and the end time predicted in the Bible were to take place within the lifetimes of Jesus' disciples rather than millennia later: Matt. 10:23, Matt. 16:28, Matt. 24:34, Matt. 26:64, Rom. 13:11-12, 1 Cor. 7:29-31, 1 Cor. 10:11, Phil. 4:5, James 5:8-9, 1 Pet. 4:7, 1 Jn. 2:18. Ultimately, full Preterists argue that all Christians should reject apocalyptic eschatology and embrace realized eschatology.
Anti-Masonic conspiracy theorists believe that "high-ranking" Freemasons are involved in conspiracies to create an occult New World Order. They claim that some of the Founding Fathers of the United States, such as George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, had Masonic symbolism interwoven into American society, particularly in the Great Seal of the United States, the United States one-dollar bill, the architecture of National Mall landmarks, and the streets and highways of Washington, D.C.. They speculate that Freemasons did this in order to bind their planning of a government in conformity with the luciferian plan of the Great Architect of the Universe whom, they are said to believe, has tasked the United States with the eventual establishment of an hermetic "Kingdom of God on Earth" and the building of the Third Temple in New Jerusalem as its holiest site. Freemasons rebut these claims of Masonic conspiracy. They assert that Freemasonry, which promotes a balance between rationalism and mysticism through an initiatory system of degrees and sacred geometry, places no power in occult symbols themselves. It is not a part of Freemasonry to view the drawing of symbols, no matter how large, as an act of consolidating or controlling power. Furthermore, there is no published information establishing the Masonic membership of the men responsible for the design of the Great Seal or the street plan of Washington, D.C. The Latin phrase "novus ordo seclorum", appearing on the reverse side of the Great Seal since 1782 and on the back of the one-dollar bill since 1935, means "New Order of the Ages" and only alludes to the beginning of an era where the United States is an independent nation-state, but is often improperly translated by conspiracy theorists as "New World Order" or "New Secular Order". Lastly, Freemasons argue that, despite the symbolic importance of the Temple of Solomon in their mythology, they have no interest in rebuilding it, especially since "it is obvious that any attempt to interfere with the present condition of things [on the Temple Mount] would in all probability bring about the greatest religious war the world has ever known".
More broadly, Freemasons assert that a long-standing rule within regular Freemasonry is a prohibition on the discussion of politics in a Masonic Lodge and the participation of lodges or Masonic bodies in political pursuits. Freemasonry has no politics, but it teaches its members to be of high moral character and active citizens. The accusation that Freemasonry has a hidden agenda to establish a Masonic government ignores several facts. While agreeing on certain Masonic Landmarks, the many independent and sovereign Grand Lodges act as such, and do not agree on many other points of belief and practice.
Also, as can be seen from a survey of famous Freemasons, individual Freemasons hold beliefs that span the spectrum of politics. The term "Masonic government" has no meaning since individual Freemasons hold many different opinions on what constitutes a good government, and Freemasonry as a body has no opinion on the topic. Ultimately, Freemasons argue that even if it were proven that influential individuals have used and are using Masonic Lodges to engage in crypto-politics, such as was the case with the illegal Italian Lodge Propaganda Due, this would represent a cooptation of Freemasonry rather than evidence of its hidden agenda.
The Order of the Illuminati was an Enlightenment-age secret society founded on 1 May 1776, in Ingolstadt (Upper Bavaria), by Adam Weishaupt, who was the first lay professor of canon law at the University of Ingolstadt. The movement consisted of freethinkers, secularists, liberals, republicans and pro-feminists, recruited in the Masonic Lodges of Germany, who sought to promote perfectionism through mystery schools. In 1785, the order was infiltrated, broken and suppressed by the government agents of Charles Theodore, Elector of Bavaria, in his campaign to neutralize the threat of secret societies ever becoming hotbeds of conspiracies to overthrow the monarchy and state religion.
In the late 18th century, reactionary conspiracy theorists, such as Scottish physicist John Robison and French Jesuit priest Augustin Barruel, began speculating that the Illuminati survived their suppression and became the masterminds behind the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror. The Illuminati were accused of being enlightened absolutists who were attempting to secretly orchestrate a world revolution in order to globalize the most radical ideals of the Enlightenment: anti-clericalism, anti-monarchism, and anti-patriarchalism. During the 19th century, fear of an Illuminati conspiracy was a real concern of European ruling classes, and their oppressive reactions to this unfounded fear provoked in 1848 the very revolutions they sought to prevent.
During the interwar period of the 20th century, fascist propagandists, such as British revisionist historian Nesta Helen Webster and American socialite Edith Starr Miller, not only popularized the myth of an Illuminati conspiracy but claimed that it was a subversive secret society which serves the Jewish elites that supposedly propped up both finance capitalism and Soviet communism in order to divide and rule the world. American evangelist Gerald Burton Winrod and other conspiracy theorists within the fundamentalist Christian movement in the United States, which emerged in the 1910s as a backlash against the principles of the Enlightenment, modernism, and liberalism, became the main channel of dissemination of Illuminati conspiracy theories in America. Right-wing populists subsequently began speculating that some collegiate fraternities, gentlemen's clubs and think tanks of the American upper class are front organizations of the Illuminati, which they accuse of plotting to create a New World Order through a one-world government.
Skeptics argue that evidence would suggest that the Bavarian Illuminati was nothing more than a curious historical footnote since there is no evidence that any Illuminati survived its founders.
Protocols of the Elders of ZionEdit
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is an antisemitic canard, originally published in Russian in 1903, alleging a Judaeo-Masonic conspiracy to achieve world domination. The text purports to be the minutes of the secret meetings of a cabal of Jewish masterminds, which has coopted Freemasonry and is plotting to rule the world on behalf of all Jews because they believe themselves to be the chosen people of God. The Protocols incorporate many of the core conspiracist themes outlined in the Robison and Barruel attacks on the Freemasons, and overlay them with false antisemitic allegations about anti-Tsarist movements in Russia. The Protocols reflect themes similar to more general critiques of Enlightenment liberalism by conservatives who support monarchies and state religions. The interpretation intended by the publication of The Protocols is that if one peels away the layers of the Masonic conspiracy, past the Illuminati, one finds the rotten Jewish core.
The Protocols has been proven by polemicists, such as Irish journalist Philip Graves in a 1921 The Times article, and British academic Norman Cohn in his 1967 book Warrant for Genocide, to be both a hoax and a clear case of plagiarism. There is general agreement that Russian-French writer and political activist Matvei Golovinski fabricated the text for Okhrana, the secret police of the Russian Empire, as a work of counter-revolutionary propaganda prior to the 1905 Russian Revolution, by plagiarizing it, almost word for word in some passages, from The Dialogue in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu, a 19th century satire against Napoleon III of France written by French political satirist and Legitimist militant Maurice Joly.
Responsible for feeding many antisemitic and anti-Masonic hysterias of the 20th century, The Protocols is widely considered to be influential in the development of conspiracy theories related to a New World Order (such as the notion of a Zionist Occupation Government), and reappears repeatedly in contemporary conspiracy literature. For example, the authors of the 1982 controversial book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail concluded that The Protocols was the most persuasive piece of evidence for the existence and activities of the Priory of Sion. They speculated that this secret society was working behind the scenes to establish a theocratic "United States of Europe". Politically and religiously unified through the imperial cult of a Merovingian sacred king, supposedly descended from a Jesus bloodline, who occupies both the throne of Europe and the Holy See, this "Holy European Empire" would become the hyperpower of the 21st century. Although the Priory of Sion, itself, has been exhaustively debunked by journalists and scholars as a hoax, fringe Christian eschatologists concerned with the emergence of a New World Order became convinced that the Priory of Sion was a fulfillment of prophecies found in the Book of Revelation and further proof of an anti-Christian conspiracy of epic proportions.
Skeptics argue that the current gambit of contemporary conspiracy theorists who use the The Protocols is to claim that they "really" come from some group other than the Jews such as the Illuminati or alien invaders. Although it is hard to determine whether the conspiracy-minded actually believe this or are simply trying to sanitize a discredited text, skeptics argue that it doesn't make much difference, since they leave the actual, antisemitic text unchanged. The result is to give The Protocols credibility and circulation when it deserves neither.
British businessman Cecil Rhodes advocated the British Empire reannexing the United States of America and reforming itself into an "Imperial Federation" to bring about a hyperpower and lasting world peace. In his first will, of 1877, written at the age of 23, he expressed his wish to fund a secret society (known as the Society of the Elect) that would advance this goal: To and for the establishment, promotion and development of a Secret Society, the true aim and object whereof shall be for the extension of British rule throughout the world, the perfecting of a system of emigration from the United Kingdom, and of colonisation by British subjects of all lands where the means of livelihood are attainable by energy, labour and enterprise, and especially the occupation by British settlers of the entire Continent of Africa, the Holy Land, the Valley of the Euphrates, the Islands of Cyprus and Candia, the whole of South America, the Islands of the Pacific not heretofore possessed by Great Britain, the whole of the Malay Archipelago, the seaboard of China and Japan, the ultimate recovery of the United States of America as an integral part of the British Empire, the inauguration of a system of Colonial representation in the Imperial Parliament which may tend to weld together the disjointed members of the Empire and, finally, the foundation of so great a Power as to render wars impossible, and promote the best interests of humanity. In his later wills, a more mature Rhodes abandoned the idea and instead concentrated on what became the Rhodes Scholarship, which had British statesman Alfred Milner as one of its trustees. Established in 1902, the original goal of the trust fund was to foster peace among the great powers by creating a sense of fraternity and a shared world view among future British, American, and German leaders by having enabled them to study for free at the University of Oxford.
Milner and British official Lionel George Curtis were the architects of the Round Table movement, a network of organizations promoting closer union between Britain and its self-governing colonies. To this end, Curtis founded the Royal Institute of International Affairs in June 1919 and, with his 1938 book The Commonwealth of God, began advocating for the creation of an imperial federation that eventually reannexes the U.S., which would be presented to Protestant churches as being the work of the Christian God to elicit their support. The Commonwealth of Nations was created in 1949 but it would only be a free association of independent states rather than the powerful imperial federation imagined by Rhodes, Milner and Curtis.
The Council on Foreign Relations began in 1917 with a group of New York academics who were asked by President Woodrow Wilson to offer options for the foreign policy of the United States in the interwar period. Originally envisioned as a British-American group of scholars and diplomats, some of whom belonging to the Round Table movement, it was a subsequent group of 108 New York financiers, manufacturers and international lawyers organized in June 1918 by Nobel Peace Prize recipient and U.S. secretary of state, Elihu Root, that became the Council on Foreign Relations on 29 July 1921. The first of the council’s projects was a quarterly journal launched in September 1922, called Foreign Affairs.
Conspiracy theorists believe that the Council on Foreign Relations is a front organization for the Round Table as a tool of the "Anglo-American Establishment", which they believe has been plotting from 1900 on to rule the world. The research findings of historian Carroll Quigley, author of the 1966 book Tragedy and Hope, are taken by both conspiracy theorists of the American Old Right (Cleon Skousen) and New Left (Carl Oglesby) to substantiate this view, even though he argued that the Establishment is not involved in a plot to implement a one-world government but rather British and American benevolent imperialism driven by the mutual interests of economic elites in the United Kingdom and the United States. Quigley also argued that, although the Round Table still exists today, its position in influencing the policies of world leaders has been much reduced from its heyday during World War I and slowly waned after the end of World War II and the Suez Crisis. Today it is largely a ginger group, designed to consider and gradually influence the policies of the Commonwealth of Nations, but faces strong opposition. Furthermore, in American society after 1965, the problem, according to Quigley, was that no elite was in charge and acting responsibly.
American banker David Rockefeller joined the Council on Foreign Relations as its youngest-ever director in 1949 and subsequently became chairman of the board from 1970 to 1985; today he serves as honorary chairman. In 2002, Rockefeller authored his autobiography Memoirs wherein, on page 405, he wrote: For more than a century ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents ... to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as 'internationalists' and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure - one world, if you will. If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it. Barkun argues that this statement is partly facetious (the claim of "conspiracy" or "treason") and partly serious – the desire to encourage trilateral cooperation among the U.S., Europe, and Japan, for example – an ideal that used to be a hallmark of the internationalist wing of the Republican Party when there was an internationalist wing.
However, the statement is taken at face value and widely cited by conspiracy theorists as proof that the Council on Foreign Relations (itself alleged to be a front for an "international banking cabal", as well as, it is claimed, the sponsor of many "globalist" think tanks such as the Trilateral Commission) uses its role as the brain trust of American presidents, senators and representatives to manipulate them into supporting a New World Order. Conspiracy theorists fear that the international bankers of financial capitalism are planning to eventually subvert the independence of the U.S. by subordinating national sovereignty to a strengthened Bank for International Settlements with the intent to “create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole”.
In a 13 November 2007 interview with Canadian journalist Benjamin Fulford, Rockefeller countered: I don't think that I really feel that we need a world government. We need governments of the world that work together and collaborate. But, I can't imagine that there would be any likelihood or even that it would be desirable to have a single government elected by the people of the world ... There have been people, ever since I've had any kind of position in the world, who have accused me of being ruler of the world. I have to say that I think for the large part, I would have to decide to describe them as crackpots. It makes no sense whatsoever, and isn't true, and won't be true, and to raise it as a serious issue seems to me to be irresponsible. Some American social critics, such as Laurence H. Shoup, argue that the Council on Foreign Relations is an "imperial brain trust", which has, for decades, played a central behind-the-scenes role in shaping U.S. foreign policy choices for the post-WWII international order and the Cold War, by determining what options show up on the agenda and what options do not even make it to the table; while others, such as G. William Domhoff, argue that it is in fact a mere policy discussion forum, which provides the business input to U.S. foreign policy planning. The latter argue that it has nearly 3,000 members, far too many for secret plans to be kept within the group; all the council does is sponsor discussion groups, debates and speakers; and as far as being secretive, it issues annual reports and allows access to its historical archives. However, all these critics agree that historical studies of the council show that it has a very different role in the overall power structure than what is claimed by conspiracy theorists.
In his 1928 book The Open Conspiracy British writer and Fabian socialist H. G. Wells called for the intelligentsia of all nation-states to organize for the establishment of a global federation of strengthened and democratized global institutions, with plenary constitutional power accountable to global citizens and a division of international authority among separate global agencies, in order to build a world social democracy.
Wells warned, however, in his 1940 book The New World Order that: ... when the struggle seems to be drifting definitely towards a world social democracy, there may still be very great delays and disappointments before it becomes an efficient and beneficent world system. Countless people ... will hate the new world order ... and will die protesting against it. When we attempt to evaluate its promise, we [must] bear in mind the distress of a generation or so of malcontents, many of them quite gallant and graceful-looking people. Wells' book was extremely influential in giving a second meaning to the term "new world order", which would only be used by both democratic socialist supporters and anti-communist opponents for generations to come. But the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 led to a period of triumphalism by capitalists world wide, the elimination of the only obstacle to the spread of a neoliberal form of globalization, and a shattering of the confidence of those who hoped that Perestroika and Glasnost reforms of the late 1980s would return the Soviet Union (which had become a degenerated workers' state) to democratic socialism and transform it into one of the building blocks of the new world order envisioned by Wells. Right-wing conspiracy theorists, however, simply changed their focus from the Soviet Union to the United Nations as the bureaucratic collectivist menace.
British neo-Theosophical occultist Alice Bailey, one of the founders of the so-called New Age movement, prophesied in 1940 the eventual victory of the Allies of World War II over the Axis powers (which occurred in 1945) and the establishment by the Allies of a political and religious New World Order. She saw a federal world government as the culmination of Wells' Open Conspiracy but argued that it would be synarchist because it was guided by ascended masters, intent on preparing humanity for the mystical second coming of Christ, and the dawn of the Age of Aquarius. According to Bailey, a group of ascended masters called the Great White Brotherhood works on the "inner planes" to oversee the transition to the New World Order but, for now, the members of this Spiritual Hierarchy are only known to a few occult scientists, with whom they communicate telepathically, but as the need for their personal involvement in the plan increases, there will be an "Externalization of the Hierarchy" and everyone will know of their presence on Earth.
In 1997, Hasidic rabbi Yonassan Gershom, in an article titled Anti-Semitic Stereotypes in Alice Bailey's Writings, pointed out that Bailey's Plan for the New World Order, marked by extravagant fantasy, called for "the gradual dissolution - again if in any way possible - of the Orthodox Jewish faith," which, he said, indicated that "her goal is nothing less than the destruction of Judaism itself." This fact is notable since many conspiracy theories tend to portray Jews as the plotters behind the New World Order rather than one of the groups the plotters want to repress in order to create it.
Bailey's writings, along with American writer Marilyn Ferguson's 1980 book The Aquarian Conspiracy, contributed to conspiracy theorists of the Christian right viewing the New Age movement as the "false religion" that would supersede Christianity in a New World Order. Skeptics argue that the term "New Age movement" is a misnomer, generally used by conspiracy theorists as a catch-all rubric for any new religious, spiritual or philosophical belief, symbol and practice that is not fundamentalist Christian. By their lights, anything that is not Christian is by definition actively and willfully anti-Christian. The implication is that these independent and sometimes contradictory schools of thought are all part of a monolithic whole. This is logically and empirically false, and rationally simplistic.
Paradoxically, since the 2000s, New World Order conspiracism is increasing being embraced and propagandized by New Age occultists, who are people bored by rationalism and drawn to what Barkun calls the "cultural dumping ground of the heretical, the scandalous, the unfashionable, and the dangerous" — such as alternative medicine, astrology, quantum mysticism, spiritualism, and Theosophy. Thus, New Age conspiracy theorists, such as the makers of documentary films like Zeitgeist, the Movie and Esoteric Agenda, claim that globalists who plot on behalf of the New World Order are simply misusing occultism for Machiavellian ends, such as adopting 21 December 2012 as the exact date for the establishment of the New World Order in order to take advantage of the growing 2012 phenomenon, which has its origins in the fringe Mayanist theories of New Age writers José Argüelles, Terence McKenna, and Daniel Pinchbeck.
Skeptics argue that the connection of conspiracy theorists and occultists follows from their common, fallacious premises. First, any widely accepted belief must necessarily be false. Second, counterknowledge — what the Establishment spurns — must be true. The result is a large, self-referential network in which, for example, UFO religionists promote anti-Jewish phobias while antisemites claim direct reception of prophetic material: the voice of the Mesoamerican deity Quetzalcoatl.
Conspiracy theorists often use the term "Fourth Reich" simply as a pejorative synonym for the "New World Order" to imply that its state ideology and government will be similar to Germany's Third Reich or that globalists who plot on behalf of the New World Order are Jewish fascists. However, some conspiracy theorists take the research findings of American journalist Edwin Black, author of the 2009 book Nazi Nexus, to claim that some American corporations and philanthropic foundations - whose complicity was pivotal to the Third Reich's war effort, Nazi eugenics and the Holocaust - are now conspiring to build a Fourth Reich.
Furthermore, conspiracy theorists, such as American writer Jim Marrs, claim that some ex-Nazis, who survived the fall of the Greater German Empire, along with sympathizers in the United States and elsewhere, given safe haven by organizations like ODESSA and Die Spinne, have been working behind the scenes since the end of World War II to enact at least some of the principles of Nazism (e.g. militarism, imperialism, widespread spying on citizens, use of corporations and propaganda to control national interests and ideas) into culture, government, and business worldwide, but primarily in the U.S.. They cite the influence of ex-Nazi scientists brought in under Operation Paperclip to help advance aerospace manufacturing in the U.S. with technological principles from Nazi UFOs, and the acquisition and creation of conglomerates by ex-Nazis and their sympathizers after the war, in both Europe and the U.S..
This neo-Nazi conspiracy is said to be animated by an "Iron Dream" in which the American Empire, having overthrown its Zionist Occupation Government, gradually establishes the Fourth Reich, formally known as the "Western Imperium", a pan-Aryan world empire modeled after Adolf Hitler's New Order and the religious aspects of Nazism, as the best hope for the survival of Western civilization under the threat of the Judeo-Masonic conspiracy. Conspiracy theorists therefore see history as a "war between secret societies" for control of a New World Order.
Skeptics argue that conspiracy theorists grossly overestimate the influence of ex-Nazis and neo-Nazis on American society, and point out that American imperialism, corporatocracy and political repression have a long history that predates World War II. Some political scientists, such as Sheldon Wolin, have expressed concern that the twin forces of democratic deficit and superpower status have paved the way in the U.S. for the emergence of an inverted totalitarianism which contradicts many principles of Nazism.
Since the late 1970s, extraterrestrials from other habitable planets or parallel dimensions (such as "Greys") and intraterrestrials from Hollow Earth (such as "Reptilians") have been included in the New World Order conspiracy, in more or less dominant roles, as in the theories put forward by American writers Stan Deyo and Milton William Cooper, and British writer David Icke.
The common theme in such conspiracy theories is that aliens have been among us for decades, centuries or millennia, but a government cover-up has protected the public from knowledge of ancient astronauts and an alien invasion. Motivated by speciesism, these aliens have been and are secretly manipulating developments and changes in human society in order to more efficiently control and exploit it. In some theories, alien infiltrators have taken human form and move freely throughout human society, even to the point of taking control of command positions in governmental, corporate, and religious institutions, and are now in the final stages of their plan to take over the world. A mythical covert government agency of the United States code-named Majestic 12 is often cited by conspiracy theorists as being the shadow government which collaborates with the alien occupation, in exchange for assistance in the development and testing of military "flying saucers" at Area 51, in order for U.S. armed forces to achieve full-spectrum dominance.
Skeptics, who adhere to the psychosocial hypothesis for unidentified flying objects, argue that the convergence of New World Order conspiracy theory and UFO conspiracy theory is a product of not only the era's widespread mistrust of governments and the popularity of the extraterrestrial hypothesis for UFOs but of the far right and ufologists actually joining forces. Barkun notes that the only positive side to this development is that, if conspirators plotting to rule the world are believed to be aliens, traditional human scapegoats (Freemasons, Illuminati, Jews, etc.) are downgraded or exonerated.
Brave New WorldEdit
Antiscience and neo-Luddite conspiracy theorists emphasize technology forecasting in their New World Order conpiracy theories. They speculate that the global power elite are modern Luciferians pursuing a transhumanist agenda to develop and use human enhancement technologies in order to become a "posthuman ruling caste", while change accelerates toward a technological singularity — a theorized future point of discontinuity when events will accelerate at such a pace that normal unenhanced humans will be unable to predict or even understand the rapid changes occurring in the world around them. Conspiracy theorists fear the outcome will either be the emergence of a Brave New World-like dystopia - a "Brave New World Order" - or the extinction of the human species.
Democratic transhumanists, such as American sociologist James Hughes, and singularitarians, such as American inventor Raymond Kurzweil, counter that many influential members of the American Establishment are bioconservatives strongly opposed to human enhancement, as demonstrated by President Bush's Council on Bioethics's proposed international treaty prohibiting human cloning and germline engineering. Regardless, transhumanists and singularitarians claim to only support developing and making publicly available technologies to eliminate aging and to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities for the common good; as well as taking deliberate action to ensure that the Singularity — the moment when technological progress starts being driven by superintelligence — occurs in a way that is beneficial to humankind.
Just as there are several overlapping or conflicting theories among conspiracists about the nature of the New World Order, so are there several beliefs about how its architects and planners will implement it:
Conspiracy theorists generally speculate that the New World Order is being implemented gradually, citing the formation of the U.S. Federal Reserve System in 1913; the International Monetary Fund in 1944; the United Nations in 1945; the World Bank in 1945; the World Health Organization in 1948; the European Union and the euro currency in 1993; the World Trade Organization in 1998; and the African Union in 2002 as major milestones.
An increasingly popular conspiracy theory among American paleoconservatives is that the hypothetical North American Union and the amero currency, proposed by the Council on Foreign Relations and its counterparts in Mexico and Canada, will be the next implementation of the New World Order. The theory holds that a group of shadowy and mostly nameless international elites are planning to replace the federal government of the United States with a transnational government. Therefore, conspiracy theorists believe the borders between Mexico, Canada and the United States are in the process of being erased, covertly, by a group of globalists whose ultimate goal is to replace national governments in Washington, D.C., Ottawa and Mexico City with a European-style political union and a bloated E.U.-style bureaucracy.
Skeptics argue that the North American Union exists only as a proposal contained in one of a thousand academic and/or policy papers published each year that advocate all manner of idealistic but ultimately unrealistic approaches to social, economic and political problems. Most of these get passed around in their own circles and eventually filed away and forgotten by junior staffers in congressional offices. Some of these papers, however, become touchstones for the conspiracy-minded and form the basis of all kinds of unfounded xenophobic fears especially during times of economic anxiety.
In March 2009, as a result of the financial crisis of 2007–2010, the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation have pressed for urgent consideration of a super-sovereign reserve currency and a U.N. panel has proposed greatly expanding the I.M.F.'s Special Drawing Rights. Conspiracy theorists have misinterpreted the proposal as vindication of their beliefs about a global currency for the New World Order.
Judging that both national governments and global institutions have proven ineffective in addressing worldwide problems that go beyond the capacity of individual nation-states to solve, some political scientists, such as Mark C. Partrige, argue that regionalism will be the major force in the coming decades, pockets of power around regional centers: Western Europe around Brussels, the Western Hemisphere around Washington, D.C., East Asia around Beijing, and Eastern Europe around Moscow. As such, the E.U., the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, and the G-20 will likely become more influential as time progresses. The question then is not whether global governance is gradually emerging, but rather how will these regional powers interact with one another.
American right-wing conspiracy theorists, especially those who joined the militia movement in the United States, speculate that the New World Order will be implemented through a dramatic coup d'état by a "secret team", using black helicopters, in the U.S. and other nation-states to bring about a totalitarian world government controlled by the United Nations and enforced by troops of foreign U.N. peacekeepers. Following the Rex 84 and Operation Garden Plot plans, this military coup would involve the suspension of the Constitution, the imposition of martial law, and the appointment of military commanders to head state and local governments and to detain dissidents.
These conspiracy theorists, who are all strong believers in a right to keep and bear arms, are extremely fearful that the passing of any gun control legislation will be later followed by the abolishment of personal gun ownership and a campaign of gun confiscation, and that the refugee camps of emergency management agencies such as F.E.M.A. will be used for the internment of suspected subversives, making little effort to distinguish true threats to the New World Order from pacifist dissidents.
Before year 2000 some survivalists wrongly believed this process would be set in motion by the predicted Y2K problem causing societal collapse. Since many left-wing and right-wing conspiracy theorists believe that the September 11 attacks were a false flag operation carried out by the United States intelligence community, as part of a strategy of tension to justify political repression at home and preemptive war abroad, they have become convinced that a more catastrophic terrorist incident will be responsible for triggering Executive Directive 51 in order to complete the transition to a police state.
Skeptics argue that unfounded fears about an imminent or eventual gun ban, military coup, internment, or U.N. invasion and occupation are rooted in an extremist form of constitutionalism but also an apocalyptic millenarianism which provides a basic narrative within the American political right, claiming that the idealized society (i.e. "Christian nation", constitutional republic of "sovereign citizens") is thwarted by subversive conspiracies of liberal secular humanists who want "Big Government" and globalists who plot on behalf of the New World Order.
Conspiracy theorists concerned with surveillance abuse believe that the New World Order is being implemented by the cult of intelligence at the core of the surveillance-industrial complex through mass surveillance and the use of Social Security numbers, the bar-coding of retail goods with Universal Product Code markings, and, most recently, RFID tagging via microchip implants. Skeptics warn that some consumer privacy advocates, such as Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre, who claim that corporations and government are planning to track every move of consumers and citizens with RFID as the latest step toward a 1984-like surveillance state, have become Christian conspiracy theorists who believe spychips must be resisted because they argue that modern database and communications technologies, coupled with point of sale data-capture equipment and sophisticated ID and authentication systems, now make it possible to require a biometrically associated number or mark to make purchases. They fear that the ability to implement such a system closely resembles the Number of the Beast prophesied in the Book of Revelation.
In January 2002, the Information Awareness Office (IAO) was established by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to bring together several DARPA projects focused on applying information technology to counter asymmetric threats to national security. Following public criticism that the development and deployment of these technologies could potentially lead to a mass surveillance system, the IAO was defunded by the United States Congress in 2003. The second source of controversy involved IAO’s original logo, which depicted the "all-seeing" Eye of Providence atop of a pyramid looking down over the globe, accompanied by the Latin phrase scientia est potentia (knowledge is power). Although DARPA eventually removed the logo from its website, it left a lasting impression on privacy advocates. It also inflamed conspiracy theorists, who misinterpret the "eye and pyramid" as the Masonic symbol of the Illuminati, an 18th-century secret society they speculate continues to exist and is plotting on behalf of a New World Order.
American historian Richard Landes, who specializes in the history of apocalypticism and was co-founder and director of the Center for Millennial Studies at Boston University, argues that new and emerging technologies often trigger alarmism among millenarians and even the introduction of Gutenberg's printing press in 1436 caused waves of apocalyptic thinking. The Y2K problem, bar codes and Social Security numbers all triggered end-time warnings which either proved to be false or simply were no longer taken seriously once the public became accustomed to these technologies. Civil libertarians argue that the privatization of surveillance and the rise of the surveillance-industrial complex in the United States does raise legitimate concerns about the erosion of privacy. However, skeptics of mass surveillance conspiracism caution that such concerns should be disentagled from secular paranoia about Big Brother or religious hysteria about the Antichrist.
Conspiracy theorists of the Christian right believe there is an ancient occult conspiracy — started by the first mystagogues of Gnosticism and perpetuated by their alleged esoteric successors, such as the Kabbalists, Cathars, Knights Templar, Rosicrucians, Freemasons, and, ultimately, the Illuminati — which seeks to subvert the Judeo-Christian foundations of the Western world and implement the New World Order through a New Age one-world religion that prepares the masses to embrace the imperial cult of the Antichrist. More broadly, they speculate that globalists who plot on behalf of a New World Order are directed by occult agencies of some sort: unknown superiors, spiritual hierarchies, demons, fallen angels or Lucifer. They believe that, like Nazi occultists, these conspirators use the power of occult sciences (numerology), symbols (Eye of Providence), rituals (Masonic degrees), monuments (National Mall landmarks), buildings (Manitoba Legislative Building) and facilities (Denver International Airport) to advance their plot to rule the world.
For example, in June 1979, an unknown benefactor under the pseudonym "R. C. Christian" had a huge granite megalith built in the U.S. state of Georgia, which acts like a compass, calendar, and clock. A message comprising ten guides is inscribed on the occult structure in many languages to serve as instructions for survivors of a doomsday event to establish a more enlightened and sustainable civilization than the one which was destroyed. The "Georgia Guidestones" have subsequently become a spiritual and political Rorschach test onto which any number of ideas can be imposed. Some New Agers and neo-pagans revere it as a ley-line power nexus while a few conspiracy theorists are convinced that they are engraved with the New World Order's anti-Christian "Ten Commandments". Should the Guidestones survive for centuries as their creators intended, many more meanings could arise, equally unrelated to the designer’s original intention.
Skeptics argue that the demonization of Western occultism by conspiracy theorists is rooted in religious intolerance but also in the same moral panics that have fueled witch trials in Early Modern Europe, and satanic ritual abuse allegations in the United States.
Conspiracy theorists believe that the New World Order will also be implemented through the use of population control in order to more easily monitor and control the movement of individuals. The means range from stopping the growth of human societies through reproductive health and family planning programs, which promote abstinence, contraception and abortion, or intentionally reducing the bulk of the world population through genocides by mongering unnecessary wars, plagues by engineering emergent viruses and tainting vaccines, and environmental disasters by controlling the weather (HAARP, chemtrails), etc.. The Codex Alimentarius, a collection of internationally recognized standards, codes of practice, guidelines and other recommendations relating to foods, food production and food safety, has also become the subject of conspiracy theories about population control through famines and foodborne diseases.
Skeptics argue that fears of mandated population control can be traced back to the traumatic legacy of the eugenics movement's "war against the weak" in the United States during the first decades of the 20th century but also the Second Red Scare in the U.S. during the late 1940s and 1950s, and to a lesser extent in the 1960s, when activists on the far right of American politics routinely opposed public health programs, notably water fluoridation, mass vaccination and mental health services, by asserting they were all part of a far-reaching plot to impose a socialist or communist regime. Their views were influenced by opposition to a number of major social and political changes that had happened in recent years: the growth of internationalism, particularly the United Nations and its programs; the introduction of social welfare provisions, particularly the various programs established by the New Deal; and government efforts to reduce perceived inequalities in the social structure of the U.S..
Social critics accuse governments, corporations, and the mass media of being involved in the manufacturing of a national consensus and, paradoxically, a culture of fear due to the potential for increased social control that a mistrustful and mutually fearing population might offer to those in power. The worst fear of some conspiracy theorists is that the New World Order will be implemented through the use of mind control — a broad range of tactics able to subvert an individual's control of his or her own thinking, behavior, emotions, or decisions. These tactics are said to include everything from Manchurian candidate-style brainwashing of sleeper agents (Project MKULTRA, "Project Monarch") to engineering psychological operations (water fluoridation, subliminal advertising, "Silent Sound Spread Spectrum", MEDUSA) and parapsychological operations (Stargate Project) to influence the masses. The concept of wearing a tin foil hat for protection from such threats has become a popular stereotype and term of derision; the phrase serves as a byword for paranoia and is associated with conspiracy theorists.
Skeptics argue that the paranoia behind a conspiracy theorist's obsession with mind control, population control, occultism, surveillance abuse, Big Business, Big Government, and globalization arises from a combination of two factors, when he or she: 1) holds strong individualist values and 2) lacks power. The first attribute refers to people who care deeply about an individual's right to make their own choices and direct their own lives without interference or obligations to a larger system (like the government). But combine this with a sense of powerlessness in one's own life, and one gets what some psychologists call "agency panic", intense anxiety about an apparent loss of autonomy to outside forces or regulators. When fervent individualists feel that they cannot exercise their independence, they experience a crisis and assume that larger forces are to blame for usurping this freedom.
According to Domhoff, many people seem to believe that the United States is ruled from behind the scenes by a conspiratorial elite with secret desires, i.e., by a small secretive group that wants to change the government system or put the country under the control of a world government. In the past the conspirators were usually said to be crypto-communist sympathizers who were intent upon bringing the United States under a common world government with the Soviet Union, but the dissolution of the U.S.S.R. in 1991 undercut that theory. Domhoff notes that most conspiracy theorists changed their focus to the United Nations as the likely controlling force in a New World Order, an idea which is undermined by the powerlessness of the U.N. and the unwillingness of even moderates within the American Establishment to give it anything but a limited role.
In the controversial 2008 book Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making, political scientist David Rothkopf argues that the world population of 6 billion people is governed by an elite of 6000 individuals. Until the late 20th century, governments of the great powers provided most of the superclass, accompanied by a few heads of international movements (i.e., the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church) and entrepreneurs (Rothschilds, Rockefellers). According to Rothkopf, in the early 21st century, economic clout — fueled by the explosive expansion of international trade, travel and communication — rules; the nation-state's power has diminished shrinking politicians to minority power broker status; leaders in international business, finance and the defense industry not only dominate the superclass, they move freely into high positions in their nations' governments and back to private life largely beyond the notice of elected legislatures (including the U.S. Congress), which remain abysmally ignorant of affairs beyond their borders. He asserts that the superclass' disproportionate influence over national policy is constructive but always self-interested, and that across the world, few object to corruption and oppressive governments provided they can do business in these countries.
Conspiracy theorists go further than Rothkopf, and other scholars who have studied the global power elite, by claiming that "bloodlines" of the superclass whose members belong to the Bilderberg Group, Bohemian Grove, Club of Rome, Council on Foreign Relations, Skull and Bones, Trilateral Commission, and similar think tanks and private clubs, are synarchists conspiring to create a totalitarian New World Order — the implementation of a bureaucratic collectivist world government through a strengthened United Nations and a global central bank to force humanity into permanent slavery.
Domhoff counters: The opponents are the corporate conservatives and the Republican Party, not the Council on Foreign Relations, Bilderbergers, and Bohemians. It is the same people more or less, but it puts them in their most important roles, as capitalists and political leaders, which are visible and legitimate... If thought of this way, then the role of a CFR as a place to try to hear new ideas and reach consensus is more readily understood, as is the function of a social club as a place that creates social cohesion. Moreover, those understandings of the CFR and the clubs fit with the perceptions of the members of the elite. Progressives, who are skeptical of conspiracy theories, also accuse the global power elite of not having the best interests of all at heart, and many intergovernmental organizations of suffering from a democratic deficit, but they argue that the superclass are plutocrats only interested in brazenly imposing a neoliberal or neoconservative new world order — the implementation of global capitalism through economic and military coercion to protect the interests of transnational corporations — which systematically undermines the possibility of a socialist one-world government. On the other hand, Marxists and anarchists, who believe the world is in the middle of a transition from the American Empire to the rule of a global ruling class that has emerged from within the American Empire, point out that right-wing conspiracy theorists, blinded by their anti-communism, fail to see is that what they demonize as the "New World Order" is, ironically, "Empire" — the highest stage of the very capitalist economic system they defend.
Skeptics of New World Order conspiracy theories accuse its proponents of indulging in the furtive fallacy, a belief that significant facts of history are necessarily sinister; conspiracism, a world view that centrally places conspiracy theories in the unfolding of history, rather than social and economic forces; and fusion paranoia, a promiscuous absorption of fears from any source whatsoever.
Domhoff, a research professor in psychology and sociology who studies theories of power, writes in a March 2005 essay entitled There Are No Conspiracies: There are several problems with a conspiratorial view that don't fit with what we know about power structures. First, it assumes that a small handful of wealthy and highly educated people somehow develop an extreme psychological desire for power that leads them to do things that don't fit with the roles they seem to have. For example, that rich capitalists are no longer out to make a profit, but to create a one-world government. Or that elected officials are trying to get the constitution suspended so they can assume dictatorial powers. These kinds of claims go back many decades now, and it is always said that it is really going to happen this time, but it never does. Since these claims have proved wrong dozens of times by now, it makes more sense to assume that leaders act for their usual reasons, such as profit-seeking motives and institutionalized roles as elected officials. Of course they want to make as much money as they can, and be elected by huge margins every time, and that can lead them to do many unsavory things, but nothing in the ballpark of creating a one-world government or suspending the constitution. Partridge, a contributing editor to the global affairs magazine Diplomatic Courier, writes in a December 2008 news article entitled One World Government: Conspiracy Theory or Inevitable Future?: I am skeptical that “global governance” could “come much sooner than that [200 years],” as Gideon posits. For one thing, nationalism—the natural counterpoint to global government—is rising. Some leaders and peoples around the world have resented Washington’s chiding and hubris over the past two decade of American unipolarity. Russia has been re-establishing itself as a “great power”; few could miss the national pride on display when China hosted the Beijing Olympics this summer; while Hugo Chavez and his ilk have stoked the national flames with their anti-American rhetoric. The departing of the Bush Administration could cause this nationalism to abate, but economic uncertainty usually has the opposite effect. [...] Another point is that attempts at global government and global agreements have been categorical failures. The WTO’s Doha Round is dead in the water, Kyoto excluded many of the leading polluters and a conference to establish a deal was a failure, and there is a race to the bottom in terms of corporate taxes—rather than an existing global framework. And, where supranational governance structures exist, they are noted for their bureaucracy and inefficiency: The UN has been unable to stop an American-led invasion of Iraq, genocide in Darfur, the slow collapse of Zimbabwe, or Iran’s continued uranium enrichment. That is not to belittle the structure, as I deem it essential, but the system’s flaws are there for all to see. Skeptics argue New World Order conspiracism leads people into cynicism, convoluted thinking, and a tendency to feel it is hopeless even as they denounce the alleged conspirators. Alternatively, they argue that right-wing populist movements galvanized by beliefs in a globalist conspiracy draw enormous amounts of energy and effort away from activism directed to real and ongoing crimes of state, and their institutional background.
Concerned that the apocalyptic millenarian theme in all conspiracy theories about a New World Order might motivate some to engage in leaderless resistance, which can encompass anything from patriot hacking to United States presidential assassination plots, Barkun writes: The danger lies less in such beliefs themselves ... than in the behavior they might stimulate or justify. As long as the New World Order appeared to be almost but not quite a reality, devotees of conspiracy theories could be expected to confine their activities to propagandizing. On the other hand, should they believe that the prophesied evil day had in fact arrived, their behavior would become far more difficult to predict. Berlet expounds: Right-wing populist movements can cause serious damage to a society because they often popularize xenophobia, authoritarianism, scapegoating, and conspiracism. This can lure mainstream politicians to adopt these themes to attract voters, legitimize acts of discrimination (or even violence), and open the door for revolutionary right-wing populist movements, such as fascism, to recruit from the reformist populist movements. Criticisms of New World Order conspiracy theorists also come from within their own community. Despite believing themselves to be "freedom fighters", many right-wing conspiracy theorists hold views that are incompatible with their professed libertarianism, such as eliminationism, dominionism, and white supremacism. This paradox has led Icke, who argues that Christian Patriots are the only Americans who understand the truth about the New World Order (which he believes is controlled by a race of reptilians known as the "Babylonian Brotherhood"), to reportedly tell a Christian Patriot group: I don't know which I dislike more, the world controlled by the Brotherhood, or the one you want to replace it with.
The following is a list of notable published non-fiction books by New World Order conspiracy theorists:
- Davison, Mary M.. The Profound Revolution. The Greater Nebraskan.
- Allen, Gary. None Dare Call It Conspiracy. Buccaneer Books. ISBN 0899666612.
- Allen, Gary. Rockefeller: Campaigning for the New World Order. American Opinion.
- Allen, Gary. Say "No!" to the New World Order. Concord Press.
- Abraham, Larry (1988) . Call it Conspiracy. Double a Publications. ISBN 0-9615550-1-7.
- Still, William T. (1990). New World Order: The Ancient Plan of Secret Societies. Huntington House Publishers. ISBN 0-910311-64-1.
- Cooper, Milton William (1991). Behold a Pale Horse. Light Technology Publications. ISBN 0-929385-22-5.
- Martin, Malachi (1991). Keys of This Blood: Pope John Paul II Versus Russia and the West for Control of the New World Order. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0671747231.
- Robertson, Pat (1992). The New World Order. W Publishing Group. ISBN 0-8499-3394-3.
- Wardner, James (1994) . The Planned Destruction of America. Longwood Communications. ISBN 0-9632190-5-7.
- Keith, Jim (1995). Black Helicopters over America: Strikeforce for the New World Order. Illuminet Press. ISBN 1-881532-05-4.
- Jones, Alan B. (2001) . Secrecy or Freedom?. ABJ Press. ISBN 0-9640848-2-1.
- Cuddy, Dennis Laurence (1999). Secret Records Revealed: The Men, The Money and The Methods Behind the New World Order. Hearthstone Publishing, Ltd.. ISBN 1-57558-031-4.
- Marrs, Jim (2001). Rule by Secrecy: The Hidden History That Connects the Trilateral Commission, the Freemasons, and the Great Pyramids. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-093184-1.
- Lina, Jüri (2002). Under the Sign of the Scorpion: The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Empire. Referent Publishing. ISBN 9197289779.
- Lina, Jüri (2004). Architects of Deception. Referent Publishing.
- Tedford, Cody (2008). Powerful Secrets. Hannover. ISBN 1-4241-9263-3.
In popular cultureEdit
Cultural critics, like Barkun, note that a vast popular audience has been introduced by some notable works of conspiracy fiction (novels, television series, and films) to various fringe theories related to New World Order conspiracism once confined to right-wing extremists. The following is a list in chronological order:
- Chris Carter's 1993-2008 The X-Files franchise
- Richard Donner's 1997 film Conspiracy Theory
- Warren Spector and Harvey Smith's 2000 action role-playing game Deus Ex
- Dan Brown's 2000 novel Angels & Demons
- Dan Brown's 2009 novel The Lost Symbol