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The New World Order is a conspiracy theory that a powerful group is in control of the world, or on the verge of gaining such control.
Origin of the phrase
The phrase "New World Order" most likely first appeared in 1940, when it was the title of the book The New World Order by H.G. Wells. "New World Order" was also used that same year in an essay by occultist writer Alice Bailey which was included in her posthumously published 1957 compilation The Externalisation of the Heirarchy. To both Wells and Bailey the term meant a benevolent social democracy that would soon emerge. Conspiracy theorists however believe the term goes back earlier to Cecil Rhodes and Lionel Curtis circa 1909.
Its popularization among conspiracy theorists can be traced to over thirty years ago when "New World Order" appeared in the 1972 book None Dare Call It Conspiracy by Gary Allen, a John Birch Society writer. Allen claimed it to be the "code word" which the International Communist ConspiracyTM would use when they were ready to unveil their secret plans for a socialist world government. This book was widely read in right-wing conspiracy-minded circles during the 1970s and is probably the source of the hysteria that later erupted over the term.
The first high-profile use of "New World Order" by a politician was in a speech given by George H. W. Bush after the Cold War ended. In that speech, Bush was explaining that, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States and Russia would cooperate, rather than compete. All international relations experts agree that at that point, the old order of bipolarity had ended, and a new system was coming into place. The exact nature of the new system has been greatly debated over the years.
As outlined below, the meaning for conspiracy theorists went in a different direction.
Meaning for conspiracy theorists
The New World Order conspiracy started as an extension of old John Birch Society conspiracy theories about the role of the United Nations. This theory claimed that the United Nations was merely a tool of the Communists, and that the end goal was the complete subjugation of the United States to the United Nations. This would then set up a world government in which all of the freedoms that Americans hold dear would be abolished. Usually, top American officials were claimed to be in on the conspiracy.
As usual with conspiracy theories, there are many contradictory variations on the theory. The most popular variation used to maintain that international bankers (read: Jews) were pulling the strings in both the US and the USSR. Others of a more obvious racist bent claimed that Zionists were the ones responsible. As many conspiracy theorists also believe that the Jews are responsible for either the banks or Communism (or both), these three strands are often woven together into a completely ridiculous whole.
Supporters of this theory can say to a certain degree who is part of it but nobody can determine who isn't part of the NWO. International organizations such as the World Bank, IMF, European Union, the United Nations, and NATO are often listed as core NWO organizations. Presidents and prime ministers of nations are routinely included in the conspiracy. A slightly different version of the NWO theory goes as far as saying that these families and persons are all part of the same bloodline. Most prominent families such as the Rockefellers, Morgans, and Du Ponts, as well as European monarchs, are said to be important members as well. Specifically, the Rothschild family is often accused of being among the masterminds.
Some versions of the theory are just reworkings of the old Illuminati conspiracy theory, in which a secret society is said to be working behind the scenes for world domination or some other nefarious purpose. Sometimes the Illuminati may be explicitly mentioned in these versions of the theory. Other versions will reference more recent groups of which the Trilateral Commission and the Bilderberg Group (which, unlike the Illuminati, actually do exist) are commonly mentioned. Freemasons are also regularly cited as perpetuating a conspiracy for world domination. Many manifestations of the NWO theory characterise it is an international Jewish conspiracy, though others see conspiracy leadership elsewhere and are not explicitly anti-Semitic.
It is because the NWO has limitless power and is worldwide in reach that it can be alleged to have been behind just about any event anywhere. This makes it less of a conspiracy theory than a framework into which any conspiracy theory can be shoehorned (a "super-conspiracy theory"). This also commonly involves a belief in pseudohistories (usually ripped off from the cranks of yesteryear) in an attempt to explain the origins of the NWO. For example, more modern incarnations of the NWO theory often draw on older Freemason and Illuminati theories and claim that groups like the Bilderbergs grew out of these earlier conspiracies.
The conspiracy theory remained marginal until the 1990s, and the growth of the Internet. At that point, the theorists started to see Bill Clinton as the biggest pawn of the NWO. The events at both Ruby Ridge and Waco were considered part of the attempt to remove American liberties pursuant to an eventual takeover by either FEMA or the UN. During this era, the theory was most closely connected to certain paleoconservatives. Pat Robertson gave a boost to belief in the theory with his 1992 book The New World Order. Increasingly preposterous variations on the theory proliferated during the early-to-mid 1990s, such as allegation that mysterious fleets of black helicopters were being prepared for military occupation of the U.S.
Out of one, many
As is typical of many conspiracy theories, there is not one theory but several contradictory ones.
Because of the various contradictory theories it is a good idea to get a New World Order conspiracy theorist to explicitly state which particular "theory" he is backing. There are two reasons for this:
- Amateur conspiracy theorists are usually not very bright and frequently don't know much about their own theory, and consequently can't give a direct answer - only that there must be a conspiracy.
- In the event that the person does have a clear idea, you obviously must know which one they support so as not to waste your time talking about another one.
NWO theories today
It is hard to imagine any US president giving up American sovereignty to any organization, particularly the UN. However, some especially paranoid conservatives and libertarians believe that now that the Democrats are in power, it's only a matter of time until a socialist one-world government is instated and American sovereignty is given up. Dissenters would naturally have to be controlled or eliminated somehow.
It is believed that there are to be numerous internment camps located within the United States and that these internment camps will start being seen as signs before any action is taken. These camps are to be used to store any Americans who protest or give any sort of fight against the Secret Service Guard that is to be used to control the population and new laws.
The version found on the religious right mixes the conservative tropes with biblical end times prophecies. The general theme is that the anti-christ will come to Earth as the head of the UN and use it to implement a world government.
In the most recent, more liberal version, instead of the UN taking sovereignty away from the US, the US (through the UN) plans to conquer the entire world. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are thus believed to be the first stages in that plan. In this version, it is the neocons who are the masters behind the NWO.
Another version of this from the left stems from the anti-globalization movement, in which transnational corporations will implement global corporate governance. This form of the conspiracy is where left and right often bleed together as right-wing populist and producerist views oppose globalization as well. This can be seen in third positionism and the political campaigns of Lyndon LaRouche.
UFOs and the NWO
The New World Order conspiracy has gained currency within the UFO sub-culture as well. In this form of the conspiracy, the aliens are actually in control of the secret cabal running the NWO or are shapeshifters taking the form of world leaders. This also usually involves theorized cover-ups of Area 51, Roswell, and the forged "Majestic 12" documents as part of the NWO conspiracy.
Much of the imagined evidence for the theory rests on the symbolism found on various items, such as the Great Seal of the United States and other items on the US one dollar bill, and their supposed connections with ancient symbols of evil or the Masons. The phrase "novus ordo secolorum," which appears on the Great Seal and one dollar bill, is often mistranslated as "new world order" in order to boost this theory, but the actual translation is "new order of the ages."
Much is often made of the recurrence of 13, which is connected to the ancient witches' covens or the Masons. Other examples include strange murals in the Denver International Airport, Masonic signs on buildings (particularly in Washington DC) and pentagrams worked into city plans.
This, of course, neglects the importance of the 13 Colonies to the founders of the United States. On the other hand, this could be subject to still more paranoia. The question of why an organisation bent on ruling the world without anybody knowing would then proceed to plaster its logo over everything is generally ignored.
The lack of concrete evidence of plotting or of actions taken by the NWO is usually ascribed to the skill of the plotters in covering up such activities.
The idea that the US, which is notoriously bad at keeping secrets, would be able to hide a conspiracy of this magnitude is simply absurd. When one further considers the current antipathy felt between some of the leaders of the UN and the US and you have a theory that really is laughable. The US and UN cannot even agree on any of the basic accords that come before the UN, with the US often either trying to push activities that the rest of the UN blocks or else vetoing activities that the rest of the UN believes in.
In order to explain the above believers claim that the US deliberately humiliated itself by releasing its own secrets in an effort to give the impression that it can't keep them - and this is a cover for the real secrets which it can keep. A similar argument is made about the antipathy felt between the leaders of the UN and the US.
Yes, they seriously claim that all evidence to the contrary is disinformation. This means that the theory is impossible to falsify.
...But then again, that's what they want you to think, isn't it?
Not to be confused with . . .
- New Order
- Nude Whirled Odor (it exists, really!)
- The real nWo, a wrestling stable consisted, at various times, of Hollywood Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Ted DiBiase, The Giant, nWo Sting (Jeff Farmer), Syxx, Vincent, Miss Elizabeth, Eric Bischoff, Nick Patrick, Buff Bagwell, V.K.Wallstreet, Masahiro Chono, Big Bubba Rogers, Scott Norton, Kyle Petty, Randy Savage, Dennis Rodman, The Great Muta, Konnan, Curt Hennig, Rick Rude, Brian Adams, The Disciple, Dusty Rhodes, Scott Steiner, Hiro Saito, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima, AKIRA, Tatsutoshi Goto, Michiyoshi Ohara, Big Titan, Horace Hogan, Stevie Ray, Bret Hart, Lex Luger, David Flair, Jeff Jarrett, the Harris brothers and Louie Spicolli. They are actually the shady cabal that rules the world, and can be identified by their nWo tag. "F-f-f-FOR LIFE".
- The song by Ministry, which achieved some success before Al Jourgensen disappeared into his crack pipe.
- Alex Jones
- Council on Foreign Relations
- David Icke
- Federal Reserve
- List of conspiracy theories
- Moral panic
- North American Union
- Useless eaters
- Infowars, a conspiracy theorist website about the New World Order.
- The Brotherhood and the Manipulation of Society, a fairly typical variation of the theory, with some spiritual woo thrown in too.
- "Conjuring order: The new world order and conspiracy theories of globalization" by Alisdair Spark. (Found in The age of anxiety: conspiracy theory and the human sciences, ed. Jane Parish)
- Patriot Paranoia: A Look at the Top Ten Conspiracy Theories, Southern Poverty Law Center
- Rage Grows in America: Anti-Government Conspiracy Theories, Anti-Defamation League report, Nov. 2009
- Christians & Conspiracy Theories: A Call to Repentance (theological debunking of the Christian brand of the theories)
- Death to the New World Order, BBC
- Interview with Michal Barkun
- The Beaver Militia
- Yahoo Answers - Yes, Virginia there is a New World Order
- Uncyclopedia's parody of the New World Order.
- ↑ Clip of "New World Order" speech.
- ↑ Examples of the US's inability to keep secrets include Watergate, the Pentagon Papers, the Downing Street memo, the black ops sites of the CIA, and the involvement by the CIA in the overthrow of several regimes.
- ↑ For examples of this, see the US efforts to stop the violence in Darfur or engage in sanctions against Iran, or conversely, the US's resistance to a climate change treaty or to criticism of Israel.