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New World Order
On January 16, 1991, as American aircraft bombed Baghdad in the dawn hours of the 1st Gulf War, President George H. W. Bush gave a lecture announcing a “New World Order,” in which a coalition of business countries would counter army aggression on the side of 3rd World nations around the world. Familiar phrases of this sort have for ages been a staple of American political speechmaking, and Bush and his speechwriters were potentially scared to find that inside months this phrase had turned into a factor in conspiracy concepts around the globe.
The phrase “New World Order” basically surfaced years before in the papers of John Birch Society founder Robert Welch. Once a fervent anticommunist, Welch saw conservative Republicans turn against his organization and embrace measures that, at least in his opinion, surrendered America to red rule. His face-off with the scribblings of eighteenth-century Illuminati hunters Augustin de Barruel and John Robison, and their early twentieth-century supporters like Nesta Webster, explained why : conservatives approximately liberals were fools or enthusiastic participants in an all-encompassing conspiracy.
The confusing “Insiders” who directed the plot, he thought, targeted at a world police state in which wedding, faith, personal property, and individual liberty would be annulled. In 1972, he started using “New World Order” to explain the Insiders ‘ goal.
Under Welch’s leadership, the John Birch Society turned into a major seedbed of conspiracy idea and played a vital role in propagating the specific hidden order mythology of the late 20th century : the assumption that a single omnipotent clandestine society already controls the planet’s executives and industrial systems, and is just waiting for the perfect time to cast apart the semblance of democracy and wield brazenly the power it now exercises stealthily. These concepts derive from the Theosophical belief in the Great White Lodge, the good secret central authority of the planet. Antisemitic circles in late nineteenth-century Europe fused this with the conservative fear of liberal secret societies to form the story of a single conspiracy for world domination. This provided the core theme to the Customs of the Elders of Zion, the most scandalous work of antisemitic literature in the 20th century.
Welch himself declined antisemitism, but almost all of his declarations about the Insiders simply repeat material from the Customs . Writers who helped Welch put this mythology into circulation included Gary Allen, Des Griffin, and A.
Ralph Epperson among others, and most got their start in the John Birch Society’s mag American Standpoint. Gary Allen, a standard American Opinion contributor, was very influential in the development of the New World Order concept. He disagreed in his None Dare Call It Conspiracy ( 1971 ) the “world supra-government” behind the coming worldwide police state was lead by global banking families and controlled thru the Council on Foreign Relations ( CFR ), a New York-based think-tank set up in 1923 and supported by Rockefeller money. Allen’s concept was swiftly adopted across the far right and became the root of many books exposing the purported maneuvering of the CFR and its members. Suddenly , these claims also found a hearing at the other end of the political range, where the breakdown of the New Left in the early 1970s left many activists looking out for a new ideology to replace Marxism. They found it in books like Laurence Shoup and William Minter’s Imperial Brain Trust ( 1977 ) and Holly Sklar’s Trilateralism ( 1980 ), which highlighted the CFR and its offshoot, the Trilateral Commission, as the concealed hands behind company imperialism in the post-Second World War world. Later works from either side of the political range drew in other familiar conspiracy speculation names , for example the Council of three hundred. Well before 1991, then, the phrase “New World Order” had become a buzz word among both left- and right-wing conspiracy theoreticians. Many items published in the 1980s even said the phrase might be found on the back of the US buck bill.
The opposite of the Great Seal of the U. S. shows a pyramid topped by an eye in a triangle, and the Latin words NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM underneath ; the phrase really means “A new order for the ages” but can simply be misread “New World Order” or “New Secular Order” by those with a dickey grip on Latin.
So when President Bush selected that phrase to border his ambitions for a Pax Americana in the aftermath of the Soviet collapse and Iraq’s defeat, the conspiracy-minded took it as an assurance of their greatest fears. Bush was himself an affiliate of the CFR and past director of the CIA. Their claims were increased when Francis Fukuyama, a State Dept. worker with close ties to the administration, released The End of History?, a manifesto announcing the permanent ascendancy of company capitalism and Republican politics as the final result of human history.
To adherents of conspiracy ideas, Fukuyama’s members club Paradise looked like an indoctrination release on the side of the long awaited world dictatorship. In the meantime an increasing number of Christian loonies were jumping aboard the New World Order bandwagon. The overlap between John Birch Society political conservatives and conscientiously electrified social conservatives had always been enormous, and countless figures on the radical fringe of the fundamentalist movement had adopted Welch’s research in the decades before 1990.
After Bush’s speech nevertheless, such talk speedily moved out of the fringes into the fundamentalist main line.
Fundamentalist minister ( and presidential applicant ) Pat Robertson showed the way with a top selling book, The New World Order ( 1991 ), that fused the John Birch Society concept of “Insiders” with Christian apocalyptical mythology. In Robertson’s view, Adam Weishaupt and the Bavarian Illuminati were Satanists who began the Rothschild banking family into occultism and used their money to launch the French Revolution as the 1st move in a plot against Christianity in preparation for the approaching of the Antichrist. In this fashion Robertson imported the whole body of twentieth-century conspiracy speculation into the fundamentalist sub culture. Even before Robertson’s book made it preferred, an increasing number of fundamentalist writers had welcomed modern conspiracy concept and changed it to fit their spiritual convictions. The great alternative-history publishing industry, with its keenness for reinterpreting Christian origins, was customized for this project. Hottest books like the Holy Blood and the Ultimate Prize disagreed for the existence of a secret subculture of noble families hiding a non secular custom at percentages with Christian orthodoxy ; in the hands of fundamentalist writers these became the “black nobility,” a coalition of noblemen in the service of the Antichrist. The fundamentalist adoption of New World Order language was very far from the strangest redoing of the New World Order idea. David Icke, an ex BBC soccer writer and Green Party applicant turned conspiracy hunter, exploded onto the scene in 1995 with the first one in a series of books saying the New World Order was under the control over alien reptiles. According to Icke, a gang of classy families, descended from lizards from another dimension, controlled the world in secret.
As this last example counsels, the belief in an approaching New World Order has long since passed beyond the world of history into the worlds of religion and mythic symbolism, where the fact the New World Order never manages to arrive can’t slake the conviction of the true. It in addition has come to play an industrial role as a good selling novelty to raise sales of attack rifles and survivalist gear. These elements make it likely the New World Order mythology may continue to unfold in the years to come.