The Making of the New World Order
by Richard K. Moore
Toward Freedom magazine, May 1998
The dominant trend of our time is globalization, marked by
elimination of trade barriers,
downsized governments, greater reliance on the private sector,
reduced regulation of business, and an increasingly global economy.
Many people call that economic progress, but this form of globalization
is actually political regression, threatening to destroy democratic
institutions and revert to something resembling feudalism.
In some ways, the US is central to the process. It's the leading
free trade proponent, and provides the primary military muscle
to maintain global order. When the US president speaks on international
issues, his words are taken seriously. Yet, the US isn't the primary
beneficiary of globalization, and doesn't appear to be exploiting
its advantage in the traditional fashion.
The reason should be obvious: Globalization isn't about competition
among nations, it's about the increasing power of mega-corporations
over nations. In effect, the US government acts as a proxy for
elite corporate interests, not as a representative of its people
or even national interests in any conventional sense. Although
sovereign national states are the Familiar World Order, globalization
is leading us inexorably toward a New World Order where mega-corporations
(and the wealthy elite who control them) reign supreme, while
nations are reduced to a vestigial, subservient, policing role-as
seen in much of the Third World.
THE DEMOCRATIC ILLUSION
Under feudalism, there were three elites: the church hierarchy,
landed aristocracy/nobility, and royalty. As that system ended,
an additional elite-the business wealthy-gained influence through
trade and manufacture. These elites competed for power, with different
accommodations from time to time and place to place.
For the general population, the elites represented security
or tyranny, depending on your perceptive. But it was obvious that
they ran things; no one pretended society was democratic. With
the advent of 'democratic republics," the older elites were
ousted, while the business wealthy, who ushered in capitalism,
remained relatively undisturbed. Did this transformation bring
about genuine democracy, or merely monopolization of power in
the hands of the single remaining elite? The question remains
Although sentiment for independence in the American colonies
was minimal prior to the latter 18th century, objective conditions
made it a natural and comparatively non-disruptive step. The colonies
were largely self-governing and economically self-sufficient,
and had their own social identity, extensive trading fleets, and
considerable natural resources. Boston was the third busiest port
in the British Empire. The issue was independence, not a social
or political revolution. The colonial assemblies would presumably
continue afterward, with essentially the same leaders, and land
ownership and economic activity continuing basically as before.
However, industrial development would be possible and international
trade wouldn't be directly limited by the vagaries of British
imperial entanglements. The resources of the new continent could
be developed without sharing the spoils. For the elite, a divorce
from the empire represented profound, immediate economic opportunities.
Whatever one might think about the intentions of the (mostly
elite) Founding Fathers-or the theory of the Constitution-- US
history has been a see-saw battle for control between the people
and the capitalist elite. At times, as in the late 19th-century-robber-baron
era, the elite brazenly ruled. John. D. Rockefeller bragged about
how many government officials were "in his pocket."
At other times, as during Franklin Roosevelt's presidency, government
seemed more responsive to the needs and wishes of the general
Gradually, the US became an almost mystical symbol, complete
with fable-like imagery: the land of freedom and opportunity,
a "bastion of democracy" where the streets were "paved
with gold." People yearned to believe in this fairy tale
kingdom. In reality, its growth was largely achieved through periodic
There has been a significant war approximately 30 years, often
initiated (overtly or covertly) by the US, and usually sparking
a further expansion of US power and elite interests. Such aggression
isn't particularly uncommon among nations; what's different is
the propaganda mythology that successfully defined the US as acting
in defense of "freedom and democracy."
Repeatedly, the use of outrage-incidents triggered the war
spirit, and channeled the resulting wrath toward the nominated
enemy. It concentrated power in the executive branch, where elite
control is generally most undiluted by popular influence. This
process is exemplified by the Gulf of Tonkin incident, which enabled
full-scale US military involvement in Vietnam. The incident was
faked, but Congress promptly issued its knee jerk resolution,
authorizing the president to "act in defense." The "authorized
actions" were then incrementally escalated into a full-scale
war, with Congress having minimal additional influence and popular
will finding expression only in the streets. Even when the hoax
was exposed, it was too late to put the genie back in the bottle.
TOWARD GLOBAL DOMINANCE
The rise of communist and socialist movements following World
War I created considerable fear among elite capitalists. Marxist
ideology emphasized their tyrannical aspects, and issued a call
for solidarity among peasants and industrial workers, whom Marx
credited with creating all real wealth. Although simplistic, this
ideology took firm root in Russia and seemed poised to spread
In Germany, Italy, and Spain, anti-elite movements gained
popular strength under the banners of socialism, communism, or
anarchism. Thus, it wasn't surprising that the elites in those
and other countries welcomed and encouraged the rise of fascism,
which was virulently anti-communist, pro-capitalist, and willing
to brutally suppress any opposition.
Hitler began his political career as an operative of German
military intelligence and received funding and support from Western
industrialists. While in prison, writing Mein Kampf he kept a
portrait of Henry Ford on his desk. Mein Kampf made it unambiguous
that Hitler's primary objective was the subjugation and economic
exploitation of Russia.
By ignoring their own prohibition on German re-armament, the
Western elite collaborated with Hitler in developing an invasion
force targeted on socialism's bastion. Meanwhile, it uneasily
watched Japan's growing economic power and imperial scope.
The latter was a significant threat. Not only would Asian
market and investment opportunities be highly curtailed, but Japan
would be dislodging the West from its role as collective master
of the seas and arbiter of global imperial arrangements.
The US handled this complex situation with finesse and subtlety,
guided by a strategic vision unsurpassed by the imperial masterminds
of any previous age. The war-popularizing incident was the Japanese
strike on the US Pacific fleet, sparked by the cut off of Japanese
oil supplies, which the US convinced Holland to undertake. President
Roosevelt feigned surprise and outrage, and the most formidable,
popularly supported military crusade of all time was launched.
By end of the war, the US was very close to global hegemony.
It had the run of the seven seas, an intact military machine and
national infrastructure, a monopoly on nuclear weapons, greatly
expanded influence in the oil-rich Middle East, and the lion's
share of the world's disposable wealth and industrial capacity.
With most of the rest of the world in shambles, deep debt, and/or
under occupation, the US had the prestige, power, and resources
to guide the construction of post-war arrangements largely according
to its own designs.
RISE OF THE MEGACORPS
Following the war, the US-led Western elite drew a line on
the globe, demarking the part they dominated. The "free world"
(doublespeak for "elite-controlled zone") was organized
into a new kind of investment realm, while much of the "free"
population was systematically subjected to military dictatorships
responsive to elite interests. The doublespeak usage of "freedom,"
originating during the American Revolution, had been globalized.
Meanwhile, the "communist bloc" (doublespeak for "beyond
elite control") was contained: ostracized, pestered by provocative
military deployments, and subjected to chronic economic destabilization
via the "arms race," expensive brushfire engagements,
and trade restrictions. However, rather than using its strength
to establish a traditional imperial system, with Europe relegated
to a secondary position and Japan kept underdeveloped, the US
implemented a bold new global scheme: collective imperialism.
Under a Pax Americana military umbrella, an international economic
infrastructure was established (IMF, World Bank et al). Investment
and trade were free to flow, increasingly, around the "free"
world, without the territorial partitions imposed by a competitive
European imperial system. For the ax-colonies (soon to be dubbed
the Third World"), the result was domination by the capital
elite, rather than the business interests of a single national
This semi-homogenized, semi-pacified, investment environment
enabled large corporations to develop global operations. Thus
arose the era of megacorps-mammoth corporations with wealth and
influence comparable to nations. Beyond any sense of home-nation
loyalty, megacorps view regulations and trade barriers as provincial
interference. Their needs and demands are usually the hidden agenda
behind Western policies.
This is a new species of political entity, in direct competition
with its ancestor, the modern nation state. Born out of limited-liability
laws, nurtured by capitalist culture, and lacking any natural
sense of limits, megacorps extend themselves like cancer cells,
poisoning their host planet in the process. Their motivation is
to increase their market value on behalf of their owners.
What would be the nature of a megacorp-governed world? There's
no need to speculate: We can simply look at Third-World countries.
What we see are minimal regulation and taxation of megacorp activities,
along with repressive regimes subsidized, armed, and otherwise
bolstered by outside elite interests.
THE NEOLIBERAL REVOLUTlON
In 1980, a new phase of consolidation was launched in the
US and Britain under the stage management of Ronald Reagan and
Margaret Thatcher. The platform of the "neoliberal revolution"
was lower corporate taxes, reduced corporate regulation, privatization
of public services, elimination of international trade barriers,
and the self-demonization of democratic political institutions.
"The only good government is less government" became
the kamikaze agenda.
This amounts to a wholesale transference of power, assets,
and sovereignty into megacorp hands, embezzlement on the grandest
scale ever attempted. Public lands, rights, responsibilities,
and assets are passed into private hands at undervalued prices-without
effective public oversight. Government itself is being dismantled.
By rights, neoliberalism's public leaders ought to be indicted
for conspiracy and high treason. Their revolution represents a
declaration that nation states are no longer the tools of power,
and that megacorps are the primary vehicle for wealth accumulation
and organizing global society.
And they're making it clear that First World nations and their
populations are no longer privileged partners in the game. To
this end, international arrangements such as the WTO, IMF, World
Bank, NAFTA, and GATT ensure that economic, social, and political
polices can be dictated globally by corporate-dominated commissions.
Megacorps and their commissions are controlled directly by the
elite. There are no democratic mechanisms and no pretense that
they represent the "will of the people." Democracy,
the scam which unleashed capitalism, has finally become a direct
hindrance to elite hegemony.
A significant difference between the neoliberal and American
revolutions is the lack of emphasis on democracy and freedom.
Today's promises are related mainly to "opportunity."
People are encouraged to assume that democracy is a fact of life,
an unshakable institution, secure from any fatal dangers. We're
also encouraged to view capital exploitation as a sign of democracy,
particularly in formerly socialist states. As citizens there suffer
under intentionally destabilized economies, megacorps organize
exploitive infrastructures. Meanwhile, we're told that the locals
are simply "slow to adapt."
Traditionally in "democracies," police forces are
small and order arises from the spirit of citizenship. But under
neoliberalism, abandonment of public services is depressing satisfaction'
while the de-emphasis of nationalist ideology is undermining civic
identity and voluntary compliance. The elite understands that,
as living standards decline in once-prosperous nations, more economic
suffering and political discontent are inevitable. Not surprisingly,
police-state systems are growing, and an intense propaganda campaign
is underway regarding crime, its causes, and cures. More police,
longer sentences, and more prisons are the elite's answer to the
question of public order.
The nature of the US penal system is changing. As prison construction
becomes the largest growth industry, a formidable capacity is
being built. Prisons are literally becoming the concentration
camps of the neoliberal regime, places to isolate those redundant
to corporate needs. But never wanting to waste an exploitable
resource, the elite are also developing an extensive prison labor
system, renting out inmates to fill lower-rung labor needs. This
growing network of slave-labor concentration camps has escaped
public notice. So, too, has its racial and ethnic bias.
THE WORLD COP
If nations are to be weakened, from where will the armies
come to maintain the New World Order? Nationalist spirit has been
central to modern war efforts. How can a disenfranchised, betrayed
populace be expected to rally "to the defense" when
the elite need them? Who will maintain the infrastructure for
weapons systems and delivery? What will be the command structure,
and on behalf of what political entity will military operations
occur? Finally, what about public opinion? The myth of democracy
requires that some degree of popular sentiment be roused for dramatic
The Gulf "War" and its aftermath demonstrated how
the elite plans to deal with some of these problems. The episode
set major historic precedents, establishing new paradigms for
global propaganda, weapons technology, blitzkrieg tactics, and
international law. It planted in the public mind the principle
that the US has a justifiable global policing role, and exported
to the global stage its traditional war-incident scenario.
Technologically, it was a field test of new weapons systems.
Precise night operations, stealth defenses, guided weapons, satellite
navigation, cruise missiles, bulldozers as mass murder devices,
air-fuel explosives, uranium-weighted shells, anti-nerve gas vaccinations-
an entire new generation of weaponry was tested on a modern, supposedly
well-armed, industrial nation. With almost no loss of life in
the elite forces, Iraq's infrastructure was systematically destroyed
and its population subjected to relentless terrorism.
Technology helps solve the problem posed by the demise of
strong nationalism, which formerly provided large, motivated armies.
By emphasizing hi-tech weapons, operated from safe havens, and
using blitzkrieg tactics, the length of the intervention was minimized,
the number of casualties (on the elite side) kept low, and the
need for a large, non-professional army reduced.
The war-provoking incident-Iraq's invasion of Kuwait-was brought
about by Kuwait's economically provocative oil-dumping policy,
followed by a "go signal" from the US secretary of state
regarding Iraq's invasion. Once the incident occurred, outrage
and surprise were feigned, and a world-wide media/lobbying campaign
was launched to cajole UN approval of US military action. Saddam
Hussein was quickly assigned the role of Hitleresque madman. The
US launched a military campaign of its own design, and-as with
the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution-UN approval was a blank check.
This precedent established itself firmly on the media-managed
"world stage." Since then, the US has all but been handed
the official title of "Judge Dredd"-judge, jury, and
executioner of international law-and US intervention is no longer
UNRAVELING THE BIG LIE
If the New World Order becomes completely operational, overall
policies will be set by non-elected, corporate-dominated commissions;
the world's economy, information, and working conditions will
be managed by megacorps; governmental functions will be reduced
to administrative matters and police management. And all this
will be enforced by an elite-dominated strike force built around
the US military and NATO.
The US has a unique role only partly due to its position as
the dominant military power. It also reflects the fact that, compared
to other First-World countries, it's the most thoroughly captured
by megacorp interests. And the US people, in their habitual credulity,
are the most effectively mesmerized by media mythology. It's almost
a "safe house" for NWO operations.
There is only a brief window of opportunity in which First-World
populations can reclaim their paper democracies, through intensive
political organizing and the creation of broad coalition movements.
But such an unprecedented peaceful revolution will only become
possible if people wake up to the true nature of the threat.
Given the dire consequences of globalization, the widespread
acclaim for its steady progress is somewhat remarkable. The credit
goes to the sophistication and pervasiveness of the accompanying
propaganda campaign, plus the absence of effective forums for
alternate perspectives. If a Big Lie is repeated often and loudly
enough, people will eventually believe it.
In countering globalization rhetoric, therefore, perhaps the
most powerful argument regards the corruption of governments and
politicians. Although we're reminded daily of it, we're rarely
informed that political corruption is really the illegal intrusion
of the corporate elite into the political process. But if enough
people realize this, it will no longer be as easy for global corporatization
to pose as a "solution" to the problem.
Richard K Moore, a former software developer, lives in Ireland,
where he is developing a book on globalization and moderates cyberjournal@cpsr