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Depending on one's world view, the phrase "New World Order" can characterize one's optimistic view of global cooperation, or one's negative view of a globally centralized, oppressive government. For some, it refers to a conspiracy that suggests that secret societies within all governments seek to create a one-world government that will significantly affect the freedom of citizens in individual countries or states. Establishments like the League of Nations and the European Union are seen as trending toward the New World Order. Some conspiracy theorists believe that part of the way in which this will be established is through mind control, both subliminal as in media, and direct.
Those who believe that a New World Order is being established point to many events in history that suggest a trend toward a single government world. First, they believe that many symbols on American currency are an attempt to subtly promote the a single government. Conspiracy theorists point to symbols common to the Masons, like the eye on top of the pyramid on the one-dollar bill.
A few milestones in history that some believe are the foundations for the New World Order are the following:
There are many other factors which people believe point to a subliminal effort to promote the New World Order. There are also many people who blame one group or another for attempting to promote it. Those who are anti-Semitic may consider Jewish people as attempting to establish a New World Order. People who are extremely leftist in their politics claim that it is primarily being established by the very wealthy.
Pat Buchanan, who published a book The New World Order in 1991, asserts a fundamentalist Christian view that groups like the World Trade Organization are establishing this single government, and that it will specifically be anti-Christian. He also asserts that it is being founded by Satanists or those influenced by Satan.
Opponents of President George W. Bush believe that the Iraq war is a purposeful attempt to make the US superior to all other nations. They believe that any objection to a nation's method of rule by Americans would be met with military force.
The theories about who is behind the New World Order expand exponentially beyond these aforementioned examples. Not all people feel that such an order, or a single governing force, would be a terrible thing. Some feel that the only way to address significant problems in exceptionally poor countries is by having a united world, a single tax system and equivalent aid and freedom to all. Many science fiction novels, films and TV series depict a beneficial New World Order.
For example, Star Trek predicts a universe where the world is part of the United Federation of Planets and under a single rule. H.G. Wells’ book, The New World Order greatly supports a single world government though he predicts that some will find the first few years of a such a government quite challenging and trying.
Many works of written and filmed fiction depict this type of government in an extremely negative light. Films with representations of oppression caused by it include V for Vendetta and Serenity. Novels like 1984 and Brave New World depict a single government that rules by oppression and by killing those in opposition to its goals.
@croydon - I don't think that's actually a new world order though. It's more of a "scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" deal if it exists in any kind of organized form at all.
Honestly, I don't really care all that much if there is a shadow government or whatever it's supposed to be. Most of the time it feels like voting is pointless anyway, so finding out it is literally pointless wouldn't be a big surprise.
@pastanaga - I think it's definitely plausible that there might be a group of people out there calling all the shots. I just think those people are probably businessmen of some kind rather than politicians. I mean, when you look at how few people there actually are at the top of mega-corporations it doesn't seem far-fetched to me that they will occasionally arrange things among themselves to ensure they get richer.
I actually think I prefer the idea of the Illuminati because at least there seems to be some real thought about the future in their plans. Big business doesn't care about any future beyond the next payoff.
I've only ever heard this term said in a negative sense, to the point where I actually didn't even associate it with the UN or other co-operative peace-keeping organizations. I thought it was only referring to a kind of antiquated conspiracy theory about the Iluminati and their new world order that was going around in the 50's or 60's.
I've always kind of subscribed to the idea that if there actually was a super-secret world government they would be doing a better job. I mean, honestly, most governments can't even keep basic leaks from happening, I seriously doubt that anyone could manage a massive cover-up that a real plan for a new world order would require. Not to
mention that in the modern age it's even more impossible to keep things secret.
I think it gives people comfort to imagine that there is a vast conspiracy and that's why things go wrong. But the truth is that they go wrong precisely because there is no overarching law or government that individual tyrants and big companies have to answer to.