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NOTE: The following contains information regarding conspiracy theories. These are regarded as urban legends, and do not reflect the views of this wiki as a whole. The content below is not meant to represent reality. Do not take these theories as fact without proper research.
Villain Overview
We have before us the opportunity to forge for ourselves and for future generations a new world order -- a world where the rule of law, not the law of the jungle, governs the conduct of nations. When we are successful -- and we will be -- we have a real chance at this new world order, an order in which a credible United Nations can use its peacekeeping role to fulfill the promise and vision of the U.N.'s founders.
~ United States President George H.W. Bush on September 11, 1991, in a speech given shortly after the commencement of Operation Desert Storm. Conspiracy theorists often claim that Bush is implying the creation of a one-world government in this speech.

In conspiracy theory, the term New World Order, or NWO (also commonly known as the Illuminati), are references to the emergence of a bureaucratic totalitarian one-world government.

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.

Alleged conspirators

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.
~ David Domhoff.

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.

Criticism

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.
~ Domhoff.

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.
~ Partridge.

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.
~ Barkun.

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.
~ Berlet.

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.
~ Icke.

Literature

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) [1971]. 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) [1993]. 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) [1997]. 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 culture

  • 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.
  • The New World has been mentioned in the song Illumunati by Gamma Ray.
  • The New World order also has a tribute video called "Illuminati Puppet Masters".

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