by Steven Yates
"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"
~ the Wizard, to Dorothy The Wizard of Oz
These days I get quite a bit of email, some of it from readers of my columns here on LewRockwell.com. Judging from the vast majority of the responses, it is gratifying to know that however politically correct the dominant culture gets, there is intelligent life on the Internet. I try to answer whatever is sent my way personally. I don't always succeed. A few of my articles have elicited as many as 60 emails in less than 24 hours, and for one or two, the number went well over a hundred. When this happens, demands on my time don't permit me to reply to everyone; I'm a "one man operation" here, and nothing else would get done. I sincerely regret this, but I do read everything sent to me. Eventually.
One of those unanswered waifs concerned an article I wrote a few months back on Carroll Quigley's detailed documentation of the rise of what some of us have been calling the New World Order: a diabolical triad of global government, global economics (masquerading under such labels as “free trade”), and global, ecumenical religion (which would be resolutely hostile to Christianity). This article was one that received a flood of email. I answered what I could, but at some point had to give up. Received long after this point was a brief missive with two questions: “What's wrong with the New World Order?” And then: “Don't you think it will make the world a better place for the majority of people on the planet?”
On the one hand, these questions are refreshingly direct. On the other, they are scary. After the past ten years researching political correctness and turning up abundant evidence of increasing control of global politics, financial resources and information by a superelite with no loyalty to anything except money and power, I receive a well-meaning query from someone who not only senses no danger but wonders if such control might not be a good thing. There are no doubt others who believe that if we could just set aside all the differences represented by such things as national boundaries and regional loyalties, it really would issue in global peace and prosperity.
I left the email to sit in a subdirectory. Where, after all, do I begin? But the questions ring with fundamental concerns of those sort that don't often get raised, and are almost never raised in the dominant media today. Asked in good faith, the questions are worth taking up and answering, if only because few others will do it. I do so here.
Perhaps the best place to begin is by reviewing the nature of government. Is government a "good thing," a "bad thing," or somewhere in between? To answer this question, many writers refer to the oft-quoted statement by George Washington, our first President: "Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."
George Washington, of course, was an entirely different breed from the kind of opportunist that tends to inhabit the land of politics today. He had a healthy sense that government was indeed a danger to freedom. And why not? After all, he'd just played a central role in the war of secession from the British Empire, which at the time was out-of-control centralized government at its greatest height. Government has been properly characterized by libertarian writers as having a legal monopoly on the use of force to achieve its ends. The Framers of our Constitutional republic realized this, and took steps to limit government's growth. This was what the U.S. Constitution was all about. It had its critics who favored a still more limited, weaker central government: history has mislabeled them the "anti-federalists."
It goes without saying that this is not the vision of government presented in today's "public schools." As products of government, they are places where students are brainwashed into near-worship of government. Students "learn" that government is fundamentally benevolent, if only the "right people" can get elected (the "right people," of course, are always purveyors of centralization ready to loot the wallets of productive, independent citizens).
Nor is George Washington's the vision of government presented in today's dominant media, populated with graduates of those "public schools" and today's J-schools. The leading editorialists and other writers at the New York Times and the Washington Post – including many so-called conservatives – debate the best ways the government ought to spend the money it has looted from taxpayers, and what agendas it ought to pursue. They do not debate whether it should loot the taxpayers' hard-earned money at all, or pursue any agendas not specifically authorized by the Constitution (and there are very, very few!).
Moreover, atrocities such as what happened at Waco are systematically whitewashed, including by some so-called conservatives. Evidence of the worst criminal atrocities by our so-called leaders is carefully buried, with the full cooperation of the media (example: Vince Foster, whom I have never believed committed suicide). The American public isn't even aware of much of this. After eight years of watching Bill Clinton's very public adventures in criminality, however, very little shocks us anymore. Hardly anyone in the political mainstream blinked when the Clinton Regime cooperated closely with a communist dictator to send a little boy back to a life of socialist deprogramming. After this, the only two contenders for the presidency to have had any chance at being elected did not discuss the relationship between the federal government and the Constitution. They did not debate whether our government should join other governments, internationally, to bomb little countries that never threatened our legitimate interests back into the Stone Age. What they debated was prescription drugs for senior citizens and other trivialities.
Finally, the government-serving schools and media serve up a steady stream of distractions in the form of mindless entertainment and sports events. One can hardly turn around without encountering a reference to Survivor or Temptation Island, the two worst television shows of our time. The economy is micromanaged in such a way as to serve up mostly meaningless "busywork." One of the dirty little secrets of the so-called economic boom of the 1990s was the number of low-paying cubicle-dweller jobs created here at home versus the number of good paying manufacturing jobs that went to Mexico or overseas following NAFTA and GATT – this is global economics, which has little to do with genuine free markets and everything to do with enabling the superelites to line their pockets at ordinary Americans' expense. Between the steady stream of entertainment and the new-economy "busywork" jobs, many who are not too distracted to think about anything important are mentally too exhausted.
And of course. Were all this to come under sustained public scrutiny, it might dawn on a sufficient number of members of the public that our government is not fundamentally different from any other empire that has ever existed. The government and, increasingly, huge corporations, have a vested interest in keeping the sheeple in line, and the dominant media is more than willing to cooperate. If anyone notices what the elites are up to, they are answered in the way Dorothy was in that charming classic The Wizard of Oz. Only, our "man behind the curtain" is considerably more powerful and dangerous than the kindly old Wizard.
Now — imagine every bit of this moved up a scale, from the national to the international level. Imagine national sovereignty having been not so much destroyed in name but in fact, rendered meaningless by a web of regulations, treaties, etc., worked out by global elites in international conferences barely reported by the media, e.g., the proposed International Criminal Court. If government is force and deception, then international government will be force and deception on an international scale — and with the capacity for surveillance and control provided by today's technological developments it will have a level of power that is unprecedented in human history.
This agenda, as I explained in my essay, is hardly new. It has been in motion for decades. Arguably the first stirrings on behalf of world government date back to near the end of the 19th century, when Cecil Rhodes, the diamond tycoon, willed a portion of his fortune to the creation of a secret society motivated both by the idea that world government would be the key to world peace and that it could only be accomplished incrementally, in stealth moves, by well-financed elites operating behind the scenes. The Rhodes Scholarship program grew out of this effort, as did the rise of powerful, secretive groups in the U.S. like the Council on Foreign Relations.
What is scary is that so many Americans seem to have no more grasp of the danger this represents than they have of the true nature of our own government. Our national elites in both government and gigantic corporations are cooperating with the United Nations to help create "global governance," and even Jesse Helms' once resolute opposition has begun to weaken. Those who really believe we can trust huge corporations or those running them should take note of the millions that Ted Turner, the Atlanta-based media mogul, has donated to the UN.
Today, with the World Wide Web, it will hardly do to call this a conspiracy. It's only a conspiracy if it is hidden, and this one isn't. All one has to do is navigate around on the UN's own Millennium Assembly website for abundant information on where the global-government agenda presently stands. Of course, the UN tends to overwhelm the casual web-surfer with information that is presented in a sugar-coated fashion. There is much there that can make the idea of world government look attractive to those who do not know any better, such as the talk of universal “human rights,” likely to be used to justify massive transfers of wealth from the United States (i.e., from working taxpayers) to the Third World. As I argued in a different essay recently, highly-paid philosophy professors in influential, Ivy League universities have already produced pseudo-ethical defenses of just this.
World government is just not a workable proposition. It can lead down no other road besides tyranny. To those who understand economics, the reasons are not hard to follow. One of the primary laws of economics is that wealth does not simply fall out of the sky; it has to be produced by someone. The argument should be familiar: if those who produce are allowed (by governments) to keep the fruits of their labors and trade freely with others, they will produce more, and genuine prosperity will ensue. If the fruits of their labors are looted and put in the service of agendas they don't support, incentives to produce will diminish, along with prosperity. The government, being supported by the fruits of legal looting, may proceed with a sequence of economic quick-fixes, such as avoiding gold-backed currency with a fixed value like the plague in favor of expanded, fluid, easy credit to maintain an illusion of prosperity. But eventually the piper will have to be paid. Just as in physics, you cannot get something from nothing. In economics, though, you can pretend. For a time. The pretense is enhanced if draped in pseudo-moral language about our "obligations to the poor" (for example).
World government, again, takes the pretense to a global stage. It promises that global cooperation (between governments, of course, and megacorporations such as Wal-Mart) will create prosperity in third world countries – mostly socialist tyrannies. Transfers of wealth will not benefit the impoverished masses of those countries; it will prop up the tyrannies and enable them to further enslave their masses. The tyrants may, of course, may have formed close relationships with the megacorporations as co-beneficiaries, propagating an illusion of "free markets" or global "free trade." It is an illusion because it will be technically illegal for anyone to compete without the explicit approval of the tyrants, which is unlikely to be given under the circumstances. (Given the government paperwork, fees, etc., imposed on those beginning a small business in the U.S., we are further down that road right here most people think.)
None of this, I submit, will leave us with a planet that is a "better place for the majority of people" on it. If anything, it is a recipe for what would be the most brutal dictatorship ever. And the sudden, grinding poverty of a worldwide depression, if the economic bubble the international financial superelite will have created bursts.
Finally, just ask what happens to the people who want nothing to do with the brave new world being proffered here. Would they be allowed to go their own way and be left alone? Of course not, because dictators cannot tolerate those who would be independent; the result would be a mass exodus to whatever parts of the country or world are still free! The dictators would not take the risk. Given the chance, they will extend their reach as far as possible. Whether those who want to be independent in America would find themselves actually hunted down and murdered is still an open question. It is just as likely that before it came to that, they would find themselves unable to earn their livings legally in the "global economy," and would eventually run afoul the law when they were forced to go underground. With surveillance technology, they would find very few places to go. Many independent minded folks with families will undoubtedly give up and cave in, if they do not want their children to starve! (But of course, if they have already caved in to the "gun control" crowd, they will have asked for this!)
I trust this answers the questions, for anyone with remaining doubts, of what is wrong with the New World Order. It would not be good "for the majority of people on the planet." It would be a system run by and for a cadre of superelites: that minority of the world population that finds itself obsessed with power and is compelled to build empires. The rest of us would be little better than livestock, no matter our economic status. Do any of us have the resources to stop this juggernaut? I don't think we have any choice but to try. And as encouragement while we are trying, it might be helpful to remember the fate of all previous efforts to build the Tower of Babel, including the original.
Steven Yates has a Ph.D. in Philosophy and is the author of Civil Wrongs: What Went Wrong With Affirmative Action (ICS Press, 1994). He is presently compiling selected essays into a single volume tentatively entitled View From the Gallery and a work on a second book, The Paradox of Liberty. He also writes for the Edgefield Journal, and is available for lectures. He lives in Columbia, South Carolina.