Dear Friends, The following article is being prepared for a progressive print magazine. It is a completely re-designed version of an earlier essay you may have seen. If you have the time and inclination, I invite you to critique this material and to suggest improvements. In an article of this scope, being limited to a few thousand words, I've undoubtedly mis-stated or mis-emphasized many of the points. I'd appreciate suggestions, and especially, relevant citations or cogent examples. Those of you who disagree with the thesis are hereby challenged to tear it apart. If you convince me I'm wrong, I'll retract the article. But if you fail, be aware that your objections will probably serve to strengthen the arguments. Please do not forward this draft without permission, out of respect for the print channel. Yours, Richard @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ Democracy and The New World Order Richard K. Moore •••@••.••• August 1995 Faced with widespread declines in the quality of life, the global breakdown of traditional social and economic systems, chronic poverty and warfare, and frequent examples government corruption, few would disagree that we live in times that call for significant reforms and for a unifying vision that can lead us to a better future. Increasingly, political parties have merged into indistinguishable clones of one another, offering voters little meaningful choice or effective leadership. In desperation, more and more people are turning to simplistic fundamentalist solutions, each of which offers "the one answer" to the world's problems. Muslims and Christians alike turn in increasing numbers to a primitive fundamentalist version of their faiths; thousands follow charismatic charlatans into bizarre cults; libertarians, anarchists, and neo-fascists adopt simplistic pseudo-philosophies, identify enemies on which to blame their problems, and see salvation in the conversion of everyone else to their myopic world views. Those of us who retain a respect for democratic pluralism are dismayed by these lemming-like rushes over cultish cliffs, seeing them not only as divisive, but also unproductive of any real solutions to the actual problems we all face. But there is one brand of fundamentalism, seldom identified as such, that enjoys widespread popularity in the Western world. It is more dangerous than the others because it is promulgated by the mass media, by government leaders, and by self-appointed experts of all stripes. But like all the other simplistic fundamentalist approaches, it does not stand up to any kind of real scrutiny. I'm speaking of the "unregulated free market", or as it has been called for more than a century, laissez-faire economics. The term "laissez-faire" is never used by today's proponents, because that would invite looking at the embarrassing historical record. Instead "market reform" is sold as if it was a bold new idea. As with all cult-like belief systems, it comes wrapped in myths: a revisionist version of history, caricatures of alternatives approaches, and a rose-tinted vision of its own efficacy. Even a cursory glimpse at scenarios in which laissez faire has actually been allowed to operate (for example, 19th Century America and much of today's Third World) show that it offers no easy panaceas. Far from a brave new world, it suffers from at least as much curtailment of liberties, economic inefficiency, and corruption, as anything we are now seeking to extricate ourselves from. It turns out not to lead to a libertarian utopia, but instead to a managed society, with robber-baron capitalists in charge instead of elected officials. This is exactly as predicted by J. Stuart Mill, the original articulator of the free-market's "invisible hand". He knew that free-market forces, if a healthy society is to be facilitated, need to live within reasonable bounds. _Any_ "life form", if it has _no_ bounds, is a variant of cancer, ultimately destructive of itself and its host. We, as a global society, are urgently in need of "remission" from this cancer we are increasingly suffering from. Unlike the 19th Century version of laissez faire mythology, which existed within the framework of nation states, and advocated the free market as a matter of national policies, we are faced today with a far more ominous threat. Those whose self-interests are served by unrestrained "free markets" -- the large transnational corporations -- are not satisfied with their current successes in dominating the economies of individual nations. Happy as they are with the record-setting profits they have gained from their Reagan/Thatcher successes, and their domination of the Third World (courtesy of military-dictatorship proxies), the transnationals want more, and they want it quicker. Emboldened by their seemingly unassailable ascendency, they are pursuing a strategy to "lock in" their dominance by a mechanism increasingly known as the "New World Order". The New World Order (NWO) has several dimensions: military, political, economic, social, ideological, and propagandistic. Its ideology, as well as its economics, is the unrestrained free market, a mythology we've already discussed. Disastrous as this agenda is for nearly all of us, it does indeed provide ever increasing profits to a shrinking number of highly concentrated corporate conglomerates. The social dimension of the NWO can be summarized as "no more entitlements". In the First World this translates into dismantled social programs, undermining of labor and safety laws, and disregard for the preservation of a healthy environment. This dismantlement of traditional institutions has been facilitated by media propaganda, and accomplished by populist demagogs, exemplified by Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Bob Dole, John Major, etc. The role of such demagogs is to sabotage government from within -- assuring that it fails -- and them proclaiming deregulation and privatization as the "only possible solutions" to the problems they themselves have created or aggravated. The same "solutions" are imposed on the Third World, but instead of relying on domination of the political process in each individual nation, the policies are imposed on each from outside, by conditions set by the international financial community. Which brings us to the political dimension of the New World Order. The political regime being installed to manage the Orderly New World are frighteningly simple: it includes no political parties, no constitution, no declaration of human rights, no balance of powers, no redress of grievances, and no elections (in fact no kind of popular representation). Instead we are to be governed by faceless commissions of technocrats, appointed (directly or indirectly) by transnational executives, and dedicated to serving their interests. The precursor of these commissions is the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In much of the Third World, the IMF has more discretionary power than national governments. From its comfortable First-World executive suites, it dictates draconian social/economic policies which translate into increased poverty and destitution for millions of people -- poverty and destitution which the commissioners (and corporate executives) are never forced to see first hand. So successful and efficient has the IMF proved to be, as a tool of transnational domination of the Third World, that a similar formula is now being applied to the rest of us. The efficiency and leverage of the IMF model stems from the fact that it avoids the necessity of dominating political activity in individual countries, through such time-consuming practices as bribing officials, funding political campaigns, tedious lobbying efforts, and the like. Instead, a small commission of technocrats simply run their spreadsheets, announce guidelines, and whole nations are then forced to find their own way of living within the imposed constraints. Very tidy, as far as the transnationals are concerned. Very ugly, to the millions who are forced to somehow survive and raise their families under these guidelines, or, increasingly, are simply left to starve. It's _not nice_ to be redundant to the needs of the New World Order and its corporate masters! This nightmarish political regime is being expanded to the rest of us by means of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Area), GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade), the WTO (World Trade Organization), and other similar agreements and entities, some regional and some global. Unlike the IMF, which controls via the purse strings, these so-called "trade agreements" control via intrusion into the regulatory power of signatory states. By exploiting the treaty mechanism, which has the force of national law, these agreements become permanent parts of each constitutional system, making it all but impossible for future governments to choose different regulatory policies. Thus the transnationals are able to translate temporary political ascendency, attained at considerable effort and expense, into a permanent stranglehold over national sovereignties. These agreements go far beyond the bounds of what you and I would think of as "trade policy". But by masquerading as trade agreements, they manage to avoid the deeper policy debates which they rightly deserve. Instead of full scale national debates over the surrender of sovereignty, a few "trade negotiators" from each country meet in relative secrecy and hammer out terms of "economic reform" whose far-reaching consequences are intentionally minimized and misrepresented. Even when a national debate does arise, as with NAFTA in the USA, it is channeled into a discussion of short range effects on the economy, the political implications being carefully avoided. Thus the NWO "reform camel" sneaks its nose into the national tent, without revealing its bulkier body. The full NWO reform camel is bulky indeed. Not limited to imports & exports, quotas & tariffs, it pushes its weight into labor laws, safety regulations, air quality rules, land use practices, social programs, and so on ad infinitum. The camel itself has no concern for the quality of life, and the rest of us are evidently to adapt to its spartan life style. There's one more NWO infiltration scheme which deserves special mention -- Maastricht and the European Union. Just as the IMF masquerades as a funding source, and GATT masquerades as trade reform, so the EU masquerades as a "more competitive Europe" -- and the deception is equally profound. As with the trade agreements, the debate over Maastricht has been channeled as narrowly as possible, primarily to to the question of "opening of markets". But Europe has a highly educated public, and a strong democratic tradition, and some of the debate has (fortunately) touched on the real issue at stake -- surrender of national sovereignty to bureaucrats in Brussels. Unfortunately the Euro Skeptics in the British Parliament, and the Norwegians -- and others who are demonstrating the ability to think ahead -- are being drowned out in the mad rush to endorse the pathetic Maastricht formula. The reasons for narrowing the debate over Maastricht as much as possible are obvious: if Maastricht were evaluated for what it actually is -- the operating framework for a United States of Europe -- it would be found sorely wanting. It lacks firm guarantees of human rights, a well thought-out balance of powers, a bicameral legislature, and many other elements that are necessary to a sound democratic system. It simply doesn't stand up at all as a serious constitution, and so the true scope of its ultimate authority is intentionally concealed. This time the NWO camel has found a way to sneak more than its nose into the tent of an entire continent. And as usual, the style of the NWO camel is the same -- control concentrated in appointed technocratic commissions whose primary goal is to facilitate investment opportunities for the corporate sector. As part of its deceptive propaganda campaign, necessary to be accepted into the tent, there is currently an EU emphasis on progressive measures, such as extending workers rights in nations below the European average -- but these are not the inherent focus of Maastricht, and as Brussels' power becomes more entrenched, its true colors will come increasingly to the fore. As with all con games, the bait come first, and the hook is hidden until well set. In summary, the political regime of the New World Order is a world dominated by corporate-selected technocrats, subject to no effective democratic controls, and with the primary mission of enhancing the profitability of corporations. This scheme is being rapidly implemented by means of a linked set of supranational institutions, masquerading under the mythology of economic "reform", and with the full extent of their powers intentionally understated. In this time of instantly available global communications, how have we permitted ourselves to fall blindly down the slippery slope of this well-ordered neo-feudalism? This question brings us to the propagandistic dimension of the New World Order. At an alarming rate, all global sources of information and entertainment are being concentrated into a handful of media conglomerates. Television, newspapers, magazines, and film production are being gobbled up by a few mega corporations which have full control over their content and distribution. These corporations decide which events are to be deemed "news", how that "news" is to be interpreted, which story ideas will be developed into films and TV series, which candidates are to be considered "realistic" in elections, which legislative proposals are to be praised and which ridiculed, and which mythologies are to be sold to global audiences.