- Don Bell, The Report
""In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, it was planned that way."
- Franklin D. Roosevelt
Is history just one thing after another - accidental, chaotic, unpredictable, and indefinable; or, is there a pattern, a way of framing history, discovering some hidden connections that bind events into a system that can be interpreted, explained, and understood? Who defines history? Who shapes it? Who are the power players that study aspects of history and set the agendas for the rest of us? If economics and governance are at the heart of all the global conspiracies concerning a New World Order, then who are the power players behind it all? What is their agenda? One could spend days watching videos about this global conspiracy on the YouTube. (click here) The common thread that seems to bind all the global conspiracy theories is that a secretive power elite with a globalist agenda is conspiring to eventually rule the world through an authoritarian world government — replacing sovereign nation-states through world governance institutions — and an all-embracing ideology that indoctrinates cosmopolitanism. 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.
The typical New World Order conspiracy entails a grand myth of Secret Societies that stretch back through time best typified by the Illuminati. Most of these plots of evil have as their ultimate justification a manichean view of reality based upon religious ideology rather than objective scientific validation. In the work of G. Edward Griffin one can find the basic tenets of this global conspiracy defined succinctly in an anecdote he often uses in lectures:
"In 1982, I met Mr. Dodd in his home state of Virginia where, at the time, I had a television crew gathering interviews for a documentary film. I previously had read his testimony and realized how important it was; so, when our crew had open time, I called him on the telephone and asked if he would be willing to make a statement before our cameras, and he said, “Of course.” I’m glad we obtained the interview when we did, because Dodd was advanced in years,
and it wasn’t long afterward that he passed away. We were very fortunate to capture his story in his own words. What we now are witnessing from our time machine was confirmed in minute detail twenty years later and preserved on video.
We are now in the year 1954, and we hear Mr. Gaither say to Mr. Dodd, “Would you be interested in knowing what we do here at the Ford Foundation?” And Mr. Dodd says, “Yes! That’s exactly why I’m here. I would be very interested, sir.” Then, without any prodding at all, Gaither says, “Mr. Dodd, we operate in response to directives, the substance of which is that we shall use our grant making power to alter life in the United States so that it can be comfortably merged with the Soviet Union.” (read more)
Foundations, think tanks, policy institutes? What are these entities that seem to shape governments and business for good or ill? According to the Foundation Center a foundation is an entity that is established as a nonprofit corporation or a charitable trust, with a principal purpose of making grants to unrelated organizations or institutions or to individuals for scientific, educational, cultural, religious, or other charitable purposes. This broad definition encompasses two foundation types: private foundations and public foundations. The most common distinguishing characteristic of a private foundation is that most of its funds come from one source, whether an individual, a family, or a corporation. A public foundation, in contrast, normally receives its assets from multiple sources, which may include private foundations, individuals, government agencies, and fees for service. Moreover, a public foundation must continue to seek money from diverse sources in order to retain its public status.
John Roelofs, using Marxist critique, in his essay The Mask of Pluralism finds in the modern foundation the domain of intellectuals par excellence. Furthermore, a central group of liberal foundations exerts "hegemonic" power over civil society, including all of these intellectuals and their institutions, and it has a large role in shaping governmental policies. Hegemony now operates on a global scale, facilitating the globalization of both political and civil society. He goes on to state that "Foundations provide an institutional basis for the hegemonic function. They appear distant from their corporate origins and support, so they may claim a neutral image. Unlike universities, they are not hobbled by disciplinary traditions or professional qualifications, so they can include anyone and can fund all kinds of projects."
G. William Domhoff tells us that the basic American still believes in the myth of pluralistic democracy and that "the idea that a relatively fixed group of privileged people dominate the economy and government goes against the American grain and the founding principles of the country."
""Class" and "power" are terms that make Americans a little uneasy, and concepts such as "upper class" and "power elite" immediately put people on guard. Americans may differ in their social and income levels, and some may have more influence than others, but it is felt that there can be no fixed power group when power is constitutionally lodged in all the people, when there is democratic participation through elections and lobbying, and when the evidence of social mobility is everywhere apparent. So, it is usually concluded by most power analysts that elected officials, along with "interest groups" like "organized labor" and "consumers," have enough "countervailing" power to say that there is a fluid, "pluralistic" distribution of power rather than one with rich people and corporations at the top." (read more)
But contrary to this pluralistic view, he explains "how rule by the wealthy few is possible despite free speech, regular elections, and organized opposition:
- "The rich" coalesce into a social upper class that has developed institutions by which the children of its members are socialized into an upper-class worldview, and newly wealthy people are assimilated.
- Members of this upper class control corporations, which have been the primary mechanisms for generating and holding wealth in the United States for upwards of 150 years now.
- There exists a network of nonprofit organizations through which members of the upper class and hired corporate leaders not yet in the upper class shape policy debates in the United States.
- Members of the upper class, with the help of their high-level employees in profit and nonprofit institutions, are able to dominate the federal government in Washington.
- The rich, and corporate leaders, nonetheless claim to be relatively powerless.
- Working people have less power than in many other democratic countries.
Dr. James G. McGann, Director of Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program and assistant director of the International Relations Program at the University of Pennsylvania states in an article for Foreign Policy that "think tanks, also called governments in waiting, are needed by leaders around the world to provide independent analysis, help set policy agendas, and bridge the gap between academia and policy-making."(1) In his book Global Think Tanks, Policy Networks and Governance (Routledge, 2010) he ranks 6500 of the worlds top policy think tanks. As the blurb states: "Whilst these institutions are still relatively new players in global and national politics, they are becoming a significant source of strength in an increasingly transnational and less Western-led world. This work presents an important guide to the factors contributing to the proliferation of think tanks, the present nature of this proliferation, and the future of think tanks at the global, regional, and national level."
The idea of an elite bureaucracy of experts defining, shaping, and influencing the globalist agenda and therein the lives of billions of people is not only worth study but may be the hidden aspect of conspiracy theory that the conspiracies leave out. James A. Smith in his book The Idea Brokers is skeptical of intellectual experts: "The story of both ancient intellectuals and modern experts is often one of knowledge coupled with ambition ... and in our time, one must ask whether the experts as a class have used mystifying jargon and an array of bewildering models and specialized tools to interpose themselves between the citizenry and their elected leaders."
Yet it seems that this is just what the new elite want as they contrive global governance policies to control the vast mass of the earth's population for the wealthy few. One of the prime sites for information regarding the globalist policy is the Global Policy Journal. In their editorial statement they lay out the six basic risks and challenges facing a global policy:
1. Globally relevant risks and collective action problems
2. International Policy Coordination
3. A) Normative Theories of global governance
B) Competing discourses of global governance
4. The shift from National level to Bloc level
5. The shift from single-polar to Multi-polar governance
6. Innovations in global governance
To sum up the editorial policy of this journal suggests that modern policymaking is shaped in far broader ways than in previous eras by a wider range of actors. In addition to formal governmental bodies, private corporations, media companies and networks, non-governmental organizations, international and regional bloc organizations, professions and interest groups are all involved in decisive ways. The pluralism of actors does not imply an equivalence of power. On the contrary, contemporary interactions, and attempts at governance, take place in the context of asymmetrical interdependence, with large discrepancies in wealth, other material and nonmaterial resources, and status among countries. Asymmetrical interdependence implies unequal power. How different actors engage, interrelate and impact upon one another will also be a focus of Global Policy.
In their article Global Governance and Systemic Risk in the 21st Century: Lessons from the Financial CrisisIan Goldin, Tiffany Vogel suggest that global civilization faced "with pandemics, security crises, threats of global terrorism and crime, climate change and many other looming threats, new approaches to global governance are required. This does not mean that nation-state governance will become less relevant, as has been argued in the past ...; rather, that ‘internationalisation of the state’ ... will require effective governance at both the national and global scale. In the 21st century, the stakes for getting global governance right have never been so high or so urgent."
This idea of global governance is the new metaphor that has replaced the figurative language of the New World Order. The recent financial crisis of 2008 high-lighted the need for change within the global fabric of civilization and as they state it "the financial crisis characterises the nature of a global systemic crisis in the 21st century. It has demonstrated that increasing linkages, technical innovation and management changes have increased both the robustness and fragility of the global financial network. The shortcomings of financial governance within and between all spatial scales, from local to global, as well as the inadequacy of global financial institutions to pre-empt or adequately respond to the crisis, reflected a failure to understand or address the underlying systemic risks."
In summation they add:
"Unfortunately, the devastating consequences of the financial crisis have not been capitalised upon. The crisis failed to transmit into action and kick-start the fundamental structural changes necessary for global institutions effectively to govern future systemic risks. Nevertheless, growing pressure for more inclusive, secure and sustainable globalisation is likely to add to the impetus for new patterns, institutions and processes in global governance that address the need for proactive global systemic risk management. The question is not if structural change will take place in global governance, but when and at what cost?"
So maybe the conspiracists who contend that a New World Order is rising up from the ashes of the old world nation-states is not so far off. But what might be off is their interpretation of the facts, not the facts themselves. As we have seen on the surface there is a powerful bloc economic forces controlling the thousands of policy think-tanks, foundations, NGO's, etc. that shape the world we live in through the use of highly paid experts and intellectuals in many fields that seem bent of creating a transnational order based upon global governance. Pascal Lamy defines global governance as describing "the system we set up to assist human society to achieve its common purpose in a sustainable manner, that is, with equity and justice. Growing interdependence requires that our laws, our social norms and values and our mechanisms for framing human behavior be examined, debated, understood and operated together as coherently as possible. This is what would provide the basis for effective sustainable development in its economic, social and environmental dimensions." (read more) At issue in the rise of global governance is the deep seated notion of national sovereignty, which he admits "that many governments and citizens are not at the point where they are prepared to cede sovereignty to international organizations on certain politically sensitive issues. Simply put, the problems we face today are increasingly global in nature while politics, all politics, remains local. If we cannot address the democratic deficit in global governance, we cannot expect citizens to agree to cede sovereignty to international organizations."
The idea of ceding up national sovereignty to some larger transnational institution or set of institutions is at the heart of the globalist agenda. And, this is the dark heart of New World Order conspiracy theories as well. In the next section I will discuss the history of Sovereignty in relation to the globalist policy setters and conspiracy theorists as well.