Working out on the treadmill this morning, going nowhere uphill and fast, lulled into accepting the inevitability of my lot for the following ten minutes, my calves aching for distraction, my mind in free fall landed on a fossil etched in rock. While my legs marched forward on the spot, my mind sat like the Cheshire cat smoking the hookah, captivated by the concept of a New World Order.
Not a day goes by in the land of social media without some reference to an imminent New World Order. Myriad permutations appear in memes that clog up my facebook newsfeed. Orwell’s 1984 has become a stock reference. That old fossil Henry Kissinger is wheeled out as the epitome of evil and the United Nations document on sustainability and development (Rio Summit, 1992) Agenda 21 is cited as the chilling evidence of Kissinger’s heinous plan that will in likelihood see 80% of us exterminated before too long. http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/Agenda21.pdf
I admit to observing the emergence of a kind of corporate fascism, the logical yet paradoxical consequence of neoliberalism. Other terms, such as oligarchy and plutocracy describe the same scenario. Recently there has been a plethora of examples of the emergence of just such a system, everything from Edward Snowdon’s revelations of blanket spying to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (free trade agreement), the implementation of draconian laws of repression of citizens in free democracies (in Australia the Bikie Laws, in UK the imprisoning of two youngsters for the creation of a facebook page during the London riots) to the global maltreatment of asylum seekers and first peoples.
Many of us are alarmed at the amount of power corporations already have. The way democracies have been hijacked to do their bidding. Those who like to look behind the scenes shine the spotlight on secret organisations such as the Bilderberg Group or the Council on Foreign Relations and go on to make references to hidden inner circles, whether the Freemasons, the Illuminati, the Zionists, the Rothschilds.
I am not sure about the clamber to identify the prime mover. I feel myself walking in dense fog the moment I give it any thought. One problem I can see straight away is the linear and simplistic thinking involved. I suggest that those who do hold the power in our world have already adopted or hired those who have adopted complex systems thinking, which is (simply put) non-linear. Research identifying 147 corps (including banks) that control the world, published in New Scientist is helpful, mostly because it is using complexity thinking. http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21228354.500-revealed–the-capitalist-network-that-runs-the-world.html
If we seek more, if we seek to see behind the veils, then we enter a quasi-esoteric world of labyrinth, illusion, obfuscation, where just about everything is its own other, for in my view this is what is in creation, just as in the age of the great religious faiths, vast bodies of scripture were created that served to control the masses.
I hold to the idea that a small group of corporations seek global dominance. Antony Loewenstein in Profits of Doom describes members of this group as vulture capitalists. Taking this metaphor of the vulture into the realm of our collective consciousness is the notion of the psychic vulture. Vultures who co-opt concepts, disengage them from their theoretical context and distort their meaning. The notion of empowerment that has its roots in Feminism is now used to underpin the Gucci-led Beyonce fronted campaign, Chime for Change The term sustainability has been appropriated in much the same way. Corporations are masters of gloss, creating illusory images of themselves, presenting to the world some clean ethical reality anathema to what goes on within the veil.
Perhaps absolute corporate freedom requires absolute human oppression. Even if this is the case the notion of a New World Order is not helpful. The notion emerged in a number of quarters between the first and second world wars. It entered esoteric thinking in the work of Alice Bailey. She argued that not only would a new world order occur, it would be founded on esoteric principles in accordance with the Plan of a Spiritual Hierarchy of ascended masters. http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/3903221?q=isobel+bailey&c=book&versionId=47259310
Bailey’s esoteric thinking appropriated the new science of the day, developing an esoteric epistemology around the new discoveries of the nature of the atom. In esoteric thought, scientific concepts become metaphors that have explanatory power when applied to the human condition through analogy. In a similar fashion, contemporary corporate thinking has adopted scientific theory and applied it to organisational management and change. While we still think in pairs of opposites (us and them, right and wrong, good and bad) corporate thinkers apply notions of emergence, innovation and fitness. in an effort to manage complex systems.
I suggest that any argument putting forward the emergence of a new world order needs to situate the argument in both esoteric and complexity thinking. Old world order is that of the Plan. Of fixed Agendas such as Agenda 21. Of the likes of Kissinger. The new world order is likely to look more like a Mandlebrot set. Those in power will seek to manipulate chaotic systems. The new age may well be the age of the strange attractor.
While books such as Jeffrey Winter’s Oligarchy, framed within the theoretical limitations of political science, make substantial contributions to understanding the nature of what is occurring and the historical roots of power and privilege, in my view to understand how corporations view the world and therefore how they may go about controlling the world, we need to look beyond simple, linear thinking, we need to reach behind the veil of fear created by Agenda 21. We need to let go of outmoded ideas of any sort of fixed Plan or Agenda. We need to accept that innocence and goodwill can exist alongside and within global institutions such as the United Nations. In short, we need to thicken our thinking.