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Globalization and the New World Order
by Michael D. O’Brien
“Is this not the time for all to work together for a new constitutional organization of the human family, truly capable of ensuring peace and harmony between peoples, as well as their integral development? But let there be no misunderstanding. This does not mean writing the constitution of a global super-State.”
— Pope John Paul II, Message for the World Day of Peace, 2003
“Fighting poverty requires attentive consideration of the complex phenomenon of globalization. … The reference to globalization should also alert us to the spiritual and moral implications of the question, urging us, in our dealings with the poor, to set out from the clear recognition that we all share in a single divine plan: we are called to form one family in which all — individuals, peoples and nations — model their behaviour according to the principles of fraternity and responsibility.”
— Pope Benedict XVI, Message for the World Day of Peace, 2009
During the past few centuries the theme of a “new secular order” has grown in public consciousness in the Western World, coasting on the magic carpet of the American dollar bill (novus ordo seclorum) and the more esoteric doctrines of secret societies. Interpretations of what it means, what forms this new order might take in the world, and how sinister (or not) it could be, range from the dire to the enthusiastic, and everything in between. It is often erroneously equated with, and conflated with, developments in globalization. The latter is a broad complex phenomenon that has more to do with the increasing interconnectedness of regional economies, and with the technological revolution in communications that has shrunk the barriers imposed by distances and time. It grows primarily through the increasing integration of markets, international trade, the flow of capital, ideas, people, culture, technology, and the development of trans-national regulations.
While it is true that this kind of globalization has the unprecedented potential for bringing about a one-world government, the two are not necessarily the same thing. When the Church speaks about the potentially beneficial aspects of globalization, she is not for an instant advocating the new world order as secularist and cultic devotees envision it. Invariably she also warns against the potential and actual evils in the phenomenon. Above all, the Church instructs us about indispensable principles that must always be the foundation of authentically human societies, whether they are neighborhoods, nations, or international configurations of government.
The Point Men, the Banner, the Rally-cry
It is not my purpose here to sort through the mass of wildly conflicting theories proposed by others who have written on the matter. But as a starting point we cannot deny that the concept of the new world order is now gaining prominence as the banner or rally-cry under which radical changes in the world community may soon be enacted.
Take, for example, the several declarations of Great Britain’s new Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, in which he repeatedly calls for a “new world order” to correct our present international financial ills. As early as 2007, the BBC reported Brown, then-Chancellor of Britain, invoking “a new world order” and saying that he foresees his country taking a strategic role in the changing configuration of international relations:
“I believe that there is a collective interest that the world can be persuaded of, in the United Nations playing a bigger role in security, NATO playing a bigger role out of theatre, and also the European Union as a collective institution playing a fuller role in world politics.”
The Telegraph of 11 November, 2008, reported a speech in which Brown promised to challenge fellow world leaders to use the current worldwide economic crisis as an opportunity to thoroughly reform international institutions and create “a truly global society.” In the Sunday Times of 1 March, 2009, Brown reiterated this theme, and underlined it by saying, “Globalism is not an option, it is a fact.” He then went on to outline five major “reforms” that were immediately needed in international financial structures, and concluded with a sixth: “coordinated international action to build tomorrow today—putting the world economy on an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable path toward growth and recovery.”
Numerous other voices are saying much the same thing. Speaking at the financial conference “New World, New Capitalism” held in Paris, 7-8 January, 2009, German Chancellor Angela Merkel cited the success of the European Union as a model for global problem solving:
“The European Union is an institution that makes us stronger for globalization, because we can speak with one voice as a population of 500 million Europeans. But that only comes with the price that we have a Commission and a European Parliament, whose advice and decisions we have to accept as member states. We don’t always like that and sometimes we also rebel against it. But there is ultimately no doubt that 500 million Europeans are able to engage very differently with the international community concerning their vision about how they want to live than would each individual European member state on its own behalf. …
“Many people struggle with the idea of giving up some more national sovereignty. But we have now experienced through crisis what happens when we do not have coordinated regulatory environments. What happens is that some people apply the wrong rules or do not even have any rules and that ultimately everyone is affected. That is why no nation — not even a strong United States — can any longer create a world order on its own if it is not coordinated with others. That is why I believe we should see this crisis as an opportunity to restructure the international architecture of institutions.”
Speaking at the same conference, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France blamed the current world financial collapse on speculators who aggravated a system fueled by debt. He called financial capitalism based on speculation “an immoral system” that has “perverted the logic of capitalism…. In capitalism of the 21st century, there is room for the state.” Calling for a redesign of the international monetary system, he said, “We want to change the rules of the game.”
But the E.U. has already changed the rules of the “game.” For some years now it has put into practice on a continental level what a new world order would do if it were to rule on a global level; it has tried to impose its immoral social engineering laws (abortion rights and homosexual unions, for example) on member nations whose people reject those policies. The original post-war vision of the European Economic Community, from which the E.U. evolved, was primarily the child of three Catholic leaders: Konrad Adenauer (Germany), Robert Schuman (France) and Alcide de Gasperi (Italy) who foresaw an economic integration that could lead to an, albeit undefined, form of political integration. Jean Monnet, another early founder, says in his memoirs that the United States of Europe was indeed a concept that attracted the founders but what they envisaged was a federalism informed by Christian ethics. This concept was gradually and deliberately mutated by secular humanists into its present openly anti-Christian policies and the creation of a continental super-state. The process has proven so effective in shifting self-determining nations into submission to larger governing bodies that it cannot help but be emulated on a still larger scale.
In another speech at the Paris conference, the former Prime Minister of Britain, Tony Blair, emphasized the inadequacy of present international structures for dealing with issues such as “global warming” and the outbreak of wars in places such as the Congo and the Middle East:
“What I am saying is that this economic crisis is vital in itself; but it holds a deeper, broader lesson for us. In today’s world, no nation’s governance, not even the most powerful, can work without a strong dimension of global governance.”
Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, now president of the International Foundation for Socio-Economic and Political Studies in Moscow, said in a 1 January, 2009, article in the International Herald Tribune:
“Throughout the world, there is a clamor for change. That desire was evident in November, in an event that could become both a symbol of this need for change and a real catalyst for that change. Given the special role the United States continues to play in the world, the election of Barack Obama could have consequences that go far beyond that country. …
“If current ideas for reforming the world’s financial and economic institutions are consistently implemented, that would suggest we are finally beginning to understand the importance of global governance. Such governance would render the economy more rational and more humane.”
In a Tribune article titled “The Chance for a New World Order,” published on 12 January, 2009, Henry Kissinger wrote:
“The nadir of the existing international financial system coincides with simultaneous political crises around the globe. Never have so many transformations occurred at the same time in so many different parts of the world and been made globally accessible via instantaneous communication. The alternative to a new international order is chaos. …
“The extraordinary impact of the president-elect [Barack Obama] on the imagination of humanity is an important element in shaping a new world order. But it defines an opportunity, not a policy.
“The ultimate challenge is to shape the common concern of most countries and all major ones regarding the economic crisis, together with a common fear of jihadist terrorism, into a common strategy reinforced by the realization that the new issues like proliferation, energy and climate change permit no national or regional solution.”
Considering the foregoing remarks by various heads of state and opinion shapers, the point I wish to make is that the concept of new supra-national models of government is very much in the thoughts of Western world leaders. They certainly have differences of opinion regarding how this can be brought about and the degree to which it should be extended, but as a starting point they are more or less agreed that the world financial crisis is demanding something much bigger than isolationist responses. So far so good, since the massive greed and waste in existing structures has come close to dragging Western civilization towards an abysmal bankruptcy and impoverishment.
Economics, Anxiety, and Freedom
Capitalism as such is neither good nor evil. It is a market system founded on privately owned enterprises that produce goods and services sold at freely determined prices in expectation of a profit. During the past 120 years the Church has issued a number of documents that have come to be known as “Catholic Social Doctrine.” Its teachings on economic issues are not the science of economics per se but rather the defining of a context within which it is possible for a just economic system to function. In five major papal encyclicals, beginning with Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum in 1891 and culminating in John Paul II’s Centesimus Annus in 1991, the Church has unambiguously condemned all forms of socialism, that is, any of various economic and political systems that advocate governmental ownership and control of the means of production and distribution of goods. These encyclicals affirm the rightness of private ownership of property and commerce, which they consider essential to freedom. However, they also strongly emphasize the need for responsibility in the exercise of this freedom. In other words, profit cannot be sought at the expense of human rights, especially the dignity of the worker and his right to enjoy the fruit of his labors. In Centesimus Annus, John Paul II writes:
“Moreover, man, who was created for freedom, bears within himself the wound of original sin, which constantly draws him towards evil and puts him in need of redemption. Not only is this doctrine an integral part of Christian revelation; it also has great hermeneutical value insofar as it helps one to understand human reality. Man tends towards good, but he is also capable of evil. He can transcend his immediate interest and still remain bound to it. The social order will be all the more stable, the more it takes this fact into account and does not place in opposition personal interest and the interests of society as a whole, but rather seeks ways to bring them into fruitful harmony. In fact, where self-interest is violently suppressed, it is replaced by a burdensome system of bureaucratic control, which dries up the wellsprings of initiative and creativity. When people think they possess the secret of a perfect social organization which makes evil impossible, they also think that they can use any means, including violence and deceit, in order to bring that organization into being. Politics then becomes a ‘secular religion’ which operates under the illusion of creating paradise in this world.” (CA, n. 25) …
“If by ‘capitalism’ is meant an economic system which recognizes the fundamental and positive role of business, the market, private property and the resulting responsibility for the means of production, as well as free human creativity in the economic sector, then the answer is certainly in the affirmative, even though it would perhaps be more appropriate to speak of a ‘business economy,’ ‘market economy’ or simply ‘free economy.’ But if by ‘capitalism’ is meant a system in which freedom in the economic sector is not circumscribed within a strong juridical framework which places it at the service of human freedom in its totality, and which sees it as a particular aspect of that freedom, the core of which is ethical and religious, then the reply is certainly negative.”
(CA, n. 42)
Here, then, is the crucial concept — “the service of human freedom in its totality” — which cannot be bypassed without immense negative consequences in terms of human misery and destruction of human life. This concept must be a non-negotiable part of the foundation of any authentically human system of economics and government. The questions we must ask at this stage are: What is the value of Man in the emerging new world order? What is his value in the eyes of those who would construct it? What is its “anthropology”? When globalists speak of Man, do they mean a vaguely defined collective man (humanity), or do they mean the community of human persons, each individual member with his own inalienable rights? We know full-well what authoritarian states, Marxist and fascist alike, think on the matter. But the Church consistently warns us that we in the free “capitalist” West should beware of falling into the same error in a different form. The Canadian economist Richard Bastien has pointed out that if the new capitalists are to avoid the mistakes of socialism (which is rooted in atheism), “modern economy cannot operate in a moral vacuum. Yet, constantly, we hear the old refrain of that philosophical liberalism …that the economy functions according to its own scientific laws and morality is a private affair.” Is this not a case of dualism, a split between belief and practice, a crevasse into which many lives will fatally fall? Is this not an undeclared public atheism? Bastien argues that increasing the role of “economic cops” will not resolve the problem and that the real solution lies in the direction of developing “economic conscience,” which acknowledges clearly that we are all bound by an objective moral law.
Obama and the Culture of Death
Of course, there are major factors in the world situation that would impede the progression toward an atheistic new world order: notably the instability of governments in the Middle East and the emergence of militant Islamicism, the rise of Communist China as an economic power, and the singular character of the American republic. Nevertheless, the concept of new world order is gaining popularity even in that bastion of independence.
Take, for example, Barack Obama’s watershed speech in Berlin, on 24 July, 2008, a media event that played no small part in his election to the U.S. presidency. He said:
“The burdens of global citizenship continue to bind us together. A change of leadership in Washington will not lift this burden. In this new century Americans and Europeans alike will be required to do more, not less. Partnership and cooperation among nations is not a choice. It is the only way, the one way, to protect our common security and to advance our common humanity.”
The euphoria of the crowds was summarized by the reaction of a commentator on German television who enthused, “We have just heard the next president of the United States and the future president of the world!”
Well, perhaps. And perhaps not. According to one’s fears or enthusiasms, Obama’s speech could be interpreted different ways: On one hand it may mean no more than, “Let’s work together in a new effort at international dialogue and cooperative efforts.” On the other hand, it could mean he intends to lead his country to play its part, indeed play a decisive role, in moving the nations to a more comprehensive model of world government. The words “global citizenship” and “required” and “the only way” should give us pause for reflection, but they do not yet prove conclusively that Obama will usher in the new world order.
His term of office is now underway and he is facing numerous domestic and foreign crises, including the financial collapse, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and perhaps soon a war with Iran. These, along with the monetary problems between the U.S.A. and China, may prove to be too great an obstacle, and could even bring about Obama’s defeat at the next presidential election. Alternatively, he could become the “Great Facilitator”, negotiator, peace-maker, working marvels throughout the world as he moves from one seemingly unsolvable problem to another. At this early stage, it is difficult to say which it will be.
What is undeniable is that in his domestic policies Obama is pursuing his promised agenda of radical changes to American laws—for example, those that until now have provided some protection for pre-birth children. Now, all resistance is to be swept away. On 23 January, 2009, in one of his first acts as president, he signed an executive order reversing the “Mexico City Policy,” which previous Republican administrations had endorsed. That policy had effectively cut off all U.S. foreign aid to organizations that provided and/or promoted abortion. Obama has summarily re-opened American coffers to fund abortion and pro-abortion political activism in other countries. On 9 March, 2009, he signed another executive order lifting restrictions on funding for embryo-destroying stem cell research. After appointing dozens of radical anti-life cabinet members and senior staff, he is also moving to rescind a federal regulation that was one of the final acts of the Bush administration, a policy that protected physicians, nurses, and other health care workers from being forced by law to provide abortion services that violate their consciences. Recall again John Paul II’s admonition: “the service of human freedom in its totality.”
What does Obama’s domestic social revolution portend for the future, when other kinds of social engineering policies will be pursued? The answer may be found embedded in the words of Cardinal James Francis Stafford who spoke at the John Paul II Institute in Washington, D.C., on 14 November, 2008, ten days after the election: “On November 4, 2008, America suffered a cultural earthquake.” Referring to the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, which opened the doors to widespread abortion, he said, “Its scrupulous meanness has had catastrophic effects upon the unity and integrity of the American republic.” The cardinal stated that Obama had built upon this “ruin”, campaigning on an “extremist anti-life platform.” Obama, he said, is “aggressive, disruptive, and apocalyptic.”
Energy, Prosperity, Anti-life agendas
The current world situation is presently a multitude of crises and at the same time a moment of opportunity. It goes without saying that working towards new forms of international cooperation is a good thing. But cooperation does not depend for its success on the dissolving of distinct identities throughout the world, particularly the dissolving of nations. It is the existence of genuine diversity in self-governing peoples that preserves a broad spectrum of human resources, and functions as a check against totalitarianism. Of course, totalitarianism can arise in individual nations, but whenever this occurs there will be other nations to exercise restraints on it. Positing a leap toward a “new world order” as a solution to international conflicts opens up a new range of potential dangers. For example, the worst aspects of ultra-nationalism or predatory internationalism, if inflated to a planetary scale, would put colossal powers into the hands of a few, powers sufficient to ensure the total control of mankind, with no other options, no alternatives, no place else to go.
What, then, does the term “new world order” really mean? It means different things to different people, and thus any attempt to predict where it is all leading is speculation. Clearly, in the immediate short-term it is being promulgated as a readjustment of the channels through which goods, services and money flows throughout the world, a limited check-and-balance system that several world leaders have proposed as a “Bretton Woods II”, a reference to the 1944 Bretton Woods agreement between Allied industrialized nations that launched the post-war system of governing the monetary relations between independent nation-states.
But what would be brought about by a new worldwide financial reform? Perhaps a reduction of poverty for some nations? Yes, possibly. But recall that influential globalists have a long track record of promoting anti-population measures through financial incentives to national governments. In his book, A Century of War, economist William Engdahl describes with stunning accuracy the step by step development of the interlocking dynamics of war and economics from the late 1800’s until the present day, specifically the drive to control the world’s oil supplies. He argues convincingly that the Anglo-American economies are based on energy resources, and largely determine their foreign policies, a fact not lost on Western leaders during the Second World War, and of special interest to the new globalists who were to gain increasing public influence during the following decades. Early on, there developed a convergence of opinion among those who desired the emergence of a new world order, their weltanschauung (worldview) well represented by something Henry Kissinger wrote in 1970: “Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control people.”
In 1973 Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. In 1974, the National Security Study Memorandum 200, a classified document mandated by Kissinger, who was the U.S. National Security Advisor and Secretary of State, called for drastic global population reduction. It argued that many developing nations are rich in natural resources that are vital to U.S. growth. If Third World populations grow too quickly, their domestic demand will also increase, and that will push prices higher for their goods. Curbing population growth in the under-developed nations was, therefore, absolutely essential to economic growth in the developed nations. It said, in other words, that in order to ensure our affluence we must do whatever is necessary to bring about the absence of large numbers of people from the planet.
To understand the arrogance of such a policy, one need only perform a little perceptual exercise: Imagine what we would think if we were to discover that China, for example, was investing massive amounts of money to curb the population growth of the U.S.A. Would we not call it “contraceptive imperialism” or “genocide” or “ethnic cleansing”?
In a 2004 article criticizing the radical immorality of American anti-population policies, Fr. Thomas Euteneuer, President of Human Life International, wrote:
“According to NSSM-200, elements of the implementation of population control programs could include: a) the legalization of abortion; b) financial incentives for countries to increase their abortion, sterilization and contraception-use rates; c) indoctrination of children; and d) mandatory population control, and coercion of other forms, such as withholding disaster and food aid unless an LDC [lesser-developed country] implements population control programs.
“NSSM-200 also specifically declared that the United States was to cover up its population control activities and avoid charges of imperialism by inducing the United Nations and various non-governmental organizations to do its dirty work.
“While the CIA and Departments of State and Defense have issued hundreds of papers on population control and national security, the U.S. government has never renounced NSSM-200, but has only amended certain portions of its policy. NSSM-200, therefore, remains the foundational document on population control issued by the United States government.”
Thirty-five years after the memorandum, Kissinger’s population agenda has been subsumed by a wealth of lobbies and NGOs (particularly those dealing with environmentalism) and the U.N. system as a whole. The main country opposing this trend was the United States under President Bush. Under Obama, the U.S. will now support the trend, along with the E.U., Canada, and several other countries. Contrast this to Pope Benedict’s 2009 message for the World Day of Peace:
“Poverty is often considered a consequence of demographic change. … The extermination of millions of unborn children, in the name of the fight against poverty, actually constitutes the destruction of the poorest of all human beings. And yet it remains the case that in 1981, around 40% of the world’s population was below the threshold of absolute poverty, while today that percentage has been reduced by as much as a half, and whole peoples have escaped from poverty despite experiencing substantial demographic growth. This goes to show that resources to solve the problem of poverty do exist, even in the face of an increasing population.”
Control is a crucial component of the new world order envisioned by its ideologues. But what, precisely, do they want to control? As a first step, it would seem they want better control of money flow and natural resources. There is certainly great need for more efficient organization of the world economies, and there is reason to believe that this would assist the wealthy nations to maintain a moderate level of economic well-being, and the nations with emerging economies (such as India and Argentina) to continue to develop. And possibly the moribund economies of extremely poor nations (such as many African nations) would also reap some of the benefit. But there is no guarantee that any of this will happen. What is fairly certain, however, is that it will be tried.
The Problem of Resistance
The question I am asking here is, admittedly, based on conjecture, but it must be asked because it may very well prove to be the future in which we or our children will live: If various kinds of economic unions continue to occur, will they bring about a series of political unions? And if this comes to pass, will they in the end-phase of the process merge into a one-world government? In all likelihood such a union of world economy and geopolitics would lead to other fundamental cultural and moral-ethical changes in particular societies and the rights of various peoples to determine their own future. If the solutions to the world’s current troubles do not come quickly enough, and other major crises erupt to compound the difficulties, this could provide the added incentive for governments to push toward accelerated exercise of global governance. Precipitated by a mega-crisis—for example the specter of a spreading world-famine or the explosion of nuclear “dirty bombs” by terrorists, or the outbreak of new wars, or a combination of these—a situation of extremis would shake mankind and make us desperate for radical solutions. The solutions would then come from a rescuer-authority presiding above all nations, over-riding individual conscience and principles of national self-determination for the sake of the “common good of mankind.” If the behavior of the European Union is any indication, this will mean that the rights of various peoples to decide the moral order within their lands will be swept aside. And it can only be swept aside by the use of rewards for compliance and punishment for non-compliance—the carrot and the stick. They will be forced to choose between the promise of prosperity on one hand and poverty on the other; between civil order and chaos; between confidence and dread.
What the old and new world-shapers tend to minimize, or forget altogether, is the abiding condition of fallen human nature. They usually go so far as to realize that humanity is not, generally speaking, in very good condition. They also know that it is not difficult to manipulate human opinion in order to reshape the consciousness of “the masses.” They believe that the strategic use of images and rhetoric can go very far toward re-engineering the human condition, especially if world government is to be achieved mainly through existing democratic processes. But the would-be rulers of mankind suffer a colossal blindness about their own personal disorders, especially their most dangerous blind-spot, the hidden dynamic of pride which drives them to believe that they, the rulers, know better than we, the ruled, what is good for us.
Those who undertake the building of an ideal planetary society will find that it is a great deal less easy to accomplish than they anticipated. That will be their moment of testing. In the best-case scenario, they might come to admit that genuine diversity and a broad spectrum of independent sovereignties is, after all, a healthier system of governing the people of the world—imperfect as always, but the best means of maintaining freedom. Or, driven by a pride that approaches the level of satanic, they may push onward, imposing the new order regardless of the opposition, dismissing whatever valid arguments the resistance may put forward. And if the resistance is strong, a very big stick will be needed. There will be imprisonment for those who resist (or even dissent from) the perceived “common good.” The new rulers will justify the loss of freedoms by promoting everywhere the illusion that the successful realization of the dream is the highest good, worth any sacrifice. (“It is better that one man should die than the entire nation be destroyed,” said Caiaphas). Translated into modern terms: “It is better that nations should die, and some of their peoples die, than our window of opportunity for global control be lost.” Formed by and living by the deformed ethic of “the end justifies the means”, they will consider themselves to be the true visionaries, the saviours of the world. In a phrase, this is secular messianism. (see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 676)
It is in the nature of secular messianists to believe that if mankind will not cooperate, then mankind must be forced to cooperate—for its own good, of course. They recognize that the leap from an era of nation-states to an era of one world government will not be achieved without conscious effort and a good deal of chance. They would be blind not to see the grave problems in the present world as opportunities, as necessary creative disintegration, as the catalyst in the transforming experiment. In such a situation, management by crisis overrides authentic exercise of human freedom and responsibility. But this alone will not achieve their goals. They must also capture the popular imagination with a new global ethic, one that sweeps aside the protests of those who adhere to traditional morality, consigning us to “the garbage heap of history,” and establishing a dangerously self-righteous moralism in its place (for example, environmentalism as eco-spirituality, or the negation of gender as “liberation”).
The Necessity of Resistance
Pope Benedict XVI, while still a cardinal, addressed this matter in his introduction to a book by Msgr. Michel Schooyans, titled, The Gospel: Confronting World Disorder, published in 1997. Schooyans, one of the world’s leading experts in bioethics and demography, is a professor at the Catholic University of Louvain and a member of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. His book posits the Gospels in fundamental opposition to the “new anthropology” of the “new world order”, describing it as more or less a culmination of Marxism, insofar as it embodies a Materialist philosophy of man. For this reason, he says, a Christian is “obliged to protest” against it. Cardinal Ratzinger writes in the introduction:
“The attitude of Albert Camus, who resolutely opposes to Christ’s words ‘my kingdom is not of this world’, his affirmation that ‘my kingdom is of this world,’ is emblematic of modern man’s disposition. If in the last century [the 19th] belief in progress was still a generic optimism that anticipated progressive betterment of the world’s condition and an ever-closer approach of a kind of paradise from the triumphant march of the sciences, such faith in our century has taken on a political turn.
“On the one hand, there have been systems of Marxist orientation that promised the attainment of the desired reign of man by way of their ideologically-driven politics; an attempt that obviously failed. On the other hand, efforts to build the future have been made by attempts that draw more or less profoundly from the source of liberal traditions. Under the title New World Order, these efforts take on a configuration; they increasingly relate to the U.N. and its international conferences, especially those of Cairo and Beijing, that transparently reveal a philosophy of the new man and of the new world, as they endeavor to map out the ways of reaching them.
“Such a philosophy is no longer utopian, in the sense of a Marxist dream. On the contrary, it is very realistic: it determines the limits of the well-being sought from limited means for attaining it. This philosophy recommends, for example, without seeking to justify itself, not worrying about taking care of those who are no longer productive nor have any hope of a quality life. Furthermore, it no longer expects that people, used to riches and well being, be ready to make requisite sacrifices; on the contrary, it recommends ways of reducing the number of participants at humanity’s table, so that at least the so called happiness, already acquired by some, will not be touched. The typical character of this new anthropology, which is at the basis of the New World Order, is revealed above all in the image of woman, in the ideology of ‘Women’s empowerment,’ proposed at Beijing. The goal is the self-realization of women for whom the principle obstacles are the family and maternity. Thus woman must be liberated above all from what characterizes her and very simply makes for her specificity: this must disappear before ‘Gender, fairness and equality,’ before an indistinct and uniform human being, in whose life sexuality had no other meaning than as a voluptuous drug that can be used in any manner conceivable. …
“If, from the start, the reflection of the luminous Christian image of man protected the universality of rights, new questions arise to the degree that this image becomes blurred. How will the rights of the humblest be respected and promoted when our conception of man so often is based, as our author [Shooyans] says, ‘on jealousy, anxiety, fear and even hate? How can an ideology, that recommends sterilization, abortion, systematic contraception and even euthanasia as the price of an unbridled pansexualism, bring men to the joy of living and loving?’ ”
Writing elsewhere about the U.N.’s “Earth Charter”, Schooyans warns that globalization means “a concentration of power that has the odor of totalitarianism,” and that “In order to consolidate this holistic vision of globalism, certain obstacles have to be smoothed out and instruments put to work. Religions in general, and in the first place the Catholic religion, figure among the obstacles that have to be neutralized.” The U.N. is determined to create a new world order over which a “supergovernment” would preside, and a necessary component in its agenda is the promotion of a quasi-religious vision to replace traditional understandings of the value of man. Shooyans points out that the charter is heavily influenced by New Age thinking, and that in the latter, Christian humanism “has to be abandoned and rejected, in order to exalt a neo-pagan cult of Mother Earth.” He stressed that “The Church will have no choice but to fight against such a form of globalization.”
G. K. Chesterton once wrote that when men cease to believe in God, they do not then believe in nothing; they will then believe in anything. The imposition of a political new world order in conjunction with a religious new world order has not only the odor of totalitarianism. It has the distinct odor of apocalypse. The new messianists, in seeking to transform mankind into a collective being disconnected from his Creator, will unknowingly bring about the destruction of the greater portion of mankind. They will unleash unprecedented horrors: famines, plagues, wars, and ultimately Divine Justice.
In the beginning they will use coercion to further reduce population, and then if that fails they will use force. Against the bastion of traditional morality that stands in their way, they will also use coercion, and if that fails, they will also use force. They forget, or reject, the lessons of history: a true and healthy order in the human community can only arise from free assent, an internal restoration of authentic moral order. Morality of any kind, and most especially a man-created, man-centered “morality,” cannot be imposed without generating greater evils. The Old and New Testaments prophesy that there will come a time in history when “men’s hearts will grow cold” and they will pursue the eradication of divine authority over humanity, seeking to displace God from his throne, and spreading death throughout the world. In the end, the supposed tolerance of neo-liberalism will reach its limits, and then its true nature will be revealed. They will call evil good, and good evil. They will no longer tolerate what they perceive as the “intolerance” embodied by genuine morality. They will fulfill the prophecy of the ages and wage total war against Christianity.
Is it near? Has it begun? It is my sense that it has been underway for a long time, probably since before the French Revolution. I believe we are now living in the midst of “the beginning of birth pains” (Matt 24:8) and that “delivery” is close upon us. Events will very soon accelerate—and accelerate exponentially. We cannot know for certain the exact day and hour, nor do we have a precise blueprint that gives us schematic details of each stage of the apocalypse. That vision was given in prophetic, symbolic form, and thus all those who follow Christ must go with him in the way of faith, and not in the way of Gnostic self-preservation. Even so, Christ himself calls us in every generation to remain sober and alert, to stay awake and watch.
Assessing the Configuration of the World
To measure the shape of unfolding human events in history is never a science and at best is a kind of informed art. Man is not omnipotent, that is obvious enough, though in our times he exhibits an astonishing appetite for pushing the outer frontiers of god-like powers. “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry,” said the poet Robert Burns. Less obvious is the fact that we are not omniscient knowers. We cannot stand afar off in outer space, if you will, and survey our world as if objectively assessing the civilization of a newly discovered sentient being. Not one of us can consider the tragic and the glorious aspects of life on this planet with a wholly unprejudiced eye. It is our world, our history.
Human motivation is a major factor in how reality is read. It goes without saying that positive economics, if based on respect for human rights, is a good thing. But if one’s god is security or comfort or even in its worst manifestation an unapologetic greed built upon the losses of others, then the history of the world is no more than the history of economics, geopolitics and war. If one’s god is sensory and/or emotional rewards, then the history of the world is the history of romance, and in its worst manifestation the history of seduction. If one’s god is pride of intellect isolated from its balancing faculties of foundational principles and the spiritual life, then the history of the world is the history of ideas alone. And ideas, as the events of the 20th century overwhelmingly demonstrated, can have deadly consequences. We who live in the 21st must never forget that one-dimensional readings of man always lead in the wrong direction.
Man perceives the world around him through lenses that interpret the complex data of existence into a comprehensible package of meaning. This meaning informs him about what is to be done about the world around him, what are the highest goods he should pursue for his personal benefit, and if he is an idealist, what are the highest goods he should pursue for the benefit of mankind.
Politicians, generally, live somewhere between the opposite poles of selfishness and selflessness. With some notable exceptions, they are people who rise to positions of influence in their nations as they grow adept at riding the waves of popular hopes and fears, projecting images of themselves, creating visions of the future for their people, solving problems small and large, uttering admirable platitudes, power-broking, learning to compromise, and juggling short-term common sense solutions with grander agendas. In the modern age there is little to guide them in their decisions other than their own “lens”, their feelings or theories about the reality spread all around them, and, of course, the timeless psychological dynamic of “peer pressure.” If the leaders of nations and their background think-tanks are moving toward some as-yet vague consensus amongst themselves regarding what is best for mankind at a time of maximum crisis, they can scarcely afford a moment of radical self-questioning. They face the nearly insurmountable obstacles presented by the limited dimensions of their psychological cosmos, endlessly reinforced by those of like-minded powerful people, while at the same time they face the specter of their own possible failure. If they were to resist the tide of an entire age (so it seems to them), they would slip from influence and fall back into anonymity, and for man without God this means the largely subconscious terror of non-being. I have power, therefore I exist. I save the world on my own terms, therefore I am. It bears repeating: this is largely subconscious.
But this saving the world business is extremely tricky. The history of oppressive governments is the history of politicians attempting to save the world on their own terms, cut off from the guiding principles of moral absolutes. By contrast, the old monarchies of Christendom ruled under the watchful eye of heaven. Good kings tried with their limited means to rule by divine principles. Even bad kings had some sense that they would one day stand under the judgment of a court far higher than their own, risking a condemnation much more horrible than their own dungeons. When they broke divine law they at least knew there was a law. In the post-monarchical age, this is less and less so. The tyrants of our times have ruled by Marxist or fascist or a variety of oligarchical systems of thought and practice, and various other mutations of secular messianism. Some have attained high office through the vehicle of democratic process. Even anarchists, rejecting any form of government at all, are merely the witting or unwitting catalysts of dictatorships.
The New Totalitarianism
The concept of totalitarian government is broad and seems to stretch broader as the ages go onward. But if we seek to understand our times with any proximate coherence, we should understand this: Every system of totalitarian rule, including and between the poles of brutal tyranny and soft-spoken control, have this in common: 1) the rejection of binding moral absolutes established by a transcendent Being; and thus: 2) the minimizing of the absolute value of human life, and 3) the elevation of the State (malignant and seemingly benign alike) as the final arbiter of good and evil.
“Authentic democracy is possible only in a State ruled by law, and on the basis of a correct conception of the human person. … Nowadays there is a tendency to claim that agnosticism and sceptical relativism are the philosophy and the basic attitude which correspond to democratic forms of political life. Those who are convinced that they know the truth and firmly adhere to it are considered unreliable from a democratic point of view, since they do not accept that truth is determined by the majority, or that it is subject to variation according to different political trends. It must be observed in this regard that if there is no ultimate truth to guide and direct political activity, then ideas and convictions can easily be manipulated for reasons of power. As history demonstrates, a democracy without values easily turns into open or thinly disguised totalitarianism.” (Centesimus Annus, n. 46)
The human community is never more endangered than when totalitarianism appears to be benevolent. The new totalitarian’s idealism, his “humanitarianism”, his public image, may all communicate to us many good things, and thus our imagination is captured to the detriment of real discernment. We soon find ourselves succumbing to a magnetic attraction, and voting for leaders whose agendas mix admirable elements and fatal flaws. We then discover that we have elevated to positions of maximum influence men who would sacrifice human lives for the sake of “peace” or a thriving economy or some other value. Our guilt is denied, our sense of personal responsibility is numbed, to the degree that we perceive the sacrificed lives as statistical abstractions and our personal comforts as more real. By such choices we are revealed to ourselves. Where our treasure is, there is our heart. By and large, in the once-Christian democracies of the West we have been measured in the scales and found wanting.
In times past, a deceiving illusion could hold sway in a nation, or a continent, for limited periods. Then the twentieth century saw the inauguration of the phenomenon of “world war.” In our times, however, mankind is involved in an entirely different kind of war, with all the potential for planetary totalitarianism that is unprecedented in history. This war has already revealed its true nature through its determination to enforce abortion “rights” and other anti-population measures. China does it brutally; the Western nations do it through coercion. Both are manifestations of an undeclared war against mankind. History, it is said, is written by the conquerors, and that is only a little less true for those who assess current events in which they are personally enmeshed, the outcome of which is not yet known. Even so, let us have no doubt about it: the would-be conquerers are defining the terms of combat and the terms of conquest, and until God intervenes and brings history to its eschaton, its climax and end, they will presume to write its history. They have succeeded thus far because it has been done in the name of mankind, by spreading everywhere its tragically stunted anthropology, that is, the lie that some of us are less human than others; or, to borrow Orwell’s phrase, “Some of us are more equal than others.”
In his 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae, the Gospel of Life, John Paul II wrote:
“The Pharaoh of old, haunted by the presence and increase of the children of Israel, submitted them to every kind of oppression and ordered that every male child born of the Hebrew women was to be killed (cf. Ex. 1:7-22). Today not a few of the powerful of the earth act in the same way. They too are haunted by the current demographic growth, and fear that the most prolific and poorest peoples represent a threat for the well-being and peace of their own countries. Consequently, rather than wishing to face and solve these serious problems with respect for the dignity of individuals and families and for every person’s inviolable right to life, they prefer to promote and impose by whatever means a massive program of birth control. Even the economic help which they would be ready to give is unjustly made conditional on the acceptance of an anti-birth policy.” (EV, n. 16)
Now, unless there is a global illumination of conscience, the shapers of the new world order will seek to conquer more and more territory, not least of which is the moral and psychological geography of man, as they reconfigure the way life is lived on this planet. We—yes, even we Christians—are baited at the mouth by the lure of global peace and prosperity, and goaded from behind by our dread of economic depression, terrorism, ecological catastrophe and nuclear conflict. These dangers are real enough. But the solutions are potentially catastrophic in their own right. That is why it is now urgent that we who live in the democracies—more accurately, the declining remnants of democratic process—take greater care in discerning the people we elect to government. Are they men of principle (willing to risk their careers for the sake of defending a principle) or are they men of expedience? Do they serve moral absolutes, publicly as well as privately, or are they servants of the dictatorship of moral relativism?
In a November 14, 2008 address, Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, said that “one who wants to live and act according to the Gospel of Christ has to pay a price, even in the highly liberal societies of the West” where “the idea of creating a new man completely uprooted from Judeo-Christian tradition and [of creating] a new world order is gaining ground.” But we are not a minority in those nations, he pointed out. The core problem is caused by “we ourselves putting ourselves at the margin, making ourselves irrelevant—due to a lack of courage, so that people leave us in peace, because of mediocrity.”
Addressing the moral paralysis of believers, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver, Colorado, in a talk he gave in Toronto on 23 February, 2009, said that “modern life, including life in the Church, suffers from a phony unwillingness to offend that poses as prudence and good manners, but too often turns out to be cowardice. Human beings owe each other respect and appropriate courtesy. But we also owe each other the truth—which means candor.”
The truth is that all systems that seek to rule the Family of Man with either total or selective contempt for some portion of that family, in the end will destroy the family itself. Such systems are inherently anti-human, and thus they are also anti-Christ. It is a simple fact that all the worst manifestations of the spirit of Antichrist in history have been immediately preceded by apostasy from the Christian faith. We are now living in the midst of the greatest apostasy from the Christian faith in the history of the Church. This apostasy has been made possible not only by the external pressures brought to bear on believers by the spirit of the world, by the sins and errors of unbelievers. It has occurred largely because of the internal betrayal of the Faith by false teachers who have arisen among us, those who gradually seized our institutions in the particular churches (university faculties and other levels of education, some seminaries, diocesan organs of formation in faith, catechetical programs, and so forth) and turned them to their own purposes, which were far from the mind of Christ and far from the heart of the Church.
Is it too late to reverse the tide? I think not. It is never too late for the world to be renewed, as long as man turns to the true sources of what makes him human. Cardinal Rylko summarized it well: “For Christians the moment has arrived to free themselves from a false inferiority complex.” It is time for us all, he emphasized, “to become valiant witnesses for Christ.” For this to be fruitful for mankind as a whole, we must cease our passive acceptance of the ghettoization of conscience. Our valiant witness must be active in both private and public life.
Michael D. O’Brien
March 17, 2009
To the presiding spirit of the church in Laodicea, write this:
“The Amen, the faithful Witness and true, the Source of God’s Creation, has this to say: I know your deeds. I know you are neither hot nor cold. How I wish you were one or the other—hot or cold! But because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spew you out of my mouth! You keep saying, ‘I am so rich and secure that I want for nothing.’ Little do you realize how wretched you are, how pitiable and poor, how blind and naked!
(Revelation 4: 14-17)
For thus said the Lord to me, taking hold of me and warning me not to walk in the way of this people: Call not alliance what this people calls alliance, and fear not, nor stand in awe of what they fear. But with the Lord of hosts make your alliance—for him be your fear and your awe.
(Isaiah 8: 11-13)
Come now, you rich, weep and wail over your impending miseries. Your wealth has rotted away, your clothes have become moth-eaten, your gold and silver have corroded, and that corrosion will be a testimony against you; it will devour your flesh like a fire. You have stored up treasure for the last days.
Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers who harvested your fields are crying aloud, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on earth in luxury and pleasure; you have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter. You have condemned; you have murdered the righteous one; he offers you no resistance.
Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You too must be patient. Steady your hearts, because the coming of the Lord is at hand.
(James 5: 1-8)
A great sign appeared in the heavens, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and on her head a crown of twelve stars. Because she was with child, she wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth. Then another sign appeared in the sky; it was a huge red dragon, flaming red, with seven heads and ten horns; on his heads were seven diadems. His tail swept a third of the stars from the sky and hurled them down to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth, ready to devour her child when it would be born. She brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne. . . . Then the dragon was enraged with the Woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus.
(Revelation 12: 1-5, 17)
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Michael O’Brien’s writings on the new totalitarianism have appeared in many journals. Samples of his other articles can be read at:
Sign of Contradiction and the New World Order:
The Family and the New Totalitarianism:
Globalism versus Ultra-nationalism (a fairy tale):
The New Totalitarianism, “hate crime” and same-sex “marriage”:
Globalization and the New World Order
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