Key Words In The New World Order



As the 21st century begins, with the
U.S. hegemon and transnational capitalism roaming the earth like the dinosaurs
of the distant past, we should take stock of the key words that help rationalize
their rampages. Many are heart-warming “purr” words like “democracy,”
“empowerment,” “freedom,” “reform,” and “responsibility,”
which are applied to arrangements and policies that are antidemocratic, disempower,
diminish freedom, and abandon responsibility on the part of the rulers of
the New World Order (NWO). But the word usage is effective because the rulers
dominate the communications system and are free to reengineer meaning and
rewrite history.


These words are linked together, and they serve as important components of
an ideological and propaganda apparatus. It will be seen below that the language
of economics—market, commodities, commodification, free trade, growth—flows
smoothly into political lingo—freedom, democracy, elections, reform,
deregulation—and into the key words relating to personal behavior and
social issues—consumption, compassion, morality, family values, law and
order, crime, prisons—and also into the language of global expansion
and the maintenance of global law and order (“stability”)—free
trade, globalization, security, ethnic cleansing, human rights, and humanitarian
intervention. “Free trade” sits astride both the language of economics
and that of global issues of expansion, and so do other words in this evolving
system.


Free Trade and Protectionism


Many of the key words that purr have
their counterparts that hiss and snarl—free trade has its snarl partner
in “protectionism,” and “market” has a set of negative
partners—“government,” “government control,” and
“regulation.” Typically, the ideological/propaganda system arranges
the “facts” and history to idealize the purr word and cast the snarl
word into outer darkness. In the case of free trade, for example, the establishment
wants us to perceive the freedom to trade as generally beneficial, protectionism
helping only the “special interests” to evade competition. The Wall
Street Journal
’s Bernard Wysocki Jr. states that, “The first
rule of trade agreements is that the benefits are widely dispersed, the costs
are very concentrated and the losers are very vocal” (December 6, 1999).
Philadelphia Inquirer business columnist Andrew Cassel asserts that
trade openness “leads to higher living standards for everyone” (December
6, 1999). But the support for the trade agreements is very concentrated and
opposition very widespread, despite the alleged wide benefits. The majority
who oppose are presumably irrational; the big boys who fight so furiously
for the agreements are showing once again their community spirit.


The freedom to trade as sponsored by the great powers today is not really
free at all; among other unfree features, it restricts the right to trade
the patented goods of the big boys, allowing them to capture their monopoly
profits. It directly benefits several hundred transnational corporations,
but in the NWO this is deemed to be serving the “national interest.”
Protectionism, which serves the “special interests,” is opposed
by the media and economists, except in countries and at times when those who
define the national interest feel that they need it. The economics profession
“follows the flag,” like the mainstream media. When industry needs
protection from powerful foreign firms that benefit from economies of scale
and that work far down the learning curve, as in the United States and Germany
in much of the 19th century, protectionist thought and the “infant industry
argument” flourishes. When a country’s industries are in the advanced
and advantaged state of the United States and Germany today, free trade theory
rules uncontested. (This pattern is reversed in Third World and ex-Soviet
bloc countries today, where the loss of autonomy and the influence of transnational
corporate money and ideology causes the indigenous politicians, economists,
and media to serve foreign and affiliated local comprador interests.)


Free trade can increase income and wealth and provide some trickle-down benefits,
but so can controlled trade and protectionism. In one of the great collective
acts of historical revisionism, the western establishment claims that the
takeoffs into sustained growth of Japan, the United States and other great
Western powers, and the Asian “tigers” occurred under regimes of
free trade. They didn’t; all benefitted from the dread protectionism.
The point today is to deny less developed countries the right to choose their
paths to development and to force them into the global market system and domination
by the great powers, their transnationals, and their international agencies
(IMF, World Bank, WTO).


Economics


Basic words in the NWO lexicon are “commodity,”
“commodification,” and “markets.” A commodity is something
bought and sold; the market is where the buying and selling takes place; and
commodification is the process of making into a commodity something that was
formerly outside the market, as in privatizing public services like schools,
hospitals, prisons, railroads, and parks. Commodification and privatization
are allegedly good because they enhance “efficiency,” another key
word in the NWO lexicon. Government and public ownership and control are bad
because they are detrimental to efficiency.


As with free trade, these purr words purr and the snarl words snarl by the
use of selective history, biased economic analysis, and an ignoring of socially
important considerations that are of no interest to the NWO rulers. Commodification
of everything weakens government, which can be an instrument of a democratic
society, in favor of an increasingly concentrated corporate community that
can more easily dominate politics and public policy. It strengthens individualism
and the spirit of acquisition at the expense of any sense of the collective.
The efficiency advantages of global commodification are also highly debatable:
competition can involve enormous waste in duplication and marketing efforts;
and the privatized economy entails systematic market failure in its neglect
of externalities, which are increasingly important in an integrated chemicalized
world that is threatening the biosphere. These enormous costs and threats
are simply ignored or played in very low key in the media and by the intellectuals
that serve the NWO interests. The focus is on private, not social, efficiency;
but social efficiency is the real efficiency for the community and world.


The same kind of bias applies to the treatment of “growth,” another
purr word favorite in the NWO. One merit of the word is that growth can clearly
be stimulated by making things good for business, which will then invest and
bring advanced technology to the community, with trickle-down jobs and other
benefits. A focus on growth and technology is commonly accompanied by a failure
to note their distributional or externalities effects. A sufficiently bad
distributional effect of growth could result in a decline in human welfare;
and sufficiently large negative externalities (social inefficiencies) could
cause properly measured growth to show negative values. But combined with
a worry about inflation and employment levels above the “natural rate,”
the focus on growth per se provides a word structure perfectly attuned to
a policy of serving business first, with others benefitting, if at all, as
a spinoff. Income distribution, inequality, equity, externalities, market
failure, and ecocide are, if not snarl words, words to be avoided.


“Globalization” also has a warm glow, implying an international
division of labor voluntarily undertaken, international peace and goodwill,
and the ending of nationalism, cross-border enmity and war. But war, ethnic
conflict, and nationalism have flourished in the NWO, as TNCs, with the aid
of their governments and IMF, have destabilized many weak countries and created
a whole new order of “chaotic ungovernable entities” (Oswaldo De
Rivero, “Les entites chaotique ingouvernables,” Le Monde Diplomatique,
April 1999). Globalization activities have been carried out by TNCs for their
own advantage, without regard to secondary effects on employment and the social
or ecological environment. Their power to influence politics has grown with
their wealth and mobility, and their success in pushing globalization has
been based on power and coercive threat, not truly voluntary or democratic
approval. The counterpart word describing globalization’s coercive base
and negative effects is “imperialism,” but as that word snarls at
something clearly beneficent it has dropped out of the establishment lexicon.


Politics


NWO politics is the politics of “golden
rule.” Gold rules by its power over ideology—through advertising,
a controlled media, and friendly and funded intellectuals—by the impact
of mainly business money in elections, and because of capital’s increasingly
effective threat to go on strike (by money flight abroad as well as by a reallocation
of production and investment to more hospitable environments). Politicians
operate within very narrow constraints, and in less developed countries cannot
afford to offend foreign bankers, the IMF, the United States and its allies,
and the internal gendarme armies overseeing things for their masters, in a
now longstanding tradition.


The function of these political lackeys is to carry out “reform,”
which means deregulation, privatization, opening up of market opportunities
to the global sharks, and cutting back on unnecessary expenditures on food,
education, housing, and health care for the people without gold. (With amazing
cynicism, the World Bank periodically announces a new focus on helping the
goldless people that its primary policies systematically damage.) Politicians
who actually tried to do something for the goldless, like former German finance
minister Oskar LaFontaine, are quickly vilified and ousted, but in the NWO
such politicians rarely attain even brief power, whatever the desires and
interests of the masses.


This means of course that “elections” have been drained of substance
and can no longer effect any useful changes, except for the dominant class
and their foreign supporters, as in Russia with its devastating “reform”
process. The function of elections in Russia was to convince the victimized
populace that they had a democratic choice, when they didn’t have one,
and to diffuse any threat of a rational and more forceful response to the
destruction and looting of their society. A Latvian-Canadian businessperson
explained to historian Jeff Sommers that he favored lifting the prohibition
of the Communist Party in Latvia for its benefits displayed in Russia, where
people could vote for CP candidate Zhuganov, without the slightest chance
of his winning, but providing an outlet to diffuse a potentially volatile
situation.


“Freedom” is a key word linking economics and politics. Freedom
has more and more come to mean the freedom of individuals to do business and
of corporations to operate without restraint. The political component has
been relegated to the background, and Chicago School and other apologists
for regimes of murder like Pinochet’s have long argued that his creation
of market institutions will assure political freedom, in the long run. But
their complaisance at the murders and terror, and their undetectable efforts
on behalf of political freedom, point to the clearly towering dominance of
market freedom in their value systems. More generally, the establishment’s
regular support of political gangsters like Suharto, who brutalize and kill
but provide a favorable climate of investment, allow us to understand the
subtle transformation of meaning of “freedom” to “economic
freedom.”


As noted, globalization purrs because its meaning is confined to the spread
of business overseas with accompanying productivity advances, greater cultural
intercourse, and the other good things—the bads, the weakening of governments’
ability to serve their local populations, the disrupting effects, the one-sidedness
of the cultural intercourse, the coercive elements, are associated with “imperialism,”
a word now mentioned only within quote marks. In NWO ideology “imperialism”
refers to the colonialism of a bygone age, not to the indirect form of domination
being carried out on a global scale today.


Personal Behavior and Morality


Privatizing values and morality has
been important for the rulers of the NWO, for three reasons: one is that it
gears personal objectives to the aim of business to sell goods; a second is
that it helps rationalize privatization of everything else; and a third is
that by stressing the individual and downgrading the group, the community,
and government it makes it easier for the corporate community to dominate,
faced only with an atomized populace.


The success of the business system in extirpating the threat of the ideas
that materialism is bad, that “The love of money is the root of all evil”
and that rich people might have a tough time getting into heaven, goes back
a long way. But it continues to amaze how successfully the system escapes
condemnation for putting personal material gratification front and center,
and how with the help of the “bell curve intellectuals” and media
the system’s victims are made into autonomous causes of social problems.
In our time this process has involved demonizing welfare mothers, who represent
a congerie of bads, easily linked to crime in the streets by the black “underclass.”
This demonization helps reinforce the “family values” ideology of
patriarchy, work, shopping, saving, and avoidance of government handouts.
In this structure of privatized morality, people can take pride in their difference
from the demonized and genetically deprived criminals, who society is properly
disposing of through welfare “reform” in “personal responsibility”
legislation and via incarceration in “corrections” facilities; and
these folks will be only dimly aware that the corporate world is running things,
is getting huge welfare largess of its own, and that foreign policy is devoted
to carving out opportunities for the transnationals.


The family values people will also not see that their morality represents
an abandonment of all that is generous, social, community oriented, and reflective
of the strand of the Western tradition that speaks of all people as brothers
and sisters. The ease with which they swallow “tough love” and “compassionate
conservatism”—or plain vanilla uncompassionate liberalism (“liberals
with guts,” in the New Republic) and conservatism—all of
which amount to a ruthless abandonment of compassion and genuine “responsibility,”
is striking. So also is the ease with which they accept the mass killing and
starvation of demonized foreigners—expressed back in the Vietnam War
era as “the mere gook rule”—in contrast with the unacceptability
of deaths of their own military personnel.


Humanitarian Intervention


In NWO ideology globalization is portrayed
as technologically driven, inevitable, and beneficial to all but a few “special
interests. But globalization runs into difficulties with “rogues”
and others who fail to appreciate its wonders. The ongoing global polarization
of incomes, the widespread ethnic conflict, and the growth of “chaotic
ungovernable entities” are not seen as a product of globalization (which
they are in considerable measure) but as fortuitous happenings that interfere
with the wondrous process. As in the case of Russian “reform,” the
answer to seriously negative consequences is an intensification of their causes.
As with crime in the streets at home, the cure is not in altering the workings
of the economy serving the elite so well, it is in prisons at home and putting
the rogues in their place abroad.


This gears well with domestic policy, where “military Keynesianism”
has long been the acceptable base of macro-stabilization and Pentagon subsidization
of high tech industry the acceptable form of welfare. It is also useful to
have a large military establishment available to keep the lid on any future
internal security threats. Furthermore, as Thorstein Veblen pointed out back
in 1904, a militarized society not only conduces to “the orderly pursuit
of business,” it “directs the popular interest to other, nobler,
institutionally less hazardous matters than the unequal distribution of wealth
or of creature comforts,” and affords “a corrective for ‘social
unrest’ and similar disorders of civilized life.”


Nice little wars against rogues bring us together (around our TV sets, as
in watching the Super Bowl), demonstrate our high moral virtue in willingness
to prevent “ethnic cleansing” with “humanitarian bombing,”
and demonstrate to the rest of the world that we are the fit policepeople
of the globalization process from which almost everybody benefits. Of course,
when it gets to the condition of the Kurds in Turkey and the East Timorese
under Indonesian assault, we must recognize that we “can’t do everything,”
and that there are cases where “constructive engagement” is more
helpful than threats and the use of force. But otherwise, this is clearly
the best of all possible worlds.                         Z