Disarming the New World Order
The “war on terrorism” is a lie. Amply documented, the pretext to wage this war is totally fabricated.
Realities have been turned upside down.
Acts of war are heralded as “humanitarian interventions” geared towards restoring “democracy”. Military occupation and the killing of civilians are presented as “peace-keeping operations”. The derogation of civil liberties-by imposing the “anti-terrorist legislation”-is portrayed as a means to providing “domestic security” and upholding civil liberties.
Meanwhile, expenditures on health and education are curtailed to finance the military-industrial complex and the police state.
Under the American Empire, millions of people around the world are being driven into abysmal poverty, and countries are being transformed into open territories.
US protectorates are installed with the blessing of the “international community”. “Interim governments” are formed. Political puppets designated by America’s oil giants are casually endorsed by the United Nations, which increasingly performs the role of a rubber-stamp for the US Administration.
When viewed historically,”September 11″ is the biggest fraud in American history.
We are fast moving towards a totalitarian system in which the institutions of war, police repression and economic policy (i.e.,”strong economic medicine”) interface with one another. This system relies on the manipulation of public opinion. The “fabricated realities” of the Bush administration must become indelible truths, which form part of a broad political and media consensus. In this regard, the corporate media is an instrument of this totalitarian system. It has carefully excluded, from the outset, any real understanding of the September 11 crisis.
Millions of people have been misled regarding the causes and consequences of September 11. While the Bush administration implements a “war on terrorism”, the evidence (including mountains of official documents) amply confirms that successive US Administrations have supported, abetted and harbored international terrorism.
This fact, in itself, must be suppressed because if it ever trickles down to the broader public, the legitimacy of the “war on terrorism” collapses “like a deck of cards”. In the process, the legitimacy of the main actors behind this system is threatened, so they enact new laws to protect themselves:
We are becoming a banana republic here in the United States, with “disappeared” people, which was the phenomenon that we all saw down in Latin American dictatorships in the 1970s and 1980s, with the support, by the way, of the United States Government.(1)
Disarming the New World Order
Militarization, covert intelligence operations and outright war support the extension of the “free market” economy into new frontiers. The development of America’s war machine supports an unprecedented accumulation of private wealth into fewer and fewer hands, which threatens the future of humanity.
The dangers of a possible Third World War must be addressed and understood. To disarm the New World Order, the inner features of this totalitarian system must be revealed and fully understood. This understanding must not be confined to a handful of writers and critics, it must be shared by all our fellow citizens, whose lives are directly affected by the “war on terrorism”.
An understanding of this system is required to develop cohesive mass movements, which will reverse the tide and prevent the onslaught of a World War.
The workings of global capitalism and of the “free market” economy are intricately tied to the corridors of power. The powers behind this system are those of the global banks and financial institutions, the military-industrial complex, the oil and energy giants, the biotech-pharmaceutical conglomerates and the powerful media and communications giants, which fabricate the news and overtly distort the course of world events.
To effectively disarm this system, it is not sufficient to call for the “democratization” of the financial system, coupled with “reforms” of global institutions (such as the IMF, World Bank, WTO and the UN). These “reforms” do not change the workings of global capitalism, nor do they in any way upset the underlying power structures. In fact, the New World Order not only allows, but actively encourages this type of cosmetic “reform”, which provides the illusion that “the globalizers” are somehow committed to progressive change.
Sustaining the Illusion of Democracy
The Bush administration requires “legitimacy” in the eyes of public opinion, namely, that in launching the “war on terrorism”, it is acting in the best interests of society, with the full endorsement of the American people and with the backing of the “international community”.
To effectively build this “legitimacy”, the Bush administration not only needs to uphold the falsehoods behind the “war on terrorism”, it also needs to sustain the illusion that constitutional democracy continues to prevail.
Sustaining the “freedom and democracy rhetoric” is part of the process of building a totalitarian State. While “legitimate dissent” is encouraged, democracy requires that “civil liberties be balanced against public safety”:
Our response to the threat of terrorism, in the context of systemic vulnerability, will have an impact both on the cost of providing security and on the civil liberties prized in many communities.(2)
To convey the illusion of democracy, “the globalizers” must “fabricate dissent”. In other words, they must create, covet and finance their own political opposition. In order to appear legitimate, they must actively encourage the type of “criticism” which does not challenge “their right to rule”.
This libertarian “counter-discourse”-which serves to disarm a genuine mass movement against war and globalization-constitutes part of the foundations of this evolving totalitarian system. Leaders of trade union confederations and mainstream NGOs, together with selected “academics” and critics, are invited to participate in policy formulation together with bankers, corporate executives and politicians.
The ploy is to selectively handpick civil society leaders “whom we can trust” and integrate them into a “dialogue”. The idea is to cut them off from their rank and file, make them feel that they are “global citizens” acting on behalf of their fellow citizens, but make them act in a way which serves the interests of the corporate establishment:
Business, government and civil society leaders must have the creativity to forge new institutional arrangements for a more inclusive global economy.(3)
This ritual of “civil society participation” serves several important functions. In the US it requires these “progressive” leaders to accept the fundamental premise that the Bush administration is waging a campaign against international terrorism in response to the events of September 11. In the words of Edward Herman and David Peterson, “this [‘leftist accommodation’]…of leaning over backwards to downplay the US terrorist role, merges into a serious misreading of ongoing events”.(4)
Once the fundamental premise that the US Administration is committed to curbing international terrorism is accepted, these leftist intellectuals and civil society critics are invited to express their “reservations” regarding America’s conduct of the war, the impacts on civilians or their humanitarian concerns regarding the derogation of the Rule of Law.
In this ritual, the main justification for waging the war, which is a complete falsehood, is never questioned despite documented evidence that the “war on terrorism” is a fabrication. For instance, numerous NGOs have accused the Bush administration for having breached the 1949 Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war, yet these same organizations have failed to question the overall legitimacy of the Bush administration’s “war on terrorism”. While the “globalizers” are subjected to “constructive criticism”, their legitimate right to rule remains unchallenged. What this “left accommodation” and “civil society mingling” does is to reinforce the clutch of the military-intelligence elites and the corporate establishment, while weakening the real protest movement.
More importantly, “left accommodation” splits up the protest movement. It divides the anti-war movement from the anti-globalization movement. It prevents the development of a broader movement against the American Empire. The large trade unions and the mainstream non-governmental organizations, by failing to denounce the falsehoods behind the “war on terrorism”, have contributed unwittingly to the failure of a real opposition movement being mounted against the New World Order.
In the words of AFL-CIO president John Sweeney: “We are all angry; let our anger be directed at the real enemy. The terrorists and those who supported them must be brought to justice.”(5)
Building Meaningful Mass Movements
We are at the juncture of one of the most important social struggles in world history, requiring an unprecedented degree of solidarity and commitment. America’s New War, which includes the “first strike” use of nuclear weapons, threatens the future of humanity as we know it. This is by no means an overstatement.
Some people believe that this New World Order can be changed by developing “new ideas” (or “paradigms”) regarding “alternative forms of economic and social organization” and that government policy will somehow adjust and encompass these new concepts. This viewpoint-which is fashionable among civil society advocates-calls for dialogue, debate and discussion with elected politicians concerning reforms and “alternatives”.
More importantly, this left accommodation does not question the legitimacy of the elected politicians who have unequivocally endorsed the “war on terrorism”. It often trivializes the seriousness of the post-September 11 crisis. It fails to recognize that the US is involved in a war of conquest. It does not address the relationship between the objectives of war and global capitalism. In other words, it dares not look behind the curtain to see who is really driving the hidden agenda. Nor does it address the fact that Western heads of state and heads of government, in endorsing America’s war, have blatantly violated international law and are also responsible-together with the Bush administration-for crimes against humanity.
Establishing an “alternative economic and social system” through an abstract set of principles does not, in itself, address the nature of the World Order and the power structures which underlie it.
The abstract formulation of “an alternative” does not ensure that meaningful change will be forthcoming and that the workings of contemporary capitalism will be modified. These work-ings-which are the result of complex manoeuvers between the business elites and the military-intelligence establishment-cannot be undone simply by formulating a new paradigm, or by calling for a more “Just World” or by presenting demands and/or petitions to the G-7 political leaders who are, themselves, the lackeys of the New World Order.
To bring about meaningful change, the balance of power within society must be modified. The backbone of this system is militarization, which in turn endorses and enforces the capitalist market system. One cannot disarm the “invisible fist” of the “free market” without concurrently dismantling the military and intelligence apparatus which supports it. Military bases must be closed down; the war machine- including the production of advanced weapons systems-must be dismantled, implying a dramatic shift into civilian production.
Disarming the New World Order also requires a transformation of the structures of ownership, namely the disempowering of banks, financial institutions and transnational corporations, as well as a radical overhaul of the state apparatus. All these issues are complex and will require careful debate and analysis in the years ahead.
The first priority, in this regard, is to stall the privatization of collective assets, infrastructure, public utilities (including water and electricity), state institutions (such as hospitals and schools), the commons, communal lands, etc.
Yet it should be understood that this process-which in itself requires a meaningful debate on policy alternatives-cannot commence unless the falsehoods which provide “legitimacy” to war and globalization are fully revealed and understood by all.
This struggle requires breaking the legitimacy of the system and those who rule in our name. Politicians who are war criminals must be removed. The judicial system must be transformed. The banking system must be overhauled, etc. But none of this is possible as long as citizens continue to blindly uphold the neoliberal agenda.
The legitimacy of the New World Order system must be undone.
At the present juncture, social movements are in a state of disarray. Labour leaders and leftist politicians have been co-opted.
Against this background, the anti-globalization protest movement seems to have coalesced around the “Counter-Summit” or “People’s Summit”, held in parallel to various “official” venues such as the G-7, G-8 meetings, or those of the Bretton Woods institutions: namely the World Bank and IMF and also the annual World Economic Forum, usually held in Davos, Switzerland.
These international venues-while bringing together activists from around the world-tend to be dominated by a handful of intellectuals and civil society organizers which set the agenda. The same personalities travel to these various international venues which, over the years, have become heavily ritualized.
The Funding of Dissent
These international conferences and teach-ins are often financed by government grants and donations from the large private foundations (Ford Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, etc.). This “funding of dissent” plays a key role. It essentially circumscribes the boundaries of dissent. In other words, one cannot meaningfully question the legitimacy of the governments and business corporations while, at the same time, expecting them to foot the bill. The “funding of dissent” ensures that these organizations will criticize the system without going against their government and corporate sponsors. In other words, they will not take a lead in the development of a meaningful mass movement.
Many of the organizations involved have, in the process, become “lobbyists”, often funded by governments or intergovernmental organizations. Demands, petitions and declarations are formulated to little avail, largely with respect to issues of debt cancellation, environmental standards and macro-economic reform, etc.
The Ritual of the Counter-Summit
The organization of international counter-summits cannot constitute the basis of this struggle. To effectively “disarm the American Empire”, we must move to a higher plane by launching mass movements in our respective countries, grassroots movements-integrated nationally and internationally-which reveal the hidden face of the New World Order and bring the message of what globalization and militarization are doing to ordinary people. Ultimately, these are the grassroots forces which must be mobilized to challenge those who threaten our collective future.
Existing mass organizations such as trade unions and non-governmental organizations, whose leaders have visibly been co-opted, must be “democratized” and reappropriated by their grass-roots. In other words, these organizations must be rebuilt from within.
This process should take place in all sectors of organized labour (industrial workers, farmers, teachers, public sector employees, professionals, etc.), eventually leading to the transformation of the national and international labour confederations. In other words, within these various organizations, leadership structures must be democratized, while setting an agenda of struggle and resistance against war and globalization.
Other sectors of society, including small and medium-sized businesses and independent producers, whose existence is threatened by the global corporations, must also address these issues within their respective organizations.
Of critical importance, this democratization process must also proceed from within the security, police and military forces with a view to effectively disarming the Empire’s repressive apparatus. To succeed, dissident voices within the military, intelligence and police sectors must be fully integrated into the broader struggle.
Grass Roots Organizations
Concurrently, what is also required in each of our countries is the formation of a powerful network of local level councils in neighborhoods, work places, schools, universities, etc. which integrate millions of citizens. These national networks would in turn be integrated into a broad international movement.
The first priority for these grass-roots councils would be to break the legitimacy of global capitalism by informing, educating and sensitizing fellow citizens regarding the nature of the New World Order-i.e., uncovering the falsehoods and media lies, taking a firm position against the “war on terrorism”, establishing the links between globalization and militarization, debating the concrete impacts of deadly macroeconomic reforms, etc.
The councils and their respective networks, operating nationally and internationally, would eventually become increasingly politicized, constituting the basis for organized resistance and transformation. In turn, the councils could develop, under certain circumstances, into a de facto system of parallel government.
The struggle must be broad-based and democratic, encompassing all sectors of society at all levels, in all countries, uniting in a major thrust: workers, farmers, independent producers, small businesses, professionals, artists, civil servants, members of the clergy, students and intellectuals.
The anti-war, anti-globalization, environmentalist, civil rights and anti-racism coalitions must unite. “Single issue” groups must join hands in a common understanding on how the New World Order is threatening our collective future on this planet.
This global struggle directed against the American Empire is fundamental, requiring a degree of solidarity and internationalism unprecedented in world history.
The global economic system feeds on social divisiveness between and within countries. Unity of purpose and worldwide coordination among diverse groups and social movements is crucial. A major thrust is required which brings together social movements in all major regions of the world, in common pursuit of and commitment to the elimination of poverty and a lasting world peace.
- Christopher Bollyn,”In the Name of Security, Thousands Denied Constitutional Rights”, American Free Press, 29 November 2001.
- 2002 World Economic Forum, http://www.weforum.org/.
- In the words of Ed Mayo, Executive Director of the New Economics Foundation at the 2002 New York World Economic Forum, at http://www.weforum.org, February 2002.
- Edward Herman and David Peterson,”Who Terrorizes Whom”, Global Outlook, No. 1, Spring 2002, p. 47.
- Statement by John Sweeney, President of the AFL-CIO, 14 September 2001, http://www.aflcio.org/publ/press2001/pr0916.htm.