President H.W. Bush, borrowing a phrase from an earlier era, popularized the term “New World Order” (NWO) in the early 1990s. But while the New World Order has legitimate roots, it has come to be associated with little more than paranoid conspiracy.
Given what we’ve witnessed in recent times, however, is it wise to continue to dismiss the notion out-of-hand?
The following metaphor, Friedmanesque but nevertheless useful in view of the controversial nature of this topic, paints a picture of what political and economic progress may look like as the 21st Century progresses — and why a NWO may not be as far-fetched as so many of us are inclined to believe.
Imagine a smattering of raindrops hitting the pavement. Each raindrop represents the relative isolation and sovereignty of each nation. As those raindrops increase in number — meaning more countries climb aboard the international trade bandwagon — they connect like dots.
With enough rain — overlapping treaties and trade agreements — pools of water form (commonwealths operating under a shared constitution and/or currency). This is a natural evolution of the free trade process.
The European Union is but one such trade and currency pool, and it is not at all out of the question that more are to come. In Asia, in fact, The Wall Street Journal reported October 12, 2009 that an “Asean Plus Six” proposal seeks to integrate the 10 member nations of the Association of Southeast Asian nations as well as Japan, China, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.
Much like a succession of raindrops merging to form large swaths of water, boundaries between nations may become less distinct in the years to come. Such a progression inevitably begs the question: Is national sovereignty passé? And in even longer-range terms, will ethnic, language and cultural distinctions begin to dissolve too?
While far-sighted, these questions are just that: Legitimate questions.
When people say that the prospect for a North American Union is little more than a conspiracy, they are, in effect, saying that they know the future beyond a reasonable doubt. What this denies in the here-and-now is an appreciation for the reality that a World Federalist Movement (WFM) has been afoot for decades. The mainstream media may not give these long-ranging issues press time, but world federalist organizations do, in fact, exist in the United States, Canada and elsewhere in the developed world — and they run websites replete with historical timelines that anyone can verify for themselves.
This much we know of modern times: Peacetime economies are evolving toward tighter integration for the sake of shared prosperity. Debates over whether this is incidental or intentional detract from the point: The logical extension of removing conflicting trade laws and legal barriers may well be a set of conditions wherein borders are intact on maps, but members function more like states in a global confederation (interregionalism).
Some say we may even see this convergence culminate within our lifetimes.
In a speech then-president-elect Barack Obama gave in Berlin, he had this to say:
No doubt there will be differences in opinon. But 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 between nations is not a choice. It is the only way. The one way to protect our common security and advance our common humanity.
President Obama’s message? This isn’t personal. This isn’t partisan. This “burden” is the future. And no, we do not have a choice.
President Obama, to be clear, is but one of several American presidents in recent years to share a globalized vision — hence his statement that a “change in Washington” will not deviate world leaders from a transnational progressive path:
SERIOUS QUESTIONS FOR SERIOUS TIMES
- Does a shift toward increasingly large and impersonal centralized governance bode well for freedom to exclude oneself or one’s nation from a one-size-fits-all policy? Or will freedom to opt out be the one guarantee regional integration proponents — world federalists — can’t promise?
- Is it in keeping with human history and human psychology to share a collective vision without breaking rank? How does world federalism propose to respond to “agitators” and civil unrest within its Utopian framework?
- Does consolidation of legal and political powers represent a net gain or is it offset by the potential for corruption and abuse at the hands of a powerful few whose legislative reach has gone global?
- At an economic level, can or will world federalism deliver on its promise of peace and prosperity for all world citizens? Or does it violate the all-eggs-in-one-basket principle: posing, instead, a dangerous level of economic and international codependency that will hold individuals and markets alike captive to the weakest link within the whole?
How do you feel about the path we are apparently headed down?