I recently had a meeting with a potential business partner that was as fruitless as it was illuminating. It rapidly became obvious that we had no coinciding self interest and thus there was no deal to be done. Even if there had been the necessary mutual self interest I doubt that we could have reached an accommodation because we each believed the other to be naïve and easily manipulated.
Now don’t get me wrong I liked the guy and respect the work he has done in his area of expertise, but I found his world view very hard to swallow. The meeting took place just after the Haitian earthquake, he asked me if I didn’t think that there had been a lot of earthquakes lately; I made some noncommittal reply along the lines of I’m not sufficiently aware of the data to make a comment.
He went on to explain that, he believed, technology developed by Nikola Tesla, the inventor of the radio and many other new technologies, was now being employed by the ‘New World Order’ to deliberately cause earthquakes at the time and place of their choosing. I was somewhat taken aback, and it was only my respect for the body of work that this man had done in his chosen field that stopped me laughing out loud. Even if I wasn’t personally acquainted with one Dr Geoffrey King - whose own chosen field is the study of earthquake prediction based on the theory of accumulated stresses on fault lines being released in the form of an earthquake resulting in new stresses accumulating further along the fault line - I would have found this suggestion laughable on so many levels.
Firstly there is the issue of if a ‘new world order’ did exist, with all this amazing technology, why would they allow it to be put up on the internet for all to see. Secondly if the ‘new world order’ or any other group had such power why hadn’t they used it to much greater, power enhancing, effect? Thirdly, who is this alleged New World Order? How is it that their interests are so aligned that they do not fracture and collapse into factional infighting? My own personal world view is that there are many national leaders that would dearly love to form some kind of New World Order (with each leader seeing themselves as the head honcho), but that they are frustrated and thwarted at every turn by national self interest. Just look at the respective failures concerning global negotiations on climate change, the Doha round of the WTO, International Financial Regulation, and a host of other issues. Since the end of the Cold War we seem to have entered an age of new world disorder rather than a New World Order.
Perhaps most worryingly of all is the number of people I meet who buy into theories that I consider ought to belong only to those who are so paranoid and delusional that they are unable to function in society. From 9/11 conspiracy theorists, who seem to believe that either it didn’t actually happen – no plane hit the Pentagon – or that it was a set up by New World Order elements within the Federal government, to those that believe that the Illuminati are controlling the world behind the scenes; there is no shortage of theories all based on the premise that ‘THEY’ have taken over the world and are manipulating us to their own ends.
Why, I started to wonder, are so many otherwise rational intelligent people buying into these theories? On the theory that we only indulge in behaviors that satisfy some need within us, no matter how much harm such behaviors cause us – think smoking, drug use, eating to the point of obesity – what need does believing in a New World Order satisfy?
So far I can only come up with one possible answer; the existence of an all powerful New World Order, Illuminati or whatever, is a wonderful way of abrogating our own individual responsibilities for the world we live in. If a super-technology empowered organization is running the planet to their own ends, what is the point of me making sacrifices in my own lifestyle to try to make a difference? Were I to believe in such a premise I could smugly sit back, absolved of any responsibility, able to lay the blame for everything bad in the world on the backs of my imagined demons, all the while indulging in mutual congratulations with my fellow believers for having the wisdom and strength not to have fallen victim to the mind controlling efforts of the Overlords.
If climate change is the result of some weather controlling technology operated by the New World Order, what is the point of me changing my behavior to alleviate it when all THEY have to do it is ratchet up the weather dial a notch to compensate? The same can be said for any social problem, global issue or national ill; if these are all the result of the existence of some all controlling body I may as well party like it’s 1999. This belief not only entitles me to believe that I am powerless to effect meaningful change through my own personal actions, but that I would be foolish to even try. Sure I will keep an eye on the internet websites and blogs that detail the latest actions of this ultra secret body (irony intended), I may even make my own contribution to them, but all I am doing here is reinforcing my own belief that I am powerless to do anything else.
I reject this belief.
I acknowledge that there are limits to what we can change as individuals, even as individuals acting in concert. We cannot make the impossible possible, though we may discover that what we thought was impossible is, in fact, possible (although equally we may find that what we thought was possible is impossible).
What I have discovered is that it is meaningless to engage in debate on whether or not these theories are true on the grounds of fact. I am not a demolition expert and cannot tell you if the Twin Towers could be rigged with sufficient explosives to guarantee their collapse without the occupants of the buildings realizing, but I can point you at websites that will ‘prove’ that it is completely possible and others websites that are equally adamant that it is impossible.
Probably the smart thing to do is just to walk away from the argument, but that is not a skill that I have yet to acquire, or indeed wish to. Instead I challenge on the grounds of inconsistencies in the application of logic. If there is an all powerful NWO why do they allow people like you to go around talking about it? Imagine being the CIA or NSA project manager doing the presentation for the 9/11 attacks, telling your boss that your plan to justify the invasion of Iraq involves a bunch of Saudis hijacking planes and flying them into various National icons. I can’t help but think someone might have pointed out that the Saudis was going to be a necessary ally in said invasion and maybe it would be advisable to make at least one of the hijackers Iraqi, quite possibly more than one, and why not make the others Palestinian, Syrian, or even Iranian, anything but Saudi or Kuwaiti.
I have yet to score a win on any one of these arguments, but I have made more progress that arguing over the size of the hole blown in the Pentagon, or the structural engineering practicalities involved in covertly placing sufficient explosives to bring down the World Trade Centre. I shall continue to wage my own personal war on a world view that, in my opinion, is insidious as it is dangerous. It is a view that undermines democracy and any notion of personal responsibility to society in general. What is even worse is that I can see its appeal. How nice to live in a world where nothing is your fault, where you should grab what you can today with no thought for others or the future.
What an easy message to sell.