New World Order & Globalizaton

Since the break-up of the ‘Eastern Bloc’ at the end of the Cold War, the global balance of power based on a bi-polar structure was transformed into a new international system headed by a single super power, the United States of America. It signaled the triumph of capitalism and liberal democracy. The U.S.A. became the sole ‘policeman’ of the world and globalization as a process and a discourse served the interests of the triumphant ‘new rulers of the world’. Immediately after the Gulf War of 1991, President George Bush announced the advent of a ‘New World Order’ (NWO). That victory and the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001 paved the way in the 2003 invasion of Iraq for the champion of the NWO to practice unilateralism as a global trend. The birth of belligerent and defiant unipolarity by the superpower of the day poses a new challenge to the Muslim world and the Third World. When Dick Cheney, the American Vice-President said that the ‘war on terrorism’ could last for fifty years or more, it meant that ‘We are to live with the threat and illusion of endless war, it seems, to justify increased social control and state repression, while great power pursues its goal of global supremacy.’ In this NWO, presiding over a ‘global economy,’

“A sophisticated system of plunder has forced more than ninety countries into ‘structural adjustment’ programmes since nineties, widening the divide between rich and poor as never before. This is known as ‘nation building’ and ‘good governance’ by the ‘quad’ dominating the World Trade Organization (the United States, Europe, Canada and Japan) and the Washington triumvirate (the World Bank, the IMF and the US Treasury) that controls even minute aspects of government policy in developing countries.”

The NWO reaffirmed defiantly by George Bush Jr. in the invasion of Iraq bears the imprint of the old imperialism which returns to respectability as ‘globalization’ and the ‘crusade against the evil axis’. The ‘Emperor’ in this case also plays the role of a ‘Chief Priest’ of Christian fundamentalism. ‘September 11,’ says John Pilger, ‘has strengthened Thomas Friedman’s ‘hidden hand’ of globalization, perhaps as never before. America’s economic wars are now backed by the perpetual threat of military attack on any country, without legal pretence’. The NWO may be a euphemism for a modern version of imperialism. As stated by Nial Fergusson,

“Imperialism may be a dirty word but when Tony Blair is essentially calling for the imposition of western values democracy and so on - it is really the language of liberal imperialism. Political globalization is just a fancy word for ... imposing your views and practices on others. Only America could lead this new imperial world.”

The threat of a new imperialism in the guise of globalization or the ‘war against terrorism’ is most serious to Muslim communities today because of its unstated conviction that what globalization has to offer to the rest of mankind including Muslims represents a superior form of life. The arrogance of the superpower and the struggle to impose its global hegemony or corporate empire (otherwise known as the ‘New World Order’) are behind the operation of covert and subversive acts which ‘rogue states’ employ to further their global interests. The powerful electronic media establishment in the west which helps to define and interpret the world serves as important integral part of the NWO.

M. Kamal Hassan


Source: Essays on Muslims and the Challenges of Globalisation, Institute of Policy Studies, Islamabad. Republished with permission.
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