Monday, July 6, 2015

Are We Really Heading Towards a One-World Government?

Like all libertarians and traditional conservatives, I am concerned about the growth and power of government. There are certainly some in positions of power that are doing their best to erode away our national sovereignty through various means. Likewise, managed bureaucratic trade agreements masquerade as "free trade." The rise of the "global war on terrorism" has also clamped down on freedom in an ironic attempt to defend freedom.

Many conservatives, especially religious conservatives, are expecting the rise of a "New World Order" or some sort of one-world government. Pessimistic secular conservatives and libertarians see it as the inevitable result of growing government influence around the world. Some pessimistic religious conservatives and libertarians believe such an event is ordained to occur based on Bible prophecy. Accepting the fact that there are global elites who probably do want to see something resembling a "global government" of sorts, are we truly in danger of seeing one any time soon? Most likely the answer is no.

The first problem with the fatalist line of thought is that it gives way too much credit and power to the government and incompetent bureaucrats. Last week's episode of South Park alluded to this very point. It joked that the government itself was actually in charge of all the 9/11 conspiracy publications out there so that people would think that the authorities truly were all powerful. But as most people know, the government can't even administer many of their own pork-barrel spending projects correctly, and yet we are to believe that they masterminded the terrorist attacks.

Yeah, right.

"But you see, man, that's just what they want you to think!" is the objection I often hear from conspiracy theorists. Many of these same conspiracy theorists are constantly railing against government incompetence over the simplest of matters. Yet they are truly convinced that a crowd of shadowy government officials large enough to fit inside an auditorium are able to cover up the worst terrorist tragedy on American soil, or whatever else.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm very open to the idea that there are things we don't fully know or that some information has been withheld from us (on any number of issues). I don't fully trust "official government reports" and know there's usually more to the story. But that's a far cry from claiming that a near omnipotent federal government made 9/11 an "inside job." In fact, I can't believe anyone even takes such a moronic notion seriously.

During the whole Clinton-Lewinsky fiasco, there was not a day that went by when administration officials could not help from divulging secrets of some sorts. But apparently there are some who want us to believe that while the government couldn't contain leaks about Lewinsky's stained dress; they sure can prevent leaks about global government plots or George Bush's secret plan to blow up the World Trade Center. Aside from just being ridiculous, it gives the government way, way too much credit.

A second problem with the global conspiracy crowd and those who think a "New World Order" is inevitable is that they are too pessimistic. Why promote the cause of liberty if there's ultimately no hope to begin with? I know there are plenty of ignorant people out there, but I have hope that voices of freedom will win the argument at the end of the day if it comes down to a final choice between ultimate totalitarianism and liberty.

While the post-9/11 climate has demonstrated that many people are willing to sacrifice certain liberties, I have faith that even with these folks that there is a limit to their deference. Throughout history, we have seen with certain populations that there is only so much they can take before they say "enough." I highly doubt that the American people would walk freely into absolute tyranny, even if government elites were able to pull something like that off – which they probably can't.

A third problem is unique to a segment of the religious pessimists. They have been taught and truly believe that the books of Daniel and Revelation teaches things such as a totalitarian one world government (usually in the form of a "Revived Roman Empire"), microchips inserted into people’s bodies to control all of their transactions, and all sorts of other interesting things that the Biblical text doesn't actually say, but is assumed and imposed on various passages.

The most fantastic handlings of prophetic and apocalyptic texts come from the dispensationalist wing of Christianity. It's not uncommon for such individuals to engage in "newspaper exegesis" by forcing any catastrophe or current event into "Bible prophecy." The only groups more irresponsible than this are ones who get sucked into "Bible Code" teachings. These groups are even guiltier than even the most fanatical dispensationalists of treating the Bible like a giant fortune cookie.

In any event, many doom and gloom Christians are shocked to know that there are other valid views on these prophetic texts and what such texts are actually referencing. When Christians actually study the Bible in its original context and as it was meant to be interpreted, they find that a lot of their previous and wild interpretations don't hold water. An excellent non-dispensational and premillennial commentary on the book of Revelation that is practical, but avoids much of the gloomy sensationalism common amongst most pop-prophecy teachers, is top rate New Testament scholar Craig Keener's Revelation application commentary.

Whatever these prophetic texts do mean, they probably aren't referring to the European Union taking over the world. Besides, are we seriously supposed to believe that the oh-so dangerous EU is going to be the vehicle for a totalitarian one-world leader? Are a bunch of brainy and irrelevant guys from Belgium organizations really major players in "Bible prophecy?" This is taking these guys too seriously and not taking the Bible seriously enough.

Of course there is the United Nations which many people, both secular and religious alike, consider a precursor to global government. Again, take a good hard look at the UN and ask yourself if you seriously believe that these international bureaucrats are really capable of taking over the world. If they are barely effective at doing anything right now, how on earth are they going to impose global dictatorship? It makes no rational sense.

Speaking of the South Park creators, they had a telling line about the United Nations in their gross-out 2004 puppet movie Team America: World Police. In one scene, Hans Blix approaches Kim Jong-il about his nuclear weapons program. Blix commands the dictator to stop hiding his nuclear weapons. Kim then asks what will happen if he defies the United Nations. Blix then says about the United Nations, "Then we will be very, very angry, and write you a letter telling you how angry we are." This is a more accurate assessment of the UN than what is found in pop-prophecy books.

I cite South Park twice here, not because I am endorsing their programming or think it is wholesome stuff, but to point out that they are more perceptive on the United Nations and government conspiracy theories than many otherwise intelligent libertarians, conservatives, and Christians. That's pretty sad.

In the end, yes, encroaching government is a threat, and yes, globalists of whatever sort are a problem to the cause of liberty and need to be watched. But as far as an imminent takeover by prissy Europeans or UN diplomats, that's probably not going to happen, and that's probably not what Bible prophecy is talking about. I also have more faith and confidence in the cause of liberty than I do fear that we will be brought down by international bureaucrats.

There is indeed a long road ahead, but many supporters of freedom are doing more harm than good with their doom and gloom delusionalism. Certainly we can offer people more than that in the war of ideas
 Source: Lew Rockwell