THE NEW WORLD ECONOMIC ORDER:
A CLOSER LOOK AT TODAY'S PONZI PYRAMID
by: S.R. Shearer
"A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine." (Rev. 6:6)
A STRANGE PHENOMENON THAT'S
AT WORK IN THE WORLD AT LARGE
The Ponzi scheme which is at the heart of today's investment craze is
relentlessly dividing the earth into a world of "haves" and
"have nots." The process knows no national boundaries and
is at work in both the developed and non-developed worlds.
On the one hand, it is creating a worldwide yuppie elite whose extravagance
and lavish life-styles seems to know no boundaries of shame and modesty;
and on the other hand, it is grinding countless numbers of American
workers down into a pit of hopeless poverty and forlorn despair, leaving
millions of them in a shrinking job market with declining prospects.
And whats happening to American workers is happening not only
to their counterparts in France and Germany, but in Indonesia, Mexico
and Brazil as well. The danger today for most workers is seeing "...
their jobs getting swamped in the global labor pool ..."
THE NEW WORLD YUPPIE ELITE
The worldwide elite which this process is producing [i.e., those lucky
few who sit atop today's Ponzi Pyramid] is a dazzling, brilliant
group of speculators who are earning fabulous amounts of money
not heard of since the days of the so-called "Robber Barons."
These are people like Lawrence Coss of Green Tree Financial
who earned in one year alone (1997) $102.4 million (that is
4,655 times greater than the average annual wage of an ordinary
American worker - which is to say, if money is the measure of
a mans worth, then a man of Cosss caliber is worth
4,655 times more than a normal, everyday, working American -
hardly a vote of confidence for the precepts upon which democracy
is based); then there is Andrew Grove of Intel who made $97.6
million in one year; Sanford Weill of the Travelers Group who
earned $94.2 million; Theodore Waitt of Gateway 2000 who made
$81.3 million; and Anthony O Reilly of H.J. Heinz who
earned $64.2 million. Others have made similar amounts: Sterling
Williams of Sterling Software ($58.2 million); John Reed of
Citicorp ($43.6 million); Stephen Hilbert of Conseco ($37.4
million); Casey Cowell of U.S. Robotics [now 3Com ($34 million)];
James Moffett of Freeport-McToRan Copper & Gold ($33.7 million)
. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Citicorp has actually assembled a list of these "global worthies"
- the creme de la creme of the worlds new "investor
class:" 5000 or so individuals and families around the world who
have net worths greater than $100-million. Its offered them VIP
Citicorp bank cards with $500,000 lines of credit combined with various
other services which include the use of private planes, bodyguards,
access to Fifth Avenue stores in the wee hours of the morning for "solo
shopping," etc. Other banks and credit card companies do the same.
For example, American Express courts the same group of "elite worthies"
by offering them its "Black Card" (and you thought the gold
and platinum cards were prestigious - how silly!) replete with the same
"extras" that Citi offers.
THE "INTERNATIONALISM" OF THE NEW ELITE
The people who constitute this elite consider themselves to be "citizens
of the world." Its an elite of American entrepreneurs, Chinese
yuppies, two-career Mexican couples, German investment bankers, French
bureaucrats, Italian clothiers, etc. who feel that they have more in
common with their counterparts in Hong Kong, Mexico City, Frankfurt,
Paris, Milan, Brussels, Bogota and Buenos Aires than have with their
own fellow countrymen.
National boundaries and national loyalties no longer have any hold
on them. In describing this elite, Robert Reich, in his book, The
Work of Nations: Preparing Ourselves for 21st Century Capitalism,
writes: "(These people have) ... slipped the bonds of national
allegiances, and by so doing (have) disengage(d) themselves from their
less favored fellows." They no longer feel the need to promote
whats good for the nations which gave them birth; their loyalty
lies with whats best for "The company" and its
profit margins. There is little regard here for national constituencies
and national workers.
EXTRAVAGANT CONCENTRATIONS OF WEALTH
And make no mistake about it: the wealth which this elite has managed
to accumulate for itself is truly staggering. For example, take whats
happening in the United States where four percent of the American population
(approximately 3.8 million individuals and families) has in the past
few decades managed to capture for itself through "restructuring,"
"free trade," "union busting," and unfettered immigration
(which forces wages down) $452 billion in wages and salaries on an annual
basis - the same as the annual wages and salaries of the bottom fifty-one
percent (49.2 million individuals and families). And even this isnt
enough; with each passing year more and more of this nations wealth
pours into their hands by "hook and by crook," much of which
used to be held in the hands of the American middle class in the 1950s
and 60s - and their is no sign that this phenomenon is abating.
NO USE FOR "ORDINARY" PEOPLE
The economy which this elite has created is, naturally enough, one
which has been oriented towards their needs and extravagant desires.
The new economy has no real use for ordinary people - whether in America,
Brazil, Germany, India or China. Instead, the multinational corporations
which are at its "beck and call" have targeted their marketing,
their advertising, and their production to the developed and developing
elite classes of those nations who can afford to buy their products
in a sort of "to hell with the starving masses" spirit. After
all, what reason is there in such circumstances to expect that Ford
or GM or General Electric or AT&T or Disney or any of the other
major multinational corporations "gives a damn" about the "minor" problems
of American or German or Mexican or Indian unemployment or the development
of an underclass in their own countries?  There are more potential
consumers in India and China than the ones who are being displaced back
home. Indeed, Peter F. Drucker, a guru of multinational expansion, once
made this revealing comment in reference to India: "... within
the vast poverty that is India (there is) a sizable modern economy,
comprising ten percent or more of the Indian population, or fifty million
people - a nation within a nation with more 'middle-class' consumers
than the nation of France." These are the people (consumers) the
new elite oriented multinational corporations have targeted - and "to
hell with the other ninty percent of India's population."
"DAMN THE REST OF THE WORLD"
This is what "globalization" is all about - the development
of a worldwide "super-elite" which reaches into every nook
and cranny of the earth and binds the members thereof together with
the cords of a common and very extravagant AFFLUENCE - and "...
hang the rest of the world." And just how deeply American companies,
even the older, more established ones - the ones usually thought of
as "American" - have become involved in this new globalism
becomes evident when one looks at where these companies derive their
profits today in terms of sales divided between foreign and domestic
markets. For example, a company as American as apple pie as the Disney
Corporation gets almost 25% of its revenues from foreign operations;
General Electric derives a similar amount from foreign sales; Dun &
Bradstreet has 40 percent of its revenues coming from abroad; and General
Indeed, Prudentials Melissa Brown says that the largest 100 so-called
"American" companies - companies like Exxon, Ford, IBM, Mobil,
Philip Morris, DuPont, Texaco, Chevron, Chrysler, Boeing, Procter &
Gamble, Amoco, United Technologies, Pepsico, Eastman Kodak, Xerox, RJR
Nabisco, Sara Lee, Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola, etc. - get about
30% - and in some instances, even more - of their revenues from overseas.
This is to say nothing about the new, futuristic companies like Apple,
Hewlett-Packart, Unisys, Digital Equipment, Compaq, Sun Microsystems,
Storage Technologies, Quantum, etc.; and foreign companies - Japanese,
French, Canadian, British, Dutch, etc. which have recently transferred
many of their operations to the United States - for example, Honda,
Sony, BMW, etc.
Jack Welch of General Electric and chairman of the National Business
Council, reflecting the new globalism of American corporations, recently
remarked, "Were all globalists now, and we are
staying that way."
COVETOUSNESS: THE DESIRE FOR WEALTH
As we indicated in our introduction to our 1997 Anthology of
articles which have appeared in our journal, Religion in Politics,
over the last several years, the people who constitute this elite are
mean-spirited, ruthless, and self-centered - and while on a business
level they may be brilliant and dazzling, they are, nervertheless, very
small-minded and amazingly petty individuals. Their only real concern
centers around their greedy, self-absorbed life-styles and their preoccupation
with piling up ever greater amounts of material wealth and worldly treasure.
And for what purpose? - there is none! Remarkably, thats it: the
accumulation of money! - thats their goal! There is nothing beyond
that except an eerie and frightening emptiness. These people are political
only to the extent that it is necessary to guard their accumulated wealth
and prevent its "socialization." To this end, they are prepared
to go to any length to protect it - even to the use of "Death Squads."
(Please see article this journal entitled, "Chiapas: The Effect
of the New World Order on the Poor")
Covetousness (i.e., the psychological drive to accumulate wealth) has
blinded them to the terrible spiritual disfigurement and psychological
scaring that has affected them - and what a terrible scarring it is!
Jesus somberly warned of its effect when He said,
"Take heed and beware of covetousness: for a mans life
consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth."
And He continued by warning of the outcome it can lead to - the failure
to recognize that the grave (and ultimately judgment) awaits all of
us - even the richest of us (and then what will all that wealth mean?):
"... the ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
"And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because
I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
"he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build
greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
"And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid
up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
"But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul
shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which
thou hast provided? (Luke 12:16-20)
God calls those who have been blinded by wealth "fools"
- and God doesnt use the word "fool" lightly. (Matt.
"THEY THAT WILL BE RICH ..."
"... they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare,
and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction
"For the love of money is the root of all evil ..."
(I Tim. 6:9-10)
And Peter said of those who desire wealth (i.e., who are covetous),
"These are wells without water, clouds that are carried (about)
with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever."
(2 Pet. 2:17)
Greed renders those who have been captured by it into empty shells
who no longer possess substance or meaning to their lives - and while
its true that many of those people who have been captured by it
continue to preserve a certain front of "purpose" and "idealism"
in their lives, there is nothing behind that "front" except
a vacuum - a hollowness that resembles the emptiness of a body without
a soul. Their idealism is nothing more than a subterfuge, a contrivance,
a masquerade - an excuse for what really drives them, which is the actual
process of accumulation. If they possess a goal, it lies in the development
of ever better processes or methodologies of accumulation - though they
all too often possess an uncanny and extraordinary way of hiding this
fact behind a pretense of flattery and charm. Indeed, Peter warned,
"For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure
(people) ... through much wantonness ..." (2 Pet. 2:18)
Dom Helder Camera of Brazil has been much maligned because of his connection
with Liberation Theology - a theology which attempts to involve
Christians in left-wing (as opposed to right-wing) political causes.
But Camera was right at least on one point when he wrote,
"I used to think, when I was a child, that Christ might have
been exaggerating when He warned about the dangers of wealth. Today
I know better. I know how ... (impossible) it is to be rich and still
keep the milk of human kindness. Money (or the desire for money) has
a dangerous way of putting scales on ones eyes, a dangerous
way of freezing peoples hands, eyes, lips and hearts."
It is precisely this kind of greed and avarice which has seized hold
on the world economy today - a highly destructive, "me-first,"
"beggar-thy-neighbor" greed which has no other goal than advancing
ones self at the expense of everyone else.
A RIDER COMETH
But its not as if the Bible did not foresee all this! - and its
conclusions are summed up in the Apocalypse; specifically in
a strangely unsettling poetic passage of Scripture. It relates to one
of the horsemen of the Apocalypse: a mysterious rider concealed
in black robes in whose hands are a pair of balances and on whose lips
is the peculiar lyric cited at the beginning of this text:
"A measure of wheat for a penny [literally - denarius,
a Greek coin which represented a WHOLE DAYS wages
in the Ancient World], and three measures of barley for a penny; and
see thou hurt not the oil and the wine." (Rev. 6:6)
The "Four Horsemen" themselves correlate directly to the
first four "seals" of the Apocalypse - hence
the name commonly given to them: the "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse."
The horsemen are connected to the conditions which surround and ultimately
stimulate the appearance of the Antichrist in the "End of Days:"
they are, (1) conquest [the White Horse of the Apocalypse
(the First Seal)]; (2) war [the Red Horse of the Apocalypse
(the Second Seal)]; (3) famine [the Black Horse of the Apocalypse
(the Third Seal)]; (4) pestilence and death [the Pale
Horse of the Apocalypse (the Fourth Horse)].
It is with the Black Horse of the Apocalypse, however, that
we are here particularly concerned. The meaning of the first part of
the lyric: ["A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures
of barley for a penny ..."] is this: that the condition of
most men during this era will be reduced to such a state that they will
be forced to labor a whole day simply to buy a loaf of bread or three
measures of barley - barely enough to survive.
But the second part of the saying ["... and see thou hurt not
the oil and the wine ..."] means that these conditions will
not extend to everyone; that there is a certain portion of mankind which
will prove exempt - a kind of "global elite of worthies" who
have selfishly secured for themselves most of the worlds wealth
and who, as a result, now live sumptuously and extravagantly while the
rest of mankind has been reduced to a condition of abject, grinding
poverty (only the rich in the Ancient world could afford oil and wine).
That these conditions will result not necessarily because of natural
phenomena, but because of greed and avarice is clear from
the text: conquest, war, famine and pestilence have always been more
the consummation of mans brutality and his misuse of the earths
abundance than it ever has been the consequence of natural phenomena.
This is the common interpretation; it is an interpretation with which
most evangelicals agree. [Please see Things to Come by Dwight
Pentecost of Dallas Theological Seminary.]
EVANGELICALS AND THE NEW YUPPIE
ELITE: AN ALLIANCE MADE IN HELL
The laissez faire and predatory economic policies which this
elite champions are, of course, inimical to the economic interests of
most Americans, a fact which places them at a decided disadvantage when
they are called upon to defend their rapacious economic policies politically
- after all, a set of policies which benefit only four percent of the
American electorate while disadvantaging the rest of the country is
hardly a set of policies which can easily be defended in a democracy.
Politically, then, they need allies, allies which they obviously cannot
attract based solely on their economic agenda. This has led them inexorably
to embrace the Religious Right and ipso facto the Christian vote.
What they have done is to get Christians to focus away from what is
happening to them economically, and to concentrate instead on what is
happening to them culturally [though its interesting to note in
this connection that much of the blame for what has occurred to this
country culturally over the last two or three decades can to a large
extent be laid at the doorstep of the economic policies this elite has
The trade-off between the two groups is a simple one: the establishment
wing of the Republican Party (the political platform of the new elite
in this country) agrees to support financially the cultural agenda of
the Christian evangelicals, while Christian have agreed to support many
of the economic policies of the Republican elite. In other words,
the Religious Right has been "bought off." Evangelicals are playing
in a game they are bound to lose. They're being used. They've become
the "toadies" of the world's super elite. No doubt they think to do
good with the money they've received as a result of the bargain they've
struck - build bigger churches, create better programs, etc. But in
the end, they'll choke on the money and rue the day they ever made such
"Establishment Republicans" (i.e., this country's super-elite) aren't
"buying into" the Religious Rights cultural agenda on
any kind of a principled basis - as their tepid support of the antiabortion
agenda of the Christian evangelicals has so aptly demonstrated: their
support goes just so far as it takes to enlist the support of Christian
evangelicals for their economic policies, and no further.
This effort is made all the easier by liberals (mostly Democrats) who
insist on pushing gay rights, radical feminism, militant secularism,
abortion on demand, women in combat, affirmative action, unrestricted
immigration, minority rights, etc. - in the political market place to
an electorate which is really no longer buying this kind of liberalism,
a liberalism which many in Americas mainstream are beginning to
believe has run amok. In furtherance of this strategy, American business
leaders have been pouring money into Religious Right organizations (especially
those organizations which are attempting to "take America back"
from the "secular-humanists") and in the process helping Religious
Right activists ratchet up the Christian community all the more against
the so-called "liberals."
The genius in all this lies in the fact that the anger so generated
has blinded most Christians to what the business community has been
doing to them economically. Peter warned,
"... with feigned words (they are) mak(ing) merchandise
of you ..." (2 Pet. 2:3)
Unfortunately, Americas Christian community is "buying into"
the business communitys strategy - an effort which paid off handsomely
insofar as the Business Right is concerned when Pat Robertson and other
Religious Right leaders embraced NAFTA, a treaty which perpetuates the
process of shipping American jobs to third world countries; an activity
which - no more than it benefits ordinary Americans - does not help
most everyday evangelicals and "blue-collar Catholics." In
the process the Christian community is also unwittingly "buying
into" the business elites conservative economic agenda, almost
as if Christianity and the "free enterprise system" are one-and-the-same
God help us as a community of faith! - what are we doing as Christians
by making common cause with such people? - people whose only interest
in us is using us as a battering ram against the downtrodden and poor
of the earth. Well did Jesus say of us, "My name is blasphemed
among the heathen (i.e., unbelievers) because of you." (Romans 2:24)
- and ignorance is no defense here. The information is available as
to what's happening: Tim LaHaye taking money from the Moonies, money
that's been pouring into the evangelical community from the Hunt brothers,
from DeMoss, from Olin, etc. Yes! - the informations is there for those
who choose to open their eyes.
The claim of ignorance won't wash! It is as we've said before - like
someone who is standing next to the train tracks who, when he hears
the train coming, turns away and then claims he never saw it, though
it rumbled by a mere five feet from where he was standing.
God will not look kindly on those who have linked His name to such
people. On that day, when we must all give account - the rich and poor
alike - those who have linked the name of the Prince of Peace to the
super elite of this world and ipso facto to death squad activity
in Central and South America, to the Moonies, etc., etc., will rue the
day they ever did so. And those who stood by and said nothing, claiming
ignorance of what was going on, will suffer the same fate as those who
participated. What then will all the "good works" that were "purchased"
with the blood money of the super elite mean then? - they'll all be
exposed for the flim flam they really were, works which had nothing
to do with the Kingdom of Heaven and everything to do with greed and
- Jack Beatty, "Who Speaks for the Middle Class?" in the
Atlantic Monthly, May 1994, pg. 65.
- Total compensation in 1966 as calculated by Business Week,
April 21, 1997.
- Richard J. Barnet and John Cavanagh, Global Dreams, (New
York: Simon & Schuster, 1994), pg. 368.
- Such remnants of free enterprise as remain within the U.S. and the
other nations of the Western World are fighting an increasingly tougher
battle for survival against these giants - a battle which is making
it nearly impossible for the small business owner to compete, buying
out the farmer, and either buying out, or under pricing, the small
- Sasha G. Lewis, Slave Trade Today (Boston: Beacon Press,
1979) pg. 165-166.
- Revolution Through Peace (New York: Harper and Row, 1971),
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trail the American military has left in its TERROR-RIDDEN
rampage throughout the world, as well as making them partners
in the abject poverty that American corporations have
imposed on the peoples and nations the American military
machine has ravaged - A BLOODY, TERROR-RIDDEN RAMPAGE
THAT HAS TO A LARGE DEGREE BEEN CARRIED OUT IN THE NAME
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"The Third World
as a Model for the New World Order," Inside
the American New World Order System" and "The
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