For years, the hard right has voiced its concern — to the point of exploitation — about a supposed "new world order" — a one-world government controlled by Satan's agent, the Antichrist. Under the system, they believe, Christians would be persecuted to the point that they couldn't buy, sell, or trade.
These ideas probably originated with self-styled theologians who read this interpretation into the book of Revelation (which is actually an allegorical account of events that had already occurred). Over the years these views worked their way into populist, conservative politics.
Often, "international bankers" (a code referring to Jews) are charged with secretly plotting a one-world government. The spurious "Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion" is one of the earliest efforts at promulgating these ideas. The 1991 best-seller by the Rev. Pat Robertson, The New World Order, introduced to a broader audience the idea of this satanic plot to take over the world.
Political conspiracy theorists, such as those at the anti-Semitic Liberty Lobby and its weekly newspaper, The Spotlight, continue to foster the concept of a coming new world order. GOP presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, who received Liberty Lobby's endorsement, elaborated on the new world order recently when addressing the Christian Academy of Knoxville, Tennessee:
"You know, people ask me, they say, 'Pat, you talk about the so-called new world order. What are you talking about?' And I explain to them that...what is developing now — and you can see it clearly if you look hard — what is developing now are the embryonic institutions of a world government that is to be placed over your country. They move slowly. One step forward, two steps back, one step forward.
"And what is happening? The U.N. is its political arm. The so-called International Monetary Fund is going to be the Federal Reserve of the world. The World Bank will provide income transfers from the United States all over the world, take over the foreign aid responsibility.
"The World Court will prosecute and convict people and their countries, take their citizens and try them in international tribunals."
Since the fall of the former Soviet Union, particularly, the religious political extemists are exploiting the new world order in an effort to keep its constituents agitated enough to keep the money flowing.