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Many speculate that a powerful and secretive group is conspiring to eventually rule the world via an autonomous world government, which would replace sovereign states and other checks and balances in international power struggles. In most theories, significant occurrences are said to be caused by an extremely influential cabal operating through many front organizations. Historical and current events are seen as steps in an on-going plot to rule the world primarily through secret political gatherings and decision-making processes.
In the past, the conspirators were usually said to be crypto-communist sympathizers who were intent upon bringing the United States under a common world government with the Soviet Union, but the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 undercut that theory. So most conspiracy theorists changed their focus to the United Nations as the likely controlling force in a New World Order, an idea which is undermined by the powerlessness of the U.N. and the unwillingness of even moderates within the American Establishment to give it anything but a limited role.
American far-right agitators are the most prominent and prolific theorists of the New World Order conspiracy. However, these theories have increasingly entered the mass media and been adopted by people across the political spectrum who have a tendency toward conspiracism. Critics have expressed concern that the synthesis and popularity of fringe theories about the New World Order conspiracy may have negative effects on American political life, such as producerist demagogy and moral panic influencing elections as well as domestic and foreign policy.