A phrase first used by Mikhail Gorbachev on December 7, 1988 in an address to the United Nations. It originally meant a world no longer dominated by two great superpowers, in which world peace would be enforced through international efforts, a very positive idea indeed. The phrase was relatively unknown in popular culture until George Bush used it during a speech to Congress on September 11, 1990. Almost immediately, fundamentalists and conspiracy buffs latched onto the phrase, twisting its meaning to represent an evil worldwide conspiracy to form a single body that will govern the world through deception, an iron fist and possible Satanic influence. The phrase quickly replaced the "One-World Government", "New Order" and "International Jewish Banking Conspiracy" favored by conspiracy paranoiacs. Writings prior to 1990 that refer to a "New World Order" are rare indeed. The Latin phrase Novus Ordo Seclorum as seen on the dollar bill actually means "a new order of the ages," not "New World Order" as some paranoiacs would have people think.
A phrase associated with the postcolonial, post– Cold War configuration of world power, which remains dominated by the West, and particularly by the United States. Coined by former U.S. President George Bush, the phrase describes genuine shifts in the geopolitical order, but also covers up long-term continuities in the global power and capitalism (i.e., not everything is “new” in the New World Order).