By Wilfred Hahn
“The problems of the world are huge and they cannot be ignored: terrorism, war, starvation, displacement, climate change, nuclear proliferation, trade inequality and financial crisis. The old way hasn’t always worked. Perhaps Mr. Naím has a point. Maybe the magic numbers work?”
We have here quoted an international economist who is responding to a new idea regarding global governance.
To what magic numbers is he referring? Actually, he is wondering just what is the right number of countries needed to solve the world’s problems. Is it the Group of 20 nations (G-20), the G-8 or some other grouping? Or, in fact, could it be a group of 10 … the exact number of the last-day 10 kings that the Bible prophesies will give their authority to the Antichrist? (Revelation 17:13).
To provide more background, the above-quoted comment was in response to a provocative and insightful article written by the influential Moisés Naím, the well-known Editor-in-Chief of Foreign Policy magazine and former executive director of the World Bank. Interestingly, Mr. Naím recently began advocating a new concept - global minilateralism. (We will explain this term shortly.)
Though he may not realize it, he strikes upon a very important eschatological issue. His recommendations fit hand in glove with Bible prophecy, but not necessarily in the way popularly thought. He is talking of a world that is moving to a post-globalism state. How can this be? Isn’t globalism a prophetic development? Then just what is this “minilateralism,” and why should we care? We will investigate.
World Now Moving to Post-Globalism
Globalism is certainly a hot topic of late. Recent confirmations that the Group of 20 (G-20) is now the prime policy body in the world is evidence to many observers that globalism is indeed forging ahead. Whereas smaller groups such as the G-7 determined global policy direction in the past, this power nexus has now moved to the G-20 forum, which also includes such countries as Brazil and China. Quoting one of literally hundreds of comments from international relations experts, “A striking outcome of the global financial crisis has been the substitution of the G-7 for the G-20 as the key forum for international coordination.”1
Widely seen, this is a clear step in the direction of globalism. Most certainly, the recent G-20 proceedings held in Pittsburgh, United States, produced many boastful statements about the new resolve and capabilities of this august group. It seeks to solve problems it has defined from Global Warming to global financial instabilities. Will it be successful? It is almost certain that it will prove to be another ineffectual group, its great pronouncements nothing more than theatre and pomp. At this point, there is virtually no consensus as to why global imbalances and the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) occurred in the first place. With such confusion, how could they agree on solutions?
Bible prophecy backs up this opinion. In fact, globalism is not the final, exclusive power organization of an endtime world. We can already today see evidence that this shift could happen very soon. To explain why, let’s first review the concept of globalism.
Globalism: Prophetic but Overdone
Referencing some common definitions: “Globalism is an ideology that emphasizes the current trend toward international organizations and institutions.”2 Says the Merriam-Webster dictionary, it is “a national policy of treating the whole world as a proper sphere for political influence.”
Many debate and write about globalism’s implications for mankind — whether beneficial or disastrous. Though the term “globalism” is a new one (the word only coined as recently as the 1940s), countless thousands of books and articles have been written on this topic. Indeed, the world itself has become a political podium, the actions of most individual nations postured for a global audience. Yes, the “global village” is getting smaller by virtue of becoming more connected financially and economically (this being globalization). There is also convergence of ideology and culture, though not as advanced as global trade and financial systems. And, of course, globalism is a topic that is a favorite of many conspiracy theorists.
To be clear, the Bible clearly does prophesy that globalism will take place in the last days. God pronounces his last-day judgments upon all the nations collectively, as they are all engaged in rebelliousness, are pursuing similar ideologies and together rise up against Israel. For example, “Come near, you nations, and listen; pay attention, you peoples! Let the earth hear, and all that is in it, the world, and all that comes out of it! The LORD is angry with all nations; his wrath is upon all their armies. He will totally destroy them, he will give them over to slaughter” (Isaiah 34:1-2).
From prophecy we can deduce that the world would have forums such as the United Nations and global media networks that would be representative of world opinion and consensus. When Balaam prophesied, “For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations” (Numbers 23:9, KJV), this presumed that the world — “the nations” collectively — was united in not “reckoning” Israel. As it happens, that state of affairs exists today.
Yet, while globalism in the sense already defined does occur and persist, the world in fact does move to a post-globalism state. Here, we can rely on Biblical proof. The “global parliament of man,” as Alfred Tennyson called it3, will not rule the world in the end. Globalism is not the last state. Then what is? Actually, there are yet two regimes that come after — minilateralism (Naím’s word invention) and autocracy … the form of government in which the political power is held by a single, self-appointed ruler.
Two More Regimes Follow Modern Globalism
The last state of world rule is represented by the 8th king mentioned in Revelation 17:11. He follows 7 previous world gentile ruler kings that are shown as heads in John’s vision of the 7-headed beast that is ridden by the prostitute in Revelation 17. This image depicts consecutive dominating nation states and their founding kings. The 8th king is the Beast himself. But though he belongs to the seven (verse 11), he also comes from among the last-day 10 kings. He is the “little one, which came up among them” (Daniel 7:8).
Therefore, it is the 10-king period of rulership that is next to appear, not yet this final 8th king who will rule the world (this being the Antichrist). The 10 kings precede the Antichrist, as Daniel makes clear, in no uncertain terms: “The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones” (Daniel 7:24). In conclusion, the 10 kings collectively represent the 7th head, which follows the 6th Roman head — but preceding the Antichrist, who then becomes the 8th beastly king.
All of this makes for a fascinating study. Unfortunately, we can only touch on a few of the salient points here. The important point to recognize is that the next stage of world rulership will be represented by a 10-nation coalition, though it will only be in existence for a very short period (Revelation 17:12). It has yet to appear. As close as it may be, it does not yet exist.
Why Might Globalism Be Superseded?
Obviously, a state of affairs where a coalition of 10 nations rules the world stands against the implicit goal of globalism … the idea that all mankind and nations are unified in determining the world’s fate. But why? Something additional to globalism takes place.
Now, let us allow Mr. Naím to speak:
When was the last time you heard that a large number of countries agreed to a major international accord on a pressing issue? Not in more than a decade. The last successful multilateral trade agreement dates back to 1994, when 123 countries gathered to negotiate the creation of the World Trade Organization and agreed on a new set of rules for international trade. Since then, all other attempts to reach a global trade deal have crashed. The same is true with multilateral efforts to curb nuclear proliferation; the last significant international nonproliferation agreement was in 1995, when 185 countries agreed to extend an existing nonproliferation treaty. In the decade and a half since, multilateral initiatives have not only failed, but India, Pakistan, and North Korea have demonstrated their certain status as nuclear powers.Cutting to the nub of Mr. Naím’s argument: Today’s multilateral “globalism” amounts to little more than “beating the gums.” It is ineffective … there is no accountability … no power to enforce change. He is saying that a small group of powerful nations — not the global, toothless forum such as the United Nations with its 192 members — should therefore dictate global agendas.
On the environment, the Kyoto Protocol, a global deal aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, has been ratified by 184 countries since it was adopted in 1997, but the United States, the world’s second-largest air polluter after China, has not done so, and many of the signatories have missed their targets. The pattern is clear: Since the early 1990s, the need for effective multicountry collaboration has soared, but at the same time multilateral talks have inevitably failed; deadlines have been missed; financial commitments and promises have not been honored; execution has stalled; and international collective action has fallen far short of what was offered and, more importantly, needed.
These failures represent not only the perpetual lack of international consensus, but also a flawed obsession with multilateralism as the panacea for all the world’s ills. It has become far too dangerous to continue to rely on large-scale multilateral negotiations that stopped yielding results almost two decades ago. So what is to be done? To start, let’s forget about trying to get the planet’s nearly 200 countries to agree. We need to abandon that fool’s errand in favor of a new idea: minilateralism. By minilateralism, I mean a smarter, more targeted approach: We should bring to the table the smallest possible number of countries needed to have the largest possible impact on solving a particular problem. Think of this as minilateralism’s magic number.4
But why is this important and necessary? Well, to Mr. Naím’s mind, because the world faces huge, disastrous problems that must be fixed. These emergencies — present and potentially future — therefore provide the imperative for a smaller group of nations, who together have dominant power, to seize the global agenda.
This is an earth-changing perspective. Yet, it fits the current and coming times. It is very possible that the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) stands to be a major catalyst to this new state of world rulership.
A World Set-up For Domination
It is a fact that power in the world today is not equally distributed. Global power has many forms. We can categorize them into two broad types — Hard Power and Soft Power. Soft Power includes various forms of world influence. Here can be numbered memberships on world transnational organizations such as the International Monetary Fund or NATO (and a host of many others), or influence upon world culture. Hard Power, by comparison, is more direct and can include such factors as military might, the size of world trade in goods and services, a country’s relative population size and so on.
Two obstructions stand in the way of the emergence of the 7th head of world rule, this being the 10-king Global Power Coalition. The first is that one nation today is still a superpower. This is the United States. For the most part, it can do as it wishes and need not comply with the rules set by world multilateral organizations. Before a 10-nation coalition can rule the world, it will require that the distribution of power in the world be relatively leveled out among the leading nations. Whatever the allied group that will seize world power, it must collectively be able to overcome any superpower. Otherwise, it could not exist uncontested. This development is called “multipolarism” and is already well underway. (Please see the 2-part series entitled “Endtime Shoe: Fitting the World for Ten Toes” — MCM, January and February 2009 — for a detailed review of this development.)
The second structure that obstructs the emergence of a 10-nation Power Coalition is as Mr. Naím already described — the ineffectiveness of today’s globalism, which involves every country, whether significant or a small nation-state on a pacific, tropical island.
The logical path therefore, is both multipolarism and minilateralism. The former broadens the power and neutralizes the lone superpowers; the latter centralizes global power to a smaller group, thereby circumventing globalism’s organizational mire. As Goldilocks observed, something in the middle is needed … it will be a beast but not a “baby bear” nor a “papa bear,” but a “mama bear.”
The Power of Ten
How many nations will it require to reach a position of global dominance? Not many … certainly not 20. Why? Consider the distribution of various economic, financial and other power measures in the world today. Of the many factors that we could outline, reflect on the following:
- The 10 largest economies in the world represent 68% of world output.
- Concerning world government debt, 10 nations account for 79%. Interestingly, the bigger economies in the world are actually more indebted than the rest of the world. That fits with prophecies that suggest the final ruler will be indebted (Habakkuk 2:6-8).
- The countries with the 10 largest stock markets account for 75.4% of world value in US dollar terms (end 2008).
- The 153 members of the World Trade Organization represent about 95% of world trade. The nations that are the top-10 global exporters of goods and services alone account for 53%.5
- The 10 most populous nations in the world account for 66% of the world’s population.
Along Comes the Global Financial Crisis
World policymakers and financial economists are hopeful that the new initiatives set by the Pittsburgh round of G-20 meetings will lead to resolution of the Global Financial Crisis. I believe that such expectations will be sorely disappointed. The G-20 has no means of enforcing the implementation of its resolutions. The actions of individual countries will continue to be driven by the interests of their own domestic political agenda. Self-interests will inevitably rule and in some cases, stand directly counter to the stated goals of the G-20.
Actually, this is already the case and cannot be denied. Currently, the interests of various major countries couldn’t be more opposite. For example, in some respects, the interests of the United States and Europe are opposite to that of China and India. These two nations, accounting for approximately two-fifths of the world population, see it as necessary to continue to expand trade. China and other Asian countries deliberately keep their currencies low to ensure that their exports are competitively priced. This in turn causes Americans to lose jobs and external deficits to remain high. The U.S. and other advanced members of the G-20 want China to encourage its citizens to spend more on consumption and export less. In the meantime, North American consumers love the cheap prices of imported Chinese products that they can buy at Wal-Mart. How to resolve this issue? There are many more intractable problems that will not be resolved by the G-20.
As it is, China (most likely also India and Japan) and some Middle Eastern countries such as Iran will not be part of the 10-nation coalition. This can be deduced from Bible prophecy. They are neither nations comprised of Roman peoples or their offshoots, or already were kingdoms in power at the time that John received the prophecies of the book of Revelation. He prophesied at that time that “The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom” (Revelation 17:12). As China already existed then, it is not one of the countries that will be part of the 10-king group.
Thoughts to Ponder
It is during the reign of the 6th head on the beast — the first Roman-people-lineage era in which we are living today. Globalism has flourished to its late-date state. Now, we are likely very near embarking into the 7th head era, which is ruled by a 10-nation coalition.
It could very well be that the Global Financial Crisis and its future fall-out will prove to be the catalysts that will bring the world to a state of minilateralism. In the meantime, such countries as China and other emerging nations are fast accumulating economic power. Already, the economies of the non-advanced members of the G-20 nations have surpassed that of the advanced members. It is quite possible that the entire east-Asian orb of nations along with China could be in opposition to the final 10-kings. This very development could be seen to actually hasten the 10-king formation. In such a scenario, these 10 nations would need to ally themselves against any opposition before it is too late.
Minilateralism is not as cute or toothless as the prefix “mini” implies. The concept of minilateralism for the time being is meant by Mr. Naím as a collaborative, peaceful process. In the end, however, it is more likely to result in policies of exclusion and oppression.
1. Agnès Bénassy-Quéré & Olena Havrylchyk, “G-20, Not G-7,” RGE Monitor, September 25, 2009.
2. Wikipedia, Accessed Sept. 28, 2009, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Globalism
3. Alfred Tennyson, Locksley Hall, 1846.
4. Moisés Naím, “Minilateralism,” Foreign Policy, July/August 2009.
5. CIA. Using available data from years 2006 to 2008.