The open society, as all societies, has not only to contend with the strife within its borders, but also with the conflicts outside of its borders. The open society is agnostic, and preaches tolerance toward different laws and customs, because it refuses to come to any explicit conclusions about the best society. But it is the only society in the world to behave in this way. The open society, which should, if it remains true to its premises, consider no other society inimical, faces nonetheless the universal enmity of all societies which are not themselves open societies. The open society is the great pariah of the world. But because the only society which can even dream of becoming an open society is a society of powerful economic and military standing, or a society protected by such a one, open societies tend to be powerful or well defended. The open society thus cannot be directly attacked by its enemies; its enemies must dream subtler ways of undermining it. The open society, if it is to stave off these dangers, must approach the world beyond its borders with a degree of perspicacity and secret suspicion, which it claims ever to forswear in its inner relations. This mandates the development of a strong military and a sophisticated intelligence system. But to both military and intelligence, openness or ‘transparency’ is not only prejudicial but deadly.
The open society, as any society, cannot therefore be perfectly candid. If any ‘open society’ you please were at this moment to publish the full extent and findings of its espionage, it would risk total collapse within a month. Beyond the fact that many of these secrets could be used to destroy it, the most devastating revelation would be the degree to which the practices of the open society contradict its proclaimed principles. Its citizenry, who are by and large duped by its specious claims of moral superiority, would not be able to abide its hypocrisy, and they would clamour for immediate purification. The response of many citizens today to the increasingly obvious existence of the ‘Deep State’ is testament to this. The open society for these very reasons cannot permit that the ways of its enemies should gain too much currency or favour or popularity in its own society; so long as it is surrounded by enemies, the open society, no matter what laws its enjoys, must be de facto a closed society.
The open society must therefore be closed to the degree that its enemies are powerful, and it must also develop sophisticated and efficient means of mystifying this closure so that the populace does not so much as suspect it. One knows that the King has his secrets, and one is well inured to the fact; but the President or Prime Minister must always seek to appear as though he were the frankest and least tainted man in all the world. One must believe that even such secrets as he does possess are innocuous.
The open society is therefore constrained to contradict itself incessantly in the most shameful and irritating of ways, on account of the simple fact that it cannot remain perfectly open toward its adversaries and its foes abroad. The open society is slowly corroded by this contradiction, not only through the acidic influence of its own concealed hypocrisy, but also because individuals within the open society who are basically inimical to the open society, can take advantage of these bad vicissitudes to work at compromising the open society from within.
The true lovers of the open society, its truest protagonists and supporters, are thus constrained to realize that the open society, the one human society which refuses to pass moral judgement on the customs and laws of other societies, is the only society which is endangered and compromised merely by the existence of those customs and laws. Of all human societies, it is far and away the most fragile. The global diversity of clamorous beliefs and social styles, of jostling customs, religions, and ways, which the open society over all other societies purports to love and promote, is in fact the greatest toxin to the open society. The only way the open society can be and remain perfectly open is if it is surrounded on all sides by other open societies which hold to its same principles; it must seek to proselytize all other societies, to transform them into the open society, to undermine or dilute or destroy the very diversity which it pretends to champion more than any other kind of society.
Moreover, even if it is fortunate enough to find itself surrounded by open societies – as is the case for instance of many European states – or successful enough to make all surrounding nations adopt the principles of open societies, its trouble nonetheless persists. There is always and everywhere the lingering doubt that what my neighbour is doing might not be not identical to what my neighbour says he is doing. The open society contiguous exclusively with other open societies would persistently have to wonder if its neighbours really were open societies, or if they were not merely posturing as such to lure it into a state of dependency and ingenuous vulnerability. It would have to wonder if its neighbours, like it itself, were not merely apparently open, while in fact retaining many secrets and countenancing much deception, and it would have to wonder as well what dangers and hidden threats those secrets and deception might conceal. Far from being able to dismantle its complex militaristic and intelligence apparatus, or to bring all of its actions candidly to light before the judgement of its citizenry, it would have to drive its own secrecy deeper. It would continue to promulgate itself as the open society, even more triumphantly than before, even while it acted clandestinely and behind state doors as the closed society. It would become excellently capable at cozening its citizenry about its true nature, which it cultivates in silence and secrecy, as though in a closet of its mansion; it would become, as it were, the social analogue of Dorian Gray. Thus not even a global confederacy of open societies can suffice to render the open society open; only a unique government ruling all the globe, which no longer has to fear any external enemy whatever, can achieve that end.
The open society, everywhere and always, necessitates the dream of a single world order.
The road to the single world order is fraught with trouble. The open society can neither conquer its enemies by brute force – for it can hardly hope to remain an open society, when its members include individuals who almost certainly harbour deep and abiding resentments against it – nor can it, as other societies do, strongly condemn its closed neighbours and argue against their ways – for it is committed to the principle of openness in the face of all possible social orders. Being able neither to force its enemies to adopt its principles, nor to freely shame the world into opposing those which do not, it must then seek to convert its enemies to its position by more subversive tactics. For only those who are already enamoured of the principles of the open society will be willing to consider the idea of a single world open society. Then all or most of the societies of the world must first become open societies, before they may merge into a single and global open society.
It is not easy to convert all the peoples of the world to the principles of open societies, and it is impossible to force them to do so. One can take advantage of civil wars and the internal disorder of foreign states to bring about new open societies throughout the world; but this kind of geopolitical maneuvering is never easy and still less is it cheap, and it is always compromised in certain cases by other and more pressing questions of geopolitical strategy. The open society is best armed to achieve its ends when it becomes an undisputed global superpower, as has been the case of the United States since the collapse of the Soviet empire.1 But even in this brief period of American hegemony, it has become clear that the military route toward the production of a world society is not adequate to the task. The disastrous experiments of the United States in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and elsewhere more than prove that point. The people of the world must be prepared to accept the global open society; it cannot be foisted upon them by merely political or military means.
Then a number of other strategies must be employed by the open society toward the preparation of the single world order, as: globalization, and the widespread distribution of those tempting products that the open society dedicates itself to manufacturing and perfecting; the infiltration of all the countries of the world with Western markets, Western medicine, and Western ideals; the favouring of those countries which are slavishly dependent on the open society, and clandestine efforts to undermine those which are not; the encouraging of the idea of a ‘global community’ through technological innovations which ‘connect’ the ‘citizens of the world’; the favouring of policies of open immigration and ‘no borders’ to dilute customs both at home and abroad;2 the constant and propagandic humanizing of the faces and traumas of peoples distant to us; the attempt to render all human beings everywhere more uniform and homogeneous; the slow erosion of all ethe – all human attachments to gods and ideals, all sense of reverence for past or future, for home and hearth; and finally, the relentless combating of all articulations of differences or inequalities between human beings, which might incite the old ideas of distinction and separation which once universally governed human societies. Put simply, the open society supports revolutions where it may; and where it may not, it slowly indoctrinates and bribes the peoples of the world to its own ideals through what it calls its ‘culture.’
The single world order is yet very far from us: we can pray that it be unattainable. It would require, either long and insidious work on the societies and minds and souls of human beings, or else a grand profiting from some world-wide disaster.3 But despite the difficulties involved in arriving at the open society, which blessedly make its advent unlikely in the near future, we must contemplate it, for the simple reason that it exerts the fascinating power of a final ideal over the minds and hearts of the many today, and certainly over the masters of the many. It does not do so always explicitly; but even occult stars have their gravity, sometimes even the greater for their invisibility.
Once the single world order is achieved, and the last obstacle to a truly open society has been overcome, the nature of the open society will at last become vivid to all eyes. The single world order will then have no enemies but internal. Because the open society was originally intended as a novel way of addressing the internal conflicts of society, it would seem then that the single world order will finally be able to live up to its destiny as a perfectly open and perfectly transparent society, as a philosophical society, dedicated to the endless improvement of the lives and minds of its citizenry. But the open society is premised on the idea that society must be an open forum for the debate of how to attain the best social order, and this presupposes that there might be a best social order which is not the open society. It is therefore possible that some sizeable portion of human beings in the global open society will conclude that there is a social order which is preferable to the open society. The single world order cannot countenance this possibility, because it threatens that unity which is, as has been seen, the overriding prerequisite for the open society.
The global open society therefore cannot maintain its control over the entire globe, unless it is capable of cowing the great majority of human beings and convincing them that the open society is the best society. It can do this only by closing itself to all other possible social orders and by engaging in constant self-aggrandizement, or continual propagandic deprecation, obvious or subliminal as the case may have it, of all other possible social orders. The global open society must perforce become the global closed society.
The question arises then as to what to do with dissidents. The single world order might be able to maintain its absolute hegemony though simple technological means, by the subtle sophistication of the forces at the disposal of the state. It would thus become a perfect technocratic totalitarian state, some variant on the theme proposed by Brave New World, but without so much as the land of the Savages to provide its foil. In the meantime, or failing this possibility, the single world order will have to resort to more traditional tactics to undermine heterodoxy, such as propaganda and de facto control of the press (both of which will be greatly simplified by the monolithic quality of power in a single world order), ideological mastery of education systems (which will no doubt fall within the tutelary supervision of the state), increasing manipulation of historical knowledge, and the continual repetition and inculcation of those public dogmas which are most useful to the open society: namely, the dogma of human equality and the dogma of moral relativism. Those who challenge these dogmas will not have to be silenced so much as ignored. So long as these protesters and rebels do not gain much support among the wider public, the single world order can simply let them scream themselves hoarse. But it cannot permit any ‘reactionary movement’ to come of their challenge.
This means that the single world order will have to immunize its people to the claims of its scattered opponents. Since the easiest way to keep its people subdued is to keep them fat and distracted, it will produce a ceaseless and blindingly brilliant river of new technologies to ease the toils of its people, assuage their sufferings, and augment their pleasures, as well as a flood of toys and entertainments to pander to the animal in them and to wear away at all remaining moral and intellectual resistance. Our modern technology will readily provide it the means to perform all of this: for science, which is nothing but a valueless and thus castrated form of philosophy, and which therefore cannot threaten the world state in any way so long as it agrees to tread carefully around certain clearly delineated issues, will be quick to offer itself as tinkermaster and serf to this new king, in return for a stable flow of funding to feed its slakeless obsession with ‘information’. It will happily generate the wonders and the miracles by which the new religion perpetuates its rule, in return for the patronage of the same.
By and by, after enough continual exposure to this regime, the citizens of the world state will not even realize the degree to which they have been transformed into unthinking slaves. The size of the state, and the monopoly of its control over the exclusive means of communication (as cellular telephones, computers, and in particular the internet) which could conceivably unite the few remaining disparate rebels, will make all possibility of revolt vanish to hopeless naught. Those who dissent will be left to pass their lives lonely and isolated and purposeless, their small protestations lost to the great thunderous and pointless chattering that by then will be the one remaining vestige of the human voice.
The single world order, combined with the technological prowess we contemporary human beings have at our disposal, would result in the establishing of final and unbreachable borders around our nation and our ideas, where today we have permeable and passable ones. It would require building in the place of the present more or less open society, a radically and universally closed society, which casts the doctrine of ‘openness’ like a blanket to stifle the challenge of dissidents. It would mean the uprooting of all human races all human ways, in favour of a single race of vapid, colourless individuals fit for nothing but thraldom, cold to culture, and neutered to philosophy. It would mean the replacement of church by state, the establishment of a soulless social religion which confers no immortality and offers no moral guidance, but which is adhered to universally, and whose inadequacies are compensated for by an endless phantasmagoria of carnal gratifications. It would mean the founding of a universal, doctrinaire, and potentially perpetual, tyranny on Earth, against which there can be no recourse, nor any hope of escape, because the State has become ubiquitous and all-powerful as a terrestrial and amoral god.
All that could be hoped for in such a time, would be the coming of a world-wide catastrophe, of such magnitude and such ineluctable natural force, that the single world order could not resist it, but would be crushed before it as the lesser power to the greater. Then those individuals whose spirits have somehow not been smothered in the morass, those few individuals somehow still open to the promise within the human soul and still nurturing the divine spark within them, might glimpse once more the golden possibilities arising from this sudden crisis in the social order, and awaken to the truth of their sordid and inhuman state.
1For penetrating insight into the particular dynamic of American global hegemony, the reader is strongly encouraged to peruse Tomislav Sunic’s Homo Americanus.
2It is no wonder that the ultra-rich ‘philanthropists’ (such as the aforementioned George Soros) should so strongly press for the elimination of borders and greater quantities of immigration. It would be a mistake to reduce all of this to the greed of these individuals; we are speaking here rather of a decades-long strategy on their part, consciously enacted toward the obliteration of the very idea of culture.
3Consider, for instance, a certain video produced by one Gianroberto Casaleggio, the founder of the Five Star Movement in Italy. An entire article could be written on this bizarre and disquieting pro-globalist propaganda, but for the moment it is sufficient to note that the denouement of this video hinges on a catastrophic Third World War which would decimate the human population – an outcome, incidentally, which is evidently quite near to the hearts of a number of out contemporary billionaire ‘philanthropists’; see for instance James Corbett’s very fine work on this subject (a relevant episode of his podcast can be found here). Apparently a world population of better than 10 billion souls, as is presently predicted even by mid-range projections, would be unwieldy even for our would-be world governors. See also my own essay on catastrophism for further thoughts on this particular question.