Joe Biden gave a speech Monday in which he used the phrase “new world order,” a reference to a political ideal or a conspiracy theory, a reference that has riled up conspiracy theorists online.

“There’s going to be a new world order out there, and we’ve [the U.S.] got to lead it,” Biden said at a White House event.

President Woodrow Wilson first used the phrase during World War 1. However, most people would recognize it from President George H. W. Bush regarding a change in international relations post-Cold War.

In a political context, "new world order" has taken on a lot of different meanings throughout history, but more recently means the spread of peace and democracy, international cooperation, and security.

It speaks to the idea of global cooperation, of countries around the world coming together post-conflict or to tackle a global problem, like the current Russian invasion of Ukraine.

However, the use of the term is evidence of a broader conspiracy theory in certain conspiracy circles, especially with the rise of the internet. The phrase “new world order” takes on the complete opposite meaning when in conspiracy theory circles.

As such, more recently public figures and presidents have not typically used the phrase. It has resurfaced amid the Russia-Ukraine War.

In U.S. conspiracy circles, it confirms the existence of a global authoritarian elite that controls the world in secret. For some, it is a reference to the Illuminati.

This conspiracy has held some deeply Anti-Semitic roots. It could also reference the rise of communism and touches on the Free Masons.

For modern conspiracy theorists and QAnon believers, the “liberal” elites are the ones who have taken control. These days, it could mean anyone from famous figures that draw conspiracy theorists’ ire like investor George Soros, who is a Jewish Holocaust survivor, or Bill and Hillary Clinton, or Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

Today it can mean people like Biden or Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky. Regardless of which “liberal elite” of the day it is, the secret actions of this “liberal elite” are different depending on which branch of this conspiracy theory is being discussed.

Ultimately, whichever branch is being discussed, the goal is global control and authoritarianism. In more recent weeks, however, according to Vice, the conspiracy theorists have said that the West only cares about the Russian invasion of Ukraine because there are “biolabs.”

US President Joe Biden will press for Western unity and tougher Russia sanctions on his European trip
US President Joe Biden will press for Western unity and tougher Russia sanctions on his European trip AFP / Nicholas Kamm