The New World Order: This is it, actually

All GHWB meant by the phrase was, the international order to emerge after the Cold War. And emerge it has. What we have now is an enlarged system of Westphalian Sovereignty – When the Peace of Westphalia of 1648 ended the Thirty Years’ War, it produced a general consensus that henceforth, independent sovereign states would treat each other as such, without any pretense that they were subject to any overarching authority such as the pope or the emperor. But, this only applied within European Christendom – the rest of the world remained fair game for conquest and colonization. And now we’ve gone through the age of colonial imperialism and out the other side, and we have a new world of independent states, no longer colonies, and no longer committed to international power blocs as in the Cold War. And that’s all. That’s the NWO. No Illuminati or Rothschilds required.

I agree GHWB meant none of the stuff the CT wackos immediately came up with.

But this is laughable:

The Cold War blocs have changed / are changing before our eyes and have been since the SU collapsed. But blocs will be part of international relations for all eternity.

The Russians, the Chinese, and the USA (ex-Trumply temporary shortsightedness) absolutely want and need a batch of medium & smaller remoras following them. Meanwhile the smaller fish always want to find a group to belong to. The EU is big enough it could probably go it alone if they really wanted versus aligning with one of the big 3, but so far they’re not showing they really want that bad enough to pay for it.

Zooming out a few steps …
The TOW essentially enshrined Hobbe’s State of Nature (i.e. war of all against all; life’s nasty, brutish, and short.) as the sole organizing principal of state-to-state relations.

Given modern communications and modern weapons it can be nasty and brutish indeed. Here’s hoping cooler smarter heads prevail.

Agreed there are still military alliances, etc., but the pressure to join one side or another is no longer the most important element of geopolitics. What we have is simply states looking out for their own interests. That’s the NWO.

I’m not sure what the distinction is. It’s easy enough to say that countries can join whatever trading Bloc but maintain sovereignty, but in practice those blocs must specify and enforce certain rules for being in the Bloc. We’ll always be able to point to certain organizations as wielding apparent international power.

The wild card right now are the superpowers, both of which have become particularly belligerent in recent years (we could argue the US always was, but there was at least a level of pretense before that reigned in some excesses).
Will the smaller countries unite to push back? Will the superpowers’ influence soften as economic power becomes more spread out?

Whaddaya mean, “both”? There are at least THREE superpowers now – four if you count India! And Indonesia is warming up in the bullpen! It’s a multipolar world now, which is the whole point (other than CT-debunking) of this thread.

Well it depends how you define superpower, and that may well be the point. The more countries join the superpower club, the less power each country actually has.

But I’d currently put China and US in a different bracket to the others. They can pressure economies worldwide. Russia and India can mostly only influence their regions, although Russia can still project military force. And the EU of course is not one country with one direction.