Saturday, 10 September 2011

In Defence of Conspiracy Theory

As regular readers will know, I no longer run from the pejorative intent of the term conspiracy theorist. It will be used against me, so I might as well own it.

If you pick up a history book from whatever period you will find: murders, massacres, atrocities, assassinations, conspiracies, plots, coups and countless crimes. Furthermore you will find wars and the tactics and strategy for waging wars, and perhaps the most important key to the art of war is deception. If you take these aspects out of the book, you don't have a book. All that's left is a pamphlet on agricultural methods. Personally, I am interested in history, including the history that is being made now, and I'm curious to look deeper into matters than the colouring-in book level of the BBC.

I have heard that conspiracy theories are wrong because they undermine trust in the government, and faith in the system. I wonder; is this a general criticism? Does it apply equally, whether you're living in the Congo, or North Korea? The likely retort to that would be 'of course we're not as bad as North Korea'. Indeed not, thankfully, but does this mean our own government doesn't do bad things and then lie about them and cover them up? Does it mean, until such a time as the state crosses some demarcation-free border into overt tyranny, we are duty-bound to support their official version of history? The Official Secrets Act enables them to lock up documents for as long as 100 years, if they deem them 'sensitive'. Thus there are still many things from the First World War that ornery folk are not allowed to know. So if they are not prepared to tell us the truth about WW1, why would we expect them to do the same for the Iraq War or the Libyan War?

Taking these things into account, it is how you react to them which will determine whether you will be called a conspiracy theorist. If you are happy with the superficial version of events handed down from the official organs of state and establishment media, then fine. If, however you are interested to know more, then you must go further, and will certainly stray over the boundary into the badlands of conspiracy. This will open you up to a range of ad hominem attacks against your sanity, reason and intent, but it would be a poor specimen of a free man who let that influence him.

Only crazy people question the role of central banks or believe governments cover shit up

10 comments:

Angry Exile said...

I have heard that conspiracy theories are wrong because they undermine trust in the government, and faith in the system.

That's a new one on me, and it's not an argument I'lll ever use. I have little trust in governments and the system is a botched compromise at best. Why I doubt most conspiracy theories - doubt rather than declare to be wrong - is that in general they end up posing bigger questions than the ones for which they supply alternative answers. Take Apollo, for instance. People who can't believe that manned moon missions took place from mid 1969 find no problem in believing that the government, an organisation whose efficiency varies from the ability to make an SR-71 to being barely competent to deliver the mail, not only faked the whole thing but has managed to keep it covered up for more than 40 years. Since it seems probable that building the bloody rockets and just going to the moon would be easier, cheaper and less risky it's the least unlikely scenario. The 9/11 conspiracy theories I'm familiar with follow a similar pattern and leave bigger questions, bigger anomalies if you prefer, unanswered - principally those I've been asking at the Orphanage. That leaves the official explanation not as a certainty but as the least improbable one on offer. That doesn't mean I don't think asking questions or taking things for granted is the right course of action, just that I doubt replacing a dozen questions with a score is getting closer to the truth.

Furor Teutonicus said...

The best answer to a conspiracy theorist is "So what? What you going to DO about it?"

Trooper Thompson said...

"That's a new one on me"

See this Demos report:

http://www.demos.co.uk/files/Conspiracy_theories_paper.pdf

"More broadly, conspiracy theories drive a wedge of distrust between
governments and particular communities. Conspiracy theories -
such as those that claim 7/7 or 9/11 were ‘inside jobs’ - demolish the mutuality and trust that people have in institutions of government, with social and political ramifications that we still don't fully
understand"

will said...

Further to the idea of the pejorative label 'conspiracy' being used in an orwellian sense to shut down debate - if you look on the Wikipedia list of conspiracy theories it includes an entry relating to fiat currency. What it actually refers to is an intentional plan by the usual cabal to reduce the world back to an entirely money-less dark age. However, one can see how anyone questioning the status quo is already having to push their views uphill against the ignorant inertia brought about by 'conspiracy' smears. The whole Ron Paul / misesian view of state controlled money supply is already being discredited.
Fiat currency being completely debased from any worth is apparently only for fans of the lizard people. Everyone look the other way - money isn't simply printed out of thin air

Single acts of tyranny said...

I've lost the link but I saw Bob McNamara on youtube basically admiting that they knew or suspected one of the the Gulf of Tonkin 'attacks' on the US Navy was basically nonsense, but they ran with it anyway as a casus belli.

Then of course we have Balir and his scummy friends who sent Brits to die on the basis of either lies or errors depending who you believe.

Angry Exile said...

Ah, well, Demos. I'm surprised they stopped fellating Tony Blair long enough to come up with that, and it doesn't sound like they stopped for long enough to consider that maybe the conspiracy theories don't create an atmosphere of distrust in governments but are the result of having governments that can't be trusted.

Trooper Thompson said...

Will,

all the more reason to wear the name as a badge of honour... now give me a moment while I find a picture of a UFO hovering over the Bank of England.

SAOT,

interest in such matters as the Gulf of Tonkin 'incident', or indeed Operation Gladio, indicates a psychological weakness, and is to be discouraged.

will said...

Trooper - if you can make me a badge with that picture on it I will wear it with pride and honour!

will said...

lovely picture! do you have mervyn king with reptilian pupils?

Trooper Thompson said...

Will, that's a job for you.