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Thursday, May 2, 2013

'Why people believe in conspiracy theories'

Salon magazine's political report, Alex Seitz-Wald, recently put up a post on "Why people believe in conspiracy theories." There's a picture from The X-Files TV show and an interview with an Australian professor.

Perhaps one underappreciated reason is that the national government I'm most familiar with, the U.S. government, is capable of all kinds of crazy things. Here is an article from The New Yorker that mentions weird assassination plots by the CIA. Did you know that a U.S. president formed a secret spy group to destroy his political opposition? People of a a certain age will remember that. Maybe only "conspiracy theorists" remember what the FBI did to Martin Luther King.

Not the American government, but still interesting: Here is an article about discussions in NATO about weaponizing the weather. Here is an article about a London bank rigging the financial system (note the opening sentences.)


michael said...

Oh...I see. You're a conspiracy theorist too. you sure like to talk about 'em. You sure seem to be defending them, here.

I guess you didn't go to the right school. It's a pity. Don't they teach critical thinking to the proles anymore? Let me see your pledge pin...Ahaaaaa...just as I thought: not one of us.

So you can just take your Alex Jones and your Noam Chomsky and your David Icke and your Woodward and Bernstein and Robert Anton Wilson and...

CUT! We need a RE-WRITE!

Because Obama's rogue DEA thugs are still harassing medical pot sellers in California, it seems a safe bet that in the next 24 hours, thousands of people will be conspiring with others, against Federal Law, to obtain cannabis, for whatever reason. But because I have no proof on hand, this is only a "guess" or "hypothesis" or, if you like, some whacky "theory." A Conspiracy Theory, indeed.

What a half-wit I turned out to be! (According to many of the good, well-educated liberal intellects at places like Salon and Slate.)

Why DO people want to talk about things that The State seems itchin' to make Thought Crimes, punishable by a long term in a privatized prison? I mean...why would you want to not only THINK but TALK or ever WRITE about things like conspiracy theories, just because you think there's some chance some but not all of them might be true? Trust me: smile, don't make eye contact with the wrong people, do your job, go home and drink. You'll be so much better off that way.

You say you're interested in the human mind and your own mind, its ability to pattern-seek, its exposure to lying, trickery, corrupting power, and mendacity? And that's why you think sometimes the Official Story is not the whole story? You say you like to THINK? For yourself? You know you'll make mistakes, but will note those and go on gathering facts, stories, dissentual data, and those books you get from the library about sociology, history, psychology, anthropology, economics, and folklore?

Whatta conspiracy theorist! LOOOO-ZUH!

Remember the one and only True logic: there's either True of False. There's nothing in-between. Nature doesn't work that way. How do we know? Because it's in a 2400 year old book, that's why!

Those who use the word "maybe" (as in "Maybe some of what are popularly called 'conspiracy theories' have some validity, if only because we're primates and are very good at deceit") ARE strictly speaking, losers. Not to BE taken seriously. Not "educated" properly. Got it?

We'll let you know if a Real Conspiracy comes along. Just listen to us. Forever.

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...

Thanks for the great comment, Michael!

The funny thing is that I consider myself rather a conservative when it comes to conspiracy theories. I'm not a "Truther" or a "Birther."

But I do think it's likely the CIA was involved in some fashion in the cocaine business in connection with the Nicaraguan contras, and I do think there are things the government does that it tries to keep under wraps.

To me the most reasonable course of action is to remember all of the other wild things that it's documented our government has done and to at least consider the possibility that government abuse of power and coverups are continuing. If the Obama administration is capable of killing an American teenager in Yemen who had no apparent connection to terrorism, perhaps it is capable of other things.