Of conspiracy-mongering
0 comment Friday, May 30, 2014 |
In a previous post I mentioned the article on TakiMag regarding conspiracy theories, and expressed my intention to write a blog piece about it.
The subject of conspiracy theories is a complex one, and I can't begin to do it justice in a blog post, so let me just offer some thoughts about the subject in general.
We are all familiar with certain popular conspiracy theories. I am sure we can all name several of them, such as the JFK assassination theories (multiple assassins, possible involvement of everybody from the various Mafia families to the CIA), the recent 'Truther' belief system, which believes there is a conspiracy to hide truth about 9/11. Then there are those who doubt that man has ever landed on the moon; the moon landing images were all created on a cheap set or in the California desert somewhere, so the story goes.
Then there are the UFO conspiracy theories, and the issue of 'chemtrails.'
These are seldom covered by the 'respectable' media, except in a derisive fashion.
A few years ago, talk-radio host and writer Michael Medved spent quite a bit of energy and time ridiculing and vilifying those who believed that a North American Union is in the works -- even though talk of it has been quite open, with North American summit meetings involving the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Still, some people seem determined to deride and discredit anyone who writes about it or believes the planned NAU is real.
Even today, half a century and more after the 'Communist scare' of the 1950s, even after documents have been released verifying that there were Communists in positions of power, and that there were Soviet agents who passed information to that government -- we still read in the dishonest media the assertion that the Communist conspiracy was all in the 'paranoid' minds of McCarthy and other right-wingers. Many people today believe that the Communist conspiracy was not real at all, only a pretext by McCarthy and others to deprive 'progressives' of their rights and freedoms.
Obviously there are conspiracies.
Our own country came into being as the result of what was actually a 'conspiracy' among English colonists.
The Venona Papers establish that there was a Communist conspiracy to subvert this country. Can anybody look at today's events and doubt that they succeeded to a great extent? The left of course celebrates their 'change', but still deny that any subversion by their side existed.
Not everything is random chance or coincidence, any more than everything is a conspiracy. The truth is somewhere in between.
Similarly, skeptics tell us that they don't 'believe in UFOs' when what they probably mean is that they don't believe in extraterrestrials visiting this planet in some kind of spacecraft. Of course there are Unidentified Flying Objects; many people see things in the skies that they can't identify with certainty. Some may be natural phenomena, some ordinary aircraft which are unrecognized as such. But to categorically state that there 'are no UFOs' is rather silly. There may not be any space aliens flying around our earth, but there are unidentified flying objects, whatever their origin.
It is facile to be skeptical for skepticism's sake, and while skepticism is a good thing to an extent, it can be closed-mindedness and arrogance, because it seems to assume that there are no mysteries in our world, no unknowns. Likewise, 'the fool hath said in his heart, There is no God', believing somehow that he himself knows all that is in the universe. No atheist can prove that God does not exist, though they seem to have an unfounded certainty -- a faith, shall we say -- that He does not exist. Skeptics, including atheists, claim to be people who rely on empirical evidence and proof, but they can offer no real proof that the theist is wrong.
Skepticism can be good but when it means reasoning backward from existing beliefs in order to exclude or to deny anything unknown or novel or unfamiliar is not in the least scientific. Skepticism is not good when it consists of knee-jerk scoffing at anything that does not fit within existing categories. That kind of skepticism is not healthy, but is presumptuous.
Some skeptics can be notoriously credulous when it comes to accepting at face value anything said by 'debunkers', official spokesmen, or whoever they regard as reliable authorities. But yet we know that we have been lied to and deceived in many instances by various authority figures; surely nobody would deny this.
Skepticism is useful when it is directed also at authority figures, and not just at those who hold unorthodox opinions.
Many people use the website 'Snopes' to try to discredit certain stories as hoaxes or 'crazy conspiracy theories.' That website is not an infallible source, and is rather blatantly biased in a liberal direction, yet many cite it as an unimpeachable source of truth. Wikipedia, which I cite occasionally, is likewise biased, and I take that into account. Trusting such sources shows credulity on the part of many self-professed skeptics.
Others take as gospel whatever their favorite TV talking head or blogger says about something. If Coulter or Beck say that ''birthers are nutjobs'' -- to mention another 'conspiracy theory' -- well, that settles it for some people.
There are many people who will not believe something until it becomes fashionable and acceptable to believe it. Sometimes the left and the right converge in believing in the same conspiracy theories (such as the 'Truthers') but they differ in their beliefs as to who is responsible. For the left, it is the old Bush/Cheney axis of Evil. For the right it is -- the Bush/Cheney axis of Evil.
Many, left and right, believe that there is a globalist cabal, trying to corral us into a New World Order. The left, of course, believes it's 'right-wing global capitalists' at the bottom of it, while it seems to the right that left-wing internationalists and Third World admirers are at the root of it. They are both right. Left and right converge when it comes to this globalist agenda. Both sides are complicit, working hand in glove towards the same ends, maybe wittingly, maybe not, but it's all coming together because factions on both sides desire it and are determined to create it.
But many still scoff at any talk of a globalist agenda.
It's all too easy to dismiss something by labeling it in a derisive and dismissive way: ''birthers'', ''truthers'' and the all-inclusive ''conspiracy-mongers''. Even the term ''conspiracy theory'' has become a condescending label which summons up images of paranoid fringe-types muttering to themselves.
A conspiracy is nothing more nor less than two or more people planning, and ultimately acting in concert towards some end. Usually this planning and colluding is done clandestinely for various reasons: it may be for fear of heavy-handed authorities, or, in the case of those in authority, for fear of ''the people'' rebelling against the plan.
And can anybody honestly believe that the very wealthy and powerful, who are used to exercising great power in both business and social circles, are content to sit quietly in the background and not use their wealth and power to attain their ends? Money does buy influence. The elites are used to having their way. They could hardly be content to passively wait for ''the people'' to determine the course of the country.
We all cynically accept that money buys influence, even with our supposedly representative system, and our supposedly open and transparent government.
As for the 'secret societies' that are so much discussed in this context, it's hard to believe that they are just a lot of powerful and influential people meeting to have a meal and shoot the breeze together. These groups are becoming quite open about their role in influencing policy; there is hardly any pretense of their being mere social clubs for the rich and powerful. In any case, there is often a public face, the exoteric side, that is all about harmless 'networking' and socializing, while the esoteric side stays behind closed doors, among the few.
I consider it far more prudent to be open-minded yet cautious. I don't believe everything I read or hear; none of us should, but neither should any presume we know all, and that everything is only what it appears on the surface. The world is a stranger and more complex place than that. And as far as human nature goes, ''the heart of man is deceitful above all things'', so watchfulness is always in order.
It's also worth remembering that wild speculations which may become 'conspiracy theories' flourish best in an atmosphere of secretiveness and deceit. At the very least, those in the media and in elected positions 'conspire' to keep much from us, and to distort and shade what truths they dispense to us.

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