Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.- Mark Twain
This whole article was inspired by something I came across from psypost that explains why people believe in conspiracy theories (this website has an entire article on how people are “economically conservative” when they’re angry). As you can probably tell the whole article is condescending and meant to impose people with shame. It is also completely wrong and why so many people hide what they really believe.
It goes something like this, someone starts a conversation with you about politics or celebrities or maybe something as innocuous as music. You politely listen and smile, nod your head at all the appropriate moment while simultaneously counting down the seconds till the conversation is over.
You leave the conversation stuck on what you wanted to say. When it’s politics you want to discuss the DNC teaming up with Hillary Clinton to steal the nomination, when it’s celebrities you want to discuss how they are nothing more than propaganda mouth pieces, and when it’s music your tempted to veer into the terrifying coincidences wrapped up in the music industry.
Of course this is not acceptable in everyday conversation.
“Polite conversation” has a flow and anyone who disrupts that flow is persona non grata. Polite conversation also leaves no room for the truth. Most people talk for a feeling, I don’t know if they’re aware that the feelings only comes through a genuine connection. A connection that will not happen if the conversation is limited to shallow talking points.
Conversation only exists for the level of possibilities, politeness comes in when you are pressured to not confront or contradict anybody when speaking.
So what is a conspiracy theory? According to the all knowing Wikipedia:
A conspiracy theory is an explanation of an event or situation that invokes a conspiracy without warrant, generally one involving an illegal or harmful act carried out by government or other powerful actors. Conspiracy theories often produce hypotheses that contradict the prevailing understanding of history or simple facts. The term is a derogatory one.
The thing about “prevailing understanding” is how easy this understanding is to manipulate. Give me a public narrative and I’ll show you the small details to make this narrative nothing more than a PR spin.
Now take a look at this Politico article on the most dangerous conspiracy theories of 2016:
- Mexicans and refugees are murderers, rapists and terrorists (because saying some means all, criminals never take advantage of lax laws)
- “There’s something going on”(It has to be vague! Never give people the benefit of coming with facts)
Danger: Mass paranoia
- Trump/Clinton is a Manchurian Candidate (Because Hillary was literally caught with her pants down to her ankles, figuratively speaking)
Danger: Institutional distrust, political polarization
- Vast right-wing conspiracy (Oh of coarse got to give a conspiracy to the other side. But they still miss the mark)
Danger: Lack of accountability
- Everything is “rigged” (Again! “Conspiracy theorists” only speak in generalizations right?)
Danger: Disenfranchisement and alienation
As you can see Politico needs to do a little research on conspiracies, they all lack flavor! Everyone knows a conspiracy has to be fact loaded. When you’re going to make a claim about something, you got to have some heavy facts backing you up.
I’m a baby when it comes to delving into the world of conspiracy, but the truth has never seemed further away. There is just so much disinformation spread that the line between theory and reality is increasingly blurry.
When someone tries to call me crazy for believing that Charlottesville was a set up, I calmly remind them that the Gulf of Tonkin incident was also a set up. It took years for the this to be a publicly accepted fact. And this set up launched the bloody Vietnam War (funny enough the Admiral involved with this was Jim Morrison’s father).
Or when I say it’s awfully weird how AIDs just popped up randomly in the 80s and people look at me like I said the Pope is an alien. I have to tell these people that between 1932 and 1972, the US Public Health Service conducted a clinical study on rural African American men and syphilis. They never informed these men they had a sexually transmitted disease, nor did they offer treatment, even after penicillin became available as a cure in the 1940s.
By the early 1970s, 128 of the original 399 men had died of syphilis and syphilis-related complications, 40 of their wives had the disease and 19 of their children were born with congenital syphilis.
And I’m not saying it’s true, but it is more than possible that something is a little off about 9/11. After all in the 60s, the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US military drew up and approved plans to create acts of terrorism on US soil in order to sway the American public into supporting a war against Cuba.
And though when CNN “journalists” cry when Trump calls them Fake News, let’s not forget about Operation Mockingbird.
Back during the Cold War the CIA launched a top secret project to buy influence and control among the major media outlets. They also planned to put journalists and reporters directly on the CIA payroll, which some claim is ongoing to this day. The architects of this plan were Frank Wisner, Allen Dulles, Richard Helms, and Philip Graham (publisher of The Washington Post), who planned to enlist American news organizations and journalists to basically become spies and propagandists.
According to the political scientist Michael Barkun, conspiracy theories rely on the view that the universe is governed by design, and embody three principles: nothing happens by accident, nothing is as it seems, and everything is connected. Another common feature is that conspiracy theories evolve to incorporate whatever evidence exists against them, so that they become, as Barkun writes, a closed system that is unfalsifiable, and therefore “a matter of faith rather than proof.”
In my experience, the most cynical among us depend very little on “faith.” It is so annoying that right when you start to speak someone will listen to the first sentence, plug their ears, and then complain to you that you offered no proof. These people will fight you if you do anything that taps their fragile bubbles.
When people are complaining about Hillary Clinton and her disappearing emails they are justifiably concerned, not conspiracy theorists. Worry over Google and their attempts to silence any dissent is entirely justified! I thank God that DuckDuckGo has never been more popular.
Now tell me why I wouldn’t be angry at a media that lies to me that Trump’s wiretapping claims were fake, despite the media telling us the exact opposite!
The establishment is scared and they feel their losing their power overt the American people. They are increasingly damaging their own vulnerability in their attempts to attack any person who falls out of line. Long story short, I’m not a conspiracy theorist. Just someone who is looking for truth, and I firmly believe that the more information the public has the better.
All those cries about alternate news accounts misleading the people is just an attempt to silence those who say what you don’t like. A conspiracy theory is not about what is said, but more a matter of who is saying it.
What about you? Do you accept the label conspiracy theorist?