Article

Conspiracists on the Rampage

468l

With fully 33% of Americans believing 9/11 conspiracy theories, it’s no surprise when a rational debunking draws ire. A recent commenter from Australia responded indignantly to my post on Evil, ID, Conspiracies, and Ignorance. So without further ado, I’m bumping this up:

Some people will always prefer coincidence theories to conspiracy facts. How anyone could put Antony Sutton’s books or Gary Allen’s “None Dare Call it Conspiracy” or dozens of others down and declare them the work of fearful “theorists” I cannot fathom.

The power of these sources is found in the copious internal and public documents, records and especially the quotes from the mouths of the ‘conspirators’ themselves. They are telling us exactly what they are doing and basically bragging about it.

Sean, it may be that you agree with the objectives of the One Worlders [who confess to the “necessary” destruction of US sovereignty]. That’s your prerogative. But how can you deny what the Big Boys themselves are saying and doing [continually for at least a century about their plans for America and the world] and then denigrate those who can see it with labels and cheap shots? Mexico, the USA, and Canada are merging under our noses with no authority from the people. Like Europe they begin as security pacts, common markets etc., and then merge currency and political systems.

All of the major planks of the communist manifesto… A one world government, one world bank, one world currency, one world army, one world economy etc all centrally controlled is the objective. Include centrally controlled media, health etc .. In other words, absolute power over everything and everyone.

[Want to work in TV and movies? Sorry sir we have need of chicken pluckers at the moment… we’ve booked you a train ticket for 4am].

Instead of denigrating people who bring all these facts to our attention just admit that the communist manifesto is ok by you. If it’s not ok, open your eyes Sean.

BL, you come across as a true believer. And believers are the most easily offended when it comes to facing facts.

You mischaracterized my arguments, and didn’t address any of the most important points I made in the original post. Further, you make the classic error of lumping me in with supporting some kind of “World Communist” plot. It seems conspiracy theorists never met two patterns they couldn’t match–no matter how different they really are. Kind of a variation on counting the hits and ignoring the misses. I chalk up a lot of this fretting over conspiracies to a lack of a sense of personal power or control. If you felt empowered in your own life (or politically), you wouldn’t need to worry about finding someone or some cabal to blame. You’d also be talking about solutions, and they wouldn’t be sectarian, parochial, or nationalistic. You’d be talking about unity instead of maintaining the “us vs. them” status quo.

  1. For the record, I’m opposed to all forms of state coercion, whether capitalist or communist. But I’m unconvinced people could form a truly free society without order and structure.
  2. If the Communist Manifesto mentions a one-world government, and later one happens, that does not mean Engels, Marx or the perpetrators of the Bolshevik revolution somehow “implemented” their plan. What about the billions of rational actors in between whose decisions cannot be discounted?
  3. I’ve never understood the objection to world government. We have federal, state, and local governments, and they manage to coexist. Why would an additional layer on the global level make such a negative difference? What would be wrong with having a world currency? It would have the potential to eliminate a lot of inefficiencies, it would facilitate trade, and improve consistency on things like labor practices and human rights. A real global government might enable us to tackle problems global in scope such as war and climate change.

What’s the big problem? How did the terms “global” and “one-world” acquire such negative connotations? Why do you think a global body would lead to “absolute power over everything and everyone” any more than the governments we have today? Doesn’t it matter more what TYPE of global government it is? Haven’t the lines been blurred anyway, with organizations such as the WTO, UN, and multinational corporations taking on some of the roles of a world government?

I think you conspiracy theorists need to ask yourselves what is being served by viewing events in the way you do. How does your viewpoint lead to improvements? Why are your culprits never ‘exposed’ except to yourselves? How does blaming specific groups relieve your own angst and become more comforting for you? What overall psychological purpose is served? Does this belief system really reduce anxiety, or does it just focalize it safely away from your own responsibility to actually do anything about it?

How does seizing on a few fringe authors such as Sutton or Allen remotely pass intellectual muster? There are literally thousands of academics in universities all over the world studying international relations. Why is it that almost none of them give credence to these theories? Your favorite text “None Dare Call it Conspiracy” is from 1972.

As for the ‘confessions’ of the supposed architects of conspiracy, are you totally naive? People bluster all the time. But mostly, their plans don’t work out. Conversely, those who achieve power give far too little credit to luck and timing.

Seeing patterns where there are none is an evolutionary leftover of what Daniel Dennett calls the “hyperactive agent detection device.” It’s what causes clams to close their shells, and flies to take off at the slightest breeze or shadow. Higher animals have learned that this is a waste of energy, and have developed the ability to distinguish false threats from real ones. But there are strong remnants of this evolutionary response which cause even humans to impose some kind of agency on elements arising from chaos and random causal chains. Humans create imaginary supernatural agents by the same methods. This was the point of my article.

Holding these simplistic beliefs is sure a hell of a lot less work than actually studying and understanding complex phenomena. (You’d have to submit to intellectual discipline, and subordinate wishes to facts, for starters). But for your own sake, I’d recommend you try.

Basic human nature and evolutionary psychology is a good place to start. (The Blank Slate, by Steven Pinker, etc.) Then I’d move on to game theory and agent-based modeling. And then with that background, read some up-to-date undergraduate economics or international relations textbooks, (or The World is Flat, by Thomas Friedman) Or maybe even take a course or two. Oh, that’s right, you can’t: the university professors are all in the pockets of the conspirators.

Give me a break.

(For further reading: Here is Robert James Bidinotto from the objectivist center, with a startlingly similar viewpoint as I outlined in my original post on this issue. Conspiracy theory truly represents the religious impulse misdirected toward the political world.)

This website uses IntenseDebate comments, but they are not currently loaded because either your browser doesn't support JavaScript, or they didn't load fast enough.

Comments (11 comments)

just say no to christ / May 21st, 2007, 5:21 pm / #1

Sean,

You made some AWESOME points! I don’t understand why people need so much drama and complex conspriacies to cling to. The government is corrupt because people are greedy and greed destroys human decency. There is no big complex compsiracy to take over the world. What is really happening is self fulfilled prophacies of long held religious beliefs based in death and it isn’t just the polititians playing the game, its the majority of humanity as well. It isn’t that anyone truely set out to take over or destroy the world, it is just bound to happen when so many people are mentally ill and believe they are above this natural world and therefore can dominate it.

I hope I don’t sound too conspiracy theoristy, if I do, I am blaming the ganja. ;) (JK lol)

Amy

Jeff / May 21st, 2007, 8:08 pm / #2

Sean, you couldn’t be more wrong.

Every year since 1994, I’ve read each bill approved by Congress. It’s a commitment I’ve made to the American people and the best way for me to spot a government conspiracy. Usually the bills are very boring and sometimes I think I’m wasting my time. But then I’ll find something that makes it all worthwhile. This time that something was in the recently passed Farm Appropriations Bill or H.R. 4523.

The bill seemed harmless, until I got to paragraph 48, under article 3. “Beginning November 1st, 2007, to qualify for the tax break outlined in Section 2, paragraphs 12-15, every product must contain peanuts.”

I couldn’t believe my eyes. Every product must contain peanuts. Obviously, every company is going to want the tax break, which leaves only one conclusion: Soon, everything will contain peanuts. I had to act fast, so I tried to call my senator. When my call wouldn’t go through, I remembered that his office blocked my number four years ago. Like most politicians, he’s scared of the truth.

I’ve been watching the peanut industry for five years, ever since I bought a vanilla milk shake at McDonald’s that had a label saying, “May Contain Peanuts.” A vanilla shake should not contain peanuts. A five-year-old kid knows that. It perked my suspicion, and H.R. 4523 validated my years of diligent investigative work. It all fits together now.

Jimmy Carter was once a peanut farmer. He was also, as any good conspiracy theorist knows, the Illuminati Grandmaster from 1970 to 1984. It was the Illuminati and peanuts that allowed Carter’s rise to power. George Washington Carver discovered 300 uses for peanuts more than 100 years ago, and he was also a powerful member of the Illuminati. And there’s only one letter different in their last names…I don’t know what it means yet, but obviously it means something.

Since George Washington Carver’s time, agricultural chemists have devised ways to incorporate peanuts in virtually every product we buy. Unless our government is stopped, that’s exactly what will happen. I realize today that in the complex world of geopolitics, it’s not just who controls the oil, it’s who grows the most peanuts. Trust me, I just know these things.

I can’t call my senator anymore, so I ask each of you to make that call. Tell your senator that you don’t want to buy a new car in 2008 and find out that it’s made with peanuts. So please, make the call. I would if I could.

BlackSun / May 21st, 2007, 10:00 pm / #3

Amy, exactly, (and I’ll forgive you for the ganja) ;-)

Jeff, nicely done!

Readers, for more of Jeff’s satire, please visit http://www.thegayblackjew.com

Doris Tracey / May 22nd, 2007, 6:35 pm / #4

Jeff ,

Some dare call it conspiracy; congratulations Jeff !

Doris Tracey / May 23rd, 2007, 4:34 am / #5

Hi Jeff,

Maybe you can call your congressman instead, they always welcome my calls. I’m calling today; thanksfor the information.

Doris Tracey / May 23rd, 2007, 5:15 am / #6

Jeff,

I just called Pa. Congressman Sestaks’ office and I told Tyler about the Farm Appropriations Bill or H.R 4523. I told him it doesn’t sound good that to get a tax break every product must contain peanuts. He thanked me and took my name,address and telephone number and said he would get in touch with me later.

BlackSun / May 23rd, 2007, 10:57 am / #7

Here is “BL’s” response, posted under his original comment:

Hello sean. I haven’t mischaracterised your arguments. I used a simple literary device of putting the intentions of the one worlders in your own mouth. You are after all still championing their goals in your reply to me.

You are also persisting with your derogatory phsyco-analysis of me yet loving psychology as you clearly do, you dodge the one psycho-analytical question i put to you. Aren’t you just trying to ‘blind you readers with science’. I think you are, but you use a very biased collection of theories to support your world view. Please don’t launch into a passionate defence of science… you might be dissapointed to know that i think science is wonderfull too.

However, I think you might have found many valid psychological reasons why a person might read “something” into “nothing”. Well done. But would you mind offering your readers a few valid psychological reasons why a person might read “nothing’ into ’something” ? Sean ? I think that would give us all a more complete insight into ourselves. We’d then be better able judge if it’s the facts or ourselves getting in the way of a clear world view. But i for one am very comforted by your words. I don’t know, i just feel kinda safe. You know?

In the mean time none of the books you’ve recommended will answer the facts which Gary Allen and Antony Sutton present in their work. The sources you offer are a classic “red herring”. You would have offered the same prescription to Paul Revere no doubt and found great comfort in the words of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in 1938…” Peace in our time” …What was all the fuss about Sean?

Naturally i can’t be as sure of your own motivations as you seem to be of mine but you are playing the role of the ‘gatekeeper’ very well… ” move it along folks… nothing to see here…”… ” look over there at those marvellous bastions of intellectual freedom… the college professions… they haven’t read Sutton’s or Allen’s work either but they’ll be able to answer all your questions… don’t worry about the that… our conventional wisdom, our psychological theories and our consensus beliefs can explain everything… always have, always will.”

Like Sean, i would also like to invite readers to inform themselves by doing a bit of reading. Start by re-reading all of the questions Sean puts in his reply to me and then actually read the sources i have recommended to see if they can present more credible answers. [ not to mention a few more glaring psychological motivations]. It’s really the only scientific approach. Then, if you still think Sutton and Gary Allen’s work is not thorough and scholarly, you are all welcome to dissagree.

Also Sean, I am not unhappy to be tutored by Professors and the like. Some of them are very courageous and very bright. Professor Antony Sutton was educated at the Universities of London,
Gottingen and California and was a research fellow at the Hoover Institute at Stanford.

Gary Allen majored in history at Stanford University and later became aware that his courses had been highly slanted and that many of the most important facts had been left out.

For readers who demand academic credentials it’s as good a place to start as any.

First off, BL, you’re again totally mischaracterizing my statements, especially when you say things like: “You would have offered the same prescription to Paul Revere no doubt and found great comfort in the words of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in 1938…” Peace in our time”"

That’s utter nonsense. I’ve never been for appeasement or ignoring real threats. You’ve presented a false dichotomy: either people agree with you and accept your conspiracy hogwash, or they are perennially misinformed and would have made every mistake in the history books.

You use the phrase “one-worlders” as some sort of knowing epithet. Well I don’t know what it means in conspiracy circles. Certainly something to inspire fear and loathing. When I think of “one world,” I think of strong individuals living in peace, freedom, harmony and balance with nature, with a strong scientific understanding of themselves and their fellow humans. Those are my goals and no other.

You are the one who has proposed the conspiracy. You have the burden of proof. And no, neither Sutton’s nor Allen’s or any other conspiratorial whackjob’s academic credentials make a whit of difference. All it means is that they once got degrees. But they are now far outside of any peer review process and are shunned by their fellow academics. Their work is less than meaningless, and it sheds no light whatsoever on the very real and daunting problems we face today.

(For further reading: Here is Robert James Bidinotto from the objectivist center, with a startlingly similar viewpoint as I outlined in my original post on this issue. Conspiracy theory truly represents the religious impulse misdirected toward the political world.)

John P / May 25th, 2007, 8:28 am / #8

I’m having a hard time figuring out what’s real and what’s satire here, so like a good atheist, I’m going to place the burden on you, and assume it’s all satire.

There. Now I feel better. Pass the ganja.

John P

Slut / June 6th, 2007, 6:51 am / #9

Love it! Please come over to the Temple of Reason and talk some sense to my conspiracy-theory-obsessed husband

BlackSun / June 6th, 2007, 8:46 am / #10

The Popular Mechanics article is good. Also check out the book 102 Minutes, (reviewed here) which documents in painstaking detail the evacuation, rescue efforts and collapse of the twin towers–very consistent with what we all saw happen.

For further reading:

Evil, ID, Conspiracies, and Ignorance
Conspiracists on the Rampage
I’ts A Conspiracy

valhar2000 / June 7th, 2007, 7:30 am / #11

Actually Amy, I disagree with you a little bit. Conspiracies are not complex: they are simple. Thsi is what makes them attractive, and what draws people to them.

Instead of things being the result of billions of interacting agents throughtout history, there is THE MAN, and he is evil. He orders his minions to do things, and they do. He orders his minions to keep quiet, and they do. He orders his minions to “slience” people who speak of what he does, and his minions do.

THE BAD MAN does not have to contend with ineffective workers, with treason, with double agents, with competition from other conglomerates, with workers who make mistakes, who deliver incorrect ifnromation, who formulate bad strategies for carrying out orders, who get sick and can’t come to work, who would rather play mine-sweeper than work…

Nope; THE BAD MAN gives orders, his orders are obeyed, and there is nothing else to it.

Thus, conspiracies are really eay to understand (How can you not see what is happening? they ask), but, like the stories told by children, plainly unrealistic, and inadequately in their lack of explanatory power.

Post a comment

Comments are closed for this post.