Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Defending conspiracy "crackpots"

A few days ago, prompted by last week’s bombings in London and subsequent speculations, Sunni Maravillosa and then James Leroy Wilson launched into discussions of conspiracy theories on their blogs. What makes conspiracies plausible...or implausible? they asked. I recommend both of their posts.

Of course, today’s “conspiracy theory” is very often tomorrow’s historical fact. Two decades ago, if you’d suggested that FDR had prior knowledge of Japan’s plans to bomb Pearl Harbor, most people would have stuck a tinfoil hat on your head. Today, that bit of “crackpot theory” is treated as common knowledge on the History Channel. The Watergate scandals, which dethroned Nixon 30 years ago, were a network of conspiracies. The Third Reich’s Final Solution was a “conspiracy.” (Can you imagine politicians and media pundits, so quick to marginalize revisionist historians as “conspiracy buffs,” using the term “Holocaust buffs” to describe investigators of Hitler’s atrocities?)

One of the best defenses I’ve ever read of conspiracy theorists came from Michael Parenti, a left-wing political analyst, who wrote in his book Dirty Truths:

“Those who suffer from conspiracy phobia are fond of saying: ‘Do you actually think there’s a group of people sitting around in a room plotting things?’ For some reason that image is assumed to be so patently absurd as to invite only disclaimers. But where else would people of power get together — on park benches or carousels? Indeed, they meet in rooms: corporate boardrooms, Pentagon command rooms, at the Bohemian Grove, in the choice dining rooms at the best restaurants, resorts, hotels, and estates, in the many conference rooms at the White House, the NSA, the CIA, or wherever. And, yes, they consciously plot — though they call it ‘planning’ and ‘strategizing’ — and they do so in great secrecy, often resisting all efforts at public disclosure. ...

“Yet there are individuals who ask with patronizing, incredulous smiles, do you really think that the people at the top have secret agendas, are aware of their larger interests, and talk to each other about them? To which I respond, why would they not?”

I suggest that anyone who offhandedly dismisses conspiracy theories read:

Rick Wall’s “Conspiracy — Fact or Fiction?” series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Butler Shaffer’s “Will the Real Paranoids Please Raise Their Hands?”

Murray Rothbard’s “The Noble Task of Revisionism”

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At 7:12 AM, Blogger Ali Massoud said...

True enough, but consider this. Occam's razor is such a good model for discovering the reality of a situation or event because it tends to prevent wild tangets and highly improbable possiblities.

The London bombings could have been done by space aliens but the simplest explanation that fits the known facts doesn't support it as well as Islamist terrorists.

"Qui Bono?" is a much needed analytic tool to prevent the kook factor from dominating the search for the truth. My $0.02 worth.

At 7:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Latin tag is properly spelt "cui bono": to whose advantage.

The classic Histories by Gibbon and Machiavelli demonstrate the prevalence of conspiracies concocted by by politicians, who aspired to prizes far inferior to the powers exercised presently by soi disant ruling castes in these United States.

Today's conspirators call the process "strategic planning" and their convocations merely gatherings "to get everybody on the same page". One man's conspiracy is another man's exercise of high politics.

At 7:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope you find this useful… (pay particular attention to ross3.html – The Rule of Law – Defined)

Excerpt from thread (first link, not necessary to read link)

On the topic of conspiracy theories, the only mistake that is made is to search for "THE conspiracy". Fact is, we are all conspirators. We conspire with our business associates to maximize profit for our group. Every single group of people on the planet with common cause is conspiring against all others. What makes you think banks, Government, Law, Politicians are not also conspiring? Conspiracy is the rule and not the exception. The fall of the Soviet Union caused a loss of Socialist pretexts of why government should take our money. The Military/Ind/Comp lost a necessary enemy. Terrorism is the next "pretext" and 911 was the enabler, just as Hitler did with the Reichstag.

It is my Engineering opinion that you folks have a serious problem in the former "Land of the Free and Home of the Brave". Deal with it before the rest of the world has to. Not dealing with it is far more threatening than dealing with it. Very soon, the noose of tyranny will close. I do not even expect to hear you bleat.

The USofA has lost the respect of virtually all of the world and soon, all of mankind must turn as one against you and your "manifest destiny". Don't say "It's our leaders", we're innocent. That's BULLSHIT.


Basic Factual Analysis:





At 10:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Conspiracies abound and always have, of varying scope from the local to the international. My suggestion is that international ones are harder to trace. For example, Gary Allen, Antony Sutton, and many others argued that the Soviet Union and the Communist Party itself were in league with, if not sponsored by, the corporate elite on Wall street. And indeed neither Lenin nor Stalin was averse to signing deals with U.S. corporations, such as the oil deals Armand Hammer struck with Lenin's government.

What makes the whole thing ironic is that Bush and Co. is much less covert than their predecessors. Does this reflect an assumption that there isn't a damned thing we can do about it? In light of this possible attitude of the corporate/criminal elite, it's time to avoid this self-fulfilling prophecy in the making and to get on with the revolution. The factory recovery movements in Argentina, Chavez's socially based oil policy in Venezuela, and the indigenous blockades in Bolivia are all good models to look at and evaluate. The U.S.-based worldwide fraud has to end, and fast.

Paul McDowell
(No longer anonymous; we should all stand by what we say)

At 9:13 AM, Blogger Kevin Carson said...

How about Adam Smith's quote, "Men of the same trade seldom meet together..."

Conspiracies happen every time county commissioners or JPs meet unofficially at a barbecue, to decide business outside of FOI scrutiny.


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