September 17, 2017

A thinker's guide to conspiracy theories

From our overstocked archives

Sam Smith, 2006

- A conspiracy does not have to be illegal; it can merely be wrongful or harmful.

- The term 'conspiracy theory' was invented by elite media and politicians to denigrate questions or critical presumptions about events about which important facts remain unrevealed.

- The intelligent response to such events is to remain agnostic, skeptical, and curious. Theories may be suggested - just as they are every day about less complex and more open matters on news broadcasts and op ed pages - but such theories should not stray too far from available evidence. Conversely, as long as serious anomalies remain, dismissing questions and doubts as a "conspiracy theory" is a highly unintelligent response. It is also ironic as those ridiculing the questions and doubts typically consider themselves intellectually superior to the doubters. But they aren't because they stopped thinking the moment someone in power told them a superficially plausible answer. Further, to ridicule those still with doubts about such matters is intellectually dishonest.

- There is the further irony that many who ridicule doubts about the official version of events were typically trained at elite colleges where, in political science and history, theories often take precedent over facts and in which substantive decisions affecting politics and history are presumed to be the work of a small number of wise men (sic). They are trained, in effect, to trust in (1) theories and (2) benign confederacies. Most major media political coverage is based on the great man theory of history. This pattern can be found in everything from Skull & Bones to the Washington Post editorial board to the Council on Foreign Relations. You might even call them conspiracy theorists.

- Other fields - such as social history or anthropology - posit that change for better or evil can come as cultural change or choices and not just as the decisions of "great men." This is why one of the biggest stories in modern American history was never well covered: the declining birth rate. No great men decided it should happen.

- Homicide detectives and investigative reporters, among others, are inductive thinkers who start with evidence rather than with theories and aren't happy when the evidence is weak, conflicting or lacking. They keep working the case until a solid answer appears. This is alien to the well-educated newspaper editor who has been trained to trust official answers and conventional theories.

- The unresolved major event is largely a modern phenomenon that coincides with the collapse of America's constitutional government and the decline of its culture. Beginning with the Kennedy assassination, the number of inadequately explained major events has been mounting steadily and with them a steady decline in the trust between he people and their government. The refusal of American elites to take these doubts seriously has been a major disservice to the republic.

- You don't need a conspiracy to lie, do something illegal or to be stupid.


Anonymous said...

Actually Sam, the term "conspiracy theorist" was first proposed by the CIA to pass along to their Operation Mockingbird-owned press to discredit skeptics of the Warren Commission, as revealed by their own documents received under FOIA requests.

As conspiracy is simply any covert plot to commit crime by more than one person in collusion, there are always a lot of conspiracies forming and being put into motion, especially amongst the political/lawyer class to help facilitate crimes of the ruling class against the rest of humanity and the Earth.

Anonymous said...

The term CT is designed to evoke reasonable doubt in public opinion as to a crime of conspiracy so that the guilt of the lone nut patsy is accepted on its face. Jim Garrison explained the JFK assassination and predicted the RFK assassination. The conspiracy case against Oswald's governmental associates and handlers including operatives in New Orleans is established beyond a reasonable doubt regardless of the outcome of the specific case against Shaw. As an unwitting patsy Oswald would not be convicted of conspiracy and certainly not for murder since he didn't do any shooting.