From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul> Date: Mon, 7 Oct 2013 08:54:31 -0500 Archived: Mon, 07 Oct 2013 15:13:50 -0400 Subject: Re: The Conspiracy Of Conspiracy Theorizing >From: Timur Rozenfeld <rozenfeldt.nul> >To: post.nul >Date: Fri, 04 Oct 2013 10:14:05 -0400 >Subject: Re: The Conspiracy Of Conspiracy Theorizing >>From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul> >>To: <post.nul> >>Date: Thu, 3 Oct 2013 08:16:46 -0500 >>Subject: Re: The Conspiracy Of Conspiracy Theorizing >>Ray, >>Since there doesn't seem much of substance to respond to, allow >>me to mention recent data that underscore my point. Here's a new >>poll showing how widespread conspiratorial thinking has become >>in society, in this case American society. (I would hope for >>greater sanity in other Western democracies, by the way, though >>I know that the conspiratorial imagination is not a solely >>American ill.): >>http://tinyurl.com/on64b4g >Jerry, >I believe that labeling something a "conspiracy theory" prior to >analysis of its content only serves to obfuscate the truth and >has nothing to do with the validity of the theory itself. It's >simply a pronouncement or a label and not a logical argument. If >after going through the facts, one determines that there is no >validity to the "conspiracy theory", then one can provide it >with an appropriate label. >This article is a perfect example of this. A set of theories are >introduced and then immediately branded "conspiracy theories", >the products of insane and paranoid minds. There is no >discussion or review of the facts, but it appears that this is >not the point. The point is to completely marginalize anyone who >has those points of view and to eliminate discussion and debate, >not encourage it. >If any attitude is dangerous to a free society, it's the one >demonstrated in this article. The moral of the story: Be frightened. Be very frightened. Seriously, folks: I have cited Richard Hofstadter's influential essay "The Paranoid Style in American Politics," setting the conspiratorial mentality in historical context, in a previous posting. The URL is cited in my previous posting on this thread. Two points worth making about Hofstadter (1916-1970): (1) Bill Watterson, creator of the late, much-missed newspaper cartoon series Calvin and Hobbes, was a political-science major, as was I. Like every one of us in that generation, he was assigned to read Hofstadter's The American Political Tradition. If you want to know where Watterson got the names Calvin and Hobbes, I refer you to the first sentence of the first chapter. (2) Hofstadter and his wife had a most interesting UFO sighting. related on pp. 184-185 of Budd Hopkins's memoir Art, Life and UFOs. Jerry Clark Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast At: http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/sdi/program/ These contents above are copyright of the author and UFO UpDates - Toronto. They may not be reproduced without the express permission of both parties and are intended for educational use only.
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