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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2013 > Sep > Sep 28

Re: The Conspiracy Of Conspiracy Theorizing

From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
Date: Sat, 28 Sep 2013 07:58:36 -0500
Archived: Sat, 28 Sep 2013 11:55:50 -0400
Subject: Re: The Conspiracy Of Conspiracy Theorizing


>From: Ray Dickenson <r.dickenson.nul>
>To: <post.nul>
>Date: Sat, 28 Sep 2013 11:13:37 +0100
>Subject: Re: The Conspiracy Of Conspiracy Theorizing

>Source: 21st Century Spirituality Blog

>http://tinyurl.com/mt6gx2d

>September 18, 2013

>The Conspiracy Of Conspiracy Theorizing by Derek Beres

>Home Blogs 21st Century Spirituality
>The Conspiracy of Conspiracy Theorizing

<snip>

>Ha! Conformist hack journalists wanting brownie points churn
>this stuff out on a regular basis.

>Why do folk believe in 'conspiracy theories'? Because they know
>of small and large conspiracies all around them - in every town
>hall, county court and seat of legislature.

>The fact is that when people get _any_ power they get corrupt,
>and corrupt people conspire.


With the exception to be noted below, I had no problem with the
piece. Conspiracy theories are indeed destructive, and among
other unfortunate consequences, they draw attention away from
genuine misdeeds. If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would say
that conspiracy theories are concocted for that very reason and,
in the fashion of the breed, I could chase my tail throughout
eternity.

America these days is awash in the most extreme and absurd
conspiracy theories, crippling rational discourse and debate.

It often seems as if the nation is devolving into a Third World
backwater. Certainly the collective national IQ is not a shadow
of what it was, alas. The only persons who think this is a good
and logical development are the hucksters who are selling the
product and the gulls who are consuming it.

An illuminating book on real misconduct vs. the conspiratorial
mentality is Kathryn S. Olmsted's Real Enemies: Conspiracy
Theories and American Democracy, World War I to 9/11, published
by Oxford University Press in 2009. The classic essay is the
late Richard Hofstadter's The Paranoid Style In American
Politics, written in 1964 and available on-line to those who
wish to acquaint themselves with its many influential
observations.

I think, however, that the writer of the current piece should
have made the distinction between paranoid imaginings by
outsiders and the reality of official secrecy. To argue that the
relevant official agencies haven't been forthcoming about the
Roswell incident is not in itself sufficient to make one a
conspiracy theorist. Roswell-related conspiracy theories do
exist - a whole Dark Side mythology grew up around the event -
but Roswell itself is not a synonym in and of itself for a
conspiracy theory.


Jerry Clark




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