Saturday, 11 July 2009
Recently I've been looking into conspiracy theories. I guess that the MSM has just become so mind numbing; the John Rentoul-Simon Heffer 'spectrum' of political opinion. All neo-liberals who want to reheat pre-packaged ideas. We will soon be at America's level of 'debate':
-So Alan, you're a liberal. I presume that means that you hate America and want to surrender us to the Taleban
-Not at all Bill, though I can see why you might think that. No I fully support George Bush's wars and his taking away our small freedoms to ensure our big freedoms. And his tax cuts, I liked them.
-A Liberal who likes tax cuts, say it ain't so Alan?
-It is so Bill, millions of my fellow liberals want us to turn communists, but us... 'good liberals' Bill, as opposed to the bad moonbat liberals who want environmental protection, poor relief and peace, we are gaining influence...soon we will hopefully help you to destroy them
You get the point. British 'liberals' are moving increasingly towards the right, whilst the right are becoming socially liberal. It is all very dull.
By contrast, the conspiracy theorists are active and they ask the right questions. And they very often come up with answers immensely unlikely and probably wrong.
What I find most fascinating though is that the anti-conspiricists feel very, very strongly against them. The conspiracy theorists are accused of being disrespectful to the victims in London and New York for... wanting open inquiries in both cases.
I came to be interested (albeit sceptically) in conspiracy theories over the deafening silence in the MSM concerning things that concern me: the 1984 CCTV network, the lies told in parliament, the convergence of the parties, the odd symbols, the lack of transparency, the private investigations that serve the public interest, the sudden interest in war in the Middle East and the violence in our Muslim population which has lived peacefully here for half a century.
Mainstream journalists either ignore these issues or mumble briefly about them out of duty. Only conspiracy theorists seem to have developed a culture where official accounts are treated with scepticism.
It seems to me that there are three psychological types who are interested in conspiracy theories
1. Aggressive losers. They will be certain that 'the government' and especially the Obama presidency is promoting egalitarianism and subsequently (though the exact process is unclear) preventing the world from appreciating the true Ubermensch that have so much to offer, but who are crushed by progressive taxation and 'big government'. Until auntie Ayn is cloned and made President of the USA, they have to deal with being corpulent mediocrities. They are often racist and anti-Semitic and blame a plot against the white race for their inability to wow the world with their genius. But until an objectivist white rider comes along to cut their taxes they appear to be dull mediocrities, though they know inwardly, they are the chosen.
2. Those (perhaps like me) who question official accounts and who have the Popperian view that 'facts' are there to be disproved. They do not look to conspiracy theories for answers but for questions.
3. People who have severe paranoia and often (literally) messianic ideas of their role in saving the world from the NWO and other nefarious organisations.
'Muad Dib' or John Hill would be an example of the last group. So we get the spectacle of the heroic BBC journalists harrying a mentally ill man for 'creating tension between communities' for saying that Muslims have not been killing Brits because Brits have been killing Muslims but Brits have been killing Brits and claiming that Muslims have killed them because Brits have been killing Muslims. Elementary really. A far better use of BBC resources than researching the lies that the government told us about 7/7.
Still, the ones who are interested in conspiracies offer a very diverse range of types and views. Those who feel strongly against conspiracy theories are rather more homogeneous:
Bores. People who cannot bear the idea that the dullest idea is not the correct one.
Cod empiricists. If something cannot be proven and measured, then it doesn't exist (hobviously). Overlap with 'new atheists'. Are liable to preach to others about sceptical thinking whilst being profoundly gullible.
Naïve people. If the government says so, it must be correct. Must be.
Conformists. They feel angry at the clever fish who jump out of the school (apologies to Captain Beefheart). Non-Conformists are to be crushed with a witticism of never-diminishing brilliance: 'where's your tin foil hat'?
Patriots. They can readily accept e.g. that Fesbah blew up the Russian apartments, but not that the British or American government agents could do such things.
What is most interesting about the 'conspiracy' debate is that like two patches of air pressure meeting, they can create storms. Whenever I see a mainstream political forum, I often feel that I could make an interesting contribution, but they are always bogged down by people who want the world to know their FEELINGS. Not to share their thoughts or knowledge.
Far from escaping this sentimental side of political culture, conspiracy theories are at the centre. It annoys many people who feel superior that they cannot refute many conspiracy theories (no matter how unlikely they are) so they can only GET VERY VERY ANGRY.
Many of these people are influential in the MSM and made the abysmal 'The Conspiracy Files', which could better be described as 'The Anti-Conspiracy Files'.
I hope I don't need to say that I do not think that the BBC should have given support to any conspiracy theory. But there could have been an intelligent debate about the facts that were missing from official accounts and the trail of lies that the government spread in both cases.
Yet they did not. They used strawman arguments, gave very little airtime to the more intelligent researchers, used filming cliches to portray the conspiricists as mad and bad and supporters of the status quo as good and sensible. It was the worst kind of government propaganda possible.
Their website had an article on the subject, originally titled 'Sting in the Tale' because one 7/7 conspiracy theorist calls himself after a character in a novel which inspired a film which had a cameo with Sting. So despite having a connection that could not even be describes as 'tenuous', the British rock star was mentioned numerous times (they later changed the title). Blair's comment about 'four terrorists', accounts of police shooting terrorist suspects, lost CCTV footage, confused eyewitness accounts and forensic questions about the type of explosive used were not mentioned. Good to see the BBC have their priorities right.
In all, I am not a conspiracy theorist, but find it unpleasant that conspiracy theorists are treated with such contempt for asking questions that the MSM should be haranguing politicians with. In many regards I think it is brave of the 7/7/ conspiracy theorists to loudly demand a public independent inquiry. It will most likely highlight the shortcomings of their own arguments.
This sums up my overall view. It is those who do not want an inquiry that I do not respect. They are the ones who seem most worried that their view will be disproved.
Perhaps giving tentative respect to the Conspiracy Theorists makes me a weirdo (as if I wasn't alread) but in term of Civil Liberties, THE MAJORITY OF BRITS ARE WRONG!
(Believe it or not, the poster above is MEANT to be reassuring)