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Showing posts with the label conspiracy theories

Paranoid Politics

Conspiracy theories are not new – far from it. But with the arrival of the internet offering easy dissemination and access to them conspiracy theories have proliferated and taken hold even amongst those who claim to be sophisticated and well-educated. Conspiracy theorists gain plausibility by taking established fact and embellishing it, so that one can’t tell where truth ends and fiction begins.

Major events cannot, in the popular mind, have trivial causes, because our world-view cannot allow it. Believing ourselves to be rational creatures in a supposedly ordered and rational universe, we shy away from the hideous tyranny of randomness, that force of Nature which defies our control and thus denies us our sense of meaning and “place” in the world. Thus, JFK, who ninety percent of Americans believe could not possibly have been killed by one lone fantasist with a rifle and some personal issues but with rather good eyesight and some luck. Princess Diana didn’t die because a driver got …