Regardless of one’s political or religious beliefs, before we all take off for La La Land never to return, we need to become aware of what’s going on with conspiracy theory thinking and learn to spot and avoid it. Conspiracy theories always seem to be hyper-logical and are always heavily documented. There’s always a grain of truth in them. That’s why this is so dangerous.
Every adult should read “A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America,” by Michael Barkun, U. of California Press, 2003. He’s a professor of political science at Syracuse University and this is essentially a text book. Even so, it’s a good read. I got it from Barnes and Noble.
What he does is catagorize the types of conspiracy theories, explain how they originate and the elements that go into them, and analyze the more important current theories, tracing them back to their roots. For example, the New World Order theory actually began to develop before the French Revolution, picking up new aspects as it grew over time. That’s why it can be so heavily documented now; plenty of authors have speculated about this through the centuries. It casts suspicion on everyone and everything. The former League of Nations, the UN, former President Bush, who used the term ‘New World Order’ in a speech and was associated with some of the organizatons included in the theory, Skull and Bones and the CIA. It includes the Masons, FEMA, suspected of setting up concentratin camps, well, read this book and find out. On a more sinister level, it includes the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion,’ and is heavily anti-Semetic. Pat Robertson’s book on the New World Order (he believes in it) includes the “Protocols’ although he insists he’s not anti-Semetic. Since anything can be twisted any way one wants, and things are never what they seem to be, even a hoax like the Protocols can be given hidden meanings. Super theories can take up to six pages just to document the people and organizations assumed to be involved, and some even include evil estraterrestrials at the very top with whom the government has a pact. And people, including people in our government, take all this very, very seriously.
That’s only one example. I’m sure we’ve all heard of many of the various elements included in the various theories and fallen for at least some of them, including me. Us reality-based people have an obligation to become aware of this mode ot thinking and learn to recognize and avoid it. Get this book!