The conspiracy theory is a well-worn theme within popular culture. From The Manchurian Candidate to JFK to The X-Files, our understanding of these theories are as ones where the stakes are at the highest levels, and usually involve some attempt at national or global domination. The main players are shadowy, supremely inter-connected and occasionally violent. There is almost always widespread collusion between the fields of politics, media, business and the military. The motives are rarely, if ever, benign.
Although Trump is correct when he complains about widespread fake news, he fails to mention the he and the GOP have originated and proliferated more fake news than all of the planet's other fake news sources COMBINED, much of it through faux news.
Unfortunately, there is also a left-wing ecosystem of conspiratorialism ands fake news that dovetails quite well with the right-wing one. Sometimes it is hard to tell if a so-called "theory" comes from Alex Jones, Globalresearch.ca, or "Informationclearinghouse".
I will now hunker down for the incoming attacks....
The Seth Rich story is also linked to the fact that Wikileaks offered a reward for who has info on his murder in its twitter account. This is an important fact, which this article misses.
As for conspiracy theories - they are after all a reflection of the mistrust in the news or in the official governmental accounts. And they are based on analysis and deductions. Even though they may not have prove, that is not enough of a reason to dismiss them. There were plenty of things going on in the nazi camps about which people at the time did not have prove, but which they understood by analysis and deduction to be happening. And the same went on during the communist systems, where the dictatorship was so strong that finding prove, was literally impossible.
One man's Conspiracy Theory is another man's Honest Truth.
Those with the most to lose will go to great lengths and spend 'Yuge' sums of money to paint Truth as Conspiracy Theory.
Control of the MSM, Law Enforcement, even Intelligence agencies, are manipulated to report the 'Fact' that there is 'No Credible Evidence' to support a 'Conspiracy Theory.'
I realize that I am in a minority since I was 'not' one of the 137 million voters on November 8th of 2016 that put their trust in the Duopoly candidates which by all Historical records have been shown to be the most hated, and corrupt people to ever run for the office of the Presidency.
But you know, that's okay. I personally will never again vote for anyone associated with corrupt practices in government. Those who wish to believe that 'Yuge' sums of Money do not influence politicians, are part of this country's problems.
If those who vote against their own interests don't care about themselves, their children, and their grandchildren, then I will not either.
Last night I found out my Nephew died, from his father. At 45, I feel he died too young. But when he was 20, he made a choice that would eventually shorten his life and cause him much pain and suffering, in his health and relationships.
His father said, "He died happy."
Most of my life is behind me, and most of it has been filled with happiness.
I will never stop praying for the youth of this country to make intelligent choices for themselves and future generations.
I pray for us all to open our eyes, and see.
Yes. that was the dominant mode of thinking - that truth was purely personal - that persisted through that vast millennia of lost human progress known as the "dark ages" between the end of the classical civilizations and the Age of Enlightenment and the rise of Science and objective inquiry, about 1200 years later.
There is a reason that news is no longer trusted:
We are deliberately being misled and /or kept in the dark. Confusion is the hallmark of attempts to take control of or overthrow a government.
I have been for most of its existence a subscriber to the periodical magazine Skeptical Inquirer, the public outreach product of the Committee for Scientific Investigation (CSI) formerly known as The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP.) Ever since 9/11 this every-other-month publication has carried many articles addressing the phenomenon we call "conspiracy theories," which is a subject mandated by this organization's purpose. While most of the contributing authors are very good at identifying the fallacies of reason and evidence that pervades much conspiracy thinking, they mostly avoid the fact that the mendacity of our very own government is a major contributing factor in the proliferation of conspiracy thinking.
Of course we should not trust the corporate media. But "not trusting" does not mean automatically rejecting as false. It would be the end of science and all objectivity if people thought like that. Einstein did not trust Heisenberg or Shoedenger - but after studying all the information, he had to admit that quantum theory was correct.
You evaluate a news story with a consideration of their bias in presenting the facts and the target audience and compare it to other credible sources of information. In fact, media analysts like Chomsky, Herman or McChesney get their corroborating information from the business press and newsletters - because the capitalists will admit facts among themselves that they will not no consider suitable for the riff-raff. The next place to fact check is credible independent reporters and sources in the field (NOT pundits or "analysts") such as Glen Greenwald, Snowden, Allan Nairn, Amy Goodman, Jeremy Scahill Robert Fisk, Maan News Agency (Palestine).
The first thing you will notice about these reporters is that while the provide facts to contract the mainstream narrative, you will never hear any of the usual boilerplate repertoire of conspiracy nonsense from them.
Conspiracy sites are absolutely not alternatives to facts.
It is true that government lying contributes to conspiracy conjectures (don't call them "theories" - they never come close to such status), but most of the conspiracy conjectures are easily debunked with appropriate facts of physical science. Yet all such independent scientists immediately get attacked as "shills". As someone quoted Asimov yesterday. "My ignorance is just as good (or better) than your knowledge".
But as a leftist who believes in human solidarity and collective action, what drives me especially crazy about conspiracy conjecturists is they view of the mass of humans in a helpless state under the dominated by spooky, state actors - individuals and cabals with practically god-like infallibility - instead of the normal workings of odious economic and political systems.
It utterly robs people of all agency - particularly our comrades in other nations who are begging us to join their fight.
That's deep Paul.
Have you ever taught?
This article is dissing everything that does not line up with the main stream media (MSM). Facts matter. The MSM wants us to believe that they and only they can know the truth. There is little evidence that Seth Rich passed the info to Wikileaks, still, the fact that Wikileaks stated that Russia did not supply that info and that nothing has been shown (facts) that they did. And then there is that elephant in the living room where Murray(former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan) acknowledged that he received it and described how, it was a leak. Even that dodgy Chris Steele memo (golden showers) repeatedly referred to it as a leak and not a hack. I know. I read the thing.
This is what people do to shut down discussions: They call them conspiracy theories without examining the evidence. Did the US fake the moon landing? No, the unforgettable and unexpected moon photo of the earth. Was 911 somehow an inside job or are "they" telling the truth. No, "they" are not telling the truth because it is impossible for it to happen that way according to pilots, demolition experts, people who were there etc. They number in the thousands, these experts. Is there a cabal out there trying to control us? You bet. Ever hear of ALEC or the Koch brothers? And there are many others including advertisers and the CIA and....
So maybe things aren't like this is Sweden, home of my ancestors, but it is happening here.
I would trust the Main Stream Media more if there were good open discussions of some of the things that are brought to our attention. For examples:
1] Building 7 of World trade Center. Let us have a good explanation of why it came down as it did, is stead of dismissing those who think that it was destroyed by its owners, and not caused by the airplanes that hit the Twin Towers.
2] Why did the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania make such a small hole in the ground?
3] Have you seen the part about the Pentagon, small hole for big plane, Chaney ignoring an alleged incoming plane and Rumsfeld THE GUY IN COMMAND OF THE DEFENSE OF THE WORLD, HELPING TO CARE FOR THE INJURED?
In a proper Navy he would have been hung for deserting his post.
I donʻt know about the murder of Seth Rich, but as Doll points out in another pose, Craig Murray - a former British ambassador - confirmed that he met the person inside the DNC who leaked the documents to Wikileaks. That would be a leak, not a hack. As far as I know, the MSM is pretending that Murray does not exist. THAT’S a conspiracy. The news is being pre-masticated for us all. Sometimes I pick up my local paper, which reprints NYT articles, and think Iʻm reading Pravda in the old USSR.
I put some credence is the statement by these former US intelligence professionals: https://consortiumnews.com/2016/12/12/us-intel-vets-dispute-russia-hacking-claims/
What is missing from Christensenʻs article is context. The neocons are clearly making unmistakable, one-sided aggressive moves against Russia: the coup in the Ukraine, US tanks in Poland and Latvia, Missiles in Latvia and Romania. Given the context, the McCarthy-esque frenzy scares me. To pretend that there is a right-wing ecosystem separate from the neocon ecosystem is just delusional.
Perhaps the largest group of conspiracy theorists are the nation's district attorneys. Go to any courthouse and you can hear them argued. There is nothing mysterious about conspiracy theories, Some make sense and some don't, but this article lumps them all together.
Philosophy of history teaches that there are no incontrovertible facts. Consider the death count in a war. Does it include those dead children due to loss of parents, those dead from lack of transportation to hospitals, those dead from lack of medical supplies? Those injured, but died the next day, those who died weeks later from an infected wound?
Regarding Chomsky, well, he is not an angel, though he comes out occasionally on the left for countries in South America. Read The Linguistics Wars to see his role in his forceful world domination of theoretical linguistics.
Unfortunate that at least many of the so called conspiracy theory folks do have good evidence to back up their claims, and average joe is very too willing to blindly swallow the fantasy cover stories the corporate press feeds them.
The IWW had it right. Need to re-create that energy ...
Thank you for this comment. Two points I would like to add:
1) Anyone who is willing to consider that the mainstream media is not all it claims to be should look at the book "Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of a Free Press." Its contributors include journalists (e.g., Dan Rather) who have won Emmys, Pulitzers, and worked for major news organizations. I lean left politically and used to think that the POW/MIA movement was nothing but a right-wing compensatory fantasy, but one chapter of this book, about the veteran Bobby Garwood, made me reconsider.
2) Lance DeHaven Smith, a professor of Political Science, prefers the term "State Crimes Against Democracy" (SCADs) to "conspiracy theories". For him, theories about SCADs can vary just as scientific theories do, and they are subject to refinement as more evidence comes in. As such, there are theories with high and low degrees of confirmation. I recommend his book "Conspiracy Theory in America."
Scahill is most definitely a journalist having been a war correspondent covering Kosovo, Iraq Afghanistan and other places most would fear to tread.
Glenn Greenwald is most definitely a journalist having made the Snowdon scoop.
Amy Goodman not a journalist??? WTF???
My impression is that to you a journalist is someone like Savannah Guthrie with all those hard hitting questions....