Conspiracies Against The Truth

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THE UNITED STATES OF CONSPIRACY is a Frontline documentary by Michael Kirk, Mike Wiser, Jim Gilmore and Philip Bennett.  It examines the rise of conspiratorial politics in the United States from the early 1990s until the election of Donald Trump – paying particular attention to the role played by Alex Jones and his online vehicle, Infowars, in the weaponisation and normalisation of conspiracy theories. The influence of Jones’ falsehoods on the style and content of Trump’s campaigning was immense. The documentary makers’ claim that conspiracy theories now constitute an important component of mainstream political discourse is as troubling as it is true.

The assumption, after Trump and QAnon, is that the weaponisation of conspiracy theories is primarily (some would say exclusively) a strategic innovation of the Right. But, what if the counterfactual – that conspiracy theories have their origins on the Left – turned out to be true?

What if, ever since the triumph of neoliberalism in the 1980s and 90s, a consistent and increasingly complex web of left-wing conspiracy theories has been woven around that ideology’s success? Theories characterising the entire neoliberal project as the conscious product of a collection of right-wing individuals who, working largely in secret, had set out to undermine and dismantle the entire social-democratic post-war economic order. A cabal whose long-term objective was to make it impossible for social-democracy to ever again threaten the dominance of Capitalism’s economic and social elites.

To such a claim, the Left would immediately raise the objection that the above description of neoliberalism’s success is not a conspiracy theory, but the plain and simple truth. They would point to the very real Mt Pelerin Society, the notorious Powell Memorandum, the plethora of right-wing think-tanks, and such elite retreats as Bohemian Grove and Davos.

The Left’s claim would be that neoliberalism didn’t just happen, it was organised by flesh-and-blood human-beings. Conspiracies belong to the Right, they’d say, for the very simple reason that the outcomes intended by the conspirators inevitably involve impoverishing the many for the profit of the few.

The Left’s position on conspiracy theories is, therefore, relatively straightforward: it doesn’t need them. The Right, on the other hand, has no choice except to conspire behind an opaque curtain of lies. Bluntly, it cannot afford to tell the truth.

But if conspiracy theories are nothing more than politically-inspired deceptions, a definition which The United States of Conspiracy more than justifies, then where does that leave the claims of (for want of a better term) the “Woke Left”?

The quality that most distinguishes Alex Jones’ conspiracy theories is the heightened emotional state in which he communicates them. Jones rages, he weeps, he shouts at the camera and shakes his fists. Only very rarely does he communicate with his followers in a calm and reasoned fashion. It’s as if he is compensating for the lack of facts and evidence in his wild claims, by directing ever more extreme displays of anger and disgust towards the individuals and groups he is attacking.

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It is when the fetid atmosphere created by the Right’s toxic accusations and denunciations is at its thickest, that comparisons with the Woke Left spring most easily to mind. If the level of emotion on display, and the strength of the invective used, is inversely related to the truth of the claims being advanced, then the veracity of a great deal of contemporary left-wing discourse must surely be called into question.

On the issues of race and gender particularly, the Woke Left’s almost instant recourse to accusation and denunciation is alarmingly reminiscent of Alex Jones and his imitators. There is the same determination to discipline, punish and suppress the perpetrators of wilful falsehoods and the upholders of heretical doctrines. Most alarming of all is the shared proclivity of the Conspiratorial Right and the Woke Left to dehumanise their opponents. Alex Jones describes his enemies as “demons”, the Woke Left brands its enemies as racists, fascists and TERFs.

Naturally, these highly emotive defences of Woke political positions raise questions about whether or not they can be validated by more rational, evidence-based, discussion.

It has always been the Left’s mission to convince by means of reason and science: building toward a crushing demolition of its foes’ arguments by assembling a battering-ram of verifiable facts. This process cannot be successful if the right of those to whom the Left’s case is being made to interrogate its facts is denied. Facts cannot be asserted, facts can only be proved. Unfortunately, the Woke Left is not at all disposed to proving its facts in the cut and thrust of open political debate. It offers dogma. It punishes heresy. But it is only rarely willing to enter into open-ended discussion.

The lies of Alex Jones, his disgusting conspiracy theories, are, fortunately, easy to refute. The 9/11 attacks were perpetrated by Al Qaeda, not the US Government. The Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre was a devastating human tragedy, not a “false flag operation” performed by actors. The Queen of England is not a shape-shifting lizard. Hilary Clinton is not a demon from hell. The Comet Ping-Pong pizzeria is not the epicentre of a diabolical Democratic Party paedophile ring.

Sadly, the same cannot be said for the claims of the Woke Left. That the Māori chiefs at Waitangi never signed away their sovereignty; complainants of sexual assault never lie; biological sex is a social construct; may or may not be statements of fact, but they are beyond doubt claims of extraordinary political significance.

What The United States of Conspiracy reveals is the extreme danger posed to the coherence of contemporary societies by the unprecedented lack of a generally agreed means of determining what we know, and how we know it.

The most dangerous conspiracy theory of them all is the one that declares there’s a whole host of dangerous people out there who simply will not accept that ours is the only side that knows the truth.

64 COMMENTS

  1. The most vocal United conspiracy community Iv come across are the permaculture/wind turbine crowd who will invent from twitter anything that breaks every known natural law just because they don’t want the buses and trains to run on time and they don’t want people to enjoy life.

    I guess the craziest conspiracy theory of all is how the Deep State is operating space battle ships, worn holes, teleportation and how the Alex Jones crowd believes that the AR15 can stop that.

    • I would say an equally batshit crazy conspiracy theory is that people who give a damn about the planet going down the crapper are doing it solely to disrupt public services and stop people (who don’t give a damn about future generations) having fun.

      • Ultimately you lose in debates or traumatize me by making sense.

        Literally every human being on the planet care about the area they occupy 100% it’s just no one has the authority.

  2. You forgot to mention religion. while many take the view that they are all wrong & it is obvious from the many different views they hold that they can’t all be correct it seems irrational to me that so many insist that everything evolved by chance & totally reject the idea that there could be a loving creator God.

    • ‘so many insist that everything evolved by chance.’ Not true. It’s natural selection which is quite different from random chance.

    • there is no god. creator – hmmm – agnostic on that one but as if man could even begin to understand such a thing.

    • One problem with the creator explanation is that the origin of the creator then needs explanation. Along with an explanation of the exact nature of that creator and whether there is only one of that species or a family /population . ancestors etc.
      It is truly remarkable that so many people, of whatever major religion save perhaps Buddhism refers to teachers of life that had such a small understanding of the nature of the world compared with what we have accumulate in the intervening thousands of years. I must say though that their understanding of human nature was probably no less astute than ours.
      I hope you meet your god when the time comes.
      D J S

      • Any God that needs an origin is plainly not God. While I can appreciate that you don’t believe scripture it is clear that God has always existed
        Before the mountains were brought forth,
        Or ever You had formed the earth and the world,
        Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
        And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:
        While I see the point you are making with “such a small understanding of the nature of the world” you could also apply that to Darwin because he had no idea about the contents of a living cell. I wish you all the best also.

  3. I still just don’t get it. The painting of the Woke left as some overwhelming and misguided political force.
    “… but they are beyond doubt claims of extraordinary political significance.” Is that really true?
    Seriously? Are these issues still controverial or divisive in NZ?
    Also – writing comments on social media is not a political act – it is simply engaging with an advertising platform – nothing more.
    I was around in the 90’s when there was the exact same hysteria – it was called ‘PC gone mad’ and it was all to do with the diminishing returns on racist, sexist and homophobic behavior.
    People had to toughen up we were told because of ‘free speech’ and the ‘nanny state’ etc. Articles and rants were printed by successful, old, angry men expressing their outrage and predicting the collapse of human civilisation …
    It all sounds so boringly familiar doesn’t it. I didn’t buy it last time and I’m not buying it this time either. Sorry Chris.

    • Yes, the magical balance-fairy doesn’t even come close to fitting into its shoes in this analysis. Trotter being provocative.

    • Disagree Peter. This is whole other level. Have you spent any time on a University lately or attended Wgtn Govt Head Office events lately? I think it depends where you live and what you are involved in as to how much you see it.

      My husband works is a part of a group of small business managers that meet virtually every week or so. He is only 1 of 2 that are in Wgtn, the others in Auckland. And the difference is startling. Economically Auckland and Wgtn are completely different and although this woke stuff has been going on in Wgtn for a couple of years now, they laugh at suggestions that the new “Woke” are having any impact on business whereas in Wgtn, diversity hiring especially at senior level means you are now doing business with very different types of people or with organisations with very different types of policies. They want to know all about your woke credentials before doing work with you and in some cases, what specific ToW enhancing activities you are engaged in eg: How many Maori you employ blah de blah.

      They were laughing right up until they discovered what the new Maori business requirements mean for next years ‘All of Govt’ contract (5 yearly review of who can get onto an already slimmed down panel of who is allowed to provide services to Govt). How as smaller fish in a sea of a few large sharks that the only sure way to guarantee their acceptance (Previously on price and service) onto AoG was to sell 1/2 their business to Maori.

      So Peter it is having very tangible effects in real life (No comment on its appropriateness) and in these environments the issues are not just political but economic and social as well.

      • Your response is the most interesting and because you are discussing economics – which should be the real focus for us socialists – not the fluff.
        What you are describing has significant long term economic benefits to Maori – this is a deliberate economic intervention to grow the Moari middle class and has almost nothing to do with being “woke”.
        From the business owners perpective without any context as to why such a policy exists it sounds like an outrageous interference in “freedom”, “democracy” and all the other things we throw around to justify our outrage.
        Now put raw economic and statistical facts into the picture – Maori rates of poverty, imprisonment, unempoyment and under achievement and the grinding emiseration these create.
        Why not add some history into that as well – Maori history that is – the details of loss and destruction of accumulated wealth.
        It paints a more complex picture.

        • Agree Peter hence why I said I wasnt commenting on its appropriateness. Whether it is right or otherwise, it is still race based identity politics hence ‘woke’ and again, despite potentially good effects, it is anti democratic and unfair.

          I gave the economic example because it is specific and demonstrates why it is complex and much further reaching than 90’s PC talk. My issue with the changes are myriad but in this instance, I’d say this:

          1. A system that hands power to people on the basis of race is inherently wrong. It was wrong in South Africa but somehow, we think its right in NZ.
          But also economically and socially disastrous when the majority has power taken away by the minority. Ultimately one way or another the majority will rise up against the minority and that would be bad on many levels.
          2. If such a transfer of power takes place, you will get major F Ups occurring for at least 10 years, probably more like a generation. Not because Maori are not capable but because there are so few in various professions and, relatively few with good senior level experience. And again this is being played out in the woker government departments down here in Wellington.

          Stories about Maori run units or functional areas that are literally hives of massive staff turnover and non delivery. So it’s a transitional issue but one that is causing big problems.

          Finally, just supposing that there is a major economic shift to Maori, if a big chunk of that money shifts to Iwi led organisations that are tax free, how does the Govt remain in the black?

          Hence why Identity Politics is so dangerous because it is always about ideology before reality. The need to be right and do right is sinking us all and it is also stridently authoritarian in tone.

          Far better to solve the problems by charting a more centrist and practical approach. and no, I dont mean sweeping issues under the rug.

    • If you haven’t noticed the vehemence and vitriol directed against those who contradict the assumptions of the Woke Left, Peter, then you haven’t been paying political attention.

      No rational person endorses the hateful persecution of persons on account of factors over which they have no control, but, equally, no rational person attempts to silence others for the “crime” of disagreeing with them.

      The real crisis consuming the Anglophone countries is epistemological. Agreement about what we know, and how we know it, is no longer general. The consequences of this fracturing of the epistemological consensus are all around us, and until some general measure of agreement is restored they are only going to get worse.

      • Many lies have unraveled and the epistemological crisis we are living can’t be solved by returning to ‘certainties’ that relied on them.

        Worth more and worth less is always subject to reshuffling the deck. It means we can all find ourselves falling on the wrong side of the equation and rendered relatively or completely voiceless as a result.

        Being stuck in endless hierarchical competition is the underlying problem where being ‘up’ relies on someone else being ‘down’ and maintaining the preferred status relies on their enforced silence.

        All sides will necessarily come to wear its own share of the guilt as long as this underlying dynamic remains.

        It seems to me that this is a major epistemological stalemate and if there is a solution it will require finding comfort beyond it.

        • I’m not sure what you’re trying to say. What are these lies that have unravelled? What are the “certainties” that you say we shouldn’t return to?

      • I haven’t been paying attention because I don’t take any notice of what happens on social media or who got banned from Twitter.
        If a University Professor from the feudal ages is let go, I don’t see it as a major crisis of woke interference.
        If customers boycott a business because the owner has regressive views and chooses to express them – that’s everyone exercising their free will – not malign woke activism.
        Also, no-one is being “silenced” – any one who has views that can be released on YouTube or Stuff can publish them any other way they want – there is no “silencing”. More like ignoring – but that’s not the same as “silencing”.

        I had to google epistemological – “agreement about what we know, and how we know it, is no longer general” – was it ever? Pick anytime in history and any society and apply that to the reality of complex and un-predictable human interaction. Such as statement can only be applied to small segments or fields of knowledge.

        • “Also, no-one is being “silenced” – any one who has views that can be released on YouTube or Stuff can publish them any other way they want – there is no “silencing”. More like ignoring – but that’s not the same as “silencing”. ”

          Absolute BS. If you post anything that a platform considers “hate speech blah blah” you will be banned on the spot.

    • Excellent news that a certain chunk of the Left are ignoring their more fanatical wing. Great news for the Right given these three bits of news:
      Meltdowns Have Brought Progressive Advocacy Groups to a Standstill at a Critical Moment in World History

      The Left Goes to War with Itself

      A Sign Of the Times.
      That last is especially funny because Ruy Teixera is the author of the 2002 book, The Emerging Democratic Majority which forecast Democrat power forever thanks to the rainbow coalition, and who now finds himself leaving a Democrat think tank for a Centre-Right think tank because there’s so much infighting with the Woke brigades in the former that he can’t achieve any traditional Left objectives.

      Good to hear from you that it’s all a big nothing. More please.

    • I’ll start with a caveat that the people who get stand to get hurt most by what passes for modern Woke activism are the most vulnerable, often very people they claim to support. For example I make the claim that trans activism does not represent most trans people, the same is true for other identity groups.

      “I still just don’t get it. The painting of the Woke left as some overwhelming and misguided political force.”

      @Peter depends on your definition of “overwhelming and misguided political force”. If a cultural landscape where a biological male can go to the olympics to compete against women (ditto for MMA, swimming, cycling) doesn’t seem off how about some more extreme and damaging examples?

      Gender self ID and prisons?
      https://wesleyyang.substack.com/p/jails-without-gatekeeping-evidence
      https://www.womensliberationfront.org/news/ca-womens-prisons-anticipate-pregnancy-sb123

      How about education?
      https://wesleyyang.substack.com/p/yes-things-are-really-as-bad-as-youve
      https://democracyproject.nz/2022/04/22/elizabeth-rata-the-decolonisation-of-education-in-new-zealand/
      https://theplatform.kiwi/opinions/the-bigotry-of-low-expectations-maori-literacy

      How about the racial politics of childcare, social work, policing etc?
      https://www.spiked-online.com/2022/07/17/grooming-gangs-the-making-of-a-national-scandal/
      https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2022/05/28/oranga-tamarikis-critical-race-theory-in-all-its-ugliness/

      “It all sounds so boringly familiar doesn’t it. I didn’t buy it last time and I’m not buying it this time either. Sorry Chris.”

      The list of links I could have posted goes on and on and on such that as Wesley Yang’s piece begins these things are so outlandish that to say them aloud makes you sound like a right wing provocateur. Does the cultural landscape and discourse that makes these things possible even desirable and morally righteous seem even a little bit off to you?

    • The best story about “PC gone mad” I’ve heard about comes from a former flat mate from the early’90’s. Back then she was a new qualified nurse, and was training to become a theatre nurse. This was when “cultural safety” was in vogue. Essentially a nurse could make any god awful mistake in the operating theatre, but as long as she was “culturally safe” everything would be okay. Being a smart woman she kept her mouth shut while she trained. She ended up working for a surgeon but only in private practice. She now works in Australia, is paid lots more & the focus is on the actual life of the patient.

  4. “It has always been the Left’s mission to convince by means of reason and science: building toward a crushing demolition of its foes’ arguments by assembling a battering-ram of verifiable facts.”

    I’m not sure about that, Chris. Ideologues of all stripes are very prone to confirmation bias, and to outright cherry-picking – whether they’re marxists, feminists or freemarket fundamentalists. If you’re full of passionate intensity, and utterly convinced of the rightness of your cause, evidence becomes almost irrelevant. And ideologues of all kinds appeal to emotion.

    Of course the Woke are an extreme case – on that point I agree with you.

  5. “The 9/11 attacks were done by Al Qaeda and not the US govt.”

    I don’t think that anyone is claiming that “the government” did 9/11, any more than anyone is claiming that “climate change doesn’t exist”

    However, nuanced discussions can be had. Agreed Alex Jones rantings don’t lend themselves to this.

    • The fact that the media puts ridiculous claims about the towers having been hit by missiles instead of planes front and center, instead of the actual proven facts like spies with ‘Urban Moving Systems’ cover having had foreknowledge of the attacks tells you all you need to know about how they control the narrative on this stuff.

  6. The documentary makers’ claim that conspiracy theories now constitute an important component of mainstream political discourse is as troubling as it is true.
    This fits in with my feeling that we are on a BellCurve in societal behaviour and thinking, and are on the way downwards despite all our education and cleverness with computers etc. One should remember that people truly brilliant can be punished as Turing was, by people who privately might accept behaviour that he was bedevilled for.

    According to what I have read in Anne Perry’s novels, in Victorian times the lower orders didn’t get their news from reading papers, they had patterers who had a stand in the street and somehow told the news and gossip so interested people could keep up with events. These purveyors of juicy ideas tainted with malice as these conspiracy theorists are, seem close to those old patterers.M any people prefer their drama, invective or wit to dry facts, and seeking truth, which often doesn’t bring any ease or comfort to them, so as they seem to have no agency in their lives and people constantly surprise, why should they bother to disbelieve what they hear, sift through the stories for complete, basic truth. People might do anything so why not believe the gossip is the attitude. When the populace lose trust in ‘the good society’ then they will believe what they wish. Those who ponder have realised that we are very protean.

  7. Too many conspiracy theories end up leading to revelations that indicate that our authorities need constant scrutiny. As Adam Smith commented if a group of businessmen are meeting behind closed door they can only be discussing one thing…. Your money.

    With regard to Woke refer to Mattias Desmet on mass formation psychosis, it is far more dangerous than conspiracy theorists because it is a stage towards and beyond totalitarianism.

  8. Well with World War 3 on the cards by at least late this year or early on in the new year. Who really cares about another conspiracy?

    The US are ready to have a go at Iran, Russia and China all at once!

    Who else in the history of the world has tried and failed to fight on three fronts? The Nazis I think. And it looks like the Western Nazi Nations are going to go all in this time. How is that for a conspiracy?

    • Biden’s bosses would love for him to do that, but it sounds unlikely. He’ll keep on targeting the vulnerable among the boss’s enemies instead- kids in Yemen and Lebanon and Palestine, the same as always.

  9. If “The most dangerous conspiracy theory of them all is the one that declares there’s a whole host of dangerous people out there who simply will not accept that ours is the only side that knows the truth,” call me dangerous.

    • That last paragraph is the saving grace of the whole piece. It is completely neutral and clarifies that no one has a monopoly on the truth. The conspiracy theories might turn out to be true and of course they often do.
      We have to try to keep an open mind .
      D J S

  10. Wasn’t Jones yanked up in front of some court, and forced to admit that he got a bit carried away at times? Heh heh…

  11. The ugliest thing about the conspiracies and their hustlers is that they all eventually wind up with some version or interpretation of ‘The Jews are behind it all…’

  12. There is an American comedian you never heard of his name is George Carlin. He was a conspiracy theorist and he was funny.

  13. You write @ CT.
    “What if, ever since the triumph of neoliberalism in the 1980s and 90s, a consistent and increasingly complex web of left-wing conspiracy theories has been woven around that ideology’s success? Theories characterising the entire neoliberal project as the conscious product of a collection of right-wing individuals who, working largely in secret, had set out to undermine and dismantle the entire social-democratic post-war economic order. A cabal whose long-term objective was to make it impossible for social-democracy to ever again threaten the dominance of Capitalism’s economic and social elites.”
    What if…! Are you kidding me? You’re the ever brilliant, erudite and intellectual Chris Trotter and you state “What if…? ” I’m as dumb as a dumb, dumb-waiter after a long night out on a short fuse and even I know, that we’ve been played. We’ve been well played for 38 years and the planning of that play has been 140 years in the making. The beginning of refrigerated shipping to the UK etc.
    Wikipedia.
    “The Dunedin was the first ship to successfully transport a full cargo of refrigerated meat from New Zealand to England. In this capacity, it provided the impetus to develop the capacity of New Zealand as a major provider of agricultural exports, notwithstanding its remoteness from most markets. Wikipedia”
    Let me write that again : “…a major provider of agricultural exports…” Hint. Southern hemisphere agricultural produce going to a northern hemisphere winter. Can anyone else see the importance of that advantage over our trade competitors? And in the early days, we never had any competitors! I mean for fucks sake.
    The ‘Labour’ and the ‘National’ are not what they seem. Unless you see complicit, rich, conniving liars enjoying being rich and conniving.
    All our politicians are ‘on’ six figures plus perks and those six figures and perks are up there man. And all the while, there are the burgeoning homeless and the equally burgeoning 200 K kids living in poverty on a rich country larger than the UK but with only 5.3 million people and our primary industry is agriculture. That’s right. They export food. And our farmers are just as fucked as the rest of us.
    “What if..” Indeed.

  14. Well said about the ‘woke’ , just don’t think here in NZ they matter a breath out. And are no way comparable to the anti-rational elements of the Right worldwide. We should be able to discuss things, sure. Good to bring it up but overall it’s a major thing for the Right.

  15. Naturally, these highly emotive defences of Woke political positions raise questions about whether or not they can be validated by more rational, evidence-based, discussion.

    Uh huh. It should be noted that the Left’s most successful wins in the last few decades have been on things like restricting or stopping nuclear power and GMO tech, as well as winning greater freedoms for gay rights (inc. marriage), plus abortion, with only a little success on drug liberalisation. And what was the overwhelming reason for these wins? Emotion, with reason playing only a small part; “You’ll irradiate the Earth. You’ll create Frankenfoods, You hate gays. You hate women”… etc, etc. Similarly you’re not winning on AGW measures because of science as you tell yourselves, but on a 24/7 campaign of “You’ll destroy the Earth” and so forth. Science and tech is there in the background, but it’s emotions that win the day.

    So I wouldn’t be too dismissive of your Woke compatriots, who are simply using tactics that have worked before.

    By contrast when it has come to dry reasoning on things like economics, you long ago lost the war to the Right, and when it comes to technology you’re on the verge of losing that too as all the fabulous wind and solar farms that you’ve pushed deliver tripled costs for more unreliable power – as the Euros have discovered, hence the pause even among their Greens on the shut down of nukes, plus the EU declaring that LNG is now a “Green” and “sustainable” power source – along with nukes.

    But, just as with the curseword “neoliberal” I’m sure you’ll have a conspiracy theory ready to explain that loss as well; the power of oil companies even over the Euro Greens perhaps (like all good conspiracy theories the power of the Evil Ones is limitless).

    Meantime, as you throw stones at the Right, you might enjoy reading the following, Conspiracies All the Way Down:

    I hadn’t intended to join the Globalist/Bush–Cheney/Zionist/CIA cabal for world domination. And I certainly didn’t mean to become a leading figure in the conspiracy to cover up the truth about 9/11. According to my critics, though, I was all that and more.
    He throws a few bones to the Left though on the matter of Woke theory…. The Left’s conspiracy theories aren’t as obviously bonkers…”,, but I don’t think that will save him as he points out the recent history of conspiracy theories and how different ones are embraced by the Right and the Left but with a common foundation:
    On the far right, Capitol-storming QAnon followers imagine vast, deep-state conspiracies involving pedophiles and pizza parlors.

    Today, the Woke Left routinely portrays American institutions as engines of cleverly concealed oppression. Racism, sexism, and the like are not just biases to be overcome but fundamental organizing principles of American society.

    Naturally the Left claim, just as you do with economics, that those things are actually fundamental truths, and don’t think for one moment that the “Centre-Left” can resist these “Far Left” ideas. We have you and Bradbury fighting hard as testimony to the fact that they are, which is nothing new:

    Even before Loose Change, a few prominent Democrats had begun catering to the Truther cohort. Howard Dean flirted with conspiracy claims during his 2004 presidential campaign. Van Jones had to resign as an Obama advisor when word got out that he had earlier signed a 9/11 conspiracy petition. In the House of Representatives, Georgia’s Cynthia McKinney invited conspiracy theorists, including David Ray Griffin, to address the Congressional Black Caucus. But Loose Change opened the floodgates.

  16. The terms ‘conspiracy’ and ‘conspiracy theory/ist’, are misleading. Highly ‘weaponised’ and misleading.
    These are more properly called “Deceptions”.
    (Karl ROVE “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do” .)
    (John Pilger: “In the 1970s, I met Leni Reifenstahl, close friend of Adolf Hitler, whose films helped cast the Nazi spell over Germany. She told me that the message in her films, the propaganda, was dependent not on “orders from above” but on what she called the “submissive void” of the public.
    “Did this submissive void include the liberal, educated bourgeoisie?” I asked her.
    “Of course,” she said, “especially the intelligentsia…. When people no longer ask serious questions, they are submissive and malleable. Anything can happen.” )

    • it’s worth noting that reifenstahls films whilst beloved of the ‘arty’ crowd were fairly unpopular with the german public goebbels found light comedies (with a bit of jew hate as a subtext) worked better and were more popular….just because film studies lecturers like something it don’t make it effective or popular..
      the use of long lenses in triumph of the will/olympia was her only real innovation…most everything else was copied from soviet film.

      • That she copied it from soviet film is interesting and I imagine will be a study somewhere. But her recognition of an liberal educated bourgeoisie among the easiest to propagandise because they no longer ask serious questions is the point. The argument, that the terms conspiracy theorist and conspiracy are designed to obsfucate actual physical acts of [false flag]deception; is the serious question.

  17. That she copied it from soviet film is interesting and I imagine will be a study somewhere. But her recognition of an liberal educated bourgeoisie among the easiest to propagandise because they no longer ask serious questions is the point. The argument, that the terms conspiracy theorist and conspiracy are designed to obsfucate actual physical acts of [false flag]deception; is the serious question.

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