Conspiracy theories just can’t fail, no matter how ludicrous they are. Try to falsify them as you may, the conspiracy theorist will just brush aside your evidence by asserting that you are part of the conspiracy against them and their theories. A paid shill in fact. Circular arguments and twisted logic are the order of the day.
While modern day conspiracy theories take many forms, the currently favoured ones involve a secretive, authoritarian elite striving to impose totalitarian, one-world government that will rule the world and serve the global elite’s interests.
Sovereign nation states will no longer matter and political and economic events are regarded as being orchestrated by the elite through various organizations, such as the United Nations (UN), the G8, the World Health Organisation and the Bilderberg Group, among a range of other institutions. World events are portrayed as part of the on-going strategy to institute this globalist agenda, which includes depopulating the planet, genetic manipulation, thought control and many other strategies to secure mass compliance and submission. While we should of course quite rightly be concerned with such genuine issues, context is everything.
Although conspiracy theories have been around for centuries, some gained in popularity during the 1960s and 70s as ‘post-modern disillusionment’ set in and people began to question the very notion of ‘progress’. Modernity had not lived up to expectations. Living under the constant threat of nuclear annihilation, environmental degradation, poverty and the inability of science or politics to address such concerns, people began moving towards ‘new age’ beliefs and concepts or embracing unconventional theories that seemed to explain humanity’s plight.
This all occurred against a backdrop of (failed) proposals to collectively address worldwide problems that went beyond the capacity of individual nation states acting alone. The UN had been set up along with various other international institutions in order to address global issues but also to cement US global hegemony.
However, sections of the US right voiced concerns about the role of Freemasons, Illuminati and Jews being the force behind an ‘international communist conspiracy’ that supposedly lay behind the alleged ‘one world government’ aspirations of the UN. The threat of ‘communism’ undermining US sovereignty and America’s ‘land of the free’ in the guise of a bureaucratic collectivist government at the UN and within the US itself became a major target for the right.
Strange you may think how an economic and political system driven by US bankers and capitalist industrialists became associated with ‘communism’! But this is the world of the US hard right we are dealing with.
In the 1960s, it was claimed that the governments of both the US and the USSR were controlled by bankers and politicians intent on using the UN as the vehicle to create this one world government. But even the fall of the USSR did little to deter the ‘one world government’ theory. In the early 1990s, the main scapegoat of the US far right conveniently and easily shifted from ‘reds under the bed’ to ‘globalists’ (still labeled as ‘communists’) who were plotting to undermine US sovereignty and institute the new world order.
Resorting to selective (xenophobic) interpretations of history or some simplistic Dan Brown Hollywood-esque inspired political or sci-fi narrative can be quite seductive for sections of the population. But how strange it is in the wonderfully weird world of conspiracy theories that capitalist bankers are termed ‘communist’ or that Obama is called a ‘socialist’. Anyone who has the slightest inkling of what the concepts of communism or socialism actually imply will tell you that they are the complete antithesis of private banking or a politician who does the bidding of the most powerful privately owned companies on the planet.
This warped logic partly derives from the fact that Wall Street helped fund the Bolshevik revolution and because some of the bankers along with early Russian communist leaders had Jewish blood. Therefore, so the reasoning goes, both modern capitalism and Zionism are ‘communism’ in all but name. Don’t bother reading what Marx and later writers such as Marcuse, Althusser, Habermas or others actually wrote. Just dismiss decades of writing and analysis out of hand and ignore the fact that the bankers could see there was money to be made out of Russia.
While you don’t have to be a raving Marxist in order to gain an understanding of how capitalism actually works, it’s for good reason that Marx and his ideas pertaining to the functioning of capitalism remain integral to many standard university courses. But why bother your head with such stuff? All that theorizing and analyses of capitalism by Jews or Jewish shills is just part of the Zionist conspiracy!
How the world got to where it is today is all the work of extraterrestrial reptiles, according to British conspiracy theorist David Icke. The likes of Bush, Obama, the British Royal Family and any number of elite figures are humans in reptilian form. While many regard the Icke’s reptiles as a euphemism for ‘Jews’, Icke seems to literally believe in the reptile phenomenon. Through his books and lectures, Icke has set out his concepts and theories about a secretive reptilian elite that has for centuries been hellbent on creating a world order to serve its own interests. In this age of crisis, Icke has managed to convince huge numbers of people that this is the reality we live in.
While some stop well short of the alien reptile theory, they too have huge followings. Call it what you will – the Illuminati or the ‘globalist’ agenda – these conspiracy theorists are quite rightly concerned about increasing surveillance and the erosion of individual freedoms and rights in the US.
At first glance, you might think that they are all reading from the same left wing hymn sheet. Nothing could be further from the truth. The general belief is that the undermining of democratic freedoms is the result of the whims of those are pursuing a new world order based on a one world government. The UN, Obama, increasing surveillance, unimaginably powerful private corporations with the collectivist agenda of the ‘global elite’.
In essence, such theories may arguably be viewed as more sophisticated versions of a misinformed ‘red neck’ platform whereby total freedom of the individual should reign supreme in the face of interfering ‘socialist’ bureaucrats. Little wonder that some have struck a rich vein. Steering well clear of left wing politics in order to explain how capitalism has hit the fan, they have tapped into a popular psyche that is libertarian and individualistic and would rather turn to Hollywood-style narratives than European philosophers for an explanation of world events.
Prominent conspiracy theorists have developed attractive arguments that many ordinary folk readily identify with. Fortunate for these theorists that such folk tend not to be too familiar with more grounded versions of reality which base their knowledge sources on broad comparative sociological research into the cultural, historical, agrarian and economic factors that led to radically different versions of modernity in, for instance, 19th and 20th century Britain, Germany, Russia and Japan.
By ignoring this type of research and writing (maybe because it’s all part of the great Zionist conspiracy), prominent proponents of conspiracy theories are happy to make assumptions about world issues being the result of an Illuminati plot.
Unfortunately, such notions serve to divert attention away from the real nature of the problem: capitalism.
Furthermore, by wholly misrepresenting terms like ‘socialism’, a genuine and radical alternative is cheaply and deceitfully discredited in the audience’s mind.