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A Plea to the Conspiracy Theorists

I realize conspiracy theorist is a terrible phrase, and I try not to use it. However, it is still widely used, and it is all we really have to identify the thing in question. The fact is, neither side has totally abandoned the phrase. Most often we just have argument over the definition, whether to drop the phrase or try to restore it to the original sense of the words

Of course, any attempt to strip it of its pejorative sense is in vain. The establishment is continually reinforcing the pejorative sense of the phrase, with all the power of the media and government. Obviously they are winning in this, and the side that wants to rehabilitate the phrase has no understanding why that is so. That failure to understand is one of its many failings.

Anyway, I saw a post earlier about the "Superbowl blackout" conspiracy. For some reason someone felt the need to dig this old corpse out of the ground and drag it all across the DP. There was nothing new in the post, no new information. What was interesting is how its tone suggested that it was completely rational to believe that the black out was brought about by a deliberate act of nefarious unidentified parties, for sinister purposes, and that no evidence need be presented to make this position tenable.

I don't know the particulars of this conspiracy, whether it has any validity or not, whether any reasonable argument has been made by persons with the relevant expertise, to suggest such a thing cannot happen within reasonable odds. But then again, I am not really interested in this particular conspiracy. I am at an age and a point in my life where I just don't have room for many more conspiracies. Not unless they bear on extremely important events, or events which are clearly suspicious on their face.

For example, the Syria gas attacks are suspicious on their face, and suggest a false flag angle. Someone as cautious and measured (in their willingness to publicly embrace unofficial explanations of events) as Pat Buchanan said as much in a recent interview.

But when I see something like the post about the Superbowl, I scratch my head and ask, what is the evidence threshold for something to be called a conspiracy? Is there any? Is any evidence necessary? Is mere doubt sufficient, even to the point where coincidence becomes grounds for conspiracy?

I don't even know what to say anymore. If you have a theory, present sufficient evidence that would persuade an unbiased and interested mind.

Unbiased and interested, those are hard to define and pin down. But at least try to present evidence that would be persuasive or constitute a prima facie case - if not proof beyond a reasonable doubt - to a non biased observer.

There is nothing, on its face, that would indicate to me that power cannot go out, even at the Superbowl. I admit that I lack the level of interest to look into a complex argument about this particular event, let alone the expertise. But is there such an argument or set of facts even being put forth? Is there any good reason to doubt the possibility that the power could go out for a sustained period of time at an important event?

If there is, present the argument and set of facts. Even if I don't look deeply into it, I will at least withhold judgment, knowing such an argument is out there from a credible or seemingly reasonable source. I will accept that I haven't looked into it, may never look into it, and try to hold back from forming a default opinion rooted in bias.

There has to be more than just doubt, more than mere bias to disbelieve everything.

Refusal to believe anything not endorsed by authority - that may be the more common, and more human failing. For that reason it may be more dangerous, more consequential, harder for people to spot.

But favoring a hidden explanation for every event, without any standards of evidence, is also a disorder, a failing, and is not productive.

People who think this way (not to mention those who make a living exploiting those who do) make it that much harder for rational skeptics to present good evidence and arguments against the official explanations of important events. It makes it that much easier for them to be painted as lunatics by the establishment. Their arguments become drowned out, and are that much easier to discredit and disregard.

Because, there really are irrational conspiracy theorists out there.



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I'm not a Conspiracy Theorist. I'm Well Informed.

The Alternative Media and the rise in Citizen Journalism, with the aid of the free flow of information on the internet, are becoming the Source Material to us all being greatly better informed about what's going on. We don't even need to convince others of past conspiracies like 9/11. If the corruption taking place NOW can be exposed, naturally, people will be more able to see how past events have played a key role.

"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience"—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

There's a difference between

The very real and very important conspiracy for world neofwudalism and Hollywood publicity stunts like the superbowl

right

Thing is, a lot of people who've looked into real, black and white conspiracies, or even unproven ones with some plausible evidence, tend to fall for the BS stuff every so often because it becomes a force of habit. It's like how most people only bother to read headlines rather than the entire article.

Just because something is known as a lie, doesn't mean anyone knows what the truth is, and people trying to "fill in the blanks" often seem to end up just muddling verifiable information and clouding the issue, which ultimately throws a bucket of sand on whatever brushfires one may be trying to start.

A signature used to be here!

ecorob's picture

BS!

Baloney.

Hogwash.

Good luck fighting this fight. You are now in the EVER DECREASING MINORITY.

its 'cos I owe ya, my young friend...
Rockin' the FREE world in Tennessee since 1957!
9/11 Truth.

The conspiracy theories exist

because the lower level “Statist” refusal to believe the State is an instrumental of plunder. Most likely because they derive their “Station in Life” from their place in the State apparatus. So in order to reconcile their morals with their action they demise the corruption as a “few bad apples” in an overall glorious belief that really doesn’t exist.

The nature of the state is that state power ultimately depends on the perpetuation of a body of beliefs and superstitions about the benevolence and necessity of the state, and the alleged evils of private property, free enterprise, individual liberty, and the civil society. Because the citizens always outnumber any ruling class by many orders of magnitude, they must somehow be made to acquiesce in the ruling class’s plundering of their society in the name of “progress,” “nationalism,” “the greater good,” “socialism,” or whatever. Beatings, imprisonment, torture, and mass murder are time-tested tools of the state, but they can be very costly and can instigate a revolution. Therefore, relentless propaganda is often relied upon instead to secure the power and privileges of the state and statists.

The conspiracy kooks also derive their “self worth” by living in the fairytale of the State, while trying to expose “All the Bad Apples” in the State……they believe they are acting virtuous, but are really just another piece of the propaganda of the State, for if they were really acting in a virtuous mindset……they would want to reduce the State role in favor of Liberty…..they perpetuate the State because of their "station in life"

HISTORY AS A RACE BETWEEN STATE POWER AND SOCIAL POWER

Just as the two basic and mutually exclusive interrelations between men are peaceful cooperation or coercive exploitation, production or predation, so the history of mankind, particularly its economic history, may be considered as a contest between these two principles. On the one hand, there is creative productivity, peaceful exchange and cooperation; on the other, coercive dictation and predation over those social relations. Albert Jay Nock happily termed these contesting forces: “social power” and “State power.” Social power is man’s power over nature, his cooperative transformation of nature’s resources and insight into nature’s laws, for the benefit of all participating individuals. Social power is the power over nature, the living standards achieved by men in mutual exchange. State power, as we have seen, is the coercive and parasitic seizure of this production—a draining of the fruits of society for the benefit of nonproductive (actually antiproductive) rulers. While social power is over nature, State power is power over man. Through history, man’s productive and creative forces have, time and again, carved out new ways of transforming nature for man’s benefit.

These have been the times when social power has spurted ahead of State power, and when the degree of State encroachment over society has considerably lessened. But always, after a greater or smaller time lag, the State has moved into these new areas, to cripple and confiscate social power once more. If the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries were, in many countries of the West, times of accelerating social power, and a corollary increase in freedom, peace, and material welfare, the twentieth century has been primarily an age in which State power has been catching up—with a consequent reversion to slavery, war, and destruction. In this century, the human race faces, once again, the virulent reign of the State—of the State now armed with the fruits of man’s creative powers, confiscated and perverted to its own aims.

The last few centuries were times when men tried to place constitutional and other limits on the State, only to find that such limits, as with all other attempts, have failed. Of all the numerous forms that governments have taken over the centuries, of all the concepts and institutions that have been tried, none has succeeded in keeping the State in check. The problem of the State is evidently as far from solution as ever. Perhaps new paths of inquiry must be explored, if the successful, final solution of State question is ever to be attained.

I too hate that phrase!

I have concluded that it is word association brainwashing...that all our lives we have been conditioned to always associate the word "theory" whenever we hear the word "conspiracy". I have never heard anything about the Stupidbowl blackout...don't know what you're referring to, and it really is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things...but please keep this in mind: With new positive proof coming nearly every day, that nearly every institution on earth has been lying to us, cheating us and have plans to make things worse in the future, it is hard to NOT see evil conspiracies in everything!
BILL3, you aren't new to the "awakening"...but go back and remember what it felt like when you first realized that everything you ever learned in school was a lie...that your bank, your church, your government is all a crock and that your world is more like "The Matrix" than anything else. It was a pretty bitter pill to swallow, wasn't it? Give the newbies some slack, because taking the black bag off your head for the first time and actually seeing the world for what it truly is, is very frightening.

------------------
BC
Silence isn't always golden....sometimes it's yellow.

"The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." - Patrick Henry

It is dangerous for the cause of liberty

to go from "I think politicians are corrupt and do not have the peoples best interests at heart " to "there are aliens living in my basement".

But if there ARE aliens living in your basement..........

If there are aliens living in your basement,

show us some pictures. That's all we are asking. If you are going to put forth a conspiracy theory, have some credible evidence.

“Although it was the middle of winter, I finally realized that, within me, summer was inextinguishable.” — Albert Camus

Martha Mitchell

That's a fascinating story, but how do you know you're right if your arguments aren't based on solid evidence and sound argument? You're only a Martha Mitchell if you're right, and that's all the OP is saying: if you don't have good evidence and good arguments then you're on shaky ground.

Plus, Martha Mitchell was an insider who knew a lot of the key players and their associates. From that first link: "She did have some inside information, but nothing more than what others had told her .... and they were already talking to otrhers, too." So doesn't it seem clear that she had some good solid reasons to believe that there was a coverup?

I think that's the point of the OP. There's a crowd of conspiracy believers here who don't seem to have any standards at all for which conspiracies to believe and which to reject. Free-floating suspicions aren't differentiated from solid cases, evidence is cherry picked because some of the evidence is too inconvenient for the theory, skeptical responses are ignored or misrepresented, etc.

I saw one reply that seemed to be suggesting that having a lot of conspiracy theories floating around, even those that without evidence that are almost certainly false, serves a good purpose of getting people to question the government's official explanations. Maybe some conspiracy theorists think that's true, which would explain the support for some of the kookiest theories. (Although I haven't seen any Reptilian believers for a while.) But I think that what gets people questioning isn't just a lot of questions floating around in a fog of bad arguments, but rather good evidence and solid arguments for the clearest cases.

Isn't it interesting that any time someone calls for better evidence and stronger arguments, the responses don't address that point? Almost as if there's some conspiracy out there to push the kooky conspiracy theories to the front so that the true ones, the ones for which there actually are some good arguments, are discredited by association. But see, I suspect that to be true (really, I do) but I can't prove it, so I don't go around talking about it as if I know it's true and making youtube videos with ominous music and cheesy title effects.

Thanks doggy.

I know where you are coming from, and now that more people are aware that the "government" is getting less and less honest with them, and that the "media" lies to them, and that we are heading towards a One World Government, people can see a conspiracy in everything. But they will settle down.
Looking into "conspiracies", helps broaden your thinking, allows you to connect the dots, often teaches some long neglected history, and gives an insight to how Geo Politics works, and make people think laterally.
Sometimes even if the theory is wrong, (and boy, are they hard to "prove"), people can be on the right track.
Let people sort out what they believe in and why, some theories stack up and others don't
I like the Martha Mitchell story, because it shows that the Whitehouse is Rotten to the Core. And that the CIA is really running the joint, for their personal gain and private profit.
If the CIA is running the Whitehouse, the scope for conspiracy is endless.

What happens when a

What happens when a conspiracy so BIG and so expensive gets exposed???

It's swept under the rug.

http://www.dailypaul.com/297699/the-biggest-conspiracy-of-ou...

I am a Conspiracy Theorist and proud of it!

The Big Show Blackout. Who cares? Conspiracies have a mean to an end. The blackout does not peak my interest in anyway. If the powers that be were trying to "fix the game", hey its just another bank heist. At least they were not stealing my freedoms. So in so many words, I really don't care. Gambling is,,, a gamble. A false flag in Syria is gambling with my life and the lives of those I love. And that's a possible conspiracy that everyone should consider dangerous.

some leads

https://wikispooks.com/wiki/9/11:Israel_did_it

"If this mischievous financial policy [greenbacks], which has its origin in North America, should become endurated down to a fixture, then that government will furnish its own money without cost. It will pay off its debts and be without debts. It will hav

The all-or-nothing theory of conspiracy theories

The plea here isn't that conspiracy theories be abandoned entirely, just the ones that can't be supported with evidence and sound arguments. How in the world is that controversial? Are those objecting to this tacitly admitting that they don't have evidence and sound arguments to back up *any* of the conspiracy theories? Some comments do make it sound like all of the conspiracy theories stand or fall together. But surely nobody really believes that.

To the people who are objecting to this call for sound arguments, can't you point to even just one conspiracy theory for which the best arguments are simply too weak to take seriously? And if so, what is it about the arguments for the conspiracy theories you reject that make them too weak to accept? In other words, do you have any standards at all for what arguments you'll accept in support of a conspiracy theory, and if so what are those standards?

The Martha Mitchell Effect:

Origin

Psychologist Brendan Maher named the effect after Martha Beall Mitchell.[2] Mrs. Mitchell was the wife of John Mitchell, Attorney-General in the Nixon administration. When she alleged that White House officials were engaged in illegal activities, her claims were attributed to mental illness. Ultimately, however, the relevant facts of the Watergate scandal vindicated her and hence attracted to her the title of "Cassandra of Watergate".

http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Martha_...

That doesn't answer the question

Martha Mitchell was an insider, with enough connections to know that there was a coverup of some kind even if she didn't have all the details. She didn't just watch a bunch of youtubes and call it research.

I wasn't saying, and neither was the OP, that there are *no* valid conspiracy theories out there. Just that there are some bogus ones. Are you disagreeing with that?

I disagree with

your use of the word, "rational." Psychologists thought Martha Mitchell wasn't being "rational" and as you pointed out, she had inside connections.

Where did I use that word?

I don't see where I used it on this page, so I'm not clear on your point of disagreement. Sorry if I'm just overlooking it.

Yes, psychologists assumed that she was delusional, when in fact she had good reasons for her beliefs. If you look at the page that explains the Martha Mitchell effect:
http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Martha_...
that's what it's talking about. The other examples they give are people who are, in fact, being pursued by organized crime. Some people who say the mob is after them are delusional, some are telling the truth.

I'm not denying that this is relevant to conspiracy theories! But the starting point is: believing something that's true. If someone has inside knowledge of a conspiracy then that's one way to have a good reason to believe it. They may be doubted, but they have a good solid reason for what they believe. Most people here aren't insiders, however. So if you don't have direct knowledge of a conspiracy, shouldn't you want to avoid believing the bogus ones? And how can you do that, except by having high standards for the evidence and arguments you accept?

There are some bogus conspiracy theories floating around. Do you agree? The people who believe them aren't Martha Mitchells. That's the point.

Here:

"People who think this way (not to mention those who make a living exploiting those who do) make it that much harder for rational skeptics to present good evidence and arguments against the official explanations of important events."

Martha Mitchell presented arguments that rational skeptics didn't believe were true, against the President of the United States at the time, who subsequently was forced to resign from office. Yet, she was diagnosed as mentally ill.

What I'm saying is where there's smoke, there's usually fire, and I don't believe in coincidences.

That was the OP, not me

You call Martha Mitchell's detractors "rational skeptics" which is interesting. You think they were being rational? I wouldn't have said that. But skipping that, look at what the OP actually said.

But favoring a hidden explanation for every event, without any standards of evidence, is also a disorder, a failing, and is not productive.

People who think this way (not to mention those who make a living exploiting those who do) make it that much harder for rational skeptics to present good evidence and arguments against the official explanations of important events. It makes it that much easier for them to be painted as lunatics by the establishment. Their arguments become drowned out, and are that much easier to discredit and disregard.

The "rational skeptics" he's talking about are people being skeptical of the official explanations.

He's saying that there *are* "official explanations" that are bogus. He's saying that there are people who want to make a rational case -- based on evidence and arguments -- that those official explanations are bogus.

But it's easier for them to be painted as lunatics -- i.e., to apply the Martha Mitchell effect to them -- because the good evidence and the good arguments for real conspiracies are drowned out by the kooky stuff, i.e., the people who see "a hidden explanation for every event, without any standards of evidence."

Are you going to leave it

to psychologists to make a determination of who is delusion, and who isn't? Just who gets to decide if an argument is sound, or rational? The point is nobody thought Martha Mitchell was rational, until events beyond her control proved that she was...

No of course not

Whatever gave you that idea?

What I'm saying, and I think what the OP was saying, is that *you* (and everyone individually) should be insisting on sound arguments. It's what each person should expect from themselves and it's what we should be insisting on from each other.

But to do that you need to apply some standards. Insist on solid evidence, and make sure it's not cherry-picked evidence. Insist on logical arguments, so that your conclusions follow from the evidence. If there's science involved, make sure you've got the science right. Don't mistake suspicions for conclusions. Etc.

If you do that, the conspiracy theories that survive that kind of rigorous investigation will be ones that you can say you have a rational reason to believe. And then if someone tells you you're delusional, you can call yourself a Martha Mitchell, because you had a good solid basis for your conclusion.

But people who mistake suspicions for conclusions, cherry-pick the evidence, make "I can't imagine any other explanation" arguments, get the basic science completely wrong, ignore or misrepresent mundane explanations, etc., and still somehow convince themselves that they've proven a conspiracy, aren't Martha Mitchells.

If the word skeptical or skeptic was used

I would read the article and move along. I question the use of the word "rational." It's rather like use of the word "reasonable." My question is who determines what is "rational" and what is "reasonable?"

good, rational post

Unfortunately, it will fall on deaf ears. The people you are trying to reach are, by definition, not rational. Like you said, seeing everything as a conspiracy is a disorder. Your rational arguments ain't gonna sink in like some much-needed cognitive therapy. They'll probably think you are on the CIA payroll or just a blind fool that needs to watch more youtube. Best to ignore or downvote such posts, and move on.

Of course, I defend their right to post any such theory on here (if Michael tolerates it), as I defend my right to ignore them.

“Although it was the middle of winter, I finally realized that, within me, summer was inextinguishable.” — Albert Camus

Ed

Most here KNOW what dis-info is all about. And they know their neirghbors.

And we all appreciate your posts about 'freedom' and principles. Especially on a site like this.

How many people do you think will comment on DP any more with their true feelings about liberty? There are a few brave souls and they are obvious.

The only value I find here on DP today is the posts of the 'paid' disinfo folks.

And I 'share' it. The people I share it with 'GOT IT' years ago, and they share it with others. And with some that are 'GETTING IT' recently.

You can ignore reality, but you can't ignore the consequence of ignoring reality.

ecorob's picture

Sure, lets just forget about the whole thing, everything.

Whaddayasay?

hmmm?

...just like nothing ever happened?

uh, I don't freaking think so.

There will be those that bury their head in the sand and there will be those that scream bloody murder.

I know where I stand.

its 'cos I owe ya, my young friend...
Rockin' the FREE world in Tennessee since 1957!
9/11 Truth.

Happenstance

"Is mere doubt sufficient, even to the point where coincidence becomes grounds for conspiracy?"

http://www.dailypaul.com/comment/1407286

Conspiracy theories disable government lies

The government lies. Lies are at odds with the facts. There will be concealed contradictions. When the government lies, it must conceal the obvious facts. To catch a liar you must keep cross examining until the things they forgot to hide are uncovered. The more theories floating out there, the more complex the lies will become and so will the conspiracy theories. The only outcome will be restriction of government to transparent activity.

Wrong. The establishment must become transparent.

The establishment has lost credibility. It cannot retain power and expect to be believed. It must become transparent. It can only do this if it loses massive amounts of power. It can choose to surrender this power or it will be destroyed from within or without.
The fact is the government lies. We accept that in foreign policy. But now the government is the CEOs of finance capitalism. They control our treasury department an 'we' accept this because they claim to speak for free market capitalism, however when they lose they cry and beg the politicians to "abandon free-market principles to save the free-market system".

http://youtu.be/x1G2Jyvpje8