This is something I've been thinking about myself for a while.
I've recently been approaching this topic from a few different angles and have had some difficulty fleshing it out so I'll throw them out here.
Big government statism fails because it is a failed social construct in the first place
Yes, this, for me, is the kernel.
The State is a monopoly on violence. (minute 2:14)
The State is a massive organization. Within this organization are people aware of it basic nature and those that aren't.
Those who understand its essential nature would be in a better position to fully utilize its power.
This study shows that 'People in power make better liars.'
Yet as with most popular reporting on research studies (say even global warming) the highlighted correlation is assumed to run in a particular direction.
It is equally possible that the correlation runs the other way where liars are more comfortable seeking power. See Robert Higgs' If men were angels
These observations would apply to other positions of power, whether they be in the media, in industry, or what-have-you.
But the organization that stands in a class of its own is the State, which we have outlined is a monopoly on violence, with power over any other organization.
Additionally, people belonging to one organization are members of another.
Now, I will posit that human beings are largely cooperative - the fact that we form such complex organizations in the first place, and produce for one another is a testament to this. With this in mind, many people in an organization will cooperate, within the full scope of their own knowledge which, in the scheme of things, is precious little.
Those who can mobilize people and resources are in a position to set events in motion.
Now, I just was reading Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago last night and he talked about whether there were good people within the Soviet States' Organs
To do evil a human being must first of all believe he's doing good, or else that it's a well-constructed conformity with natural law. Fortunately, it is in the nature of the human being to seek a justification for his actions.
He goes on to muse that ideology, expediency, and a certain 'threshold effects' are factors in people doing evil things.
Now I want to veer off a bit, playing off of Solzhenitsyn's reference to State Organs.
Human society can be viewed a macro-level organism, an organism comprised of organisms. This phenomenon is seen with social insects whereby the colony displays its own biological rhythms beyond that of its individual members.
The reason I bring this up is to ask, who knows what the hive mind of humans is doing? And I offer my answer, that we can't know. It is a system of which we are a part of, and is larger than us...beyond our ability to comprehend.
I believe this is consistent with the economist F.A. Hayek's observation that no one has the information to plan the society/economy from the top-down. (I'm lumping some 'conspiracy theories' in with top-down planning as some would qualify). To do so would be a conceit of knowledge.
This is good news, because it suggests would-be tyrants will ultimately fail. I believe this principle rules out a certain type of conspiracy theory whereby a small group of people orchestrate historical events purposefully with the end result manifesting as calculated
I do not suggest that there are not people who still do not attempt to wield power to influence the macro-structure. There are surely those people. I suggest however, that though history can be influenced by the few it cannot be determined.
The State is an apparatus, like any other organization, that acts to preserve itself. It naturally sets up an educational system whereby power is promulgated as the organizing principle of society, though it may veil this notion within popular myths. Those who believe the popular myths become the useful idiots for those who understand the State's true nature.
Genuinely conniving people wield State power to implement their own ends. And innocent people facilitate the operation of the State's machinations.
These are people who view people as cattle, or insects, people who view power as the organizing principle of society, people who view the 'collective' as the organizing principle of society, people who have no trouble lying to seize power, people who understand the essence of the State as violence. And they'll use ideology, expediency, whatever to justify their actions.
And when these people do try to implement order from the top down, there will be people, imperfect in their own knowledge, there to facilitate what is trying to be set in motion because we are a cooperative species.
With regard to conspiracy...there are events where no definitive evidence leads to any culpable agent, the question is, is this event to be ascribed to malice, or ignorance?
The State is violence. Wouldn't anything "it" sets in motion therefore be malicious?
With regard to particular events, places and people...Any speculation without solid evidence is just that... speculation.
Scientific inquiry is about maintaining logical rigor in the pursuit of truth and involves disproving things. Any conspiracy theory which contains unfalsifiable elements cannot ever cross over into the realm of conspiracy fact.
I would suggest this as one criteria for evaluating ideas in the intellectual marketplace. If its unfalsifiable its probably not going to lead to a productive conclusion.
My view is that many conspiracy theories give too much credit to the conspirators, who seem to be able to orchestrate everything, and manifest the reality they had calculated before hand.
Rather I think it is more realistic (more parsimonious) to assume that conspirators seize crisis, and other opportunities to amass power for themselves, but these opportunities are not planned, and the results are beyond their control because the conspirators are, well, human.
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