Celebrate the Facts!
Conspiracy theory adherents have been associated with prejudice, unfair persecutions, revolutions, and genocide throughout history. Terrorists are keen supporters of conspiracy theories, and conspiracy theorists have rebuked public health measures such as vaccinations, causing nominally eradicated diseases such as measles to get their bands back together. Currently, conspiracy theorists reject the science behind anthropogenic climate change and public health measures to address COVID, elevating two manageable problems to existential threats.
A conspiracy theory is a scheme that explains an event or set of circumstances resulting from a secret plot by usually powerful conspirators.
Common conspiracy theories include:
At their heart, conspiracy theories are mistaken beliefs using disparate facts duct-taped together with conjecture and generally are corrosive to society. Suppression of conspiracy theory only adds to the allure and the sense there is an overlying plot to quiet the believers, and it would seem fully airing and discussing them is the only way to reduce their effects.
Interesting facts about conspiracy theories:
Conspiracy theorists have played outsized roles in the United States milieu. Perhaps the most prominent example was the 1995 Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing. A disaffected Army veteran turned security guard, Timothy McVeigh, and cohorts, including Terry Nichols, blew up the building, killing 168 people, including 19 children, injured several hundred more. McVeigh’s history included child psychological trauma and obsession with military activities mobilized by misinformation from the hate-mongering propaganda of the radical right. Nichols sold out McVeigh in return for life in prison, and the government he abhorred murdered McVeigh six years later.
The United States is in the middle of an existential crisis due to the concentration and hoarding of wealth by the American oligarchy than politics, and the symptoms, polarization, radical philosophies, and exploitation of such for money by Infotainment media outlined in the work Hate, Inc.
Common current conspiracy theories in the political discussion include:
While there’s not much virtue in supporting such erroneous ideologies, the real villains are companies and media and political figures who sew conspiracy disinformation or fan the flames of such movements to their means, whether to make money, gain political power or both. An isolated person who believes in something implausible is forgivable if not understandable. A United States president or a United States Senator using the gullibility of susceptible populations for political purposes is not. A significant industry funding AstroTurf political movements and erroneous ‘research’ to refute climate change legislation, if not illegal, is at least immoral.
The solution to conspiracy theories and the existential threats posed by such require a thorough approach:
Michael Donnelly investigates societal concerns with an untribal approach - to limit the discussion to the facts derived from primary sources so the reader can make more informed decisions.