Who Cares About Conspiracies?

I spend little time studying and talking about conspiracy theories. Why? Three main reasons.

First, who cares? For your knowledge about a given conspiracy to have any use, it isn’t enough for the theory to be true; you’ll need to convince the very people who are already in on it. So, what are you going to do with this information?

Second, consider a thought experiment: the “Bilderberger Bomb”. It’s just a thought experiment, don’t go reporting me to the DHS. Imagine a pocket nuke is smuggled into the next Bilderberger Conference. All of the leaders of the global conspiracy are blown to bits.

Would this fix our problem? No. Their lieutenants and sub-lieutenants would scramble to fill the gaps. We saw this during the failed War on Drugs – when Escobar was imprisoned, when the Medellin Cartel was cracked, the supply of drugs continued, led by different actors.

The only action which actually hurt the drug cartels was when it became legal for peaceful people to supply better product at lower cost.

And that’s the strategy I advocate. Forget about the conspiracies. They exist, they have power, because we grant it to them. We demand their “product,” whether it be “national security,” or “better education” or “law and order” or anything else. We empower the conspiracies because we refuse to solve our own problems.

The only thing we have control over is our own actions. If we “be the change we wish to see,” we’ll be a catalyst for change.

Third, there is a hidden assumption built into the “it’s all a conspiracy” theory. If only the “right” people were in charge, one thinks, then the mechanism of government would behave “properly.”

But why do we allow such a mechanism, to begin with? It isn’t merely that “power corrupts,” but that such great power is a magnet to the corruptible.

To give an example of how I think: in the matter of education, Joel H. Spring has done fine work in Pedagogies of Globalization, documenting part of the paths by which Fichte’s Addresses to the German Nation propagated worldwide from one nation to another, resulting in what is now known as the Prussian Model of Education, and which Joel Spring aptly describes as the Rise of the Educational Security State.

Important to know, but the precise links are uninteresting; more important is the fact, which Joel H. Springs also conveys, that these numerous states responded to similar incentives; they saw control over the schools as a convenient method of increasing their control over their subjects. This is no mere hypothesis; it is clearly stated in Fichte’s Addresses To The German Nation.

1 thought on “Who Cares About Conspiracies?”

  1. Perhaps you are saying that investigation and reporting of conspiracies is not the most effective activism for checking abuse of power by state and other actors. Mere speculation is not an effective tool for positive and rational change, I agree wholeheartedly (even if it is sometime fun to engage in). But there is a vital need for exposing the actual evidence of crimes, political fraud and other abuses of power, via reporting such as by Wikileaks, Glenn Greenwald, and others. In fact one of the unfortunate symptoms of our present unlibertarian world is a distinct shortage of reporters willing to do just that.


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