Conspiracy Theories

I agree with Scott Adams that conspiracy theories are a boatload of fun, as are the people who sincerely believe in them.  Interesting enough, I think he touches on the appeal of them:

I believe the intent of the movie is to alarm people into being more skeptical of their government. It had the opposite effect on me. It made me happy to think there might be a plan. If the war on terror is real, it scares the shit out of me. But if, as the movie claims, it’s entirely manufactured, and the war in Iraq is meant to be a permanent conflict to sell weapons and control oil – that is much less scary. It means the war will stay where it is and no one will “follow me home.”

It also means the nuclear bomb ambitions of Iran are a lie. That’s one less thing to worry about. All I have to do is stay out of the National Guard and invest my money in defense contractors and I’ll be safe and happy. Those shadowy rich guys are doing a great job!

I’ve long believed that the Truther movement is largely a reaction to a fear of what the actual truth behind 911 (that it was committed by 19 middle eastern hijackers who were, in their minds, fighting a jihad against the United States) would mean.  I think most conspiracy people are actually, even if unknowingly, influenced by Scott’s feeling.  I think he was just honest enough with his feelings to recognize it for what it was.

If 9/11 was a conspiracy by our own government, than it’s not so scary.  Presumably we can expose the truth, make people aware, and change things.  It’s certainly a lot easier to quell uncertainty and unease by adopting this kind of view, than it is to believe the solution will involve a lot of killing, uncertainty, and the possibility of more attacks from people out there who hate us, and who we can’t influence or control.

One Response to “Conspiracy Theories”

  1. straightarrow says:

    All of history is driven by conspiracies. To think differently is to be too naive to survive. Some theories of conspiracies are nutty, no doubt, but to assume that conspiracies do not occur, nor do they impact historical fact, is to deny reality.

    Just because some people are out of touch with reality and push forward theories that are laughable, does not mean that conspiracies do not exist, nor does it mean that they have not been successful.

    Would you not call the occurrences of 9/11 the result of a conspiracy? Of course it was. So before you all decide to discount all conspiracy theories, remember that if logic is applied to the facts conspiracies are far more common than we wish to believe.

    Oh, by the way, while I think 9/11 was the result of a conspiracy, I think it was the result of an Islamic terror conspiracy. Are we going to argue about that?