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Purpose of Conspiracy Theories

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Conspiracies DO exist in politics and government as well as commerce, finance, and criminal endeavors etc. However, most political conspiracy theories are insusceptible of proof.

The entire purpose of most political conspiracy theories is NOT to carefully present evidence and use reason and logic to arrive at sound, verifiable conclusions.  Instead, most political conspiracy theories are primarily an intellectual device by which individuals and organizations identify and demonize their perceived enemies whom they propose to vanquish.

There is a distinction between perceiving an "opponent" (i.e. an honorable, decent, and legitimate competitor--albeit wrong-headed from one's own perspective) versus an "enemy" (i.e. someone characterized in terms calculated to evoke fear, contempt, distrust, and revulsion.)   Most conspiracy theories focus on enemies, not on opponents. One's receptivity to logic and evidence diminishes drastically when one confronts "enemies" as opposed to "opponents". 

The BEST conspiracy theories combine kernels of indisputable fact with less compelling data (and often outright falsehoods) which is why many conspiracy theories are so difficult to falsify. 

There are NO TESTS which authors and believers of any given theory will allow IF such tests have the genuine capacity to disprove their theory.

Conspiracy theories are usually authored by persistent losers in public policy debates to account for why those persons are frustrated and seemingly impotent to affect public policy decisions and elections over long periods of time.Conspiracy advocates often state that their "battle" was “lost decades ago". 

ALL societies (except those in the midst of civil war) have a prevailing point of view.  Somebody always winds up "losing" a policy debate or election and is not invited to the table to make important decisions. 

It is a normal human response to feel anger and frustration over endless impotence.  Conspiracy theories "solve" the underlying problem of explaining WHY someone feels powerless, disrespected, unappreciated, and ignored.  It’s very simple---malevolent powerful beings, working in secret, are responsible.

Most conspiracy advocates seem to be profoundly anti-intellectual---even though they may simultaneously produce reams of what they consider "proof" and "evidence" for their point of view.  

Conspiracy authors almost never concede even the hypothetical possibility that their paradigm might be flawed in some fundamental respect.  Furthermore, conspiracy authors/researchers don't simply allege that a critic or skeptic is mistaken in their viewpoint.  Instead, they almost always assert that critics or skeptics facilitate the success of evil cabals who consciously are working to destroy our way of life.   

In short, conspiracy proponents assert that their interpretation is not just superior to other interpretations, but theirs is the ONLY interpretation possible and any disagreements are the result of morally and intellectually defective beings---who are, perhaps, even agents of the conspiracy!    

Typically, conspiracy adherents will entertain questions and comments about their theory only so long as their fundamental premises and conclusions are not challenged.  Rigorous critiques are instantly perceived as hostile attacks by hopelessly naive or ignorant persons---or, perhaps, “smears” initiated by agents of the conspiracy who are seeking to “divert” attention away from themselves and thus "waste" time and resources in “pointless” intellectual debates or “disinformation” campaigns.  

Furthermore, conspiracy believers are pre-disposed to believing the worst possible motives regarding their adversaries.  Consequently, conspiracy proponents often arrive at conclusions without asking their perceived adversaries a single question.

Conspiracy advocates often assert that their fellow countrymen cannot be relied upon to understand events and make correct decisions. Why not? Because they believe that vast numbers of their countrymen have been “brainwashed” and “cannot think for themselves”. 

In their scheme of things, only conspiracy believers can recognize and escape from the clever mind-tricks and ulterior motives of their adversaries. 

There are two methods of discussing or analyzing political conspiracy theories:

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I am retired and particularly interested in the intellectual origins and history of contemporary conspiracy-oriented organizations and their assertions. 25+ years ago I began requesting FBI (and other agency) files and documents pertaining to (more...)
 

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