Hit Piece: Conspiracy Inc.

Remember Gandhi's three stages... ;-)

Also, I love how now that we have a democrat president, all of a sudden 9/11 truth is a "far right" issue.

Conspiracy, Inc.


The full extent of the conservative movement’s radicalization is becoming more apparent after nine months of the Obama administration. Increasingly, reactionary media pundits and much of the rank-and-file of the Republican Party are taking the American right down a dangerous path, marked most ominously by the abundance of conspiracy theories directed against the Democratic Party and mainstream liberals.

Prominent writers have long warned about the rise of the reactionary right into the national spotlight. Thomas Frank leads the way in many of these charges with bestselling books like The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule, and What’s the Matter with Kansas: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America. Frank’s warnings are particularly insightful in light of the rise of right wing conspiracy theories.

A conspiracy theory is defined as a secret plot by powerful officials to take part in some action that would be strongly opposed by the people if the plot were to become public. Conspiracy theories are tremendously dangerous because they eschew institutional analysis in favor of exotic and outlandish descriptions of government behavior. Nowhere is this extremism better seen than in the “9/11 truth movement.” In the classroom, I have a standard response for students who inquire about 9/11 conspiracy theories. I point out that the difference between an argument and a conspiracy is crucial: the existence of evidence. Any great conspiracy theory requires a complete lack of tangible evidence, since conspiracies by definition are “secret” endeavors which the public knows little to nothing about. This lack of evidence is all the more reason why we should reject these conspiracies as lacking in seriousness and intellectual rigor.

Many conservatives, no doubt motivated by racism, xenophobia, and contempt for multi-party politics, have made use of conspiracy theories in attempts to derail the Obama administration. Furthermore, conspiracy theories are now one of the primary means - perhaps the primary means - by which conservatives attempt to discredit their political opponents. A review of some of the most prominent conspiracies places the radicalization of the conservative movement in perspective.

Anthony DiMaggio adimagg@ilstu.edu

Anthony DiMaggio adimagg@ilstu.edu