Conspiracy Theories and Democracy

tin-foil-hatWhilst we are on the subject, this is worth reading: Are conspiracy theories the biggest threat to democracy?

Observer columnist and academic John Naughton said:

The reason we have conspiracy theories is that sometimes governments and organisations do conspire.

You can read the article and decide for yourself whether you believe what the mainstream media and advertising say, or the creeping unease of most of us who see our “purchasing power” and freedom being eroded. Who do we believe? What seems most likely?

I have known various “cranky” people in my time. I once met a fellow in London (the SSPX chapel to be precise) called John Gaster who told me about all kinds of conspiracy theories. At one time, apparently, this man had been involved in extreme right-wing political movements in England and introduced me to the idea according to which the Nazis would not have murdered large numbers of Jewish people and other minorities in concentration camps and gas chambers. I only later discovered the term revisionism to describe this way of thinking.

Sometime in the 1990’s, this man was murdered in London in unknown circumstances. I remember the fanatical look as he narrated stories about his Polish friends, the Illuminati, Freemasons and an English psychiatrist by the name of Arthur Guirdham who made extensive studies on Gnosticism. This encounter made me highly sceptical of conspiracy theories (whether the term is meant in innocence or with a derogatory overtone). There is some information on this strange man here. How representative Gaster was of conspiracy theorists, I have no way of knowing.

There is a psychological aspect, since we try to understand why things happen in history. How is it that such a nullity like Schicklegruber aka Hitler, the failed artist with a foul temper, got into power and practically conquered the whole of Europe? Was there some occult power with lots of money that helped him – to take the blame off itself? As we see inconsistencies with the story of 9/11 and the destruction of the World Trade Center, we are brought to suspect things and perhaps get a highly distorted judgement about everything. Are we heading towards a dystopian totalitarian hell, a replay of Nazism and Soviet Communism but made much worse by the use of modern technology? Are our fears justified, or is it a form of paranoia and a desire to understand the irrational by being simplistic? Secrecy and lack of transparency on the part of political authorities only feeds these thoughts, feelings and emotions.

Fear is a very destructive emotion, but are we humans or animals destined to be taken to the slaughterhouse, innocent until the fatal moment? History goes round in circles, up and down in waves. There are evil periods like the two world wars of the twentieth century, and we seem to be aware of gathering forces and shadows. I have to admit that I am afraid.

Is there a yardstick by which we can get objective views on things?

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