Corrections to the blogosphere, the consensus, and the world

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The protocols of the elders of Yugoslavia

[carried over from an interesting discussion of conspiracies at Slacktivist]

"Just to add to the list of actual real in this world conspiracies, there's world war one; springing from the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand by an agent of the Black Hand, a secret society devoted to ... freeing the south slav populations from the yoke of Austria, which, by the way, they achieved, creating Yugoslavia. For a while, at least.
There are conspiracies, but they may well be small, localised, and (for certain values of sensible) sensible and straightforward conspiracies rather than worldgirdling totalizing all-or-nothing Illuminanti overreaches.

And if you want worldgirdling totalizing theories, the whole point of Marxism was to construct a theory to explain how a class of oppressors such as the bourgeoisie could act effectively in unison without having to resort to clandestine meetings and secret handshakes."

Someone had already quoted what I regard as the key text in understanding why people believe in conspiracies;
The most blatant example of this sort of attitude being seen as a positive thing comes from

where Jack Chick's compatriots say in one of their FAQs on conspiracy theories about the Roman Catholic Church:

There are only two ways in which world history can be explained:

1. The accidental theory. All events, such as those world depressions, revolutions, wars and political plots are the results of pure chance. Such a view is as ridiculous as belief in evolution!

2. The conspiratorial theory. World events such as mentioned above, take place because some influential people want them to happen and make them happen. People with power meet behind closed doors and work out plans to achieve their aims. The most precise way to describe such conduct is - conspiracy.

To us, the conspiratorial theory makes far more sense than the accidental theory

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