Peoples' movements and protests




Conspiracies are more trivial than people think



Any suggestion for improvals can be mailed to the author


By Jan Wiklund



Something that seriously worries me is the paranoid fantasy world that is spreading in the most diverse circles. Right-wing populists believe in Jewish or Muslim conspiracies to take over the world. Liberals believe in Russian conspiracies for the sake of… mostly just screwing around it seems. And many leftists believe in a conspiracy from the "Bilderberg Group" which, carefully considered, only consists of the usual power holders in the form of governments and large corporations who absolutely do not even need to meet to do what they do. Although of course it is good for peace of mind to occasionally meet like-minded people.

Unless someone else gets to appear in the villain role.

One can think of at least three reasons why such conspiracies do not exist.

First, all secrets shared by three or more are not secrets. And when they are shared by hundreds, it will 100% leak out. There is no stopping all the books by defected agents that describe sick intrigues from the agent world, usually ones that confirm what we already know from other sources. Wildly paranoid theories such as that it was the CIA that blew up the World Trade Center are therefore unreasonable because when they are inevitably revealed, the principals would also demand the stagers' heads on a platter.

And people in those circles are extremely "competitive" as they say, compete rabidly with each other and are always prepared to cheat if they can thereby gain an advantage. And thus can never fully trust each other.

Second, they would presuppose a perfection in execution that never exists. As Charles Tilly asserts, “Both personal experience and professional studies of social processes (...) had led me to think that people rarely accomplish exactly what they consciously plan, and constantly find events unrolling differently from than they antecipated. Why then do people's descriptions and explanations of social processes overwhelmingly emphasize conscious deliberation?” So, bumbling is inevitable. All somewhat experienced decision makers take this into account, and avoid projects that risk exposing them as idiots.

And finally, you can say like the gambling den owner Laird Brunette in Raymond Chandler's Farewell my lovely when he commented on the rumors of how he has corrupted the whole town: So much time I must have. Those who have influence enough to start big conspiracies have quite enough to fulfill their daily routines.

Because what the paranoid never take into account is that it is the daily routines that cause misery in the world. Financial crashes happen, for example, because banks compete and want to make money. Therefore, they lend money, which is the only way they have. And the competition drives them to lend to people who can never pay back, because it's about being the biggest at all costs. It is when they suddenly discover that they will not get the money back that they panic and the crisis is a fact.

Traditional Marxism may have had gigantic shortcomings, but it at least had an understanding that it was the well-intentioned routines that ultimately led to misery and disaster, not the meanness of individual people. And it was the Marxist-influenced mass parties and mass movements that had an ability to communicate this to the common people, vaccinate them against paranoid beliefs, and keep everyone reasonably grounded. When they no longer exist, people lose their footing and take refuge in the mainstream media, not to mention Hollywood, stereotypes of Evil Men and moralistic paranoia.

Which is problematic in practical terms. Because if you think that misery is due to some people being Evil, everything becomes so simple. Just get rid of them and everything will be so good. Whereas if one believes that the misery is due to lousy social routines, then serious political reforms are required.

This is not to say that conspiracies do not exist. It's just that we all know them. They go by the name of governments, political parties, companies and interest organizations. But this is not secret and therefore appeals to no one's ego to know, or think they know.

Published by Folkrörelsestudiegruppen: