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Towards a Theory of Conspiracy Theories http://i.ytimg.com/vi/kYuWFm5T378/0.jpg from http://stonefruit.blogspot.com/ Cass Sunstein, buy green tea online confidante of Obama, buy green tea online Harvard Law professor, buy green tea online current head of the federal Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, buy green tea online potential Supreme Court nominee - and the latest crusader against those dastardly conspiracy theories Recently, buy green tea online there was quite a hullabaloo in the blogosphere over a reprehensible academic paper Sunstein co-wrote in 2008 (available for download here), buy green tea online which argued for a Cointellpro-type program of government infiltration of conspiracy theorists, buy green tea online online and in person. Buy green tea online Given the incredible scope and flexibility of the powers of his office, buy green tea online as enunciated in this September 30, buy green tea online 1993 executive order signed by Clinton, buy green tea online his proposal should certainly give us pause. His paper, buy green tea online "Conspiracy Theories, buy green tea online" was originally scooped by Marc Estrin at Rag Blog, buy green tea online and covered in short order by Daniel Tencer at The Raw Story and Glenn Greenwald at Salon and pretty much went viral from there. Buy green tea online Although Greenwald's piece was the most extensive, buy green tea online none of the reports really examined the paper in great detail. I took the time to read the whole thing. Buy green tea online I've also read the entire academic literature on conspiracy theory and written one of my masters theses on the topic at a Division I research university. Buy green tea online If I have the stomach for it, buy green tea online I may offer a more detailed analysis of Sunstein's paper in a future post, buy green tea online but for now I'd like to offer something else. More important than a detailed analysis of a single essay would be a sustained theoretical critique of the role of "conspiracy theory" in delegitimizing information contrary to the interests and consensus reality of the elite. Buy green tea online None of the coverage of Sunstein's journal article offered this broader view. Buy green tea online I would like to do so, buy green tea online by posting a revised version of something I posted here a few years back which, buy green tea online unfortunately, buy green tea online remains as timely as ever. Contemporary America is of two minds regarding conspiracy theory - or "conspiranoia" as I like to call it, buy green tea online a term combining conspiracy and paranoia which I got from a book by Devon Jackson of the same name. On one hand, buy green tea online it has become the default popular view, buy green tea online one of commodified skepticism towards history and government. Buy green tea online It's a sentiment that has proliferated extensively since the 1960s, buy green tea online Watergate, buy green tea online and the Church Committee. Buy green tea online With the collapse of the reassuring dualities of the Cold War in the early 1990s, buy green tea online it has culminated into an extremely pervasive apocalyptic teleology. Buy green tea online It has become one of the leading intellectual leitmotifs of our time. On the other hand, buy green tea online the disavowal of conspiranoia has also become an integral part of the conventional wisdom itself, buy green tea online a social technology of control that establishes the boundaries of "responsible discourse" by reflecting elite consensus on the fundamental nature of social reality, buy green tea online in accordance with the elite's own class interests. Buy green tea online This makes for an incredibly effective means of establishing ruling class hegemony by controlling dissent, buy green tea online foreclosing alternatives, buy green tea online engineering support, buy green tea online and transmuting the interests of the ruling class into that of the nation as a whole. As Gore Vidal once said "The way our ruling class keeps out of sight is one of the greatest stunts in the political history of any country" and conspiracy theory is one of their most potent methodologies. In fact, buy green tea online one is apt to be labeled a conspiracy theorist for merely suggesting that there is a ruling class in this country that seeks to maintain hegemony, buy green tea online to say nothing of the idea that the ruling class might occasionally use conspiratorial methods. Buy green tea online Rather than conspiracy theory, buy green tea online most media and intellectual gatekeepers prefer to view elite behavior through the lens of "somnambulist theory, buy green tea online" "coincidence theory", buy green tea online "incompetence theory", buy green tea online or "spontaneity theory". Buy green tea online No amount of intellectual gymnastics is spared to avoid arriving at the conclusion that the rich and powerful, buy green tea online like the rest of us, buy green tea online might possibly act in support of their own perceived best interests. Buy green tea online This is, buy green tea online of course, buy green tea online in spite of a voluminous sociological literature on the power elite and "elite deviance" and a plethora of laws on the books against criminal conspiracy. True freedom of mind - presumably the bedrock of the informed consent of the governed in a democracy - requires not only the negative absence of constraint but the positive presence of other alternatives. Buy green tea online Even though the rich and powerful have repeatedly used conspiracy to get richer and more powerful, buy green tea online to mention this sociological fact immediately draws the most vicious criticism, buy green tea online including charges of conspiracy mongering, buy green tea online and many variations on superstition, buy green tea online cynicism, buy green tea online paranoia, buy green tea online hysteria, buy green tea online and primitivism. Conspiranoia can and should be a tool of empirical explanation. Buy green tea online It is possible to point fingers and name names. Buy green tea online The powers that be, buy green tea online perhaps as few as thousands of people enslaving as many as six billion, buy green tea online act not in conspiracy but in tacit collusion fostered by the similarity of their backgrounds, buy green tea online calibrated at key forums and through key organizations in support of a global agenda of domination, buy green tea online economic plunder, buy green tea online and environmental devastation. Ultimately, buy green tea online however, buy green tea online the appeal of conspiranoia is that of narrative itself: it's ability to explain, buy green tea online predict, buy green tea online motivate, buy green tea online and entertain. Buy green tea online Although conspiranoia offers the aficionado an integrated worldview, buy green tea online a weltanschauung, buy green tea online it also provides more than that. Buy green tea online When confronted with the potential evidence of conspiracy, buy green tea online one must ask, buy green tea online as in criminal trials: "Is there motive, buy green tea online means, buy green tea online and opportunity?" All too often there is, buy green tea online especially at the intersection of politics, buy green tea online law, buy green tea online high finance, buy green tea online intelligence, buy green tea online diplomacy, buy green tea online covert military operations, buy green tea online narco-trafficking, buy green tea online organized crime, buy green tea online and the media simulacrasphere. To read more of the article go to: http://stonefruit.blogspot.com/