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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, cheap male sexual tonic online confidante of Obama, cheap male sexual tonic online Harvard Law professor, cheap male sexual tonic online current head of the federal Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, cheap male sexual tonic online potential Supreme Court nominee - and the latest crusader against those dastardly conspiracy theories Recently, cheap male sexual tonic online there was quite a hullabaloo in the blogosphere over a reprehensible academic paper Sunstein co-wrote in 2008 (available for download here), cheap male sexual tonic online which argued for a Cointellpro-type program of government infiltration of conspiracy theorists, cheap male sexual tonic online online and in person. Cheap male sexual tonic online Given the incredible scope and flexibility of the powers of his office, cheap male sexual tonic online as enunciated in this September 30, cheap male sexual tonic online 1993 executive order signed by Clinton, cheap male sexual tonic online his proposal should certainly give us pause. His paper, cheap male sexual tonic online "Conspiracy Theories, cheap male sexual tonic online" was originally scooped by Marc Estrin at Rag Blog, cheap male sexual tonic 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. Cheap male sexual tonic online Although Greenwald's piece was the most extensive, cheap male sexual tonic online none of the reports really examined the paper in great detail. I took the time to read the whole thing. Cheap male sexual tonic 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. Cheap male sexual tonic online If I have the stomach for it, cheap male sexual tonic online I may offer a more detailed analysis of Sunstein's paper in a future post, cheap male sexual tonic 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. Cheap male sexual tonic online None of the coverage of Sunstein's journal article offered this broader view. Cheap male sexual tonic online I would like to do so, cheap male sexual tonic online by posting a revised version of something I posted here a few years back which, cheap male sexual tonic online unfortunately, cheap male sexual tonic online remains as timely as ever. Contemporary America is of two minds regarding conspiracy theory - or "conspiranoia" as I like to call it, cheap male sexual tonic online a term combining conspiracy and paranoia which I got from a book by Devon Jackson of the same name. On one hand, cheap male sexual tonic online it has become the default popular view, cheap male sexual tonic online one of commodified skepticism towards history and government. Cheap male sexual tonic online It's a sentiment that has proliferated extensively since the 1960s, cheap male sexual tonic online Watergate, cheap male sexual tonic online and the Church Committee. 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Cheap male sexual tonic online This makes for an incredibly effective means of establishing ruling class hegemony by controlling dissent, cheap male sexual tonic online foreclosing alternatives, cheap male sexual tonic online engineering support, cheap male sexual tonic 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, cheap male sexual tonic 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, cheap male sexual tonic online to say nothing of the idea that the ruling class might occasionally use conspiratorial methods. Cheap male sexual tonic online Rather than conspiracy theory, cheap male sexual tonic online most media and intellectual gatekeepers prefer to view elite behavior through the lens of "somnambulist theory, cheap male sexual tonic online" "coincidence theory", cheap male sexual tonic online "incompetence theory", cheap male sexual tonic online or "spontaneity theory". Cheap male sexual tonic online No amount of intellectual gymnastics is spared to avoid arriving at the conclusion that the rich and powerful, cheap male sexual tonic online like the rest of us, cheap male sexual tonic online might possibly act in support of their own perceived best interests. Cheap male sexual tonic online This is, cheap male sexual tonic online of course, cheap male sexual tonic 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. Cheap male sexual tonic online Even though the rich and powerful have repeatedly used conspiracy to get richer and more powerful, cheap male sexual tonic online to mention this sociological fact immediately draws the most vicious criticism, cheap male sexual tonic online including charges of conspiracy mongering, cheap male sexual tonic online and many variations on superstition, cheap male sexual tonic online cynicism, cheap male sexual tonic online paranoia, cheap male sexual tonic online hysteria, cheap male sexual tonic online and primitivism. Conspiranoia can and should be a tool of empirical explanation. Cheap male sexual tonic online It is possible to point fingers and name names. Cheap male sexual tonic online The powers that be, cheap male sexual tonic online perhaps as few as thousands of people enslaving as many as six billion, cheap male sexual tonic online act not in conspiracy but in tacit collusion fostered by the similarity of their backgrounds, cheap male sexual tonic online calibrated at key forums and through key organizations in support of a global agenda of domination, cheap male sexual tonic online economic plunder, cheap male sexual tonic online and environmental devastation. Ultimately, cheap male sexual tonic online however, cheap male sexual tonic online the appeal of conspiranoia is that of narrative itself: it's ability to explain, cheap male sexual tonic online predict, cheap male sexual tonic online motivate, cheap male sexual tonic online and entertain. Cheap male sexual tonic online Although conspiranoia offers the aficionado an integrated worldview, cheap male sexual tonic online a weltanschauung, cheap male sexual tonic online it also provides more than that. Cheap male sexual tonic online When confronted with the potential evidence of conspiracy, cheap male sexual tonic online one must ask, cheap male sexual tonic online as in criminal trials: "Is there motive, cheap male sexual tonic online means, cheap male sexual tonic online and opportunity?" All too often there is, cheap male sexual tonic online especially at the intersection of politics, cheap male sexual tonic online law, cheap male sexual tonic online high finance, cheap male sexual tonic online intelligence, cheap male sexual tonic online diplomacy, cheap male sexual tonic online covert military operations, cheap male sexual tonic online narco-trafficking, cheap male sexual tonic online organized crime, cheap male sexual tonic online and the media simulacrasphere. 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