Forwarded from Anthony (conspiracies)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Feb 15 07:40:55 MST 2002


Regarding conspiracies, and conspiracy theories

I think it would be a good idea for us to make a sharp distinction
between what are called 'conspiracy theories', and our examination of
events which may or may not reveal the activities of one or several
conspiracies.

Conspiracies come into being whenever a group of people secretly work
together to achieve some common goal, against the interests of other
people outside of their group.

Bank robbers are frequently conpiracists. Enron's top management was
certainly a conspiratorial group. The Catholic clergy is another.

The world is full of conspiracies, political, business, religious,
etc. Some of them are very large, wealthy, powerful and traditional.
Some of them are government agencies like the CIA.

Exposing conspiracies is usually a good idea, because it can show the
deceitful, dishonest, illegal, avaricious, bloodthirsty activities of
sections of the ruling class who pretend to be something else.

This is however, something different than what 'conspiracy theorists'
do. This genre consists of looking for one overarching conspiracy
guiding world events. It could be the Masons, it could be the CIA, it
could be the KGB, it could be flying saucers. It doesn't really
matter. The conviction that some such overarching conspiracy exists
becomes the organizing tool for all information - if its just gossip,
but fits the theory, that's fine. If the information is
contradictory, just throw out the part that doesn't match the theory.

With this kind of method, you can prove anything - to someone who is
already convinced of what you set out to prove. Most of the rest of
the world will simply dismiss you as a candidate for electro-shock
therapy.

And this is too bad, not because the conspiracy nuts are dismissed,
but because whenever they expose some really nasty real world
conspiracy, it gets dismissed along with them.

In the real world, the different conspiracies are often in conflict -
like Enron's management and the suckers who bet on them - some of
which were big time conspiracies in their own right, e.g. JPMorgan.
The CIA and the KGB were in conflict, but both were (and are) very
conspiratorial organizations.

The conflicts amongst conspiracies in general reflect the conflicts
between classes, nations, and groups within classes and nations. The
CIA, for example, is an expression of the conflict between US
imperialism (of which it is an important arm) and the rest of the
world. Enron on the other hand, was simply an expression of a
conflict among different groups of capitalist bandits.

Exposing the real-world conspiracies helps us understand the
intricacies of the capitalist system, and the class struggle. But
attributing powers, abilities and interconnections to them that they
don't have, blinds us to those very same intricacies.

All the best,

Anthony

--
Louis Proyect, lnp3 at panix.com on 02/15/2002

Marxism list: http://www.marxmail.org



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