When I want to be entertained, I often read about conspiracy theories. I believe it is useful to know the personal and business connections of the power elite. I also think it's fun to find out about unusual coincidences.
Such as that one boat of the Bay of Pigs invasion fleet was named Barbara - the name of the wife of George H. W. Bush. Another of the fleet was the Houston - Bush's adopted hometown. The CIA name of the invasion was Operation Zapata, and Zapata Offshore happened to be Bush's employer at the time. Of course, all of these alleged facts may be untrue. But it's fun to believe that they are, even though the invasion was in 1961 and the CIA doesn't appear on Bush's resume until he becomes its chief in 1975.
What woke me up to the possibility of grand conspiracies was not 9/11 itself. It didn't cross my mind that day, or even days or months later, that something fishy was going on. But over time doubts began to rise:
- President George W. Bush simply could not have had the political capital to invade Iraq without 9/11.
- By any rational standard, invading Iraq was not in the security, diplomatic, or economic interests of the United States.
- Bush asked for and received unprecedented surveillance powers over American citizens in order to "prevent terrorism," yet deliberately left the borders open for any number of thousands of terrorists to sneak in, if they so desired -- suggesting he didn't really view terrorism on American soil as a serious threat at all.
- Bush, then, may be either delusional or was advancing the interests of some other agent or agenda.
- And this "other agent" may have been behind the scenes of 9/11.
I'm not saying I believe this is true, nor am I asking you to believe it. But let's look in general at the differences between "rational, mainstream skeptics" of conspiracy theory and "conspiracy theorists."
Skeptics believe that foreign governments, terrorists, organized criminals, Catholic bishops, and greedy corporate officers are all capable of pulling off the most elaborate conspiracies. Indeed, anyone may be a conspirator -- except members of secret societies who take secret oaths, and government officials in possession of "classified" national security secrets. The former are innocent members of benign social clubs, the latter are earnest patriots. At most, in the skeptics' eyes, any attempted government conspiracy will result in a failed cover-up and political scandal.
Whereas, conspiracy theorists could point to the very fact of "national security" secrets and secret police as self-evident proof of conspiracy. Where there are secrets, there are no checks and balances of power; those with the secrets have the power. I've quoted this previously, but Paul Craig Roberts has said that the only reason for an Administration to spy on Americans without court-approved search warrants is because it has "no legitimate reasons for its spying. This should be obvious even to a naif." It gives the President "power [of blackmail] over the media and opposition."
But the greatest conspiracy of all has been an open one. It's the war on freedom and prosperity. And you may be in on it.
I received an email forward the other day, alleging there were hundreds of billions of barrels of oil underground in the western portions of the Dakotas, and over a trillion more beneath the Rocky Mountains. I didn't research the validity of this; but I will use it as a thought experiment.
Let's say it's true. And angels give you a crystal ball of a future where the American people were allowed access to this oil. Energy prices fall everywhere, and this makes the transition to clean, limitless solar power affordable as a result of the free-market process.
With limitless energy at near-zero cost, financial resources are diverted from energy to develop sustainable agriculture, desalinate ocean water to provide clean and limitless drinking water, and develop cures for more and more diseases. Soon, all the basic material needs of everyone are available with hardly anyone needing to work much at all. Poverty disappears. Money itself practically disappears, because almost every need is virtually free and anything that is loved or admired needs no comparable price scale. Laws against victimless crimes disappear because economic interests are no longer scheming for advantage. A world without scarcity in resources is a world that doesn't need money, and is a world without politics.
And in your crystal ball, you see this all happens rapidly, in just a couple of years, before the bulk of the human race has had the time to be "educated" or to "evolve" to reach "their potential" and "be responsible" in this utopia.
As a result, large segments of the population don't know what to do with themselves. Without the drive for economic security, they haven't envisioned for themselves what they would want to do if money wasn't an issue. Males, no longer needing to provide for families at all, feel even more worthless than they do now; ultra-violent sports become the norm. More people seek cheap thrills in the void of a meaningless life. Addiction rates and suicide levels shatter previous records. While more people are healthy and wealthy, what you see in the crystal ball is a lot of spiritually dead people leading meaningless lives.
So after looking into this crystal ball, the angels present you a choice. Whether or not this oil resource is developed is up to you. All you do is say yes, the resource will be opened to the people, followed by all the other breakthroughs. If you don't like the results of all of this prosperity and freedom, however, you can say no and the angels will arrange for the news of this resource to be censored and its development to be suppressed. History will proceed as if it never existed; perhaps the angels could even arrange that it no longer exists at all.
If you find the latter option of censorship and suppression even remotely tempting, I think you just might have what it takes to be someone who could engage in secret manipulations - a conspiracy - to defeat what you believe to be evil. And clearly, what you find "evil" is freedom and prosperity.
Well, you're not alone. Even if "conspiracies" don't exist, humankind has waged, for much of its history, a war on freedom and prosperity because, just like you, people of the past could not tolerate how other people lived their lives.
But it is the fact that large numbers of people are willing to suppress the freedom of others with their votes, that I believe it is possible for a small portion of them to use ruthless means behind the scenes to achieve the same result.
As long as some people will seek to dominate others for their own economic or moral satisfaction, conspiracies will be alive and thrive.