On the Viability of Conspiratorial Beliefs

Historical insights & thoughts about the world we live in - and the social conditioning exerted upon us by past and current propaganda.

Re: On the Viability of Conspiratorial Beliefs

Unread postby ICfreely on Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:18 am

Conspiracy Theories from the Elders of Zion to Epstein’s Youngsters
Gilad Atzmon • August 17, 2019

‘Conspiracy theory’ is how the mainstream media characterizes any narrative that differs from their reporting of the official line. What is a conspiracy theory? Can it be defined in categorical terms? Can a conspiracy theory be validated forensically or refuted by similar means? What criteria can be used to differentiate between a conspiracy theory and theoretical musings?

The labelling of a theory as ‘conspiratorial’ is an attempt to discredit its author/authors and deny its validity. A ‘conspiracy theory’ usually involves an explanatory thesis that points to a malevolent plot often involving a secretive interested party. The term ‘conspiracy theory’ has a pejorative connotation: its use suggests that the theory appeals to prejudice and/or involves a farfetched, unsubstantiated narrative built on insufficient evidence.

Those who oppose conspiracy theories argue that such theories resist falsification and are reinforced by circular reasoning, that such theories are primarily based on beliefs, as opposed to academic or scientific reasoning.

But this critique is also not exactly based on valid scholarly principles. It isn’t just ‘conspiracy theories’ that resist falsification or are reinforced by circular reasoning. The philosopher Karl Popper, who defined the principle of falsifiability, would categorically maintain that Freudian psychoanalysis and Marxism fail for the same reasons. The Oedipal complex, for instance, has never been scientifically proven and can’t be scientifically falsified or validated. Marxism also resists falsification. Despite Marx’s ‘scientific’ predictions, the proletarian revolution never occurred. I have personally never come across anyone who refers to Marx or Freud as ‘conspiracy theorists.’ ‘Resisting falsification’ and “reinforced by circular reasoning,” are traits of non-scientific theories and do not apply only to ‘conspiracy theories.’



Here’s Karl Popper in his own words.

The Conspiracy Theory of Society - Karl R. Popper


I think that the people who approach the social sciences with a ready-made conspiracy theory thereby deny themselves the possibility of ever understanding what the task of the social sciences is, for they assume that we can explain practically everything in society by asking who wanted it, whereas the real task of the social sciences2 is to explain those things which nobody wants—such as, for example, a war, or a depression. (Lenin’s revolution, and especially Hitler’s revolution and Hitler’s war are, I think, exceptions. These were indeed conspiracies. But they were consequences of the fact that conspiracy theoreticians came into power—who, most significantly, failed to consummate their conspiracies.)


2 In the discussion which followed the lecture, I was criticized for rejecting the conspiracy theory, and it was asserted that Karl Marx had revealed the tremendous importance of the capitalist conspiracy for the understanding of society. In my reply I said that I should have mentioned my indebtedness to Marx, who was one of the first critics of the conspiracy theory, and one of the first to analyse the unintended consequences of the voluntary actions of people acting in certain social situations.

https://cluesforum.info/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=1859#p2412074



According to Karl Popper:

1) People don’t conspire to foment wars and depressions.

2) Except for Lenin’s revolution, Hitler’s revolution and war which were indeed conspiracies because the conspiracy theoreticians came into power and purportedly failed to consummate their conspiracies.

So a group of wealthy people didn’t conspire to establish the Federal Reserve (1913)?


The Meeting at Jekyll Island
November 20, 1910–November 30, 1910
A secret gathering at a secluded island off the coast of Georgia in 1910 laid the foundations for the Federal Reserve System.
https://www.federalreservehistory.org/essays/jekyll_island_conference


And the same cast of characters didn’t bankroll the Russian Revolution (1917)?


'Many of these Jews in New York knew Trotsky, he was very popular'

Trotsky’s day out: How a visit to NYC influenced the Bolshevik revolution
Author Kenneth Ackerman explores the life of the Jewish radical in the weeks leading up to the overthrow of the Russian Provisional Government
By JP O’ Malley 19 September 2016

https://www.timesofisrael.com/trotskys-day-out-how-a-visit-to-nyc-influenced-the-bolshevik-revolution/



And they had no intentions of causing the Great Depression (1929)?


Federal Reserve: The Real Cause Of 1930s Great Depression
by Marvin Dumont

History books falsely teach students that Great Depression of the 1930s was caused by the stock market crash of 1929, as well as, failure of businesses. It’s a dangerous myth that doesn’t blame the real culprit: The Federal Reserve.


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So according to Karl’s (Marx & Popper), such phenomena shouldn’t be attributed to “conspiracy theory” but “unintended consequences”. I don’t get it.


[Atzmon]

The Oxford English Dictionary defines conspiracy theory as “the theory that an event or phenomenon occurs as a result of a conspiracy between interested parties; spec. a belief that some covert but influential agency (typically political in motivation and oppressive in intent) is responsible for an unexplained event”.

The Oxford dictionary does not set forth the criteria that define a conspiracy theory in categorical terms. The history of mankind is saturated with references to hidden plots led by influential parties.



Fair enough. Leaving “theory” aside, the Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries defines “conspiracy” as “a secret plan by a group of people to do something harmful or illegal”.
https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/us/definition/english/conspiracy


Seeing as governments the world over charge, try and convict ordinary people every day for conspiracies to commit crimes, is it within the realm of possibility that groups of affluent people are capable of conspiring to do harmful things as well?


[Atzmon]

The problem with refuting conspiracy theories is that they are often more elegant and explanatory than the official competing narratives. Such theories have a tendency to ascribe blame to hegemonic powers. In the past, conspiracy theories were popular mostly amongst fringe circles, they are now becoming commonplace in mass media. Alternative narratives are widely disseminated through social media. In some cases, they have been disseminated by official news outlets and even by the current American president. It is possible that the rapid rise in popularity of alternative explanatory theories is an indication of a growing mistrust of the current ruling class, its ideals, its interests and its demography.

The response to the story of Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide is illustrative. The official narrative provoked a reaction that was a mixture of disbelief expressed in satire and inspired a plethora of theories that attempted to explain the saga that had escalated into the biggest sex scandal in the history of America and beyond.

The obvious question is what has led to the increase in popularity of so called ‘conspiracy theories’? I would push it further and ask, why is a society that claims to be ‘free’ is threatened by the rise of alternative explanatory narratives?

In truth, the question is itself misleading. No one is really afraid of ‘conspiracy theories’ per se. You will not be arrested or lose your job for being a ‘climate change denier.’ You may speculate on and even deny the moon landing as much as you like. You are free to speculate about Kennedy’s assassination as long as you don’t mention the Mossad. You can even survive being a 911 truther and espouse as many alternative narratives as you like, however, the suggestion that ‘Israel did 911’ will get you into serious trouble. Examining ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ as a fictional, however prophetic, piece of literature can lead to imprisonment in some countries. Digging into the true origin of Bolshevism and the demographics of the Soviet revolution is practically a suicidal act. Telling the truth about Hitler’s agreement with the Zionist agency will definitely result in your expulsion from the British Labour party and you will be accused of being at the least, theoretically conspiratorial .
I suspect that one is allowed to deviate from the official narrative and speculate on hidden plots on any given topic except probably the Jewish related ones.

This is where things become complicated because there are no Jewish conspiracies, all is done in the open. Israel, Zionism, Jewish institutions and individuals operate in the public eye and don’t conceal their actions. AIPAC doesn’t attempt to hide its agenda nor do America’s elected politicians make an effort to cover their shameless capitulation at AIPAC conferences. Labour Friends of Israel is acting against the Labour party and its democratically elected leader is mainstream news. The Israeli jets that attacked the USS Liberty on 8 June 1967 were decorated with Jewish symbols. Jeffery Epstein didn’t disguise his ‘Pedophile Island’. He operated in the open. I am afraid that there is not much evidence of Jewish conspiracies. But there is plenty of evidence of institutional suppression of any attempt to discuss any of this. AIPAC’s agenda is openly avowed, criticising its agenda is strictly forbidden. The same applies to other Israel Lobby activity, Israeli war crimes and even crimes committed by Jewish individuals. Jewish power, as I define it, is the power to suppress discussion of Jewish power.

For obvious reasons Jews are alarmed by theories that focus on their politics, culture, religion, folklore etc. It seems that Jewish bodies have been sufficiently forceful to silence most attempts to criticise Jewish and Israeli politics. That leads to the question of why Jews, Zionism, Judaism and Jewishness are so often the subject of conspiratorial theories. Is it that anti Semitic prejudice again or is there perhaps something about Jewish ideology, culture and politics that invites such theories? It is worth consulting Jesse Walker’s The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory. According to Walker there are five kinds of conspiracy theories:

• The “Enemy Outside” refers to theories based on figures alleged to be scheming against a community from without.
• The “Enemy Within” finds conspirators lurking inside the nation, indistinguishable from ordinary citizens.
• The “Enemy Above” involves powerful people manipulating events for their own gain.
• The “Enemy Below” features the lower classes working to overturn the social order.
• The “Benevolent Conspiracies” are angelic forces that work behind the scenes to improve the world and help people.

It is fairly easy to figure out that each of Walker’s conspiracy types describes an openly manifested aspect of Jewish politics, culture or religion.
The ‘Enemy Outside’ could be a legitimate American patriotic/nationalist reaction to foreign domination of American foreign policy. This kind of argument is supported by well-researched academic studies such as that of Mearshehimer and Walt as well as that of James Petras who studied the Israel Lobby and its impact. Such hostile foreign domination has been explored by various media outlets including Al Jazeera’s exposé of the Israel Lobby in both Britain and the USA. The current American administration and its biased policy in favour of Israeli positions gives credence to those who see Israel as the ‘enemy outside.’ Yet, none of the above has ‘conspired’ behind the scenes. All is done in the open. You just can’t discuss it in the open.

The ‘Enemy Within’ could easily point at the intensive work of Israel advocates, Jewish Lobbies (AIPAC, J Street, etc.) and Israeli stooges within American politics and other Western countries (Britain, France etc). Similarly, those who uphold deep Christian values may identify Jewish progressive elements as the enemy of their conservative life style. The same applies to anti immigration advocates who see Jewish pro immigration supporters as their enemies from within. The prominent role of Kushner and his proximity to the president doesn’t help gainsay doubts about the so called ‘enemy within.’ But the Jewish Lobby in America is loud and provocative and Jewish progressive and pro immigration supporters are at least as loud. Kushner doesn’t hide his affiliation with Chabbad or his Zionist sympathies. There is no hidden plot, yet, you can’t discuss this openly.

The ‘Enemy Above’ is an apt description of Epstein’s close orbit and its high connectivity within the world’s ruling classes. And, as we know, Epstein didn’t bother to conceal his operation. Calling his Boeing 727 the Lolita Express was little short of titling his private fleet ‘Pedo Air’ or ‘United PedoLines.’ Bernie Madoff falls within the same rubric. The man who was at one point NASDAQ’s Chairman, didn’t work that hard to disguise his Ponzi scheme, in fact Madoff admitted that he was surprised by law enforcement’s failure to uncover his crimes. Some might regard George Soros as a prototype of the ‘enemy above.’ Soros is a Jewish billionaire who uses his wealth to fund identiterian causes and social changes that are not exactly welcomed by the conservative/nationalist crowd. Again, Soros doesn’t hide a thing. He does his funding through his Open Society Institute. Yet, for some reason, criticism of Soros’ agenda is frequently denounced as perpetuating ‘conspiracy theories’.

The ‘Enemy Below’ can be illustrated by Jewish involvement with revolutionary movements, human rights campaigns, the gender revolution, the feminist movement, LGBTQA advocacy and so on. Again none of this occurs behind a curtain. Jews often boast of their prominent role in these liberal and humanitarian causes. But criticism of these movements, and especially their supporters, is pretty much forbidden.

Benevolent Conspiracies’ are demonstrated by Tikun Olam‘s philosophy: the idea that it is down to the Jews to ‘fix the world and reinstate its ethics.’ Those who refuse to ‘be fixed’ may well see Jewish elements at the core of a progressive cause and may see a malevolent dark force in such altruism.



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[Atzmon]

Most ethnic or interest groups fit into only one or two of the types described by Walker’s Conspiracy Theory Model, Jewish politics fit with them all. In the eyes of ardent bigoted European nationalists such as Tommy Robinson, Muslims immigrants represent an ‘Enemy Outside.’ Racists who hate Black people may see those with dark skin as the ‘Enemy Within.’ Those who disapprove of Gays and their culture may find them to be the ‘enemy below.’ Still it is bizarre how easily Walker’s entire five conspiracy theory types can be found among Jewish politics, individuals, institutions, activist networks and campaigns.

How is it possible that one relatively small ethnic group manages to embody all the types of ‘conspiracy theories?’ In my recent book Being in Time, I argue that Jews tend to dominate the discourses that are relevant to their existence and interests. I refer to it as Jewish survival instinct. Jewish activists and intellectuals also tend to dominate the dissent to problematic symptoms associated with their group identity: Jews are often, for instance, associated with capitalism, banking and wealth in general, and Jews are also equated with Marxist and socialist opposition to capitalism, banking and wealth. Obviously, many Jews are associated with the Jewish State and the Zionist project but it is no secret that Leftist Jews also dominate the anti Zionist discourse and politics. Jews, at least in the eyes of some, are leading pro immigration advocates. But some of the most vocal anti immigration and anti Muslim campaigners are also Jewish. In Being in Time I argue that the fact that Jews dominate both polls of pretty much every topic relevant to their existence isn’t necessarily ‘conspiratorial.’ It is only natural for ethical and humanist Jews to oppose Zionism, or Wall Street. It is also natural based on their history, for Jews as a group to simultaneously oppose and support immigration. Natural as it may be, the presence of Jews in key ideological, political, cultural and financial positions is undeniable. It is more than likely that their domination on both sides of so many crucial political debates invites conspiratorial thoughts.

Jewish economist Murray Rothbard contrasts “deep” conspiracy theories with “shallow” ones. According to Rothbard, a shallow theorist observes an event and asks, who benefits? He or she then jumps to the conclusion that the posited beneficiary is responsible for covertly influencing events. Under this theory, Israel benefiting from the events of 9/11 made it into a prime suspect. This is often a completely legitimate strategy and is exactly how detective and investigative researchers operate. In order to identify the culprit, they may well ask who would benefit from the crime. Of course this is only a first step towards substantiation.
According to Rothbard the “deep” conspiracy theorist begins with a hunch and then seeks out evidence. Rothbard describes deep conspiracy theory as the result of confirming whether certain facts actual fit one’s initial ‘paranoia.’ This explanation pretty much describes a lot of how science works. Any given scientific theory defines the realm of facts that may support or refute its validity. Science is a deductive reasoning process, so that in science, it is the theory that defines the relevance of the evidence. Would Rothbard describe Newtonian physics as ‘deeply conspiratorial’? I doubt it. My guess is that, bearing Rothbard in mind, attributing a ‘conspiratorial nature’ to a theory is an attempt the deny the relevance of the evidence it brings to light. If for instance, the theory that Epstein was a Mossad agent is ‘conspiratorial,’ then the facts that he was a business partner of Ehud Barak and involved in a company that uses Israeli military intelligence tactics become irrelevant. The same applies to former Federal Prosecutor Alex Acosta’s admission that Epstein belonged to intelligence and that was why he was the beneficiary of a laughable plea deal. If, for example, the theory that it was the Jews who led the 1917 Bolshevik revolution is ‘conspiratorial,’ then the facts regarding the demography that led the revolution and its criminal nature are of no consequence. The labelling of a theory as conspiratorial is an attempt to erase uncomfortable evidence by reprioritising the relevance of certain facts.

It seems that Rothbard and others have failed to produce categorical criteria to identify or define Conspiracy Theories. We may have to accept that as of now, there is no categorical standard to define a conspiracy theory. We may have to learn to live with the fact that some theories are superior; simpler and more elegant than others. We will have to accept that some of these theories make a few people pretty uncomfortable and they will explore every avenue to discredit such theories and their authors. Attributing a conspiratorial nature to an explanatory theory is just one of these methods.

(Republished from Gilad Atzmon by permission of author or representative)

https://www.unz.com/gatzmon/conspiracy-theories-from-the-elders-of-zion-to-epsteins-youngsters/



With all due respect to Mr. Atzmon, I think we can do better. The term “conspiracy theory” is definitely loaded and in my opinion “unintended consequences” (aka “accidental theory”) is a semantic cop-out. Perhaps using terms like “intended consequences” and “converging interests” would be more helpful?


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Re: On the Viability of Conspiratorial Beliefs

Unread postby ICfreely on Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:55 am

For obvious reasons Jews are alarmed by theories that focus on their politics, culture, religion, folklore etc. It seems that Jewish bodies have been sufficiently forceful to silence most attempts to criticise Jewish and Israeli politics. That leads to the question of why Jews, Zionism, Judaism and Jewishness are so often the subject of conspiratorial theories. Is it that anti Semitic prejudice again or is there perhaps something about Jewish ideology, culture and politics that invites such theories?
- Gilad Atzmon


Walt Whitman, Mass Media and Jewish Power
By Linh Dinh on March 25, 2019

“I hear from the Mussulman mosque the muezzin calling, / I see the worshippers within, nor form nor sermon, argument nor word, / But silent, strange, devout, rais’d, glowing heads, ecstatic faces.”

Writing as if he had been there, done that, Whitman did not try to deceive, but seduce us into wanting to embrace more, everything in fact, except that, as has amply been born out, what we usually get are just photos, endless photos.

Sensing this coming trap, Whitman did warn, “Poet! beware lest your poems are made in the spirit that comes from the study of pictures of things and not from the spirit that comes from the contact with real things themselves.”

It seems too late, for we’re now not just relentlessly fed, but addicted to everything that’s unreal, fake or indirect, so that we can avoid undressed, pungent or complicated reality. If there’s anything authentic left in this world of come ons, sound bites, staged elections, false flags, elaborate hoaxes, trumped up issues, buried crises, cardboard mavens, disappeared voices, pretend dissidents, silicone boobs, virtual sex, posers and cross dressers, I had a hard time finding it, and that’s why I’m glad to be in this global backwater, where folks are much less mesmerized by Hollywood, New York and Washington.

So who are the main architects of our false reality? Focusing just on Israel’s crimes against Muslims, Ilhan Omar charged that “Israel has hypnotized the world,” but the lady has been forced to backtrack and apologize, while citing her susceptibility to an “anti-semitic trope,” as if it’s a contagious disease. If you have any negative assessment of Jews, you’ve come down with an evil trope, and must seek help immediately, but if you’re seething with genocidal thoughts against whites or non-swishy men, you’re finally woke! We haven’t had such a straight talking politician since Cynthia McKinney, but Omar will be similarly disappeared if she doesn’t Jew up.

Luckily, we have Kevin Barrett to elaborate on Omar’s, uh, trope, “it is obvious that Jewish elites have played an outsize role in the discovery and manipulation the unconscious mind. Sigmund Freud’s discovery of the unconscious was weaponized by his nephew Edward Bernays and transformed into what is euphemistically known as ‘public relations,’ many aspects of which involve the direct manipulation of the unconscious in a process reminiscent of mass hypnosis.” The first victims of this brainwashing, Barrett reminds us, are low level Jews.

Also at Unz Review this month, we have Ron Unz writing about the Jewish role behind internet censorship. Exposing this, Unz also points out that the Anti-Defamation League “was founded with the central mission of ensuring that no wealthy and powerful Jew ever suffered punishment for the rape and murder of a young Christian girl, nor for trying to orchestrate the lynching of innocent black men in order to cover his own guilt.” Ron must be one of those self-hating Jews I’ve heard so much about, or maybe he’s just intellectually honest.

Counting Seneca, Aquinas, Chaucer, Luther, Marlowe, Bacon, Shakespeare, Voltaire, Diderot, Hawthorne, Kant, Schopenhauer, Heidegger, Dostoevsky, Eliot, Pound, Celine and Solzhenitsyn, many of the best minds in Western civilization have been afflicted with this unfortunate trope, so one must conclude that Western civilization is gravely diseased, and the Holocaust had to happen, except that it didn’t happen, as told, but let’s not fuss with six million or so minor details. If such a dream team can be caught anti-Semitic, then imagine what often spill from the slurring mouths of barflies. As Jewish Susan Sontag so succinctly sums up, “The white race is the cancer of human history,” so the solution is to neuter, dilute and, if all goes well, disappear whiteness completely, except in brothels and go-go bars. Hypnotized, many whites are cheering on this final answer.

http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/?p=185713

[I like Linh Dinh’s work - his perspective & prose. Wish I were half as good as him in expressing my thoughts.]


When I hear Americans say something to the effect of “We should just pull out of the Middle East. What’s the point? We’re never gonna civilize those people…” I shrug and think to myself “If you only knew…”

1) Those “backward” eye-rain-ians aren’t nearly as backward as Americans may think.

2) How could a 300 year old nation (America) hope to civilize a 3,000+ year old nation (Iran)? It doesn’t work that way.

3) America is Iran version 2.0 for Heaven’s sake.

The values articulated by Cyrus influenced Europe and the United States, conveyed there by Classical Greek writers Herodotus and Xenophon, admirers of Cyrus’ leadership. Xenophon’s Cyropaedia, a partly fictional account of the ruler’s life, was read by the Founders of the United States, including Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. Jefferson is thought to have possessed two copies, one of which is on display in the current exhibit at the Sackler Gallery. “Only the United States takes up the Persian model,” MacGregor said. “Jefferson constructs a state … which supports the idea of faith but doesn’t endorse any particular one.”

The Cyrus Cylinder is, MacGregor said, as relevant today as when it was created; it is “a document about regime change, and is a meditation on how you govern a society.”

https://cluesforum.info/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=1528&start=120#p2412286


4) If Americans weren’t so blinded by “American Exceptionalism”, then maybe they’d be more open to studying Iranian history to learn from its mistakes if nothing else. The same goes for American Jews. Iranian history is your history!

5) If they did, then they’d realize how nonsensical and self-defeating the “Why do they hate us?” question truly is

The average American is conditioned to think, “They hate us for our freedom.” And the average Jew is conditioned to think, “They hate us because they’re jealous.”

I don’t mean portray Iran as some kind of superior civilization. Rest assured, it’s not. It never has been. That said, both Americans and Jews could learn a thing or two from Iranians vis-à-vis race and ethnic relations.

What organized Jewry has done to Iran (especially over the last 50 years) is unconscionable. What it plans/hopes to do to Iran (Balkanization) is impossible! If organized Jewry truly had the best interest of all Jews at heart it wouldn’t be doing what it’s doing. So foolish & shortsighted.

America may have taken up the Persian model but on its current trajectory, is going the way of ancient Assyria…

By now, those corrupt civilizations have collapsed and disappeared, their customs and traditions, languages and writings, have become obsolete, even their names have been wiped off of the leaves of history. Today, they might be of interest merely to historical and cultural research, remembered for their surviving artifacts, for their few worn and torn ancient scrolls, for their chipped engravings and mended tablets, for their collectible antiques exhibited inside showcases at the museums around the world.
-Yousef Setareh-Shenas

https://cluesforum.info/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=2032&start=45#p2412667


It doesn’t have to be this way.

When I hear “expert” Iranologists pontificating about Iran I can’t help but laugh. All the book learning in the world doesn’t hold a candle to experiential knowledge. It’s analogous to an adult who’s read every book ever written on bicycles but has never ridden a bike compared to a child who can’t even read but knows how to ride a bike. You have to live it to know it. And if you haven't, then the next best thing is to take into consideration the opinions of others who have, instead of letting the media and academia form your opinions for you.

Always better to learn from other's mistakes.
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Re: On the Viability of Conspiratorial Beliefs

Unread postby pov603 on Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:42 pm

Well put, ICfreely.
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