We live in a world where people can be broadly classified into two groups, factualists and the conspiracy theorists. Each of these groups and their mode of thinking have both their merits and demerits that share a reciprocal relationship i.e. Often the merits of one represent the demerits of the other. At present, the factualist’s population heavily outweighs its counterpart.
Let us examine the factualists first. These are people who believe simply in what is apparent. They generally do not believe in theories of mass manipulation. They are more or less content with lives and sometimes conscientiously switch off to truth that is sophisticated or keep a blind eye to reality that is devious. They like to live in a utopian world, where everything that is clear and pristine is kept and things that are not are forgotten. They have a tendency to resist out of the box thinking or take a radical approach when formulating solutions. Their best traits are greater degree of acceptance of simple and honest truth and they generally have a positive outlook on life.
The Conspiracy Theorist
Now let us look at conspiracy theorists. This crop is analytical and sometimes over analytical. They look beyond the apparent, have a tendency to connect the dots and read between the lines. They take the obvious with a pinch of salt and their thinking carries the baggage and sometimes the excess baggage of historic events. They can attach the stigma of an event for longer than required and sometimes it is hard for them to digest blindingly obvious, simple honest truth because of a suspicious mindset. The outlook on life can be negative and many conspiracy theorists feel themselves powerless to change anything and thus they can have a defeatist attitude.
So who is right and who is wrong?
To answer this, let’s examine the present reality. It is well known that most powerful countries have secret agencies. It is also well known that these agencies are involved in covert operations. Even now as you are reading this; agencies are at work in Libya, Syria and even in Ukraine. These are just some of the countries where unrest is being televised in the news. There are probably dozens more where the agencies are involved in clandestine operations that will go unreported. This brings us to our first conjecture, conspiracies are real, and conspiracies are true.
Secondly, when 80% of world’s media is divided in only 4 media conglomerates1 than one is right to suspect whatever is being presented in the news may not be the pluralistic view. There is every reason to conclude that the worldview of reality can be skewed. Conspiracy theorists are vindicated here too for their scepticism on mainstream media.
Furthermore, when any system or group of systems grow beyond a certain size, then normal economic, political or social forces don’t apply on it. The right term for this overgrowth is oligopoly which naturally leads to hegemony. On numerous occasions, it was heard during the 2008 banking crisis that certain institutes were too big to fail. In the end, it proved to be true as the government had to step in and bail out the larger banks.
Therefore, it is safe to assume that in the upper echelons of power, the world does not sadly work the way we are told it should work. Conspiracy theorists already believe in this reality.
Moving on from the present, let’s examine certain events in the past. Declassified documents now confirm that Iranian government lead by Mosaddeq was toppled by the CIA to bring in the Shah. USS liberty was sunk by Israel and Iranian flight 655 was shot down by USA.
It is interesting to note that most of these events get shoved under the carpet of consciousness by the factualists. As drastic as the incident may have been at the time it occurred, at present it doesn’t even help raise an eyebrow.
Somehow we have a natural tendency of normalizing events in the past that were stranger than fiction as our empathy is temporal that decays with time. More Conspiracy theorists would be holding on to the knowledge of such events compared to factualists.
Despite their certain positive analytical qualities, it is worth mentioning that in modern times the term “conspiracy theorist” is unfortunately laden with pejorative connotations.
In popular culture the conspiracy theorists are at times ridiculed and dismissed out of hand. Is it simply because they are in minority? The answer is “no”.
The modified Conspiracy Theorist 2.0
The conspiracy theorists do not do themselves any favours by leaning towards certain beliefs that are irrational and outlandish. There are definite adjustments needed in their thinking pattern to improve their construed version of reality. Some of them are listed below:
- Firstly, not every event is conspired. Events can be natural, spontaneous and accidental. Certain events can be unintended consequences of the others.
- It is certainly not true that behind any incident (significant and insignificant) there is an agent at work with malicious intent.
- Positive proof must not be rejected and in fact should be treated with a greater degree of authenticity than a claim that is simply unfalsifiable.
- Theories that are so insular that they do not allow any proof to be injected create a cocooned and warped view of reality. Such theories should be dismissed.
- Even if one is victim of an event that is deemed significant, one should not delve into just finding a complex and sinister causality for that event.
- The populace is not as powerless and those managing affairs are not as powerful as they are perceived to be. Many wrongs in history have been righted.
To sum up, both mindsets need to learn from each other. They need to maintain a positive and progressive outlook in life. They need make hard facts and well researched evidence, the base of any theory.
And lastly, both parties need to learn from the discipline, “Philosophy of History”. For only if we synthesise the two mind sets i.e. morph into “Conspiracy Factualist”, many a myths could be unshrouded to reveal the truth.
I would like to open a discussion by asking a question, why crop circles are likely to be spaceship landings than simply an anonymous work of art?
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