The word “conspiracy theory” in its use is the destruction of its actual sense of the word. It transfers something into the realm of rambling fantasies and baseless spinsteries, which is nothing more than a necessary approach to forms of conspiracy. In fact, this inverted concept contaminates the investigator and protects the obscured by their official denial. This is the first of three articles on the topic of “conspiracy theory”, which deals with political, linguistic, content, historical and current aspects.
Who can still hear the word: conspiracy theory! This word in its non-meaning has been around for a very long time. It has been a government tool for decades. If a different opinion, a counter-position is not acceptable, if it disturbs, then one does not lead an open discussion, but denounces it-without letting this counter-position come to the floor. But governments do not do this out of desperation, but skillfully and very planned. Part of this article will be devoted to this key word forge.
This is followed by a part that pursues this buzzword and its users in Corona times. No question, it’s about a lot, and especially about everyone, when health is at stake. If you want to start a war and prevent a “second Auschwitz”, then relatively few are affected when you denounce them-as salon pacifists or sympathizers of a dictator (Miloševic). Relatively few people have been affected by the war against the FR Yugoslavia, which began in 1999, and even fewer have demonstrated against this fake anti-fascist war. Life here hasn’t changed. The war remained there, along with its destructions and lies.
However, with the pandemic and the measures to contain it, it is different. Everyone feels the “new normal”, everyone has to cope with massive restrictions. The new normal also includes that everything is done for our protection, for our health - so we would only harm ourselves if we did not accept this great gesture. Those who have doubts about this “winter-summer fairy tale”, who cite other reasons, are treated as lousy conspiracy theorists. The Corona world is clear and indisputable: on the one hand there are all those (who otherwise never stand together) who want to protect our health, our lives and are especially supportive of the weak, the vulnerable (which they never are otherwise). And on the other side are the social Darwinists, the egoists who think only of themselves and can no longer be reached with factual/scientific arguments. Three examples are intended to show that this is not a dividing line, but Potemkin villages that have built up those that everyone else thinks are not completely dense.
The last part explores a particular phenomenon: that governments denounce their critics, ridicule them and try to muzzle them in a variety of ways is not new. The fact that the media close to the state, the parliamentary opposition (which wants to join the government) come to their aid is not really surprising either.
But what drives anti-fascist, anti-racist groups and alliances to more or less approve of government policy and to use all their strength to take action against those who reject certain corona measures and emphasize compliance with fundamental rights? How is it that “lateral thinkers” are the real enemy for them, while the government is considered the lesser evil? Are these counter-demonstrations part of a" new " anti-fascism or its end?
####Part I: A term in its non-meaning
In the middle of Corona times, where the word “conspiracy theory” is held up like a signal signal at a roadblock, a Facebook user asked the question:
What exactly is a conspiracy theorist?
… and got some witty and insidious answers, which quite sums up the range of what one associates with the word “conspiracy theory” :
“Someone who, before many others, already has a presumption of what comes true later.”
“Someone who makes up a thesis that does not prove to be tenable afterwards. In this case, therefore, certain persons of the government/ RKI.”
“Someone who convinces the whole world that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction, starts a war in which probably one million people die, but then does not find weapons of mass destruction!”
“An invented term for denouncing the truth.”
“He exposes conspiracy practitioners and is ridiculed by conspiracy deniers.”
“A person who wants to know a theoretical possibility of a conspiracy. It is possible that the theory is true or not. Nowadays, such theories, very often without accurate knowledge, are explained as spinning.”
There is often the opinion that there is a lot of bullshit on Facebook. I was actually surprised and pleased to come across such answers. If this level of answers could also be found within the left, it would be more comfortable for the heart.
The buzzword of the year
The word “conspiracy theory” is getting old and needs walking backs. Because word has spread that a theory about conspiracies describes a very banal scientific approach. Not unlike an economic theory, that is, a theory about what economy is and how it works. In the worst case, it is false or not shared, which is common and not suspicious in economic theories. There are bourgeois economic theories, there are Marxist economic theories, there are (quite) bad ones.
It is no different when one has to judge conspiracy theories. There is important and good work on this – especially in the field of economic and criminal sociology. And of course there are also trivial analyses. But no one would even dream that the object of study does not exist at all.
This is also the reason why people like to talk about conspiracy narratives, conspiracy fantasies and conspiracy narratives lately. You don’t want to talk about your head and shoulders right away. However, with this shift in terms, one does not want to change the premise that conspiracies actually do not exist at all, except in the head of those who warn against it.
A special feature should be pointed out here: the catchphrase of the “conspiracy theory” is used by left and right alike. That pro-government and pro-government politicians use this denunciation tool is obvious: they want to muzzle everything that questions tightening, measures and changes in the law. You just want to stay in power.
But why do many leftists use this catchphrase? You do not need to defend any measures, you do not need to justify any government coalition. But maybe they have to cover up their inaction, the abandonment of any criticism of rule, the self-abandonment of one of the most elementary essentials of a left?
Conspiracies are, first of all, not fantasies, but the necessary form of organization for actions, the announcement and open implementation of which could prevent such a venture and/or entail criminal prosecution. So they are necessarily planned conspiratorially and sealed off from outsiders. The circle of initiates is not arbitrary, but limited to the most necessary. To protect the project, traces and incriminating evidence are avoided. Since the initiates will usually deny the existence of this organization/operation and their participation in it, its detection is far from easy. If we are talking about conspiracies here, it is not about child gangs, but about conspiracies that want to influence the prevailing power relations or can and do secure them.
So, to develop a theory about conspiracies is to come up with concepts and features that will help define a conspiracy. This does not require imagination, but meticulousness, to gather the remaining “evidence” to put them together like a puzzle. Between a conspiracy and its (official) detection, therefore, there is no no-man’s-land, but theory.
Conspiracies (Stauffenberg assassination attempt on Hitler in 1944, The Invasion of the Bay of Pigs/Cuba in 1963, assassination attempt on John F. Kennedy in 1963) can be directed against one’s own state or another. However, they can also be set up by state institutions themselves if the incumbent government wants to impose something absolutely, but is not sure of parliamentary approval (including the control bodies), nor of approval within the population. Examples of this are the “Deep State” in Turkey and the" Gladio structures", which in many respects were also called" stay behind " armies.
In this context, organizational sociology speaks of"usable illegality".
Starting from these realities, conspiracies-without any increase in blood pressure – are characterized by a specific form of (conspiratorial, outwardly foreclosed) organizational structure.
Conspiracy theories are therefore not seething kitchen stoves, where fantasies are concocted and mixed together, but theories that strive to depict structures, actions and intentions of such a conspiracy as closely as possible.
Theories of alleged and suspected conspiracies do not have open archives and evidence lying around due to the facts. They have to bypass, break through and overcome their cover, secrecy and official denial in different ways. The simplest and most institutionalized is to wait until the government in question releases classified documents. Depending on the state’s well-being, the period is from 10 to 120 years. Then all of a sudden what for decades was a flourishing conspiracy theory gets a government official (quality)seal, as in connection with “Gladio”. We will come back to this later.
In the United States, for example, there is a civil right that requires the government to make files available to the public after a specified period of time: the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Here is just one example of waiting patiently to win another puzzle: The murder of John F. Kennedy in 1963 stirred up many people in the USA. But they were almost even more upset by the type of enlightenment, that is, in this case – the sabotage of the Enlightenment: files go up in flames, witnesses die or revoke, evidence disappears – even the brain of the president. Already a few years later, almost half of US citizens do not believe in the version of a single communist perpetrator and consider the result of the “Warren Commission” implausible.
Countering criticism and term reversal
The state authorities in the USA were shocked by the loss of trust and this at a central point: if the majority of US citizens no longer believe in their own institutions, if they are even convinced that even a murder of a popular US president is covered up by their own investigative authorities, then something has to come up with.
There would be two possibilities: you re-investigate, re-open the investigation, which would not be a problem with a murder. Or you decide on a strategy that makes the critics and doubters implausible, denounces and makes them look like idiots.
The US government chose the second way. This is evidenced by a CIA document from 1967, which was released ten years later. It has the subject: Countering criticism of Warren report. It states that the doubts about the legal and political clarification are massive, raise the public, shake the credibility of the government and the judicial system, up to the intelligence agencies involved in it. To counter this, the CIA proposes the following:
“The aim of this dispatch is to provide material for countering and discrediting the claims of the conspiracy theorists…”
Two things are important about this document: on the one hand, doubts and substantial contradictions are compressed into “conspiracy theories”. On the other hand, this document proves that targeted discreditations have been used to combat the critics by trying to make the people implausible in order to hit the content.
Semantic polarity reversal
Today, knowing the everyday use of the word “conspiracy theory”, one knows that the semantic reversal of the term has succeeded. It is used – left and right alike-in its distortion, in the obliteration of the original meaning. And this is not negligible, but of considerable significance. Used in this way, there are no conspiracies at all, but only fantasies and crazy fantasies.
That means: the word “conspiracy theory” in its use is the destruction of its actual sense of the word.
It transfers something into the realm of rambling fantasies and baseless spinsteries, which is nothing more than a necessary approach to forms of conspiracy. In fact, this inverted concept contaminates the discoverer, the investigator, and protects what is concealed by its official denial.
So the use of words eats up the sense of the word. With less philosophy of language, this can be explained as follows: in this logic, economic theory would also be a conspiracy theory, especially if it states that economic life is not characterized by the same, but by class and interest antagonisms. Karl Marx’s capital would then rank among one of the most famous conspiracy theories … One should not laugh at this comparison too soon.
The beneficiaries of and those involved in conspiracies are the best and loudest admonishers of conspiracy theories and fantasies
How was this dispatch applied? One can trace this on the example of the then district attorney Jim Garrison, who persistently pursued the investigation of the Kennedy murder.
He had massive doubts about the official result of the investigation. In his 1988 book “Who Shot John F. Kennedy – On the Trail of the Murderers of Dallas” he explains:
“When I tried to bring to light some of these extremely unpleasant connections, the United States government and the major media came after me ( … ) because I had hinted that members of our own intelligence services had conspired to assassinate the president. I was slandered in the press as a publicity-addicted politician, charlatan and communist. 12, Bastei-Verlag, 1992) "
It must be added as a precaution that this district attorney was everything but a communist. If you want to classify him, then he was through and through a patriot of his country and his constitution. He was simply what you would expect from a prosecutor: he examines and evaluates the facts and does everything possible to clarify the murder circumstances that led to the death of his president. That shouldn’t be strange or weird.
That’s probably why everything the CIA had announced was executed on him: not only were said self-serving motives imputed to him, they put spies on him and smuggled them into his team as supposed employees. He was denied files and pressured to call his witnesses for prosecution. Witnesses important to the prosecution were prohibited from testifying. The whole thing was crowned with an accusation of corruption, which was faked and collapsed. However, this did not change the fact that his investigations brought to light significant facts that blatantly contradict the individual version of the perpetrator.
Anyone who warns against “conspiracy theories” such as a mental illness therefore disguises above all his own criminal acts and goals by discrediting the disclosure of such practices in every possible way.