Some things you cannot define but you know them when you see them, as the saying goes. Such seems to be the case with conspiracy thinking, which usually involves convoluted reasoning designed to prove that a manipulative force, rather than social decay, is responsible for our plight.
Recent research into conspiracy thinking revealed the reason for its popularity:
The analysis showed that most conspiracies built traction when a range of different people and groups could connect it to their own preconceived beliefs or agendas.
“People have an agenda and are looking for conspiracies that can hook into it,” Dr Klein said.
“The most successful conspiracies were the ones where everyone can get something out of it.
“Consider a conspiracy about secret CIA prison camps. One person might care about its relationship to 9/11, another might use it to fuel their anti-Semitism, a third to make a point about gun control.
In other words, the conspiracy theory is the universal argument that can prove just about anything. Once you get beyond having to prove strict cause/effect, and assign all control to some shadowy and manipulative force, that force can be identified as an agent of whatever scapegoat the individual user feels is responsible.
We might see this as the democratization of logic. No longer is analysis important; all that matters are talking points which can be used as tools to identify your favorite nasty group that actually rules the world but still needs us for some reason as responsible.
Unfortunately for the Left, they are the original conspiracy thinkers. They believe in a worldwide conspiracy to enforce inequality on humanity, and they see this force as both controlling everything and easily changed through shifting social attitudes. Humanity, thy name is neurosis.
Tags: conspiracy thinking, democratization of logic, leftism, scapegoating