In the age of soundbites and quick bullet points, there are many in the world that wonder where conspiracy theories came from. The surprising thing for most people is to learn that they have been around for a great part of the twentieth century. Everyone believes, at least, one conspiracy theory. If you think that all of them are bullshit, yet believe the Kennedy Assassination is part of some military coup: you believe in a conspiracy theory. The truly amazing part is that conspiracy theories defy any logical reasoning.
There are many conspiracy theories that occupy the internet. Why? Where else can you publish wildly inaccurate information and not have an ounce of accountability? The art of conspiracy theory is the absent of facts. Many times, modern conspiracy theories use cherry-picking methods that anchor the insane conclusion which allows them to be even considered. Yet, conspiracy theories never end with definite proof that they are accurate, they usually end with “do the research’.
What Conspiracy Theories Are There?
The easier question would be what aren’t conspiracy theories. Around 2008, during the financial crisis, many people took to the internet claiming that this all happened before. They were trying to draw parallels between The Great Depression and now. The downside to that thought is that no one ever discovered the trigger that caused the stock market to collapse, but the factors leading up to it bare some resemblance.
Move ahead a few years and you have the Pearl Harbor conspiracy theory. That theory is based on Franklin Roosevelt having foreknowledge of the impending attack, and he allowed it to take place. The reason being is that he wanted to get the United States into the war against Hitler. So, he allowed thousands of military men to die to achieve his purpose. Sound vaguely familiar? It’s the same wrap that George W. Bush got after the attacks on September 11th.
Why Do People Believe These?
There are many reasons people believe these ideas. Some will say it is a factor of education, as more high school dropouts believe in them, while others find them to bolster their “irrational beliefs”. Sometimes its pseudo-intellectuals that use it as a crutch to justify their lack of higher education. Some consider college education as the government’s way to brainwash the next generation. They don’t subscribe to it, as they see the truth.
Some even believe that it is due to a person’s inability to comprehend that the world is an irrational and chaotic place. The conspiracy theory is a coping mechanism that allows their brain to absorb the information in front of them. In terms of 9/11 and other terrorist incidents, it would have to be a covert government conspiracy and not simply stupidity.
With the advent of the internet, conspiracy theories flourish on YouTube. Sandy Hook, San Bernardino shooting, and other mass shootings are seen as the government’s attempt to foster gun control legislation. Thus, allowing the government to “take their guns.” With the anonymity of the internet, it allows these believers to harass and threaten people that lost loved ones in these incidents.
How Can People Be So Blind?
It is easier than you think. The internet is a polarizing place. No one received information the same way anymore. We have 24-hour news channels that promote one way of thinking. You have blogs that pass themselves as news site claiming to “tell the truth without the big media bias”. People don’t absorb information that educated themselves anymore. They search out information that supports their view on the world. The manipulation of facts to fit their narrative is intricate now, due to platforms like YouTube.
If you are one of those people that are shaking their head, just search “flat earth conspiracy” on YouTube. The results will shake your faith in humanity. The faked moon landing, the Clinton death list, the illuminati, or anything on the Alex Jones show. It is scary to think that conspiracy theory is making more head way into the younger generations because they can’t deduce what is fact from the fiction. Those are the true victims of this onslaught.
With all this being said, that isn’t to say conspiracy theories cannot be a part of society. It has to. Where else would we be getting our entertainment from. If you love to laugh, I spend hours watching some pseudo-documentaries that try to convince me. Sometimes you get close, then the irrational part appears, and it reminds you what you are watching. However, if you have children, it is important to discuss it with them.
Conspiracy theories are taken in two ways: either true believers or debunkers. Some of my favorite podcasts are a mixture of both. Mainly, it is to make me laugh. Although, it does frighten me too. Primarily, it is due to the fact that many people believe this as fact. While people think we should take these wackos with a grain of salt, it is important to note that they have followers. Some in very high branches of government. It is important to have an objective mind. However, if you believe one conspiracy theory, then you have to believe them all.