Reply To: What is Conspiracy Theory?

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Excellent and compassionate article; thank you Stef.

history is full of many real instances of powerful people colluding in secret at the expense of society. The numerous price-fixing scandals uncovered in South Africa in recent years surely also constitute conspiracies, as do corporate cover-ups around the world, many of which we know about only as a result of people questioning the presentation of reality and correctly connecting the dots to map out underlying truths.

It is clear though that what we more commonly describe as conspiracy theories – exemplified in the current period by the linking of 5G networks to Bill Gates, vaccination and microchip implants, for instance – are markedly different from these real-world examples. As social and psychological research has shown, conspiracy theories of this kind are not amenable to empirical enquiry and subsist for long periods of time in the absence of any reasonable evidence. Those adhering to such theories tend to exhibit little interest in testing their underlying claims and will often simultaneously believe in conspiracy theories that outright contradict each other.