Reply To: What is Conspiracy Theory?

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Eric Saunders

This is a very silly thread. Every conspiracy theory and every no-conspiracy theory should be judged on its merits. Russiagate has been exposed as a bogus conspiracy theory. No we need a theory to explain how this conspiracy theory took on such absurd dimensions. This raises the question of whether or not bad actors consciously contrived the hoax in secret or if it somehow arose organically. A non-conspiratorial theory for the origins and rapid rise of the bogus Russiagate conspiracy theory is likely untenable. Same thing for, say, the Skripal case.

The bigger point is that the term “conspiracy theory” has been weaponized since the 1960’s in response to Warren Commission critics. It is most often used in nonsensical fashion to delegitimize people who posit state/elite criminality. The OP is taking the weaponized Orwellian use of the term and trying to say that such should be the definition we accept. The foolishness of this is best expressed with the statement that “a conspiracy theory is not a theory proposing/about a conspiracy.” A red hat is not a hat that is red.

The best book on this subject is ‘Conspiracy Theory in America’ by Professor Lance deHaven-Smith.