Reply To: What is Conspiracy Theory?

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Ginger Ninja
Thank you for the above which is truly instructive and gets us closer to the original discussion of “What is a conspiracy theory”.

From what you write, you obviously have first hand experience of unpleasantness from various quarters. We all have and we all learn to navigate these and our experiences are of varying severity. But what you describe is part of the system called capitalism. It is a set of unwritten rules which basically prioritize profits to people, individualism to society, corporatism versus public ownership. In other words it is a system which is a blueprint, there is no overall all-knowing group of people that control the system, but there are various factions that use the system to their advantage.

The problem of adding it all up to a few people controlling the world, is that you have to lump together such disparate mishaps and misdemeanors and weave them into one overarching conspiracy. I will give you an example. There is nothing whatsoever in common between the Thalidomide tragedy and 911 or Covid or Ebola, they are things that happen, some of them natural (viruses and pandemics are natural phenomena that have plagued mankind (excuse the pun) for centuries and there is no conspiracy as regards these and as regards HIV; it is all very well explained by science.

911 is a political event and so is one liable to serious propaganda and manipulation. As Clark mentioned, the justification of the use of torture resulting from 911 is one of the least discussed aspects of the CTS and also if I may add, is the fact that despite gross negligence, nobody from the establishment seems to have suffered any consequences and no one lost their job.

I will give you another example that I know well. Thalidomide anyone? Indeed. Thalidomide was introduced by a German pharmaceutical company in 1957 as an over-the-counter medication to treat anxiety, insomnia and morning sickness. It was promoted because of its ‘safety’, in those days measured by how much of the drug is needed to kill an experimental lab animal. However, thalidomide was not tested on pregnant animals, and its teratogenic effects were therefore not detected. Because it was such an effective and ‘safe’ drug it became a popular choice to treat morning sickness. It was only in 1961 that it became apparent that it affected the fetus leading to lack of limb development and it was then withdrawn. By the way it never got licensed in US.

Despite the above, thalidomide was still manufactured in various parts of the world. Subsequently it was found to be effective in certain disorders including in Leprosy and some complications of HIV. More recently in the nineties, it was found to be useful in treating some cancers and it is now a mainstay in the first line treatment of a bone marrow cancer, multiple myeloma. There was no ‘conspiracy’ when thalidomide was introduced, it was just using a wrong safety-testing model, call it negligence or poor design with some coverup.

So my conclusion from what you write is that conspiracy theories arise from joining together a number of events that are unrelated into one large overarching conspiracy orchestrated by a ‘covert world government’ rather than looking at each event separately. It is this lack of compartmentalization of events into separate entities, all related to capitalism, that creates CTs.

A note about pharmaceutical companies. Of course pharmaceutical companies being corporations have a legal duty under capitalism to make money for shareholders as a priority, but you cannot make money by being deliberately malevolent and killing people willy nilly and hiding it. They do it by a careful balance of producing brilliant life-saving drugs that are highly effective and that have produced major advances and cures (a lot of the original work of course is done through painstaking research that is often publicly funded, but the pharmaceuticals have the capacity for industrial upscaling) as well as all the other tricks of the trade outlined in ‘Bad Pharma’ by Ben Goldacre.