What is Conspiracy Theory?

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  • #69209 Reply

    So Present And Correct is flushing out the ‘conspiracy deniers’ eh? Wouldn’t it be nice if those individuals do not hide behind VPNs and sock puppetry and have the confidence of their convictions tested by just conforming to the rules of discussion?

    #69219 Reply
    Ken MacIntyre

    Conspiracy theory: a term of abuse directed against a politically incorrect ordering of the facts. (Norman Finkelstein, The Holocaust Industry)

    In other words, anything that challenges the dominant or received views of powetful groups.

    #69220 Reply

    “they are not capable of rational discussion”

    I believe everyone is capable of rational discussion. It’s a conscious choice whether or not to engage with rational discussion. They are capable but just choose not to bother. Question is why?

    #69235 Reply

    Ken MacIntyre, yes that’s one way that the term “conspiracy theory” is used; as a term of ridicule to evade discussion. But there’s another way too, and the first way couldn’t work effectively without it. This symbiotic relationship is what I’m trying to clarify.

    Taking the example you cite, Finkelstein is right that the Holocaust is played upon to divert and vilify criticism of Israel. But such diversion and vilification is greatly strengthened by the genuine existence of Holocaust denial; indeed, it would look lame without it.

    Holocaust denial is an example of conspiracy theory in my second sense above, in that it proposes that all the copious evidence for the Holocaust is merely fabrication by an immensely powerful conspiracy.

    #69236 Reply

    “In other words, anything that challenges the dominant or received views of powerful groups.”

    How would “Flat Earth”, “Chemtrails” or the “UN Depopulation Agenda 21” stuff fit into this? Do they seriously challenge anything important? Or do they serve as distractions from vital issues?

    #69237 Reply

    Dredd, March 19, 14:33:

    Foyle’s argument amounts to nothing more than: “Look, see how little kids look up to their parents and do whatever they’re told … that’s you, that is!”

    It’s not even true of little kids. Kids constantly create fantasy and make-believe, and get away with whatever they can. I remember.

    #69241 Reply

    Dredd – “If that’s the highest level of argument that covid critics can proffer, then I’d suggest they’re best ignored.”

    If only! Unfortunately, this type of thinking is incredibly pervasive, and there’s a very broad spectrum, eg. hartgroup.org and its apparent front leftlockdownsceptics (which I discovered from this comment).

    #69246 Reply

    This is a whistleblower’s site, yeah? And you have a problem with anonymity? Weird. And yes please do guess who. I can’t wait to find out who I am.

    — snip —

    [ Mod: Well, OK, if you insist. We know that you are the commenter formerly known as ‘Node’ – who was banned for sockpuppetry (as ‘Ankle Sum’) while under investigation for sockpuppetry (as ‘Wacamole’, ‘Duck’ and ‘Mushy’, among others) shortly after returning from a lengthy ban for sockpuppetry (as ‘Buster’). The evidence has been shared with the rest of the blog team.

    Persistent trolls often engage in sockpuppetry via anonymous proxies following a ban. Accordingly, from now on any contribution from a new identity posting via an anonymous server is eligible for suspension or deletion without further explanation. ]

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    #69260 Reply

    Hey mods, just like old times, eh? Tungsten, Steelback, Juniper, Freeborn…

    [ Mod: Ah yes, such bittersweet memories of the puppet show known as the “clown car” …

    Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be. ]

    #69273 Reply

    You are still anonymous as Node to us and the website owner states in their terms that VPNs and sockpuppetry are not permitted. This is a private blog site not a public utility, and I wonder whether you feel that propaganda comes in under the same umbrella as whistleblowing.

    #79812 Reply

    Conspiracy is “the collusion of two or more people pursuing illegal means to effect some illegal or immoral end.” Conspiracy occurs otherwise there would be no law for it, nor would Adam Smith and Nicolo Machiavelli have written about it.

    Any theoritical model which attempts to account for all the available data and which requires some element of criminal activity, undertaken in concert with others is by definition, conspiracy theory.

    In other words, history itself is conspiracy theory. Ask Ceasar.

    Conspiracy Theory however, that is a thought stopping rhetorical device, nothing more.

    Since Michael Parenti has covered the ground adequately, long before anyone contributing here was politicaly aware, I bow to him:

    At a World Affairs Council meeting in San Francisco, I remarked to a participant that U.S. leaders were pushing hard for the reinstatement of capitalism in the former communist countries. He said, “Do you really think they carry it to that level of conscious intent?” I pointed out it was not a conjecture on my part. They have repeatedly announced their commitment to seeing that “free-market reforms” are introduced in Eastern Europe. Their economic aid is channeled almost exclusively into the private sector. The same policy holds for the monies intended for other countries. Thus, as of the end of 1995, “more than $4.5 million U.S. aid to Haiti has been put on hold because the Aristide government has failed to make progress on a program to privatize state-owned companies” (New York Times 11/25/95).

    Those who suffer from conspiracy phobia are fond of saying: “Do you actually think there’s a group of people sitting around in a room plotting things?” For some reason that image is assumed to be so patently absurd as to invite only disclaimers. But where else would people of power get together – on park benches or carousels? Indeed, they meet in rooms: corporate boardrooms, Pentagon command rooms, at the Bohemian Grove, in the choice dining rooms at the best restaurants, resorts, hotels, and estates, in the many conference rooms at the White House, the NSA, the CIA, or wherever. And, yes, they consciously plot – though they call it “planning” and “strategizing” – and they do so in great secrecy, often resisting all efforts at public disclosure. No one confabulates and plans more than political and corporate elites and their hired specialists. To make the world safe for those who own it, politically active elements of the owning class have created a national security state that expends billions of dollars and enlists the efforts of vast numbers of people.

    Yet there are individuals who ask with patronising, incredulous smiles, do you really think that the people at the top have secret agendas, are aware of their larger interests, and talk to each other about them? To which I respond, why would they not? This is not to say that every corporate and political elite is actively dedicated to working for the higher circles of power and property. Nor are they infallible or always correct in their assessments and tactics or always immediately aware of how their interests are being affected by new situations. But they are more attuned and more capable of advancing their vast interests than most other social groups.

    The alternative is to believe that the powerful and the privileged are somnambulists, who move about oblivious to questions of power and privilege; that they always tell us the truth and have nothing to hide even when they hide so much; that although most of us ordinary people might consciously try to pursue our own interests, wealthy elites do not; that when those at the top employ force and violence around the world it is only for the laudable reasons they profess; that when they arm, train, and finance covert actions in numerous countries, and then fail to acknowledge their role in such deeds, it is because of oversight or forgetfulness or perhaps modesty; and that it is merely a coincidence how the policies of the national security state so consistently serve the interests of the transnational corporations and the capital-accumulation system throughout the world.

    #79839 Reply

    J – “Any theoritical model which attempts to account for all the available data and which requires some element of criminal activity, undertaken in concert with others is by definition, conspiracy theory.

    – In other words, history itself is conspiracy theory. Ask Ceasar.”

    I disagree. “Theory” means a framework for thought. What you are describing would be more accurately termed “a conspiracy hypothesis”. Every hypothesis has to be supported by independent evidence; it is of course invalid and circular to support an hypothesis by reference to the hypothesis itself, because you can prove absolutely anything that way, no matter how true or false.

    Of course people conspire; there are countless examples throughout history. Craig has exposed several such conspiracies. But to use, as first and every resort, an assumption of a conspiracy with virtually limitless power to control evidence, is to use conspiracy as your primary framework of thought, and is rightly dismissed as “conspiracy theory”.

    Here is a podcast that describes it very clearly and simply:


    #79850 Reply

    J, that’s a good passage you’ve quoted (13:50 above) and I very much agree with it, though I would also point out the ideological element to such conspiracy – these things are often right out in the open, such as the Project for a New American Century; these people are actually proud of their activities; they really believe that they’re doing good.

    But the passage does not discredit the term “conspiracy theory”. The term does, however, suffer from ambiguity; ambiguity that conspiracy theorists relentlessly exploit in defence of their unsupportable assertions.

    Conspiracy theory, especially anti-scientific and anti-rational conspiracy theory, is very useful to the powerful. Sensationalist 9/11 conspiracy theory has served as a smokescreen for the policy of torture to extract false confessions for creation of a misleading narrative, which in turn has provided cover for the US exploitation of jihadism. The assertion that global warming is a hoax manufactured by a conspiracy of climate scientists has protected vested interests’ profits for over three decades since the alarm was raised in the 1980s. Covid conspiracy theory is currently providing governments with support for their failure to control the pandemic.

    #80800 Reply

    Clark, why I should give one fig what your understanding of rationality or facts are, that is anyone’s guess. Perhaps because you are never censored for referring to people as anti-Semites, racists and conspiracy theorists without a single shred of evidence (witness your slurs throughout the discussion forum and elsewhere against a number of contributors) you may enjoy a certain undue confidence in your logical prowess. That’s echo chambers for you.

    Be that as it may, I wish to bring another group of affirmed conspiracy theorists to your attention: The British Medical Journal.

    “Covid-19: Researcher blows the whistle on data integrity issues in Pfizer’s vaccine trial”


    Since this is an actual conspiracy theory on a thread about conspiracy theories, presumably the MODS will not object and censor it on the grounds of being off topic. Who knows?

    #80819 Reply


    This is not a conspiracy theory, nor is it surprising, nor is it shattering news:
    Pfizer to pay record $2.3 billion penalty

    There are many instances of drug companies faking and manipulating data and so on. There are also many instances of motor car manufacturers doing the same. In the case you cited, this is part of a large-scale clinical trial involving many centres, and this particular operator was negligent or faulty or incompetent. It does not invalidate the whole trial result, nor the trial results of other vaccines, nor the real-life observations since the trials where vaccines were given to millions, that vaccines are safe and effective.
    A conspiracy theory in the context used here, is that a few individuals are conspiring to control all the scientific establishment worldwide to fake results including that the virus exists, so as to make an ineffective vaccine with vast profits, or to manipulate our DNA, or to spy on us, or any other activity the particular conspiracy theorists want to ascribe to these conspiracists. So can you please explain to me what your beliefs are here and what are you trying to prove by this post?

    #80820 Reply
    Ginger Ninja

    Owen Smith lobbied for Pfizer. Pre-COVID he contested the leadership of the Labour Party in 2016.
    Currently works for another US pharmaceutical. Not suspicious at all.

    #80833 Reply

    Yah! And?

    #80841 Reply
    Ginger Ninja

    Planned in advance?

    Whenever there’s a trade deal a virus turns up that disrupts the local food system, without fail. Blair BSE and so on. AIDS. Ebola. SARS. Then the virus clears up when needed too, after a good deal of profit has been made of course, by the same people that always seem to benefit. The best viruses are the ones that have to be controlled, via medication, for life (like with hormone therapies).

    Whenever the Yanks come to town a train derails or a cathedral burns a database gets hacked.

    Or maybe it’s all just a big coincidence, like when Saddam had WMDs and the Afghans were hiding Bin Laden (who got younger and older during the time he was putting out videos) at the same time some Saudi’s (we know this because the passports survived the inferno) allegedly flew into the towers (but not building 7) causing an invasion of Syria. Maybe there’s no need to be suspicious I mean, after all, it seems pretty legit based on the timelines involved, based on the historically noted integrity of all involved.

    #80847 Reply

    Exactly Ninja, you illustrate very well conspiracy theories. All of the viruses are of course real and not planned, but what happens next is what is planned. But in confusing the two you make a hash of science and reality to fit your conspiracies.

    #80870 Reply
    Ginger Ninja

    The official 9/11 narrative was a conspiracy theory. Marketing (sorry, PR) people often use memorable numeric devices in order to make sure the punters remember their product. If said incident had happened on 3/20 it wouldn’t have had the same ring to it, would it? Red flag number one. The whole shebang benefitted an empire, an empire known for a gullible populace and marketing cheese, an empire that had already documented it’s plan for world domination a decade beforehand. Or should we just call this coincidence number 11346231?

    A trade war needed to happen with China because they, like the EU before them, were doing far too well on the world stage for the empire’s liking. Low and behold – the pandemic happens! A lab financed by the empire happens to reside in the same country the empire wanted beef with! Coincidence number 11346232?

    The virus is real. But it’s no where near as dangerous as they’re making out. The virus is here because it was created/planted/released for a purpose, I imagine, by the usual suspects. Or some 3rd party that likes doing that sort of things along with arson, assassinations, political meddling, train-wrecking and so on. Could I be wrong, could this merely be coincidence number 11346233/4 etc?

    Look, I know, as citizens we’re supposed to go along with all this by ‘ohhhing’ and ‘aahhhing’ at the right times to make everyone feel better, it’s just that the stories are so lame, persistent and damn right silly these days that it’s getting harder and harder to ‘cooo’ with any dignity. I mean, for Christ’s sake they were trying to sell an alien-invasion CONSPIRACY THEORY a few months ago, along with the ole ‘Havana Syndrome Secret Death Ray’ b*llocks. C’mon!

    #80879 Reply

    Why the Covid-is-a-hoax conspiracy theory is crazy is that it surpasses all others. It involves the Chinese collaborating with US to bring down themselves. Of course you know that the virus is no where near as dangerous as ‘they’ make it out to be and of course your statement is based on what someone who knows the inside out of virology and epidemiology told you because they know what they are talking about. That is unless you have your own personal analysis.

    So here we have a problem. ‘They’ who made up this hoax. Who exactly are they? And why does their story run on similar lines across world borders, political divides and scientific disciplines? Why are all the main people working in the fields of virology, medicine and epidemiology all agreeing? Silly me, it is the secret world government of course that is telling them what to say and do. And moreover they are doing that to produce vaccines that don’t work and are killing people. Now of course, those who are telling you all this are highly qualified individuals in the same field who have their own data (not). It really becomes a matter of opinion what one thinks about viruses, virologists are redundant because an investigative journalist, a failed scientist turned politician and some natural medicine promoting websites say so.

    #80880 Reply

    And what is even more shocking is that they pretend that hospitals are inundated with patients and can’t cope and will do everything to prove this. The doctors we once trusted and might still go to for really serious illnesses, are all lying to us because they were told to do so. Hospitals full of patients in many countries? Shortage of oxygen in India? Why, just stress actors and panic buying.

    This distortion of facts and the Trumpian alternative facts of the conspiracy theorists is what makes the current covid denialists the worst conspiracy theorists ever. They are now willing to unite with such political figures and give themselves the right to terrorise healthcare workers and to mislead others. Many are now denying that HIV is real and also become affiliated with notorious antivaxxers.

    #80906 Reply

    (oh dear…)



    J – “why I should give one fig what your understanding of rationality or facts are…”

    Pink Floyd – Pigs On The Wing (Part 1) – YouTube, 1 minute 26 seconds.

    J – “…that is anyone’s guess.”

    Just ask; I do try to be honest, accurate and consistent.

    And yes, I have found, in my own personal experience, that there’s a strong correlation between conspiracy theory and anti-Semitism. I was even asked, face to face, if I was Jewish, because I argued against holographic aircraft and the Twin Tower demolition hypothesis, In my experience, the perpetually undefined “Them” of conspiracy theorists often resolves to “Jews” – far more often than I’d expect by random chance.

    Ginger Ninja, you need to think more. Yes, there is considerable circumstantial evidence that Building 7 may have been hurriedly brought down as a fire break with the knowledge and even involvement of the New York Fire Department, and that this emergency demolition was covered up. And that tells you what, exactly?

    And no, the “official story”, as conspiracy theorists put it, is a set of gross distortions and conspicuous omissions – and 60% based on false confessions extracted under torture*. But it isn’t conspiracy theory; it doesn’t posit that everything is arranged by some virtually superhuman conspiracy that can control all evidence.

    * I find it interesting that conspiracy theorists never mention the false confessions extracted under torture. It’s one of the reasons I reject conspiracy theory as worse than useless; indeed, convenient to the establishment.

    #80907 Reply

    Unfortunately, my time is limited. I’m off to COP26 tomorrow and I have a lot to do before then.

    #80918 Reply
    michael norton

    The Romans thought that if a defendant gave testimony not under torture, that testimony should be considered unreliable.

    #80926 Reply

    What is conspiracy theory? One attribute of conspiracy theorists is to be oblivious to the contradictions in their own thinking, eg:

    Ginger Ninja, Nov 3, 16:36 – “Then the virus clears up when needed too […] The best viruses are the ones that have to be controlled, via medication, for life”

    So which is it? Does it “clear up when needed to”, or does it “have to be controlled, via medication, for life”? With “rationality” as pliable as this, absolutely any assumption can be “proven”. Then there’s this:

    “…causing an invasion of Syria.”

    Syria? The so-called Syrian civil war didn’t start for another decade, and no government has claimed to have invaded Syria. Ginger Ninja, you may have some correction to do before I start taking the piss.

    #80928 Reply

    Ginger Ninja, Nov 3, 19:18 – “The virus is real. But it’s no where near as dangerous as they’re making out.”

    It’s a real shame you’re thinking like such a propaganda victim; this is exactly the line the corporate media have been giving credence to all along.

    Plus you’ve failed to understand the problem, apparently due to thinking individualistically and not socially, which again is exactly the mindset indoctrinated by corporate propaganda.

    And who is this “them” exactly? If I count up the deaths and infections aboard the cruise ship Diamond Princess, divide one by the other and come up with 1.8% infection fatality rate, do I become one of “them”? What about the research teams in Spain and New York, who came up with 0.5 to 1.0% infection fatality rate? Are these members of “them” too?

    Ginger Ninja, I couldn’t live in a mind as disorganised as the thinking you’re displaying here. I’d have to tidy up a bit just to stay marginally sane. I really can’t just throw the cutlery and crockery into the vacuum cleaner cupboard and simply call it the “them” cupboard to avoid contradictions. It just doesn’t work for me.

    #80955 Reply
    Ginger Ninja

    [ Mod: Message retrieved from the spam bin. An earlier one may have been lost when the spam list was flushed. ]

    “So which is it? Does it “clear up when needed to”, or does it “have to be controlled, via medication, for life”? With “rationality” as pliable as this, absolutely any assumption can be “proven” “

    Both — AZT used for AIDS. Medication for life. The pandemic cleared up when they needed Africans for cheap labour. Suddenly the “pandemic” dropped off the radar. Ebola buggered off in much the same way. So – once the towel becomes fully saturated, they do sort of clear it up when needed, placing it in a drawer for later. It is a bit of a paradox, it’s Schrodinger’s corporate pandemic.

    — Levothyroxine used for treating thyroid. Medication for life. I bore witness to the sudden rise in supposed thyroid issues when a corporate veterinary business bought up a load of clinics in the area, suddenly every cat needed life long treatment, many died shortly after receiving their very suspect diagnoses. I came to the conclusion that this is how “corporate medicine works”. Over diagnose, over medicate, tell all and sundry there’s a problem and x can fix it. keep ’em on it for life if possible. *

    Thalidomide anyone?

    Noting also the sudden rise in transvestitism causing far too many people to sign up for lifelong hormone treatments made me even more cynical. I honestly think this has been guided by the sneaky hand of corporate medicine too.

    We’ll be taking Schrodinger’s “cure” forever I imagine. At ten times the price no doubt.

    Timing is everything. The US has been hoovering up businesses left right and centre. I think the covid pandemic has been set off somehow for this purpose. Dragging “allies” into wars etc., anything to drag lesser nations into debt so they’re more vulnerable to a bit of vacuuming. Those they can’t plunder with physical war, they plunder economically. Since we’re now a ‘turnip republic’ our ministers are more like local chiefs being allowed to take tribute from their people so as not to kick up a fuss, allowing the imperials the better cuts of meat. The need to nobble China and reset trade is a factor too I imagine.

    *A travelling companion/housemate from yesteryear went to one of the best universities in the land, landed a top job at a corporate pharmaceutical company, left in disgust (it’s a long story) and over the course of many months, filled me in on the details of how things ARE done in the real world. I’ve extrapolated a view based on certain observations/things I’ve heard, this being one.

    And I know this is going to sound even more hilarious to you, but there are some things I can’t mention. I accidentally came across something I shouldn’t have and have chosen to keep quiet about it, I will keep quiet about it forever (and yes THEY are watching and have been since). Loyal to Blighty to the end, you see. I’ve tried to talk to them but they’ve chosen to play the sneak about card instead, apart from that “street interview” (you know who you are, you maniacs). Suffice to say the “accident” added more fuel to my understanding of things.

    Anyway, I am a bit mentally disorganised, you could say, naturally I suppose; however my poor writing ability coupled with having to talk around corners too, doesn’t help. Make of it what you will. I stand by the notion that “the powers that be” are capable of things I’ve described and that “they” are out of control and need dissuading from their approach.

    Whoever started the ‘What is Conspiracy’ thread planted the tree. So behold the nut.

    #80976 Reply

    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.

    #81133 Reply
    Ginger Ninja

    SA, I appreciate the reply.

    And who’s going to rein them in? Who or what can rein in “the factions” etc.? The corrupt press? The suspect “justice” system led by Sir Starmer, Lord of integrity, leader of a non-opposition? The sometimes gullible, sometimes thoughtless but mostly twisted services and their attack dogs? The army of mercenary sneaks reading this post? Nobody, that’s who! Electronic surveillance has seen to that. Any protection that democracy once offered is gone. Far too many people operate in the shadows now – without really knowing who they’re working for – they’re like blind turkeys pressing the Christmas button in the dark.

    I stand by the fact that the pandemic has been greatly exaggerated in order to profit the few while holding off many a revolution across the globe, with the added bonus of forcing an even more devilish tracking system on the public. I stand by the fact I say 9/11 was organised as a false-flag.

    #81140 Reply
    michael norton

    It is most certainly correct that some institutions have made profit from th Pandemic.
    It is all but impossible in England to see a G.P.
    It now takes over half an hour to get past the robots before you can speak to the receptionist, who then insist on leaning of your intimate problems, if you do not agree to this opening up, you will never, even get to speak to a doctor, let alone see one.
    They revel in it.
    Most people have not got three quarters of an hour to push buttons on their phone, to listen to non-stop robot speel.
    The last thing they want you to do, is to be able to see an actual doctor face to face.
    Is it fear or is it the regaining of the power they once held over us, the sneering at the lower uneducated orders?
    M.P’s are another lot
    they are innaccessable, they no longer will meet their people, unless you want to bung them money.

    We are now detatched from powerful people and that is how the powerful like it, we should be pleased to accept any crumb.
    The Pandemic has caused this.

    #81157 Reply

    I agree with you MN regarding the robot answering and the receptionist wanting to know why you want to see a doc but remember they are trying to filter out things like repeat prescription calls and others where medical intervention is not required. GPs have a tough job that has got harder to do over the last couple of decades. They are also combating decreasing numbers and other staffing shortages whilst at the same time coping with an increased workload since the pandemic. The BMA survey this.

    Tell the receptionist (get their name first) you have a medical condition that you wish only to discuss with your GP and if they give you trouble tell them you’ll make a formal complaint regarding patient confidentiality and remain polite but firm and insistent.

    #81158 Reply

    Ginger Ninja
    Yes indeed who will rein in the factions? We do not have a functioning democracy and the glimmer of hope we had with Corbyn has now been extinguished by the advent of ‘safe hands’ Starmer whose main aim was to neutralise the risk from the left for the benefit of the establishment of which he is part. It seems to cause no loss of sleep for the Labour party to have a Sir as its leader. And as you say the press has now been cowed and is an arm of the establishment.

    What hope is there? Maybe global warming is the tool that will see the end of capitalism as it seems to be beyond human greed to realise what a damaging system it is. But will there be anything salvageable?

    #81201 Reply

    G N
    “I stand by the fact that the pandemic has been greatly exaggerated…”

    Steady on man. You have now converted an opinion to a ‘fact’. This to me smacks of Trumps ‘alternate facts’

    If you read Naomi Klein’s ‘The Shock Doctrine’ where she discusses Disaster Capitalism, you will appreciate that an alternative explanation is that you do not need to exaggerate an adverse event but just to capitalize on it, and make it work for you. This to me is what has happened with the pandemic.

    In fact when you look at your stance it coincides more with what the government has thought all along. They thought they will take it on the chin, at the expense of the elderly and weak in order to save capitalism and now it is out in the open. Whereas some Asian and south Pacific countries took the road to effectively contain the epidemic with strict and early isolation, Western Governments took the line of flattening the curve with half hearted measure, believing that this is better for the economy.

    The fact that your present stance on the pandemic are closer to those of the right wingers in the government than to the majority scientific view seems to escape you.

    #81225 Reply

    The great trilemma: are globalization, democracy, and sovereignty compatible?

    “The paper describes the extant pressures operating to limit each of the three: how sovereignty and democracy work to constrain globalization, how globalization and sovereignty generate a democratic deficit, and how globalization and democracy lead to limitations upon, and even the transcendence of, sovereignty.”

    It’s long and wordy but worth a look.

    #81447 Reply

    Ginger Ninja, I’ll begin by requesting that you be patient; I’ve just spent an amazing and hectic week at an anarcho-communist squat in Glasgow, a highly unfamiliar environment for me, and I need time both to reflect, and to indulge in some reassuringly more familiar behaviours, so I am not yet in an appropriate mood to consider in detail what you have written and write a properly structured reply.

    So for now I’ll just write the following. In your thinking, try replacing “them” with “it”, “it” referring to the profit-seeking, expenditure-minimising nature required of nearly all organisations if they are to survive within the overarching capitalist-neoliberalist system.

    Vague example: individual scientists and scientific teams do some brilliant work finding substances that can modify biological chemistry so as to help people with health problems. But that is never the primary objective to which their employer puts their work. Their employer is a structure not an individual, and to thrive in the capitalist-neoliberal environment it has to use its employees work to maximise profit.

    Any pharmaceutical thus developed must be deployed to maximise profit rather than health, or the company (which is a structure) will begin to lose out against its competitors, and will eventually be subsumed by one of them. The companies are subject to evolution within the capitalist economic environment, so the ones we currently see thriving are the ones that most effectively maximised profit – maximising health is somewhere lower on their priority list if it appears at all. However, maximising the appearance of improving patients’ health is relatively high on their priority list, in order to maximise profit.
    – – – – – – – –

    “9/11 was a false flag”…

    What is meant by this? The 9/11 attacks carried no flag, no one claimed responsibility for it, and no one made any demands based upon it. The attacks seemed more of a statement, made via the symbolism of the chosen targets – US militarism, and US capitalism.

    #81456 Reply
    1. Ginger Ninja:

    “And I know this is going to sound even more hilarious to you, but there are some things I can’t mention.”

    Not hilarious at all; I am in the same position myself regarding a number of matters and I find it intensely uncomfortable and isolating, so I sympathise.

    “I am a bit mentally disorganised…”

    Respect to you for recognising this. The system cultivates confusion and division, because whenever people achieve understanding and unity, the system suffers partial defeat. As an example, people’s critical thinking skills and understanding of science are continually undermined by the corporate media; for a highly systematic and entertaining account of this, I recommend Bad Science by Ben Goldacre, which is also essential introductory reading to Bad Pharma mentioned by SA above.

    “And who’s going to rein them in? […] Nobody, that’s who!”

    Herein lies the tragedy of conspiracy theory, and its utility to the system. We have some 10% to 20% of the population who are sufficiently dissident to have chosen conspiracy theory in preference to the confusion they call “the official story”, but effectively neutralised by assuming the omniscience of “them”, because opposing an invincible foe can lead only to defeat and punishment. Yet the system would rapidly collapse if the majority merely removed their cooperation from it.

    “Organise, organise, organise!”

    #82529 Reply

    Abigail Thorn – Ideology is not conspiracy:


    #82717 Reply

    Conspiracy theorists are sometimes accused of callous disregard for the dead and injured, merely using them as a vehicle to promote their delusion. I agree, and yesterday an example appeared on Trowbridge H Ford’s obituary thread. On that thread I wrote:

    “Trowbridge was a conspiracy theorist of the old school, proposing political and military conspiracies consisting of small numbers of powerful people and the intelligence agencies, rather than the grand collusions of essentially the entire scientific and technical communities which also require support from nearly all doctors, nurses, local government statisticians, commercial pilots etc. etc. etc. the world over, which seem to have taken over since the turn of the century.”

    Johnny conspiranoid felt the need to reply…

    “Political and military conspiracies, consisting of small numbers of powerful people and the intelligence agencies, could manipulate entire scientific and technical communities which also require support from nearly all doctors, nurses, local government statisticians, commercial pilots etc. etc. etc. the world over, using knowledge aquired from scientific studies of group behaviour, propaganda, marketing and the use of paid infiltrators and agents of influence, a bit like color revolutions.”

    …with no mention of Trowbridge whatsoever – apparently the urgency of this message overrode any remembrance of Trowbridge himself.

    Johnny conspiranoid, I think you should reflect upon your apparent feelings of superiority over such vast numbers of people; maybe they aren’t such compliant idiots as you seem to assume. Have you considered that your own desire to promote conspiracy theory could itself be the result of manipulation “using knowledge aquired from scientific studies of group behaviour, propaganda, marketing and the use of paid infiltrators and agents of influence, a bit like color revolutions”, and if not, why not? That’s a question, johhny, and this is a discussion forum, so please answer it.

    #88703 Reply

    “Do your own research”

    Interesting podcast from Big Picture Science (a SETI institute production) on 7/2/22. They’re all available from this feed:


    In it (a 55 minute podcast), they mention five steps which denialists of all sorts invariably use:

    1. They cherry-pick their evidence
    2. They believe in (and attribute the entire issue to) conspiracy theories
    3. They rely on fake ‘experts’ and denigrate real experts
    4. They engage in illogical reasoning
    5. They believe all science has to be absolutely perfect in order to be at all credible

    The 5th in particular, leads denialists to say things like, “Unless you can prove it to me with absolute certainty right here and now, then my belief – however ludicrous – is just as good as yours. Which shows they don’t understand how science works, which is how they are so able to reject it.

    Scientists are increasingly finding their expertise questioned by non-experts who claim they’ve done their own “research.” Whether advocating Ivermectin to treat Covid, insisting that climate change is a hoax, or asserting that the Earth is flat, doubters are being dismissed by being told to “Do your own research!” But is some wiki page evidence? A youtube video? What happens to our quest for truth along the way?

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