Demos, a public policy think tank, recently published a revealing pamphlet on conspiracy theories, and the power they have over political movements on the left and the right. The paper makes an argument that needs further consideration when discussing the current political debate in the West, specifically the United States.
Demos' paper states that “what distinguishes conspiracy theories from genuine efforts to uncover actual conspiracies is that a conspiracy theory is not the most plausible account of events based on the available evidence”. “The acceptance of conspiracy theories in contexts of extremism often serves as a ‘radicalizing multiplier’, which feeds back into the ideologies, internal dynamics and psychological processes of the group.” This influences how extremist organizations build their ideology. It also applies to our public debate.
A number of prominent commentators have argued that Obama is now experiencing a fit of irrationality, making it impossible to govern effectively. George Packer argues that Obama is simply too sane for the era he finds himself, with Andrew Sullivan adding that the public’s emotions have taken a “pathological turn”...More >>