Against conspiracy theories: Why our activism must be based in reality

Against conspiracy theories: Why our activism must be based in reality
Against conspiracy theories: Why our activism must be based in reality

The text of a talk given at Occupy Wellington, New Zealand, on October 27 2011. The talk was organised to try to counter the prevalence of conspiracy theories amongst the local wing of the Occupy movement.

Submitted by Anarchia on October 29, 2011

Kia ora kotou, thanks everyone for coming. Firstly, a brief run-down of how this workshop will work: first, I'm going to give a brief talk, followed by an open discussion which anyone can contribute to. I also want to make it clear that I'm not here today to debunk or debate any specific conspiracy theory. I've got no interest in doing that, I don't think its particularly productive. What I want to be doing is talking about the title of the workshop is – why our activism must be based in reality. So we'll be talking about the whole conspiracy world-view, we'll be talking about what I think is a much better alternative to that, but I'm not going to sit here and argue with you over whether the Government is secretly poisoning us from the skies, or whether shape-shifting reptilian lizards are controlling our lives, or whether or not you can cure cancer with baking soda.

First up, who am I? For those of you who don't know me my name is Asher, I'm born and bred in Wellington, though I have also spent a few years recently living in Christchurch. I've been involved in activism and radical politics for around about 7 years, in a variety of different campaigns and struggles.

If we're going to talk about conspiracy theories, the first important question is obvious: what is a conspiracy theory?

Now, if you go by a dictionary definition, a conspiracy is just a group of people who get together to plan something, and don't tell others about it. If I'm organising a surprise birthday party for my friend, then I am conspiring with others. But that's not a particularly useful definition for the purposes of a discussion like this.

So, for this discussion, the way I'm defining a conspiracy theory is thus: a conspiracy theory is a theory based in supposition, one that flies in the face of evidence or science, often one that claims its correctness can be shown by the paucity of evidence in favour of it, in the sense that 'this conspiracy goes so far that they've even buried all the evidence that proves it!' Conspiracy theories often encourages an 'us few enlightened folk versus everyone else' world view. This creates an atmosphere where conspiracy theorists look down on people, or sheeple as they are often called, and ignores the fact that people, by and large, are actually pretty intelligent. In and of itself this world-view is hugely problematic for as I will discuss later, mass social change requires the participation of the masses and therefore, we have to have faith in the ability of people to decide things for themselves, to come to correct conclusions and ultimately to change the world.

Why am I interested in conspiracy theories, or at least arguing against them? Firstly, because I'm passionate about science and rationality, and I find it fascinating how and when these things are ignored.

Secondly, because I'm Jewish, and many conspiracy theories are antisemitic – whether directly and obviously (eg: Jews run the world, or the media, or the banks). Sometimes its more subtle – people might not talk about Jews explicitly but they may use Zionist as a code word, or talk about the Rothschilds, or an elite cabal of shadowy bankers who all coincidentally have Jewish surnames.

Lastly, I'm interested in conspiracy theories because I want radical social change, and to have radical social change, we need to have an understanding of how society actually works.

We are here at Occupy because we want to see change. What we want differs: some want new regulations on the financial sector, others want to change taxes or the minimum wage, while others still want to destroy capitalism and bring in a new form of production and distribution. Regardless of which of these boxes you fit in, if you fit in any of them at all, we all want change.

We're also here because we know we can't simply rely on Government to benevolently grant us the changes we desire. If we believed that, we'd sit at home and wait for the Government to give us these gifts. We're here because we know that those with power won't give it up lightly, and that it is only through our collective strength that we can win reforms, or create revolution.

But what do I mean when I say 'our collective strength'? I think it's important to clarify who is contained within the word 'our'. While people involved in the Occupy movements around the globe frequently refer to it as the 99%, I actually think that's a really imprecise term. So, instead, I refer to the working class. When they hear the term working class, some people think simply of male factory workers, but this is not what I mean. The working class is not limited to blue collar workers in factories, but instead it includes all of us who are forced to sell our labour power to survive. This includes people who are in paid employment, whether in a factory, office, café or retail store. It also includes those who are unable to find paid employment, or have chosen to refuse the drudgery of paid work in order to attempt to live on the meagre benefits supplied by the state, and who provide a vast potential pool of labour that enables the ruling class to further keep wages down. The working class includes stay at home parents, doing vital unpaid work to raise the next generation of human beings. It includes people who are too sick or unable to work for other reasons. In short, if you don´t own a business, if you aren't part of the Government, if you aren't independently wealthy (such as from an inheritance), then chances are you are a part of the working class that I'm talking about, this collective 'our'.

If we agree that we can't simply rely on Government to benevolently grant us gifts, and that we need to fight for it using our numbers and our power, then it becomes necessary to understand how society is structured and how capitalism actually functions, in order to know where our collective strength comes from, where we have the most power, and where we need to apply the metaphorical blowtorch.

So, why are conspiracy theories not helpful here? Why are conspiracy theories not useful for developing that understanding? There's a variety of reasons.

Some conspiracy theories, such as those around 9/11, even if they were true, which I don't believe they are, would only tell us “Governments do bad things”. That's not actually news to anyone. We know that the British Crown & the New Zealand Government stole vast tracts of land from Maori. We know that the Crown and the Australian Government engaged in genocidal acts against Australian aborigines. We know that Governments the world over have repeatedly sent people overseas to fight, kill and die in wars. There's so, so much more, but to cut a long story short, everybody knows that sometimes Governments do bad things. So theories that only serve to prove that, even if they were true, aren't actually particularly useful.

Some conspiracy theories are simply bizarre and the logical conclusions from them, don't fit with what their believers do. If you actually believed that the majority of people in power around the world was a blood-sucking shape-shifting reptilians from another solar system, then you wouldn't limit your activity to promoting one guy's book tours around the globe and chatting with other believers on the internet.

Conspiracy theories often feed on people's mistrust and their fear. They claim to provide simple answers to complicated questions, but actually when you examine them in detail they're highly complex themselves. For example, with 9/11, it seems like a simple solution to say 'it was an inside job by the US Government'. But actually, when you look into what would be required for this to be true, the thousands upon thousands of people who would need to be lying, it becomes incredibly implausible.

Some conspiracy theories, such as many of the shadowy financial cabal conspiracies, only serve to mystify capitalism and falsely suggest a level of control that doesn't actually exist. Additionally, they remove any sense of our own power, whether real or potential. A theory which suggests such overwhelming power and control over the entire way we live our lives is actually a catalyst for inaction – if a group has such a high level of control over everything, then there's not really anything we can do about it. On the contrary, capitalism is not a static system, it is dynamic and changing and constantly adapts in response to threats. The threat of working class power has resulted in a number of changes to the functioning of capitalism over time, including the introduction of Keynesian and Neoliberal economics in the late 1930s and 1970s respectively.

Even if conspiracy theories can sometimes seem relatively harmless on the surface, they play a role of absorbing us into a fictional world, somewhat like a dungeons and dragons enthusiast. Once you are in this fictional world, it becomes really easy to get lost in it and to be defensive when challenged, even when challenged on a logical, rational basis.

I'll quote British political blogger Jack Ray:

The trouble with conspiracy theories is that they're all rendered pointless by one fundamental, unarguable element of capitalism. That it is, whatever else you have to say about, positive or negative, a system of elites. It has elitism coded into it´s DNA, from the smallest company, to the largest multinational, from the political system to the culture. It's purpose is to promote elites. It does this legitimately within the logic of the system. It does this publicly, lording super-capitalists like Bill Gates or even for a time, Enron boss Ken Lay. It lays its theories of elitism out for all to see, in policy projects, in university research, through political theorists.

It has no interest in secret cabals, or conspiracies. It has no need for them. It is a system openly, and publicly, run by elites. They might go home at night and secretly dine with their illuminati, lizard-jew, Bilderberg Group friends, and laugh about how they've taken over the world. It doesn't matter to me or you whether they do or not. They are the elite, and we can see who they are and how they live their lives. People know that we live in a system of elites, that acts in its own interests, according to the logic of the society they dominate. Everyone who looks around know this. We don't need internet documentaries to tell us that we're dominated, we just need to go to work, or walk through a posh neighbourhood or have a run-in with any politicians, big businessman or even a celebrity to know that. What we need are weapons, ways of challenging that domination, so maybe we don't have to live under it forever.

So what is the alternative to this conspiracist world-view? For that, we need to look at history. The history of how social change comes about is not always easy to find. It suits those in power to downplay the role of mass movements, so the dominant narrative is often one that ignores the long term grassroots organising that has happened, and simply focuses on legislative change enacted by the Government of the day. But a people's history is out there – often in the form of first hand accounts by those who took part in these movements, such as those for homosexual law reform, of the 1970s strike wave across New Zealand, of the movement against native forest logging and so on.

One thing, from looking at this history, is abundantly clear. Mass action is vital for mass change. If you look through history, time and time again, it is when large groups of people have got together and shown themselves to be a threat to those in power that concessions have been granted. This happens on a small scale as well as a big one – when all 10 employees at a small business go on strike and refuse to work until their boss gives them a pay rise, the boss is forced to listen.

From this example, it becomes obvious that it isn't simply numbers alone that allow us to exercise power. It is also using those numbers strategically to hit those in power where it hurts. As workers, we create wealth for the bosses each and every day at our jobs. Some of this wealth is returned to us in the form of wages, but much is stolen. This stolen wealth is often called ¨surplus value¨. It is the accumulation of surplus value, stolen by our bosses, that forms the wealth of the ruling class. But because the goods and services that create this surplus value ultimately come from our hands and our brains, through collectively withdrawing our labour, we can force the bosses to give in to our demands.

So taking collective action the workplace is one way we can impose our power on the bosses to help us better meet our needs and desires. And if we extrapolate this to larger numbers of work-sites, to larger numbers of people both employed and unemployed, then we can begin to see how we can make changes to the functioning of society as a whole.

I don't have all the answers, though I do have plenty more to say than I've had time to touch on in this talk. But I want to open things up to discussion soon, because I think that's one thing that is really important about this Occupy Wellington space, that we can talk through things, together, to come to new ways of thinking and working politically.

To finish things off, I want to emphasise that while it is important to have an open mind, this must be tempered with a commitment to rationality and the examining of evidence. Or, to quote Australian sceptic and comedian Tim Minchin, “If you open your mind too much, your brain will fall out”.

Comments

Salviati

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Salviati on October 29, 2011

You say we need to look at history. On this I agree, in which case you will find that a great many 'conspiracy theories' turn out to have been correct: the Tonkin Gulf incident, MK Ultra, Operation Gladio, the Walsall anarchist bomb plot, etc etc. The list is very long indeed and, contrary to your stated belief, they do not require vast conspiracies of silence involving thousands of insiders - a few very powerful people is all that is required plus lots of bit part players who follow orders without questioning them. How many of today's 'conspiracy theories' will turn out to be tomorrow's declassified history? I'm not sure, but it's odds on that some will.

You are falling for the state and corporate media propaganda technique of stereotyping. The words 'conspiracy theory' are flung around with reckless abandon, mainly by those in power, solely in order to discredit ideas which are dangerous to the status quo. In truth, there are no 'conspiracy theories'; there are only various alternative narratives of history. Some are supported by evidence and others are not. Some have official state and media support whilst others do not. However, there is seldom any correlation between evidence and official support.

For example, the media often promotes climate change denial (despite the overwhelming evidence for anthropogenic global warming) whilst refusing to acknowledge the equally overwhelming scientific and eyewitness evidence for controlled demolition of 3 skyscrapers in Manhattan on 9/11. Over 1,600 verified professional architects and engineers have rejected the official explanation for those collapses but they are never interviewed in the mainstream media: their views always pompously and arrogantly dismissed, usually by journalists with no scientific qualifications, like David Aaronovitch.

In fact, the main 'conspiracy theory' of 9/11 is the official story, which the media never questions: a conspiracy conceived by a shadowy elite 'global terror network' called Al-Qaeda, led by a 'Bond villain' called Osama bin-Laden, for which there is no proper evidence whatsoever. The only evidence for this conspiracy is assertions made by state intelligence agencies such as the CIA (a criminal organisation), backed up by supposed confessions elicited by torture in Camp X-Ray. If this is the conspiracy theory you choose to believe, then fine; but don't go accusing others of having a conspiratorial mindset just because they question this 'truth' handed down from on high.

Needless to say, this has nothing to do with anti-Semitism. The latter is another charge flung around with reckless abandon by those who would like to silence critics of the Israeli government, raising legitimate concerns about that repressive state and its actions.

You also ask why should it matter, even if some of these conspiracies were true? So what if 9/11 were indeed a false flag operation? Would that really tell us no more than that 'governments do bad things'? Yes, it would. Most people (including most anarchists) are still unaware of the depths of iniquity and criminality to which our governments are willing to stoop. Mass murder of their own citizens is nothing more than collateral damage in their eyes. This naivety is potentially very dangerous and it also makes it difficult to confront the central lie at the heart of the 'War on Terror'. It becomes impossible to construct a coherent critique of endless foreign wars and domestic oppression if you accept the fundamental premise upon which they are based. The truth is a powerful weapon, especially when we are literally being assaulted by lies.

As you said, history is a good guide. If you want to know how elites and cabals subvert democracy, then start by studying Operation Gladio:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Gladio

Gladio was a network of far-right groups funded and directed mainly by the CIA, which carried out a series of false flag terror attacks in Italy from 1969 to 1988. It involved many thousands of operatives and was kept secret for over 40 years. Their first major outrage was the Piazza Fontana bombing in Milan, 1969:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piazza_Fontana_bombing

This terrorist attack was initially blamed on guess who? An anarchist, of course: the media's favourite bugbear before Muslim 'extremists' took over the role. The anarchist was arrested and died in custody (this formed the basis for Dario Fo's famous play: Accidental Death of an Anarchist). It later transpired that the attack had been carried out by right-wing extremists with close connections to the CIA, who supplied the material for the bomb.

This is no longer a conspiracy theory, but an established historical fact, following investigations begun in 1990. Even the BBC produced a documentary exposing Gladio in 1992. This was a time when the BBC still did proper investigative journalism. Today, they only peddle pseudo-science and misinformation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fB6nViwJcM

The parallels between the Gladio network and the present day concept of Al-Qaeda are very obvious, if you study them and you have some grasp of geo-politics. Alternatively, just read and understand Orwell's 1984. Osama bin-Laden could easily have been modelled on the character of Orwell's Emmanuel Goldstein, with a delicious irony.

In summary, I would say that I'm 'against conspiracy theories' too, as long as we count official government-sponsored conspiracy theories among them. What I'm in favour of is the following:

1) Understanding history

2) Understanding geo-politics (in all its complexity and skullduggery)

3) Looking at all the evidence (there's actually plenty out there despite the best attempts of authorities to cover their crimes)

4) Using your own brain and making up your own mind, rather than believing any old crap the media or the government want you to believe.

tastybrain

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by tastybrain on October 29, 2011

Salviati

How many of today's 'conspiracy theories' will turn out to be tomorrow's declassified history?

Well if most world leaders turn out to be reptilian aliens I will be very surprised...

mons

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by mons on October 29, 2011

Thanks so much for this article, really useful!

Salviati, OK, I disagree with you but like Asher I'm not interested in debating the conspiracy theories themselves (I used to spend far too much time doing that with friends who believed some of them).

But I don't think you have really explained how it shows us anything more than 'governments do bad things'. You said,

Most people (including most anarchists) are still unaware of the depths of iniquity and criminality to which our governments are willing to stoop. Mass murder of their own citizens is nothing more than collateral damage in their eyes. This naivety is potentially very dangerous and it also makes it difficult to confront the central lie at the heart of the 'War on Terror'. It becomes impossible to construct a coherent critique of endless foreign wars and domestic oppression if you accept the fundamental premise upon which they are based. The truth is a powerful weapon, especially when we are literally being assaulted by lies.

So you're saying that it is central to understanding the war on terror, and that's the only thing you've said it's useful for. If they were true, then it would alter the critique a bit, yeah. But I think you're still overstating massively the importance of the truth/falsity of these conspiracy theories. Nobody here believes that countries invade other countries for humanitarian reasons. I'd argue this is the more fundamental premise justifying invasions than 9/11, especially as it's used to justify pretty much all wars instead of being a specific incident.
More importantly, supposing these theories are true and our critique alters accordingly, then what? What concrete activity comes out of that? How does it change the way we should go about our efforts to stop war?

tastybrain

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by tastybrain on October 29, 2011

Salviati

For example, the media often promotes climate change denial (despite the overwhelming evidence for anthropogenic global warming) whilst refusing to acknowledge the equally overwhelming scientific and eyewitness evidence for controlled demolition of 3 skyscrapers in Manhattan on 9/11. Over 1,600 verified professional architects and engineers have rejected the official explanation for those collapses but they are never interviewed in the mainstream media: their views always pompously and arrogantly dismissed, usually by journalists with no scientific qualifications, like David Aaronovitch.

Links plz.

Salviati

You also ask why should it matter, even if some of these conspiracies were true? So what if 9/11 were indeed a false flag operation? Would that really tell us no more than that 'governments do bad things'? Yes, it would. Most people (including most anarchists) are still unaware of the depths of iniquity and criminality to which our governments are willing to stoop. Mass murder of their own citizens is nothing more than collateral damage in their eyes. This naivety is potentially very dangerous and it also makes it difficult to confront the central lie at the heart of the 'War on Terror'. It becomes impossible to construct a coherent critique of endless foreign wars and domestic oppression if you accept the fundamental premise upon which they are based. The truth is a powerful weapon, especially when we are literally being assaulted by lies.

Are you joking? Even if you turned out to be right, the mass murder of 3000 people is a drop in the ocean for the American government. You are the one who seems to be "unaware of the depths of iniquity and criminality to which our governments are willing to stoop". As Asher said, were you correct, it would tell us nothing new.

mons

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by mons on October 29, 2011

tastybrain, I think that is a pretty bad example as most people who believe 9/11 was an 'inside job', and even believe in the 'illuminati' and stuff don't think the world leaders are reptiles.
And for the evidence of the over 1600 scientists I imagine this what salviati means: http://ae911truth.org/en/home.html

radicalgraffiti

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by radicalgraffiti on October 29, 2011

tastybrain

Salviati

You also ask why should it matter, even if some of these conspiracies were true? So what if 9/11 were indeed a false flag operation? Would that really tell us no more than that 'governments do bad things'? Yes, it would. Most people (including most anarchists) are still unaware of the depths of iniquity and criminality to which our governments are willing to stoop. Mass murder of their own citizens is nothing more than collateral damage in their eyes. This naivety is potentially very dangerous and it also makes it difficult to confront the central lie at the heart of the 'War on Terror'. It becomes impossible to construct a coherent critique of endless foreign wars and domestic oppression if you accept the fundamental premise upon which they are based. The truth is a powerful weapon, especially when we are literally being assaulted by lies.

Are you joking? Even if you turned out to be right, the mass murder of 3000 people is a drop in the ocean for the American government. You are the one who seems to be "unaware of the depths of iniquity and criminality to which our governments are willing to stoop". As Asher said, were you correct, it would tell us nothing new.

this^ "our" governments do much worse stuff all the time, quite openly.

Salviati

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Salviati on October 29, 2011

Well if most world leaders turn out to be reptilian aliens I will be very surprised...

Err ... so would I. On the other hand, it would explain a lot :)

Salviati

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Salviati on October 29, 2011

I don't especially want to get drawn into a very detailed discussion of 9/11, but tastybrain asked for links, which is fair enough. The best film on the scientific evidence is undoubtedly the latest offering from Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, called Explosive Evidence: Experts Speak Out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lw-jzCfa4eQ

There is also a peer-reviewed scientific paper which shows beyond reasonable doubt that explosive residues were present in 4 independent dust samples from 9/11. Far from being 'debunked', the paper has never been challenged in a proper scientific forum. In fact, its findings have now been replicated by two other independent researchers, including an American Chemical Engineer. A layman's discussion with a link to the original can be found here:

http://911research.wtc7.net/essays/thermite/explosive_residues.html

If you want a lengthier discussion of the evidence and why it does matter, I've blogged about it here:

http://sodiumchorus.blogspot.com/2011/09/911-still-matters.html

David Chandler's videos explaining the physics of collapsing towers are also excellent. He forced NIST to acknowledge that WTC 7 was in absolute free fall after they had initially denied this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVCDpL4Ax7I

If you want a really well-researched, well-sourced website presenting evidence for alternative narratives about 9/11, then the best is probably 9/11 Research, maintained by Jim Hoffmann:

http://911research.wtc7.net/index.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Hoffman

This website is meticulously cross-referenced and every assertion is supported by citations of original sources and primary evidence.

I acknowledge the points made here that none of us (as anarchists / left libertarians) are that surprised that governments commit monstrous crimes. In that case, shouldn't we be doing everything we can to ensure that the evidence of those crimes is exposed in public, so that the majority of people (who are not necessarily lefties or anarchists) can better understand why government and hierarchy are potentially so dangerous?

It isn't just foreign wars which are justified by reference to terrorism; the more important aspect for us is domestic repression, in the name of 'security'. We had six 'terrorism' acts in the UK in the 8 years following 9/11. They have turned the UK into a police state - if it wasn't already - and if it was already then it's a million times worse now, all because of a big fat lie which most people still believe. You cannot effectively attack the police state without attacking the lies which sustain it. Orwell knew this.

Another reason to be concerned with the truth about history is that history tends to repeat itself and we need to recognise the underhand methods of the state, if we are not to fall victim to them ourselves. Anarchists have been the target of false flag operations and agents provocateurs for over 100 years:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walsall_Anarchists

This will inevitably be the case again and it is already happening in a more minor way. The next 9/11 will not be blamed on Muslims. It may well be blamed on us.

radicalgraffiti

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by radicalgraffiti on October 29, 2011

Right i'm not going to go into what you said in great detail but several things about what you said stand out.

First a scientist who has studed one subject can only be considered to know what they are talking about when they are talking about that precise subject, a physicist that specalises in magnetism is not necessary any good when it comes to fluid dynamics etc.

Secondly thermite is not an explosive, it is something that burns hot and can be uses to cut metal, no one moderately informed about chemistry would make this mistake.

Thirdly “Jim Hoffman has a background in software engineering, mechanical engineering, and scientific visualization[5] and co-published a paper on "Computer graphics tools for the study of minimal surfaces“ he is not any kind of engineer or physicist

Fourthly David Chandler appears to start timing the collapse of the wtc7 sever second after the collapse begins, he doesn't explain in any way why he chose the start point that he did, but it is clear that parts of the building had began to collapse before he stared to time it, this makes his claims about the speed that at collapsed invalid.

Boris Badenov

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Boris Badenov on October 29, 2011

As someone who has recently watched and enjoyed the movie ANONYMOUS, I am all for conspiracy theories. I mean FULL WHAT IF etc. That said, to base your politics on something like that is just plain stupid. Class war, and nothing but, baby.

jonthom

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by jonthom on October 30, 2011

Boris Badenov

As someone who has recently watched and enjoyed the movie ANONYMOUS, I am all for conspiracy theories. I mean FULL WHAT IF etc. That said, to base your politics on something like that is just plain stupid. Class war, and nothing but, baby.

This, basically.

Conspiracy theories can be a lot of fun, many of them are just silly (moon landing), some are bizarre (OMG MASONIC JEW LIZARDS!!!), a handful turn out to be true (MK ULTRA). But ultimately I really don't see what impact they have on our understanding of politics or political activity, much less why we should "be doing everything we can to ensure that the evidence of those crimes is exposed in public". The latter attitude often seems to lend itself to an almost missionary view of the rest of society, as though all that would be needed for social change is for "the sheeple" to "wake up" and understand the evil machinations of the ruling class.

Of course the ruling class conspires. They do so all the time. But even if the 9/11 claims had any validity - and I really don't think they do - that wouldn't really change a great deal IMO.

Salviati, since you listed several examples of real conspiracies being outed, I'm curious - what positive social changes or damage to capitalism or the state do you feel have resulted from the exposure of "the Tonkin Gulf incident, MK Ultra, Operation Gladio, the Walsall anarchist bomb plot, etc etc"?

roach

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by roach on October 30, 2011

Though i agree with the sentiment of this speech/ article/ whatever, i think it unnecessarily complicates the issue.

A conspiracy is when more than one person gets together to plan something and act on it. In the english language conspiracy has a negative connotation to it, so what is being planned is implied to benefit the planners at the detriment of others.

So a conspiracy theory is a theory about some people who have conspired to make something happen that will benefit themselves at the detriment of others.

what is implicit in conspiracy theories, necessarily, is that whatever system that the theory is discussing (the u.s., italy, capitalism, etc) would not act this way if it were not for said conspirators. This carries with it the assumption that it is individual actors, and not the system itself, that is the problem.

We are anarchists. From an anarchist perspective, these actors would be tossed aside and replaced if they acted in any way that challenged the system itself. A president or CIA director is a replaceable cog in the death machine that is capitalism and the state, the individual name does not change their role.

A conspiracy theory focuses on bad actors in a decent system, Anarchism focuses on a system of domination that would attempt to dominate no matter who the actors are.

Salviati

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Salviati on October 31, 2011

radicalgraffiti

Right i'm not going to go into what you said in great detail but several things about what you said stand out.

First a scientist who has studed one subject can only be considered to know what they are talking about when they are talking about that precise subject, a physicist that specalises in magnetism is not necessary any good when it comes to fluid dynamics etc.

Secondly thermite is not an explosive, it is something that burns hot and can be uses to cut metal, no one moderately informed about chemistry would make this mistake.

Thirdly “Jim Hoffman has a background in software engineering, mechanical engineering, and scientific visualization[5] and co-published a paper on "Computer graphics tools for the study of minimal surfaces“ he is not any kind of engineer or physicist

Fourthly David Chandler appears to start timing the collapse of the wtc7 sever second after the collapse begins, he doesn't explain in any way why he chose the start point that he did, but it is clear that parts of the building had began to collapse before he stared to time it, this makes his claims about the speed that at collapsed invalid.

I guess I need to clear up some misconceptions. Architects & Engineers for 911 Truth have over 1,600 professionals, including structural engineers, architects who design steel-framed buildings and chemists including explosives specialists. All have very relevant expertise.

Thermite is indeed not an explosive but a very effective incendiary capable of cutting seel, especially with the addition of sulphur, to make thermate. However, what Prof Niels Harrit's research team found was not thermite per se but nanothermite, which is a much more refined version of thermite. Nanothermite has similar power to a high explosive but generates much higher temperatures:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nano-thermite

Chandler's analysis is superb and NIST was in fact forced to agree with him. They had to retract their earlier claim that WTC 7 was not in free fall. The end points for the timing are irrelevant, since what matters is the instantaneous acceleration, as this tells us about the forces involved (since F = ma). WTC 7 was in free fall for over 2 seconds, which means that none of its 82 steel columns was offering any resistance to collapse during this time. That is impossible, unless nearly all those columns were simultaneously severed.

I have a PhD in applied maths myself, from an engineering department, together with post-doc experience. You don't really need that level of qualification to understand the physics involved here, as it's pretty simple stuff, yet NIST wilfully got it wrong and failed to draw the obvious conclusions. I've read the NIST report on WTC 7 and I can assure you that it is unadulterated bullshit, full of errors and omissions, which would not even pass muster as an undergraduate engineering project.

CornetJoyce

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by CornetJoyce on October 31, 2011

Speaking of omissions, the most formidable critic of the "official explanation" is surely Steven Jones- a physicist known for his cold fusion thesis. On his site- which seems to no longer be online- he posted the Request for Study sent to scientists and engineers including himself,
The base - the first 14 floors I think- of the first 2 towers was excluded from the study, as of course was the third twin tower.
Dr Jones has recently concluded his testing of materials from the site and has found nanothermite.

roach

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by roach on October 31, 2011

Salviati-

number of engineers registered as employed in the u.s. in 2006-
1.5 million

number of architects registered as employed in the u.s. in 2008-
233,000

^easily obtainable random data from google.

if there are roughly 1.7 million engineers and architects in the united states (and there are definitely more than that), then your "1,600 engineers and architects" is equivalent to less than 0.001% of people in those fields. not really an impressive number when you look at it that way.

also, as someone who blows glass and does metal work, i've gotta tell you that steel is a conductor, and any heat introduced at the top will necessarily weaken the bottom, because the heat will transfer very quickly if its a lot of heat. am i a scientist? no. am i into math? not really. but as someone who as played with fire his whole life and is now employed to play with and manipulate fire and heat, i've gotta tell you, a giant fucking impact and explosion of an extremely large plane at the mid-top of the buildings is a pretty damn reasonable explanation for structural failure.

finally, why not bother responding to what i said before? conspiracy theory is about blaming individual bad actors. anarchism is about understanding and dismantling a bad system filled with cogs that couldn't do what they are doing without said system. even if conspiracy theories 'break the blinders' on people, they still leave up the most important blinder to break, that the whole system is a fucking sham. blaming bad actors definitely exonerates the system.

CornetJoyce

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by CornetJoyce on October 31, 2011

Well no, "a giant fucking impact and explosion of an extremely large plane at the mid-top of the buildings" is not "a pretty damn reasonable explanation for structural failure," which is why the government patched together a theory about the "pancake effect" presumably worked out by pancake engineers. No plane either fuckiing or extremely large hit the third twin tower so all of Manhattan should be evacuated before it's brought down by old stogies in the wastebaskets. .

roach

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by roach on October 31, 2011

like i said, as someone with a lifelong experience with heat and fire and it's effects, i personally think it is a reasonable explanation. because all understanding must stem from personal experience. if you don't understand or have any respect for personal experience, that is your problem.

steel become malleable at a certain point. all of the support beams and rivots holding up the towers were steel, and they were all inter connected, allowing rapid heat transfer. the center of each tower is a hollow shaft which created a large thermal draft. if you take any decent industrial torch and quickly introduce the flame to the top of a hollow steel shaft at a hot enough temperature, the whole bar (not just the top) will sag and begin to bend under the heat. the bottom moves much slower than the top, but it still moves. that is because the medium (steel) is a heat conductor, not a heat insulator. while the melting temperature of steel is somewhere above 2,000 degrees (F), the temperature at which it "softens" is actually pretty low, somewhere shortly below 1,000 degrees (F) (i don't know what those temps are in celsius). this is a small scale version of what happened. i know this because i've tried it. because i have access to the proper equipment to do so. it's not just a refutable theory found in a paper to me. but, once again, if you have no respect for personal experience, than that is your problem.

as for the "third twin tower" (wtc 7), there were two industrial sized illegally placed active diesel generators in opposite sides of the basement that nj trans is being sued over. whether these brought the building down or the building was "pulled" because those generators would have been an extra danger does not matter to me.

it doesn't matter to me,because of what i have said about the focus on bad actors versus a needed focus on the bad system we live in. The u.s. government commits crimes every day. and it lies every day. and it conspires in order to achieve both. it does so because "war is the health of the state". it would not matter if 9-11 happened or not, the u.s. was going to let out a viscous primal scream as it's hegemony faded (one could even argue that the fade happened far more rapidly because of the war on terror), and people were going to die because of it. they will continue to die under the boot of the state until we overcome the state, once again, because war is the health of the state. that is the anarchist understanding of state power. and this is an anarchist site.

Salviati

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Salviati on October 31, 2011

roach

... the center of each tower is a hollow shaft which created a large thermal draft. ...

I have to stop you there, because you are just repeating a piece of official misinformation which is very commonly believed. This is absolutely typical of those who believe the official version of events: they just uncritically accept factually erroneous statements from official sources. Here is some correct information about the construction of the twin towers:

http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/evidence/blueprints.html

The core of both buildings was supported by 47 huge steel columns running from the base to the top and protected by concrete. There is no evidence that the cores of either building were affected by fire or damaged by plane impacts in any way whatsoever. But why let facts get in the way of a good evidence-free official conspiracy theory?

This is why I don't want to get involved in detailed discussions on the evidence that 9/11 was a false flag op. It almost certainly was, but those who argue against it are armed with a great deal of misinformation (which they call 'debunking'), which always turns out to be wrong. I could debunk the 'debunkers' all day long, but I really can't be arsed any more. If you're genuinely interested in the truth, you'll do your own research, maybe starting with some of the links I've provided, then make up your own mind, remembering that official government sources are seldom to be trusted unless independently corroborated.

However, roach correctly points out that the most important question now is not whether false flag ops are real (history shows they are even if you don't think 9/11 was one) but whether this is important politically for us, as anarchists. I'll address this in a separate comment.

Salviati

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Salviati on October 31, 2011

roach

also, as someone who blows glass and does metal work, i've gotta tell you that steel is a conductor, and any heat introduced at the top will necessarily weaken the bottom, because the heat will transfer very quickly if its a lot of heat. am i a scientist? no. am i into math? not really. but as someone who as played with fire his whole life and is now employed to play with and manipulate fire and heat, i've gotta tell you, a giant fucking impact and explosion of an extremely large plane at the mid-top of the buildings is a pretty damn reasonable explanation for structural failure.

I have plenty of respect for your skill and personal experience as a glass-blower / metal worker. You're right in saying that the steel frames of these buildings act as a massive heat sink. Far from making them more vulnerable, this actually protects them from the effects of fires by dissipating the heat safely. The steel would not reach anywhere near the temperatures required for complete structural failure.It is not your personal experience that I'm questioning: you are just misinformed about the facts of the case, as I pointed out in my previous comment. Now to the more important question:

roach

finally, why not bother responding to what i said before? conspiracy theory is about blaming individual bad actors. anarchism is about understanding and dismantling a bad system filled with cogs that couldn't do what they are doing without said system. even if conspiracy theories 'break the blinders' on people, they still leave up the most important blinder to break, that the whole system is a fucking sham. blaming bad actors definitely exonerates the system.

I totally agree with all of that. Conspiracy theory is indeed about blaming bad actors, but I'm not talking about a 'conspiracy theory': I'm pointing out the systematic use of false flag operations by state institutions; especially intelligence agencies. What THEY (the corporate media) call 'conspiracy theories' are just the tip of a very large iceberg, which includes day-to-day surveillance and infiltration of anarchist groups by informers and agents provocateurs, for example.

The whole point is that I'm not blaming 'bad actors': that's what the government wants you to do and that's why they label alternative narratives as 'conspiracy theories'. Damn it, that's why they even promote official conspiracy theories of their own, like the great Al-Qaeda conspiracy theory that we're all supposed to believe in: It's all about a very bad man with a beard controlling a global terror network. Watch out! Your beardy Muslim neighbour could be one. It's not safe: we need more power for the police ... and so it goes on.

Yes, blaming bad actors does exonerate the system. If they get you to think in terms of 'conspiracy theory', then they've won. That's why I don't advocate 'conspiracy theories'. The phrase is empty and meaningless: designed to make you stop thinking. Next time you hear it blandly spouted in the corporate media, try deconstructing it. Instead, there are alternative narratives of history. Conspiracies are actually quite commonplace in history, but they arise out of systemic necessity. Elites (plural) are secretive and they exercise power largely in secret, not in public, since it is necessary to maintain some illusion of popular accountability.

For example, ten years ago, if you even mentioned the existence of Bilderberg, you would have been labelled a 'conspiracy theorist'. Now, thanks to the efforts of 'conspiracy theorists' (actually 'political activists'), the existence of Bilderberg can no longer be denied. Instead, they will now call you a conspiracy theorist if you suggest that anything important actually gets discussed at this annual shindig of the world's most powerful people.

Sure enough, the results of that power are clear for all to see: massive inequality, injustice, war and repression. Yeah, the system sucks, but unless you fully understand exactly how it sucks, you'll never defeat it.

Another vital point to understand is that the term 'conspiracy theory' is used as a state tool to divide and rule us, in exactly the same way as the terms 'deserving poor' or 'illegal immigrant'. Oh, you're not a 'conspiracy theorist' are you? You might be an anarchist but at least you're not one of those 'paranoid conspiraloons', are you? You're not one of those 'Truthers'? Goodness, you'll be suggesting that the police spy on innocent people and concoct false evidence next - what a ludicrous 'conspiracy theory'.

The thing is this: 9/11 Truth Activists (just for example) are legitimate political campaigners, fighting to expose systemic corruption and suppression of the truth within governments (plural) and intelligence agencies. Now, I do not believe that there is some single over-arching global New World Order conspiracy: that would be a massive over-simplification.

However, to characterise any particular group of activists as 'conspiracy theorists' simply plays directly into the hands of the media and political elites. Instead, why don't we try to understand what they're really saying by actually talking and listening, rather than rushing to judgement on the basis of media disinformation? Some may turn out to be mistaken, but others could have a valid point which impacts on the wider struggle against capitalism.

Articles like this one, by Asher, really don't help at all.

Salviati

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Salviati on October 31, 2011

jonthom

...

Of course the ruling class conspires. They do so all the time. But even if the 9/11 claims had any validity - and I really don't think they do - that wouldn't really change a great deal IMO.

Salviati, since you listed several examples of real conspiracies being outed, I'm curious - what positive social changes or damage to capitalism or the state do you feel have resulted from the exposure of "the Tonkin Gulf incident, MK Ultra, Operation Gladio, the Walsall anarchist bomb plot, etc etc"?

I missed this comment earlier, so maybe I should respond.

First, I'm not waiting for 'the sheeple' to 'wake up': hell will surely freeze over before that happens. Still, it would certainly be nice if a few intelligent and perceptive anarchists (such as I know I can find here) would stop swallowing corporate media propaganda. If nothing else, a study of false flag ops and the propaganda efforts which accompany them should enable activists like ourselves to recognise bullshit when it's being fed to us. That would surely be useful, wouldn't it? I'm not saying we fall for it all the time, but I have to admit that I've also fallen for it in the past. I'm much less likely to do so in future because now I'm more familiar with the tricks played on us.

It's about understanding the methods of the enemy. It's also about understanding history in general and how hegemony sustains itself through lies. This helps you to avoid repeating past mistakes or falling for the subtle misdirection practised by governments and security agencies.

For example, if the Walsall anarchists had been better able to recognise that they'd been infiltrated and fitted up, they could have stayed out of prison. If anti-war activists had exposed the Tonkin Gulf incident earlier, the Vietnam War could have been curtailed. If Italian anarchists had recognised Gladio for what it was, they could have countered it. There's also the need to show solidarity with other activists coming under a propaganda attack. By legitimising the use of the phrase 'conspiracy theorist', you are handing an easy victory to the corporate media and giving them a weapon they will use against you, tomorrow.

OK, these things don't necessarily lead to global awakening and revolution but greater understanding always enables you to fight more effectively. To argue otherwise is like saying that history just doesn't matter. Of course it matters.

CornetJoyce

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by CornetJoyce on October 31, 2011

The unexplained collapse of the third twin tower " does not matter to you" but it matters nevertheless, as does the truth in any criminal matter.

roach

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by roach on October 31, 2011

the measurements of the twin towers were 208 ft x 208 ft. the length of a 767 is is 160 ft. if the planes did not go into the buildings enough to penetrate the cores, pretty much the entire core, then the whole plane would have fallen out and landed on the street. if you really are into math, that should be kind of obvious. the core shaft takes up roughly a third of the mass of the building according to the diagram in your own link. so if by sheer numbers the planes had to have penetrated the cores, they would have ploughed through the concrete and exposed parts of the steel. and the entire core shaft was certainly not filled with concrete, so it did most likely create a thermal draft. and the blueprint page you sent me to does absolutely nothing to refute anything i have said. also, another thing i have to tell you from experience, concrete does not take rapid temperature fluctuations well. only solid and steady temperature shifts. a giant inferno created by burning jet fuel, computers, office materials, and dry wall would definitely create rapid heat shifts, not a steady rise. but why let math and the experience and knowledge of flameworker who is from nj, watched the whole thing go down with his own eyes, not a camera lens, and has thought about this plenty and is not being exposed to these ideas for the first time get in the way of a fun conspiracy? i have done research on it man. i'm sorry, but my own eyes and my own experience definitely means more to me than papers written by people who weren't there but believe they hold the (T)ruth.

on your other post, yes, you are talking about and advocating a conspiracy theory. it is not empty and meaningless. it's actually really precise. you have a theory about a grouping of people who have done something nefarious in secret to benefit themselves, a conspiracy. That makes it a conspiracy theory, by definition and by description. and yes, the blowback theory involving militants the u.s. previously armed and trained is also a conspiracy theory. i don't even think conspiracy theory is an inherently negative term. that's just you projecting that onto what i say. i merely think that conspiracy theories never get to the damn point, the system, because they are inherently geared towards blaming only the actors (conspirators).

but i am an anarchist. i am concerned with the system of state and capital. not just one of the recent fucked up things that this or that political actor was involved in, but the whole damn system. i know that states do fucked up things and that those things create waves which come back to haunt them. repression of anarchists back in the day led to the gallianisti age here in the u.s. that was blowback too. the important thing is to understand it from a systems level. to not simply blame the politician who started funding and training the muhajadeen or the judge who hanged the people from haymarket (though we should curse their names), but understand why the state acts the way it does and attempt to overcome the state itself and all of its torturous and repressive bullshit, not just get bogged down on one specific incident of the state acting like a state. engaging way too much time on minutiae of 9-11 is a waste of goddamned time. sure i understand "how it sucks". but by your above comment on how this was a bigger travesty than most things the u.s. does makes me think that maybe you don't really understand "how it sucks". you don't seem to get that this is typical behavior, that no individual citizen really matters to any government, and certainly not to the most powerful state. this is one of the first times i've bothered allowing myself to openly discuss anything about it in years, because i think its a waste of time. it was an excuse for the war on terror, which was really just an explosive microcosm of the state acting like an unbridled state. nothing more. the u.s. participates in the murder of people all over the world, including here in the u.s., every damn day. some days have higher death tolls than others, but the death toll will not stop until the state and it's apparati are dismantled. end of story.

and on your stuff about 'spouting mainstream media lies', i'm sorry man, but you have no idea who you are talking to. you shouldn't make such assumptions. i haven't had cable since 2002. i barely used it before that. mostly for cartoon network. you are on a radical's site. try to not assume that the people you interact with are just 'sheeple' or whatever who have never bothered thinking about the influence of corporate media or the big bad government or never read any of the things you cite. it doesn't do any of your ideas any good to start off sounding like you're talking down to people.

on articles like this one, my first comment was on exactly that. the one you didn't respond to. so i'll paste it below. vv

>>>>Though i agree with the sentiment of this speech/ article/ whatever, i think it unnecessarily complicates the issue.

A conspiracy is when more than one person gets together to plan something and act on it. In the english language conspiracy has a negative connotation to it, so what is being planned is implied to benefit the planners at the detriment of others.

So a conspiracy theory is a theory about some people who have conspired to make something happen that will benefit themselves at the detriment of others.

what is implicit in conspiracy theories, necessarily, is that whatever system that the theory is discussing (the u.s., italy, capitalism, etc) would not act this way if it were not for said conspirators. This carries with it the assumption that it is individual actors, and not the system itself, that is the problem.

We are anarchists. From an anarchist perspective, these actors would be tossed aside and replaced if they acted in any way that challenged the system itself. A president or CIA director is a replaceable cog in the death machine that is capitalism and the state, the individual name does not change their role.

A conspiracy theory focuses on bad actors in a decent system, Anarchism focuses on a system of domination that would attempt to dominate no matter who the actors are.
<<<<

roach

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by roach on October 31, 2011

Cornetjoyce -

if you think that the u.s. is responsible for 9-11, do you actually think that the u.s. would investigate any criminal matter relating themselves to it? would a judge convict himself of a crime? that's is just nonsense. and i'd once again remind you that this is an anarchist site. it's not about reforming the state through litigation and court proceedings. it's about abolishing the state and it's courts. having one arm of the state interfere with the another is called reform. the only purpose of reform is to help the state survive longer.

roach

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by roach on October 31, 2011

historians get lost in history and don't come back all the time. the pure sounding world of books seems to be a lot more pleasant than reality. people obsessing over 9-11 have the same exact problem. you get so locked up in all these idiosyncratic details that you don't notice that the state's tactics have changed over the past 10 years. understanding how they did it back then, or how they did it in italy, or where ever and when ever, does not help as much as you think. military theorists refer to it as "fighting the last war", when you prepare for your next battle as though reality was static and it will be no different from your last one. its a bad mistake.

Caiman del Barrio

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on October 31, 2011

Bo-ring!

Back on topic please! Truthers and their debaters, go somewhere else!

roach

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by roach on October 31, 2011

caiman-

the article is called against conspiracy theories. it is about conspiracy theories. i'm arguing against conspiracy theories. exactly how is any of what's happening not on topic?

Arbeiten

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Arbeiten on October 31, 2011

to be honest, if you mention Bilderberg now, my conspiracy theorist approaching alarm still goes off...

Salviati

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Salviati on October 31, 2011

roach

caiman-

the article is called against conspiracy theories. it is about conspiracy theories. i'm arguing against conspiracy theories. exactly how is any of what's happening not on topic?

Funnily enough, I'm also arguing against conspiracy theories: especially the ones concocted by the state, which both you and Caiman appear to believe in.

As for Bilderberg: that's not a 'conspiracy', it's just an organisation of the world's most powerful political and corporate leaders which happens to meet in total secrecy every year to discuss major global issues and go skiing. Obviously, nothing of any importance, which is why the corporate media denied its existence until recently and still doesn't attempt to cover what goes on there. OK, so let's go back to pretending it doesn't exist, because we wouldn't want someone to call us 'conspiracy theorists', would we?

Because asking questions about hierarchies is obviously a total distraction from what anarchism is all about, isn't it? Look, I'm all for smashing the system, but first don't you have to know what the system is?

Salviati

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Salviati on October 31, 2011

OK, I'll tell you what: you want a conspiracy theory to argue against? Try this one for a start:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuC_4mGTs98

Arbeiten

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Arbeiten on October 31, 2011

yeah sorry, that was a bit of a cheap shot. I believe powerful people get together, why not? That much is obvious. I'm happy to admit that. I'm just not happy with the amount of chaff there is in the wheat pile of information on 'Bilderberg'. It isn't always 'conspiracy' per se just the dodgy analysis. Often accompanied by some strange 'bad actors' theory that has been discussed above...

roach

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by roach on November 1, 2011

Salviati-
>>"I'm also arguing against conspiracy theories: especially the ones concocted by the state, which both you and Caiman appear to believe in."<<

see this is what i mean about believing in the capital 'T' truth. which is inherent in the name Truther

you are so damn hooked up on this shit that you can't seem to even rationally look at what i've said.

i never said anything about who brought the towers down (the conspirators). once again you are projecting onto who you are arguing with. i have not taken any position on nor claimed anything about who brought them down, nor do i care to.

i've just argued that focusing on these theories is not worth anywhere near this much time, given you information i know about heat and metal, and a few measurements, and told you that i watched the planes hit and the towers fall in real time with my own eyes (i wasn't 'right there' but i could still see it). all of that put together is why i really think it's quite silly to think they didn't fall because of the planes.

when you get down to it, i've done the same thing you want to do, give some information and hope the person receiving it will give it a thought. and i haven't told you that you believe a bunch of "misinformation" or anything of the sort, a modicum of respect you haven't really given the rest of us. i've just given you some other info and my opinion on several things. and whether you want to accept it or not, my opinion comes from my experience, which also includes looking at much of the information you've linked to, if not the specific sites, long before this conversation started. and my opinion is still as previously stated, that much of this is pretty much a waste of time, and that it adds nothing to anarchist theory or praxis.

you can't simply assume that everyone just believes what they've been told. and you can't simply assume that people who don't agree with you do so only because they don't have 'the right information'. there are people who have the same information you do, sometimes even more, like actual experience with important physical factors that are a part of the discussion, and have come to different conclusions.

but you seem to be so caught up with this particular conspiracy theory, and how it is constructed in very particular detail in your head (because you seem to have spent too much time on it), that you are getting defensive and accusatory in in the face of information you don't want to process. so much so that you ignored the entirety of my last (very long) post to you. which is exactly why i think conspiracy theories tend to be a problematic waste of time. they usually lead to what resembles a dogma mentality, absorbing only what fits and ignoring or attacking what does not, then accusing the 'other side' of exactly that.

CornetJoyce

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by CornetJoyce on November 1, 2011

roach

Cornetjoyce -

if you think that the u.s. is responsible for 9-11, do you actually think that the u.s. would investigate any criminal matter relating themselves to it? would a judge convict himself of a crime? that's is just nonsense. and i'd once again remind you that this is an anarchist site. it's not about reforming the state through litigation and court proceedings. it's about abolishing the state and it's courts. having one arm of the state interfere with the another is called reform. the only purpose of reform is to help the state survive longer.

And an "anarchist site" would swear to the state's fabications no matter how absurd? How in hell does that "abolish" the state? Is it supposed to laugh itself to death? Supporting the lies of the state is called collaboration.
In the absence of evidence, I have no theory about what happened to the towers of Ozymandias. The theories I've heard, including the state's and yours, are incredible. I've paid little attention to the matter but I'm sure I could study it around the clock and still not have enough information to form a theory.

Tojiah

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Tojiah on November 1, 2011

Actually this libcom article was part of a plot by the Bilderbergs to get all of you Truthers to show your faces on an unsecured website. Black helicopters are on the way to your houses. There is no point in escaping. It will be easiest for you if you don't struggle.

CornetJoyce

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by CornetJoyce on November 1, 2011

The scales have fallen from our eyes: two airplanes knocked three twin towers straight down!
And now the state is abolished, yahoo!
Just goes to show: abolish the law of gravity and you abolish the state.

Tojiah

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Tojiah on November 1, 2011

As I recall it took a while. Some people even managed to escape before the buildings collapsed fully. From, you know, having had large passenger jets flown into them at ramming speed.

bastarx

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by bastarx on November 1, 2011

Truthers are just a bunch of racists who can't accept that a bunch of Arabs could pull something like 9/11 off.

Tojiah

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Tojiah on November 1, 2011

And who care more about 3000 Americans than about the millions of non-Americans the US has killed before and after 9/11.

jonthom

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by jonthom on November 1, 2011

Salviati

First, I'm not waiting for 'the sheeple' to 'wake up': hell will surely freeze over before that happens. Still, it would certainly be nice if a few intelligent and perceptive anarchists (such as I know I can find here) would stop swallowing corporate media propaganda.

Believe it or not, some people who disagree with you - even some people who agree with the "official version" of events! - are not simply "swallowing corporate propaganda". They are intelligent people who, like you, have looked at the evidence and reached different conclusions. To claim otherwise and insist they are just brainwashed is really quite astoundingly arrogant, to be honest.

It's about understanding the methods of the enemy. It's also about understanding history in general and how hegemony sustains itself through lies. This helps you to avoid repeating past mistakes or falling for the subtle misdirection practised by governments and security agencies.

On this point I think we can agree to some extent. However, while understanding the way the ruling class operates is important, I really think we have far better tools at our disposal than the analysis given by Icke, Jones and the band of 9/11 Truthers. Chomsky, for example, has written extensively about the nature of propaganda, and sites like MediaLens, however imperfect, do help provide details of news which are generally left out of UK reports. Outside of studying the nature of propaganda, there are plenty of writings available - many of them on this site - demonstrating how capitalism and the state function in a great deal of depth, writings which are all the stronger because they don't rely on references to Bilderberg and other silliness (more on that below).

For example, if the Walsall anarchists had been better able to recognise that they'd been infiltrated and fitted up, they could have stayed out of prison.

:confused: It was my understanding that the Walsall Anarchists did know they had been set up, and by whom, and even said as much in court.

If anti-war activists had exposed the Tonkin Gulf incident earlier, the Vietnam War could have been curtailed.

I find that rather difficult to believe but, benefit of the doubt and all that: what's your grounds for saying this? Do you have any particular real-world parallel in mind?

IMO, outside of some sort of change of heart on the part of the US ruling class, the only thing that could have stopped the Vietnam War sooner would have been to make the US itself basically ungovernable - mass shutdown through strikes, sabotage, occupations, blockades, riots and all the other fun stuff. If 58,000 dead US soldiers couldn't accomplish that I'm not sure knowledge of the Gulf of Tonkin would have made much difference.

If Italian anarchists had recognised Gladio for what it was, they could have countered it.

How?

(Not a rhetorical question btw - Gladio intrigues me and if you can point to some way in which it could have been countered at the time I'd be curious to hear it.)

There's also the need to show solidarity with other activists coming under a propaganda attack. By legitimising the use of the phrase 'conspiracy theorist', you are handing an easy victory to the corporate media and giving them a weapon they will use against you, tomorrow.

On the other hand though, by distancing ourselves from conspiracy theorists, we get to make it clear that opposing capitalism doesn't involve wittering on about the Masons, Illuminati, fluoride in the water and related silliness. Which I think is a good thing, to be honest; the anarchist analysis of capitalism and that offered by the conspiracy community (or Truthers, or "alternative historians" - whichever term you'd prefer) are actually quite different.

You mentioned the Bilderberg Group elsewhere in this thread. I first came across them a while ago, I think in a book by Icke; wound up reading a bit more about them both from "alternative theorists" on the one hand and mainstream sources on the other. It's somewhat interesting reading, certainly, if you're into that sort of thing. But that was the best part of a decade ago and knowing about the Bilderberg Group has yet to have any impact whatsoever on my political analysis or activity. More to the point, however, I don't see how it possibly could.

That capitalists conspire amongst themselves is hardly a novel observation. Even Adam Smith commented on that. Sometimes they conspire in public, through national governments and international organisations like the G8 and G20. Other times they do so behind closed doors through organisations like the Bilderberg Group. It seems entirely plausible - in fact, all but inevitable - that the discussions held at Bilderberg (and other gatherings) have an impact on the sorts of policies the governments in question go on to enact. However, I'm at a loss as to what possible difference knowing about these groups could make to our activity in the here and now. If you have something in mind, however, I'm all ears.

To be honest, the examples of successfully exposed conspiracies you've brought up seem to argue against, rather than in favour of, the idea that this should be our focus of activity. The Cold War era alone brought all sorts of conspiracies and scandals to the surface - Gulf of Tonkin, MK ULTRA, Watergate, Iran-Contra, Gladio and so on. Yet their exposure doesn't seem to have done the slightest damage to either capitalism or the state, nor provided any real boost to movements against them. They had an impact on the individuals implicated in the controversies, of course, but that as best I can tell is pretty much it.

Caiman del Barrio

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on November 1, 2011

Salviati

roach

caiman-

the article is called against conspiracy theories. it is about conspiracy theories. i'm arguing against conspiracy theories. exactly how is any of what's happening not on topic?

Funnily enough, I'm also arguing against conspiracy theories: especially the ones concocted by the state, which both you and Caiman appear to believe in.

Eh? No, read my post rather than projecting your paranoid elitism! I just wanted you to go somewhere else with your boring flouride bullshit.

Apologies to Roach, I thought he was engaging with you when he's actually making some good points about why we shouldn't have to.

Chilli Sauce

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Chilli Sauce on November 1, 2011

jonthom

Salviati

First, I'm not waiting for 'the sheeple' to 'wake up': hell will surely freeze over before that happens. Still, it would certainly be nice if a few intelligent and perceptive anarchists (such as I know I can find here) would stop swallowing corporate media propaganda.

Believe it or not, some people who disagree with you - even some people who agree with the "official version" of events! - are not simply "swallowing corporate propaganda". They are intelligent people who, like you, have looked at the evidence and reached different conclusions. To claim otherwise and insist they are just brainwashed is really quite astoundingly arrogant, to be honest.

It's about understanding the methods of the enemy. It's also about understanding history in general and how hegemony sustains itself through lies. This helps you to avoid repeating past mistakes or falling for the subtle misdirection practised by governments and security agencies.

On this point I think we can agree to some extent. However, while understanding the way the ruling class operates is important, I really think we have far better tools at our disposal than the analysis given by Icke, Jones and the band of 9/11 Truthers. Chomsky, for example, has written extensively about the nature of propaganda, and sites like MediaLens, however imperfect, do help provide details of news which are generally left out of UK reports. Outside of studying the nature of propaganda, there are plenty of writings available - many of them on this site - demonstrating how capitalism and the state function in a great deal of depth, writings which are all the stronger because they don't rely on references to Bilderberg and other silliness (more on that below).

For example, if the Walsall anarchists had been better able to recognise that they'd been infiltrated and fitted up, they could have stayed out of prison.

:confused: It was my understanding that the Walsall Anarchists did know they had been set up, and by whom, and even said as much in court.

If anti-war activists had exposed the Tonkin Gulf incident earlier, the Vietnam War could have been curtailed.

I find that rather difficult to believe but, benefit of the doubt and all that: what's your grounds for saying this? Do you have any particular real-world parallel in mind?

IMO, outside of some sort of change of heart on the part of the US ruling class, the only thing that could have stopped the Vietnam War sooner would have been to make the US itself basically ungovernable - mass shutdown through strikes, sabotage, occupations, blockades, riots and all the other fun stuff. If 58,000 dead US soldiers couldn't accomplish that I'm not sure knowledge of the Gulf of Tonkin would have made much difference.

If Italian anarchists had recognised Gladio for what it was, they could have countered it.

How?

(Not a rhetorical question btw - Gladio intrigues me and if you can point to some way in which it could have been countered at the time I'd be curious to hear it.)

There's also the need to show solidarity with other activists coming under a propaganda attack. By legitimising the use of the phrase 'conspiracy theorist', you are handing an easy victory to the corporate media and giving them a weapon they will use against you, tomorrow.

On the other hand though, by distancing ourselves from conspiracy theorists, we get to make it clear that opposing capitalism doesn't involve wittering on about the Masons, Illuminati, fluoride in the water and related silliness. Which I think is a good thing, to be honest; the anarchist analysis of capitalism and that offered by the conspiracy community (or Truthers, or "alternative historians" - whichever term you'd prefer) are actually quite different.

You mentioned the Bilderberg Group elsewhere in this thread. I first came across them a while ago, I think in a book by Icke; wound up reading a bit more about them both from "alternative theorists" on the one hand and mainstream sources on the other. It's somewhat interesting reading, certainly, if you're into that sort of thing. But that was the best part of a decade ago and knowing about the Bilderberg Group has yet to have any impact whatsoever on my political analysis or activity. More to the point, however, I don't see how it possibly could.

That capitalists conspire amongst themselves is hardly a novel observation. Even Adam Smith commented on that. Sometimes they conspire in public, through national governments and international organisations like the G8 and G20. Other times they do so behind closed doors through organisations like the Bilderberg Group. It seems entirely plausible - in fact, all but inevitable - that the discussions held at Bilderberg (and other gatherings) have an impact on the sorts of policies the governments in question go on to enact. However, I'm at a loss as to what possible difference knowing about these groups could make to our activity in the here and now. If you have something in mind, however, I'm all ears.

To be honest, the examples of successfully exposed conspiracies you've brought up seem to argue against, rather than in favour of, the idea that this should be our focus of activity. The Cold War era alone brought all sorts of conspiracies and scandals to the surface - Gulf of Tonkin, MK ULTRA, Watergate, Iran-Contra, Gladio and so on. Yet their exposure doesn't seem to have done the slightest damage to either capitalism or the state, nor provided any real boost to movements against them. They had an impact on the individuals implicated in the controversies, of course, but that as best I can tell is pretty much it.

Fuck me! Beautiful post Jonthom.

Salviati

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Salviati on November 2, 2011

There's far too much to reply to, but here goes:

1) I don't ever recall mentioning anything about Illuminati, fluoride, contrails, Lizard Men or TEH JOOOZ. My point is that many of these ideas are indeed bullshit. Chaff, if you like. But there is a deliberate effort on the part of intelligence agencies to associate these absurd ideas with others which are far from absurd, because they want to misdirect you.

To dismiss a plausible idea without considering the evidence for it, just because it is associated by the media with other, less plausible, ideas is lazy thinking: arrogance even. Stereotyping is a common propaganda technique used against non-mainstream groups, including anarchists. For example, anarchists are stereotyped as violent advocates of chaos, just as 9/11 truth campaigners are stereotyped as loony anti-Semites. The fact is that the Truth movement began with the victims' families (especially the Jersey Girls) and includes many eminent professionals and academics, some of whom are also Jewish. See the film, Press for Truth:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3979568779414136481

or The Elephant in the Room:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4701757632630708538

But don't let these inconvenient facts spoil your lazy stereotypes. It is your own attitude towards 9/11 sceptics which deserves to be called 'arrogant'.

2) I have very little in common with Alex Jones and even less with David Icke. Frankly, I have no idea what David Icke believes and I have no interest in his views. I look at primary evidence and use my own brain to draw conclusions. Unlike anyone else on this thread, I've taken the time to read the full official NIST report into the collapse of WTC 7 (the one that wasn't hit by any jetliners) from an informed perspective, having a PhD in applied maths from an engineering faculty and a degree in physics.

Having looked at the scientific evidence from an informed perspective and taken account of the views of other informed, well qualified professionals, I know with 99% certainty that all 3 towers to collapse on 9/11 were destroyed by pre-planted explosives. I'm sorry to tell you that, because until 2 years ago, I would have considered it fanciful, myself. Indeed, the evidence did not all come out until 2009. It is now a cut-and-dried scientific fact, as well established as man-made global warming or evolution by natural selection. You may think that sounds arrogant. I don't care. I'm not going to pretend I don't know something just so you might like me.

I greatly admire thinkers and writers such as Chomsky and Monbiot, but they are not gods. Whilst I tend to agree with 99% of what they say, they are simply wrong about 9/11, both on the facts and the political consequences. Neither of them has sufficient knowledge of physical science or the facts of 9/11.

The fact is, whenever I speak to PhD qualified scientists, engineers or architects about this matter, they always agree with me. For example, I was recently at a talk at the Royal Institute of British Architects, addressed by Richard Gage. There were plenty of professionals in the 200-strong audience and nearly all agreed with the views I've expressed. I've not found a single well-informed non-government scientist who can defend the official account. The evidence repudiates it utterly and decisively. Deal with it.

I'm sorry that you don't seem to think it is of any importance but the title of this piece said that 'our activism should be grounded in reality'. Guess what? I absolutely agree. Let's ground ourselves in reality.

3) I'm not claiming that revolution would necessarily follow if the truth about 9/11 were revealed and became widely known, but it is absurd to insist on this as a pre-requisite for judging an issue to be worthwhile. Many people now know that the banking system is a kleptocracy but I don't expect a revolution any time soon in consequence of this. I'm not going to stop campaigning on it, though.

To be honest, the main focus of my own campaigning is anti-capitalism generally. I've been heavily involved in UK Uncut actions in the UK and I take part in Occupy London. 9/11 has taken almost none of my campaigning time, but I do still feel it is important. It is just as important to reveal the truth about the secret coercive and propaganda techniques of the state as it is to reveal the truth about how the banking system impoverishes us all or how capitalism leads to war.

In fact, I'm dumbfounded as to how anyone can argue that the murder of 3,000 people by their own state is of no political consequence for us. It was a crime which was then used and is still being used to justify even greater crimes all over the world. It absolutely beggars belief that people think it is not even worth investigating the roots of all these crimes.

It's all very well to say it's capitalism which is the root cause of all this. Actually, I agree, but most people aren't listening to you because they still think they live in some kind of a democracy.

Tojiah

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Tojiah on November 3, 2011

So, cherry picking the small percentage of conspiracy-laden nutcases that are likely to be in any profession, in this case the sciences and engineering, you think you've actually viewed "evidence" of the idea that some kind of US government agency simultaneously crashed planes and instigated controlled explosions in three large, highly-used commercial buildings (and the Pentagon, where they didn't seem to feel the need to use explosives) in order to instigate wars in the Middle East, when the US never has had any need to find such difficult to execute excuses in the past, for some reason most of the people involved have kept mum, and most importantly, people like you who are spreading the "truth" are still out there rather than being "disappeared". None of the US diplomatic cables, including top secret ones, that have been leaked in the past few years have held any evidence for this.

I'm not sure if this is more or less a pathetic logical malfunction than moon landing denial, but it's definitely of that caliber.

CornetJoyce

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by CornetJoyce on November 3, 2011

Tojiah

I'm not sure if this is more or less a pathetic logical malfunction than moon landing denial, but it's definitely of that caliber.

The state's conspiracy theory only contradicts gravity, not anything about the moon as far as I know.

Tojiah

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Tojiah on November 3, 2011

CornetJoyce

Tojiah

I'm not sure if this is more or less a pathetic logical malfunction than moon landing denial, but it's definitely of that caliber.

The state's conspiracy theory only contradicts gravity, not anything about the moon as far as I know.

I'm pretty sure that blaming Al Qaeda for planning and executing the crashing of passenger jets into public buildings does not contradict gravity in any way. Unless they claimed the instigators floated up to the planes while those were in flight.

roach

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by roach on November 3, 2011

Salviati -

>> "there is a deliberate effort on the part of ______ to associate these _____ ideas with others which are ____, because ___ want to misdirect you." <<

this is exactly what i'm talking about. you have described exactly how you yourself are acting. there are several people who have not just "stereotyped" you, myself included. but because you believe that you know the holy Truth with a capital 'T', o convert, you ignore others who actually push you to consider what your (T)ruth amounts to. instead you glaze over when those ideas come up, then you lob unfocused attacks on stereotyped and somewhat conjured-up opponents.

>>> "There's far too much to reply to, but here goes" <<<
> translation!!!
>> ""several points and questions here i would actually have to think about instead of just posting the same cookie cutter "believe my (T)ruth" argument, with trademarked links from so-called experts (hierarchy), so i will ignore these possible heresies, post my same cookie cutter argument, stereotype all responses to my (T)ruth in the the most negative and baiting way possible and hope that some more people will come along and fit the stereotype, so that it won't be so obvious that i'm being extremely hypocritical"" <

you keep citing experts (appeal to authority, possibly appeal false authority) and attempting to convert people. i keep talking about personal experience with important and relevant physical matters, and with these all too similar cut and paste (T)ruther arguments, trying my hardest to not inform you that you really do sound exactly like every other (T)ruther i've conversed with since 2002-3, especially when confronted with opposing information.

>> "Unlike anyone else on this thread, I've taken the time to..." <<
has anyone ever told you that you tend to be really arrogant? you make so many assumptions about everyone you converse with. it's a really bad idea. it's bad manners, it's insulting, and you are usually wrong when you do it. you believe what you do with such fervent faith, that the idea that other people could have actually read most of what you have and still not believe what you do, simply does not register in your brain. and that is another part of why what you believe is dogma, otherwise known as (T)ruth.

Jason Cortez

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Jason Cortez on November 3, 2011

salviati

Chandler's analysis is superb and NIST was in fact forced to agree with him. They had to retract their earlier claim that WTC 7 was not in free fall. The end points for the timing are irrelevant, since what matters is the instantaneous acceleration, as this tells us about the forces involved (since F = ma). WTC 7 was in free fall for over 2 seconds, which means that none of its 82 steel columns was offering any resistance to collapse during this time. That is impossible, unless nearly all those columns were simultaneously severed.

So we now are being asked to believe that after ramming two planes into the twin towers and using explosives and nano-themite to bring them down that the conspirators then thought it was also absolutely necessary to bring down WTC7 or there is no way that the US could to war. So 82 steel columns were rigged with explosives, to make sure. This is a classic case of getting lost in the technical details and finding supporting 'evidence' for theory, despite it making no logical sense. The technical claims and counter claims get ever more detailed, but the motives remain broad brushed and vague. Would it really take more than one plane and subsequent collapse of a single twin tower, to provide the excuse for the invasion of Afghanistan ?

madboy

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by madboy on November 3, 2011

The final word on 9/11, whether you think it was a conspiracy or not.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAMlF3KO1vs

Salviati

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Salviati on November 3, 2011

Jason Cortez

Would it really take more than one plane and subsequent collapse of a single twin tower, to provide the excuse for the invasion of Afghanistan ?

No, it wouldn't. But if one plane failed, you would need another. Four hijacked planes provides valuable redundancy in case one or more failed. Hey, why not ask Khaled Sheikh Mohammed? I guess you believe he was the 'mastermind'? Maybe we'll find out if he ever stands trial in an open public court. Fat chance of that.

There were other reasons to bring down WTC 7, not connected to Afghanistan but to government corruption and also probably as a necessary part of the destruction of evidence relating to whole operation. It housed CIA offices, the mayor's OEM and crucial case files relating to the Enron and Worldcom SEC investigations, in which the Bush administration was up to its neck.

tastybrain

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by tastybrain on November 3, 2011

Salviati

There were other reasons to bring down WTC 7, not connected to Afghanistan but to government corruption and also probably as a necessary part of the destruction of evidence relating to whole operation. It housed CIA offices, the mayor's OEM and crucial case files relating to the Enron and Worldcom SEC investigations, in which the Bush administration was up to its neck.

If that sort of thing was a big enough deal for the government to blow up a building a lot more shit would be blowing up.

Salviati

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Salviati on November 3, 2011

Tojiah

So, cherry picking the small percentage of conspiracy-laden nutcases that are likely to be in any profession, ...
... for some reason most of the people involved have kept mum, and most importantly, people like you who are spreading the "truth" are still out there rather than being "disappeared". None of the US diplomatic cables, including top secret ones, that have been leaked in the past few years have held any evidence for this.

Wow, everything you said is easily refuted:

1) There are very few scientists or engineers actively backing the official account; just a handful who work for government agencies or whose research grants are provided by the military. Very few professionals would have read the official reports. When they do, as I did, they are stunned by how inadequate those reports are.

Have you ever met Richard Gage, Tony Szamboti or Niels Harrit? Are you seriously suggesting these people are 'conspiracy-laden nutcases'? Perhaps you'd care to throw that charge at many of the victims' families too, at people like Bill Doyle or the Jersey Widows? Well, if so then you really are a total idiot or just a troll.

2) Why would the actual perpetrators speak out, unless they want to face the death penalty? Plenty of others with inside knowledge have spoken out and some of them have 'disappeared' or died in mysterious circumstances (e.g. Barry Jennings). Others have been subject to multiple gagging orders, such as former FBI interpreter, Sibel Edmonds.

Whistleblowers are legion: former Los Angeles FBI chief, Ted Gunderson, ex-CIA asset, Susan Lindauer, ex-FBI agent Coleen Rowley, the list goes on. Here's a brief guide to a few of them:

http://www.corbettreport.com/articles/20100305_911_whistleblowers.htm

More come out every year. We can now add Richard Clarke (Bush White House insider and counter-terrorism advisor), who openly claims the CIA misled the FBI about two of the hijackers, who were well known to them before the attacks:

http://publicintelligence.net/richard-clarke-says-cia-tried-to-recruit-911-terrorists/

There are plenty of others but the fact that you don't know any of this simply testifies to the limitless depth of your ignorance. If you're going to have an opinion, make it an informed one.

3) FYI, there were no 'top secret' embassy cables released by Wikileaks. The highest classification is 'secret', which is really little more than gossip which over 3 million Americans are cleared to access. As a signatory to the OSA, I'm also cleared to that level myself. There's very little of interest in them to anyone.

Again, get your facts straight.

Salviati

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Salviati on November 3, 2011

I'm not going to waste my time here any more, as I have an action to help organise in London (nothing to do with 9/11 but against the City of London Corporation - the financial mafia). Frankly, 9/11 is a bit of a distraction from the main issue, as it seems no one here is amenable to rational argument on that subject. My position can be summed up thus:

Should our activism be grounded in reality? Yes, it definitely should be. The reality is that false flag ops and psyops are very common weapons used by the state to maintain power and control over citizens. If that's not an anarchist issue, then nothing is.

THE END

Salviati

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Salviati on November 3, 2011

madboy

The final word on 9/11, whether you think it was a conspiracy or not.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAMlF3KO1vs

Nice one! I think this guy deserves the last word.

jonthom

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by jonthom on November 3, 2011

Salviati

1) I don't ever recall mentioning anything about Illuminati, fluoride, contrails, Lizard Men or TEH JOOOZ. My point is that many of these ideas are indeed bullshit. Chaff, if you like.

Indeed. I probably should have made clear that I wasn't talking about you individually there but rather, the conspiracy scene as a whole. My apologies.

(Though to be fair, you did talk about Bilderberg, theories about which tend to come from the same scene as the Illjewminati et al)

But there is a deliberate effort on the part of intelligence agencies to associate these absurd ideas with others which are far from absurd, because they want to misdirect you.

Hm. I'm assuming you have some evidence for this?

To dismiss a plausible idea without considering the evidence for it, just because it is associated by the media with other, less plausible, ideas is lazy thinking: arrogance even.

See, this just leads back to the problem I pointed to earlier: you seem to assume that those who disagree with you are dismissing ideas without considering the evidence, swallowing corporate propaganda, just taking the state's version at face value. And that's just not true. There are plenty of reasoned, intelligent people who know just as much as you, have seen the same evidence as you, and have come to different conclusions. I realise that might be hard for you to believe but it's true. And not all of them are state assets, for that matter.

I have very little in common with Alex Jones and even less with David Icke. Frankly, I have no idea what David Icke believes and I have no interest in his views. I look at primary evidence and use my own brain to draw conclusions. Unlike anyone else on this thread, I've taken the time to read the full official NIST report into the collapse of WTC 7 (the one that wasn't hit by any jetliners) from an informed perspective, having a PhD in applied maths from an engineering faculty and a degree in physics.

For the bit in bold, see my comment above. More generally, I'd rather not get into the whole 9/11 specifics since frankly it's not that interesting. And FWIW, my mentions of Jones and Icke were simply as two fairly prominent figures in the conspiracy scene.

In passing, though, I would echo Jason Cortez's sentiment that 9/11 theories tend to get so wrapped up in the minutiae of technical details and minor supposed inconsistencies in the "official story" that they have little to say about the bigger picture. In this case, how would one go about priming three enormous buildings with enough explosives to bring the lot of them down, without a: anyone noticing you doing it, and b: any of the people involved saying anything? And similarly, why you would need to destroy WTC7 in order to get rid of evidence when you could just, well...get rid of the evidence?

Ack, and there was me saying I didn't want to get into the specifics of this...I really don't :|. Personally I find the vast majority of writing about 9/11 utterly without merit. Others disagree and think there's something to it - anything from WTC7 being brought down intentionally all the way to there not being any planes at all and the whole thing done with holograms. Fine. Whatever. The main question - and the question raised by the original article here - is a quite simple one: what impact should this have on our activity?

My answer is none. You seem to disagree but I still don't quite understand why.

I'm not claiming that revolution would necessarily follow if the truth about 9/11 were revealed and became widely known, but it is absurd to insist on this as a pre-requisite for judging an issue to be worthwhile. Many people now know that the banking system is a kleptocracy but I don't expect a revolution any time soon in consequence of this. I'm not going to stop campaigning on it, though.

Of course not everything has to trigger a revolution in order to be worthwhile. But I do think if - as you've advocated here - we're to devote our political energies to something, there should be some actual benefit to doing so. And I've yet to see what the supposed benefit is in 9/11 work, even if the "theories" were accurate.

FWIW, I also think there's something of an issue with anti-capitalism which focuses on "the banking system" as the source of all evil, which seems to be a fairly popular sentiment around the Occupy stuff at the moment.

To be honest, the main focus of my own campaigning is anti-capitalism generally. I've been heavily involved in UK Uncut actions in the UK and I take part in Occupy London. 9/11 has taken almost none of my campaigning time, but I do still feel it is important.

Hm. Earlier in this thread you suggested that we should "be doing everything we can to ensure that the evidence of those crimes is exposed in public". Did you change your mind or what?

In fact, I'm dumbfounded as to how anyone can argue that the murder of 3,000 people by their own state is of no political consequence for us. It was a crime which was then used and is still being used to justify even greater crimes all over the world. It absolutely beggars belief that people think it is not even worth investigating the roots of all these crimes.

They have been investigated. Though in all honesty I would probably be more interested if I felt the theories had some kind of validity. As an aside, though, I would point out that people are killed by their own state all the time - through the death penalty, murder by cops, deaths in custody and prison, plus things like inadequate access to healthcare or being sent to die in a war. All of which I think are more pressing issues than vague, poorly substantiated and generally unproveable claims about 9/11 et al.

Edit: Oh. They left. Never mind then.

roach

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by roach on November 3, 2011

>> "I'm not going to waste my time here any more" <<

the fact is that you consistently only engage with what you think you can refute and you consistently ignore anything that challenges your worldview.

>> "it seems no one here is amenable to rational argument" <<

you have constantly pretended that any comment that actually is a rational argument does not even exist. in reality, you choose to not engage with any rational argument, because it does not fit your response style. i have attempted to engage you, personally, not some stereotype of you, for days. you are simply too stuck in your own personal world of conspiracies against you to notice.

what you believe is dogma. the fact that you can't even see comments that challenge your worldview, let alone respond to them, is the final proof that it is dogma. yes, go be insane somewhere else.

CornetJoyce

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by CornetJoyce on November 3, 2011

If there was no conspiracy to destroy the Three Twin Towers, then it had to be done by one person.

radicalgraffiti

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by radicalgraffiti on November 3, 2011

CornetJoyce

If there was no conspiracy to destroy the Three Twin Towers, then it had to be done by one person.

your trolling or Admin: no flaming.

CornetJoyce

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by CornetJoyce on November 4, 2011

Admin: no flaming.

Salviati

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Salviati on November 7, 2011

jonthom

... The main question - and the question raised by the original article here - is a quite simple one: what impact should this have on our activity?

My answer is none. You seem to disagree but I still don't quite understand why.

You'll clearly never accept anything I say, so I'll let George Orwell answer for me:

George Orwell

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."

Do you understand now? It's fine if you disagree with this, but there really isn't much more to say on the matter.

Arbeiten

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Arbeiten on November 7, 2011

I love the plasticity of Orwell :roll:

Salviati

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Salviati on November 7, 2011

jonthom

...
See, this just leads back to the problem I pointed to earlier: you seem to assume that those who disagree with you are dismissing ideas without considering the evidence, swallowing corporate propaganda, just taking the state's version at face value. And that's just not true. There are plenty of reasoned, intelligent people who know just as much as you, have seen the same evidence as you, and have come to different conclusions. I realise that might be hard for you to believe but it's true. And not all of them are state assets, for that matter.

Who are these people you speak of? I'm not joking: I'd really, really, really love to speak to someone fitting the following criteria:

1) Has read most of at least one official report into the events of 9/11, with a critical mind. For example, this one:

http://www.nist.gov/manuscript-publication-search.cfm?pub_id=861610

2) Has read most of the peer-reviewed scientific papers relevant to the debate, including the papers by Bazant and Seffen which claim to support the official account, together with the highly critical discussions of those papers published in the same journal (the journal of the American Society of Civil Engineers). They should also have read or at least understand the conclusions of the paper by Harrit et al (2009):

http://www.benthamscience.com/open/tocpj/articles/V002/7TOCPJ.htm

3) Is familiar with the vast amount of eyewitness testimony contradicting the official account of the collapses of the 3 towers in New York, especially the testimony of (now disappeared presumed dead) Barry Jennings, which completely contradicts and is totally omitted from the report referred to in point 1) above:

http://911blogger.com/node/16573

4) Is not an employee of a government agency or military contractor and was not involved in the 'cleanup' operation (i.e. destruction of evidence after 9/11).

5) Still thinks that the official account is correct and that the official investigations were adequate.

I know quite a few people who fulfil criteria 1-4, including myself, but none who fulfil all 5. I'm not saying they don't exist, but I have yet to hear from them, so please put me in touch, as I always like to have my views challenged by genuinely well-informed people.

Maybe you're referring to critics of (alternative) 'conspiracy theories', like Chomsky and Monbiot? But they don't fulfil any of the first 4 criteria and cannot be considered 'informed' critics. They hold their very strong views on the basis of near-total ignorance of the facts. Quite apart from the fact that they do not possess the necessary scientific background to assess the forensic evidence, they are also woefully uninformed about the circumstantial evidence. Hence, they appear to believe very strongly in the official al-Qaeda conspiracy theory, despite the fact that there is virtually no actual evidence for it whatsoever, beyond the obvious and superficial fact that 4 planes were hijacked and two of them were flown into the twin towers.

radicalgraffiti

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by radicalgraffiti on November 7, 2011

some one doesn't need to think "5) Still thinks that the official account is correct and that the official investigations were adequate." to think the collapses was caused by the planes and subsequent fires, and that the idea of controlled demolitions is fucking absurd

Salviati

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Salviati on November 7, 2011

jonthom

...
In passing, though, I would echo Jason Cortez's sentiment that 9/11 theories tend to get so wrapped up in the minutiae of technical details and minor supposed inconsistencies in the "official story" that they have little to say about the bigger picture. In this case, how would one go about priming three enormous buildings with enough explosives to bring the lot of them down, without a: anyone noticing you doing it, and b: any of the people involved saying anything? And similarly, why you would need to destroy WTC7 in order to get rid of evidence when you could just, well...get rid of the evidence?

I've just got back from a weekend of real-world activism and it's simply not my job to answer everyone's questions about alternative 9/11 narratives. However, just this once I'll point you in the right direction.

You do seem like a genuinely rational and highly intelligent person, so you are more than capable of finding things out for yourself. However, you are not yet arguing from a fully informed perspective on 9/11. For example, there are literally dozens of whistleblowers, including controlled demolition experts who can explain to you how the 3 towers could have been rigged for demolition, under cover of routine maintenance work, with minimal disruption. First read this FAQ:

http://911research.wtc7.net/faq/demolition.html

Then look up Danny Jowenko (now deceased) and Tom Sullivan.

Then familiarise yourself with the testimony of various people who described suspicious activities taking place in the towers in the weeks preceding 9/11. Watch this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mB2fHqnqZaE

Then follow this up by searching for more information about the testimony of Ben Fountain, Scott Forbes and any others you might find.

When you've done all that, you can come back to me from a better informed perspective.

Much the same goes for your question about why it was necessary to destroy WTC 7. First, one cannot simply destroy high-profile SEC case files without any excuse. Well, you can but it looks bad to say "we just shredded them." Sure, they probably did do just that, but it's better to say "they were destroyed when WTC 7 collapsed, along with lots of sensitive CIA and OEM files, coincidentally housed in the very same building."

It's better still when your name is Larry Silverstein and you make a huge profit on the insurance policy for all 3 buildings as well as landing the contract to rebuild the whole complex. I've given you enough clues. You are obviously clever enough: Investigate it for yourself (if you can be bothered).

Salviati

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Salviati on November 7, 2011

radicalgraffiti

some one doesn't need to think "5) Still thinks that the official account is correct and that the official investigations were adequate." to think the collapses was caused by the planes and subsequent fires, and that the idea of controlled demolitions is fucking absurd

1) Number of steel-framed high-rise buildings which have completely collapsed in a matter of seconds due to controlled demolition: many.

2) Number of steel-framed high-rise buildings which have completely collapsed in a matter of seconds due to severe uncontrolled fires and / or partial structural damage (e.g. plane impact): none (or 3 all on the same day if you believe the official story - but remember that WTC 7 was not hit by a plane), despite the fact that many have suffered fires far worse than those in the twin towers or WTC 7:

The Windsor Building - Madrid

So you think that scenario 1) is 'fucking absurd' whilst scenario 2) is not. OK. There's no arguing with this logic.

radicalgraffiti

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by radicalgraffiti on November 7, 2011

Salviati

radicalgraffiti

some one doesn't need to think "5) Still thinks that the official account is correct and that the official investigations were adequate." to think the collapses was caused by the planes and subsequent fires, and that the idea of controlled demolitions is fucking absurd

1) Number of steel-framed high-rise buildings which have completely collapsed in a matter of seconds due to controlled demolition: many.

2) Number of steel-framed high-rise buildings which have completely collapsed in a matter of seconds due to severe uncontrolled fires and / or partial structural damage (e.g. plane impact): none (or 3 all on the same day if you believe the official story - but remember that WTC 7 was not hit by a plane), despite the fact that many have suffered fires far worse than those in the twin towers or WTC 7:

The Windsor Building - Madrid

So you think that scenario 1) is 'fucking absurd' whilst scenario 2) is not. OK. There's no arguing with this logic.

you haven't don't much research if your using the windsor building in madrid to back up your point

http://www.911myths.com/html/madrid_windsor_tower.html

the construction was completely different from the WTC and the steal parts completely collapsed, despite having some support form the concrete parts .

WTC 7 was not hit by a plane but it was hit by bits from the twin towers.

edit to make correction.

jonthom

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by jonthom on November 7, 2011

Salviati: if I get time to read the links you've provided I will do my best to do so, though in all honesty I doubt they will make a great deal of impact on my point of view. Still, never say never, and I do appreciate your digging them out.

However, it also seems to me that the bulk of your responses have been aimed at discussion of 9/11 itself, despite the fact that some of the posts you're responding to - and, indeed, the original article being discussed - are not about any one particular theory, but rather, about the impact of conspiracy theories on our activity and analysis as anarchists.

Your comments on this have basically boiled down to the idea that "exposing" the "truth" should be a priority for anarchists simply because it should be, with your one-liner quoted from Orwell pretty much summing it up. This, for me, is the real point of contention - not the validity or otherwise of a given theory, but the way that impacts our activity and understanding of the world - and is IMO a much more interesting topic than the presence or non-presence of nano-thermite or whatever.

In terms of practice, the conspiracy theorist mindset strikes me as very close to the missionary position (no giggling at the back, there); that belief is what matters, and if we "spread the truth" to enough people, some sort of positive result will obviously ensue. I've yet to see much evidence that this would be the case, though.

On another note, this article from Shift Magazine seems relevant, though I can't help but think the author is over-emphasising the role of certain groups within Occupy:

All progressive social movements have dark sides, but some are more prone to them than others. Occupy Wall Street and its spin-offs, with their populist, anti-elitist discourse (“We Are the 99%”) and focus on finance capital, have already attracted all kinds of unsavory friends: antisemites, David Duke and White Nationalists, Oath Keepers, Tea Partiers, and followers of David Icke, Lyndon Larouche, and the Zeitgeist movement (see glossary below).

On one hand, there is nothing particularly new about this. The anti-globalization movement was plagued with these problems as well.(1) This was sometimes confusing to radicals who saw that movement as essentially Left-wing and anti-capitalist; when the radicals said “globalization,” they really meant something like the “highest stage of capitalism,” and so from their perspective, by opposing one they were opposing the other. The radicals often saw the progressives in the movement as sharing this same vision, only in an “incomplete way”­—and that they only needed a little push (usually by a cop’s baton) to see that capitalism could not be reformed, and instead had to be abolished.

But for numerous others, “globalization” did not mean capitalism. Just as for the radicals, it functioned as a codeword: for some it meant finance capital (as opposed to industrial capital), while for others it meant the regime of a global elite constructing their “New World Order.” And either or both might also have meant the traditional Jewish conspiracy’s supposed global domination and control of the banking system. Whether they realized it or not, the many anti-authoritarians who praised this “movement of movements” as being based solely on organizational structure, with no litmus test for political inclusion, put out a big welcome sign for these dodgy folks. And in that door came all kinds of things, from Pat Buchanan to Troy Southgate.

Salviati

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Salviati on November 8, 2011

radicalgraffiti

you haven't don't much research if your using the windsor building in madrid to back up your point

http://www.911myths.com/html/madrid_windsor_tower.html

the construction was completely different from the WTC and the steal parts completely collapsed, despite having some support form the concrete parts .

WTC 7 was not hit by a plane but it was hit by bits from the twin towers.

edit to make correction.

Needless to say, your link is not new to me. I have read dozens of websites purporting to 'debunk' alternative narratives of 9/11: I actively seek them out because I want to test my beliefs to the limit. Unfortunately, they either don't say anything interesting (like this one) or they repeat easily-refuted official misinformation or they tend to be completely batshit crazy - on a par with the Lizard Man claims from the other end of the spectrum.

The Windsor Building is just one of many examples of steel framed skyscrapers which have survived much more intense, longer-lasting and uncontrolled fires than were present in any of the buildings to collapse on 9/11. Of course, no two buildings are exactly alike. The Windsor Building had 32 storeys, WTC 7 had 47. So what? The fires in the Windsor Building were much more intense and burned far longer. FYI, the cores of all 3 towers were encased in concrete, just like the Windsor Building. Also, concrete is far more vulnerable to fire than steel, because concrete expands, cracks and crumbles far more easily.

Now, you'll probably say "oh, but it was a slightly different make or thickness of concrete." So what? Just show me a single example of a steel-framed skyscraper collapsing completely due to fire. That's all I want: show me that it's possible. The burden of proof is on you to show how a completely unprecedented event can occur. This is why I read the official report, with great excitement. I wanted it to explain to me how a unique engineering event could happen. Sadly, I was disappointed.

WTC 7 suffered structural damage, yes, but the official report is very clear that the structural damage played absolutely no role whatsoever in its collapse, as it was fairly minor and limited to exterior supports. The collapse was entirely due to fire causing thermal expansion of a single beam connected to one of the core columns, according to NIST. Why don't you read the official report? It's quite interesting, as cover-ups go.

It fails because it cannot explain how 82 steel columns (not just one) can crumple with absolutely no resistance whatsoever through a distance of 25 metres or more. That is what free fall signifies (no net force on the steel, no resistance to compression). It means we are required to believe that it takes no energy or force at all to compress steel columns through a pretty large distance (remember Energy = Force x Distance). Even if you believe that all those columns were already buckled and weakened by fire (although there's no evidence for this), steel does not behave like string. It also doesn't matter if numerous columns were already severed due to structural damage. It doesn't change the physical argument one iota.

That's it, really. QED. No engineer who is appraised of these facts can possibly support the official explanation for the collapse of WTC 7, where as the controlled demolition hypothesis explains all the known data perfectly well. In the case of the twin towers, the evidence is less clear cut but it is still extremely strong and comes from several independent sources.

I know you'll never believe me, but now perhaps you understand that my views are based on well-established facts (officially recognised facts) and a correct application of physical laws, rather than some bizarre speculation springing from a paranoid mindset: I've never had much time for 'conspiracy theories', myself. The same is true of most people who are campaigning for a proper re-investigation of 9/11. This is a legitimate issue, which cuts across the old 'left-right' spectrum but it is an anti-authoritarian issue, which anarchists should at least be open-minded about.

radicalgraffiti

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by radicalgraffiti on November 8, 2011

Salviati

The Windsor Building is just one of many examples of steel framed skyscrapers which have survived much more intense, longer-lasting and uncontrolled fires than were present in any of the buildings to collapse on 9/11. Of course, no two buildings are exactly alike. The Windsor Building had 32 storeys, WTC 7 had 47. So what? The fires in the Windsor Building were much more intense and burned far longer. FYI, the cores of all 3 towers were encased in concrete, just like the Windsor Building. Also, concrete is far more vulnerable to fire than steel, because concrete expands, cracks and crumbles far more easily.

so what some facts are produced that show the exact opersit of what you claim you ignore them and claim they support it?

Salviati

I know you'll never believe me, but now perhaps you understand that my views are based on well-established facts (officially recognised facts) and a correct application of physical laws, rather than some bizarre speculation springing from a paranoid mindset: I've never had much time for 'conspiracy theories', myself. The same is true of most people who are campaigning for a proper re-investigation of 9/11. This is a legitimate issue, which cuts across the old 'left-right' spectrum but it is an anti-authoritarian issue, which anarchists should at least be open-minded about.

you absolute fucking troll

Salviati

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Salviati on November 8, 2011

@ jonthom:

You've brought up some really interesting issues that probably deserve a whole new thread, because I agree that we've got a bit too much into the nitty gritty of 9/11 and that always generates more heat than light.

There are clearly many groups in the world today who may generally be characterised as anti-authoritarian in some sense, although their concepts of what authority they are struggling against can be wildly different. I agree that there are certain groups who may well be delusional in their analysis of what they are fighting against: the old notion of a global Jewish conspiracy is clearly a dangerous delusion, whilst the vague notion of some 'New World Order' or Illuminati is extremely unhelpful.

'Conspiracy theories' often oversimplify enormously and this results in the creation of inappropriate scapegoats. Indeed, this is often the function of official conspiracy theories, like the great al-Qaeda conspiracy theory: the greatest conspiracy theory of all time, which effectively demonises Muslims and creates the deliberate illusion of a 'clash of civilisations'. Such a narrative serves an authoritarian agenda but alternative narratives are not necessarily better.

However, rather than simply dismissing everything that certain groups say, just because there are some inaccurate or unpleasant aspects of them, we ought to engage with some of their ideas. For example, I do want to know what gets discussed at Bilderberg and who goes there, even though I have no time for the wilder speculations with which some people like to fill the information void. I also want an open, independent and thorough re-investigation of 9/11, because the evidence and justice demand it, not because I think it will precipitate a revolution. It would also help to dispel the great al-Qaeda conspiracy theory and thereby loosen the grip our governments have on us.

Being engaged and open-minded is probably better than merely retreating to some insular anarchist position. For example, I don't really know what to make of the Zeitgeist Movement: they seem like utopian West-Coast hippies to me, but they have some interesting ideas about the sort of society they are trying to create and maybe we could learn something from that, even if they seem a bit flakey at first sight. They might also learn something from us, so dialogue could be fruitful.

The same could be said for engaging with progressive liberal-lefties. As much as some of them annoy me, they shouldn't be shunned. Until a couple of years ago, I think I was one of them, myself :) Anti-authoritarian lefties are a very diverse bunch and we need to be talking to at least some of them if we are to create a broad alliance capable of challenging the existing power structures.

Finally, I would say it's also worth engaging with some anarcho-capitalists or right-wing libertarians. They are as deluded as David Icke, in my view, and they may not be very open to persuasion, but some of them may change their minds and not all of their insights are necessarily wrong.

As long as we continue vigorously to oppose racism, misogyny and other forms of oppression, there are plenty of other ideas we can make some useful engagement with, even if they seem strange to begin with.

Jason Cortez

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Jason Cortez on November 9, 2011

Salviati can you please explain the purpose of 9/11 and who the beneficiaries were?

Salviati

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Salviati on November 15, 2011

Jason Cortez

Salviati can you please explain the purpose of 9/11 and who the beneficiaries were?

Those are very big questions which have been more than adequately discussed elsewhere on the internet and beyond. There's no point getting further into specific 9/11 discussions on this thread but I have already alluded to the answers in previous comments. You are more than capable of doing your own research, I'm sure. One thing we know is that neither Osama bin Laden nor Muslims generally have benefited at all from 9/11: rather the opposite.

TimJM

12 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by TimJM on January 1, 2012

The difficulty with Roach and Salviati's chalenges to the official version of 9/11 is summed up nicely in the old article by George Monbiot:

http://www.monbiot.com/2007/02/20/bayoneting-a-scarecrow/

The 9/11 challengers to the official version conclude that these clever ruling class go to all the trouble of constructing a bunch of fictitious bogey-men from Saudi Arabia and then attack Iraq. Wouldn't it have been easier to construct a story with a direct link between 9/11 and Saddam Hussein?
Then all the debates about legitimacy of the war and need for UN resolutions would have been unnecessary.
Instead the US/UK war-mongers had to deal with the well known reality that Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein were known enemies.

From Monbiot's article above:
"The obvious corollorary to the belief that the Bush administration is all-powerful is that the rest of us are completely powerless. In fact it seems to me that the purpose of the “9/11 truth movement” is to be powerless. The omnipotence of the Bush regime is the coward’s fantasy, an excuse for inaction used by those who don’t have the stomach to engage in real political fights."

Khawaga

12 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on January 1, 2012

From Monbiot's article above:
"The obvious corollorary to the belief that the Bush administration is all-powerful is that the rest of us are completely powerless. In fact it seems to me that the purpose of the “9/11 truth movement” is to be powerless. The omnipotence of the Bush regime is the coward’s fantasy, an excuse for inaction used by those who don’t have the stomach to engage in real political fights."

Yeah, that's bascially what all conspiracy theories lead to. It makes the only valid action searching for The Truth...

kosmogrrrl

12 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by kosmogrrrl on April 15, 2012

Very good article.

Cheap shot at Dungeons and Dragons players - have you been reading right-wing Christian comics? The enemy isn't the imagination, it's lack of self-awareness and being delusional. I know more than a few anarchists and marxists who also play D&D. It's good to avoid lazy writing, even when it's a minor point.

jrtayloriv

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by jrtayloriv on June 21, 2012

This article makes several good points, and I agree that Reptilians, Freemasons, and Jewish Cabals need to be left out of our dialogue altogether.

However, I think it's also important to take into account the following, from Michael Parenti's "Dirty Truths":

"Almost as an article of faith, some individuals believe that conspiracies are either kooky fantasies or unimportant aberrations. To be sure, wacko conspiracy theories do exist. There are people who believe that the United States has been invaded by a secret United Nations army equipped with black helicopters, or that the country is secretly controlled by Jews or gays or feminists or black nationalists or communists or extraterrestrial aliens. But it does not logically follow that all conspiracies are imaginary.

Conspiracy is a legitimate concept in law: the collusion of two or more people pursuing illegal means to effect some illegal or immoral end. People go to jail for committing conspiratorial acts. Conspiracies are a matter of public record, and some are of real political significance. The Watergate break-in was a conspiracy, as was the Watergate cover-up, which led to Nixon’s downfall. Iran-contra was a conspiracy of immense scope, much of it still uncovered. The savings and loan scandal was described by the Justice Department as “a thousand conspiracies of fraud, theft, and bribery,” the greatest financial crime in history.

Often the term “conspiracy” is applied dismissively whenever one suggests that people who occupy positions of political and economic power are consciously dedicated to advancing their elite interests. Even when they openly profess their designs, there are those who deny that intent is involved. In 1994, the officers of the Federal Reserve announced they would pursue monetary policies designed to maintain a high level of unemployment in order to safeguard against “overheating” the economy. Like any creditor class, they preferred a deflationary course. When an acquaintance of mine mentioned this to friends, he was greeted skeptically, “Do you think the Fed bankers are deliberately trying to keep people unemployed?” In fact, not only did he think it, it was announced on the financial pages of the press. Still, his friends assumed he was imagining a conspiracy because he ascribed self-interested collusion to powerful people.

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."

baboon

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on June 25, 2012

I generally support the position above which shows how the bourgeoisie conspires to defend its class interests and imperialist agendas.
The 9/11 "truthers" and various other conspiracy theorists join up with those who deny that the bourgeoisie is a conspiratorial class par excellence and thus greatly underestimate our class enemy.
Once again, I salute the sense of the position above which takes the discussion on to a different level for understanding the organisation of the ruling class.

Ambrose

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Ambrose on June 26, 2012

I agree with the two above. There are even declassified false-flag operations out there: Operation Northwoods (Wikipedia)

It was declassified in 97 along with 1521 pages of other military information between 1962-64.

Ramona

11 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Ramona on October 23, 2012

Thought this excellent article could do with a bump following today's anti-Semitic shite from Occupy Wall Street/not Occupy Wall Street/who the fuck knows/maybe this is a fundamental problem with Occupy as a form in the first place, where caricatures of Jews full controlling the government appeared on facebook.

Joseph Kay

11 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Joseph Kay on October 23, 2012

Actual full WTF territory:

Which is why ultimately I think there's some merit to the 'structural anti-semitism' charge against truncated critiques of finance capital (in the West at least), despite its culturally-specific German origins. When people rage against finance in lieu of capital, the puppeteering Jew conspirator is never far behind.

frillneck

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by frillneck on July 6, 2013

I am an uneducated person and spent a lot of my time in and around the ocean when not working in the construction industry, But the obvious misinfo spread here by some, especially the likes of roach is appalling, how stupid are people that cannot see through his lies especially how heat can transfer through metal, yes it happens, but never at great distances, (AND ESPECIALLY IN A DOWNWARD DIRECTION) you could heat a 6 meter large section steel beam redhot at one end for a week, but still be able to touch the other end without burning your hand. My conclusion ( and very obvious even to me) is that these people are defending the zionist criminals, but for what reason i do not know, either they are being paid or are actually related to zionist criminals.

Salvanti! you are correct on all counts related to the twin towers and building seven, i am amazed at your energy dealing with these disinfo merchants, there should be more people like yourself to save this planet.

To any that are thinking to reply to this comment, i have to say that it is impossible to change the reality that 911 was an inside job and that it was for the obvious purpose of controlling humanity. The only way i would say i am wrong would be at the point of a gun and if what i hear and see ,even in the mainstream media, those that are holding a gun for a living are pointing and firing rounds at an ever increasing rate, doing the dirty work for these elite criminals who are fearing that their agenda of world domination is in peril.

I can not believe that anyone that even researched 911 for only a day can not see the many obvious lies, discrepancies and disinfo on that day. The obstacles would be fear, culture programming, living and believing in the nanny state, or a badly degraded pineal gland.

911 cannot be undone as goes the same for seeing the truth through all the lies.

sanspareille

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by sanspareille on July 7, 2013

First of all, to Asher, thank you for a wonderful talk/article, in which you're saying a lot of things that are long overdue being said.

There's only one thing in it I'm not sure about, and that is your comfortable notion that people are 'actually, quite intelligent'. I'd like to believe it but when I see where the comments to this piece immediately go, I wish I could be so assured...

Ernestine

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Ernestine on July 8, 2013

If people are not actually intelligent, then there's not much hope for us anyway, so I'm going to try and describe a few aspects of the role of conspiracy theories and their interaction with developments in mainstream politics as they occur to me, and hope it doesn't all come across as completely stupid. Please forgive my lack of detailed references and dates, I am trying to make broader points than arguing exactly who did what and when.

Part of the role of the media corporations over the last few decades has been to replace religion as the 'opiate of the people' - as religion was losing out to popular entertainment in the ratings. Investigative reporting was revealing a lot of the cracks in western democracy, particularly post Vietnam. Political corruption was becoming obvious. Time for a message from the sponsors?

Some of the posts here have already indicated that by smearing protest movements by association with conspiracy nutjobs good evidence can be sidelined, as has been done on the issues surrounding climate change.

jrtayloriv's quote from Michael Parenti's "Dirty Truths":above is very pertinent. I can think of quite a few examples of underhand state intervention that would have been labelled as conspiracy theories, if they hadn't been so blatant - the CIA drug pushers undermining the Black Power movement for example. Pinochet probably could not have held onto power without western governments' support. Then there were the cover-ups - one scandal that didn't come to light for many decades was the current of paedophilia in privileged UK circles, which we have come to associate with Jimmy Savile, but was a more or less open secret among a wider media and political cabal. Now we have the recent revelations of police infiltration into campaigns for justice for Stephen Lawrence and Greenpeace, among others. Surely Edward Snowden's revelations reveal a conspiracy between state and corporate powers on a massive scale? - something many people suspected all along, but still ostensibly secret. I am not quite sure why this discussion has concentrated so much on 9/11, when the spectrum of conspiracy types and motivations is much wider. This one issue taking dominance seems to be the kind of focus that the article's author is warning against.

What seems to me to be most important is that we up our level of sophistication in predicting the ways in which the politicians and corporations will try to pull the wool over our eyes next, and reach out with information to people who have so far been comfortable enough with the system up to now. It's got to the stage now where the mortgagees are finding they are increasingly unsafe, and our city environments are being rendered inhumane. When you look at the last 30 years of UK politics it is pretty obvious that there has been a concerted political/corporate/media strategy to damage public education as a precursor to destroying the social gains made since World War II. This is some kind of conspiracy, creeping, massive and increasingly effective. Manufacturing Industry, Education, then Public Housing and Health Services gradually and carefully undermined to make the people ripe for exploitation.

People are not as stupid as they are fearful, and starved in spirit. Conformity is being programmed into us as never before, though in a variety of superficial styles. We have to show where the biggest danger lies - a couple more generations of this and we will be too stupid to even fix the gadgets of the rich.

Steven.

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on April 12, 2014

On a related note…
[youtube]Zsi6J0SD3QI[/youtube]

ddatzbach

6 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ddatzbach on March 14, 2018

This is a classic case of getting lost in the technical details and finding supporting 'evidence' for theory, despite it making no logical sense.