The rise of conspiracy theories: Reification of defeat as the basis of explanation

Demo with banner about 9-11 conspiracy

Explaining the rise of conspiracy theories

Conspiracy theories have become more widespread in recent years. As populist explanations, they offer themselves as radical analyses of ‘the powerful’ – i.e., the operation of capital and its political expressions. One of the features that is interesting about such conspiracy theories therefore is that they reflect a critical impulse. We suggest that at least part of the reason for their upsurge (both in the past and in recent years) has to do with social conditions in which movements reflecting class struggles have declined or are seen to be defeated. We trace the rise of conspiracy theories historically and then focus on the most widespread such theory today – the idea that 9/11 was an inside job. We suggest that one factor in the sudden rise of 9/11 conspiracy theories was the failure and decline of the movement against the war in Iraq.

Conspiracy theories FINAL28-10-20[2].pdf3.93 MB


Oct 31 2020 21:53

Was Aufhebengate just another conspiracy?

Red Marriott
Nov 2 2020 11:03

At the end of the day the accusations of Aufhebengate turned out to be confirmed straight from the horse's mouth;

Dr J..., from the University of Sussex, led an investigation into the early phases of the riots in Tottenham Hale and Haringey.

Speaking the British Science Festival at the University of Brighton, he said: "This riot saw traditional post-code rivalries melt away in the face of a common enemy in the police, and the emergence of a new shared identity. Our research shows for the first time how that happened.

"Police forces and others may feel that they understand how gang mentalities work but our findings show that at times like this, a fresh sense of community can break down existing loyalties.

"We're talking to police forces and councils about what our research shows. We hope that those responsible for law enforcement and keeping communities safe will take stock."

So why try to insinuate otherwise?

Nov 2 2020 14:09

I'm really sorry. It was a very ill-thought-out post by me. I was being sarcastic — which is never a good idea on forums. I wish I hadn't posted that remark now.
I personally still feel very, very pissed off with Aufheben and the whole cop consultancy controversy.
I also think about this as the Undercover Policing Inquiry starts — scrutinising the abusive activities of the Special Demonstration Squad and the National Public Order Intelligence Unit.
But it was a naff post.

Red Marriott
Nov 2 2020 21:08

Not to worry. But not a subject that will raise many laughs on here.