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rashore

How Did CT's Come to Dominate U.S. Culture?

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rashore
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Americans see hoaxes and plots everywhere: from climate change to immunizations to almost anything having to do with Hillary Clinton. But why? Is the constant stream of conspiracy theories a side effect of social media? Are conspiracy theories a product of the increasing polarization of politics? Or have they always been around and for some reason we just notice them more now?

We can start to answer the last question: in their modern form, they have been around for at least two hundred years. The United States was less than ten years old when New England religious leaders sounded the alarm about the Illuminati’s plans to destroy the republic. And this was only the beginning.

https://lithub.com/how-did-conspiracy-theories-come-to-dominate-american-culture/

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Not A Rockstar

There is a general mistrust and certainty of corruption at all levels of business and politics these days among the main stream person, so it seems natural that fringe sorts and the paranoid would go hard further along that track to me.

Most CT folks I know are not really hardcore about it, just have pet issues they tend to think might have something to it. Mine is 9/11. Others are into other ones. If it was my hobby, I would be reading more and writing on that conspiracy, but, really, I don't obsess on it. I know what I think about it, and could be wrong, but, so far, I still think what I think and it matters precisely ZERO :) 

It is like the whole flat earther thing. I do not believe the majority really believe in it, it is just their pet flying spaghetti monster, with a few believers happy to feel they are in a crowd for once.

JMO.

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ChrLzs

Same reasons that Trump got to be president.

1. People are sick to death of lying and cheating politicians and others in 'authority'. (which makes it kinda ironic that they saw Trump as an answer..).

2. The internet helps spread stupidity, possibly even more than it spreads good information.  Look at the measles outbreaks in the USA - thanks antivaxxers...

3. The 'education' system no longer bothers to teach how to find truth, even though now more than ever, it needs to. 

 

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Myles

I think it is mostly 3 things.

Internet and social media.    It's easier to "join" a group and converse with others than it has ever been.

Most things have been studied and explained by science.   Maybe not most, but much of the more basic things.   People are bored and want to believe in something that is not real.

Lack of trust in elected officials.   

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darkmoonlady

People want to believe they possess special knowledge because it makes them feel special. They like to think they know something the rest of us, aka "sheeple" just aren't awake to. Has our government done nefarious things in secret, sure they have. But that doesn't validate every wing nut conspiracy theory. Look at Q Anon deflating as we speak. Hardcore believers fully invested in a network of fake stories. Same people happily holding signs a few weeks ago at a rally calling everyone else stupid for not following their temporary cult are now completely losing it because it was all fake. Conspiracy theories serve one purpose, giving false meaning to otherwise boring lives. When it all comes to nothing they don't take it well. 

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preacherman76

This subject seems to take the stance that every conspiracy people believe in are untrue. 

Now I personally don’t believe in most conspiracies, but I certainly believe in some of them, and just speaking historically there is more then enough reason to believe many may be true. 

Funny I see many of the responses here seem to imply that believing in conspiracies gives one a sense of being special. Yet I can’t help but to feel the vibes of smugness coming off the screen as said people are frowned upon. 

How many of you would be scoffing at the idea that the US government intentionally infected black men with syphilis? Or that the CIA plotted to take out commercial airlines to blame on Cuba? Or that HSBC was let off the hook for laundering money for drug cartels? Or how Bayer intentionally infected hundreds of thousands with aids tainted blood? And on and on we go. 

You guys would being saying people were crazy for believing any of this if it weren’t prove facts. 

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ChrLzs
2 hours ago, preacherman76 said:

This subject seems to take the stance that every conspiracy people believe in are untrue.

Could you quote whoever it was above that said that?  Or is it just your personal strawman..?

A conspiracy is just that, a proven conspiracy.  A conspiracy theory is "a theory that explains an event or set of circumstances as the result of a secret plot by usually powerful conspirators".  It may be proved to be true (in which case you would drop the ..theory bit) and it also may not, and in many cases, be so ill-founded as to be ridiculous.

Whilst I'm sure you can come up with several examples of conspiracy theories that were in fact shown to be true conspiracies...  I'd bet i can find several hundred of the other type.... and I gotta say that the type of CT being referred to in the OP seems to be rather clear.

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Not A Rockstar

Yeah, I have already said I have conspiracy leanings re 9/11. But, you know, until there is more come to light, I have read it all and drawn my ideas and moved on. Not sure I have ever even posted about it anywhere, though I have discussed it in person with others. In my military days one of the many courses I had to take was in weaponeering, and so I have very definite ideas about what the collapse of the towers sure looked like, but, nobody cares and it doesn't matter anyway what NAR thinks.

Yet, right now the newest freak out is that Notre Dame was actually a false flag, or planned and known about, or a terroristic attack, or the start of the End Times. I mean in hours youtube came alive with new conspiracies. It is about playing the gullible and making some click cash I think. Views, you know? One had me scratching my head as the person who made it was trying to entice in fundies and also ET fearers I think. That theory was that it was caused by directed energy weapons (!!!) and the Illuuminati but it also was caused by demons and our battle is not against flesh and blood quotes abounded. It was a bit odd and confusing, really. Worse though is that every single one of those vids I reviewed had been watched dozens of times already and had dozens of posts agreeing.

That is a bit scary.

The truth is often stranger than fiction, but not always.

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Farmer77
On 4/19/2019 at 8:42 AM, preacherman76 said:

How many of you would be scoffing at the idea that the US government intentionally infected black men with syphilis? Or that the CIA plotted to take out commercial airlines to blame on Cuba? Or that HSBC was let off the hook for laundering money for drug cartels? Or how Bayer intentionally infected hundreds of thousands with aids tainted blood? And on and on we go. 

I think the point is more that people have come to use the facts you quote above in place of facts that are relevant to the conversation at hand. Conspiracies happen for sure they are however the outlier and an increasing percentage of our society seems to  have that ratio backwards. 

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Tatetopa
2 hours ago, Not A Rockstar said:

Yeah, I have already said I have conspiracy leanings re 9/11.

Funny.  I keep that one buried in my past.  I was an engineer in an aerospace company when that event happened.  I remember sitting at a table in the break room with half a dozen engineers wondering how a tower hit and severely damaged from one side could collapse straight down in its own footprint without any  sideways momentum. None of us were structural engineers and conspiracy was far from our minds, but we had trouble with the physics of that incident.

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Tatetopa

Facts are inconvenient and don't always align nicely with the idea that life has a purpose and that some sort of being is in control.  For some, I think a powerful being or organization of inimical intent is better than chance and chaos.

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Rlyeh

I'd say some of the more insane conspiracy theories are related to superstition and religion.  

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Hizzy2

Because people realize the world we thought existed is all lies, the promise of an American dream, owning a house, a good job or a better future. We need answers, why so much poverty, so many wars etc & our leaders aren't giving us the answers. This has allowed conspiracies to dominate western culture as a way for people to understand their reality of the crazy times we live in! but this also feeds into more & more crazy conspiracies! Making 'Truth' harder & harder to substantiate.

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Hizzy2

Because people realize the world we thought existed is all lies, the promise of an American dream, owning a house, a good job or a better future. We need answers, why so much poverty, so many wars etc & our leaders aren't giving us the answers or the truth. TV & newspapers were most peoples source of history, world events (propaganda). The internet has changed that, allowing conspiracies to dominate western culture as a way for people to understand their reality within these crazy times. But this also feeds into more & more crazy conspiracies! Making 'Truth' harder & harder to substantiate.

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ChrLzs
21 hours ago, Hizzy2 said:

Because people realize the world we thought existed is all lies, the promise of an American dream, owning a house, a good job or a better future.

Is it really that bad, suddenly?  Or is it the unprecedented access we all have now to 24 hour social and news media?  Don't get me wrong...

21 hours ago, Hizzy2 said:

We need answers, why so much poverty, so many wars etc & our leaders aren't giving us the answers or the truth.

I agree on this - we have a society where the introduction of technology and industrialisation has meant that the rich have got richer and the poor are out of work or grossly underpaid compared the 1% who own the 95% of the money.  I don't understand why at least some of the political parties don't get this and have a go at addressing it.  More to the point I don't understand how people get so effing greedy and luxuriate while others struggle, and think that a bit of philanthropy (tax free of course) is all they need to do....

But my point is, I think people are just as greedy as they ever were, but now they have the ability to tread on far more people than they ever have.

21 hours ago, Hizzy2 said:

TV & newspapers were most peoples source of history, world events (propaganda). The internet has changed that, allowing conspiracies to dominate western culture as a way for people to understand their reality within these crazy times. But this also feeds into more & more crazy conspiracies! Making 'Truth' harder & harder to substantiate.

I do agree, although I don't find it all that difficult to spot bull**** and to verify truth...  Trouble is, half the population is of below average intelligence... :)

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