Conspiracies (was: Anthrax addendum)

From: Alex F. Bokov (
Date: Mon Oct 15 2001 - 17:06:32 MDT


On Mon, 15 Oct 2001, Randy Smith wrote:

> I am so glad that I am not the only one on this list who thinks that
> powerful, monied individuals and cooperating groups can and do take actions
> contrary to the interests of most or a large part of the American
> citizenry/citizens of western democracries. I get called a racist troll,
> but I am just saying that people act in their own best interests and that
> powerful people and powerful groups are...*powerful*, and most importantly,
> that there do exist conflicting interests between those who HAVE and those
> who HAVE NOT (relatively speaking).
> This should be evident, I would think, but propaganda/religion takes hold,
> and forget about logic....

Thank you kindly. I'd just like to emphasize the difference between me
and the garden variety conspiracy theorist. That is, I don't believe
that conspiracies are infallible or monolithic. If you pardon me for
quoting myself, this bears repeating:

> >...whichever has the best cost:benefit ratio in a given situation. The only
> >things saving our butts are:
> >
> > a) nobler individuals who came before us in our respective countries
> > who crafted institutions resistant (but never immune) to cooptation
> > b) power elites are domain specific
> > c) the agendae of power elites often conflict with each other (at the
> > moment, Islamic theocrats vs. secular corporatists)
> > d) the actions power elites take to further their own power are
> > subject to the same imperfect information and unintended
> > consequences that confound the actions of humans in general.

Nor are all conspiracies necesserily intentional. For instance, is
there a massive conspiracy of white people to oppress people of color?
No, but there is collusion going on, an emergent effect of biases that
(by this point in history) can be so subtle as to avoid detection on
the individual level. Ditto the collusion of men against women, women
against men, any group against any other group. If these conspiracies
were intentional, it's a virtual certainty that with a shared secret
involving so many individuals, somebody would spill the beans.

- --
* I believe that the majority of the world's Muslims are good, *
* honorable people. If you are a Muslim and want to reassure me and *
* others that you are part of this good, honorable majority, all *
* you need to say are nine simple words: "I OPPOSE the Wahhabi cult *
* and its Jihad." *

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