George Monbiot comes out swinging against the 9/11 conspiracy nuts again today. Really – the day anyone thinks Monbiot is under the control of “military paymasters” is the day their brain has officially lost any sense of proportion.
But I think there are two wider issues here. Firstly that the internet makes dissemination of conspiracy theories easy and people are still willing to believe stuff just because it’s on a website. This is the obvious point.
More importantly, governments in the UK and United States have collectively lost the trust of their people in a way they haven’t yet come to terms with. The amount of people I met in California who had absolutely no trust in their own government was a bit hairraising (although one may expect that in Cali anyway). But this isn’t just a liberal issue since conservatives and libertarians are traditionally even more distrustful of the state and its intentions.
It’s more that in this information age we’re easily exposed to govt duplicity and that makes us distrustful. The dodgy dossier on Iraq anyone? Covering up the BAE/Saudi scandal anyone? The “ethical foreign policy” initiative? And yet politicians don’t look like they’ve come to terms with how hypocritical they constantly look – blaming it instead on the media or the people’s lack of authority. They still carry one like the 60s and 70s when events were easily covered up.
In this context it isn’t surprising that conspiracy theorists are abundant and big events like 9/11 provide enough material to push any sort of prejudice. That doesn’t mean we should all buy it though. As Monbiot points out, it only helps the government dismiss all their critics as nutters and carry on as normal.
(and no, this isn’t an invitation to conspiracy nuts; if you post rubbish you will be deleted).
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Filed in: Party politics