Monday, 25 July 2016

Where does Conspiracy Culture End?



The problem with conspiracy culture - and I myself am well-versed in and partial to many conspiracies - may be summed up in one question: where does it end?

Conspiratorial thinking as a lens with which to view the world is, for all intents and purposes, a combination of fact gathering and political motivation suffering as it can do from confirmation bias, i.e. seeking out information that confirms rather than disproves one's worldview.

Taking myself as an example, I regard myself as an anarchist of sorts in that I distrust the system of political representation and would wish to see people becoming their own government rather than ruled from on high. Does this mean that I am more likely to accept conspiracies in government and supranational institutions?

Put differently, fact searching - facts being the raw stuff of political truth as I noted in my post Factual Truth - be it historical or contemporary politics, tends to have a political impetus and a political motivation. As Liam Neeson laconically tells a young Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
"Your focus determines your reality." 
Moreover, how facts are selected and cohered into a narrative also tends to be subject to political temperament, preferences, colourings, interpretations, understandings, perhaps even maliciousness and agenda building.

Further still, facts may turn out to be false, either fabricated or genuine errors, so that what makes a fact a fact, i.e. its occurring as a historical event, is itself up for grabs and requires careful examination.

A good example of this is the spurious fact that J.F.K. initiated an Executive Order that brought upon him the ire of the Federal Reserve which duly had him killed; careful examination has shown that there was no such Executive Order, i.e. the Executive Order's contents were in no way inimical to the Federal Reserve's supremacy. 

A living proof that nature as will to power - and human thought is nature working through us - is 
"that which overcomes itself again and again"
- to use Nietzsche's expression - are the following revisionist examples that question all the received wisdom on the events and ethics of the Second World War: 

  • Was Hitler a German messiah as the 'documentary' Adolf Hitler: The Greatest Story Never Told claims he was, a messiah thwarted by perfidious English and Zionist interests? Is his bad standing in posterity's view the fruit of a historical cover up by those who defeated him?
  • Were the Jews really exterminated en masse by the National Socialists or was there a conspiracy to exaggerate the holocaust after the war ended to suit these same so-called zionist and Anglo-American agendas?
  • But wait! Was the Reichstag building being burnt down not itself a conspiracy by the National Socialists to discredit and shame the communists? Or is that conspiracy fact itself a conspiracy and therefore not a fact? 

Conspiratorial thinking à outrance leads to ridiculous results. David Icke, for example, renowned for his theorising on reptilian shape-shifters dominating planet earth in human form, claims in one of his works that Mesopotamian researcher Zacharia Sitchin was such a shape shifting reptilian, even though Sitchin was one of the foremost voices in favour of non-terrestrial intervention theory in human origins, which would à priori support alien co-existence claims by David Icke.

Yet David Icke too is the subject of conspiratorial thinking. Several YouTube videos make the case - based on shoddy televised footage - that David Icke is himself a reptilian shape-shifter! 

Similarly conspiracy overlord Alex Jones of Infowars fame is accused by some of being in the pay of the C.I.A. and representing, at best, an example of controlled opposition, at worst, a shill to misinform a certain demographic.

It would seem that conspiratorial thinking has come full circle painting two figures who've made their living from conspiracy theorising as being conspirators in league with the global conspiracy! 

As Mark Passio states in his podcast series, the key skill that prevents bad Natural Law consequences is the ability to discern truth from falsehood. But there are no short cuts in order to achieve this skill. 

One has to not only train one's mind to think critically, just like building a body muscle at the gym, but one must then use that critical thinking to evaluate competing and often discordant sources of information which one has done the due diligence to absorb and integrate. 

A solution in this light was perhaps best put by Aristotle
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without immediately accepting (or rejecting) it." 
Thus, suspending judgement might help the life-long task of discerning truth from falsehood, until such a time when a balanced, well and consciously informed judgement is possible, rooted as it should be in active research of alternate and competing sources of information combined with critical evaluation. 

Few are those who are prepared to carry out such a task systematically and indeed we are but human, all too human. We cannot at all times exercise caution and discrimination, we often need to accept things at face value trusting our intuition, our reason and our experience.

Thus, to conclude, conspiratorial thought, like most human phenomena and modes of discourse, is not un-negotiable - despite its attacking the institutions and discourses of power - and needs to be critically evaluated like all other forms of discourse including those that belong to philosophy, science and cultural criticism. 


What do you do?


Person: what do you do?
Me: I'm not into the whole work thing, thank you very much.
Person: how do you live?
Me: With money.
Person: Where do you get your money from?
Me: Her Majesty's Government.
Person: You mean you're on benefits?
Me: Yes. Now crucify my arse.

Calvin and Hobbes or the Art of Imagination


Calvin and Hobbes is my favourite comic strip series not only for its fine, soulful, humorous, expertly traced artwork but also for the magic it captures of a happy childhood with Calvin's imagination and childish, yet to be conventionalised, wisdom capturing all one needs to know about the rotten, enslaved, conformist world of adults as compared to the active freedom and anarchic self-expressions of the titular characters with whom many identify. 

All this delivered and presented in such a way as to bring laughs, smiles and awe at the wonder that is a human child's imagination, imagination being the key to life and death in the Mystery Tradition of Alchemy, the genuine philosopher's stone otherwise known, including in Harry Potter, as the elixir of life (see The Philosopher's Stone). 

The French Revolution's Philosophical Trinity


The three thinkers of the French Revolution's philosophical reality encapsulating a three-part dialectic may be named as follows:

  1. Jean-Jacques Rousseau as the thesis, the work and spirit of whom animated the French Revolution's soul as well as its most classic representative Maximilien de Robespierre
  2. Edmund Burke as the anti-thesis, whose Reflections on the Revolution in France were a typical English jibe at their French continental neighbours' idealistic politicising, giving a voice to the Conservative tradition in the United Kingdom which has so often defined itself against the French example
  3. Thomas Paine as the synthesis highlighting the limitations of Burke's conservatism and Rousseau's tyrannical passion by cooly explaining and understanding Natural Law principles that are an intrinsic moral compass to the human condition in his treatise Rights of Man.

Christianity as Mystery Tradition


As Manly P. Hall argues in his classic work on the occult, The Secret Teachings of All Ages, Christianity owes much of its symbolic lore to the ancient Mystery Traditions of the world, so much so that the Bible can be read as a code highlighting in a tangential way old traditions of esoteric wisdom that long preceded it. 

One thought that occurred to me in passing was the significance of the numbers 3 and 12. In Christianity there is of course the Holy Trinity consisting of Father, Son and Holy Spirit and the twelves apostles, correlating in number with the months of the year, the signs of the Zodiac, the hours in a half day and the number of solar system planets (according to Ancient Sumerian ways of counting these), not to mention the 12 god pantheons of Greece, Rome and Scandinavia and the 12 labours of Hercules. 

The point I wish to make is that 12 and 3 are identical in numerology because 12 equates to 1 + 2 = 3. This is of course a most cursory insight into the occult elements of Christianity but it appears to escape many people's notice.

And indeed the Greek word for truth, ἀ-λήθεια, means nothing other than what does not escape one's notice the α being privative a bit like our word a-symetrical. Truth-telling in its originary sense is therefore to take out of hiddenness, which is quite literally the task of modern day de-occultists (like Mark Passio) because they bring into the open what has been hidden from the great majority of people, occult meaning hidden in its etymological Latin sense (occultare, to conceal). 

Social Media: The Short View


Facebook = private crap



Twitter = political crap



Tumblr = artistic crap


Blogger = philosophical crap

Austerity


Austerity is basically Orwellian speak for what is in essence bankers' welfare. 

A good James Corbett video highlighting this fact

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUmQbf1AyA8