Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Coo-Coo for Coco Puffs

George Monboit points out in plain sight what no-one has been able to contend with in private. Conspiracy nuts are making the left look bad. In fact they make all of humanity look bad, and they are beginning to characterize a whole ideology of the left. They are the "black helicopter crowd", only 1000 times more numerous, and they fell off their barstools a long time ago.

The obvious corollorary to the belief that the Bush administration is all-powerful is that the rest of us are completely powerless. In fact it seems to me that the purpose of the "9/11 truth movement" is to be powerless. The omnipotence of the Bush regime is the coward's fantasy, an excuse for inaction used by those who don't have the stomach to engage in real political fights.

Let me give you an example. The column I wrote about Loose Change two weeks ago generated 777 posts on the Guardian Comment is Free website, which is almost a record. Most of them were furious. The response from a producer of the film, published last week, attracted 467. On the same day the Guardian published my article about a genuine, demonstrable conspiracy: a spy network feeding confidential information from an arms control campaign to Britain's biggest weapons manufacturer, BAE Systems. It drew 60 responses. The members of the 9/11 cult weren't interested. If they had been, they might have had to do something. The great virtue of a fake conspiracy is that it calls on you to do nothing.

The 9/11 conspiracy theories are a displacement activity. A displacement activity is something you do because you feel incapable of doing what you ought to do. A squirrel sees a larger squirrel stealing its horde of nuts. Instead of attacking its rival, it sinks its teeth into a tree and starts ripping it to pieces. Faced with the mountainous challenge of the real issues we must confront, the chickens in the "truth" movement focus instead on a fairytale, knowing that nothing they do or say will count, knowing that because the perpetrators don't exist, they can't fight back. They demonstrate their courage by repeatedly bayoneting a scarecrow.
Much as I disagree with the left, we all need them. The world needs to have a dialogue that challenges us to discover just what it is we advocate and why. A counterpoint keeps an individual from falling in love with his own ideas and his own image. In other words as frothing-mad as Monboit can get about the US, for example, he’s intelligent enough not to let himself be convince into comforting fantasies that prop-up his world view.

Just watch them. Watch them attack, even Monboit, whom even crackposts like to use as a generator of factual crutches. The swarming behavior of these loutish attacks isn’t consistent with any form of skepticism of a “scholar for truth.” It’s the exact opposite, and because they go so far to engineer a truth which is neither leading to their conclusions on its’ own, they invent it. Plainly, it’s evil.
It might seem cute when it involves a wish-seeking “UFO community”, but to concoct conspiracies in an effort to convince yourself of superior insight that an ignorant universe simply can’t grasp?

Can we say sociopath, kids?

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