Conspiracy theories vs more major issues most of us agree on

Note: This post is a bit one-sided as I wrote it from some reactivity and didn’t rewrite it – as I often do – before posting it. See the comments section for more details…!

I understand the fascination with conspiracy theories. They can give us a feeling that we belong to an exclusive group who knows while others don’t. It can be exciting and give can give us a sense of discovery. They can give us quick and simple answers to some of the problems in the world.

At the same time, it seems a waste of time to be too focused on obscure and often insignificant conspiracy theories. Mainly because what we agree is going on, what’s already out in the open, is as bad and often far worse than most conspiracy theories.

Here are some major things we know are going on:

Multinational corporations control international and national policies to increase their profit at the cost of people, ecosystems, and future generations. They also own most of mainstream media, and buy the votes and policies of politicians through financial contributions. Their interests often dictate the public discourse, bringing attention away from the really serious and overarching issues, and frame the more serious issues in a way that focuses on their more peripheral aspects. (No secret group or organization is needed for this to happen.)

Our economic system is based on assumptions that goes counter to ecological realities. What’s profitable in the short and medium term is often detrimental to the ecosystems we depend on for everything precious to us. And that’s not inevitable. It’s built into our particular economic system. It can be changed. (It’s not about individual greed as much as a system where short term profit is disconnected from enhancing the health and well-being of ecosystems, society, and individuals.)

Most or all our systems – economy, transportation, business, science, education, health and more – are based on outdated worldviews and frameworks. They are based on models and assumptions from one or two centuries ago when the world looked very different from how it is today. Today, with our much larger population and much more powerful technology, these assumptions are far more destructive to nature and people.

A note: Climate change is often a big topic in the media today as it should be. Although climate change is just a symptom of a much deeper and more systemic problem, and that is rarely addressed in mainstream media – at least so far. I suspect it will be.

None of these systems have to look the way they do. They are created and upheld by us and can be changed by us. And they will as more people become aware of the downsides of the current models and that we have practical and attractive alternatives.

Bernie Sanders in an excellent example of someone who sees and speaks about many of these issues, and a different and more sane way of organizing ourselves. He is a realist so he speaks about the first steps even if he likely is aware of the longer perspectives. We will eventually – and quite soon –  need deeper changes.


Initial notes……

  • conspiracy theories
  • have never really understood since what we agree is going on is as bad and usually far worse than any conspiracy theory
  • multinational corporations controlling international and national policies, media, and politicians

5 thoughts to “Conspiracy theories vs more major issues most of us agree on”

  1. “It seems a waste of time to be too focused on obscure and often insignificant conspiracy theories.”

    It can be a waste of time but often the solution to a mainstream problem is seemingly obscure or insignificant. You are an excellent example of this: instead of following traditional psychology, you have focused on bodywork and enquiry. A lot people think that the mind/body connection is hocus pocus and yet it is entirely possible that it is seriously important. Realists are important but they require time wasters who focus on obscure theories to guide them.

    Meta: Did something happen to make you feel like an crazy conspiracy person?

  2. Thank you, Andrew…! Yes, this post was a bit one-sided. My first drafts often are, and then I balance them before posting. I didn’t do it this time, so I may go back and edit a bit. I know that some conspiracy theories turn out to be true, and it’s obviously important that some people dig into any conspiracy theory – for that and other reasons. And yes, I can find in me a desire to not be seen as a crazy conspiracy person! My interests are already on the fringe so I try to appear normal as much as I can. (I am sure there is more behind that desire.)

    This post was triggered by talking to a good friend whose judgment I value and trust who now turns out to be into “chem trail” conspiracies. In that case, I see the arguments for the conspiracy theory as weak and from a lack of basic understanding of the atmosphere and meteorology…. I know I can be wrong, but personally don’t find it worth the time and energy to explore it further – at least for now. I could have written an article about that instead of generalizing as I did.

  3. Yes I can relate to that feeling. When I reflect on it, I wonder if there is a fear of people who believe in fringe ideas because in a sense those ideas are potentially dangerous e.g. jumping off a cliff because you think you can fly like a bird. As a result someone with “weak” ideas and “a lack of basic understanding”, might cause us harm or we may need to protect them, either way it does not serve us well in evolutionary terms. Behind that is a feeling that I am weak and may need protecting if I allow myself to believe in “fringe” ideas so perhaps I should reject people who believe in any conspiracy theory entirely. Paradoxically, it may be the case that by rejecting the “weak” person I am rejecting the weak me and as a result I weaken myself. This does not mean that we need to believe everything others, or we, believe but that it is ok to value and trust people who hold strange beliefs since we all hold strange beliefs. And maybe that it is an awakening of my ability to better disseminate evolutionarily useful or harmful information.

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