Thursday, March 01, 2007

Back Down the Rabbit Hole

Well my visit to the WTC site while I was in New York has pulled me back down the rabbit hole of 9/11 Conspiracy Theories. It wasn't the visit per se, it was actually several conversations I overheard while I wandered the grounds, for a moment it seemed that everyone visiting alongside me was sharing their own version of "the coverup". Mostly people were talking about WTC 7, but there was one couple that were into a full-on "Bush and the New World Order" rant. I've heard many theories about why people have a need to believe in conspiracy theories, whether it's lending order to a chaotic universe, or crafting some grand narrative that fully explains the evil machinations of their political opponents, or the desire to be on the inside, a member of the select group that knows the "real" story.

However in my journey back down the rabbit hole I came across an even better theory. Left-wing journalist George Monbiot wrote a couple of articles that were very critical of the conspiracy and was led to assume that:

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.

This sounds about right to me. I would recommend reading both his original article and his follow-up rebuttal, despite the fact that he has a better claim to the "moonbat" title than most, he makes some excellent points.

I still believe in aliens, however


Anonymous ed said...

I agree with him that a fair number of issues have to be debated intelligently, but unfortunately, ideology has been trumpetting truth in academia and entertainment for a while now, and that bleeds over into research and science.

Try having a debate about feminism. For a "soft" science study, some of its adherents are incredible rigorists, and punish all non True Believers with their own form of shunning. Even the "hard" sciences are not immune; try debating global warming and how best to cure it. You've posted on how a few "Greens" are coming out in favor of nuclear power, and what a radical world-paradigm shift THAT is.

I fear that most of our cultural and scientific discourse in the near future will consist of shouting at each other, or shouting down the opposition.

2:54 PM  

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