Like a modern-day Gulliver, he has traveled widely and conducted numerous interviews to map what seems like every nook and cranny of the conspiracist universe. Yet Kay, an editor and columnist at the conservative Canadian newspaper The National Post, has not written a Swiftian satire on the foibles of humanity. Rather, he sounds alarms about what he depicts as a mounting paranoia inspired by an invisible and nefarious oligarchy. On the contrary, Kay reminds us, the belief that coastal political elites, bankers and Ivy League intellectuals are conniving to victimize ordinary people has long been a staple on the fringes of American politics. But as Kay sees it, conspiracy thinking is now experiencing a dangerous uptick in popularity. Cranks, he adds, are frequently math teachers, computer scientists or investigative journalists.
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But this book is strange—and disturbing—in ways that transcend that research. Perhaps the scariest aspect of this fatuousness is that, as Kay notes, A Scripps Howard poll of over one thousand U. To name a few: George W. This may be an individual experience, or the experience of a whole society.
Kay also makes a case that the repellent early-twentieth century anti-Semitic Russian forgery, the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, has contributed many fundamental components to the conspiracy fantasies thriving today.
But in most cases, it would exhibit the same five recurring traits that the Protocols fastened upon the Jewish elders in the shadow of World War I: singularity, evil, incumbency, greed, and hypercompetence. The least persuasive item cited is the midlife crisis. Like many faiths, conspiracism supplies adherents with a Manichean moral structure, a satanic explanation for evil, and the promise of utopia.
Jonathan Kay is a good writer and an intrepid reporter and researcher. Unlike many of the doctrines he probes and some of the people he interviews, he is a long way from being uncouth and intemperate. Nevertheless, I have problems with this book. The author, for instance, is certain that conspiracism is a danger to the United States.
When a critical mass of educated people in a society lose their grip on the real world… it is a signal that the ordinary rules of rational intellectual inquiry are now treated as optional. That book, which depicts the overthrow of the U. On a lighter note, I suspect that the most popular conspiracism novel of all time is The Godfather. He is, however, unreasonable about some other points, and they ruined this book for me. But the boundary line is blurry and subjective.
Those in the political center, or left of it, can deprecate certain Israeli government policies and still be dedicated to the wellbeing of Israel. To insist otherwise is tendentious nonsense.
I worked for several years at one of the most influential Jewish defense agencies, and the only individuals who shaped its policies were the decidedly right-of-center bureaucrats in charge and the biggest contributors.
I know—now I sound like a conspiracist. When the appeal of traditional religion becomes weak, darker faiths assert themselves: including not only communism, fascism, tribalism, and strident nationalism, but also more faddish intellectual pathologies such as radical identity politics, anti-Americanism, and obsessive anti-Zionism.
As if America suffers from a lack of religiosity!
Inside the World of Conspiracy Theorists
But this book is strange—and disturbing—in ways that transcend that research. Perhaps the scariest aspect of this fatuousness is that, as Kay notes, A Scripps Howard poll of over one thousand U. To name a few: George W. This may be an individual experience, or the experience of a whole society. Kay also makes a case that the repellent early-twentieth century anti-Semitic Russian forgery, the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, has contributed many fundamental components to the conspiracy fantasies thriving today. But in most cases, it would exhibit the same five recurring traits that the Protocols fastened upon the Jewish elders in the shadow of World War I: singularity, evil, incumbency, greed, and hypercompetence.
Among the Truthers, by Jonathan Kay
Some information in it may no longer be current. And, if so, what are the conditions that have given rise to this phenomenon? These are the questions that Jonathan Kay, editorial director of the National Post and a former colleague , raises in Among the Truthers. Kay attends conferences in the United States and Canada, visits "truthers" in their homes and offices, and offers a compendium and brief history of conspiracy thinking. He endeavours to confront his subjects with an open mind, imagining that he would "approach conspiracy theorists as if they were lab specimens to be poked and prodded from the other side of a tape recorder. On several occasions, Kay shares his own surprise at the dash of empathy he feels in the company of the truthers.
Among the Truthers: A Journey Through America's Growing Conspiracist Underground
The author considers the definition of "conspiracy theory" in the Merriam-Webster dictionary "a theory that explains an event or set of circumstances as the result of a secret plot" to be unsatisfactory as it applies to both real conspiracies and to the type of conspiracy discussed in his book. He writes: "So instead, I adopt the narrower definition set out by Oxford University conspiracy theory scholar Steve Clarke and Brian Keeley of Pitzer College formerly of Washington University : A theory that traces important events to a secret, nefarious cabal, and whose proponents consistently respond to contrary facts not by modifying their theory, but instead by insisting on the existence of ever-wider circles of high-level conspirators controlling most or all parts of society. The author reminds us of the impact on the American psyche of the assassination of President Kennedy. The author also mentions a typology that he calls "Flowchart Conspiracism" which proceeds by drawing organisation charts of interconnected conspirators. It has continued to meet annually in various locations on an invitation only and is alleged by Estulin to be a conspiracy that controls the world bringing together such organisations as the CIA, Mossad, MI6, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Royal Institute of International Affairs and others. In passing I have attended the first two meetings of a Muslim retreat called the Concordia Forum and my aspiration is to have someone write a book about us alleging similar global power! The author identifies some recurring traits.