Sunday, July 24, 2011

Conspiracy theory; conspiracy fact.

Oh my god, have you heard? FEMA is building internment camps for political dissidents! I went on the Internet and there's a website with a photo of barbed wire and a guard tower so it must be true!!!!

OK. Settle down.

Here's what bugs me about conspiracy theories. There's so much crap out in the open, you don't need conspiracy theories.

A certain faction of America's elite have been advocating an "Atlas Shrugged" kill-the-government strategy in the pages of The Weekly Spectator and The National Review for the last two decades. And getting exactly what they want.

Forget the "secret" prisons. The Prison Industrial Complex has been growing like a cancer -- and increasingly privatized. (Which creates a powerful lobby with a financial stake in throwing lots of people in jail. Mainly black, brown, poor and young, natch.) If the Illuminati want to throw your ass in the pokey, they don't need a secret camp to do it.

The Apocalyptic One-World-Gummint Interstate to Mexico doesn't bother me quite so much as the cross-border triangle trade of drugs guns and money (thanks to America's idiotic "war" on drugs) that's pretty much turned Mexico into a failed state--and launched an infrastructure of narco-capitalists and human traffickers who, of course, will want to diversify their interests.

Worrying about all this secret crap is sort of like watching brownshirt thugs beat some victim in an alley with rubber hoses. Then point to some guy sitting at a sidewalk table and say "I think he's up to something."

These days, most of the fear and loathing is out in plain sight.

So what do we do?

Off the top of my head, don't say anything to tip of the "Big Ear" at the N.S.A. Heh-heh. Just kidding. Spendid chaps, really.

Seriously, what do we do?

OK, me. Since you put me on the spot, I'd say keep an eye on the big picture and think strategically. I.e.: there's a lot of disinformation out there, on both Left and Right. Make sure your scary revelations are well-sourced. Saying something doesn't make it so. Posting a photograph of a barbed wire fence next to the headline "FEMA Internment Camps" doesn't mean that's what it actually is.

Strategically, without resort to conspiracy theories, America's elite have an interest in a culture of dependency. (This has largely been accomplished with credit cards, consumerism and compound interest and the dismantling of unions, government oversight and the blurring of chains of responsibility for large-scale financial misdeeds.) Today, the system of American consumerism seems to be breaking down after a long process of downsizing, outsourcing, and globalization. Historically, the elite in any country never seems to mind if they're living in splendid mansions in the hills while 90% of the population combs through the garbage dump. America's one-percenters might not need consumerism anymore; or perceive broad American prosperity to be in their interests.

The response to that? Stop the crooks robbing banks with fountain pens. Get people angry about that. How? Dunno. Today, that kind of populism is a hard sell, thanks to the diversionary tactics of The Tea Party and wedge social issues and the wall-to-wall propaganda of Right Wing media. This ain't Socialism; it's the New Deal. But they'll paint you Red, anyway.

In the 1960s, one concept behind the counterculture was the notion of dropping out of American consumer culture and not being dependent on "the system." Do-it-yourself Emersonian thinking! Living off the grid! Growing your own food, sewing your own clothes, slapping up a geodesic dome, etc. Today, you've got to be highly capitalized to enjoy the simple life. I'm not sure if it's possible anymore -- aside from being homeless.

And now here's something we hope you'll really like:

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