'Conspiracy Theory' Crypto-fascism?

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radicalchains
'Conspiracy Theory' Crypto-fascism?
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David Icke and co, are they all on the make or are they fascists knowingly or otherwise? 

And does it matter?

i.e do all the countless videos and so on of the 9/11 'conspiracy', Illuminati, Masons, Jews, Hidden Bases, Third Positionism, Evola esque ideas bullshit lead to anything in the real world? And can it in the future?

How if need be should it be dealt with?

 

Alf
impact of conspiracy theories

 

there is certainly a link between conspiracy theories and right wing ideology but the main problem we are dealing with is that huge numbers of young people, suspicious of the democratic rigmarole and the media, are swallowing conspiracy theories whole. We need to relate to them while arguing for the marxist approach to reality. At the same time some of the more politicised elements, especially the libertarians, see no need to analyse the manoevres of the class enemy and tend to underestimate the machiavellianism of the ruling class. There is much work to be done. Did you read this article? 

 

https://en.internationalism.org/icconline/201201/4641/marxism-and-conspiracy-theories

radicalchains
Yes, that article is

Yes, that article is excellent. There was already a forum thread on it. I wonder if it is useful in anyway to take the approach of the SPGB to these people interested in conspiracy theory. They meet them and discuss as I understand "the case for socialism". Which fits perfectly well with their idea of getting the masses to believe in socialism which will of course lead to socialism....through taking control of the state no less! I digress....would it be beneficial to purposefully seek out conspiracy influenced groups to discuss with, if anything to understand better where they are coming from and why? Or am I right in thinking the ICC relatively rigidly sticks to discussions with people and groups that accept some common perspectives and positions beforehand?

radicalchains
Update

An update on Icke. Recently he appealed for funds to set up a 24 hour television channel. Believe it or not he quickly raised hundreds of thousands of pounds. I was pretty skeptical myself and thought it might be a big scam (it still could be, he's now asking for ongoing donations including large ones eg 10K) but it's looking more and more real. In his latest videos he shows you around the studios and some of the equipment he's aquired. There seems to be a lot of interest in what he is doing, lots of volunteers and so on. 

I think his ideas are a lot more popular than people generally think or could become a lot more popular given the chance. The way I see it, more and more people are rejecting mainstream news television and are waiting for something like him to come along. 

jk1921
Lots of people believe lots

Lots of people believe lots of weird things. In the states, there are actually things called "mega-churches" that attract thousands of people and raise millions of dollars. Nutter conspiracy theorists have their own radio and TV shows that regularly get more viewers than the mainstream broadcasters. I'd say its part of decomposition.

radicalchains
So is it an irrelevance? 

So is it an irrelevance? 

jk1921
Not at all.

radicalchains wrote:

So is it an irrelevance? 

 

No, not at all. It shows that more and more people are no longer convinced by the official narratives of bourgeois democracy and look for other "explanations" for how the world works, even if they get them from certain unsavoury figures.

Demogorgon
Certainly not an irrelevance.

Certainly not an irrelevance. It shows to some extent the decomposition of bourgeois ideology, even if it stems from a bourgeois world-view that is, at root, fundamentally rooted in conspiracism anyway. But it does have very serious issues for the development of proletarian consciousness because it has a superficial resemblence to aspects of the reality of class society: a shadowy ruling class that hides behind "democracy", doing all sorts of unsavoury things.

There has, of course, been a long and unhappy association between the bourgeois and petit-bourgeois aspects of conspiracism and the workers' movement. It's no accident that anti-semitism was often refered to as the "socialism of fools" in Social Democracy in the 19th century.

d-man
irrational amalgams

a couple of threads on conspiracy theories: https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/redmarx/not-all-citizen-detectives-conspiracy-theorists-ar-t1555.html

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/redmarx/inside-job-the-story-of-trotskyite-intrigue-t1225.html

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/redmarx/notes-on-furr-s-trotsky-s-amalgams-2016-edition-t1587.html

I hold that such theories need to be seriously addressed/criticised. Not just as a sociological/general view of society (eg the theory of rackets, etc), but in concrete details, since it is a large part of mainstream politics (in last years eg Russiagate). Often it's merely reduced to psychological causes, that conspiracy beliefs help alleviate feelings of powerlessness in a complex world, etc. But this is superficial.

Recall that the show trials during Stalinism (mainly against the Left Opposition) were not invented by Stalinism, but featured already under Robespierre's reign of terror (against the Hébertists), a historical precedent which btw was recalled by Zinoviev in 1927 himself (using the French word "amalgam").

On the other hand, Lukacs in his Destruction of Reason remarks about Hitler that he possibly didn't believe in the Elders of Zion conspiracy, and I think in general for fascists they can be grifters, entertainers, cynically latching onto and detouring conspiracy theories (rather than really coming up with their own research), and even Hitler could be just a "troll", ie doesn't actually believe his own theories. In a sense it's comforting to complain about (and easy to debunk as "fake") the annoyingly inane and silly conspiracy theorists, but to imagine that they don't exist (as real believers or coherent views) is more disenchanting and troubling to counter (their very real exertion of power).

 

 

 

 

d-man
Here's an example of

Here's an example of investigating/uncovering a possible "conspiracy". We could discuss whether the method is sufficient to establish a "conspiracy", because this type of method is fairly common.

The site EverydayFeminism is (or once was) a fairly prominent "social justice" promoter online (of LGTB+, etc. including courses against white fragility), so I'm interested to find out about it. I go the Linkedin page of its founder (2012), and see that she previously worked at the non-profits Ashoka and at Management Assistance Group (MAG, now called Change Elemental). Next I look at the founders of these non-profits;

Ashoka was founded in 1980 by Bill Drayton, who immediately prior to that had been "a manager and management consultant, working for McKinsey & Company as a consultant for almost ten years".

MAG was (co-)founded by Karl Mathiasen III, who was "an army veteran of World War II and graduated from Princeton University in 1949. He went on to earn a Masters degree from Columbia University School of International Affairs in 1951. Mr. Mathiasen served with the Agency for International Development from 1951 to 1963. He served in North Africa and as Chief of the Policy Planning Division. After USAID, he was a senior staff member of the Brookings Institution and he was Executive Vice President of the University of North Africa Association. In 1972, he founded the Planning and Management Assistance Project of the Center for Community Change which became the Management Assistance Group (MAG) in 1980. At the MAG, he provided management counseling and organizational analysis to many nonprofit groups." He retired in 1995.

Both these men's career-paths would not be uncommon to members of something like the CIA.

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We want to avoid the invention of easy conspiracy "amalgams", but we also don't want to be naive, so what conclusions could be legitimately drawn then in the above case, based on the quick information that I randomly presented?