Tony D. Senatore
"I'm the spokesman for the OK Boomer generation

How to be a good conspiracy theorist

photo credit : Tony Senatore all rights reserved.

The term conspiracy theorist has become the pejorative of choice of the pundits, politicians, corporations, activists, and academics that seek to control American society, and they portray it as a right-wing phenomenon. Wikipedia asserts that former President Trump is a purveyor of prevarication and conspiratorial claims. The idea of a deep state in America is scoffed at as an idea promulgated by uneducated deplorables and Trump supporters, whom the liberal media view as the same. 

On the other hand, when someone like Victor Davis Hanson, arguably the most intelligent man in any room he is in, asserts that the entrenched interests that comprise the American government define the deep state, and Wikipedia defines it as a conspiracy theory, it should set alarm bells for anyone skeptical of the media’s official narrative, and those who hold heterodox beliefs. Free inquiry, constructive intellectual disagreement, and diversity of opinions and ideas should be the foundation of any free society. These principles once defined America, but that is no longer the case.

Murray Rothbard is one of my most significant intellectual influences and the catalyst for my libertarian leanings. He preferred the term conspiracy analyst rather than the more negatively connotated conspiracy theorist; like historians, there are good and bad ones. The bad conspiracy analyst provides a simplistic claim that focuses on the cui bono but without proof and tries to wrap up multiple conspiracies into one monolithic conspiracy(e.g., the Rockefeller and Rothschild families and the Jewish people control the world). This is done by trying to prove their hypothesis with circumstantial evidence, ultimately giving a bad name to the more sophisticated conspiracy analyst. Both types are what Rothbard refers to as praxeologists. Praxeologists believe behavior is never reflexive and unfocused, whether speaking about an individual or especially a government. Rothbard believed that human action is conscious, rational, and directed toward specific goals. The evils of any government, regardless of geographic location, result from multiple power blocs and competing elites vying for power via purposeful action.

Putting this in perspective, when contemplating the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, the bad conspiracy analyst claims that COVID-19 does not exist, was created as a bioweapon, spreads via 5G, or is part of a plan for Bill Gates to implant microchips into the arms the world’s population during the vaccination process. The good conspiracy analyst focuses on the interaction between political and economic interests. The pandemic helped Pfizer realize record profits (100 billion dollars). Was this profit random and unplanned, or was it made possible by the joint venture of President Biden making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for all federal employees while the mainstream media and Google squelched all alternative viewpoints, dismissing them as disinformation? Much of what we are seeing in the world today, whether we speak of the Russo/ Ukrainian Warthe record number of illegal crossings at America’s southern borderrace hucksters peddling critical race theory, or activists caring more about themselves than the groups they claim to represent is the sinister, reprehensible pursuit of political-economic-corporate interests disguised as altruism, or the worldwide promotion of democracy, and social justice. There is a more straightforward way of understanding the big picture. When contemplating what is happening on the world stage and the heroes and villains promoted by the liberal mass media, if one focuses on almost the complete opposite of their narrative, that individual will be closer to the truth than those who accept everything at face value. Always be mindful of social justice warriors who, in the words of MLK, although in a different context, “cloth obvious wrongs in the beautiful garments of righteousness.” Most importantly, always follow the money.

Regarding political-economic interests possibly disguised as altruism and as a way towards a more just world (whatever that means), how would a Rothbardian conspiracy analysis view Wikipedia? I am a Wikipedia user, fan, and frequent contributor to their fundraising efforts. Jimmy Wales, along with Larry Sanger, co-founded Wikipedia in 2001. According to information on Wales’ Wikipedia page, Mr. Wales referred to himself as an Objectivist inspired by Ayn Rand’s novel The Fountainhead and asserted that Objectivism, a philosophy based on individualism and rational self-interest, “colours everything he does and thinks.” In 2016, Wales and eleven business leaders wrote an open letter to American voters urging them not to vote for Donald Trump in that year’s presidential election. In a 2014 tweet, he expressed support for open borders. If you read The Fountainhead, you will recall that Howard Roark destroyed Cortlandt because architects he deemed inferior second-handers altered his designs. Altruism, which Ayn Rand abhorred, is the foundation that Wikipedia is built on, despite Wales’ desire to explain that away. No self-respecting modern-day Trump-hating Howard Roark, who desired to give every human being with an internet connection “free access to the sum of all human knowledge,” would possibly provide equal editing access to someone who is a populist anti-vaxxer who is against illegal immigration and supports President Trump. It is very likely that while anyone has the power to edit Wikipedia entries, there is a Wikipedia equivalent of Winston Smith assuring that Wikipedia entries that are opposed to progressive politics, global warming, illegal immigration, and multiculturalism will be littered with disclaimers and “[citation needed]” warnings and, ultimately, turn out negative. Donald Trump’s current Wikipedia page is evidence of that. In addition to casting Trump in an incredibly negative light, none of his incredible accomplishments, like Operation Warp Speed and the fact that President Trump was the catalyst for the COVID-19 vaccine, are mentioned. Perhaps rather than an online encyclopedia, the pursuit of power, and not altruism, is the true agenda; something along the lines of replacing the history of the world with a new one acceptable to the activists that American corporations and politicians currently bend the knee to; a history that can morph with ease as political sentiments change; one that is administered with the help of the big tech overlords of Google, Facebook, and YouTube. The individuals who control these platforms are the modern-day equivalent of John Galt, but their noble mission has become perverted by the lust for political power. If you think what I have just said is conspiratorial, then perhaps Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger will convince you that Wikipedia is now “propaganda for the left-leaning establishment.” Despite all this, I plan on continuing my financial support of Wikipedia. Moreover, I have created a user account and plan to edit some of the pages I feel are biased.

How would a Rothbardian conspiracy analysis describe the modern-day symbiotic relationship between activist groups like Black Lives Matter (BLM) and corporate America? First, they would point out that activists were never aligned with corporations at any time in American history. If you grew up in the United States in the 1960s, you would never have seen the Honeywell Corporation lavishing the Students for a Democratic Society with ebullient praise and substantial financial contributions to their anti-war cause. Abbie Hoffman would not have been the featured speaker and guest of honor at the soiree to celebrate General Electric’s record profits at the Waldorf Astoria. A better way to describe the corporate/activist alliance is to see it as a type of extortion. Corporations like Nike donate to activist groups who will use the money to enrich themselves and their families while disregarding the fact that, in many cases, the goods from their corporate benefactors are produced by forced labor. Activists bring an entirely new market of consumers to the corporations that, before Black athletes kneeling while the National Anthem was played, would never have existed. I am not planning to start a Black Panther Facebook fan page soon. Still, as Alondra Nelson pointed out in a book I read as a Columbia University student, the Black Panther Party (BPP) started People’s Free Medical Clinics (PFMC). Between 1966 and 1980, these medical clinics provided primary healthcare services, vaccinations, and sickle cell anemia screenings for the African-American community that received inadequate healthcare. Despite being established in 2013, I have yet to see anything remotely similar done by BLM to help Black-Americans.

On the other hand, in a clear case of financial impropriety, BLM purchased a six-million-dollar piece of real estate with funds earmarked to make black lives better. My reason for this discussion of Wikipedia and BLM is to illustrate how a proper conspiracy analyst thinks. Unlike the individual who glances at their smartphone news feed and is ready to denounce all heterodox thinkers as racists and xenophobes whilst sipping on their Starbucks Frappuccino and worshipping at the altar of Rachel Maddow, the good conspiracy analyst has a deep understanding of history, philosophy, and political science. To their credit, even the bad ones, those who push Pizzagate and QAnon, do much more thinking than most people. I sincerely hope that this blog post will inspire people all over the world to do the same.

About the Author
I was a sociology major at Columbia University, where i received my B.A in 2017, at age 55. My opinion pieces have appeared in the Columbia Spectator, the Tab at Columbia University, and Merion West.
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