Friday, 7 August 2009

Conspiracy in Politics

I came across a very interesting thread on an anarchist forum about Conspiracy in Politics. There's a very interesting audio file linked to in the discussion which I've reposted below.

The thread, also linked to below, is interesting because it breaks down into critiquing the contributions of one of the members there, and seems a good example of how subtle the convergence and divergence of conspiracism is with leftist class analysis and critiques of capitalism. There's a crossover at some point, but where exactly is it, and how does one spot it?

It's always struck me as intriguing why Marxism doesn't appeal more to conspiracy theorists, based as it is upon class conflict. It seems conspiracy theory essentially replicates a marxist view of class conflict, albeit in a simpler and confused form, relying on anti-semitism, for example, rather than materialism, and an acceptance of capitalism, which is only rejected as degenerate rather than structurally flawed and part of historic process towards a socialism. But in the crudest sense they seem very similar. So why hasn't Marxism been more popular amongst conspiracy theorists?

Read the first part of the Communist Manifesto, and see if you, like me, can't but help wonder why it hasn't had greater appeal to conspiracy theorists? (They've just never read it maybe?)

The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.

In the earlier epochs of history, we find almost everywhere a complicated arrangement of society into various orders, a manifold gradation of social rank. In ancient Rome we have patricians, knights, plebeians, slaves; in the Middle Ages, feudal lords, vassals, guild-masters, journeymen, apprentices, serfs; in almost all of these classes, again, subordinate gradations.

The modern bourgeois society that has sprouted from the ruins of feudal society has not done away with class antagonisms. It has but established new classes, new conditions of oppression, new forms of struggle in place of the old ones.

Our epoch, the epoch of the bourgeoisie, possesses, however, this distinct feature: it has simplified class antagonisms. Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes directly facing each other — Bourgeoisie and Proletariat.
Why doesn't that "grab" conspiracists in the way Liberty Lobby does?

Anyway - here's the link to the thread, and here's the link to the audio.

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