I have reposted Watching the Deniers blog because it makes for interesting yet disturbing reading, there are also some nice links. If the numbers are correct and a third of Americans are just plain barking mad then this is obviously disturbing. As humanity enters into a new post industrial age when we have to deal with both AGW and diminishing oil and growth people need to turn to logic and not faith. Yet I fear past experience may signal a future road map where faith whether religious fundamentalism or fascism will stifle the words of reason that need to be so desperately heard.
The prevalence of conspiracy theories within a society or nation can have a profound effect on its politics. Indeed for the last several decades scholars of conspiracy culture have been signalling the growing acceptance of conspiracy beliefs across the globe and their potential to distort political debate.
As Kathryn Olmsted notes in her work, Real Enemies: conspiracy theories and American democracy from World War 1 to 9/11, the prevalence of conspiracy theories can lead the ordinary citizen to become:
“… less likely to trust the government to do anything: to conduct fair elections, say, or spend their tax money, or protect their children or the planet. The result is a profoundly weakened polity, with fewer citizens voting and more problems left un-addressed for a future generation that is even more cynical about the possibility of reforms.’ (page 238)
And while there has been a growing acceptance of conspiracy theories, there are some that are particular to what…
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