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Posts Tagged ‘conspiracy theories’

“With a burst of flame and smoke, a Chinese rocket blasted off into orbit yesterday. But it was the state news agency that moved faster than the speed of light, publishing the transcript of an “in-space” conversation between the astronauts before they had even left Earth.

The Xinhua news agency posted an article on its website breathlessly describing the Shenzhou VII spacecraft in orbit and quoting exchanges between the crew, possibly during the most important part of the mission: China’s first spacewalk. The only problem was that the crew were still on terra firma.”

source (the Times)

This story reminded me of reports that a Russian TV channel was to show an Italian documentary that took the view that the September 11 attacks were an inside job. I remember too, that an American official once told how he was repeatedly asked by diplomats from foreign countries whether it was true that the US had attacked itself. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the Chinese recorded this message in the belief that the Americans had done something similar when they first went into space. What is striking is how even government officials, closer to the centre of power in the world than any of us, can turn to conspiracy theories to explain the events they supposedly direct.

The EU has also fallen for the siren call of paranoia. Whispers have been heard in the institutions, given credence by the President of the ‘parliament’ Potterung, that the CIA funded the Irish ‘No’ campaign. One wonders if these people are quite right in the head. There is a very simple explanation for the failure of the Lisbon Constitution; it is unwanted. Even the generally pro-EU Irish spotted that this consitution would diminish democracy in the already opaque institutions. But there’s a more general reason that is true of the Irish as much as the French, Dutch and the British. People are happy with the EU as long as they can believe that it is what they want it to be – either a trading organisation, or something little more than one. That is what the Eurocrats told us they were building.

They were lying. And for a long while the lie worked – eurosceptics were seen as extremists, liars and conspiracy theorists. As the veil has been raised on what the EU was always intended to be – a federal state – the pretence can no longer be kept up. It is now the europhiles who appear as the extremists, and who are finding refuge in the bolt-hole of the extremist and the fanatic – conspiracy theories. Fanatics and extremists are prone to confirmation bias more than the rest of us. They only see what they want to see, and interpret everything in terms of their own belief systems. It is a well known psychological phenomenon, used to predict the success of psychics and astrologers amongst other things.

It is a 50/50 question whether EU officials really believe the CIA have been attempting to influence Irish referenda. When we want to believe something, we are capable of lying to ourselves. Sartre called this ‘bad faith’; it is the state of mind where one knows one’s beliefs aren’t true – where one both believes and doesn’t believe something. I suspect that the europhiles are finding it very hard to recognize that they are not wanted and not needed, that people are at best indifferent to them, and at worst outright hostile. Hopefully this stage will pass and they will bow to the democratic wishes of the vaious peoples of Europe. If it doesn’t, if they persist in this paranoid route of thought, believing that malevolent forces are against them and must be found and thwarted, nasty things could happen

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