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Thursday, July 7, 2022

Qanon and conspiracy theories

According to CNN, Facebook has decided to delete and prevent the operation of all parties that supported – as did they –  the “far right conspiracy theory” called Qanon. But what, according to them, is controversial about Qanon?

They are supposedly spreading a series of “contradictory news,” but beware, the most incriminating fake news that Qanon has been spreading is that there exists “international cabal, guilty of human trafficking, paedophilia, and child abuse,” which many top politicians, film actors, directors, state leaders, a wide range of pop culture influencers and others are allegedly involved in in as well as that there is a deep state working against Trump.

What is problematic with this statement and with this description of Qanon? It may be a conspiracy theory, but a credible conspiracy theory. Let’s remember Harvey Weinstein, the #Metoo movement, and Jeffrey Eppstein (who certainly did not kill himself) and the mutual uncritical support among many famous politicians and state leaders with them.

The fact that all of Hollywood has been, and probably still is, ill in this regard, and that it has been intertwined with politicians like Bill Clinton all this time in its illness, is a strong reinforcement of the “international cabal hypothesis”. The details are not yet known, but whoever dares to accuse someone of being crazy because he or she believes in the said hypothesis, is turning a blind eye.

What about the second hypothesis, the one about the efforts of the deep states to undermine Donald Trump? Let me remind everyone that the left-wing semi-sacralized New York Times wrote about it on its cover. Twice.

What does the very notion of conspiracy theory mean? The hypothesis that something happened according to the plan of one person or more often a group of people, or at the very least, if not according to a plan, then  unknowingly to people. It is clear that we see in other people’s minds only indirectly, that is, we infer content based on their behaviour and words. It makes sense to discuss this, and it is not clear why conspiracy theory itself would have a negative connotation. Well, it does have it. Why? Because they added something extra to the definition of a conspiracy theory – they added the premise that conspiracy theories are hypotheses about plans believed by mentally disturbed people, e.g. schizophrenics…

I have no doubt that there are academics who unironically study the psychology behind mass convictions of people of some macro hypotheses (by which I mean hypotheses about aliens, etc.), but at the same time I have no doubt that research by these academics is a disguise for the real purpose: slandering people one disagrees with politically.

Just as something is complex enough that hypotheses cannot be supported ad hoc, some like to confuse fog with the defamation language of “conspiracy theories” to end an awkward discussion by presenting you as a fool because they put you in the same pot as real fools – mentally disabled people who “see aliens”.

Be careful when you hear someone use this term – conspiracy theory – and do not use it recklessly on your own, or better yet, do not use it at all. Hypotheses are not irrational, pre-agreed standards of proof decide between which are better and which are worse and once we agree on the standards, we can judge the quality of hypotheses. An honest co-speaker will therefore always either tell you that he cannot discuss or he will argue by making arguments and trying to support them. Honest co-speakers do not use the term “conspiracy theory”.

I am not familiar with Qanon very well myself, I have only heard of it vaguely so far. But when I saw that the “oligarchs” had come at it under the disguise of “social justice”, I decided to certainly look at it more closely, as their explanations of their barbaric behaviour presented Qanon as something “normal”, perhaps even insightful.

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