“They lie to us, we know they’re lying, they know we know they’re lying, but they keep lying anyway, and we keep pretending to believe them.” - Elena Gorokhova
Hi, I'm Sean, and I’m a conspiracy theorist. Or at least that’s what I’m told. I believe that powerful, wealthy people lie, cheat, steal and kill in pursuit of their own power and influence. I believe that people for the most part find this fact uncomfortable and would prefer to ignore it. I believe that most people find comfort in authority and would prefer not to have to rigorously interrogate everything they are told and consider whether or not they are being told the truth. I believe that most people would rather follow instructions than have to take responsibility for their own beliefs and actions. I believe that independent thought, moreover its consequences, genuinely scares people shitless.
You probably know me as 'anti-vaxxer', 'climate denier', 'terf', 'trump supporter', or suchlike. That’s OK. I understand. It’s far easier to apply an off-the-shelf label than to ask difficult questions, such as, what the hell is he talking about this time?
I believe that observation, standards of evidence, and testable, provable hypotheses can help us to discern truth, or it’s closest verisimilitude. I also believe that these standards are generally overlooked when there are political or ideological agendas in play, which is almost all the time.
Let me give a few examples.
I believe that humans are willfully destroying the natural world. We are poisoning both the oceans and ground water. Destroying natural habitats. Killing off biodiversity. All things which have the potential to lead to a mass extinction event. I DON'T believe that an invisible gas which makes up 0.04% of the earth’s atmosphere (CO2) is responsible for 'global warming', and anyone else who is able to apply critical thinking can figure this out without too much effort. This apparently makes me a ‘climate denier’.
I understand how immunology works and how injecting dead or attenuated virus particles will cause the immune system to produce antibodies to guard against future infection. I don't question “the science”. I question the delivery method. I don't believe that medicine should ever, ever be for profit. Public health should never be controlled by private interests. There should never be competing patents on a medicine or therapy. As soon as you allow this, you de-facto create incentives for investors to bet against our health in order to create a market for their product, which is exactly where we are now. This, apparently, makes me an anti-vaxxer.
I believe there is a predator class of financial oligarchs who seek world domination and that the sovereignty of nation states is presently the last remaining obstacle to them achieving it. Apparently this makes me a populist, racist, Trump supporter.
I believe that the human species is sexually dimorphous; that biological sex is a material reality which is determined by our chromosomes. I believe in women’s sex-based rights such as the right to privacy and the right to compete among members of their own sex in sporting events without facing the unfair advantage of increased muscle mass due to testosterone. Apparently this makes me a ‘transphobe’.
I believe that these are all quite reasonable positions to hold, but apparently they make me an outlier and something of a pariah. All of this I find greatly disturbing. I sense a decoupling from objective reality taking place broadly in society. I also sense that we are at the steep end of a long curve, and that this is the result of a long historical process.
Yanis Varoufakis makes an interesting point in a recent interview when he says that since the global financial crisis of 2008 financial markets have decoupled from the real economy. This is an astute observation, since we see property markets at all time highs, while at the same time brick and mortar businesses are crumbling and hidden unemployment is skyrocketing. The productive forces of the economy are grinding to a halt. Real economic activity is in decline, while financial markets are booming. All of this is seen as a sign that we are doing quite well and not about to launch full-speed off a cliff.
Varoufakis’ logic could be applied to other areas as well. For instance, the healthcare industry seems to be completely decoupled from public health, to the point where we now have a top executive from Pfizer more or less openly telling us their vaccine is not designed to end the ‘pandemic’, but to rather turn it into an ‘endemic’, (so that) demand for their product will continue indefinitely, with people needing to receive a booster shot every six months.
What we see in medicine today was described by social philosopher Ivan Illich in his book Medical Nemesis. Illich called it ‘pathogenic medicine’, and saw it as the result of industrial overproduction. But it’s not just technology and industrialisation which have led to the situation where an abundance of new diagnostic tools, drugs and surgical procedures have failed to make us healthier. What we see today is outright malfeasance on the part of drug companies whose only accountability is to their shareholders.
Needless to say the news media is now completely decoupled from reality as well, routinely reporting false information and deliberate fabrications as it fulfills its propaganda role. From the very beginning of this ‘pandemic’ we saw a fear campaign, firstly the images of people falling over dead in the streets in China, followed by reports of apartment buildings being welded shut to stop the spread of the contagion. Then came the dire modelling out of Imperial College projecting millions of deaths within months – none of which turned out to be the case. In fact, in hindsight, 2020 was only the 9th deadliest in the last 20 years, just slightly below the average mortality rate. So much for the worst pandemic since the Spanish Flu.
And then there is social media, a relatively new phenomena, which on the one hand is said to provide a horizontal platform for the exchange of views, and yet routinely labels independent reporting, expert opinion and even official statistics as “disinformation”.
Sadly it’s not just the economy, pharmaceutical industry and media which have run off the rails. The same could be said of academia, which has spent 50 years destroying epistemological standards, to the point where debate is no longer possible.
A process which began with cultural constructivism and the denial of objective fact has ended in cultural relativism which places everything on a spectrum, including the very fundamentals of logic and reason. No more true and false. No more cause and effect. And it scarcely needs to be said, no more good and bad or right and wrong either. Is it any wonder that sexual dimorphism has now been replaced by a 'spectrum' of gender identities?
I saw it as it happened. I watched the construction of the post-modern meta-narrative in real time. I read Against Method and the Death of the Author back to back. I watched as knowledge was subverted by belief. I watched the speaker's meaning give way to the listener's interpretation. I watched quantifiable, falsifiable, objective science reduced to socially constructed 'discourse' and 'narrative'.
And now they tell us skepticism has gone too far; that distrust in authority is a disturbing new trend; that free speech and public debate must be outlawed because they pose a danger to society. Spare me.
Case Roole sums it up nicely: “We have witnessed an epistemological collapse. The concepts of observation, causality, consequence, consistency, coherence, and truth no longer form the framework of discussion over facts. Instead, today we have "disinformation", which ignores just about every notion except: who expresses a statement and who evaluates it?”
And so here we are, completely ‘decoupled’ from reality, living in some post-epistemological bizarro world. Objective fact and permissible speech drifting ever further apart, the truth and those who dare speak it either de-platformed or labelled conspiracy theory/theorists.
I guess there are aspects of this which I’ve come to accept. The constant media gaslighting as they manufacture our consent, the saccharin advertising slogans and directed peer pressure that go along with the mask mandates and social distancing. The outright lies about the safety and effectiveness of a medical treatment which has been approved FOR EMERGENCY USE ONLY and for which there have been NO LONG TERM STUDIES. What I can’t escape tho is the thought that George Orwell might be out there somewhere, looking down on us, laughing, and saying I told you so.