Friday 21 October 2016

Conspiracy theories and theory of mind - what The System most fears

1. We are all conspiracy theorists - insofar as we join-the-dots to make sense of the world; the only alternative is nihilism and despair. To 'make sense' of reality, we must assume that there is a comprehensible will at work.

It is merely a choice between 'conspiracies' to believe; and the choice whether to regard as conspiracy as good or evil.

2. This kind of 'making sense' thinking is based upon inferred assumptions about the Intentions, Dispositions and Motivations (In brief the 'Intentionality') of others - other people, groups, nations etc.

3. In other words,conspiracy theorising, which is what we all do, depends on 'theory of mind' - the social ability and the necessity of assuming that there is coherent personality at work in the world.

4. Therefore our understanding of 'evidence' comes from our assumption of intentionality. Evidence does not tell us who has good, and who had evil, intentions - nor does evidence tell us what those intentions actually are. Rather, it is our assumption of intentionality which leads us to interpret the meaning of evidence.

We assume that a given conspiracy is either good or evil in intentionality; we interpret evidence in this light - the evidence then seems to confirm the assumption (as it must). Changing evidence, new evidence, does not change the assumption, because evidence only has meaning in light of the assumption. 

5. The reason why mainstream modern people believe the world of lies from The System (eg. the mainstream mass media, politics and the large institutions and corporations) is in essence that mainstream modern people believe in the good intentions of The System.

That is mainstream modern people assume The System is a good conspiracy - and they interpret all evidence based-on this assumption - the watch the news and read the media and understand the stories and ideas on the basis that it derives from a good-conspiracy.

(People may deny this, but it is true - people believe The System has good intentions.)

6. If people stop believing in the good intentions of the System, if they come to believe The System is an evil conspiracy; their world will change, and The System as-is will be unsustainable.

That, above all else, is what The System most fears:

The System most fears that people en masse will assume that The System is one, and that intentions are bad, wicked, evil.

That fear explains much. 

Specifically - the great fear is that people will realise:

1. The Establishment is ultimately one. There is no division between the mass media, politics, government, corporations - at the highest level they are unified - the conflicts are ot fundamental, inter-office squabbles between functionaries.

2. And the modern Establishment - i.e. The System considered as an intentional personality - is ultimately evil in its nature and intent - that is, it operates strategically to subvert and invert Good.

How differently the world looks from such an angle! How differently appear the facts and theories of public discourse! How differently, how easily, the dots rejoin to make an utterly different pattern!

If this were to happen, if it does happen?...

But what must change is fundamental, it is metaphysical, it is religious. How to induce such a change? I do not know.

On the other hand, such a change cannot be prevented - if the situation (somehow) dicates it; because, of course, sometimes things provoke the opposite consequences of those intended - indeed, that it probably the usual way metaphysocal change is triggered.

From an unexpected, opposite, unseen and unforeseen direction... 

Hence the great fear of The Establishment.

Some in-depth discussion of these psychological mechanisms, and examples from psychiatry, can be found at:


Albrecht said...

The revival for which you have expressed hope would seem to depend on people seeing the current establishment as evil in intention as well as in outcomes. I think the rise of Christianity in late Roman times must have had some such basis. The worldly power was so self-evidently wicked that people despaired of it entirely.

Today, however, the establishment seems to practice a form of benevolent dictatorship, at least for the time being. Its crimes and outrages are kept to an apparently tolerable and local level while its touted benefits (sexual "freedom," welfare, dreams of uplift for millions and so on) are enough to give many people hope.

Recently I spoke to a young Christian man from Kazakhstan. (His Korean ancestors had been transported there under Stalin.) I made a disparaging remark about George Soros. He defended him, saying that a friend of his had attended school with a scholarship from one of Soros's organizations.

You and I might recognize the establishment's program as a full spectrum assault on Logos and a traditional culture without which humanity will descend into an undifferentiated helotry. But what does one say to a bright young person stuck in former Soviet Central Asia for whom Soros and Co. represent the only way out?

And I would think it would hardly matter to that young person that much of the suffering in such regions is the fruit of "progressive" pipe-dreams forced on humanity by the direct intellectual fore-bearers of today's establishment. This is a real paradox.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Albrecht - Actually, if someone raises his nose from the trough, then he can see easily enough that things have never been more deeply and actively (officially) sinful than now - and 'everyone' knows this at some level. The spiritual decline is palpable over a timescale of just a few years.

The prime domain of modern moral subversion and propogated/ enforced inversion is the sexual revolution (and only one domain is needed - one sin which is taken seriously and for which repentance is refused is sufficient to self-damn anybody; sufficient, that is, for them to voluntarily reject the gift of salvation) - and the norms about sex and sexuality are built-into us (natural law, pagan ethics; not requiring revelation); so there can be no genuine ignorance in this area.

Another domain of obvious corruption is honesty - anyone can see in others and feel in themselves the escalating level of habitual and systematic lying required, day-by-day, hour-by-hour.

In sum, I think the current situation - I mean the secualr Left Establishment domination - is actually extremely fragile - and clearly the Establishment thinks this too, as may be inferred from their increasingly aggressive and intrusive behaviour.

Hoyos said...


Reminds me of the old saw about God providing the groceries and making the devil pay for them.


On wickedness I've found it fascinating to watch secular dissidents from the culture. Bloggers like the Last Psychiatrist and the Blond Beast spring to mind as well as a strong secular "no porn" movement (the latter not springing from feminist critique but from anti feminist men who recognize the deleterious effect of pornography not just on their bodies but on their moods and mind). They use the language of psychology but it so obviously translates into old roman Cardinal virtues it's fascinating. The honest pagans know something is in the air and it is not friendly to human well being.