Monday, October 5, 2009

Conspiracy theorists. Give it a rest. Please.

BE IT THE BIRTHERS OR THE TRUTHERS the tide of "Conspiracy Theory" is at an all time high-water mark. Lately we have seen theories that drug manufacturers are in bed with the Bilderberg whatever and the Rothschild something or other to collude with General Motors and "President" Obama - who is secretly in bed with the Bush family - to take over the globe and enslave us all. Or something like that. Puh-leeze.

WE AT THE ALEXANDRIA DAILY POOP DO NOT DOUBT FOR ONE MINUTE that there are various corrupt corporate and individual entities. And there have been since the beginning of time. And probably by the fourth or fifth generation of modern human beings, groups of people have conspired against other groups and individuals. Oog the flint-chipper might have made common cause with Ogg the arrowhaft maker and Ugg the bowmaker to corner the market on hunting tackle. The weak spot there is the same weak spot that eventually dooms all conspiracies. Oog was looking out for his own self, as were Ogg and Ugg. One fine day a guy named Yagg invented a way of putting feathers on arrowshafts and met another guy named Gagg who had invented a compound bow. Oog the flint-chipper saw that people would love this new superior tackle. He abandoned Ogg and Ugg and threw in with Yagg and Gagg. But since demand exeeded supply, soon Ogg and Ugg were making their own versions of the new tackle. Oog still made the warheads, and hired new people, and even ran into competition as some of his employees tried and in a few cases succeeded in making better designs of arrowheads.

Then along came some guy who found out how to make metal arrowheads, and upset the whole applecart.

"CONSPIRACY" IS A CRIMINAL JUSTICE TERM. TO CONSPIRE IS TO ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT THAT IS NOT ONLY MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL BUT ALSO - BY DEFINITION - CRIMINAL. You cannot "conspire" to feed the poor, heal the sick, or clothe the naked. Yet simple business arrangements have often been described as "conspiracies" by those who have neither the brains nor the wherewithal to make a similarly advantageous deal for themselves. Walmart making a deal with China to import shoes is not a "conspiracy" to force everyone else out of the shoe biz. It is an arrangement to obtain quality goods for a low price, sell them slightly above cost, and thus permit children to walk shod to school, where they will be taught the evils of doing business the Walmart way. But wait, you say. China uses underpaid workers to make those shoes! So isn't Walmart in a conspiracy with China to promote slave labor?


Walmart is in a conspiracy with Walmart to get the best stuff it can as cheaply as it can and sell it for less than anyone else. Walmart had the same idea everyone else wishes they had gotten first. If Walmart were instead Kennedymart, nobody would be bitching. The whole "Walmart Conspiracy" angle is a steaming crock.

As to true conspiracies, if there are any, their fundamental weakness and the assurance of their eventual downfall is that any conspiracy is founded by two or more entities who (although they share a few common interests) are more than anything else concerned about their own interests. An "altruistic conspiracy" is the very definition of oxymoron. At some point, the effects of the conspiracy will begin to be felt by its victims, who will then begin what will either culminate in violence and/or its equivaent of "government action/reform". The larger and more wide-ranging this conspiracy, the sooner it will reach this stage. A conspiracy between a hundred entities might survive - if very well led and managed - a quarter century, but eventually the various conflicting interests will begin to be unnerved at the attention directed as the public wises up.

Conspiracies can last only so long as the interests of the conspirators do not come into conflict. This - human nature being what it is, and human beings being what conspiracies consist of - is inevitable. Once this conflict is realized, the breaup of the conspiracy is ditto inevitable; and the only way the conspiracy will live on is in the efforts - born out of fear - between the members of the conspiracy to keep it from being uncovered.

We do not here say that conspiracies do not abound. Teenage lovers will conspire to kill interfering parents, contractors and politicians will conspire to manipulate public service projects, currency speculators and businessmen will consspire to maneuver the wealth of entire nations to their own advantage; and it has always been so and will continue until GOD comes to establish His Perfect Justice (and look out!) .

But the bald fact is, the larger the conspiracy the more human beings are involved. And each and every one of them is looking out primarily for his own interests. A conspiracy is a chain which cannot be stronger than its weakest link. The larger the conspiracy, the more links in the chain. And the more links, the greater of a weak one in a fatal position. Two people may conspire to swindle a third person and get away with it. Two dozen people may be successful in swindling a county out of some money if they do not get too greedy (but they inevitably will),

Many more than a dozen, however, and the individual interest of the participants (and the aggregate interest of various factions) will sooner or later lead to a downfall. There may well be conspiracies between well-heeled groups that have lasted for centuries. But these have largely roped out into the above mentioned denial stage. There are indeed large groups of people who have tried to garner absolute control of wealth and power unto themselves. And they will do so - or try - again if they can. But their individual members have succumbed to greed and gotten themsselves arrested and in many cases imprisoned or even executed for crimes great and small. A conspiracy requires closely enforced cooperation for the greater - and criminal - good. But he who enters into a conspiracy does not do so for the interests of the group but rather for his own interests. Conflict is inevitable, and the more participants, the greater and more disastrous the potential for disintegration.

In a like vein, the larger conspiracy alleged by the accuser, the less likely there is that there was a conspiracy in the first place. A conspiracy of two may be built of bricks. A conspiracy of three is a hut of sticks. A conspiracy of four is a shack of straw, and anything more is a fortress - no matter how formidable in appearance- of playing cards, which the merest wind might well take down. Two words: Joe Valachi.

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