Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Is it OK to call someone a conspiracy theorist?

This is a good question - the connotations associated with discussing what could be considered part of a "conspiracy" are that you are not of sound mind and worse.

Of course, starting a blog called "conspiracy economics" opens one up to similar criticisms even though this blog is here to document and not "start" any conspiracies.

Perhaps this blog does "seek the truth".  This is looking bad now.  This blog is skeptical but skeptical of what?  Everything I guess just about covers it.

The BBC ask this question in relation to the rise and rise of Home Office minister Norman Baker.
 

Is it OK to call someone a conspiracy theorist? [BBC]

 Asked how he felt about being called a "conspiracy theorist", Baker replied that people "tend to use the term when they want to insult people".For many of those who populate online forums dedicated to debunking the official account of 9/11 or the Kennedy assassination, the phrase is indeed pejorative, deployed by conspirators and the mainstream media to obfuscate the truth.


"Tinfoil hat-wearer" represents a more extreme term of abuse.Typically, a member of such communities will describe themselves more neutrally as a "researcher" or "sceptic", according to Alasdair Spark of the University of Winchester's Centre for Conspiracy Culture. However, it isn't only self-styled "truth-seekers" who dislike the term. "A lot of investigative journalists are dismissed as 'conspiracy theorists,'" says David Clarke of Sheffield Hallam University, who studies UFO culture from a critical perspective.


The term is used to damn legitimate investigators by association with eccentric narratives, he believes. Others, however, say it accurately fits a mindset that sees a conspiracy behind every disaster or major world event, where history is driven not by random events or socio-economic forces but by a never-ending succession of cabals and plots. 


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