Conspiracy theories are kind of a catch-all label for things that people don’t really want to deal with or believe. This could, of course, mean that those theories are obviously and actually insane—leprechauns, unicorns (not the Starbucks kind) and demonic possessions—and don’t really merit a second thought.
It can also be because you’re just not willing to put the effort into understanding the theory. It’s also a very common piece of slander to attach to something that you’re just not interested in believing. Understandably, a lot of people don’t really like to have too much knowledge, because we all know what people are like.
Here’s a video by @StefanMolyneux, where he talks about how the entire federal system is actually a method of enslaving the population so that their productivity can be harnessed into wealth for a small, elite group of people.
Interestingly, Mr. Molyneux puts out a lot of very interesting, very compelling fact-driven presentations on a variety of geopolitical and philosophical topics—but this video, “The Story of Your Enslavement” remains his top view, racking up five point six million sets of eyeballs to date.
The facts presented are actually pretty tough to dispute. That sort of is how tribute systems have worked since there were tribute systems—particularly when set in a non-moral atmosphere.
A tribute system is of course where lots of people give up part of their labour to pay whoever is in charge of them—or, to put it another way, protecting them so they can labour. Stefan Molyneux is right to point out that government is always and has always historically been a concentration of force rather than a beneficent power. Put more simply, government has historically had all the swords. Where it doesn’t, anarchy ensues.
Now this could be phrased, as Molyneux puts it, as a description of enslavement. Certainly, in our current world, national debt makes him more right than we could possibly care to admit. The Canadian national debt, for example, is six hundred billion dollars plus. If we divide that across every living person in Canada, at current wages, with their current debts and liabilities, you wind up with a debt average of two and a half dollars for every dollar earned plus a flat twenty-ish thousand dollars.
A lot of us are never paying that back. Technically, if someone owns everything you produce, that does qualify as slavery. However, Stefan and I mostly disagree on a single point. I rarely ever credit members of the human race with the ability to thoughtfully plan all of this out.
For me, people do things because there’s an immediate gain, and the consequences sort of loom up afterward like your credit card bill after the Holidays.
And just like with your credit card, you sort of do everything you can to keep it out of your mind, delay paying it, ignore it—whatever you can do. You’ll even pretend to the people you gave the gift that put you in debt to that you could totally afford that, no problem at all.
So is it a “conspiracy theory” when we claim that politicians are obscuring the impact, causes, and reasoning behind what they’re doing? Of course it isn’t.
They want left voters, so left governments import people likely to vote left. It sucks that those people tend to be unfit for higher-level economic positions, and aren’t literate in English, and tend to chase German women around with their pants around their ankles, but they’re at least voting left! That means the left can keep attempting to achieve its goals. Just like you were able to buy your friend a gift by going into debt for a little bit.
The left and right both think that everything they do is good, and everything they wouldn’t do is bad. If they didn’t think that way, neither side would do what they’re doing. On some level, to get up there and seize power, you have to have a very solid level of admittedly ridiculous conviction. Intelligent people who use a lot of critical thought are rarely that convinced about anything, because very, very smart people understand that once you do something, its consequences stop being controlled or comprehensible in advance.
Like a butterfly flapping its wings in China and causing the hurricane that devastates America, a single tax cut can collapse an economy which leads to a war which winds up in a failed state which gives birth to ISIS.
Don’t worry. That’s not what happened. … Or is it?
That’s my point. I don’t know. Neither do you.Track things backward through all their tumbling, domino-like consequences and you wind up with two brothers sitting on adjacent mountaintops sometime in 753 BC, waiting to build a city called Rome on whichever hill winds up with the most birds on it. Or you’re in Athens, where Cleisthenes is having a dream about democracy.
Or you’re watching a massive continental shelf emerge between what would eventually be called Asia and North America, with some strange, bumbling ape-likes staggering across it without really knowing why.
Is it a conspiracy theory to think that some politicians did some shitty things and are now scrambling to pretend otherwise?
Of course not. At that point, you don’t just slip variables in. If that’s your principle, whatever you apply it to doesn’t matter.
What matters is context. Without historical, demographic, and political context, everything seems like a conspiracy theory. And because human beings are naturally paranoid, these conspiracies are pretty much always going to be everyone else’s fault.
The goal we should all keep in mind is that our jobs are to get along and make sure we’re all still alive to do so. That any children our society produces are safe and happy and economically sound. My generation has just finished living through a period where every tax levied against us went to pay for our grandparents, who are the wealthiest generation that humanity has ever seen.
When you start to build societies to suit the old instead of the young—welfare states, social security, and so forth—you begin to decay. Most developed nations have negative replacement rates, now, especially from the indigenous peoples of those regions.
Is that a conspiracy theory that I hold true? I don’t know. History says that these things happen, occasionally, and I have never viewed it as a conspiracy against me. If taxes are taking enormous amounts of my money to subsidise care for the elderly, it could certainly be phrased that way. But it also might sound like that because we have debased and inflated our currency to the point where any amount taken away is absolutely devastating—crippling.
Look how many people are serving in restaurants until their forties? There’s no career prospect to that. It’s not useful. It’s not fun. It’s not good work, and the people who turn it that way can look forward to nothing—never being able to leave, never being able to retire.
So why are they there? Tips are untaxed, if somewhat random in terms of payout. Waiters and waitresses get to choose what they give back to the elderly and the political classes because nobody can count how much they’re pulling in. It’s one of the purer ways to slip past the tribute system, but it won’t work forever.
Is the population of the restaurant-working-class a conspiracy theory? No. But you could definitely phrase it like one.
It just goes to show you that these things are all contextual. What you really need to do is stop deriding things (which I’m sorry to say that the left does all the time) and actually go and pay attention. Read more stuff.