Conspiracies, Plots and Other Anti-Democratic Notions

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Conspiracies, Plots and Other Anti-Democratic Notions

Peter Phillips – 2002-11-26

Paul Wellstone’s plane crash wasn’t an accident. The CIA bought stock options on United Airlines before 9-11 making millions in profits. The military sprays low-level bio-weapons on the public through airtanker contrails. The tobacco industry plotted to deceive the public on the negative health effects of smoking. Lee Harvey Oswald alone didn’t assassinate John Kennedy. The FBI deliberately caused the fire in the Branch Davidian compound. Planted bombs from within the structure destroyed the federal building in Oklahoma City. AIDS was created in a government research lab. Mass inoculations are designed for citizen mind control. General Motors and Firestone conspired to destroy public transit in the U.S. The Bush White House interfered with FBI investigations into the bin Laden family before 9-11.

Conspiracy theories abound in America and are directly related to the lack of investigative reporting by the mainstream corporate media. The public knows more about Winona Ryder’s shop lifting trial then about the weather conditions and circumstances of Paul Wellstone’s air crash. The Los Angeles Times printed 83 column feet on OJ Simpson during his trial, but has ignored for decades the deliberate and successful plot before World War II to dismantle LA’s public transit system by General Motors and Firestone. Oliver Stone’s interpretation of the Kennedy assassination has been mostly dismissed as “conspiracy theory” by corporate media. Questions regarding the veracity or falseness of seemingly important conspiracies and plots often go unreported by mainstream media. The ten big corporations that now dominate media in America are principally in the entertainment business. While the corporate media is narrowing its content, with news reports often looking very much the same, the public’s access to the vastland of the internet is amplifying, and informational snippets and unanswered questions leading to conspiracy beliefs are increasingly available on-line.

The First Amendment provides for freedom of the press and was established to protect our democratic process by guaranteeing an informed electorate. Yet we just completed a national election with an all time low voter turn out. Millions of voters refused to participate in the electoral process. We denigrated and blamed non-voters for being uncaring citizens, yet the corporate media has failed to address core issues affecting most people in this country. Voter participation levels are directly related to issues that the citizenry feels are important. Many people no longer trust the corporate media to provide the full truth. This opens people’s susceptibilities to believing in conspiracies and plots to explain unanswered questions. Cynicism has deterred voting for many.

How can we free ourselves from this dilemma? First off, We can think of conspiracies as actions by small groups of individuals instead of massive collective plots by governments and corporations. Small groups can be dangerous, especially when the individuals have significant power in huge public and private bureaucracies, but they can not possibly be interlinked in a macro way bridging the gaps between thousand of corporations and government bureaucracies. Micro-plots may well be the answer to some of the conspiracies floating in our circles of cynicism. However, without accurate through investigations we only stew in our distrust and experience widening alienation from our democratic process.

Additionally, we can advocate strongly for mainstream media to invest in democracy by supporting investigative reporting on key issues. The Director of the Chicago Office of the FBI, Tom Kneir, admitted on August 17 at the American Sociological meetings that the FBI conducted an investigation into the pre-9-11 stock options, but he refused to disclose who bought the stock. Mainstream media needs to pursue this issue using our freedom of information laws to put the conspiracy questions to rest. Finally, we can advocate for full and clear reporting on the policies and plans emerging from the public and private policy circles of the American corporate and governmental elites. Full analysis and disclosure of the published plans of the Trilateral Commission, The Council on Foreign Relations, The Hoover Institute, The Heritage Foundation, The Cato Institute, The World Bank, and the Project for the New American Century, would go a long way in showing the roadmaps that the policy elites are building for the world. We don’t need macro-conspiracy theories to understand that powerful people sit in rooms and plan for global change with private advantage in mind. If open debate on socio-political policies were offered nationwide it would certainly draw widespread citizen voter participation. Imagine a computer programmer thinking about social policies that would prevent outsourcing of his job to foreign firms. Imagine his enthusiasm voting for representatives that would work to protect his livelihood. Imagine millions of reawakened citizens informed and active in a real democratic process.

Published on Saturday, November 9, 2002 by CommonDreams.org .
Peter Phillips is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Sonoma State
University and Director of Project Censored.

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