Coronavirus and conspiracy theories. A vademecum and a lesson on #QAnon

Wu Ming 1

56 comments – 9 branches

by Wu Ming

Since the coronavirus emergency began in February 2020 in Italy and then in the rest of Europe and the West, more and more people, subjected to a real media bombing, have concluded that the mainstream media were unreliable. The predominant narrative of what was happening was deemed incongruous, instrumental, specious, organic to established powers and economic elites not only reticent but responsible for the state in which the pandemic had found our socio-economic systems.

For anti-capitalist movements, this widespread – and founded – dissatisfaction with the political-media establishment was largely a missed opportunity. For various reasons which are not the subject of this article, it was not they, we did not intercept it.

More often than not, conspiracy has intercepted it: the virus was produced in the laboratory and intentionally spread by China, or Russia, or by Soros, or by Bill Gates. The latter maneuvers the WHO at will to «control the world with vaccines». Indeed, no, the virus has spread because of 5G. Indeed, no, the pandemic is a creation of a Satanist lobby that controls the “deep state” in America. Etc. etc.

Conspiracies exist, but capitalism is not a conspiracy

We have written it many times: conspiracy or conspiracy is a big problem for those who want to criticize capitalism with good reason and effectively. The “paranoid style” of conspiracy is a powerful rhetorical device that channels social anger and energies for a potential change towards diversely and intrinsically reactionary narratives , centered on scapegoats.

It is one thing to say that the coronavirus emergency was managed with the tools that capitalism had perfected in the meantime: the emergency comes after forty years of neoliberal policy and governance , prolongs many threads, exacerbates the consequences, makes everything pay to those who already paid, and the media – for how they work, for the interests they represent, for the ownership structures that shape their orientation – impose narratives that make everything seem “natural”. “Dominant ideas are nothing but the ideal expression of dominant material relationships, they are dominant material relationships taken as ideas” (Marx and Engels, German ideology ).

It is quite another matter to imagine that this emergency has been planned in advance, that it is the implementation of a Plan. Some powerful people would have gathered around a table well in advance and would have said: “Let’s invent a pandemic” or at least “here’s how to use this pandemic: let’s do X, Y and Z”. A very coherent Plan would come from here, which has foreseen everything, inexorable and perfectly put into practice by the established powers.

In support of this vision, it is said that “this pandemic had already been foreseen”. It is the ploy n.1 listed by Arthur Schopenhauer in his The art of obtaining reason : «to bring an affirmation […] out of its natural limits, to interpret it in the most general way possible, to take it in the widest possible sense and to exaggerate it ».

True, insiders knew that sooner or later there would be a new pandemic, ” Animal Infections and The Next Human Pandemic ” is even the original subtitle of David Quammen’s Spillover book , released in 2012. However, nobody could know in I anticipate the morphology of the virus, the etiology of Covid-19, the exact routes of the infection and the timetable for its spread.

Narratives like this describe capitalism in a caricatural way, as a system that depends largely on the will of the members of a caste, but capitalism is not this, it is a mode of production that has its basic logics, its automatisms and objective mechanisms. It did not stand out for a conspiracy of anyone, but after a centuries-old historical evolution, and it works without the ruling class having to or can foresee and orchestrate everything .

It is obvious that capitalist strategies exist , and that some large plots have existed and exist is well established. The examples that come to mind are the strategy of tension, the Nixon plot that led to Watergate, the plots of P2, and even – twist that Umberto Eco and Carlo Ginzburg dealt with in different ways – a plot to make believe that there was a Great Conspiracy: the fabrication of the Protocols of the Wise Elders of Zion by the Okhrana, the Tsarist secret police.
After all, the existence of these intelligence services is nothing more than an institutionalization of the plot.

In hindsight, a plot is something very simple: one has it every time more people agree to pursue their interest at the expense of others, unbeknownst to the latter.

Therefore, it is not a question of denying the existence of conspiracies tout court, it would be absurd. It is a question of understanding how to defuse conspiracy, a forma mentis that not only sees the logic of the conspiracy at work in every area, but puts a Great Conspiracy at the center of the functioning of the system, exaggerating the role of the will in history – moreover, a Will that foresees everything and obtains everything – and imagining almost almighty cabal or supercaste.

Sulla distinzione tra i complotti reali – localizzati, imperfetti, contraddittori, “a scadenza” – e il Complotto immaginato dal complottismo – perfetto, coerentissimo, profetico, tentacolarissimo, illimitato, eterno – rimandiamo a quanto scritto da Wu Ming 1 nell’inchiesta in due puntate apparsa su Internazionale nell’autunno 2018. Nella seconda parte di quello scritto, si riflette anche su come contrastare il complottismo in un modo che non si riduca al debunking.

Due fallacie logiche a cui ricorre il complottista

L’abate Augustin Barruel (1741-1820). Le sue teorie sulla Rivoluzione Francese come complotto giudaico-massonico ebbero grande diffusione e fortuna, e influenzarono tutto il pensiero reazionario a seguire.

Il più delle volte, chi critica l’approccio cospirazionista si sente rispondere in due modi.

Il primo è: «Stai col potere, che si è inventato l’accusa di “complottismo” e la usa contro chiunque lo critichi!»

A corollario di quest’affermazione, spesso si sente dire che l’espressione «conspiracy theory» l’avrebbe inventata la CIA negli anni Sessanta. Si tratta di una leggenda urbana. In  quest’articolo si dimostra che il primo utilizzo riscontrato – e già inteso con accezione negativa – dell’espressione «conspiracy theory» risale addirittura al 1870.

Il cospirazionismo non è un’invenzione dei suoi presunti avversari, ma una mentalità e un insieme di retoriche e fallacie che esiste da secoli, da ben prima che esistesse la CIA. Per fare un solo esempio, nel 1569 i servizi segreti della Serenissima – e prima ancora l’opinione popolare – attribuirono a un complotto dell’ebreo Giuseppe Nasi l’incendio dell’Arsenale di Venezia, storia che raccontiamo nel nostro Altai.

Quasi tutte le teorie del complotto moderne risalgono a un periodo che va da fine XVIII a inizio XIX. Il complotto degli Illuminati di Baviera, della massoneria, degli ebrei… Sono tutte teorie nate per reazione all’Illuminismo e, soprattutto, alla Rivoluzione francese, per descrivere quest’ultima come una mera congiura. I tòpoi del complottismo risalgono a quella fase storica, da allora abbiamo avuto quasi solo ricombinazioni.

Il fatto che qualcuno definisca «cospirazionismo», «complottismo» o «teoria del complotto» qualunque analisi scomoda o anche solo sgradita non dimostra in alcun modo che l’accusa sia sempre falsa, né che non esistano la realtà e mentalità che quei termini indicano. Dimostra solo che che di quei termini si tende ad abusare, e semmai conferma che il complottismo fornisce facili appigli a chi voglia sminuire o denigrare il pensiero critico.

In particolare, il complottismo intorbidisce le acque per chiunque voglia denunciare complotti reali. Come scrive Enrico Voccia su Umanità Nova:

«Denouncing conspiracies at every push leads to the opposite effect […] discredited – in the eyes of the majority – the attempt to defend oneself from real conspiracies. Imagine how seriously the counter-information campaign [on the massacre in Piazza Fontana] would have been taken if it had been drowned in the noise of those who claimed that the nascent BR were formed by extraterrestrials in league with the Mossad, others who claimed that Zapata had survived the murder attempt and that he had become a CIA agent and so on. “

The other typical answer is: “You cannot prove that there is no Plan!”

In any discursive context where the logical argument applies – law, historiography, social sciences, “hard” sciences – the burden of proof lies with those who make an assertion. The fact that the conspiracy theorist challenges you to show that there is no plan – Argumentum ad ignorantiam – shows that conspiracy does not fit into those areas. It is those who think there is a Plan that should prove it by bringing evidence. And by “evidence” we don’t mean mere suspicions, risky connections, etc. They are not enough.

For us, until proven otherwise, the basic logic of the capitalist system, whose devastating functioning is under the eyes of anyone who does not refuse to see it, is enough.

Capitalism and pandemic

Chuǎng. The character is the stylization of a steed that forcefully crosses a gate. It has various meanings: “to free oneself”, “to break through”, “to attack”, “to take charge”, but also “to harden” (going through hard experiences).

There are dynamics of the capitalist economy whose responsibilities have long been attested with regard to the great epidemics of recent decades. Already in February, in the viral diary , we wrote:

«The avian, the Sars, the swine and before that the BSE had come out of the infernal circles of the planetary zootechnical industry . Put simply: from intensive farming, because of how the animals were treated and, above all, fed. Ebola, Zika and West Nile had come into contact with humans because of massive deforestation and destruction of ecosystems. “

Deforestation follows land grabbing and precedes further extensions of agribusiness which serve to support the world livestock industry . A third of world cereal production is used for cattle feeding. This process created the conditions for all the latest spillovers, or “species jumps”. An important reference is the book by biologist Rob Wallace Big Farms Make Big Flu . That it is no coincidence that it is also mentioned by the Chinese collective Chuang in its very dense essay-investigation Social Contagion: microbiological class struggle in China .

After the “jump of species”, other dynamics of the capitalist economy, related to globalization and the extension of metropolises and megacities, create the conditions for the rapid spread of the contagion.

Coronavirus and QAnon

At a time when there is real pressure on scientists and scientific research is more conditioned than usual – by urgency, by media pressure, by consortium struggles – it is easy for the conspiracy theorist to appeal to the freedom of science and act as a champion of this ‘last. When this happens, we must be able to understand it. And if we cannot always do it thanks to scientific truth, whose verification is still in progress, we can do it thanks to the narrative form of what it says.

Faced with a speech on the virus created in a laboratory and spread artfully, rather than the use of a scientific authority capable of excluding the hypothesis based on the morphology of Sars-Cov-2 itself, it is the way of telling that history to make us recognize conspiracy and its logical fallacies. Even in the face of more “nuanced” speeches, it is the narratological framework that puts us on the person who lives.

The entire course – nominally of cultural journalism – held by Wu Ming 1 at the University of Rome 2 (Tor Vergata) in the academic year 2018-2019 was dedicated to narratology and rhetoric of conspiracy.

In particular, WM1 devoted a two-hour lesson to the conspiracy mega-theory known as “QAnon”. In the last year and a half we have dealt with it several times: here on Giap , on Internazionale and in various conferences in Italy and abroad . We did it also because in a certain sense we are involved , this story involves us directly.

Among the undesirable effects of the pandemic and the related emergency there has been an increase – also in Italy – in the number of people who believe in the QAnon buffaloes and spread them. According to QAnon’s followers, the spread of Sars-Cov-2 would be a plot by China and Democrats to destroy the American economy and prevent Donald Trump’s re-election. Said this is simple, but from there innumerable branches and sub-theories begin. A usual mechanism, but one that can daze those who do not know QAnon.

We therefore find it useful to make that lesson available a year ago. Where there is also a lot of literature, suffice it to say that two novels have a place of honor. One is Foucault’s pendulum .

At the time, the lesson had been uploaded in two parts on the Wu Ming Foundation’s YouTube channel, now abandoned after we did degoogling. They were private videos, visible only by students and students of the course. We unlocked them and we propose them again.

Of course, as is the practice on Giap , we do this by going through, an interface that allows you to view YouTube videos without advertising, without tracking or data mining , without automatic reproductions, heterodirect playlists, toxic algorithm recommendations, restrictions for country and so on.

Good vision.

The QAnon case – first part (4 April 2019)

The QAnon case – second part  (4 April 2019)

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Other texts that may interest you:

Max Headroom-19. The dream of permanent “social distancing” in post-coronavirus propagandaHow a conspiracy theory was born and how to deal with it – by Wu Ming 1, on Internazionale, 1st episodeSatanists kill on Saturday – by Selene Pascarella, 2nd episode (of 3)“Superstition brings bad luck.” Thirty years after Foucault’s pendulumTagged with  

conspiracy coronavirus coronavirus Covid 19 QAnon conspiracy theories

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56 comments on “ Coronavirus and conspiracy theories. A vademecum and a lesson on #QAnon “

  1. Juvenal5/21/2020 at 3:04 pmInteresting choice to publish a handbook on conspiracy after having recently fallen into the trap of a conspiracy theorist like MMC. Would you ask yourself what pulpit the sermon comes from ?! You say you are able to read in the narratives of conspiracy theorists, to understand the tactics they use to settle within the … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
    • Wu Ming 25/21/2020 at 3:10 pmYou miss the meaning of the post. This is a handbook for recognizing conspiracy narratives, their form, the way they tell. In the article we published, there was no such narrative. What was wrong we repeated and summarized it several times. We should have checked the identity of … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
    • Wu Ming 45/21/2020 at 3:10 pmWell, you just summarized what we wrote in the apology post. Nobody is infallible, least of all us. This is why it is important to reiterate some things. The intent of the current post is precisely this.Log in to reply
    • Wu Ming 15/21/2020 at 3:18 pmThe article above contains an exhortation to everyone, including us, to keep our guard high. All the more so because a Trojan horse had been brought into Giap. Fortunately, when the Achaeans came out, they found the Vietcong. It looks like a novel by Philip J. Farmer. From your … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
    • Anarcobiotici5/21/2020 at 4:56 pmI would like to add some considerations and complications. Capitalism and its outcomes are the fruit of the will of its members as it has historically accumulated. The point is that they are often opposing or irrational wills or the result of incorrect or imaginative representations which is often capitalism itself … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
      • Kola5/21/2020 at 6:55 pmIn my opinion you are confusing narration and analysis and you are giving too much importance to the first. Perhaps this tendency is typical of the times in which we live, as you also say, but I think that the difference between a harmful narrative and a useful one lies above all in the analytical bases on which it rests. Obviously a narration … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
        • Anarcobiotici5/22/2020 at 6:27 pmI often get confused between narrative and theory. And what I said is that it is not so easy to distinguish them and that their separation is not so clear. In the end everything is a representation after it surpasses a certain level of distance from reality. So if what characterizes this company … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
  2. NonSoCheNickUsare5/21/2020 at 5:21 pmVery interesting discussion. I have my say on a couple of points. – * conspiracy theorists * are those who react first and best to any emergency / news / event. Well there must be, or rather there is certainly a power plant. Places not so dissimilar from communication agencies, with many little men sitting in front of … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
  3. swann skein5/21/2020 at 6:14 pmNo real conspiracy, only conspiracy theories that many adepts make, in these times of pandemic. But, equally disturbing, a dominant narrative torrent that tries to write history downstream of events. Waiting to know why and for how, Youtube has removed three videos from the Perspective on the channel … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
  4. tenib5/21/2020 at 6:41 pm“The other typical answer is:” You can’t prove that there isn’t a Plan! ” In that framework, I don’t completely agree with you when you write “It’s someone who thinks there is a Plan that … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
  5. paoz5/22/2020 at 2:56 am“The predominant narrative of what was happening was judged incongruous” and this caused you “dissatisfaction” that you were unable to rationalize. This is why you have tried to demonstrate, article after article, what in this historical moment is not demonstrable – that is, all the measures promoted by that … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
    • pm20015/22/2020 at 7:54 am“The columns of military-funeral cars, the criminalization of runners, the silence on the workers forced to go to the factory and a general media terrorism were sad and irritating gimmicks, but we cannot exclude that they still contributed to saving lives.” If I interpret well, you attribute an action to the “general media terrorism” … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
    • Wu Ming 25/22/2020 at 8:13 amIt does not seem to me that an attempt has been made here to demonstrate that “all (!) The measures promoted by that narrative were ipso facto (!) Incongruous”. It seems to me that we have tried to demonstrate that some measures taken by the Italian government have been inconsistent for reasons x, y and z … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
      • paoz5/22/2020 at 6:45 pmThen I rephrase, also responding to pm2001. Let’s leave aside the structural response of the Ministry and Regions (in my opinion it is another topic) and focus on the emergency measures, which are the most questionable: which factories / shops / schools / theaters to leave open and which not, how much freedom of movement to allow adults / children / old people / runners / dogs, the choices on … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
        • Wu Ming 15/22/2020 at 7:34 pmIn short, the lies told to the people for their good. Because the people are stupid, one cannot speak to them as if they were intelligent. Italians don’t understand shit and it takes propaganda appropriate to their condition. Reactionary thinking, as we wrote in paragraph 5 of this … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
    • Wu Ming 15/22/2020 at 9:52 amI merely point out that forcing us for the one thousand five hundred and eighteenth time to summarize point by point what we have written “article after article” in these three months – which, sorry, is not what you say – is not a great contribution to the advancement of the discussion. It is simply untrue that … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
      • Wu Ming 15/22/2020 at 10:22 amI would add that thanks to external contributions we have highlighted particularly incongruous aspects of emergency management, and moments of the impact of the emergency on society (on its weaker segments). We hosted contributions on the suffering of children, on how we experienced the emergency in the school reduced to DAD (one of the situations we are following with … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
        • claudiog5/23/2020 at 12:22 amI would say that Giap, in these times, has helped me in a very concrete way to keep the bar to starboard. It is very demonstrable that, bombarded with alarmism, I had been ready to betray principles so many times heralded. Much have been worth especially the words of you Wu Ming, but I understand … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
          • Wu Ming 15/23/2020 at 12:29 amI had marked many too. McCoy Tyner I’m not even going to say how much I admired him, ça va sans dire. Henry Grimes saw him play live a few years ago, it was the return tour (of the reappearance, let’s say). Giuseppi Logan was in the ESP anthology that I edited for Goodfellas … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
            • claudiog5/23/2020 at 6:28 amYou should discuss it with my fraternal friend P., about jazz music. I quarreled there, a month ago, after I sent him one of your posts about ‘terror in the press “:” show him the trucks loaded with coffins, to those big cocks, “he replied. The next day we talked. I understand … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
  6. petrus5/22/2020 at 3:00 amThere are many points that I do not agree with in this analysis of conspiracy theories. I am not convinced by this way of generalizing. Just to understand: Naomi Klein is conspiracy theorist? Yet he has always said that natural or political disasters have been seized as great profit opportunities. If in the face of yet another disaster one … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
    • Wu Ming 25/22/2020 at 8:01 amThe point that escapes you is not the generalization that is made, but the dynamic that is described, You use the metaphor of jackals pouncing on a carcass. No one here is saying that jackals don’t exist. Rather. But we are just saying that jackal-capitalism takes the opportunity, exploits a … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
      • Wu Ming 25/22/2020 at 9:49 amTo understand each other better, I propose a mental experiment, outside the metaphors of the savannah. Let’s consider the hypothesis that the Sars-Cov2 virus is a laboratory product. Today we have evidence that I believe is not so stringent, but let’s take that hypothesis anyway. The conspiracy theorist’s first move is to transform the hypothesis (“The virus could be a … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
    • Wu Ming 15/22/2020 at 10:04 am“I hope I understood well in sharing the need to find the truths where they are, to subtract them from the conspiracy narratives to prevent their understanding of reality from being compromised.” Yes, Petrus, you understood correctly, it is the point of all our reflections on conspiracy theories and … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
      • petrus5/22/2020 at 11:16 amI apologize for reporting back to the exhausting ABC. Then I point out differently. I am not convinced by the narrative that analyzes the narrative of the conspiracy as a stereotype and I do not find fitting gazelle-lion-herd-jackal, at least in the concrete cases that really interest me. I don’t like abstract labels and categories, which then often, even in the healthiest environments, … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
        • Wu Ming 15/22/2020 at 11:34 amPetrus, I admit to finding your speech abstract – in the very general and vague sense. Are you saying, if I understand correctly, that there is a general theme that interests you (I guess they are vaccines), that you don’t want those who talk about it in a certain way to be called a conspiracy theorist, … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
          • caloges5/22/2020 at 12:19 pmYet Wu Ming I, just in one of your comments (pity … I don’t have time to reread over 500 to find “which”) you mentioned the vaccine theme as a theme that is immediately bounced off this blog. I would like to point out that “clearing the field of idiocy” for those who are against the obligation … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
            • Wu Ming 15/22/2020 at 12:34 pmOf course, I wrote it and I repeat it. Because it is one thing to say that conspiracy is not previously defined by a given theme, another is the policy of this specific blog. Given the intrinsic toxicity of the frame in which the discussion on vaccines has long since entered, a consequence of the failure … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
              • caloges5/22/2020 at 1:03 pmWhat you say is very important. In fact, you say that you need to have a “superior” technical skill to deal with a practice that affects the real life of millions of people (children who already do not have access to kindergarten “like the others”, to say one). Have you … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
                • Wu Ming 15/22/2020 at 1:17 pm1) The competence superior to ours is not needed to get a general idea about vaccines (whoever has made it) but to manage a discussion that very predictably would have thousands of comments, therefore it would bombard us with thousands of notifications, and we should read everything and have every point raised, this in going crazy … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
                  • caloges5/22/2020 at 1:55 pmI understand the “overdose of comments” issue. I don’t want to “nail” you on vaccines, my personal feeling about it was at most by surprise. Because “in the end” we arrive at a “we don’t want to talk about it” (be careful though: it’s one thing to “make a post” that nobody or not me at least, will … [Continue reading]
                  • Wu Ming 15/23/2020 at 9:04 am“We don’t want to talk about it” because, because of our subjective limits and objective conditions, it goes beyond our ability to talk about it and allow us to talk about it sensibly. As we have said before, we were already walking on a rope balancing with a pole. In recent days the rope has become … [Continue reading]
          • petrus5/22/2020 at 1:34 pmVaccini, of course, the theme of the themes, but not only and not first, and not even in particular. Treatment as a cure for the flock in general does not only apply to vaccines. Peter Gøtzsche, for example, criticized mass screening twenty years ago; on this no theories of … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
            • caloges5/22/2020 at 4:54 pmPetrus you said something so important (for everyone’s life and bodies, I use your words) that I feel the urge to translate it into a more everyday language, in case someone had escaped. “CONFUSING MASS SCREENING WITH PRIMARY PREVENTION” can also be translated as follows: if there … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
              • petrus5/22/2020 at 5:39 pmI want to specify that I did not intend to provoke reactions who knows what, let alone on vaccines. But in the medical field we all undergo some narrative, especially when they offer us treatments, whose responsibility is all ours (and thank goodness). The narratives are the result of decades of research and research orientation on … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
  7. NonSoCheNickUsare5/22/2020 at 9:43 amI state that in my answer I will return to my workhorse, or * the stupidity of the rulers *. Let’s reconstruct the story, as far as possible, and with all the limits of the necessary synthesis in a comment: a virus spreads which involves – in some cases – the need to be hospitalized in the … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
    • NonSoCheNickUsare5/22/2020 at 9:44 am[second part] Here the donkey falls and you can see how all the management of the “crisis” was in the hands of the wrong people, everything seems to be dictated by chance: the bars are left open, the bars are closed, the bakeries remain open but they cannot sell pastries, otherwise the patisseries will … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
  8. Wu Ming 15/22/2020 at 11:12 amWe recommend:Pandemic and plots. The mystifying role of conspiracyby Maria Matteo, on Umanità Nova .Log in to reply
    • petrus5/22/2020 at 12:15 pmI find the article reported beautiful and also appropriate in the discussion, especially in the end, where you can open a deeper analysis than what I wrote above. Everything is shareable; in addition I would open two windows in the speech. Matteo writes “The” alternative “expert, the seller of neglected knowledge, does not demolish the pedestal on which they are … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
  9. TommasoS5/22/2020 at 11:19 amThanks for this article, very interesting. I also listened / saw the two hours of lessons of WM1, and some of the considerations that I will make are related to its contents, so I apologize if the references cannot be found in the text of the article and to deepen the issues you will have to watch the videos . Una … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
    • TommasoS5/22/2020 at 11:20 amThat is precisely because of the discursive modalities (I know that used in relation to Trump this adjective sounds strange …) that Trump uses, which are absolutely similar to those of the conspiracy speech, with sibylline indications, logical connections often lacking, non sequitur, disclosure of hidden truths , attribution of responsibility to “others” not always … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
      • Wu Ming 15/22/2020 at 11:58 amThank you, Thomas, I find this reading on “idiotic power”, on the distinction between “power” and “Power” which would be the basis of the conspiracy mentality very apt. In several conspiracy narratives there is a “double power”. There is an occult power (in the case of QAnon it would be the satanist and pedophile mega-lobby that controls the “deep state”, … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
        • TommasoS5/22/2020 at 1:21 pmIt would also be interesting to analyze how Power (the institutionalized one) uses conspiracy theories to read popular opposition or insurrection (a structure that from what you say seems to be the basis of modern conspiracy, which would arise from conspiracy readings of the French Revolution). In a beautiful book, “Elementary Aspects of Peasant Insurgency in Colonial … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
          • Wu Ming 15/22/2020 at 11:47 pmThis point is very important, “the inability to attribute any political capacity for action to the masses, the will to deny the very existence of a political consciousness of subordinates” can be recognized in many contemporary conspiracy theories, markedly in those on ‘immigration. The “Great Substitution” conspiracy theory sees in … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
        • herato5/23/2020 at 7:51 amIn fact, I intervene in (partial) off-topic to say that I listened to the videos and that I appreciated them very much. If the whole course were available online, I would be happy (as long as this is possible, feasible, etc etc) .. Since there is the limit of the jokes (sorry), I add an observation perhaps unimportant in the context, but … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
          • Wu Ming 15/23/2020 at 8:56 amOf a couple of lessons there is only the visual presentation, others were a “cineforum” model and would be “bad” without the film shown immediately before. Even the one on “Paul Is Dead” was like that, before I showed a 2016 Mitch Fillion documentary, Who Is This Now? (A Paul Is Dead Film), … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
  10. talpa605/22/2020 at 12:18 pmI think that conspiracy has many personal roots. The conspiracy theorists who are in the circle of my knowledge are often angry people against the world, not just against their political opponents. This mental attitude starts from private and sometimes personal reasons (such as job loss, … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
    • alessio5/22/2020 at 1:40 pmI’m not sure if conspiracy helps the ruling class so much. In the sense that I imagine conspiracy in the same way as disastrous climatic events: tornadoes, cyclones, tsunamis. In themselves they are misfortunes for everyone (in the medium sense). And I think everyone would do without it. What I imagine is that then … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
      • notchosen5/22/2020 at 11:46 pmI find this is only partially true. We can consider that it is true that conspiracy is not directly beneficial to the ruling class, but is indirectly beneficial. As mentioned also in the post, the presence of conspiracy theories allows in some cases to weaken even the criticisms … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
        • Wu Ming 105/23/2020 at 12:00 amI will give a practical example of how conspiracy can sabotage real critical and investigative work. In the survey on Internazionale that we link in the article above, we talked about Pablo Trincia’s Poison investigation. I’m not going to summarize it here, I refer to the linked text. Here, I am convinced that today is more difficult … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
  11. StefanoR5/22/2020 at 1:32 pmIn my opinion, one thing that helps understand the virulence of conspiracy in the past 10 years is the power management technique that some call hypernormalization. It is a concept born in the 80s to describe a psycho-social condition widespread in the countries of the Soviet bloc: it was known that the system … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
  12. moujik5/22/2020 at 6:24 pmI consider this article very useful because I firmly believe that the change must start from ourselves and I don’t feel free, at least, not always, from the temptation to give in to drift of conspiracy thought. To think that there was a plan and to forget, as you rightly pointed out, at least I interpret it, that … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
  13. toto5/22/2020 at 8:26 pmOne question: Could the name QAnot refer to the Q Sources? I had happened to talk about the Sources of Q with WM2, but not about QAnon. Q parts are called those parts of the gospels common to Matthew and Luke, considered to date from a common source that does not … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
    • Wu Ming 15/22/2020 at 11:25 pmHi Totò, no, I have to say it doesn’t say anything to me. I have never found references to the sources of Q in speculations as to why QA’s “Q” is not called that.Log in to reply
  14. SilvanoSilva5/22/2020 at 11:05 pmGuys, have mercy. You are reselling past interventions by linking them, through a short ad post, to a trend-topic that you have recently dealt with superficially. On the marketing scale, it is not the marathon runner’s strategy. I’m sorry for the paternalistic tone with which I write to you, but seeing you like this is a … [Continue reading]Log in to reply
    • Wu Ming 15/22/2020 at 11:18 pmOkay, let’s analyze it a little, this “pret-à-porter” you’re talking about. We have been actively dealing with conspiracy theories since the mid-nineties, since we came across a case of alleged SRA that hit and disturbed our city, Bologna. More or less from the same period we deal with emergencies such as … [Continue reading]