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JFK assassination is a "distraction" and conspiracists are ruining democracy (3 posts)

  1. truthmod

    Conspiracy theories such as JFK distract from the real threats we face

    The temptation is great to laugh off such thinking as the province of harmless potting-shed eccentrics, green-ink cranks whose tightly spaced letters could once safely be filed in the dustbin. But conspiracism – of which the JFK industry was the early exemplar – matters. It has become a defining, and dangerous, feature of the world we live in now.


    Conspiracy thinking is no longer harmless idiosyncrasy. Not when it leads to the bereaved parents of Sandy Hook or the wounded of Las Vegas being bombarded with death threats and online abuse, branding them “crisis actors” paid by the government to help stage a hoax. But there is a deeper danger too. All this energy spent trying to find the hidden hands that secretly plot our destruction is energy not spent looking for the truly hidden hand — which does not belong to one shadowy individual, or even a group, but rather to the much more complicated forces of politics, economics and history that are shaping us every day.


    Superficially, conspiracy theory and post-truth might look different. The conspiracists insist that they are bent on uncovering the real truth, while post-truthers shrug their shoulders, suggesting such truth doesn’t really exist, can never be known and doesn’t really matter anyway. But what both have in common is an indifference to facts and evidence. The conspiracist brushes off inconvenient facts as bogus, while the post-truther says they have “alternative facts” of their own. But both end up in the same place, dismissing the hard, established evidence that is the basis of reason.

    They share too a supposedly defiant attitude to the establishment and the powers that be, casting themselves as heroic truth-tellers who have broken free of the credulous herd – lions among sheeple. They have favoured targets in common too. Both the JFK obsessives and a post-truther such as Donald Trump – who, let us not forget, offered his own addition to the Kennedy conspiracy canon with an evidence-free claim that the father of his Republican primary opponent, Ted Cruz, was involved in the assassination – perennially cast the FBI and the CIA as the key tools of dark, unseen forces.

    This soon descends into a cynicism about democracy itself. In this view, elections are a sham; politicians are mere puppets; the real masters are hidden and lurk in the shadows, pulling the strings. Which is why, incidentally, so many conspiracy theorists, like so many post-truth merchants of the populist hard right, end up reaching the terminus of antisemitism. For antisemitism is itself often rooted in conspiracy theory: the belief that the secret hand behind world events, manipulating each and every development, belongs to the Rothschilds or George Soros or, when no euphemism is required, the Jews.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  2. truthmod

    JFK’s Grandson: The JFK Assassination Files Release Contributed to Our Era of Distraction

    The reaction to the declassification of the remaining files about President Kennedy’s assassination demonstrates how easily our focus can shift away from important issues onto myths, drama and conspiracy. Stories like this one have the power to confuse and distract, and they have come to play an increasingly large role in our national discourse. We must not become perpetually distracted from the great challenges facing our country and the world.


    For decades, conspiracies surrounding his death have shifted focus away from the important lessons of his life and the critical issues of the moment. They continue to do so today. Common to almost all the recent coverage is a concession that the files contained no particularly revealing or transformative insights: A newsworthy story without much newsworthy information.


    Nobody is going to think critically for us. Each of us has the individual responsibility to maintain perspective, or at least to try. We can control our clicks, what we choose to share online, what we talk about with friends and what we contemplate alone. If we want to solve important problems, we have to pay attention to them.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  3. BrianG

    Those are provocative texts so I'm glad I read them, but can't remember after a week what their feeble points were. I try to avoid cluttering my mind with bullshit. Thus I avoid conspiracy theories, and stick to the established facts that most 9/11 truthers appear to have discarded as boring.

    Posted 2 months ago #


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