Try out this one by Tom Mullen:
And this one by Priscilla Jones:
American Political Dictionary
False-flag attack: 1. Politicians appear everywhere with their lapel pins that say, I’m an honest patriot who would never do anything to subvert our Constitution. 2. An attack undertaken with government assistance or collaboration to serve as a pretext for war, suppression of rights, or something else government wants to do. 3. 9/11. 4. An episode used to scare the shit out of people.
Drone program: 1. Pilotless aircraft used for surveillance. 2. Pilotless aircraft used to shoot people on the president’s kill list, including American citizens. 3. Super-secret program run by the CIA to scare the shit out of people we don’t like in Pakistan. 4. Super-secret program run by the CIA to kill as many innocent people as we can in Pakistan.
Conspiracy theorist: 1. Nut job (see Wing nut). 2. Paranoid crank. 3. Fervid anti-government type. 4. Someone who thinks John F. Kennedy died because he slipped and fell in the bathroom.
Wing nut: 1. Nut job (see Conspiracy theorist). 2. Person unable to distinguish fantasy from reality. 3. Libertarian anarchist. 4. Anyone who disagrees with a Democrat or a Republican.
Now let me ask you a question: are you a conspiracy theorist? You could reply to that: what the hell does that mean? The question and the response suggest that the concept is incoherent. It doesn’t hold together.
The question suggests we have theorists about who specialize in conspiracy theories. They are so enthusiastic about their specialty that they can spin a conspiracy theory out of nearly any fact pattern. Ask one how the current president got into office, and he’ll tell you a story about some spaceship in Roswell, New Mexico.
The concept does not take evidence into account. It suggests a class of theorists who spin theories independent of evidence. Normally you’d say, this theory or explanation attributes responsibility for some crime or other event to more than one person. Therefore it’s a conspiracy theory. Or, this theory attributes responsibility to one person only. Therefore it is not a conspiracy theory.
The phrase conspiracy theorist doesn’t contain any room for evidence at all. It just creates a class of theorists, then places people in the group based on factors that don’t have to do with evidence. What good is a concept like that?
I don’t have time to look up links tonight, but I can write down a couple of titles, with authors:
Conspiracy Theories, by Cass Sunstein
The Paranoid Style in American Politics, by Richard Hofstader
What articles have you found relevant to this discussion of conspiracy theories?