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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Column: The real covert schemes hide in plain sight

    Recently, online, I’ve seen it alleged that Martin Luther King Jr.’s family won a civil suit claiming that King was assassinated by the U.S. government.

    The case rests on incredibly sketchy ground, but it still got me thinking about conspiracy theories, specifically how banal “the real thing” often is.

    While the government assassination probably didn’t happen, the FBI is confirmed to have wiretapped and harassed King, not just to suppress dissent but also because then-FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was creepily obsessed with him.

    And the FBI is still doing similar things, if The Guardian’s report on how it and the big banks coordinated on the crackdown on the Occupy movement is any indication.

    Yeah, you probably didn’t hear about that.

    For the most part, that’s how the scum get away with it: Be quiet, and it will all go away.

    Almost nobody had ever heard of the Project for a New American Century, the group that orchestrated the idea for “Iraq War II: Electric Boogaloo,” until after its dirty deeds had been done, because it was just left to stagnate in the nooks and crannies of political media.

    The PNAC didn’t cause 9/11, of course. It was likely more of a stroke of luck for them, and when they got into Iraq, things went pear-shaped, since real life does not work like a Hydra plot. But they did do major damage with what they did manage to accomplish.

    And, leading to the thing that the Occupy movement was protesting against — the neoliberal globalization agenda Silicon-Valley Libertarians lick the feet of like a shiny white Jesus — is not too dissimilar from the “New World Order” that those in tinfoil hats yammer about.

    These agendas are not carried out through some grand scheme or organization, though. No Illuminati sigil or skull-based fortress. Just the same stupid, shared ideology of deregulation and pushing their brand of aggressive, laissez-faire, “let-’em-die” capitalism.

    These courses of action likely have much of the same effects as a secret evil plot might.

    Even if there is no organized conspiracy, the ideology machine largely functions the same way. It’s all out in the open; ideologists just don’t think anybody will notice or try to enact change.

    Legal corporate lobbying is probably far more influential than secret government infiltration. The resulting income stratification due to ideology that has occurred is much like the type conspiracy theories allege is part of an organized scheme of despair.

    Conspiracy and evil are banal. The way evildoers try to keep it out of the sunlight is banal. But the damage done in such high-minded failures is very real, and we should not let this banality go unnoticed.

    Don’t check the conspiracy websites. Check the nooks and crannies of reputable news sites, and follow the breadcrumbs. More than likely, you won’t find a complex web of lies but an engorged tick on the body politic waiting to be squashed.


    Tom Johnson is a film and television studies junior. Follow him on Twitter.

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