Corona Virus: Conspiracy Makes Theory

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Many self-righteous attitudes and pure claims by the demonstrators

Collective conditioning

There are conspiracies

“Conspiracy theorists” are not theorists

Hypotheses about the still unsettled origin of Sars-CoV-2

Talking to philosophers, psychologists and psychiatrists

With the term conspiracy theory, the boundaries of the allowed discourse are unspoken

The article problematizes the use of the term “conspiracy theory” and its derivatives. This term is an example of a superficial treatment of complex relationships. Its application, as shown here in the context of the corona pandemic, often hardly distinguishes between well-founded but politically undesirable criticism and the rendering of undeveloped, confused arguments. The undifferentiated use of the term thus leads to taboos in social discourse that block the clarification of important questions.

The break in the corona pandemic situation takes a lot of courage to carry out undisguised research and testing if it is to be managed constructively. As is often the case in crisis situations, weak points and errors in the system have particularly serious effects, but they can also be perceived particularly clearly. The event of the pandemic is complicated and nested in its overall context. Competent handling of it will probably always remain incomplete, but still requires a great deal of care. It will be this “more” or “less” in the quest for competence that will probably decide whether we can at some point in retrospect assess the path we have taken as good.

In general, the quality of societal treatment of problems has eroded to an alarming degree in recent decades. Many of the public debates are a reflection of this. One of the keys that can demonstrate this particularly well is the use of the terms “conspiracy theory” and conspiracy theorists. “Characteristic of their use is a concomitant flattening of content, which has serious effects in complex contexts.

For example, “conspiracy theorists” were often dubbed the participants in the demonstrations against the corona measures that began in early May, when “conspiracy theories” called their statements. Indeed, it looks like many of them have not dealt with the situation thoroughly and have done a disservice to the education they were trying to represent. Well-founded demands and criticism from other people will now be much easier to belittle or ignore by lumping everything together.

In the statements of the people who came together, hasty categorizations and simplifications were often visible, as well as a lack of willingness to face issues of more complex dimensions. Demonstrators who acted like freedom fighters, while often only serving their ego, could be recognized by heated phrases that could not withstand a substantive review. The refusal to consider a health risk from the corona virus as a possibility was often striking. Emotional discomfort was manifested without reflection, as if it were a skeleton of facts. To this end, images of slaves, Guy Fawkes masks used by the Occupy movement and yellow Jewish stars were also misused to emblematically exaggerate the positions taken.

Serious allegations, such as vaccination or against Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his foundation, were not properly researched. The arrogant capture of the concept of truth served to block a deeper discussion of the content, with an entirely excluding effect: “Those who do not follow me are at a loss for the system, the rulers.” As a subtext it can be understood: He didn’t understand it, I don’t talk to him. Or, as the allusion to the US television series “Walking Dead” read on a poster: “Don’t be a walking fool”.

This self-righteous attitude exposes fears and insecurities projected to the outside world, but also strong hedonistic-colored egos. Had the demonstrators been more level-headed, they would have left the field of pure claims and asked more questions. In many ways, there is still a lack of information for a reliable assessment of the situation. As things went, the demonstrators eluded the trouble of approaching the truth in two ways. On the one hand, this concerns the conscious awareness of one’s own emotions, that is the area of ​​the inside view. On the other hand, the effort of a careful examination of the available information about the external events was not sufficiently carried out. However, it is imperative to do this before heavy guns are brought up with charges.

The side of the participants who behaved or did not behave in the manner described shows that psychological factors form the basis of all human utterance and must therefore be taken into account if one wants to understand a situation. What sounds banal at first is actually not. Because our culture is so shaped by the ratio that our consciousness has great difficulty dealing with the sides of our psyche that at least partially elude it. These are the irrational and the sensory area from which intuition and sensation speak. So we are characterized by one-sidedness, oppression and repression, which makes it difficult to get an unbiased picture of a conflict situation as a whole.

This is also evident on the other hand, when it comes to the reaction from outside to the demonstrations mentioned. The term “conspiracy theory” and its derivatives are poured out by numerous media such as public figures according to the watering can principle as soon as a certain framework of the discourse is left. It is striking that this is also not about content, but that the yardstick for the application of the term is obviously to have left an unspoken field within which a discourse is permitted.

Even if it should sound mean, it looks as if her arousal was not really precisely argued by people like the demonstrators, who played the role of useful idiots. They are used for collective conditioning in the way – “Look here, this is what a conspiracy theorist looks like!”. Of course, they make it a rather unfortunate figure, due to emotion and resentment. If you want to mark someone else’s contributions as impossible, the simple call “Conspiracy Theory!” Is enough to give their statements a flaw.

There is no mention of where the limits of an allowed discourse are and who defines them. This is possible because, thanks to the hard-working media, the term “conspiracy theory” has become a code word that chokes off any further contentual discussion. The media that went down the drain therefore stand for inadmissible simplifications and unreflected categorizations of the same kind as those used by the demonstrators against the corona measures. In a way, both sides are reflected. Both sides would therefore also have a function for the successful use of the word in the sense of foreclosure of information. Matching templates would be one, multipliers the other.

Let us now leave these two sides and go to the factual. There are conspiracies. They existed yesterday and still exist today. We have heard of Edward Snowden’s revelations about the American NSA [National Security Agency] and cooperating partner organizations learn about the scandalous treatment of the NSU complex [gemeint sind die Aktivitäten der militanten rechtsradikalen Gruppierung Nationalsozialistischer Untergrund] The investigative bodies reported extensively. And we have lobbyists with a power to make government members puppet figures.

These are all conspiracies, just as mafia and corruption structures are. They all follow certain patterns that include elements: disinformation and manipulation to gain advantage or obscure criminal activity, physical or psychological violence. So please don’t pretend that there are no conspiracies, that dealing with this phenomenon is nonsense per se.

The concept of conspiracy theory has had an enormously effective narrowing of public meaning since the events of September 11, 2001, and at the same time it has been used ever since to discredit critical potential. It was enough to put in the corner, for example, the former SPD State Secretary Andreas von Bülow, who identified contradictions in the official presentation of the background to the assassination series in the USA. A few years later, he was also sufficient to brand the Swiss historian Daniele Ganser as an apparently obscure figure with his investigations into secret army structures in Europe.

Even if the analyzes of the two contain misjudgements at certain points, this is no reason to downgrade the work with reference to conspiracy-theoretical tendencies. Many analyzes are initially not entirely correct, and a subsequent debate can serve to gradually adjust the content correctly. However, if a contribution is labeled as conspiratorial in nature, this cuts off any further discussion. People associated with this term are excluded from a broader debate, and this is effectively censoring their arguments. This censorship also works in a subtle way because an example is made of these people, and colleagues may therefore prefer to shut up so as not to get into an analogous situation.

“Conspiracy theorist” can mean a person who strategically plans conspiracies. Or also: a person who deals with the phenomenon of conspiracies in an academic way. For us, the word means: a fantasy who wants to see a threat from powers or powers where there is none. So a confused head that is no longer on the ground of reality. It is clear that nobody wants to be put in this drawer. This makes the term a strategically valuable tool if you want to put an end to unpleasant discussions.

The word theory is originally derived from ancient Greek theory, which can be translated as “observe”, “look at”, “look at”. In the scientific sense, a theory is a causally coherent model of the section of reality that it describes. More generally, “theory” is also used as a counterpoint to “practice”. This means a purely verbal or conceptual approach to a topic in contrast to concrete action. From an etymological point of view, the first two of the three possible meanings mentioned in the previous paragraph are more appropriate than the third. It seems almost absurd to call a conspiracy theorist a person who is said to have at least partially turned away from looking at reality.

From a scientific point of view, a theory comes after the formation of hypotheses – while a hypothesis is based on conclusive information, some of which are not yet linked, a theory is already based on a comprehensive mathematically or otherwise logically verified framework. Once formulated, a theory can be followed by appropriately trained people regardless of their originator.

The situation is quite different for the demonstrators mentioned: They link factual questions in a way that is based on the context of their own unexplained emotional states. To call them in some form as “theoreticians” is not correct for these reasons. Nevertheless, they are not crazy. They just did not complete the sorting of the content stored on different levels, as is the case with many other people, for whom the effects are different.

One of the roots of academic involvement in conspiracies lies with Canadian political scientist Peter Dale Scott, born in 1929, who examined numerous events related to US foreign policy. He created the concept of deep politics [deep politics]to describe a dimension of political events in which the actors behave conspiratorially. For Scott, it is necessary to include the deep political component in order to be able to comprehensively understand many events of historical importance.

He spans the spectrum from the assassination attempt on John F. Kennedy to the events around September 11, 2001 and their consequences. “In order to avoid a serious’ conspiracy theory ‘, you can’t do anything better than ’19 lone spinners worked together'”, was a bit of a must in 2006 during a lecture Résumé to the plane attacks on the New York Twin Towers, the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania. You can see here that Scott doesn’t use the word “conspiracy theory” in a derogatory sense. And so one could actually call personalities such as von Bülow and Ganser conspiracy theorists – but not in a disrespectful and marginalized way. In contrast to them, the demonstrators at best went about as emotional rhetoricians.

In connection with the protests against the Corona measures, many media have overlooked the use of the term “conspiracy theory” that despite all the argumentative vagueness within the contexts expressed by the demonstrators mentioned, questions still need to be clarified.

The question of the origin of the Covid 19-causing coronavirus is very high up here. It is of great importance because it is possible that, depending on how it turns out, answering it will result in very different requirements for further treatment of the crisis situations caused by the pandemic. As an example, three out of certainly several possible hypotheses can be given, which according to the state of the publicly available information are all neither clearly verified nor clearly refuted.

The field of public debate is apparently so marked that only the first hypothesis is seriously allowed. If you dare to bring the other two hypotheses into play, you run the risk of being punished as a “conspiracy theorist”. You don’t even have to support these hypotheses, it is enough to just want to exclude them properly. Scientifically it is one and the same thing, whether I want to verify or falsify, if you are serious, you have to acknowledge the result in any case. So it’s just a matter of approach whether you start from one side or the other.

Well, you could say yes, but you should only deal with hypotheses where there are indications, a certain probability, that they could correspond to reality. That is absolutely correct. For this reason, no hypothesis has been given for which there is no evidence.

A well-known scientist from the field of genetics says that a specific structure of the genetic material in the virus indicates genetic manipulation. With his special knowledge, he can also localize this structure and explain its peculiarities. The French Nobel Laureate in Medicine Luc Montagnier did nothing else last April, which also went through the media. This information is a strong argument for formulating hypothesis two. It can only be dealt with in three ways in a scientific sense: First, it is confirmed. Second, it is refuted. Third, research will continue if a clear first or second is not yet possible, until one is possible. Ruling out the information to ignore the hypothesis is not permitted in the sense of finding the truth. It’s actually quite simple. It is only complicated by tabooing.

This shows the third hypothesis even more clearly than the second, because security issues are largely taboo. There is also evidence here that led to the formulation of the hypothesis. One example is statements by the American biological weapons expert Francis Boyle, who pointed out that the laboratory structure used in Wuhan BSL 4 [biosafety lab level 4] is tailored to research in the biological weapons sector and makes no sense for civilian research. In addition, work was being carried out in Wuhan to modify the SARS virus for military purposes, even with funds originating in the USA.

These statements are easy to research on the Internet. Boyle is already classified as a conspiracy theorist because of past unpleasant statements about US bio-weapons. But now we also know that this can be a very special quality feature.

Verifying or falsifying the three arguments put forward for hypothesis is probably far more difficult than with the second hypothesis. The reason for this is the policy of secrecy, which generally covers security issues. However, this is not a good reason to stick your head in the sand and simply ignore the content, but the problem must be honestly named. Certain relationships may also be understandable under the given circumstances, such as the extent to which Boyle’s assessment of the laboratory form BSL 4 is correct. This would provide clues that could help to give a clearer picture.

If, as stated, there are conspiracies, there is always an interest in the veiling of the actors linked to them. It is difficult to judge whether they have deliberately launched the conspiracy theory or whether it has crept in as a result of a general loss of verbal sensitivity. Of course, it is not the case that all the people who use the word “conspiracy theory” in a careless way do so with a pretense of deception.

However, in society and politics, our society is based to a high degree on power and ego-based hierarchies. To advance within these structures, goals must be defined and factors that could impair their achievement must be eliminated as far as possible. All too often, the fixation on these goals leads to a loss of perspective. Pausing to examine a situation from a different perspective becomes a career disadvantage. In this situation, uncomfortable questions or circumstances that could raise them upset you. It is practical if you can sort them out using an equally available label. In the longer term, however, such an attitude will result in value instability. Enlightenment is only desirable if it also supports the goal accordingly. This leads to gaps and shortcomings in the assessment of relationships.

The overall situation shows that we have to ask questions because the information that we initially have available is often fragmentary for various reasons and can only be gradually put together to form a whole. It also shows the damage that misinformation or refusal to disclose information can cause. Both then force us to use existing conjectures to bridge the vacancies. As a result, however, we are already standing with one foot in the conspiracy theorist trap, set up by those who particularly like to use the term. We can only solve this by accepting responsibility for information, in general and especially in the corona crisis that affects us all.

Claudia Lorenz, writer, studied agriculture, actress, cultural management. Literary works u. a .: Essay essays and poetry. Has been dealing with the opposition of ratio and irrationality from the feminist side for several years.

(Claudia Lorenz)

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