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Amateur Conspiracy History Buffs and Personal Irresponsibility

Written by Gary North on March 18, 2017

I am what conventional historians call a conspiracy historian. We call them court historians. They call us conspiracy historians. We are both right.

I became a conspiracy historian in the fall of 1958, when I did a term paper on the Pearl Harbor attack. That was when I realized that Franklin Roosevelt did know an attack was coming, and he took no steps to warn the targeted victims. I have studied this event ever since, and my opinion has become even firmer.

I have branched out into other areas. But, for most events in history, they are explainable apart from discussions of hidden hierarchies. Most of my life is. Most of your life is. What we experience firsthand in our own lives we should assume applies to most other people most of the time.

There are networks of self-interested people. These networks sometimes get into control of large government agencies or even the government itself. Where there is a lot of concentrated political power, there you will find evidence of conspiracies. The reason is obvious: the lure of money, sex, power, and fame. The average man living in average circumstances has limited access to all four. This is a good thing.

The solution to conspiracies is a reduction in the power of central government. That’s the bottom line on conspiracies. Murray Rothbard understood this. So did my father-in-law.

I was introduced to conservatism in 1956 by a woman who lived her whole life in terms of conspiracies, especially the Communist conspiracy, which really was not much of a conspiracy. It was pretty much aboveboard as to what it wanted. There were a handful of Communist conspirators in the federal government, but with the exception of Alger Hiss, none of them had much influence. She got deeper and deeper into conspiracy history, and then she went off the deep end. She abandoned the whole thing. Her marriage broke up. She wound up in some kind of cult at the end of her life.

One tipoff that you’re dealing with somebody who is essentially off-track in his life is this: ask him what he is personally doing to fight the conspiracy. Asking what organization he belongs to actively exposes conspirators, which also offers solutions to the problem. You will find that this person does not belong to any such organization. That would involve commitment: time and money.

When you are presented with a conspiracy theory of whatever it is he’s talking about, ask him who was responsible. Ask him to name names. Think about JFK. The question is this: who pulled the trigger? Why did he pull the trigger? How was he in a position geographically to pull the trigger?

These people do not want to know who pulled the trigger. That would make them responsible in some way for participating in political action that would make such trigger pulling more expensive or more difficult. They don’t want any responsibility. They indulge in conspiracy theories precisely because they are fleeing personal responsibility. They don’t want to know who did it. They want to know only that the official theory of who did it is a vast deception.

These people shift interest from one conspiracy theory to another, from one historical event to another. They never study half a dozen books of conventional history on the topic. They may study one paperback book of conspiracy theory, but the details of that book they have forgotten a long time ago. They are convinced that conventional histories are incorrect, but they cannot tell you why. That is because they don’t read seriously. They don’t want to read seriously. They want to read one book, forget 90% of it, and thereby justify themselves for not reading five more books of conventional history, especially books that call into question their particular favorite conspiracy theory.

(For the rest of my article, click the link.)

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