Ljubodrag Simonovic, Belgrade, Serbia
Conspiracy theories did not originate from a political movement that fights to prevent the destruction of life on Earth and creates a humane world, but from a political movement that fights for capitalism. They are the product of new circumstances created in the contemporary world. It is, above all, about globalization and the emergence of the internet. Capitalist centers of power are no longer able to prevent the critical thought that arises in the world, from appearing in areas that are under their direct control. At the same time, the growing social differences, the deepening economic crisis, the decline of the middle class, the increasingly dramatic destruction of life on Earth … – condition the creation of growing dissatisfaction. Instead of striving to prevent the development of critical thought, such a critical thought is being created, which is, in fact, a diversion of changing critical thought. Ultimately, it is a about a thought that deals with the critique which brings capitalism into question. Starting from the way conspiracy theorists explain social phenomena, conspiracy theories are a capitalist conspiracy against libertarian humanity. They are, in fact, a capitalist hoax. Conspiracy theorists are not opponents of capitalism, but its jesters.
Conspiracy theorists are a kind of sect. They use the same means and methods used by the capitalist propaganda machinery. Their task is to create a wall of lies and illusions between man and the real world, and in that way prevent him from understanding the nature of the existing world and the causes of its misfortune. At the same time, they try to prevent a man from thinking for himself and to look for solutions that will enable him to step out of the existing world. The real goal of conspiracy theorists is to deal with a visionary mind that is able to create an idea of a future that transcends the horizons of the capitalist world, as well as to discourage people from fighting for a humane world.
The attitude of David Icke, one of the most prominent conspiracy theorists, towards the British royal family is indicative. He claims that members of the British royal family are alien-reptilians who drink children’s blood and change their skin – and thus rejuvenate themselves. Such stories serve to distract people from what the British Empire represents from a historical perspective, and in that context the British royal family. It is, above all, about the horrific crimes committed by the English aristocracy and capitalists, both in the world and in Great Britain. At the same time, the development of capitalism in England cost the lives of millions of workers’ children who worked 14 hours a day in factories and mines…
Only fools can believe that aliens rule the world, or that members of the British royal family are reptilians who drink the blood of children and thus rejuvenate themselves. The point of such crazy stories is not the dealing with the British monarchy, but the destruction of the minds of the oppressed and the creation of a mass of idiots out of people. Conspiracy theorists’ dealing with the libertarian heritage of national cultures and civil society, and in that context with the idea of the future, indicates the true nature of their theories. Their attitude towards increasingly devastating climate change points to the political background of spectacular lies with which they seek to deprive capitalism of responsibility for the destruction of life on Earth.
In contemporary capitalism, mystifiers who brainwash people with fairy tales about aliens, souls of the dead, demons, technocratic illusions… gain the utmost importance. Their public appearances are hypnotic sessions with which the mind is destroyed in order to prevent people from understanding of ever more dramatical existential crisis created by capitalism. They distract people from the historical path and produce spiritual food for petty bourgeoisie who do not want to fight for a new world. Conspiracy theorists criticize the rich by depriving people of their minds and turning them into idiots. They are not fighting against the causes that lead to the destruction of life on Earth and people as humane beings, but against the critique that points to the social causes of misfortune, which means the one fighting against capitalism.
There is an ongoing confrontation with a modern way of thinking based on critical rationalism which is of a visionary nature. And when it has a critical character, thinking becomes a means of distracting the mind from the essential questions on which human freedom and the survival of humanity depend. Capitalistically instrumentalized intelligence becomes a means of capitalism to deal with the critical and visionary mind. The truth is not reached by reasonable thinking and confrontation of arguments, but the “truth” is imposed on people by destroying the power of reasoning. Proving the “truth” follows the model applied by the advertising industry of capitalism.
The creation of virtual worlds only appears to be based on a scientific way of thinking and scientific arguments. In fact, it is a way of thinking which is based on destructive mindlessness. Man is reduced to an object of “superhuman forces” which acquire a mystical dimension. Gods, devils, demons, aliens, cosmic forces, Masonic lodges… – are the means of the ruling order for dealing with the libertarian and creative potentials of a man as a social and historical being.
Technocratic specialty-idiots are preachers of a technocratic religion that corresponds to the technical world. Stories about the devil, angels, heaven and hell… – are replaced by stories about cosmic rays, aliens, cosmic worlds, pulsation of matter… Technocratic specialty-idiots reduce the world to a microwave oven. They instrumentalize scientific discoveries and technical inventions in order to deal with man as a reasonable and natural being. Along with technocratic primitivism, esotericism, occultism, religious fanaticism are developed… The increasingly dramatic destruction of life on Earth produces a fatalistic consciousness. By insisting on the “apocalypse”, churches create not only essential, but also existential defeatism. Why should people organize and fight to preserve life on Earth if the world is “doomed”?
The increasingly dramatic destruction of life on Earth is leading the petty bourgeoisie, these fanatics of capitalism, to flee from the truth and falsify reality. They do not need the truth, but illusions that give them the opportunity to escape from reality. In the “free world”, the right to an illusion has become the most important human right. An illusion should provide legitimacy to the life of a man who is lost in destructive nothingness. Illusions are, in fact, the way in which petty bourgeoisie deal with a thought that indicates the true nature of the existing world and their position in it. The petty bourgeoisie do not need the truth, but spectacular lies, delusions, virtual worlds, crazy stories about aliens and demons… This is what conspiracy theorists and other professional mystifiers deal with. They use the same mechanisms as capitalists and politicians: they try to govern public opinion with lies and make money. In modern capitalism, a market of lies has been established. The spectacular form in which lies appear is their advertising packaging. In a false world, a lie has become the truth.
The cultural sphere is deprived of emancipatory content and reduced to banal entertainment. Commercialized populist primitivism has replaced cultural vanguardism. The entertainment industry raises the increasingly higher wall between man and the world and masks the increasingly inhumane capitalist reality. It produces increasing quantity of spiritual garbage that destroys the libertarian dignity of man and turns him into an idiot. Capitalism destroys man’s need for the truth as well as the possibility of creating criteria by which he can determine what the truth is. Everything is relativized.
The phrase “everyone has the right to their opinion” becomes a way to prevent the determination of what is false and what is true, what is humane and what is inhumane, what is progress and what is destruction… Everything becomes a “matter of personal choice”. The distinction between reason and intelligence is abolished and visionary consciousness, which provides an opportunity for man to establish a critical distance from the ruling order and create a humane world, is destroyed. The creation of a totalitarian positivist consciousness is in progress. Capitalism represents the “end of history” (Fukuyama).
The escape from reality has reached epidemic proportions. An increasing number of people live in virtual worlds. Instead of creating a humane world, fantastic worlds are being created in people’s heads. Everything that is not possible in reality becomes possible in an imagination based on a technically degenerated world. The deeper a man is mired in the capitalist swamp, the more productive he is in creating virtual worlds. Escapist imagination replaces visionary imagination. That’s what the entertainment industry is for. It stimulates people’s need to escape and offers them technical means and virtual contents that enhance escape from reality.
The solitary hopelessness and the world that has become a technically organized concentration camp condition a man to lose the ability to distinguish between the real and the virtual world. In fact, the more the real world is deprived of naturalness and humanity, the more the virtual world, in the creation of which a man participates without being aware of it, becomes a real world for a man. The virtual world becomes a spiritual drug. In it, a man finds compensation for deprived humanity and in that way falls into an ever deeper abyss of nothingness. Capitalism creates a virtual man. Man exists as a “man” in TV series and reality shows…
The capitalist propaganda machinery is based on inciting fear and hatred. It directs people’s dissatisfaction at the planted “enemies”. Their destruction becomes a fixation. The man is convinced that he will experience “liberation” if the set targets are destroyed. It is the ruling matrix of human manipulation, with new “dangers” being introduced into it, which have not only an earthly, but also a cosmic source. Stories about Satan, Freemasons, the deep state, aliens, demons, doomsday, etc., serve to cover up the real existential danger created by capitalism as a totalitarian order of destruction through a virtual sphere which is of a mystical character. Instead of pointing out the social processes that lead to the destruction of life, “superhuman forces” are being planted, which are of a frightening nature. The more dramatic the existential crisis created by capitalism, the richer the “invisible” world of mystical “forces” that “rule over people”. Everything is being done to destroy critical thought that can direct the oppressed to eradicate the causes of the destruction of life on Earth and create a humane world.
Man blindly believes in illusions because he is doomed to solitary hopelessness and is afraid of perishment. In an increasingly inhumane world, man is confronted with the painful truth that no one needs him and that no one will shed a tear on his deathbed. He mistakenly believes that other people deprive him of what he needs the most: respect and love. Despair over rejection breeds hatred for others. A man finds compensation for his own misfortune in another’s misfortune. The increasingly realistic possibility that humanity will be destroyed does not provoke the need to oppose destructive processes in people, but becomes a source of pathological pleasure.
The more horrible the everyday life, the greater the need for a man to escape from reality. In the imagination of the desperate, the illusory world becomes the real world. That’s what the current religions are based on. “Paradise” is a virtual world that exists in the minds of the unfortunate and frightened. They believe in the existence of a “heavenly world” and thus try to overcome the fear of death and disappearance. The creation of illusory worlds in capitalism is based on this principle. Just as priests encourage people to believe that they can experience “eternal bliss” in heaven, so modern mystifiers encourage people to believe that they can find a cure for their fears in virtual worlds.
The highest achievement of “freedom” in capitalism is that every man can, through increasingly perfect technical means, create his own virtual world and “live” in it. The less people have the opportunity to realize themselves as human beings in the real world, the more dedicated they are to trying to create a virtual world and escape into it. The most fatal consequence is that the virtual world they create is the product of their crippled humanity and appropriate imagination. What suits their degenerate personality appears in it. Ultimately, people flee to a virtual world that is an idealized projection of the real world from which they seek to escape. The virtual world does not inspire people to be human beings, but represents the final blow with which human dignity is destroyed.
The relation to reality is mediated by the ruling ideological sphere and technical means that prevent a man to see reality with his own eyes and to think with his own head. This is what the virtual reality industry is for. Its role is to blind and stupefy a person. Virtual worlds are not only a confrontation with the truth, but also a means of degenerating people as reasonable beings. They do not form a sovereign spiritual sphere, but are an organic part of the ruling ideological sphere. The protagonists of conspiracy theories are not “independent intellectuals” but fanatics of capitalism. The worst thing is that capitalistically degenerated life deprives man of the possibility to relate to the world in a reasonable way. The endless conveyer belt of consumer society is spinning faster and faster, and man is less and less able to pursue answers to the questions on which the survival of humanity depend.
Given the fact that capitalism has privatized the public sphere, it is not surprising that no one mentions common sense anymore – which is the original form of thinking based on a direct perception of reality. Despite the increasingly numerous obstacles that capitalism poses to humanity, man must once again rely on common sense and establish an active mental relationship toward reality. It is necessary for people to look at the world with their own eyes and to think with their own head – which should become a signpost in their lives. In the contemporary world, which is on the verge of an abyss, thinking with one’s head has become not only a basic libertarian, but also a basic existential principle.