Sunday, January 31, 2010

Conspiracy Theory Aaronovitch Voodo Histories

NPR reviewed Aaronovitch, Voodoo Histories: The Role of the of the Conspiracy Theory. He shows that many people believe in conspiracy theories but are not "wackos." And many of the conspiracy theories have influenced history--In the 1920's the Protocols of the Elders of Zions was popular. The Times of London had an strongly positive introduction to this, but a year later found the evidence to debunk this.

Mr. Aaronovitch also said that a significant portion of the educated Pakistani's believe 9/11 was a hoax put on by the Bush Administration. A former President of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad, was in favor of this and said that if the country could make Avatar, they could create this conspiracy theory. The Wikipedia article on 9/11 Conspiracy Theories is very helpful on this subject.

I will put his book on my list of books to review for a Thoughtful Thursday post.

Obviously, one must be concerned about any democracy whether it be participatory of otherwise, when people believe things that are not true. However, I have found no evidence that a participatory democracy would be more affected than a conventional one where demagogues could whip up the frenzy.

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