The Internet is a beautiful thing, most will argue that it is probably the most substantial technological advancement humanity has experienced since the automobile. The ability to communicate and disseminate information at such rapid rates has made our society more aware, more educated and regrettably more paranoid.

I am talking about the emergence of conspiracy theories that seem to dominate our political landscape now more than ever. I have pondered much on the reasoning behind this rapid development and attribute the Internet as the catalyst. Still, the propensity for a human being to lean towards a conspiracy is still somewhat of a mystery to me and something I would like to explore.

My first stipulation is that human nature since the beginning of time has gravitated towards explanations of events that are of a certain magnitude and significance. Ever since early man discovered the wrath of mother nature and without any scientific explanation was forced to turn to religion as the only meaningful explanation. Imagine a group of neanderthals returning from a difficult hunting trip, when one of them suddenly is struck by lightening. If that does not leave an impression on Ugbuk and Zugzug nothing will. Imagine if they discovered on his charred remains some meat he carved off their kill and was planning to steal it! They might logically attribute his untimely death to punishment.

As of now there are several dominant theories that are swirling about the Internet, we will gloss over three of them. They are in no particular order:
  • 9/11 Truthers
  • Fed run by international bankers/NWO/Illuminati crowd
  • Obama is not a natural born citizen, Manchurian candidate folks.

Continuing with the analogy of our lovable neanderthals, each theory, like I believe ALL theories, start with a traumatizing, larger than life event.

9/11 was of course a shocking moment to all Americans. Not since Pearl Harbor (also riddled with conspiracy theories) has there been such an infraction upon American soil. Unlike Pearl Harbor, most had no idea that we even had enemies let alone what al-Qaeda was. The human mind scrambled to find answers. Focus turned on the US government and a vulnerable president Bush whom many refused to accept as their president. Implicated for wanting to finish his father's job, the Bush administration was blamed for orchestrating one of the most complex and ingenious events in our nation's history. This is of course quite ironic, because these very sample people believe our government is inept and cannot do anything right. Go figure.

The Fed has been mired in conspiracy theories ever since it's creation and the general principle has been around for about 60+ or so years. Concentrating on a more modern trigger, the economic meltdown of 2008 caught many by surprise. The speed at which the American and now global economy unraveled and melted down was a rude awakening to most Americans. Of course this meltdown benefited a shady network of international bankers that orchestrate major meltdowns and laugh mercilessly as they stuff their pockets with profits. This particular theory has it's roots stemming from Nazi Germany when Hitler believed that the Jews were running all of the world's finances and were manipulating liquidity in order to engineer wars. Remarkably, this theory is alive and kicking.

Lastly, the impending realization of Obama's victory gave birth to another conspiracy theory. Largely fueled by research done by Andy Martin and James Corsi, Phil Berg's lawsuit case challenging Obama's birth certificate started to catch attention right before the general election. I too got caught in the frenzy and there is a good reason for it. A large group of people could not believe that a man of such dubious past and such few accomplishments could possibly be our next president. This is analogous to a climactic disaster unfolding in front of one's eyes and many turned to explanations that made sense to them. In fact the only reason I resisted being completely sucked into this feel-good pile of kaka, was an accidental discovery that Phil Berg attempted to sue Bush for orchestrating 9/11!

So what is the deal? Enter Occam's razor. A simple idea where the explanation of any event/crisis/phenomenon should make as few assumptions as possible. Let's keep it simple, shall we?

Occam's razor: 9/11 was caused by a group of very wealthy and extremist muslims.

Occam's razor: The Fed was created by liberals (Wilson), enforced by liberals (FDR) and is a bastard child of centralized government. It is a semi-private entity that attempts and often fails to prevent the business cycle from wreaking havoc upon society.

Occam's razor: Finally, Obama is an extremely eloquent and charming man who ran at the right time in the right place. Any democrat would have and should have won in 2008 and he did.

But the human mind refuses to follow the path of the razor. Some events are too tragic, too significant and do not neatly fit into what we believe the answer should be. My theory is that many conspiracy theorists are probably of the agnostic variety. I can sympathize for I have left my beliefs at the tender age of 12. Yet there remains a lingering desire to believe in something bigger. Life is a wonder and science has not and might not be able to provide us all the answers we need. Coincidences, destiny and random events can sometimes bewilder even the staunchest of atheists. This is where the mind of an unbeliever is at it's most vulnerable state. A major event like the aforementioned can put tremendous stress and pressure on a fragile and wounded mind. To complicate matters, the search for answers is often strained by inaccessible information (ie JFK), inconsistent explanations (Fed), answers that defy current understanding (missing airplane parts) or simply a refusal to accept a fact due to it's simplicty. Without a religious and supernatural safety net, the onus is one the individual to procure the explanation to what ails them and that is sometimes an almost impossible task.

Interestingly enough, there is a wrinkle in my theory that I will acknowledge. One of the most religious areas of the world suffers from the highest affliction of conspiracy theories. This is the Arab world, a largely muslim and deeply religious world. They still believe that everything is hinged on a vast Zionist conspiracy, Jews drink blood and that the USA is driven by imperialist desires to colonize them. Most likely 90% of that logic stems from the ignorance of the general populace and the deliberate anti-semitism injected into them by their despotic governments and biased media sources. Still, it is worthy to acknowledge that no amount of faith prevents the Arabs from contriving the most twisted of explanation for their afflictions.

So take off that hat, stop making it so hard for yourself and if you absolutely must believe in something there are plenty of religions that are eager to newcomers and converts!

"It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.” - M. Rothbard