Critical Balance – How to Escape the Rabbit Hole: Real Conspiracies

Here is an another excerpt from our upcoming e-book for youth workers on critical thinking and conspiracy theories:

Karl Popper is one the most famous theorists that have dealt with the subject of conspiracies. According to him, people often get conspiracies wrong. It is not that conspiracies don’t happen – they do, all the time. Governments, corporations, secret societies, even individuals all have hidden agendas that they try to put into action by means fair and nefarious. This is beyond doubt. But how often do these conspiracies manage to achieve all their aims? “Everything goes according to plan” is a nice line for a movie villain to say, but does that ever happen in real life? Conspiracies have to compete with other conspiracies, unforeseen events, incompetence, stupidity, blind luck. The assassin takes the shot a split second too late and the target is out of sight. There is a traffic jam and the kidnapping victim doesn’t arrive at the ambush spot. One of the conspirators discusses the plan with his girlfriend, who happens to share everything with her aunt, and so on…

Actions have consequences, all our actions aim at creating the consequences we desire, but it is a mistake to believe that all consequences must have been intended by someone. Things do not happen because somebody has perfect control over events and made them be as they wished. Reality is a battlefield where competing intentions interact with each other and with pure chance, and the result is very far from anyone’s intentions. Some are more successful than others in reaching their goals, but no one is able to realise them completely.