Gottschall argues that conspiratorial thinking “is not limited to the stupid, the ignorant, or the crazy. It is a reflex of the storytelling mind’s compulsive need for meaningful experience.” He goes on to make the compelling point that ultimately, conspiracy theories are used to explain why bad things happen. He writes, “To the conspiratorial mind, shit never just happens,” and the complexities of human life are reduced to produce theories that are “always consoling in their simplicity.”
His conclusion about conspiracy thinking on the societal level reflects some of the exact same problems at the personal and relational levels. Gottschall writes that for conspiracy theorists, “bad things do not happen because of a wildly complex swirl of abstract historical and social variables. They happen because bad men live to stalk our happiness. And you can fight, and possibly even defeat, bad men. If you can read the hidden story.”
I used to believe there’s a hidden story, and that bad men are stalking our happiness, or something like that. Seems I used to believe the hidden story needed told, so I spent all day on reddit, forums and such to tell it. Now I believe that story is harmful, and that people desperately need an alternative.
When it’s said “The State (of …) has issued a warrant for …”, or “The State (of …) is charging … with …”, why do so many fail to ask to speak with the claimant, The State (of …)? Did you come to believe The State (of …) is someTHING, such a so-called collective noun, or even just an idea, instead of what someONE answers to, like a so-called title? If so, how? What you read or heard?
Could it be that The State (of …) is the only one with firsthand knowledge of who, or what, is being charged? I’ve heard the “sovereign citizen”/”freeman” types claim the name is being charged, but how can anyone prove that? If a representative claims it’s ‘you’, not the name, being charged, could it be wise to ask if what they’re saying is based on firsthand knowledge?
When it’s said “Verizon says you owe …”, why not ask to speak with the claimant, Verizon? Did you come to believe there’s nobody answering to that sound, in the same way you came to believe those things about The State (of …)?
If you agreed to pay someone, please do so. If someone says ‘you’ owe Santa Clause could it be wise to ask “is it mine to give?” I hear some believe The Federal Reserve or The Treasury claims to own all the currency in circulation. How might any prove owning anything, or prove anything at all, for that matter? If you can’t prove what you’re claiming, and what you say will be used against you, could it be wise to use phrases like “I believe …” and “I was told …”?