Thursday, February 22, 2007

Here's A Hopeless Task

A Buzzflash contributor asks the 9-11 Truthers to join the "legions of the left".

Can we persuade conspiracy buffs to drop their 9/11 speculations and join forces with the legions of the left? It would certainly be advantageous to have them by our side as we struggle to defeat our common foes on the right.

This is something that I have to admit I did not understand adequately when I started blogging on 9-11. The notion that all or even most Deniers are leftists is wrong. Some are certainly of the left, and certainly they bitterly gripe about the "Lefty Gatekeepers" enough to make it clear that they think that their natural allies are on the left.

But a very large number of "Truthers" don't fit comfortably on the right/left line, which is one reason why there are virtually no Democrats or Republicans who support the 9-11 Denial Movement. Alex Jones is so far right I'd almost call him a survivalist. Dylan Avery certainly appears to be a little lefty, but Jason Bermas, his colleague, is well to the opposite side of the spectrum. These nuances can be tough to pick up in all the Bush-bashing that the Deniers engage in, but certainly if you listen to Bermas and Avery talk about Global Warming, for example, it's not hard to figure out that their political orientations are quite different.

And this is just plain laughable:

These conspiracy theorists are usually very bright, but they have an emotional weak spot. They reacted to the events of 9/11 with a sense of helplessness and powerlessness, which generated anxiety and fear in them. Their emotional priority was to scramble for safety, which they found in the world of fantasy. In self-deception, they developed a conspiracy fiction that they soon transformed into non-fiction and proclaimed to be absolute certainty. Religious fundamentalists, too, use rigid beliefs to develop certainty about the nature of the world. In both cases, the certainty doesn't have to be rational; all that matters is that the belief has a stabilizing, calming, or grounding effect, like that of nicotine or alcohol.

I think the idea that the CTers are usually "very" bright is laughable. I mean, they follow Alex Jones, who pronounces the word "naked" as "nekkid"! Jones is an old-fashioned populist in the Huey Long tradition. There are some intelligent Deniers, but polls have consistently shown that Truthiness goes down as education level goes up. If you compare the level of discourse at, say, the Looser Forum to the JREF forum, it's not hard to see the difference. Count the spelling errors, not even counting the ur for you're (or your), and you'll be appalled at any notion that CTers are bright.

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At 23 February, 2007 00:08, Blogger ConsDemo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 23 February, 2007 03:52, Blogger ewing2001 said...

"9/11 Disruption Movement" in Arizona found ExoW! (Brainling Remix)

At 23 February, 2007 04:21, Blogger ConsDemo said...

The author is apparently trying the win the kooks over with persuasion, thus he doesn't want to diss them too much. I suspect most CTers, to the extent they have a coherent set of beliefs (and many don't) are probably more left than right only because the target of their wrath is Bush. When Bill Clinton was President, most of the CTs came from the right and if and when Hillary takes over, I suspect that will be the case again.

Michaelson is certainly spot on that conspiracies are essentially intellectual copouts although he treats their motivation with kid gloves. If someone truly believes these ludicrous conspiracy theories then they aren't motivated by a "scramble for safety" rather it is an outflow of their hate for America.

As for the "very bright" comment, I agree with Pat that is giving them more credit than they deserve. Many may be book smart, but I have to wonder about anyone's basic intelligence if they see conspiracies under every rock and behind every tree.

At 23 February, 2007 06:03, Blogger Pepik said...

I often wonder, if 9/11 had been 9/11/1999, wouldn't much more of the right been drawn to troof?

I think the people who are in it for the money like Alex Jones might try to appeal to as broad an audience as possible, but mostly they end up on the right.

I don't agree with the security blanket thing. What it so comforting about thinking the government is out to get you? I think it is more about people who just want to feel they are smarter than everyone else, that they are somehow important, something they otherwise wouldn't have much opportunity to experience.

At 23 February, 2007 06:06, Blogger troy said...

I've always felt that these people are losers who have found an excuse for being lthe losers that they are.

"It's not my fault I'm a loser, the governments bringing me down."

Kind of like how some black people want to blame whitey for their inadequacies.

At 23 February, 2007 06:20, Blogger texasjack said...

"I often wonder, if 9/11 had been 9/11/1999, wouldn't much more of the right been drawn to troof?"

I don't think 911 is a Right/Left issue, rather I believe it is an extremist/uneducated issue. I think you will find some of the extremists who are educated, and many of the uneducated are High School students. The difference is that as the education level of High Schoolers rises, I feel you will see more of them drop out of the conspiracy side, while those older extremists and those who remain uneducated will be lifers.

At 23 February, 2007 06:28, Blogger 911_truthiness said...

If you had to put a number on it I would say about 60 to 70% are left of center, with another 25% or so the populous leaning to the right types. Then you have a small portion who are your general "All Purpose" kook, you can't figure out where they stand, if it's nuts they are into it.

As a liberal I hate the term "Left" because it denotes support for socialist ideas, something I see as conservative as it gets. Socialist have no respect for the individual, it's all for the great masses. Free the person and you will free the people I say.

As for being bright I have noticed most of these people do tend to read a lot and most are better writers and spellers then I, but they lack the ability to filter the information they "eat". Note the volume of the post these guys create, as if the quantity of information is more important then the quality of the concepts.

True intelligence is not only inputting information but knowing when to discount useless and wrong info. Especially in this day and age where you are bombarded with ideas and concepts and where most of it is pure bullshit.

At 23 February, 2007 06:34, Blogger Swing Dangler said...

which is one reason why there are virtually no Democrats or Republicans who support the 9-11 Denial Movement.

Well to classify this statment, you should have inserted the world publically supported the 9/11 movement.

Two, how many people are truly aware of the lingering questions regarding 9/11? How well has the MSM, which most people aimlessly follow addressed these questions in a fair and balanced manner?

Of course it has nothing to do with educational levels, it has everything to do with the reasons there are conspiracies. Overtime, I would argue that number will grow do to greater exposure of the questions and anaomalies regarding 9/11.

Case in point, how many people thought there was a conspiracy behind JFK's death in 1963, 64, etc?
Now look at the numbers. After years of exposure,..." Forty years later, suspicions of a conspiracy endure: Seven in 10 Americans think the assassination of John F. Kennedy was the result of a plot, not the act of a lone killer — and a bare majority thinks that plot included a second shooter on Dealey Plaza.

Overtime and through repeated exposure, the numbers surrouding 9/11 will increase.

I will agree about AJ, though, he does appear to be a survivalist at heart, albeit in a nice house I would imagine.

However using spelling errors/aka typos to discredit one blog and to garner support for JREF is the classic style over substance fallacy being used yet again.

Checkout for a great analysis on how conspiracies begin and then thrive.

At 23 February, 2007 07:18, Blogger CHF said...


They're border-line retarded.

No the Left doesn't need these people on their side. In fact no one does.

The great thing about 9/11 Twoof is that it has caused the idiots in our society to stand up and annouce their idiocy.

It's sort of like racism: I prefer people to annouce their racism rather than hide behind some "hey man, I have friends who are black" bullshit.

Let them gather and continue to make idiots of themselves. Bringing any of them "on side" will only drag down one's position.

At 23 February, 2007 09:33, Blogger Alex said...

I must say I'm surprised that the majority of 'truthers' would be left-leaning, because certainly those espousing the theories in public seem to me exclusively to belong to the far right. Could somebody provide examples of left-leaning commentators who are 'truthers'?

At 23 February, 2007 14:11, Blogger shawn said...

Could somebody provide examples of left-leaning commentators who are 'truthers'?

I think it was Cockburn who said that half of his readership probably buys into the conspiracy fantasies, and his publication is of the far-left variety.

I see the Truth movement as having far-right leaders with a mass of followers of mostly the far-left (which makes it fascinating and why I keep coming back). Everyone who I've personally come across who at one point believed in the "Truth" was a leftie, and very anti-Bush. It's total truthiness - they hate Bush and they want the inside job to be true that they just take it on faith.

In fact, things like Holocaust denial and Jew hatred have migrated over to the far-left because of their, to put it lightly, dislike of Israel. In fact, whenever I go to Counterpunch I see the book "The Case Against Israel" on the sidebar.

At 23 February, 2007 14:19, Blogger Alex said...

FYI, that "Alex" isn't me. He's either an impostor, or just someone who happens to use the same display name. Either way, I'm quite aware that the majority of the twoof movement is composed of left-leaning (politically, not physically) individuals. Pat's right though, they don't break down very well by political affiliations. They've got kooks of all stripes.

At 23 February, 2007 16:38, Blogger Alex said...

I am just a different Alex. Alex V based in London.

My reading of it is that if believers of these CT fantasies really are left-leaning, then they need educating exactly on the background of the websites they are reading and the videos they are watching. Because almost all of those, as far as I can see, come out of the far-right. It's certainly a crazy situation if lefties are reading the pronouncements of the far-right and believing them to come from the left, if u know what I mean.

One of the problems is that it's often hard to research the background to the truthers. For example I have no idea of Alex Jones background at all. This blog has been useful for filling in some of the gaps on ppl like Steven Jones. But more needs to be done on that.

At 23 February, 2007 17:41, Blogger Alex said...

Strangely enough, I'm an Alex V also, but not from London. I'll just call you Alex L instead :)

You're right, most of the truly woowoo conspiracy sights belong to ultra-right wing lunatics. The kind of people who would make even Pat Roberts embarrassed. But the rank-and-file of the movement, along with most of their film-makers, are "liberal" college kids and people who were originally opposed to Bush, and now believe he's the anti-Christ. It's pretty unusual, at least in my experience, to run into a right-wing twoofer in person. You see 'em on the net, but I've yet to meet one on the streets.

At 23 February, 2007 18:49, Blogger ConsDemo said...

David Ray Griffin is quoted as believing in world government, which would suggest he comes from the left. Jim Fetzer also espouses many left-wing views. As someone noted, Alex Jones is far right populist but far right populists seem to hate private enterprise and by default expect the same government they hate to regulate or abolish businesses they don't like. Jones is also intellectually dishonest, he wants to "seal the borders" but then he rails against the "police state", which doesn't exist but would need to exist if we were to truly "seal the borders". He would have been an easy Klan member in the '50s if he isn't one today.

At 24 February, 2007 08:49, Blogger 911_truthiness said...

....Overtime and through repeated exposure, the nmbers surrouding 9/11 will increase. ...

And will that make it true? They will be just as wrong as the people who believe in a JFK grassy knoll plot. Popular does not make it true.

But there are all sorts of things the great masses are worong about, Roswell UFOs, astrology, altrnative medicine, That Sudam had something to do with 911,
You don't determine facts by a show of hands.


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