Repost from 2019, and includes links from much earlier. I may comment further, but there's already enough here to keep people busy for a few days.
Well, this got out of hand. I thought I had written about conspiracy and paranoia a fair bit, but after reviewing the search bar results, I wonder if I have written about anything else. I gave up. I may have missed the best ones. Here is the original, 70th-most popular post that kicked it all off. As it concerns Lee Harvey Oswald and the KGB, it is likely that some of the traffic was driven by people search about the topic, not my friends and other sites telling everyone what a great post AVI had today. I wrote about that aspect at least one more time. Okay, two.
What has been more usual for me is writing that paranoia and belief in conspiracy theories precede an actual formed theory or focus. We do not become paranoid because of our experiences. We interpret our experiences in a paranoid way after developing the tendency. (I am willing to discuss this in the context of people under tyrannies if someone wants to go there. I think that is somewhat, but not entirely different.) I did find some posts about that. Categories of Paranoia, Conspiracy and Blue Hats, Paranoia FYI'
The principle applies even when it is mild paranoia or mere suspiciousness. Distributed power. Suspicion and the Liberal Mind. Yet if people really believed even that much, wouldn't they take up arms? Or leave the country? No, that pretend paranoia is merely there for signalling, a Poetic essence.
Ted Goretzel talks about who believes in conspiracy theories. It can include PhD's. I discussed why it is hard to convince people Conspiracy theories are unlikely and unnecessary.They are too easy. The truth is harder to fix.
The object of Paranoia can change over time. You can ascribe your troubles to different conspiracies. (Yes, she has now included the Jews.) There are whole lots of these theories, pick one. Sometimes they actually are ture: Journolist. People try to create conspiracies all the time, but the more people you have, the quicker it is going to become public. Daily Kos noticed that George Bush quietly changed a law in 2007 so that he could declare martial law in 2009 and not step down.
Does our style of paranoia choose our politics for us, rather than the other way around? Does the mechanism for accepting blame and responsibility in our brains break before the paranoia? Do fiction or film increase our vulnerability to paranoia or belief in conspiracies?
I'm sure I've said other brilliant things elsewhere, but this is already well more than enough.