The eventual popularity of every decent conspiracy theory may be
reliably predicted by measuring the breadth and width of the initial
presumption. It is not good enough to allege that Humpty-Dumpty was
pushed. That Humpty-Dumpty was pushed must be presumed. The question
is, “Who did it?”
Don’t get me wrong. There have been some colossal conspiracies. For
generations, men of both good and ill will (and it has been, for
the most part, men) have organized secret societies, tongs, lodges and
caucuses to topple regimes, improve education, enslave millions,
eliminate war and poverty, etc. The only thing which these conspiracies
have in common is that, for the most part, they have failed.
One reason for the remarkable failures of so many cabals is, as John
Perry Barlow puts it, “Information wants to be free.” Most
conspiracies, like crime in general, come to light not as the result of
diligent investigation, but because an insider blows the whistle. Why?
Because conspiracies must deal with the human element — the
sinful human element. The very sinful nature that makes
conspiracies dangerous, invariably leads to their unraveling.
Of course, I am at a distinct disadvantage here. I can point to
countless exposed secrets and failed conspiracies. I cannot, however,
prove the negative. “What about the successful conspiracies, the ones
we have not uncovered?” As Jack Kemp said during the “trust but
verify” debate in Congress, “We have never found anything that the
Soviets have successfully hidden.” Hmmm.
I can, however, point to dozens of examples of conspiracies that came
tumbling down because somebody talked, bragged, switched sides,
double-crossed, rose above, or sank below their fellows. Sinful human
Rush Limbaugh has come under fire — most recently by Sam Blumenfeld
in the Oct. 8, 1999 edition of WorldNetDaily — for painting conspiracy
buffs with a broad brush, failing to distinguish between the serious
scholars and the, shall we say, reality challenged.
Blumenfeld heaps praise on Limbaugh for his “… perceptive and
humorous critiques … dissecting the stupidity and hypocrisy of
liberals.” Limbaugh’s disservice is, apparently, that he also lambastes
“those of us who believe in a world government conspiracy.”
We could dance around the central issue, but why bother? The issue is
not so much whether history is being subverted to serve evil, but rather
whether such subversion can ultimately be successful. The Manichaens
disagreed with the early Christians over this very issue. The
Christians argued that evil was a corruption of the good, for God had
made all things good. The Manichaens believed that evil had its own
existence and power, which warred against God. And history? Well, that
was a jump ball. Could go either way.
I subscribed to “World Affairs” once, the journal of the Council on
Foreign Relations, and I can tell you exactly how the CFR plans to take
over. They’re going to put us all to sleep by making us read “World
Affairs.” Once we’re all comatose, they can put little computer chips
in our brains that will make us eat tofu and vote for Donald Trump.
That’s their plan.
Our plan, on the other hand, is apparently to put ourselves to
sleep. What makes modern conspiracy buffs so, well … tiresome, is
that they are throwbacks to the old prophet Mani. Good might win
(probably not), but the Conspiracy has all the power, the wealth, the
banks, and the places of higher learning, not to mention Lakers season
tickets. And poor old us? We can’t beat them unless we read each
others’ books and enclose $25 to become a Sustaining Member.
Grant, for a moment, that Sam Blumenfeld is right … about Rush, I
mean. (Sam’s right about most everything else.) Rush is simply
responding to the chorus of criticism which he has routinely received
from those who can abide anything but the notion of victory, that faint
glimmer of hope flashing like lightning on the distant horizon. The
truth is that Rush has the audience he does, not in spite of his
positive worldview, but because of it. Good triumphs. What a concept.
Sure, “the kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take
counsel together against the Lord, and against his anointed,” but the
Second Psalm also says that “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh,
the Lord shall have them in derision.”
Are world governments conspiring to steal our life, liberty and
property? Of course they are! They’re run by people who chose
government as a career. What did you expect? But if they can’t deliver
the mail, balance a checkbook, or define the word “is,” why are we so
worried? In fact, one could make a very good case that government will
be the least of our problems in the new millennium.
The fact is that conspiracies in the modern era are no longer the
agents of change they once sought to be. At best, they are composed of
the living anachronisms of the old order, desperately seeking ways to
cling to the last vestiges of power which daily slip from their hands
into the indifferent fingers of billionaire computer nerds in tennis
Bureaucratic government itself, has become an anachronism, apparently
incapable of doing to the new online economy and media about the only
things government presumes to do well, intimidate, regulate and tax.
Even little WorldNetDaily made the IRS blink.
It’s a brave, new world, all right, but not the one Aldous Huxley had
in mind. The individual has been enormously empowered. We stand at the
threshold of an opportunity to expand prosperity and human freedom which
the Founding Fathers could not have imagined. All we lack is their
vision. Sure, let’s keep exposing the crimes and follies of the
corrupt oligarchy that imagines itself in control, but let’s not grant
them the presumed permanence which much modern day conspiracy theory
assumes as foundational.
Besides, it is entirely possible that Humpty-Dumpty had it coming.
Wayne C. Johnson is a veteran GOP media strategist based in