New York City activist

October 12, 2007

The recent growth of anti-Illuminism: Dreadful ideology about the dreaded Illuminati

In both the antiwar movement and the 9/11 Truth movement here in New York City, I’ve often run into people talking about “the Illuminati.” In the antiwar movement, I haven’t yet run into this in any official statements by any leaders or groups, but I’ve run into it a lot in informal conversation at anti-war rallies and at informal gatherings in restaurants after meetings. In the 9/11 Truth movement, on the other hand, a few of the major leaders and groups officially promulgate an ideology which has no official name, but which I will refer to as anti-Illuminism.

Anti-Illuminism is sometimes referred to, by its opponents, as “Illuminati conspiracy theory,” a term I don’t like because of the frequent propagandistic use of the term “conspiracy theory” to lump together truly wacky conspiratorial claims, such as Henry Ford’s The International Jew and David Icke’s claims about the Queen of England being an alien lizard, together with more reasonable theories about possible government wrongdoing, thereby discrediting the more realistic theories.

So, I’ve chosen instead to resurrect the late-1700’s word “anti-Illuminism.” (For some history of that word, see the Amazon customer review of The Politics of Unreason: Right Wing Extremism in America, 1790 1977 by Seymour Martin Lipset; Conspiracy Nation‘s review of Architects of Fear by eorge Johnson, reviewed by Brian Francis Redman; this page of Constructing Postmodernism by Brian McHale; and The Anti-democratic Movement by Paul de Armond.)

Based on what I’ve looked at so far, I’ve not yet found any good evidence that the Illuminati still exist, let alone that they secretly control the world. Most of the “evidence” I’ve seen so far has revolved mainly around various organizations’ use of particular symbols, as if the different groups couldn’t just be stealing ideas from each other, or perhaps using the same symbols to mean different things.

I also have big problems with many of the political beliefs and aims that typically accompany – and follow naturally from – belief in “the Illuminati.”
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September 30, 2007

Are you a paleoconservative? Find out!

Are you a paleoconservative? You might be a paleoconservative without knowing it. Many paleoconservatives, especially within the 9/11 Truth movement apparently, are unaware that their political stance has a name.

Some paleoconservatives think of themselves as “neither left nor right,” because they agree with the left about some things, such as the war in Iraq and the Bush administration’s attacks on constitutional rights, while they agree with the right about other things, such as income tax.

Some youthful paleoconservatives like to believe not only that they themselves are “neither left nor right,” but also that “left” and “right” are nothing but artificial constructs set up by the powers-that-be as some sort of deliberate top-down scheme to divide people and distract people from the alleged “real issues,” whereas these young folks fancy that they themselves have broken out of the “Matrix” and found the Real Truth. Of course, young folks are always omniscient…. As far as I can tell, most of these kids have delved into the history (or, at least, the alleged history) of secret societies but not the history of political movements or the history of political thought. But I digress.

The term “paleoconservative” was coined and adopted by conservatives who opposed the neoconservatives. Far from being “neither left nor right,” paleoconservatives can arguably claim to be more genuinely conservative than neocons like Bush and Cheney.

So, what is paleoconservativism, exactly?
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September 29, 2007

The 9/11 Truth movement needs a more visible, better organized left wing!

If indeed a cabal within the U.S. government orchestrated or was at least somehow complicit in the 9/11 attacks, this shouldn’t be just a left wing issue or a right wing issue. It should be a matter of concern to all Americans, regardless of our political views on other matters. A healthy 9/11 Truth movement should include people and groups with a wide range of opinions about this country’s problems in general and how they might be solved, and who disagree on many different issues, yet who are able and willing to work together on the few goals we can all agree on: (1) finding the real perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks and bringing them to justice, and (2) opposing the things that 9/11 has been used as an excuse for, namely the wars, torture, imperialism, the attacks on civil liberties, and the attacks on the constitutional separation of powers. And indeed the 9/11 Truth movement does include people of many different political persuasions, including quite a few left wingers.

But the 9/11 Truth movement today is dominated by several flavors of paleoconservative ideology. For example, I’ve seen a lot more support for Ron Paul than for Dennis Kucinich. There’s also a lot of focus on the Federal Reserve System an important concern in its own right, but probably of only marginal relevance to 9/11, unless you happen to believe in an ideology which blames all or most of the world’s ills on a conspiracy of the big bankers. (I’ll be writing more about this later. For now, see my blog entry on Some of the rhetoric against the Federal Reserve System.) There’s also a lot of talk about that bugaboo of the religious right wing, the “New World Order.” Also the 9/11 Truth movement has attracted more than its share of global warming deniers (e.g. Alex Jones), Holocaust deniers, and outright Jew-haters (e.g. Eric Hufschmid, Christopher Bollyn, and American Free Press). As far as I can tell, only a small minority of people in the 9/11 Truth movement agree with the Jew-haters, but they are a highly visible minority, some of whose writings and videos are referenced in the better-known videos such as Loose Change and even 9/11 Mysteries.
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September 28, 2007

Richard W. Behan’s “War on Terror” article, Mikkelina’s blog, and income tax

Thanks to Mikkeluna’s thoughts for calling attention to The Mega-Lie Called the “War on Terror”: A Masterpiece of Propaganda by Richard W. Behan, AlterNet, September 27, 2007. This article contains a concise history of Bush’s and Cheney’s pre-9/11 plans to invade both Afghanistan and Iraq, for which 9/11 then provided a convenient excuse.

“Mikkelina’s thoughts” is a blog here on WordPress which contains posts in support of the 9/11 Truth movement. I was glad to see that it also contains posts that appear to be somewhat left-leaning, including When will the American people yell: ENOUGH!, in which Mikkelina endorses Michael Moore’s call for universal healthcare, and Governor Schwarzenegger: Sie sollten sich schämen!
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