New York City activist

October 14, 2007

Chip Berlet and “Conspiracism”

Chip Berlet is a leftist writer who opposes the 9/11 Truth movement. In my opinion, he raises valid objections to what he calls “conspiracism” (which he distinguishes from the kinds of conspiracies that are actually likely to exist). But he wrongly classifies, as full-blown “conspiracism,” the idea that 9/11 was an inside job. Thus he echoes what seems to be a key propaganda ploy on the part of those covering up major crimes by high-level people within the U.S. government, namely lumping the evidence for such crimes together with some truly wacky (and truly dangerous) ideas to create the stereotype of the nutty “conspiracy theorist.” Berlet also, apparently, either ignores or has not yet looked at some of the better evidence for government complicity in the attacks of 9/11. On the other hand, I also think that what Berlet calls “conspiracism” is a genuine and dangerous trap which too many people in both the 9/11 Truth movement and the anti-war movement have fallen into, and it would be wise to pay attention to critiques of same.

September 26, 2007

Some of the rhetoric against the Federal Reserve System

In the right wing anti-establishment alternative media, there’s a lot of focus on the Federal Reserve System as the alleged root of many of this country’s ills.

I’m inclined to agree that the Federal Reserve System puts too much power in the hands of bankers and that that’s probably a bad idea. However, some of the anti-Fed rhetoric I’ve been reading lately strikes me as greatly exaggerated.

It is alleged by some people that the Federal Reserve System is, in reality, nothing but a private banking cartel, “as federal as Federal Express.” (See, for example, JFK vs. The Federal Reserve by Anthony Wayne and Proof of the Banking Conspiracy: A Message from the Past by Randy Lavello.) Some have alleged, further, that the Fed’s sole real purpose is to make money for the banks by putting the government and all the rest of us deeper and deeper in debt. And it is alleged that at least some of the big bankers, in order to maintain their deadly grip via the Fed, are the main conspirators behind various crimes such as the JFK assassination, 9/11, etc.

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