By Michael Barkun
What do alien craft believers, Christian millennialists, and right-wing conspiracy theorists have in universal? based on Michael Barkun during this interesting but anxious publication, quite a bit. it's popular that a few american citizens are captivated with conspiracies. The Kennedy assassination, the Oklahoma urban bombing, and the 2001 terrorist assaults have all generated difficult tales of hidden plots. what's some distance much less recognized is the level to which conspiracist worldviews have lately turn into associated in unusual and unpredictable methods with different "fringe" notions resembling a trust in UFOs, Nostradamus, and the Illuminati. Unraveling the extreme genealogies and diversifications of those more and more frequent rules, Barkun exhibits how this net of city legends has unfold between subcultures on the web and during mass media, how a brand new kind of conspiracy considering has lately arisen, and the way this phenomenon pertains to higher alterations in American tradition. This booklet, written by means of a number one professional at the topic, is the main finished and authoritative exam of up to date American conspiracism so far.
Barkun discusses quite a number material--involving inner-earth caves, executive black helicopters, alien abductions, mystery New global Order cabals, and lots more and plenty more--that few notice exists in our tradition. taking a look heavily on the manifestions of those principles in a variety of literature and resource fabric from non secular and political literature, to New Age and alien craft guides, to pop culture phenomena corresponding to The X-Files, and to web content, radio courses, and extra, Barkun unearths that the USA is within the throes of an unmatched interval of millennarian job. His ebook underscores the significance of knowing why this phenomenon is now spreading into extra mainstream segments of yank tradition.
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Extra resources for A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America (Comparative Studies in Religion and Society)
The suppressed knowledge category tends to absorb the others, because believers assume that when their own ideas about knowledge conflict with some orthodoxy, the forces of orthodoxy will necessarily try to perpetuate error out of selfinterest or some other evil motive. The consequence is to attribute all forms of knowledge stigmatization to the machinations of a conspiracy. Conspiracy theories therefore function both as a part of suppressed knowledge and as a basis for stigmatization. At one level, conspiracy theories are an example of suppressed knowledge, because those who believe in conspiracy theories are convinced that only they know the true manner in which power is held and decisions made.
Besides the sheer volume of material it can accommodate, the Internet is the first mass medium without gatekeepers. No intermediaries, such as editors, publishers, or producers, stand between the content provider and the distribution of the message. In addition, the creation and dissemination of content require only a modest financial investment. 7 One effect of the Internet is to obscure the distinction between mainstream and fringe sources; another is to bind together individuals who hold fringe views.
This term refers less to the possible falsity of knowledge claims (though they may indeed be false) than to the relation between certain claims and the so-called Establishment—the dominant institutions associated with the spread of European Christianity. Christianity, in the course of achieving cultural hegemony, suppressed or ignored bodies of belief deemed to be irrelevant, erroneous, or outmoded. By the same token, those whose beliefs seem to conflict with dominant values sometimes choose to withdraw into subcultural undergrounds.
A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America (Comparative Studies in Religion and Society) by Michael Barkun