CONSPIRACY NATION THE POLITICS OF PARANOIA IN POSTWAR AMERICA

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Conspiracy Nation

Author : Peter Knight
ISBN : 9780814747360
Genre : History
File Size : 89.55 MB
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Why are Americans today so fascinated by the X-Files? How did rumors emerge about the origins of the AIDS virus as a weapon of biowarfare? Why does the Kennedy assassination provoke heated debate nearly forty years after the fact, and what do we make of Hillary Clinton's accusation of a "vast right-wing conspiracy" against her husband? The origins of these ideas reveal important facets of American culture and politics. Placing conspiracy thinking at the center of American history, and challenging the knee-jerk dismissal of conspiratorial thought as deluded and sometimes dangerous, Conspiracy Nation provides a wide-ranging survey of conspiracy theories in contemporary America. In the 19th century, inflammatory rhetoric about slave revolts, the well-publicized specter of the black rapist, and the formation of the Ku Klux Klan all worked as conspiracy theories to legitimate an emerging sense of national consciousness based on an ideology of white supremacy. Today, panicked responses to increasing multiculturalism and globalization yield new notions of victimhood and new theories about conspiratorial plans for global domination. Offering up a provocative array of examples, ranging from alien abduction to the novels of DeLillo and Pynchon to Tupac Shakur's "paranoid style," Conspiracy Nation documents and unearths the workings of conspiracy in the contemporary moment. Their conclusions, sometimes startling and always compelling, have much to say about the nature of identity and anxiety, imagination and politics, and the state of the American psyche today. Contributors: Clare Birchall, Jack Bratich, Bridget Brown, Jodi Dean, Ingrid Walker Fields, Douglas Kellner, Peter Knight, Fran Mason, John A. McClure, Timothy Melley, Eithne Quinn, and Skip Willman.
Category: History

Conspiracy Culture

Author : Dr Peter Knight
ISBN : 9781135117238
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 80.11 MB
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Conspiracy theories are everywhere in post-war American culture. From postmodern novels to The X-Files and from gangsta rap to feminist polemic, there is a widespread suspicion that sinister forces are conspiring to take control of our national destiny, our minds, and even our bodies. Conspiracy explanations can no longer be dismissed as the paranoid delusions of far-right crackpots. Indeed, they have become a necessary response to a risky and increasingly globalized world, in which everything is connected but nothing adds up. Peter Knight provides an engaging and cogent analysis of the development of conspiracy culture, from 1960s' countercultural suspicions about the authorities to the 1990s, where a paranoid attitude is both routine and ironic. Conspiracy Culture analyses conspiracy narratives about familiar topics like the Kennedy assassination, alien abduction, body horror, AIDS, crack cocaine, the New World Order, as well as more unusual ones like the conspiracies of patriarchy and white supremacy. Conspiracy Culture shows how Americans have come to distrust not only the narratives of the authorities, but even the authority of narrative itself to explain What Is Really Going On. From the complexities of Thomas Pynchon's novels to the endless mysteries of The X-Files, Knight argues that contemporary conspiracy culture is marked by an infinite regress of suspicion. Trust no one, because we have met the enemy and it is us.
Category: Social Science

Conspiracy Films

Author : Barna William Donovan
ISBN : 9780786486151
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 57.18 MB
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"For many years, conspiracy theories have been among the most popular story elements in Hollywood films. According to the "conspiracy culture," Government, Big Business, the Church, even aliens are concealing some of the biggest secrets in American and world history. The work paints a vivid picture of the more prevalent conspiracy theories and the entertainment they have inspired"--Provided by publisher.
Category: Performing Arts

Conspiracy Theories In The Arab World

Author : Matthew Gray
ISBN : 9781136967504
Genre : History
File Size : 74.39 MB
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Conspiracy theories, while not unique to the Middle East, are a salient feature of the political discourses of the region. Strongly reflecting and impacting on state-society relations and indigenous impressions of the world beyond the region, they affect how political behaviour within and among the states of the region is situated, structured, and controlled. Discounting the common pathological explanation for conspiracism, the author argues that a complex mix of political factors account for most conspiracy theories in the contemporary Arab world. The author argues that the region’s modern history, genuine conspiracies, the complex and oftentimes strained relationship between state and society, the role of the state and the mass media as conspiracy theorists, and the impacts of new technologies have all helped to develop and sustain conspiracist narratives. Drawing on a range of examples and cases, including the impacts of globalization, economic reform, weak state legitimacy, the war in Iraq, the Arab-Israeli issue, the rise of political Islamism, and internet and satellite television, the book illuminates the complex sources of conspiracy theories. Providing a comprehensive overview of this controversial topic, this book will appeal not only to students and scholars interested in Middle East studies, political science, globalization and conspiracy theories, but to anyone seeking an understanding of the region’s complex economic, social, and cultural dynamics.
Category: History

Modern Conspiracy

Author : Emma A. Jane
ISBN : 9781623565893
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 51.17 MB
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While conspiracy theory is often characterized in terms of the collapse of objectivity and Enlightenment reason, Modern Conspiracy traces the important role of conspiracy in the formation of the modern world: the scientific revolution, social contract theory, political sovereignty, religious paranoia and mass communication media. Rather than seeing the imminent death of Enlightenment reason and a regression to a new Dark Age in conspiratorial thinking, Modern Conspiracy suggests that many characteristic features of conspiracies tap very deeply into the history of the Enlightenment: its vociferous critique of established authorities and a conception of political sovereignty fuelled by fear of counter-plots, for example. Perhaps, ultimately, conspiracy theory affords us a renewed opportunity to reflect on our very relationship to the truth itself.
Category: Philosophy

Rumor Mills

Author : Gary Alan Fine
ISBN : 0202368661
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 52.32 MB
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The goal of this volume is to explore the social and political dynamics of rumor and the related concept of urban or contemporary legend. These forms of communication often appear in tandem with social problems, including riots, racial or political violence, and social and economic upheavals. The volume emphasizes the connection of rumor to a set of social concerns from government corruption and corporate scandal, to racial, religious, and other prejudices. Central to the dialogue are issues of truth, belief, history, public policy, and evidence. Rumor has been recognized as one of the most important contributing factors to violence and discrimination. Yet, despite its significance in exacerbating social discord and mistrust, little systematic scholarly attention has been paid to the political origins and consequences of rumor. Rumor is defined as a proposition for belief that is not backed by secure standards of evidence. Rumor can be traditional or not, and can be expressed as a simple claim of fact. In both instances groups of claim-makers, operating out of their own interests and with a set of resources, attempt to depict reality, and if possible, impact the future. The need for this book is underscored by changing patterns of technology. What in the past was grounded in face- to-face interaction is now often found on the Internet, which is a major source of rumor. An appreciation of how new electronic forms of communication affect communal belief is essential for explicating rumor dynamics. The volume is comprehensive. Essays cover race and ethnicity, migration and globalization, corporate malfeasance, and state and government corruption. While editors and contributors well appreciate the dynamic nature of rumors and legends, the high quality of the effort make it evident that the issues that are raised and reoccur will serve to channel and inspire research in this major field of communications research for years to come. Gary Alan Fine is professor of sociology at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Veronique Campion-Vincent is a folklorist at the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, in Paris, France. Chip Heath is associate professor of organizational behavior in the Graduate School for Business at Stanford University in California. Each are accomplished authors and researchers--as are the participants in the volume itself.
Category: Literary Criticism

The Paranoid Style In American Politics

Author : Richard Hofstadter
ISBN : 9780307809681
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 87.68 MB
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This timely reissue of Richard Hofstadter's classic work on the fringe groups that influence American electoral politics offers an invaluable perspective on contemporary domestic affairs.In The Paranoid Style in American Politics, acclaimed historian Richard Hofstadter examines the competing forces in American political discourse and how fringe groups can influence — and derail — the larger agendas of a political party. He investigates the politics of the irrational, shedding light on how the behavior of individuals can seem out of proportion with actual political issues, and how such behavior impacts larger groups. With such other classic essays as “Free Silver and the Mind of 'Coin' Harvey” and “What Happened to the Antitrust Movement?, ” The Paranoid Style in American Politics remains both a seminal text of political history and a vital analysis of the ways in which political groups function in the United States. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Category: Political Science

Empire Of Conspiracy

Author : Timothy Melley
ISBN : UOM:39076002090939
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 49.57 MB
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Why, Timothy Melley asks, have paranoia and conspiracy theory become such prominent features of postwar American culture? In Empire of Conspiracy, Melley explores the recent growth of anxieties about thought-control, assassination, political indoctrination, stalking, surveillance, and corporate and government plots. At the heart of these developments, he believes, lies a widespread sense of crisis in the way Americans think about human autonomy and individuality. Nothing reveals this crisis more than the remarkably consistent form of expression that Melley calls "agency panic" -- an intense fear that individuals can be shaped or controlled by powerful external forces. Drawing on a broad range of forms that manifest this fear -- including fiction, film, television, sociology, political writing, self-help literature, and cultural theory -- Melley provides a new understanding of the relation between postwar American literature, popular culture, and cultural theory. Empire of Conspiracy offers insightful new readings of texts ranging from Joseph Heller's Catch-22 to the Unabomber "Maniffesto, " from Vance Packard's Hidden Persuaders to recent addition discourse, and from the "stalker" novels of Margaret Atwood and Diane Johnson to the conspiracy fictions of Thomas Pynchon, William Burroughs, Don DeLillo, and Kathy Acker. Throughout, Melley finds recurrent anxieties about the power of large organizations to control human beings. These fears, he contends, indicate the continuing appeal of a form of individualism that is no longer wholly accurate or useful, but that still underpins a national fantasy, of freedom from social control.
Category: Literary Criticism

Transnational America

Author : Russell Duncan
ISBN : 8772899581
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 56.91 MB
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This is an interdisciplinary analysis of the interaction between today's globalisation and Americanisation. Transnationalism involves a loosening of boundaries, a deterritorialisation of the nation-state, and higher degrees of interconnectedness among cultures and peoples across the globe. As people make transnational voyages and live lives of flexible citizenship in two or more cultures, they adhere to a new type of nationalism that creates an exclusionist discourse and builds the Other as conservative defenders of cruder territorial loyalties. This transnational solidarity -- a new communitarianism beyond the loyalties to any one place or ethnic group -- threatens the old order with its conceptions that assimilation and integration will remake the foreigner into a particular national citizen. The authors address the complex issues of globalisation, American mythology, Christian proselytising, modern slavery, conspiracy theory, apocalyptic terrorism, Vietnam stories, international feminism, changing gender roles, resurgent regionalism and the changing definitions of place.
Category: Political Science

Conspiracy Theories

Author : J. Byford
ISBN : 9780230349216
Genre : Psychology
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Through a series of specific questions that cut to the core of conspiracism as a global social and cultural phenomenon this book deconstructs the logic and rhetoric of conspiracy theories and analyses the broader social and psychological factors that contribute to their persistence in modern society.
Category: Psychology