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View Diary: Conspiracy theories: they're all in your heads! (95 comments)

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  •  I've been involved in large conspiracies (9+ / 0-)

    I realize this is conventional wisdom but it's simply not true.

    For a few years, I worked on Wall Street. Only actually on that street, but WS is considered in NYC the financial sector. My actual office was in mid town.

    Every single time an investment bank issues stocks and bonds for a corporation, many, many people have to get together to do that, and I was one of them (at a low level). Everyone has to be absolutely secret because the Securities Act requires it. Otherwise there might be insider trading. People engage in lawful secrecy of  hundreds of people every single day.

    Another example is that when I was a very young anti-apartheid activist, I was recruited to be an aid to the president and vice president of a big philanthropy on South Africa issues. They brought together South African government officials and ANC officials in various resorts in the US.

    This was illegal under South African law and hence a criminal conspiracy -- even if for a good cause.

    No one leaked the news -- although after about 1 year the NY Times found out about it, reported it, and that was the end of that.

    But the idea that a large group of people -- say 100-200 -- can't keep a secret is absurd. That's what professional discretion is all about. People are trained and socialized to understand and obey this norm, and I was one of them.

    •  This may be the most important comment in (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      this thread and deserves as much prominence as possible for its deep truth.

      Is it 'conspiracy theory' to allege that Nixon used conspirators like Anna Chennault to plant the suggestion with RVN President Thieu that Thieu should obstruct peace negotiations during 1968 so that he could get a better deal from a Nixon administration? If that's a 'conspiracy theory,' it's one that the historical record would seem to bear out, as Walt Rostow had the goods on Nixon via a secret wiretap but LBJ chose not to go public with Nixon's treason. (Rostow donated the results of the tap to the LBJ Library with instructions it not be made public for 50 years.)

      Speaking of Nixon, wasn't the Watergate coverup itself a grand conspiracy? According to what I've read here, we would be prohibited from discussing it.

      Kos policy doesn't seem to add up; I think we need a precise working definition of that which we're going to ban and why before speech is curtailed. Otherwise, 'conspiracy theory' becomes a convenient way to dismiss and cudgel those with whom you disagree because you disagree, not because their hypothesis is flawed or untestable.

    •  I thought I said there were (0+ / 0-)

      large conspiracies.


      I think I simply said that most were smaller...

      Re: "...will the American people notice, or are they dumb as sticks to quote the social historian Morris Berman who blames the culture for our problems." - don midwest. don, I'd like you to meet Woody and Twiggy. ☮ ♥ ☺

      by Words In Action on Wed May 22, 2013 at 09:04:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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