Complotiste: a perverse concept from the start

This concept is perverse because it does the opposite of what it claims (notion of performative language): it destroys debate and reflection by claiming to favor them.
Indeed, the word tends to discredit any speech that questions orthodoxy, even when this speech does not mention a conspiracy: the ideas expressed would be due to the fertile or even somewhat paranoid imagination of their speaker.

The claimed purpose of the apostrophe “conspiracy” or “conspiracy” therefore displays the intention to hold a serious debate, rejecting fanciful ideas.
Now, as we will try to show, the effect produced by the word is exactly the opposite: the current reflection is quietly and surely destroyed by the apostrophe – and that is its usefulness.

A first indication of the perversity of the posture thus taken – often unconsciously – is that the qualification of conspiracy is regularly addressed to remarks which are based on official sources, such as communications from the Davos Forum for example. We are already there in the field of lies, that is to say that the person who uses the invective of conspiracy has knowledge of the activities of the Economic Forum
World, or that it reacts ‘rhetorically’ because of the disturbing nature of the information delivered.

The real malice of the company, however, lies elsewhere, in a defense mechanism
psychological condition known as denial, which consists of “pretending” a part of reality does not exist. From time to time, denial can affect each of us, in the event of sudden bereavement, for example, when we cannot believe in the disappearance of the loved one. But if this is prolonged unduly, one enters into pathology. A specialist in psychopaths thus evokes a serial killer whose house presented the spectacle of a
hovels, with the exception of the mother’s room, which was always ready, although the latter had long since died. In the present case, the denial relates to the existence of the conspiracies. Indeed, if we
claims to reject an idea on the grounds that it would imply a conspiracy, and this systematically without taking the trouble to rationally check the plausibility of the elements put forward in this sense, this amounts to acting as if the existence of conspiracies did not have to be taken into account, to somehow act as if they did not exist.

The word ‘conspiracy’ was invented to describe real phenomena. Without going as far as terrorist plots, anyone who has taken part in social life, particularly in large organizations, knows that plotting constitutes a basic activity of social functioning. Before a high-stakes meeting, it often happens that the
different groups represented consult in secret to defend their interests, displace or take power in the organization. The etymology confirms this description, it is the “pelota”, or spherical group of people, which is at the origin of the word, the prefix “cum” being added then. It is even clearer in English with the word
“plot”. The (serious and non-humorous) use of the concept of conspiracy therefore amounts to rejecting a fundamental human component out of reality. This type of massive lie is extremely effective in its discretion: it is not explicitly stated that conspiracies do not exist, nor that we should ever take them into account. At the same time, the implicit and quasi-psychiatric disqualification of the accused achieved by the use of the term ‘conspirator’ ensures the impossibility of any serious consideration of his contributions in a debate. The – perverse – psychopathological dimension of the use of such a term is therefore twofold: it stems both from intellectual dishonesty and from the deliberate hostile aggression of the speaker whom one wishes to eliminate from reflection.

One can then wonder about the origin of the implantation in the public debate of such a harmful mechanism. Could this be due to some initial conspiracy (sic) which would have succeeded in imposing itself “without the knowledge of the free will” of the actors of the media propaganda?

Assumptions circulate. We thus speak of the launch of the concept by the CIA to discredit certain lines of thought around the assassination of President Kennedy.

For my part, I found an older origin in a work by an interesting – but overrated, philosopher, if we are to believe Leo Strauss or Eric Vöglin –: Karl Popper. It is in the second volume of “The Open Society and Its Enemies”, in chapter 14, that Karl Popper denounces conspiracy theories. Rarely has a text bothered me so much by the fallacious aspect of the arguments. To cite just one echo of the basic denial described above, the author commits another, barely more subtle. While he does concede that conspiracies exist, he claims that what invalidates conspiracy theory is that conspiracies generally fail. However, there are at least two lies in this argument which clearly emerges from the “cauldron” logic dear to Freud: conspiracies do not fail ‘in
General’ and even if it did, that would not invalidate their denunciation. I remember a potentially enlightening anecdote: a journalist who wanted to interview Popper had made a point of finding out about the ‘great man’ before. He
thus met some contemporaries of the philosopher. Some confided to him that their colleague’s masterpiece should have been entitled: “the Open Society BY One of Its Enemies”.

Alberto Zagury, Clinical Psychologist

Complotiste: a perverse concept from the start – Le Salon Beige