The Power of Unreason
Conspiracy theories, extremism, and counter-terrorism
Jamie Bartlett and Carl Miller
29 August 2010
A Demos publication
This paper is posted on Wikispooks as a good example of the power of "The Official Narrative" - otherwise known as the "Santa Claus and The Tooth Fairy syndrome of the masses."
In company with all mainstream analysis - Left, Right and all points in between - the fundamental assumption underlying this paper is that the motives and consequent agendas of society's Elites are benign. That is to say, that they are in service to the common good of the mass of the population - or rather that the interests of the mass of the population and the State are, almost by definition, coincident. It is an unstated assumption; unstated because it is in fact an unwritten article of faith which cannot be questioned without jeopardizing ones aspirations to career, rank, position and place in society. To question it is a taboo in modern Western so-called democracies; a taboo that can be raised only as a means of ridiculing or demonizing its questioners as mad, bad or treasonous.
And so it is with this paper. Its authors, Jamie Bartlett and Carl Miller, clearly have academic ambitions to further. They conclude that the Security Services should be more open (ie less secret), as though the fundamental tenets of espionage can somehow be made more palatable. In doing so they will no doubt be indulgently applauded and criticised in equal measure by the the arbiters of the State's secrets. After all it is proof, is it not, of our society's openness to 'free-speech' and uncomfortable criticisms - even if the criticism is 'wrong'?
The possibility that the pathological secrecy, not only of our Security Services, but of all departments and agencies of the State concerned with foreign affairs and "Security", might have something to do with defense of the indefensible - in furtherance of agendas which the mass of the population might be less than enamored with - is neither explored nor explorable. The 'Official Narrative' is sacrosanct and must be defended at any cost.
After all Daddy always knows best; Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy are very real and will not like it if you don't believe in them - The only problem with the analogy being a total absence of corresponding altruism-in-the-telling on the part of our Lords, Masters and Betters.
Think of the hundreds of thousands of dead and wounded foot-soldiers in the trenches of the First World War, in pursuit of the 'Official Narrative' agendas of THEIR Lords, Masters and Betters. Then think about the REAL reasons for our latter-day interference in Iraq and Afghanistan (and anywhere else that declines to see things the US/UK/NATO way), with their 1.5 million dead, 4 million plus homeless/refugees - and counting - a country (Iraq - the cradle of civilisation) looted of all its historic treasures; its entire infrastructure destroyed, and reduced to factional civil war by those claiming to be its liberators.
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