#1223 How and why conspiracy theories infiltrate our politics

Air Date: 10–30-2018
Today we take a look at the phenomenon of conspiracy theories from several different angles including psychology, political necessity and some of the conspiracies de jour.


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Ch. 1: Stephan Lewandowsky on the mind of a conspiracy theorist - Point of Inquiry - Air Date 6-3-13

Stephan Lewandowsky talks about his recent study: NASA Faked the Moon Landings, Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science.

Ch. 2: Steven Novella from The Skeptics Guide to the Universe explains conspiracy theories - You are not so smart - Air Date 3-26-15

Neurologist and host of The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe Steven Novella discusses the psychology and neuroscience behind conspiracy theories and conspiracy theorists.

Ch. 3: Eric Oliver on how intuition and reason divide our politics - Inquiring Minds - Air Date 8-27-18

We talk to political scientist Eric Oliver about the surprisingly high percentage of people who believe in conspiracy theories and the reasons behind those beliefs. His forthcoming book is Enchanted America: How Intuition and Reason Divide Our Politics.

Ch. 4: THE MIDTERMS MINUTE: 4 Things You Can Do Before Election Day & Toss Up Gubernatorial Races! - Best of the Left Activism

Take action! Click the title and/or scroll down for quick links and resources from this segment.

Ch. 5: Scott Crow on understanding conspiracy narratives required for fascist thinking - Revolutionary Left Radio - Air Date 2-19-18

Scott Crow explains why the rise of progressive-left movements are always countered by a rise in right-wing conspiracy theories and why fascism downright requires conspiracies to survive.

Ch. 6: Kevin Roose on the Strange Case of QAnon - The Daily - Air Date 8-2-18

How did an outlandish conspiracy theory born on the fringes of the internet end up in the spotlight at a rally for President Trump? Guest: Kevin Roose, who writes about technology for The New York Times.



Ch. 7: Sticking with the litmus test - Elizabeth from Virginia

Ch. 8: Success story for political change - Jordan from Minneapolis, MN


Ch. 9: Final comments on strategy and theories of change




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Showing 1 reaction

  • Anna Aufill
    commented 2018-10-30 13:07:59 -0400
    My comment is about chapter 3 with Eric Oliver on how intuition and reason divide our politics – Inquiring Minds – Air Date 8-27-18.

    I don’t at all agree with this idea of dividing the country into 2 parts based on the worldview described. It is misguided to divide everyone into 2 camps: “rationalists” (positive) and those who rely on their “intuition” (negative). Intuition can be thought of “the voice in your head”, which can be an intrinsic guiding principle of what is truly moral, just and right (truth and beauty). Intuition and emotion are considered part of the female principle, which is historically linked with mythology, mystery, spirituality and the heart and this principle gives great meaning to life.
    So it is like the person making this argument is reiterating male principles (rationality) against female principles (intuition and emotion), which is really an outdated way of thinking about the world. He is continuing to pit the two against one another.

    What IS balanced is for humans to use both parts of themselves in an integrated way of seeing the world (think yin & yang). A person can be rational, emotional and intuitive. Humans love symbolism and metaphor and they can give life meaning and magic. Strict “rational” thinking can cause many atrocities that we’ve seen in the world. What is “rational” can vary greatly from person to person, but it makes me think of linear thinking and a “dominator model” as opposed to the “partnership model” of society that was described by Riane Eisler.

    I think that people feel they lack control of their situation in the world and they feel a bit hopeless or disorientated, and that’s why conspiracy theories are thriving. They are attached to an ideology or a way of thinking and sadly they don’t believe that facts should disrupt their worldview in any way.
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