Conspiracy theories usually dramatize one of the problems of right-wing anti-statism, which is that the government is simultaneously held to be incompetent and menacingly competent. The Lone Gunmen here demonstrate the usual response to this, which is to split the government into two so that the incompatible critiques can be applied to the different elements (although this doesn’t actually solve the problem - if a shadow government was capable of conspiratorial rule, surely such a shadow government could also, in principle, run a universal healthcare system). The X-Files, though, puts an interestingly neoliberal twist on conspiracy theories. As becomes apparent, the shadow government is not all powerful, quite the opposite; the Syndicate is constantly on the defensive attempting to manage an alien conspiracy that spins wildly out of its control. In the last couple of seasons, the Syndicate is destroyed, and the villains instead become a decentralized body of conspirators whose purposes are completely opaque.
A sticker I saw on a lamppost in San Francisco yesterday.
a) I hope we really are about to see an exact replica of the 1917 Bolshevik revolution.
b) How do I get my hands on some of that sweet Illuminati cash?
I enjoy MSNBC’s conspiracy theory about how objections to the TSA are being manufactured by the right wing in order to promote hostility to the government. But they’re not thinking this all the way through; they need to get out the chalkboard and start following the connections. Who created the TSA? George Bush, that’s who. It’s not that the right are pretending to be annoyed at the TSA; rather, the right wing intentionally created a government agency the sole purpose of which is to annoy people.