One thought on “Thursday’s stuff!

  1. I looked at “REPORT (PCIS-006) Conspiracy Theory Endorsement by Media Viewership: Sixth report in the Paranormal & Conspiratorial Ideation Study (PCIS).”

    This is a strange survey. Authors seem to want to make the case that the U.S. left-wing believes just as many conspiracies as the U.S. right-wing. But the statements in their survey aren’t parallel.

    Statements like the US government being controlled by “Israel/Jews” or “a group of Satan-worshipping pedophiles” are more classic conspiracy theories (because they imagine a secret cabal) and, as this survey finds, these are more commonly endorsed by the right-wing.

    Whereas the left-wing, presented with the question of whether racism and sexism exists because of “the way the Founders of the United States set things up,” said yes. But saying there is structural racism/sexism — even if it exists in part because of the way the Constitution is written — doesn’t seem to be the same kind of classic “conspiracy theory.” No one questions whether the Founders or the Constitution really existed, and the racism/sexism in early American history (by commission and omission) is obvious. The survey question seems intended to ask something like: what kind of value judgment do you make, where do you place blame, how significant was its impact, and is that impact still felt today? I see that there are qualifiers like “ONLY [x privileged group] can be TRULY free and successful,” but I think most people answering the survey would tend not to worry too much about those qualifiers, and instead they would treat the question as if it asked more simply “do you believe structural racism/sexism exists to some significant degree”?

    If that’s how they interpret the question, it’s much different than alleging that a secret group of imaginary Jews is pulling the strings behind the scenes. It’s the difference between asking “where does racism/sexism come from and how does it operate?” and “do you believe in malicious leprechauns?”

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