When I was a child, I was steeped in the philosophies of conspiracy theorists. I’m not complaining about that – not at all. My various parental figures – all of whom I still love dearly – instilled in me the seeds for healthy criticism, skepticism, and distrust. That is a plant that can quickly become overgrown and dangerous, but when cultivated well, it makes for a very useful herb.
However, at some point in my adulthood, I began to ask a question, “Who, exactly, are ‘they?'” And its sister question, “How?” Once I tried looking for specifics, I realized that I was sorely at a loss*. I’ll take “the media” as an example. We blame “the media” for so much (and I think it deserves it – sort of) but if the media has an agenda, what is it? An agenda would imply an intelligent design, which would mean that there would have to be a specific mind behind it – whose mind? Who owns what? Who took whom into their confidence (because an agenda would require collaboration between bosses [and who are those bosses] – unless it was all owned and operated by ONE person)? And for what (just what is the agenda)? You see, it’s easy to pin something on “the media” until you start to ask specific questions. Finding the answers to those questions requires gaining a better – and even intimate – understanding of just exactly how the media works, who owns what, and how each and every role is played. Once you start doing that, you start to realize just how complex “the media” is, and therefore just how many people would have to be “in on it” when pushing some kind of specific agenda. In the end, I think “the media’s” agenda is to make money through entertainment. What I was so concerned about was a vague, vaporous concept, an idea, a notion. It wasn’t a person, or even a specific group of persons. It was a boogyman. When you try to give the boogyman a name more specific than “the media,” “the government,” or even “the elite” you may find your task a bit more difficult than you expected. Try giving your boogyman a face, and you may watch him disappear altogether. Government, religious institutions, education, media – all of these things tend to have boogymen attached to them. These are things that tend to come with a lot of fears, angers, notions of injustice or conspiracy, and many other sentiments attached to them.
Who is your boogyman? I challenge you to study it, to give it exact dates, exact names and faces, and figure out exactly how and why you think it affects you. It may disappear. It may morph into something else. At the very least, you’ll understand it better and have a better ability to share what you know with others.
*I do still believe in those conspiracies to some small degree, but not in the same way that I used to. I still believe in government corruption, but I don’t know what that looks like, and I no longer care. This post is not actually about politics or conspiracies, but about thought processes and understanding.