9/11: Conspiracists Harm Libertarian Activism

“The popularity of conspiracy theories is explained by people’s desire to believe that there is some group of folks who know what they’re doing” –Damon Knight

Yesterday, Rick Rajter posted a long piece that focused heavily on 9/11 conspiracy theories and unanswered questions that hadn’t been covered by the mainstream press. Now, I’m not going to argue with Rick on what’s true or not (I personally believe 9/11 was more likely due to government incompetence to stop an attack than to say they were so damn clever to pull it off, but that’s me).

In fact, I’m not going to refute any of Rick’s claims, for one reason: it’s a waste of time.

One of the best speakers on the matter of activism, conservative Morton C. Blackwell, said:

No activist can work in the public policy process for long without running across one or more conspiracy theories.

Since at least 1960, conspiracy theories which relate to politics have circulated widely. Such theories trap many otherwise smart people into years of inactivity, pessimism, and despair. The phenomenon is so common that it should be understood because it affects so many people who have leadership potential.

[…]Some of these conspiracy theories were so poorly presented and illiterate as to be obviously ludicrous. Others included staggering amounts of careful documentation of the links among the supposed conspirators.

Thousands of people who were fully committed to solid conservative principles spent much of their time studying, even memorizing, conspiracy theories. Rather than working to win political battles, they devoted themselves to “proving” conspiracy theories.

It’s almost impossible to argue successfully with a deep-dyed conspiracy theorist. Those fully convinced of a conspiracy theory take any contradictory information as proof positive of just how clever the masters of the conspiracy are.

Many conservatives became so convinced of the overwhelming power and cleverness of one or more of these conspiracies that they sank into despair and virtually ceased political activity. After all, if one is faced with opposition so powerful and so clever that defeat is inevitable, why bother to do anything about it except to complain?

There are hundreds of real and legit examples of government corruption, failure and ineptitude that I don’t have to reach for theories to get people mad. I can flip through the Sunday paper and have my fill of outrage. Our product is common sense and outrage over news that can’t be refuted. When we tread into conspiracy theory, no matter how plausible, we immediately lose a lot of people who would otherwise listen to us. This hurts us two-fold because those conspiracy buffs demand immediate conversion to their “truth” and instead of spending their time converting people with things they might care about, they beat the listener in a torrent of information that they will immediately dismiss as crazy.

So instead of libertarians focusing on theories and unanswered questions to past events people have already made their minds up on, doesn’t it make better sense to flood our attention to the issues of today that people are concerned about?

We do want people to listen to us, don’t we?

29 Comments
  1. Stephen – you are right, it would be stupid for the LP to inform others of important pieces of information in fear of scaring them off. But then again, I don’t see the LP doing that. In fact, I don’t see them doing shit about anything.

    This website is not officially affiliated with the LP as far as I know.

  2. This website is not officially affiliated with the LP as far as I know.

    No, but what I said doesn’t extend to the LP. What we are trying to accomplish here is filling the information and community void that the LP can’t or won’t. While we may want to debate conspiracies, I think small “L” libertarians (us and this site) who want to introduce alternative policies and candidates should stick to more mainstream issues and not tread heavily into conspiracy theories.

    Like I said, there’s enough government fodder to get folks outraged at without grasping at straws like this.

  3. I stand corrected, and I agree that the whole 9/11 thing scares people off. I think the best way to get people’s attention is to publicize that link you posted about the old lady being tackled, guns stolen, and dragged out of her home. That PISSES ME OFF to no end. Now THAT is an opportunity for the LP. They should be using that in a commercial.

  4. I still contend that this is not a fringe issue and that it is of importance to many. Based on a zogby poll
    http://www.zogby.com/search/ReadNews.dbm?ID=855

    -half (49.3%) of New York City residents and 41% of New York citizens overall say that some of our leaders “knew in advance that attacks were planned on or around September 11, 2001, and that they consciously failed to act,”

    -The charge found very high support among adults under 30 (62.8%), African-Americans (62.5%), Hispanics (60.1%), Asians (59.4%), and “Born Again” Evangelical Christians (47.9%).

    -two in three (66%) New Yorkers (and 56.2% overall) called for another full investigation of the “still unanswered questions”

    so I think it may scare some off, but others might be quite interested to at least resolve these issues once and for all.

    and since neither the dems or repubs want to step up to the plate (except for Mckinney), this could be an opportunity to at least get the questions addressed and get some results.

    Pipe dream or not, to say that nobody cares about the holes in 9/11 is untrue.

    Now I’ve talked to Stephen a bunch, and I know we both adamantly support our positions, so there is no need for infighting. And we certainly have enough fodder from our dipshit leaders to keep us busy with the light stuff rather than focusing on the deep underlying corruption.

    That is where Stephen and I differ. Stephen is more pragmatic and I while I like know pragmatic solutions are more sellable, I try my best, but am a purist at heart.

    Either way, I look forward to discussing all issues and getting the truth out.

    cheers

  5. Doug, I would ask you to show me a de facto independent demolitions expert (and I mean expert, not some web page with pictures and theory) who’s willing to stake his reputation on that. Because that was the shoddiest “controlled demolition” I have ever seen, with the debris from both towers falling all over the buildings next to them.

    I would ask you to do that, but I think this is a complete waste of time.

    I tell you what, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt here, maybe you have all the facts… but the reality is you’re not going to be able to do dick about it unless you can get some people elected who would investigate it properly. And by focusing all your energy on chasing your own tail, you destroy any possibility of that.

    Awesome, thanks!

  6. If there is 1 unanswered question, conspiracy is unwarranted. Our government is accountable to us. Period.

    Conspiracy or no…. funny the mainstream media has announced that more and more people are asking for more information regarding 9/11.

    Stephen, I don’t think the current administration is as inept as you believe. Sure Bush is more like the missing link as opposed to the christ (read sorcerer) boy people make him to be. However there are quite a few people behind the scenes and in the shadows who are quite intelligent and well connected.

  7. This kind of out-of-hand dismissal is understandable, but in this case it’s misguided. Evidence indicating the complicity of a SMALL NUMBER of US officials is overwhelming. Through compartmentalization and automation, they could and did bring off the seemingly impossible.

    The official theory is a conspiracy theory too. The attacks could not have been accomplished by one person, so by definition, a conspiracy occurred. The question is, which theory is best supported by the available evidence.

    Absurd theories abound on the web, serving to discourage intelligent people from looking into the issue at all. But the prevalence of low-quality information doesn’t mean there isn’t a core of solid, damning information.

    The website mentioned in the original article and copied here is the most sober and concise on the web. See also Griffin’s stunning “9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions.”

    Libertarians who really want change owe it themselves to evaluate the evidence.

  8. Sometimes Libertarians have to ask the questions that no one else will.

    All I know for sure about 9/11 is that the government has deliberately hidden the truth. How do I know that? Because that’s what they do.

    Evidently many Americans share my conspiratorial view (at least according to some stupid poll): http://edition.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/showbiz.tonight/

    Do you agree with Charlie Sheen that the U.S. government covered up the real events of the 9/11 attacks?

    Yes 81% 19844 votes

    No 19% 4547 votes

    Total: 24391 votes

    This QuickVote is not scientific and reflects the opinions of only those Internet users who have chosen to participate. The results cannot be assumed to represent the opinions of Internet users in general, nor the public as a whole. The QuickVote sponsor is not responsible for content, functionality or the opinions expressed therein.

  9. I would also ask that if and when you convince person X that version Y of the events of 9/11 happened, what then? There is plenty of ongoing unnecessary death (US military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq) and unjust imprisonment (Guantanamo Bay) occuring on an ongoing basis. Get motivated about the present and the future.

  10. WTC-7 was not struck by a plane, was 350 fett from the nearest tower, had a few small fires, yet it also imploded on 9/11. The last structural engineer to qustion all of this was promptly fired!

    Please do more research on 9/11 truth!!!

  11. Rick is obviously better informed and more realistic than you Stephen.Im begging you, just do a little bit of research.Join us here in reality……..

  12. This issue is more important today and more relevant considering all that 9-11 has been used by are goverment to justify. Waste of time? Since when is the pursuit of truth and justice a waste of time? We owe the victims of this horrible crime nothing less.

  13. Your writeup and a few comments frame the issue as ‘is 9/11 a good thing for libertarians to be talking about?’ As soon as you take this perspective, you display yourself as someone with a ‘what’s in it for me’ guiding principle. Granted, that’s kindof what libertarianism is about, but as someone who has voted for libertarian presidential candidates in the past few elections, I wish you would shed this perspective. 9/11 is an important debate for all of us.

  14. “Those fully convinced of a conspiracy theory take any contradictory information as proof positive of just how clever the masters of the conspiracy are.”

    This is one of the biggest bullshit wave-of-hand dismissals that is frequently used by lazy people who do not want to be bothered by the truth. I’ve never seen a ‘conspiracy theorist’ actually USE that argument: it’s a strawman distraction.

    See this and shudder:

    http://www.911revisited.com/video.html

  15. I think looking into what really happened on 9/11 is timely, because Bush et al continually use 9/11 to justify their current behavior.

  16. I can’t believe the end point of this article – IF the 9/11 Truth Movement is correct, and the Bush administration is GUILTY of conspriring to murder 3,000 people on 9/11, we are better off to “let it go” and focus on current problems?

    What friggin’ planet are you people on?

  17. Attended Webster Tarpley, and journalist Barrie Zwicker events in seattle 31-1st. There is a of of interest since Sheen comments. Maybe because he reaches the mainstream better on a gut level, or just because some of the people need to hear it from a popular star they relate to. Tarpley said, “ONLY [!] 9-11 Truth will stop the war!”
    more events everywhere! The truth is the truth, even if we don’t want to hear it or believe it. and that’s how these neoCONS rule: BY fear, BY terror! OUR fear. FEAR NOT ! (we are only spirits in a material world) – get a grip America! Hugo Chavez, reopen911.org’s Jimmy Walter, and William Rodriguez (last man out of the towers)to launch an international investigation into the truth of 9-11: http://infowars.com/articles/sept11/venezuela_launch_international_911_investigation.htm
    read up and learn about the new world order and its coming efeects on you: illuminati-news.com

  18. Please check out rbnlive.com. It is SOOO much more truthful than MSM. Here’s who I listen to:
    Frank Whalen – RBNLIvE at 6am (starts at 4am) ALL PST
    derry Brownfield (country slant) Rbnlive.com AND gcnlive.com.
    Alex Jones – infowars.com 9-noon.
    greg szymanski rbn 12-2
    2pm-4p, John Stadmiller, founder of rbnlive.com
    4pm-5pm Michael Collins Piper rbnlive
    6pm Rick Adams RBN
    8pm Dr. Stan Monteith – rbn
    10PM Jeff rense (HUGE resource for breaking stories at rense.com)
    refeeds.
    Officer [“Officer friendly” program) Jack McLamb on RBN Sat 10am
    Webster Tarpley on Sat 1-3 pm
    American Forum w/Karen Kwiatkowski 3-5pm
    Erskine on gcnlive.com Sat nite late night
    And go see mujca.com (Muslims Uniting with Jews and Christian Alliance.

    this makes for a lot of info, but then if you begin somewhere, and get interested in saving your own and others skin, you’ll likely become part of the info war.

  19. A bunch of kooks I fear. I’ve read the rubbish from the conspiracy crowd. But conspiracies are like god. People believe because they want to in spite of evidence. I’ve yet to see anyone explain the hundreds of phone calls from on the planes, from the towers, from bystanders. All verified the generally accepted view. People on the planes saw the hijackers. We have recordings of much of what went down. And we had thousands of missing people who all disappeared at the same time.

  20. Not talking about 9/11 hurts Libertarians. Some of you people need to get your head out of the sand. WTC Building 7 was not hit with a plane and was on the other side of the WTC Towers but yet it mysteriously clapped. WTC lease holder Larry Silverstein admitted that WTC 7 was “pulled” which is an industry term for a controlled demolition.

    Our government lies to us on a dailey basis. The IRS, the Federal Reserve, Social Security, Pearl Harbor, the Kennedy assassignation, The Gulf Of Tonkin, the sinking of the USS Liberty, Iran-Contra, Iraq War I, Ruby Ridge, Waco, Iraq War II, etc… ALL ARE/WERE FILLED WITH GOVERNMENT LIES! Did factions within our government carry out the 9/11 attack? Of course they did.

  21. Good points, anon y moun. Why WOULDN’T Bin Laden want to hit us? Christ, he’s only got globalism, the spread of corrupt American popculture throughout the world, the US funding of Palestinian-killing Israel as good reasons (and that’s just a FEW of them) to want our asses destroyed. It makes perfect sense: we hit them, they hit back. I’ve been saying for months now that there IS NO CONSPIRACY. Its all out in the open and Alex Jones (when he isn’t flat out lying) isn’t exposing anything that can’t be found during a quick read through publications like the Jewish Tribal Review. And Andy, you got PROOF of all those claims (did you research?), or are you content to let Jeff Rense and David Icke TELL YOU HOW TO THINK? Just because the aren’t part of the EVIL (or so I’m told) government-media complex doesn’t make them Honest Abes. Hell, I’ve seen InformationClearingHouse outright make up news reports out of thin air, one claiming that Israel conducted air-raids on New Jersey.

%d bloggers like this: