Far-right politics has a standard script.
It goes like this:
A great evil stalks the land.
It’s a plot by a shadowy cabal.
Only a few of us have understood it.
A saviour is needed to rescue us from it.
He is justified in using any measure necessary to root it out.
In other words, conspiracy theories are not an emergent or exotic property of far-right politics. They are a foundational principle. You cannot persuade people to endorse or commit atrocities unless they believe absurdities.
The QAnon conspiracy theory is a classic of the genre.
It claims that a cabal of Democrats, celebrities, the Rothschilds, Bill Gates etc etc are abducting children, abusing and torturing them and extracting their blood. Only Donald Trump can rescue the world from this horror.
As @MoiraDonegan points out:
But it’s not the only one. The Plandemic theory also slots neatly into the script. It claims that Covid-19 was deliberately engineered and spread by a shadowy cabal seeking to profit from vaccines (also involving Bill Gates).
Every conspiracy theory appears to be a gateway drug for the next one. I’ve watched people lose interest in a false story only when another, more bizarre conspiracy theory comes along. In my experience, when people fall down this tunnel, they seldom return.
So it's grim to see people who were on the left falling for these stories, and gradually aligning themselves with the far-right movements that generated them. If you spread a conspiracy theory, you might think you’re sticking it to the Man. But you’re paving the way for him.

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More from @GeorgeMonbiot

2 Dec
A crucial step towards a kinder, greener world.
Anyone who cares about animal welfare, cares about pollution, deforestation, climate breakdown and human health should welcome it.
To those eating meat from animals, whose instinctive reaction is "yuck!":
Visit a broiler shed
an abbatoir
and a packing plant
and you'll see what yuck really looks like.
One day, when cultured meat is the norm, we will look back on the age when animals were reared and slaughtered to serve our appetites with horror and disgust.
Read 7 tweets
1 Dec
For years, the Russian and Syrian governments, their paid trolls and useful idiots on both the far right and the left have dominated the conversation about #Syria on social media. They have denied or justified Assad’s atrocities, and spread lurid conspiracy theories.
But now, thanks to the work of @chloehadj, @bellingcat and others, the tide is at last turning. There’s a palpable sense of panic among those who now find themselves exposed as atrocity deniers.
I’m sorry to say that, until recently, the left had failed dismally on this issue. Very few of us called out the lies and stood in solidarity with the Syrian people, as they've been murdered en masse and oppressed by the world’s bloodiest dictator. That's now changing
Read 6 tweets
1 Dec
The reality of Brexit is a deregulatory dystopia. It will bring no good to you or me, but will be of great benefit to the dirtiest companies and the most ruthless oligarchs.
The demand for Brexit arose from the Pollution Paradox:

The more damaging the enterprise, the more money it must spend on politics to ensure it’s not regulated out of existence. As a result, politics comes to be dominated by the most harmful companies and oligarchs.
This paradox now governs our politics. Understanding it is crucial to resisting it.
Read 5 tweets
30 Nov
This might sound strange, but I think we can judge the health of a public culture by what I call the Actor Index. This measures the proportion of featured interviews in the newspapers that are devoted to actors. The higher the proportion, the greater the trouble we’re in
Now I have nothing against actors. But, by definition, we value them for their ability to adopt someone else’s persona and speak someone else’s words. Fetishising actors reveals an obsession with images, rather than with the realities they obscure.
Guy Debord argued that “the spectacle” (the domination of social relationships by images) is used to justify the “dictatorship of modern economic production”. It disguises and supplants the realities of capitalism, changing our perceptions until we become “consumers of illusion”.
Read 9 tweets
28 Nov
A few thoughts about #competition.
1. Competition could be seen as the defining value of our times. It is the touchstone of conservative/radical right politics. Even formerly left parties now treat it as a holy virtue. But ...
2. ... when you look at what conservatives do, rather than what they say, you discover that competition is strictly bounded. Competition is good – as long as *we* win.
3. If they really believed in competition, they would immediately abolish both private education and inheritance. Everyone would start from the same position, and the people who are most adept at particular tasks would win.
Read 18 tweets
25 Nov
Brexit is the outcome of a civil war within capitalism. The stuff about foreigners and sovereignty and blue passports was just a smokescreen for some extremely determined economic interests. And we are mere collateral damage. My column:
"We will get out there and we will become incredibly successful because we will be insecure again. And insecurity is fantastic."
Peter Hargreaves (a billionaire who donated £3.2m to the Leave campaign).
The Pollution Paradox explains a lot about the state we're in:

The more damaging the enterprise, the more money it must spend on politics to ensure it’s not regulated out of existence. As a result, politics comes to be dominated by the most harmful companies and oligarchs.
Read 4 tweets

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