Menu Search
HISTORY, POLITICAL THEORY, INTERNET

Author Archives: Andrew McKenzie-McHarg

The Miami Conference

“It’s hard to question a category and measure with it at the same time” – it was in these terms that my colleague Alfred attempted to explain one of the many rifts running through a recent conference on conspiracy theories. Since the 1980s conspiracy theories have been discovered as a topic worthy of serious academic […]

3 April 2015
The Poisoned Chalice of Counter-Revolutionary Conspiracy Theory
The Poisoned Chalice of Counter-Revolutionary Conspiracy Theory

Reflections on the lecture given on 10 June, 2014 by Prof. Samuel Moyn (Columbia): “Is Democracy Conspiratorial?” In the research literature one often comes across the statement that every conspiracy theory contains a grain of truth. Indeed, one finds the statement repeated so often that it has taken on the trappings of a tired platitude. […]

19 June 2014
Hunting for Conspiracy Theories, Part Two
Hunting for Conspiracy Theories, Part Two

I finished the previous blog with two questions: if we go hunting for conspiracy theories, where should we look? And what are the actual beasts we can expect to encounter? In some ways, what follows is therefore a first stab at some kind of taxonomy of conspiracy theories. It is undoubtedly possible to build such […]

27 June 2013
Hunting for Conspiracy Theories, Part One
Hunting for Conspiracy Theories, Part One

In the draft version of their paper which circulated on the internet and was simply titled “Conspiracy Theories,” the American legal scholars Cass Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule surveyed the field of research and in light of this came to a simple quantitative conclusion: “The academic literature on conspiracy theories is thin …” In much of […]

17 June 2013
Reflections on Alfred’s Reflections on Hofstadter’s Reflections
Reflections on Alfred’s Reflections on Hofstadter’s Reflections

Actually “reflections” might be the wrong word in Hofstadter’s case. What he delivered in his essay, which we discussed in our last meeting, was a diagnosis. Of course, Hofstadter was careful here. He states clearly in his essay that he is not talking about paranoia in a literal sense and that furthermore the “diagnosis” he […]

7 June 2013
The Conspiracy Theory of Society, the Paranoid Style and Conspiracy Theories

In invoking the term “conspiracy theory” to describe a central concern of this project, we are in actual fact latching onto what has simply become the most popular label for designating this phenomenon. In the twentieth century, scholars, in most cases working more or less independently of each other, came up with many other terms […]

14 May 2013