Friday, September 08, 2006

A Paranoid Fringe?

A recent Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll of 1,010 Americans found that 36 percent suspect the U.S. government promoted the attacks or intentionally sat on its hands. Sixteen percent believe explosives brought down the towers. Twelve percent believe a cruise missile hit the Pentagon. -source

We imagine conspiracy theorists to be a tiny fraction of the population, but it is rarely a reliable truth. Today, vast swathes of the Middle East perhaps the oldest conspiracy, that Jews murder gentile children for use in their religious ceremonies. Americans overwhelmingly suspect that the official version of JFK's assassination is false. Societies have repeatedly been able to self-deceive in a manner which should make us wary of the power of any majority.


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