Andy Thomas discusses his book The New Heretics: Understanding the Conspiracy Theories Polarizing the World.
(Stream / download audio at bottom of page)
Through their part in some huge controversies, conspiracy theorists are being branded the number one enemies of our times – the new heretics. They are seen to threaten the very fabric of modern society, spreading doubts and fears that result in Washington Capitol invasions, transmission mast burnings, or the spread of anti-vaccine material. Yet the theorists prefer to call themselves ‘truth seekers’ and see the mainstream establishment as the real disruptor, treating its increasingly harsh censorship as direct validation of their views.
In truth, the new heretics, whose numbers are swelling, are symptoms of a wider polarization splitting apart much of the world in ideological divisions. Many have lost trust in politicians and the media, while nuanced debate is crushed and information overload and manipulation breeds uncertainty, civil unrest, and mental health issues. How does the age old strategy of divide-and-rule play out in such an environment? Along the way we examine the links between 9/11 and the Covid Crisis, the role of technology in making matters even worse, and the potential outcomes if governments and media simply refuse to engage with those they view as dangerous fringe elements
Previous interview with Andy Thomas
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Thanks to you both for such a considered discussion on the nature of our polarised world.
It seem to take increasing amounts of personal strength to just pull away from the “black vs. white”, “yes/no” culture we are being forced into, before being able to get down to any vaguely neutral thought or debate. Congratulation on achieving that.
I dimly see a day not far off, when the concept of neutrality or objectivity might be seen as the greatest threat of all. These states might be seen as empty headed. I can also hear some folk claiming this kind of discussion as wasteful, particularly as for some people “The Enemy” is at last coming into view, it’s shape, it’s origin and direction of travel are at least confirmed in outline. Even if that were so, to mentally dig-in is to do the opponents work for them. Open and free discussion is what any tyranny is most vulnerable to.
The idea that an open mind is empty headed is partner to Greg’s conversation in which the younger correspondent could not understand the concept of the greater freedoms experienced decades ago. I have had similar conversations and can also see a time when people who experienced life before 2020 will be viewed as anarchic, chaotic, under developed people. To live before this cut off point will be to have existed before the time of salvation, being put on spiritual terms. Those who lived before will be seen as primitives, naïve savages and finally as barbarians.
Human society will be declared to have begun properly from the clarion call of Covid, the resurrection of humanity from the grave. All human achievement before this time will be neatly parcelled up to be intellectually abandoned. (See the Renaissance and Enlightenment for previous examples of the same).