Modern Conspiracy: The Importance of Being Paranoid.pdf

Modern Conspiracy: The Importance of Being Paranoid.pdf


While conspiracy theory is often characterized in terms of the collapse of objectivity and Enlightenment reason, Modern Conspiracy traces the important role of conspiracy in the formation of the modern world: the scientific revolution, social contract theory, political sovereignty, religious paranoia and mass communication media. Rather than see in conspiratorial thinking the imminent death of Enlightenment reason, and a regression to a new Dark Age, Modern Conspiracy suggests that many characteristic features of conspiracies tap very deeply into the history of the Enlightenment itself: among other things, its vociferous critique of established authorities, and a conception of political sovereignty fuelled by fear of counter-plots. Perhaps, ultimately, what conspiracy theory affords us is a renewed opportunity to reflect on our very relationship to the truth itself.

This intellectually challenging yet humor-filled treatment of "conspiracy theory" reveals the hidden complicity between the theorists and their debunkers-including us and the authors themselves. No solutions are offered, but we learn to see these theories as inevitable and not always regrettable products of the Enlightenment's Cartesian principle by which modern people try, against ever greater odds, to think for themselves. -- Eric Gans, Distinguished Professor of French and Francophone Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, USA This opulently researched book is probably the only one you need to read on this topic. The authors prescribe humor, which they exercise tellingly throughout, as an antidote to the paranoia of conspiracy theorists and their symmetrically grim debunkers. -- Andrew McKenna, Professor of French Language and Literature, Loyola University Chicago, USA A beautifully accessible and persuasive survey of the field of conspiracy-theorising and debunking. -- William A Johnsen, Professor of English, Michigan State University, USA, and editor of Studies in Violence, Mimesis, and Culture

Emma A. Jane is Senior Lecturer in the School of the Arts and Media at the University of New South Wales, Australia. Chris Fleming is Senior Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Communication Art, the University of Western Sydney, Australia.

Acknowledgements Introduction - Running Dogs and the 'Rightness' of Conspiracy Chapter One: Powerful Secrets Chapter Two: Impossible Things Chapter Three: A Short History of an Epistemic Ambience Chapter Four: Pleasures, Sorrows, and Doubling Chapter Five: Cultural Ramifications and Reflections Chapter Six: Conspiracy and Theory Conclusion: Where to Now? References Index


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