A common feature of political discourse in contemporary Europe – or even globally – is no longer thematic debate, but rather the fading and exclusion of issues. With the existence of numerous social media platforms, the establishment in power no longer succeeds in fully occupying all available communication channels in totality, which is why it defines topic areas that are stamped as quasi-esoteric, and to which – in concerted action – every unwelcome deviation from the mainstream narrative is attributed.
This conspiracy against the spirit of freedom of opinion, viewed from its intention, operates with the concept of the so-called „conspiracy theory”. In order to stigmatise certain views that the establishment dislikes as insubordinate, a kind of media psychiatry is deployed to accuse dissenters of the establishment´s narratives of a delusional mental disorder beyond any reality.
Synchronised Announcements Create Mistrust
Even though in a complex reality, different situations with regards to the spread of information are assumed to exist. It is precisely for this reason that a discourse makes sense. Today, even interpretations of conceivable connections between undeniable facts are already being unscrupulously labelled as „conspiracy theories”, not worthy of discourse if they sceptically touch the synchronised announcements of those in power.
Just think, for example, of Bill Gates, whose multiple financial involvement in the health industry qua natura allows just as many different opinions on the potentially resulting developments. A democratic and free society must be able to discuss such phenomena in public and in a transparent manner according to logical principles to discover the truth – or at least to recognise the highest probability of the contested issues in question. If instead, however, the establishment dictates more or less only given “facts” claimed as obvious, and labels contradiction pejoratively as „conspiracy theories”, then it is precisely that mistrust which justifies the presence of „conspiracy theories”.
Freedom of Opinion Does Not Tolerate Restrictions
German Professor Max Otte recently pointed out that what is called a “conspiracy theory” today was formerly considered critical social science. Undoubtedly, not every suspicion of conspiracy leads to a coherent theory. Still, for all those who do not consciously devote themselves to a selective perception in a hermetically sealed bubble and ignoring contradictory views, attributions such as being a “social critic“, “correlation researcher” or “interpretation theorist” are far more accurate labels than “conspiracy theorist”.
Another question that arises is to what extent one can know about conspiracies at all, especially when a scenario occurs in which they are accurate? Machiavelli already wrote about what we know label conspiracy theories. He assumed that although many are considered, only a few remain undiscovered, or are predicted successfully, because of the large number of people involved and the length of time that would be required. What is crucial, however, is that regardless of the respective personal stance, the principle of freedom of opinion does not ask where the boundaries between scepticism, criticism or even absurdity lie, but grants free speech on a level playing field.
Sascha A. Roßmüller