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What Makes a Political Conspiracy?

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posted on Apr, 3 2006 @ 10:15 PM
Majic defined political conspiracy as being necessarily illegal.

I take exception to that definition. IMO - the best conspiracies work within the letter of the law. They may be immoral, unethical and underhanded - but they are, strictly speaking, legal. That's why they work. And hence the phrase:

"It's not a conspiracy, just good business."

For example, Gools recently posted a link to the latest 'business conspiracy' angle - disaster capitalism.

Basically disaster capitalism is about playing disaster for profit. Instead of working for public good, contractors take the cash to maximize their bottom line - at the expense of the people who were supposed to benefit.

Agree? Disagree? Any thoughts?


posted on Apr, 3 2006 @ 11:09 PM
Legal Conspiracies

Originally posted by soficrow
Agree? Disagree? Any thoughts?.

Obviously I disagree, but as is so often the case with us, I don't think we're all that far apart in our thinking.

In singling out illegal acts, I'm seeking to point out what differentiates a political conspiracy from politics in general.

As I am wont to do, I turn to for guidance:

n. pl. con·spir·a·cies

1. An agreement to perform together an illegal, wrongful, or subversive act.
2. A group of conspirators.
3. Law. An agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime or accomplish a legal purpose through illegal action.
4. A joining or acting together, as if by sinister design: a conspiracy of wind and tide that devastated coastal areas.

While the word is often used to describe unethical activities that may not necessarily be criminal, let's face it, that's pretty much what all politics amounts to when you get down to it.

But there are things politicians do that are definitely illegal, such as take part in assassinations, bribery in all its many forms, campaign law violations, vote fraud, aiding and abetting criminal activities and organizations of all sorts, perjury, malfeasance, misuse of public funds or property, etc. etc.

There Oughtta Be A Law!

As it turns out, there are many, many laws which govern the behavior of politicians, and for pretty much every scenario you can outline that we would agree is unethical, there is probably a law against it.

In the case of disaster capitalism, there are laws against graft and using one's office for profit or the profit of friends, family and associates. It's almost certain that anyone doing this is violating at least one law, and more likely, several.

Conspiring to commit illegal acts and cover them up (by colluding with law enforcement officials) is also illegal.

In fact, conspiracy itself -- the planning of any crime by two or more people -- is a felony under federal and state laws nationwide.

So I don't think specifying illegal activity narrows the field of discussion as much as you might think.

Drawing The Line

At the heart of every genuine conspiracy is at least one crime. By focusing on that fact, we can more easily distinguish between true political conspiracies and more traditional political topics.

After all, if a law isn't being broken, and instead we're discussing the pros or cons of a legitimate political question, there's an entire discussion board for that:

As a moderator, I'm looking for simple and reliable ways to evaluate where topics belong. Using legality as a line of demarcation may not a be a perfect tool, but it's an effective one.

Opinions will vary about this sort of criterion, of course, and that's fine. Discussing our differing points of view is what we do best.

But when choosing a forum for discussion of a new topic, I suggest that members ask themselves "Where's the conspiracy?", and make sure the topic focuses on a genuine political conspiracy when posting to the Political Conspiracies forum.

posted on Apr, 4 2006 @ 09:12 AM
Gotcha. But...

I focus on "wrongful, or subversive act," not just 'illegal.'

I think I get what you're trying to accomplish here and good luck.

But I suspect you might be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Again, successful conspiracies are successful because they do follow the letter of the law - but not the spirit.

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