I’m still overly fixated on the cock. Well, cock-ups, but the previous sentence is far more interesting as a intro. Conspiracy Theories are (usually) stories that provide reasons for an event having obtained (explanations, if you will) (in some cases the theory presents reasons for particular kinds of events obtaining, such as NWO conspiracies that claim that every act of the UN is designed to subvert the sovereignty of the USA). These theories are (usually) detailed and bring together a lot of data, errant or otherwise.
The Cock-up Theory, on the other hand, seems rather vague in re content. It posits a simple theory (most events do not obtain by design, or if they do they are only partial successes) and all the data is then said to fit it because, well, each bit of data is the result of a process and the cock-up theory tells us that these processes are even more complex than we thought, which is why they result in strange occurrences (which resulted due to cocking-up).
Does that seem just a little too trite?
Answer One: Yes, but only because, dear writer, you have mischaracterised the Cock-up Theory of History.
Answer Two: Yes. Yes it does.
Answer Three: No. Although the Conspiracy Theory looks ‘better’ (i.e. seems to do much more work towards in supporting its explanandum) it still rests upon faulty assumptions, et cetera. The Cock-up Theory is still preferable.
Answer Four: Well, that’s your job.
So, gentle readers, which way do you lean? I’m honestly curious about this. I don’t find conspiracy theories compelling but I also don’t find the cock-up competing theory much good either. I’m a ‘Find out why they think X and then show that X isn’t likely after all’ kind of guy.