Well, I’m back and I can safely say that the revised paper (the one you haven’t seen yet) went down a treat.Â I would say that all the comments on the paper were really questions as to how open we can claim our society really is rather than arguing against the actual substance of my paper, which is good.
No one spotted what I thought was the obvious objection,Â either.
This all being said, there are a few bitsÂ that a substantially revised version of my paper might like to touch upon such as the notion of the Accidental Conspiracy.Â These are events that look like conspiracies but aren’t because these events aren’t the work of a cabal but rather an emergent phenomena, as the combined actions of individuals simply look like the actions of a concerted cabal or the ‘conspiracy is just an epiphenomena, in that the normal course of operation for an institution (or suchlike) has the characteristics of conspiracy without the motivation.
These events aren’t actually conspiracies but could be easily confused for conspiracies and thus could easily form associated Conspiracy Theories.
This all appears to be related to a notion Noam Chomsky has run, that of Institutional Analysis; certain phenomena emerges from the normal running of a corporation, et al. For example, Fox News shows a very clear bias to the Right in America but it is quite possible that this isn’t a real editorial decision by, say, Rupert Murdock but rather people in the organisation simply acting in ways that will get them promoter or satisfy those above them. At Fox you are rewarded for preferring the Right but this is not because you have to or have been ordered to show such a preference.
This would also allow Conspiracy Theorists to confuse emergent phenomena for Conspiracy but I also suspect that you could see this run as a form of disinformation. Take, for example, Microsoft in the antitrust trials. One might argue that their claim that there was no explicit attempts to block third party development, that the problem was a culture of indifference instead, might well be disinformation designed to cover-up the actual Conspiracy. Even if you don’t accept Chomsky’s view on institutions you might still think that reasoning like his could come in useful for excusing certain corporate activities. Another matter was whether the term ‘Criminal Conspiracy’ was useful because a lot of corporate conspiratorial activities might not be covered by criminal law but rather civil law, et al. Perhaps the term should be ‘Commercial Conspiracy?’ Food for thought.