Conspiranoia: that pandemic within the pandemic
The internet at home stopped working, a serious thing in these times of “home office”. The provider company told me that the modem needed to be replaced, so the next day they sent a technician to do the job: a talkative, friendly guy, who during the forty-five minute visit couldn’t get his mask on properly ( left his nose out), and that in the face of my clear discomfort about it, he insisted that there was no need to worry: Covid-19 did not really exist. It was all a media fabrication, a front to try to implement a new world order.
For the same reason, as he explained to me, he had not been vaccinated nor did he intend to do so, nor would he allow his family members to do so. Naturally, I tried to offer him sensible arguments against it, such as the hundreds of thousands of deaths, but his reasons were not open to debate. He told me, instead, that he take advantage of the newly recovered internet to “research”: a word by which he meant watching videos of dubious origin on YouTube.
Unfortunately, my technician is not an isolated case these days. There are many and from different origins who are infected with what seems to be the pandemic within the pandemic: conspiracy theories. People fraught with such mistrust of the system, of the media and of the government, that they are capable of putting everything in the same bag and openly maintain that fanatically irreconcilable sectors of society actually work together, to impose a “health dictatorship” through a “plandemic” and thus achieve a “new world order”. The latter at times translates into the reduction of the population, and in others on less obvious goals, such as implanting microchips for individual tracking or imposing a global business of eternal vaccinations.
The sad thing is that one might think that it is a matter of sects, of a few lunatics, of ignorant people or that they suffer from a cultural retardation. But it is not true. I have found more or less similar versions in the mouths of people from all strata, people who went to university and people who never set foot in a school, because in truth conspiracy is not the result of intellectual labor but of a condition of the condition itself. postmodern.
Let’s start from something reasonable: reality is complex and there is not always a point of view that allows us to understand it in a satisfactory way. In other words, there is much in the world that is difficult to understand. That is why human history has always been so conflictive, so full of abuses, arbitrariness and unusual massacres in the name of a transcendent ideal.
Our existence is an orphan: we do not know why we are here, there is no one to explain it to us. We only have the knowledge that we have been accumulating over the centuries, a knowledge that from time to time we must review with a critical eye to make sure that new findings do not contradict them. That is why we invented the academy: to review, update, question and verify said knowledge, which may well be of a scientific , philosophical, artistic nature, or whatever.
But that necessary intellectual activity has clearly been moving away from the general public. What incredible principles drive science and technology , what debates are going on in contemporary art, or what are the pressing dilemmas of our age seem to be matters known to a minority. The rest remains immersed in obscurantism, which, as we well know, is fertile ground for superstition, paranoia, manipulation and, above all, the lack of critical and informed thinking.
That is why someone can be incredulous about what they see on television, because they sense that there is always a political agenda behind it (as there usually is) and, at the same time, blindly trust the information provided by an anonymous YouTube channel, without asking who produces this material, what its sources are and why it is broadcast on this massive platform. And the latter, it seems to me, is key: the free content on the Internet.
Social networks are a business between the company that governs them and their advertisers, that is, they are a business that does not involve its users, since the attention of the masses is precisely the product offered. There is, therefore, no regulation of the junk-content they offer: no legitimation strategy, no critical value.
But while this explains why irresponsible content is being sold on social media, it doesn’t explain why my internet tech would rather believe those crazy explanations about the pandemic. And the answer, in my opinion, points to the affective, the spiritual, the intimate.
Faced with an increasingly complex and daunting reality, being part of the anti-vaccine sect gives a simple meaning to existence, organizes it in elementary terms and incidentally reinforces this point of view with a sense of moral superiority: “I understand what the masses ignore.
Like the flat earthers and those who believe that the world is governed by an elite of reptiles , the conspiracy theorists of the Covid are people eager for meaning, for guidance, for an ethical and political code with which to rule. They suffer from an existential emptiness that these theories can fill, in the same way that a packet of potato chips fills an empty stomach. But if the conspiracy theorists are not something, it is an exception: in reality they are a reflection of a profound lack of our time.
What is an opinion article?
An opinion article is a type of journalistic text in which the author exposes to the reader his personal position regarding a specific topic. These are essentially argumentative texts , which use information to promote a perspective, that is, to convince the reader to assume her point of view. For this reason, they are usually signed and of a personal nature (with the exception of press editorials, in which the institutional position of the newspaper is reflected), since the reader may agree or disagree with what they contain. it is stated.