Show 310: Conspiracy!

Special 2-Hour Fund Drive Program: Conspiracy!

For much of the last century, mainly Far Right groups or individuals engaged in conspiracy theorizing often to scapegoat other groups or individuals who were considered legitimate targets for the mainstream to blame their overall sociopolitical dilemmas of the time.  European Jews conspiring against Germany and Christian Germans, according to the NAZI’s, is one famous example. The KKK and Neo-Nazis targeting blacks by trying to re-interpret the US Constitution is another.

Chip Berlet, senior analyst for the independent think tank Political Research Associates, has explained when talking about modern examples of this via the Tea Party Movement and Anti-Obama-isms in the United States, “Right-wing pundits demonize groups and individuals in our society, implying that it is urgent to stop them from wrecking the nation. Some angry people in the audience already believe conspiracy theories in which the same scapegoats are portrayed as subversive, destructive, or evil. Add in aggressive apocalyptic ideas that suggest time is running out and quick action mandatory and you have a perfect storm of mobilized resentment threatening to rain bigotry and violence across the United States.”

But what about Progressives, Liberals and others on the Left who have also engaged in what some have called Conspiracy Theories? Who are the people to be scapegoated in their case? Of course… the rich or powerful elites.  But while the so-called elites thought up by the Far Right never existed as advertised, we do live in a society where the rich and powerful can be shown to indeed manipulate the masses through indoctrination via the public school system, the media, and other means of propaganda.  So how can one separate fact from fiction as they exist with Left-leaning Conspiracy Theorizing?

For years on WBAI-NY, you’ve heard mainly one side of the story, while all others are often taken on these airwaves and among the Left in general, with great suspicion and seen as establishment apologetics.

Equal Time for Freethought’s mission advocates using critical thinking and scientific method to understand the world around us; and, moreover, trying to understand how such can help us implement progressive social change.

So in this light, we will look at the most recent, infamous conspiracy theorizing regarding 9/11 as well as the history of Right-Wing and Left-Wing Conspiracy theorizing via the History Channel special “The 9/11 Conspiracies: Fact or Fiction,” and a research document edited by progressive Chip Berlet called “Toxic to Democracy.”

Joining us on the phone will be skeptic and author Robert M. Price, and Kathyrn Olmsted, author of “Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories and American Democracy, World War I to 9/11.”

Show 253a: A Victory for Vengeance?: America’s Methods of Domination; Part One

A Victory for Vengeance?: America’s Methods of Domination; Part One

For more than 30 years now, the United States has taken a turn to the Right in how we organize our society. Prison populations have skyrocketed, prison sentences and anti-crime laws have become more and more draconian, torture has been used at home and abroad in the name of security, and the state has tightened its noose around those of us not in the upper classes… especially non-whites and the poor. Why has this occurred? What role has the rise in political Christianity played in the push for far right policies? Are there underlying reasons for this sad state of affairs beyond religion and the conservative politics of the Reagan/Bush era that are not even being talked about? And what can we do to make America more democratic, egalitarian and humanistic?

These are the questions we asked of journalists’ Sasha Abramsky, author of American Furies: Crime, Punishment and Vengeance in the Age of Mass Imprisonment and Kristian Williams, author of American Methods: Torture and the Logic of Domination and Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America.

 

Show 248: Tools for a Radical Democracy; Or, How We Can Build Humanist Activist Communities

Tools for a Radical Democracy; Or, How We Can Build Humanist Activist Communities

From the Publisher:

Tools for Radical Democracy is an essential resource for grassroots organizers and leaders, students of activism and advocacy, and anyone trying to increase the civic participation of ordinary people. Authors Joan Minieri and Paul Getsos share stories and tools from their nationally recognized and award-winning work of building a community-led organization, training community leaders, and conducting campaigns that changed public policy and delivered concrete results to tens of thousands of people. This how-to manual includes:

In-depth analysis of how to launch and win a campaign

Tools and guidelines for training people to lead their own campaigns and organizations

Insights for using technology effectively, building more powerful alliances, and engaging in the social justice movement.

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