The day before yesterday I wrote the posting immediately below. One of the examples of conspiracy theories I cited was the "capitalist plot" explanation of rising oil prices. Since the middle of the summer, as you probably know, gas prices have been sliding downward. And what do we see in the press and on the net but a conspiracist explanation of dropping oil prices. There is simply no end and no limit!
There is an interesting piece on this by one Dan Gainor at Human Events. Okay, Human Events is a right wing publication and Gainor's charming essay is an attack some talking head at CNN (which unlike him I do not watch) who has been purveying this particular "theory." As a matter of fact, as a recent USA Today and Gallup poll shows, some 42% of Americans believe some form of this idea, so unfortunately we can't blame it all on those pointy-headed liberals at CNN. The appeal of conspiracism is very, very broad. This is the one thing that makes it, in all its irrational stupidity, worth thinking about. Something is going on there that tells us a lot about what makes most people tick.
On thing that just amazes me about this is how little responsibilty conspiracists feel to explain how THEY are supposed to be able to bring off the spectacular effects that conspiracists attribute to THEM. What is the source and nature of their mysterious super-powers? USA reports, from a knucklead-on-the-street interview, some guy in LA saying "I'm sure there's some sort of string-pulling going on." That's it. THEY are doing this to us. How? Somehow. End of story.