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A Lot of People Are Saying

The New Conspiracism and the Assault on Democracy

Nancy L. Rosenblum, Russell Muirhead

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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Philosophie


How the new conspiracists are undermining democracy—and what can be done about it

Conspiracy theories are as old as politics. But conspiracists today have introduced something new—conspiracy without theory. And the new conspiracism has moved from the fringes to the heart of government with the election of Donald Trump. In A Lot of People Are Saying, Russell Muirhead and Nancy Rosenblum show how the new conspiracism differs from classic conspiracy theory, why so few officials speak truth to conspiracy, and what needs to be done to resist it.

Classic conspiracy theory insists that things are not what they seem and gathers evidence—especially facts ominously withheld by official sources—to tease out secret machinations. The new conspiracism is different. There is no demand for evidence, no dots revealed to form a pattern, no close examination of shadowy plotters. Dispensing with the burden of explanation, the new conspiracism imposes its own reality through repetition (exemplified by the Trump catchphrase "a lot of people are saying") and bare assertion ("rigged!").

The new conspiracism targets democratic foundations—political parties and knowledge-producing institutions. It makes it more difficult to argue, persuade, negotiate, compromise, and even to disagree. Ultimately, it delegitimates democracy.

Filled with vivid examples, A Lot of People Are Saying diagnoses a defining and disorienting feature of today's politics and offers a guide to responding to the threat.

Weitere Titel von diesem Autor



Hostility, Election, Scapegoating, Electoral fraud, Law enforcement, Conspiracy theory, Donald Trump, Liberal democracy, Regime, Democracy, Pierre Rosanvallon, Unintended consequences, Confirmation bias, Deep state, Politics, Executive order, Barack Obama citizenship conspiracy theories, Accountability, Republican Party (United States), Ballot, Innuendo, Institution, Terrorism, Voting, Liberalism, Political campaign, Humiliation, Regime change, Technocracy, The Administrative State, Civil service, Government agency, Campaign manager, Civil society, Hillary Clinton, Press secretary, Public policy, George W. Bush, Political science, Bureaucrat, Narrative, Misinformation, Dark money, Enemy of the people, Attempt, Ideology, Authoritarianism, Populism, Un-American, Fellow traveller, Decision-making, Opposition Party, Special prosecutor, Philosopher, Americans, Advocacy group, Tobias Frere-Jones, Fake news, The Public Interest, Certainty, Extremism, Political party, Legitimacy (political), The New York Times, Crisis actor, Corruption, Barack Obama, Result, National security, The Other Hand, Skepticism, Representative democracy, Member of Congress, White House Press Secretary, President of the United States, Cover-up, Voter suppression, Secrecy, Political philosophy, Politician, Politics of the United States, Requirement, Activism, Public figure, Explanation, Government, Inauguration, Legislation, Suggestion, Calligraphy, Gun control, Far-right politics, Ted Cruz, Pluralism (political philosophy), Political machine, Fraud, Obstacle, Party leader, Hoax, Intelligence agency