A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary by Michael Barkun

By Michael Barkun

What do unidentified flying object believers, Christian millennialists, and right-wing conspiracy theorists have in universal? in response to Michael Barkun during this interesting but traumatic publication, rather a lot. it's popular that a few american citizens are enthusiastic about conspiracies. The Kennedy assassination, the Oklahoma urban bombing, and the 2001 terrorist assaults have all generated difficult tales of hidden plots. what's a ways much less recognized is the level to which conspiracist worldviews have lately develop into associated in unusual and unpredictable methods with different "fringe" notions akin to a trust in UFOs, Nostradamus, and the Illuminati. Unraveling the extreme genealogies and variations of those more and more frequent rules, Barkun exhibits how this net of city legends has unfold between subcultures on the web and during mass media, how a brand new sort of conspiracy pondering has lately arisen, and the way this phenomenon pertains to higher adjustments in American tradition. This publication, written by way of a number one specialist at the topic, is the main complete and authoritative exam of up to date American conspiracism up to now.
Barkun discusses a number material--involving inner-earth caves, govt black helicopters, alien abductions, mystery New global Order cabals, and masses more--that few observe exists in our tradition. taking a look heavily on the manifestions of those rules in a variety of literature and resource fabric from non secular and political literature, to New Age and flying saucers courses, to pop culture phenomena similar to The X-Files, and to web pages, radio courses, and extra, Barkun unearths that the US is within the throes of an unequalled interval of millennarian job. His ebook underscores the significance of knowing why this phenomenon is now spreading into extra mainstream segments of yank tradition.

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Extra resources for A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America (Comparative Studies in Religion and Society)

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Even systems of millenarian thought that are clearly heretical or deviant define themselves in opposition to a known orthodoxy. For instance, the more militant forms of late medieval Catholic millennialism emerged in opposition to the official Augustinian doctrine of the church, just as fringe Maoist revolutionary groups later placed themselves in opposition to more established custodians of Marxist thought. Religious and secular millennialism are, to be sure, never absolutely pure types, emerging solely from within a single tradition with no outside influences.

Some secular millenarians, notably Marxists, resented the application to themselves of any term that might associate them with religionists. These objections, however, tended to originate from believers rather than scholars, most of whom have been willing to apply millenarian to both secular and religious manifestations far outside the term’s original Christian frame of reference. A tacit consensus thus developed, at least in academic quarters, about the idea of two streams of millenarian beliefs, one flowing from religious traditions and the other from secular thought.

In addition to spreading the “real news” through exposés, they also offer national platforms for the ideas of prominent conspiracy theorists through interviews. 3 million five years earlier. Besides the sheer volume of material it can accommodate, the Internet is the first mass medium without gatekeepers. No intermediaries, such as editors, publishers, or producers, stand between the content provider and the distribution of the message. In addition, the creation and dissemination of content require only a modest financial investment.

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