The Conspiratorial Imperative

Paranoia is in bloom,
The PR transmissions will resume,
They'll try to push drugs that keeps us all dumbed down,
And hope that we will never see the truth around...
(Muse, "Uprising", 2009)
Depicted in social sciences as pathological, irrational, and paranoid, popular conspiracy theories contribute to a radical culture. This culture is overwhelmingly radical, quite easily framed as a generalized manifestation of distrust. What can be said about the impact these theories have on 21st century logic?

Remember the swine flu epidemic in 2009? There was wild speculation about its design: the US engineered H1N1 to decrease the population and instigate New World Order. Moreover, vaccines were thought to be either poisonous or contain nano-chips, with the impressive ability to control the mind and body. This and countless others constitute a veritable mainstream conspiracy culture (Knight P (2000) Conspiracy Culture: From Kennedy to the X-Files. London and New York: Routledge) or a “culture of paranoia” (Melley T (2000) Empire of Conspiracy: The Culture of Paranoia in Postwar America. Ithaca, NY and London: Cornell University Press).

Thoughts on conspiracy theory and literary ethics
To conspire means to literally breathe together. Moreover, the word tends to be used pejoratively to designate a subversive kinship, an imagined community based on exclusion. Whether factual or fictional, such thinking births a vicious cycle of analogy and paranoiac over-determination.

Enter White Alice, in Blind River, Alaska.

The Good Spy Dies Twice (TGSDT) presents a compelling portrait of the remarkable meltdown and uprising of Jake Boxer and his involvement with fictional operatives centered on modern-day conspiracy theories. During a journalistic endeavor to uncover a mysterious hum known to cause gastrointestinal difficulties and blatant insomnia in Dagestan, Jake and his close friend Brody chance upon untimely events.
The conspiratorial attack on Jake and other guests at a beautiful ski resort turned out to be a geopolitical crusade to leverage an old mine. It marked the beginning of his relaunch with a political force, but even more important, it was the result of the tale’s most influential and effective intelligence agents CIA operative Buck Masterson and a man named Elliott.
What sets Jake apart from his “hard news” journalistic counterparts is his Sherlockian ability to retreat to “his castle” forming a deep, meaningful connection to the theories centering on the “old world” and “new world” orders. While some journalists rely on threats and subterfuge, Jake works at building relationships and emphasizing shared values simply put, manipulation.
What emerges is a masterpiece-level narrative of the rise, fall, and resurgence of a “hard news” journalist, a uniquely insightful modern tale of twenty-first century political theories transcending the globe.
I read this book a month ago. While crafting my usual review, I began researching conspiracy theories and their effect on society. Doing my best not to complete a treatise on them, I ended up ensnared in a web of scholarly articles and several books on the topics. Perhaps, my attempt to avoid entanglement failed.
After reading, and re-reading TGSDT, questions and concepts plagued my mind to the point of sheer exhaustion.
My questions
  1. How can one produce a critical reflection on conspiracy theory fiction that will not turn into a conspiracy theory?
  2. f the genre is indeed fictional, can fiction conspire to undo it?
  3. From these two questions, arise yet another: when does narrative passion turn into paranoiac obsession?
  4. Is it truly possible for the boundaries of life and literature, fact and fiction, to become virtually irrelevant?
 Concepts I am presently exploring
  1. Geopolitics and Blind River
  2. New World Order and Journalistic Strategy
  3. Literary Epistemic Process and Conspiracy Theories
  4. Journalistic Aristocracy: Conspiracy Theories in the Realm of the Media
  5. Legends of Cryptography within Conspiracy Theories
  6. Myths of the "New World Order" - Anthropological, pictorial, and literary variants in The Good Spy Dies Twice
  7. "Demoniac" Conspiracy - Literary Symbolism
Soon I will compile my research notes and answer these questions and explore the concepts Mark introduced me to.

In the meantime, check out Mark’s book! Follow him on Twitter