May 28, 2024

Like George Monbiot, I am amazed at the inconsistency of pleasant, otherwise rational people promoting conspiracy fantasies (‘You’re going to call me a Holocaust denier now, are you?’: George Monbiot comes face to face with his local conspiracy theorist, 4 May.). George’s explanation that they are not meticulous about trying to make sense of the world is a good one, but on its own insufficient for such a diverse “community”.

There are probably many overlapping reasons. My favorite, ironically, is that there is a real but probably diffuse conspiracy by right-wing activists to sow the seeds of distrust, fear and division at a time of political upheaval to drum up support for populist solutions. By recruiting those who “lack rigor” to this worldview, they also convince themselves that they are special, almost anointed (there is a frequent intersection with fundamental Christianity).

If it was known who funded The light newspaper, a very professionally produced monthly conspiracy publication that promotes all the fantasies George describes, we might have a better idea of ​​what is going on – if anything is going on. Then again, maybe I just fell for the latest conspiracy, but at least it makes me feel pretty special.
Patrick Cosgrove
Bucknell, Shropshire

What a brilliant article by George Monbiot. I hadn’t thought of conspiracy theories in that light before – the actual conspiracies versus the bonkers, and why some people seem to focus fervently on the conspiracies for which there is no reliable evidence.

The piece looks to me like an important piece of research (albeit a very small sample) on the psychology of the issue and how to move forward.
Alison Carter
Lindfield, West Sussex

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