Over the past couple years, Steve Sailer's writings on conspiracy theories (see below) have intrigued me. Like most educated Westerners I don't think much of conspiracy theorizing, but the examples Steve has given got me thinking. ...Click here to find out what Thursday proposes.
More interesting though are some of Steve's other examples: the Mafia, the 90s Russian oligarchs, the Donmeh, the diamond business. What these all have in common is that they all involve closely knit ethnic groups or people with close family ties. To be precise, actual conspiracies tend to be found only among family members or, what amounts to the same thing, closely knit, endogamous ethnic groups. Therefore, in honour of Steve's abiding interest in family, I give your the Steve Sailer Rule of Conspiracies. So far as I know, Steve hasn't spelled this out explicitly, but I'll do it for him:
When you get back, I want to raise a related issue: the declining value of covert conspiracies relative to overt conspiracies.
Say we were sitting around in a dorm room in 1978 and I told you that each winter the world's richest men gather in an obscure village high in the Alps to discuss how to impose economic policies in their self-interest on the nations of the world.
You'd say I had seen too many paranoia thrillers like Three Days of the Condor, Parallax View, and Winter Kills. Surely, if this conspiracy existed, enterprising journalists like Woodward and Bernstein would expose it.
Then, I'd say, no, you don't understand: the rich guys invite Woodward and Bernstein to the meetings (well, maybe not Bernstein, he's not really important enough anymore). Journalists all compete with each other to be big enough celebrities to get invited to this meeting, where they and the rich guys can all bask under the TV lights in their mutually-reinforcing celebrityhood.
The secret is that there is no secret. In fact, everybody invited immediately notifies his publicist to spread the word that he's going.
And, you'd say, that's crazy! A conspiracy in plain view? Who ever heard of such a thing?