The Conspiracy of Capital
Why do so many Americans believe in conspiracy theories? Some argue that evidence of American’s growing belief in conspiracy theories is proof that we all becoming more paranoid, irrational and wrong. But maybe something else is going on here, something about power, knowledge and the limits of our democracy. Who gets to decide what is and is not a conspiracy? What is and is not a conspiracy theory? What is at stake in the distinction (and what does this have to do with a lecture in a bar)? Taking the 1916 San Francisco bombing as a starting point, this talk will reconsider the distinctly American view of law, violence and the politics of conspiracy in American democracy.
Michael Mark Cohen teaches American Studies and African American Studies at UC Berkeley. His writing has appeared in Gawker, Medium.com, Al Jazeera English and Social Text, and he is the author of a forthcoming book on this subject. HIs favorite cocktail is The Last Word or maybe a Blood and Sand and is also partial to Mescal and IPAs.