A recent set of studies reminds us that we use telos and conspiracy theories to control our anxiety over what really seems to rule the world: contingency. This at Miller-McCune:
A research team led by social psychologist Daniel Sullivan of the University of Kansas reports on four studies that suggest people are “motivated to create and/or perpetually maintain clear enemies to avoid psychological confrontations with an even more threatening chaotic environment.”
A “chaotic environment” is another way of saying that the world is contingent, right? But wouldn’t it be nice if the world was a cosmos and not a chaos? The devil and the Bilderbergers are cleaner targets than confronting the hell mouths of our own responsibility, of chance, and the cross of history: “I shouted out, ‘Who killed the Kennedys?’, when, afterall, it was you and me!”
Telos and conspiracy theories are akin to the longing for romance: like seeking a lover, one looks for a god or conspiratorial enemy with grand purposes “to samba through life with me,” making it feel less pointless, lonely—and contingent.
So nice. That would be so nice.
Conspiracy theorists organize reality with the same incomplete set of facts and utter paranoia that governments do.
So that means we’re all flying blind, is that right?
Everyone that is, except, well, who?
Where are we?
And how do we know it?