Conspiracy Theories and Democratic Renewal
09 november 2023 | Vincent Vos
On 2 November, the FVD party leader, Thierry Baudet, was interviewed on News Hour, a mainstream news programme of the public broadcaster in the Netherlands. He was asked about his party and the manifesto for the elections on 22 November. The presenter of the programme tried to ambush him, as is the way of every MSM programme where Thierry is still invited.
This ambush included a former voter who said he was initially attracted to Forum because of its vision of democratic renewal but that he disagreed with the party for focusing too often on what he called conspiracy theories. He wondered what talking about so-called conspiracy theories had to do with the party’s agenda of democratic renewal.
An agenda of democratic renewal involves highlighting the hidden structures of our system
Anyone who has studied politics in recent years knows that liberal democracy in today's West works differently from what we were taught. The government claims again and again that the power in our "democracy" lies in parliament. This is how it theoretically should work. However, empirical reality shows that only the margins of policy are debated in parliament. The major ideological lines to which the Netherlands is committed are drawn up internationally at meetings of, for example, the World Economic Forum, Bilderberg, NATO conferences, the EU and the UN.
Some call this reality a conspiracy theory, but it is in fact an honest empirical look at the political playing field. FVD's position in this is that the Netherlands should be allowed to operate independently again, and that sovereignty should revert to the Dutch people. After all, things are decided in these international clubs that, to put it mildly, are not in the Dutch interest. These organisations are influenced by shadow figures who influence the agenda for their financial and ideological interests. The primacy of power should actually lie in parliament, or even preferably more directly with the people, through referendums. To achieve this change, a correct analysis of the current situation must first be made. This can only be done when this real power situation is called out. From only this position a way to change can be formulated.
This critique of the functioning of our liberal democracy is therefore necessary to bring about change. That the illusion of our political system still persists and is still spread among that many people is a consequence of the wrong image of man that we have been taught. We no longer see the empirical reality because of this theoretical delusion.
The dominant image of man in our society has its foundation in a theoretical fiction that flows from the foundations of the system. This view on humanity, the Utopian idea propagated by Fukuyama in his famous essay "The End of History and the Last Man," is still alive and kicking. According to it, there is only one way to the future and one way to have "progress" as humanity. According to this vision, we are living in a new age - a time where the “last man” arrives. The last man is democratic man: power structures in society are created bottom-up, are democratic and the government acts transparently in the interests of the people.
However, we see that despite this Utopian thinking, the real power structures of the old world are still in place. Power, through global structures, still works top-down. This order, which so far has known no serious opposition, has become so self-forcing, its ideas have become so dominant, that no opposition could arise against it. It has become commonplace.
No matter how hard the political status quo tries to instil in people the illusion that the new democratic man actually exists, human instincts cannot be indoctrinated out of reality. The old-world hierarchy is still alive and well, and denying it is precisely the illusion in which liberal democracy is shrouded. The only difference is that despots no longer rule through decrees, but from the shadows.
To get real democratic change, this realisation should become commonplace in our society. Since the system is based on faulty assumptions, these assumptions must be actively questioned in order to change the system. For this, political uproar is needed.
The agenda of political uproar
Some time ago, Thierry Baudet wrote an essay about FVD not shooing away from uproar. Major media publications ran with this essay, claiming that Thierry Baudet's essay argued that FVD is a party that wants to cause uproar for the sake of the commotion itself.
However, the opposite was the case. In his essay, Thierry Baudet clearly stated that causing outcry has a purpose, which is to raise and tackle the faulty foundations of the current political order that many have taken for granted. Critically examining these foundations (such as the neutrality of state institutions, the functioning of the separation of power, the financial system, etc.) will hopefully start making people think about the things that are taken for granted and that they will come to the conclusion that these foundations do not correspond to our presented reality.
This is where the cultural aspect of so-called "conspiracy theories" comes in.
The conspiracy as deconstruction of the foundational myth
To avoid speech confusion, it is important to define a foundational myth as the following: a foundational myth is a story or narrative or event which is culturally used as a central assumption for the ideological premises of a political order. There are events that are defining for an entire generation or political order.
When FVD is associated with so-called conspiracy theories, it is almost always about Thierry's statements on 3 topics: 9/11, the moon landing and reptiles.
The attacks on 11 September 2001 marked the beginning of a new era of politics. In response to the attacks, the US rolled out the aggressive War on Terror. While the regime change agenda is already taking more than the initial 5 years budgeted at PNAC, by now almost all countries on the familiar list have been thrown into (civil) war by the USA.
The agenda to destabilise countries to supposedly bring democracy and prosperity has failed. Now in 2023, the USA is still engaged in these wars on multiple fronts and these so-called democracies the USA wanted to set up are proving to be no more than a farce. It was always only about the power of the American Empire.
Where this is coming from is obvious to many, since the last couple of years the speculation about the immediate cause of these wars (September 11) keeps growing. So many years on, there are plenty of arguments to be made as to why the official story stinks.
Could it be then that the US knew more about this attack beforehand? Surely not?
If we assume that 9/11 did not occur according to the official story, this would mean that the US is not the moral actor bringing democracy and prosperity to the entire world and that it is ultimately only concerned with its own interests. This is especially true if it turns out that the US itself took this action. That view would be shattering for the moral high ground of the post-Cold War order.
The second example of the moon landing also eats at the foundations of the liberal order. The cultural myth of the US being the first country to go to the moon is an affirmation of supposed meritocracy on which the liberal democratic political order in the West is based. This political frame of the US as a model for the West, which has achieved the highest point of humanity with its "democratic" institutions, namely going to the moon, is one of the important foundational stories on which morality in this political order rests. This is the foundation that liberal democracies are meritocracies. Doubting the moon landing works directly on the myth here, namely it is doubting the supremacy of meritocracy in the West.
The last conspiracy theory the media always uses to frame FVD in a negative light is the so-called "reptile statement" from Thierry Baudet. Thierry Baudet allegedly dismissed political leaders in the West as "reptiles". Much hilarity followed from the media who claimed that Baudet believed that our elites would literally be reptilian creatures. Baudet was obviously making a comparison here that is as old as the Bible.
Indeed, reptiles/snake-like creatures are often used as symbolism to indicate the traditional view of evil (a force that deceives individuals through subversive acts to carry out its agenda). This is something opposite to the modern view of evil.
Certainly, after WWII, the West's view of evil has changed so dramatically that the role of the reptilian Satan has been taken over by the atrocities the Germans did in the Second World War (the strong leader who forces a hierarchical order on others with a hard hand).
The cultural way Hitler is perceived is the great Satan-like villain in the myth of the post-WW2 political order in the West. This is the vision of liberal democracy. Traditional hierarchies are now falsely deconstructed, because of the terrible things Germany in the Second World War did. Every institution in liberal democracy is therefore set up to dismantle any form of traditional hierarchy through cultural Marxist techniques: "Never Again".
That these three examples keep recurring in the media are recurring because of the cognitive dissonance which enters the stage. These three examples are important, because they cut into three important foundational myths of our current political order (the new moral (last) man, meritocracy and the nature of the ultimate evil). When foundational myths are questioned, people are snatched away from their current reality and are forced to think for themselves.
Examples like the three above attack the foundational myths that are a reality for many people. This is why people react so emotionally to such counterpoints.
By now, we know better. Yet these kinds of assumptions about the course of history force the tendency that our current political order is the most democratic, most moral, but also the best.
Therefore, if we want to bring about ideological and thus the potential for democratic change for this political order, it is precisely important to keep attacking the assumptions of this current political order with phenomena that will destroy the current ideological framework.
Long live the uproar, long live the conspiracies!