This article was originally published by Caitlin Johnstone at Activist Post.
Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe a mature worldview requires skepticism toward power.
Smart upstanding citizens believe the government is your friend, and the media are its helpers.
Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe that powerful people sometimes make immoral plans in secret.
Smart upstanding citizens believe the TV always tells the truth and the CIA exists for no reason.
Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe that extreme government secrecy makes it necessary to discuss possible theories about what might be going on behind that veil of opacity.
Smart upstanding citizens believe that just because a world-dominating government with the most powerful military in the history of civilization has no transparency and zero accountability to the public, that doesn’t mean you’ve got to get all paranoid about it.
Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe it’s okay to ask questions about important events that happen in the world, even if their government tells them they shouldn’t.
Smart upstanding citizens believe everything they need to know about reality comes out of Mike Pompeo’s angelic mouth.
Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe the very rich sometimes engage in nefarious behavior to expand their wealth and power.
Smart upstanding citizens believe billionaires always conduct themselves with the same values that got them their billions in the first place: honesty, morality, and generosity.
Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe it’s important to remember the lies that led up to the invasion of Iraq, and the disastrous consequences of blind faith in government claims.
Smart upstanding citizens believe “Iraq” is a fictional land similar to Narnia or Middle Earth, from the writings of a fantasy author named George Galloway.
Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe Syria is fighting to avoid becoming another Libya in a war of defense against extremist proxy armies of the US-centralized empire, who were given billions of dollars in military support with the goal of toppling Damascus.
Smart upstanding citizens believe Bashar al-Assad is a real-life version of a cartoon supervillain who just started murdering civilians willy nilly in 2011 because he loves murdering civilians, then in 2015, his friend Vladimir Putin joined in because he loves murdering civilians also.
Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe the extensive history of US government lies means you should always demand mountains of independently verifiable evidence when they make claims about unabsorbed nations.
Smart upstanding citizens believe Russia literally committed an act of war on the United States in 2016, China is orchestrating a second Holocaust, Maduro is deliberately starving the Venezuelan people because he hates them, Assad is using chemical weapons but only when it makes no strategic sense, Cuban spy crickets are trying to assassinate US diplomats, there’s novichok everywhere, and every noncompliant party in the Middle East is secretly working for Iran.
Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe that it can be difficult to figure out what’s going on in a mass media landscape that is saturated with the propaganda of the US-centralized empire.
Smart upstanding citizens believe that all you need to do to ensure you’re getting all the facts is to watch television and run screaming from the room if you accidentally flip past RT.
Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe the Gulf of Tonkin incident was faked, the “taking babies out of incubators” narrative was a lie, Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction, Gaddafi’s rape armies never existed and the Libya intervention was never really about humanitarian concerns.
Smart, upstanding citizens believe it’s better not to think about such things.
Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe the latest WikiLeaks publications of internal OPCW documents provide ample evidence that we were lied to about the 2018 Douma incident.
Smart upstanding citizens believe those documents aren’t real because The New York Times never reported on them.
Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe that increasing levels of government secrecy are making it easier for government agencies to do unethical things in secret.
Smart upstanding citizens believe that questioning your government makes you a Russian anti-Semite.
Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe that the billionaire class which owns the mass media has a natural incentive to prop up the status quo upon which it is built, and so construct an environment where reporters are incentivized to always support the establishment line.
Smart upstanding citizens believe that if that kind of conspiracy were really happening, it would have been in the news.
Caitlin Johnstone is the author of Woke: A Field Guide For Utopia Preppers. (Affiliate Link)