David R. Henderson  

Are Conspiracies Always Implausible?

Arnold's Solution to Sumner's ... No Conspiracy...

Bryan, in posting on Arnold's view of what Ben Bernanke is doing, wrote:

Arnold's story fits the facts, but it just seems too conspiratorial.
Yet Arnold didn't even hint at the idea of conspiracy. Instead, he was talking about Bernanke's motives. The word "conspiracy" has a number of meanings, but all involve two or more people getting together to carry out an act.

We are all used to politicians lying about their motives. Their motive might be to help a particular group, to feather their own nest, or to screw an opponent. Politicians can lie about all these things and yet not conspire with anyone. Now what if two politicians get together to carry out an act and both lie about their motives. Has that ever happened? I guess you could call it a conspiracy. But if that's all the word "conspiracy" means, then why do so many people look at you strange when you claim that two or more people are engaged in a conspiracy?

As the late British libertarian, Chris Tame, put it, "I'm not interested in conspiracy theories; I'm interested in conspiracy facts."

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CATEGORIES: Public Choice Theory

COMMENTS (4 to date)
Loof writes:

Conspiracies are sometimes plausible – and, by and large, improbable.

Hume writes:

This is completely off topic, but I was wondering if you had a few recommendations for articles/books that critique Rawls’ Theory of Justice (as well as his later works). I am familiar with Nozick and G.A. Cohen, I was wondering if there is anything else you would recommend. Thanks.

Loof writes:

Yes, off topic, but a good topic to explore: especially for the possibility of bridging the divide between right-left libertarians.

Another heavyweight is Allen Bloom. He criticized Rawls for not considering natural rights. This, though, exposes my bias: believe resurrecting natural law is crucial for reforming modern society, economically and politically.

Sarge writes:


Try Thomas Sowell's "Knowledge and Decisions." The book isn't designed as a rebuttal to Rawls, but it does deal with his ideas fairly decisively.

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