The Distraction of Conspiracy Theories: Against the Eurocentric Critique of Libya’s Revolution

Quite often, someone challenges my political beliefs and recommends that I read a particular author. Out of curiosity, I always Google the author to see their background and what they have written. I enjoy reading different perspectives and beliefs that may challenge what I am thinking. Now and then, after Googling the author, I realize the person suggested an author who is nothing more than a conspiracy theorist, and I immediately discredit the person and the author they recommended. Conspiracy theories are nothing more than a distraction that takes people away from the real problems in the world. I am not talking about whether the U.S. attempted to neutralize the “black power” movement, or whether the CIA sponsored coups in Guatemala, Iran, or several other countries. There is factual evidence to support that these things happened, but there is nothing factual to support the exaggerated conspiracy theories that many people want to believe. There are major problems in the world that need to be addressed, and I support real change, which means I want to work on the real problems that actually exist rather than follow what some hack scholar/author writes about an absolutely ridiculous and far-fetched theory based on very limited and circumstantial evidence while ignoring all the evidence that points to the contrary.

While mentioning my excitement over the apparent Libyan revolution tonight (8/21/2011), someone told me “the rebels aren’t who you think they are” and recommended I read Webster Tarpley’s writings on Libya, so I looked him up and looked at his books. Immediately I discovered he’s just another conspiracy theorist hack — a “truther” and no better than the “birthers” out there. Do you expect me to take someone serious who has written a book that George W. Bush and the U.S. government are responsible for 9/11, and another one alleging that Barack Obama’s presidency has been a secret “postmodern” fascist coup 25 years in the making? Writing — and reading — such non-sense is a waste of time and energy that could be put towards working on the problems that are plaguing the world. Due to his conspiracy theory history, I did not end up reading much of Tarpley’s writings about Libya, but from what I gather, he believes it was some CIA sponsored jihadist movement.

The people of Libya are currently celebrating in the streets throughout the country over the downfall of a tyrannic dictator, yet many people are too busy coming up with conspiracies to discredit what they accomplished rather than celebrate it with them. Is it not Eurocentric to assume the U.S. and European nations are at the root and heart of every struggle in the world? Are African people not capable of leading their own revolution against a brutal regime? Sure, NATO supported it, after the rebels showed their strength by taking several major cities, because Gaddafi has been a thorn in NATO’s side for years, but how does that automatically discredit the Libyan people’s revolution? Give credit to the people for this Arab Spring movement where we are witnessing millions of people rise up against oppressive governments without forcefully being led or coerced by the U.S. or a European nation. Again, I’ll take the people of Libya’s side — even if NATO supported them — over Gaddafi’s side any day.

Change does not come from writing fantasy based “non-fiction.” Change comes from exposing and rebelling against the real injustices that take place every day in the world. Let us focus on the latter rather than the former, which is simply a distraction from the true problems that we face.

“It’s a global revolution, everybody get down.”

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