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What lies behind the anti "conspiracy theorist" discourse

The State Against The Republic

At the request of President François Hollande, the French Socialist Party has published a note on the international “conspiracy theorist" movement. His goal: to prepare new legislation prohibiting it to express itself. In the US, the September 11, 2001 coup established a "permanent state of emergency" (Patriot Act), launching a series of imperial wars. Gradually, the European elites have aligned with their counterparts across the Atlantic. Everywhere, people are worried about being abandoned by their States and they question their institutions. Seeking to retain power, the elites are now ready to use force to gag their opposition.

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January 27, 2015, President François Hollande made "conspiracy theorists" responsible for the crimes committed by the Nazis against the Jews of Europe. He called for a ban on their freedom of expression.

The President of the French Republic, François Hollande, has assimilated what he calls "conspiracy theories" to Nazism and called to prevent their dissemination on the Internet and social networks.

Thus he declared, on January 27, 2015 at the Shoah Memorial:

"[Anti-Semitism] maintains conspiracy theories that spread without limits. Conspiracy theories that have, in the past, led to the worst "(...)" [The] answer is to realize that conspiracy theories are disseminated through the Internet and social networks. Moreover, we must remember that it is words that have in the past prepared extermination. We need to act at the European level, and even internationally, so that a legal framework can be defined, and so that Internet platforms that manage social networks are held to account and that sanctions be imposed for failure to enforce" [1].

Several ministers also decried what they called conspiracy theorists as so many "fermenters of hate and disintegrators of society."

Knowing that President Hollande calls "conspiracy theory" the idea that States, whatever their regimes - including democracies - have a spontaneous tendency to act in their own interests and not in that of their constituents, we can conclude that he presented this confused amalgam to justify a possible censure of his opponents.

This interpretation is confirmed by the publication of a note entitled "Conspiracy theories, current status" by the Jean-Jaurès Foundation, a Socialist Party think tank of which Mr. Holland was the first secretary. [2]

Let’s leave aside the political relations of François Hollande, the Socialist Party, the Fondation Jean-Jaurès, its political radicalism Observatory and the author of the note and let’s focus on its message and its ideological content.

Definition of "conspiracy theories"

The terms "conspiracy theories" and "conspiracy theorism" have developed in France in the wake of the publication of my book on US imperialism post-September 11, titled The Big Lie [3]. At the time, we had trouble understanding what the terms meant because they referred to American political history. In the United States, are commonly called "conspiracy theorists" those according to whom President Kennedy had not been assassinated by one man but by many, forming a conspiracy (in the judicial sense). Over time, these expressions entered in the French language and have overlapped with memories of the 30s and the Second World War, those of the denunciation of the "Jewish conspiracy". These are therefore now polysemous, sometimes evoking the law of the state-Stator silence and, at other times, European anti-Semitism.

In its note, the Jean-Jaurès Foundation gives its own definition of conspiracy theorism. It is

"an ’alternative’ narrative that claims to significantly upset the knowledge we have of an event and therefore competes with the "version" which is commonly accepted, stigmatized as "official"" (p. 2).

Observe that this definition does not apply solely to the delusions of the mentally ill. Thus, Socrates, through the myth of the cave, affirmed his challenge to the certainties of his time; Galileo with his heliocentric theory challenged the prevailing interpretation of the Bible of his time; etc.

For my part, and since they see me as the "pope of conspiracy theorists" or rather the "heretic" in the words of Italian philosopher Roberto Quaglia, I reaffirm my radical political commitment, in keeping with the French republican radicalism of Leon Bourgeois [4], of Georges Clemenceau, [5] of Alain [6] and of Jean Moulin. [7] For me, as for them, the state is a Leviathan which by nature abuses those it governs.

As a radical Republican, I am aware that the state is the enemy of the common good, of the Res Publica; which is why I wish not to abrogate it, but to tame it. The republican ideal is compatible with various political regimes-including monarchies, as was enacted by the authors of the Declaration of 1789.

This opposition, which the current Socialist Party disputes, has so shaped our history as Philippe Pétain repealed the Republic to proclaim the "French State". Immediately after his assuming presidential office, I denounced Hollande’s Petainism [8]. Today, Mr. Hollande claims to be of the Republic to better fight it and this inversion of values ​​plunges the country into confusion.

Who are the "conspiracy theorists"?

The "conspiracy theorists" are thus citizens who oppose the omnipotence of the State and who wish to place it under surveillance.

The Jean-Jaurès Foundation describes them as follows:

"[It’s] a heterogeneous movement, heavily entangled with the Holocaust denial movement, and which combines admirers of Hugo Chavez and fans of Vladimir Putin. An underworld that consist of former left-wing activists or extreme leftists, former "malcontents", sovereignists, revolutionary nationalists, ultra-nationalists, nostalgists of the Third Reich, anti-vaccination activists, supporters of drawing straws, September 11th revisionists, anti-Zionists, Afrocentricists, survivalists, followers of "alternative medicine", agents of influence of the Iranian regime, Bacharists, Catholic or Islamic fundamentalists "(p. 8).

One will note the amalgams and abuse of this description aiming to discredit those it designates.

Myths of the "conspiracy theorists"

The Jean-Jaurès Foundation continues its vilification by accusing "conspiracy theorists" of ignoring the realities of the world and naively believing hackneyed myths. Thus, they would believe in the "World Zionist plot", the "illuminati conspiracy" and the "Rothschild myth" (p. 4). And to credit these three statements, it cites an example solely on the "Rothschild myth": blogger Etienne Chouard - whose work is not simply about the Republic, but goes beyond to treat Democracy [9] - says the Pompidou-Rothschild 1973 law is the source of the debt of France. And the Foundation goes on to refute this assertion by quoting an article published by Libération.

One will note here that the example of Étienne Chouard leaves one unsatisfied about the two other cited myths. Especially, the Foundation addresses ignorant people who have neither read the response from Mr. Chouard to Libération [10] nor the contribution of the "conspiracy theorist", former Prime minister Michel Rocard. [11] Indeed, in this debate, it is clear that the 1973 law allowed the explosion of the French debt in favor of private banks, which would have been impossible before.

The "conspirasphere"

For the Fondation Jean-Jaurès, conspiracy intellectuals would be

"essentially North Americans. Particular mention is made of Webster Tarpley and William Engdhal (both former members of the US political-sectarian organization led by Lyndon LaRouche), Wayne Madsen (WayneMadsenReport.com), Kevin Barrett (VeteransToday.com) or Michel Chossudovsky (Mondialisation.ca ). With their European counterparts, they form a kind of International to which Thierry Meyssan, president of Voltaire Network, tried to give concrete form in November 2005 in Brussels, bringing together an "anti-imperialist conference" - "Axis for Peace "- the list of participants of which reads like a who’s who of conspiracy authors most prominent at the time" (p. 8).

First, let’s observe that the Fondation Jean-Jaurès must only read in French and English, and have barely skimmed over the participants’ lists of Axis for Peace, to believe that the phenomenon it describes only concerns France, Canada and the United States. In fact it includes a very large literature in Arabic, Spanish, Persian and Russian; languages ​​which are also in the majority in Axis for Peace.

Let’s note also the malicious nature of the reference to "the politico-sectarian American organization led by Lyndon LaRouche." Indeed, William Webster Tarpley and Engdhal quit this organization more than 20 years ago. And at the time when they were members, this party was represented in France at an extreme-left organization’s congress.

A little further on, the Jean-Jaurès Foundation does not fail to mention the comedian Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala, whose shows the State seeks to prohibit, the sociologist Alain Soral, whose website (EgaliteEtReconciliation.fr ) obtains audience records in France, and Alain Benajam (facebook.com/alain.benajam), chairman of Voltaire Network France and representative of the Novorossian Government of Donbass.

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In 1989, the former head of US intelligence in Europe, Irving Brown, revealed to reporters Roger Faligot and Rémi Kauffer that he had recruited Jean-Christophe Cambadélis when he militated in Lambertists Trotskyists. 25 years later, Mr. Cambadélis became First Secretary of the French Socialist Party.

The political ideas of "conspiracy theorists"

After these appetizers, the Fondation Jean-Jaurès comes to the heart of the debate, that of political ideas. It defines those of the "conspiracy theorists" thus:

- "the erasure of any distinction in kind between liberal democracies and authoritarian regimes (deemed more “totalitarian" than the worst of totalitarianism)”;
- "[Opposition to] any anti-racist legislation under the pretext of defending "freedom of expression";
- "[Rejection of] the relevance of the left-right divide, the real divide is the one between" the system "(or" Empire "or the" oligarchy ") and those who resist it"; (P. 8)
- "the idea that Zionism is a project of world domination" (p. 9).

The Jean-Jaurès Foundation specifically targets areas of conflict, but exaggerates to discredit its opponents. For example, no one is opposed to all anti-racism legislation, but only and exclusively to the Fabius-Gayssot law that punishes by imprisonment any debate about the extermination of the Jews of Europe [12].

What is Zionism?

The Foundation then engages in a very long analysis of my works on Zionism. It disfigures them, then comments:

"Thierry Meyssan’s anti-Zionism bears no resemblance to the criticism of a situation, that of the governments that have been able to succeed each other at the head of the State of Israel. It does not arise from an anti-colonialism that would be resolved by Israel’s withdrawal from the territories occupied after the Six Day War and the creation of a Palestinian state. It also does not proceed from an internationalism that would hold in suspicion, in principle, any national movement wherever it comes from, precisely because it does not liken Zionism to a national movement. This paranoid anti-Zionism does not pretend to fight Zionism in the diversity of its historical expressions, but as a fantastic hydra that is the source of evil in the world. "

In wanting to conclude this debate by giving it considerable space in its analysis, the Jean Jaurès Foundation highlights its importance. I indeed defend a position thus far absent in the Western political debate [13]:

- The first head of state who stated his intention to bring together Jews from around the world in a state that would be theirs was Lord Cromwell in the seventeenth century. His project, clearly explained, was to use the Jewish diaspora to expand English hegemony. This project has been defended by all successive British governments and registered by Benjamin Disraeli in the agenda of the Berlin Conference.

- Theodor Herzl himself was a disciple of Cecil Rhodes, the theorist of the British Empire. Herzl originally proposed to create Israel in Uganda or Argentina, not in Palestine. When he succeeded in having Jewish activists adhere to the British project, he bought land in Palestine by creating the Jewish Agency whose articles are a carbon copy of the Rhodes society in Southern Africa.

- In 1916-17, the United Kingdom and the United States reconciled themselves by committing together to create the state of Israel through the Balfour Declaration in London and Wilson’s 14 points in Washington.

It is therefore perfectly absurd to claim that Herzl invented Zionism, to separate the Zionist project from British colonialism, and to deny that the State of Israel is a tool of the common imperial project in London and Washington.

The position of the Parti socialiste on this subject is not innocent. In 1936 it proposed with Léon Blum to create the state of Israel on the territory of the Lebanon mandate [14]. However the project was quickly dismissed because of the opposition of the French High Commissioner in Beirut, Damien de Martel de Janville.

Concluding remarks

In 2008, Professor Cass Sunstein, an adviser to President Barack Obama and husband of the US Ambassador to the UN, had written a similar note [15].

He wrote:

"We can easily imagine a series of possible answers.
- 1. The government can ban conspiracy theories.
- 2. The government could impose some kind of tax, financial or otherwise, on those who disseminate such theories.
- 3. The government could engage in a contrary discourse to discredit conspiracy theories.
- 4. The government could initiate credible private parties to engage in a discourse against conspiracy theories.
- 5. The government could engage in informal communication with third parties and encourage them.

Ultimately, the US government had decided to fund individuals, both at home and abroad, to disrupt the forum websites of conspiracy theorists and to create groups to contradict them.

This not having sufficed, France is called upon to take authoritarian measures. As in the past, the French elites, of which the Socialist Party forms the pseudo-left wing, have placed themselves under the orders of the main military power of the time, in this case, the US.

Let’s not be naive, we are approaching an inevitable showdown. It remains to be determined which instance, necessarily administrative, will be in charge of censorship and what will be its criteria.

Roger Lagassé

Attached documents


[1] « Discours de François Hollande au Mémorial de la Shoah », par François Hollande, Réseau Voltaire, 27 janvier 2015.

[2] « Conspirationnisme : un état des lieux », par Rudy Reichstadt, Observatoire des radicalités politiques, Fondation Jean-Jaurès, Parti socialiste, 24 février 2015.

[3] L’Effroyable Imposture suivi de Le Pentagate, par Thierry Meyssan, Nouvelle réédition, entièrement réactualisée et annotée, éditions Demi-Lune.

[4] Léon Bourgeois, sculpteur français (1851-1925). Théoricien du « solidarisme » (que les socialistes actuels confondent avec la Fraternité). Il fut président du Parti radical, président du Conseil des ministres, premier président de la Société des Nations et lauréat du prix Nobel de la paix en 1920. Avec l’aide du Tsar Nicolas II, il posa le principe des arbitrages entre États, dont la Cour internationale de Justice des Nations unies est l’aboutissement actuel.

[5] Georges Clemenceau (1841-1929). Il défendit les Communards face à la droite et combattit la gauche socialiste de Jules Ferry aussi bien contre son projet de colonisation que contre sa vision de la laïcité. Alors que, durant la Grande Guerre, le pays semblait vaincu, il devint président du Conseil et le conduisit jusqu’à la victoire.

[6] Alain, philosophe français (1868-1951), co-fondateur du Comité de vigilance des intellectuels antifascistes (CVIA). Il milita pour une république protectrice de la liberté, strictement contrôlée par le peuple.

[7] Jean Moulin, haut fonctionnaire (1899-1943). Il prit le parti des Républicains espagnols et organisa illégalement, malgré le gouvernement socialiste neutre, un trafic d’armes pour résister aux Franquistes. Durant l’Occupation de la France, il dirigea le Conseil national de la Résistance, y incluant toutes les sensibilités politiques à l’exception de celle qui s’était battue aux côtés des Franquistes. Arrêté par les nazis, il mourut sous la torture.

[8] “France According to François Hollande”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Michele Stoddard , Voltaire Network, 4 August 2012.

[9] La République veille à ce que le Pouvoir serve l’Intérêt général. La Démocratie exige que le Pouvoir soit exercé par tous les citoyens.

[10] «Analyse des réflexions de Monsieur Beitone sur la prétendue rumeur d’extrême droite à propos de la loi de 1973», par Étienne Chouard, 30 décembre 2011.

[11] Émission Mediapolis sur la radio Europe 1, le 22 décembre 2012, l’ancien Premier ministre socialiste Michel Rocard était l’invité de Michel Field et d’Olivier Duhamel.

[12] De nombreux responsables politiques se sont vainement opposés à cette loi, dont l’ancien président Jacques Chirac, et les anciens Premiers ministres Dominique de Villepin et François Fillon.

[13] “Who is the Enemy?”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Roger Lagassé, Voltaire Network, 4 August 2014.

[14] My Enemy’s Enemy: Lebanon in the Early Zionist Imagination, 1900-1948, Laura Zittrain Eisenberg, Wayne State University Press (1994). Thèse de doctorat vérifiée par Itamar Rabinovitch côté israélien et Kamal Salibi côté libanais.

[15] «Conspiracy Theories», Cass R. Sunstein & Adrian Vermeule, Harvard Law School, January 15, 2008.

Thierry Meyssan

Thierry Meyssan French intellectual, founder and chairman of Voltaire Network and the Axis for Peace Conference. His columns specializing in international relations feature in daily newspapers and weekly magazines in Arabic, Spanish and Russian. His last two books published in English : 9/11 the Big Lie and Pentagate.

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