The Politics of Bizarre Conspiracies of Q-Anon
The Q-Anon cabal has a political agenda to destabilize society. This gang of conspiracists uses the righteous outrage of child sexual abuse and sex trafficking to enflame emotion and fear.
The emotional turmoil gives the conspiracists a platform to use fear and outrage as a tool to advance a racist, right-wing agenda. Their fantasies become a weapon to foster hate of immigrants, labeling them as sexual predators and traffickers. The conspiracy theories, such as caravans of rapist immigrants, the Pizzagate conspiracy, and some twisted plot connected to Hilary, point to a fantasy.
The Agenda of Fear, Hate, and Racism
Historic income inequality and economic insecurity fueled fear and anxiety. Social control and rational discourse served to destabilize the social structure. Their previous understanding of society withers away. Mainstream explanations failed to describe the lived experience. The social fabric disintegrated.
In a society adrift in insecurity, reasons for the disfunction give rise to more and more speculative rationales. The ongoing shift in racial demographics provided an easy explanation for the dramatic reduction in economic power. The comfort of privilege and whiteness, bolstered by racism, provided an easy enemy. Those so perplexed and immobilized by their fear, insecurity, and anxiety grasp at straws to explain their plight.
Who’s to Blame?
The extent of destabilization, fear, and insecurity give rise to unusual explanations in an attempt to understand these terrible times. Conspiracists throw wild theories to justify, and then explain, their insecurity and fear. While the conspiracy theories are incoherent, they are manufactured to explain the lived experience. Those caught in this ocean of doubt, paranoia, fear, and anxiety drowned in the waves of speculative theories. Similar to an actual drowning, they flail their arms in the hopes of staying afloat.
Provocateurs flood social media with fantastic and unbelievable theories, yet, at the same time, dismiss any rational understanding or examination, thereby eliminating any rescue. Yet, each revelation, no matter how crazy, serves to justify previous crazy theories. The addition of each new advocate confirms the ‘truth’ for all the others in the circle.
Powerless and Fearful
Believing in fantastical events gives the security of understanding the forces outside their control and power. Moreover, the comprehensiveness of the conspiracy offers the hope of a rational explanation of the terrible times we live in.
An example is the “deep state” theory. This theory becomes the theory of everything. The conspiracy theorists suggest that the arrapachikis of the State Department are in conspiracy with the Defense Department, who are in conspiracy with the deep state at all the government agencies. The suggested conspiracy links all elements of government. Any impediment or difficulty in daily life is perceived as a result of ‘deep state’ intervention.
Reject the Experts, Reject the Media
Q and the gang use the boogeyman of ‘deep state’ and combine with a rejection of experts, science, and advocacy organizations to close the circle on the conspiracy. Instead, they categorize them as the liberal elite as a means to isolate their expertise. Thus, the conspiracists must denigrate the media and experts to maintain the conspiracy theories as part of the ‘deep state’ system. That way, they can make up their own ‘facts’ to justify their fantasies and reject otherwise rational explanations.
They reject any explanation or information not their own. The only confirmation they need is the confirmation of another conspiracist who confirms the theory. This problem snowballs through social media providing the ‘proof’ of the fantasy.
There were wild theories about the Freemasons and the Illuminati in the olden days, and now we have PizzaGate, Wayfair, Democrats as the new secret forces controlling our life.
Why do wild ideas gather attention? Gain strength?
We see a population destabilized by insecurity, where they have less power and vanishing control of their future. Their livelihood is threatened, and income inequality increases, fueling fear daily. While railing at the powerful and the deep state, the Q conspiracists at the same time support President Trump.
Conspiracists Swim in the Sea of Racism
Racism plays a huge role as racism be used to reinforce and confirm preexisting racist ideology. The ideology goes something like this: if things are bad for me, then blame must be placed on people of color, Democrats, media, etc. Somebody needs to be blamed; the easiest target are the immigrants.
Recent social upheavals of the pandemic, immigration, and racial justice demonstrations further challenge society’s structures. Q and the conspiracy mob use this social unease to undermine the foundation of social cohesion. Anger, fear, and anxiety fuel the disintegration of trust and at the same time fuel hate and racism.
Racism fans the flames of bigotry and discrimination. Blaming people of color and immigrants becomes an accepted and integrated part of the conspiracy dialogue. President Trump amplified this racist meme of immigrants as sexual predators.
Manipulators heightened the fears of social upheaval, job insecurity, general powerlessness, and the understanding of a changing social structure of society due to the rising influence and power of immigrants and people of color. As a result, they retreat into fantastical theories, no matter how weird, that confirms their fear. Outside agents continue to stoke the engines of fear to fuel the fires of bigotry, hate, and fear.
The Q-Anon crew mixes a hundred speculative explanations that stick together grand conspiracies that give ‘answers’ that explain those beat down by insecurity and fear, even if the theories are fantastic and unbelievable. The exploitation of the horrific crime of child sex trafficking is the emotional fuel to fire up and enrage. Child sex trafficking is so horrible that it provides the emotional wrapping to hide the unbelievable conspiracy.
The Circle is Complete
If any part of their wild theories is challenged, they circle back to the ‘deep state’ conspiracy for covering up. Or they can say that the media is biased. Or the liberal elite is controlling. They complete the circle. Each mention in social media provides further evidence and truth of the conspiracy theory.
A Cabal Enflames Fear and Insecurity
This social fear and anxiety capture many. This comprehensive assembly of speculation and fear-mongering reinforces itself. The views of a few reinforce the belief of others— i.e., a conspiracist may say that “it must be true as I read it on the internet (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Parler, etc).” Eventually, a conspiracy of a few will perpetuate the belief of hundreds, and the belief of the hundreds of conspiracists will strengthen the belief of a few.
At the same time, there is a consistent right-wing agenda that lies underneath all the Q fantasies: racist attacks, Democrats, immigrants, the media, the elites. They are the political targets underlying their message. Q and the gang say they hate sex abuse, yet they support the serial sexual predator Trump.
The whole gaggle of conspiracy adherents has no interest in seeking information; they already have their ‘facts.’ They have no interest in organized action or participation with organizations that fights sex abuse trafficking. Q-Anon and the Q gang manufacture fantasies on the scale of Walt Disney. Each thrives within their own unique embrace of fantasy.
The Q conspiracists have a clear agenda of destabilizing society, ramping up fear, and heightening social unrest. Moreover, they propagate the notion that the ‘storm is coming.’ As a result, the federal government considers them a terrorist organization.
Instead of accepting the Pizzagate conspiracy, check out Polaris Project, an organization that takes action, does the work. They organize and mobilize the world to fight sex trafficking. See Polaris’s blog entry here about bogus conspiracy theories:
“The truth of the matter is that the “villains” of sex trafficking are less likely to be members of a secretive network involved in a bizarre or convoluted scheme than they are to be some of your neighbors–local businessman, pastor, doctor, lawyer, military officer, or government official. Sex trafficking simply would not occur if there were no customers – generally men – buying sex.
Similarly, while anyone can of course become a victim of sex trafficking, it is rarely perpetrated by a total stranger who kidnaps children. People – including children – who have other vulnerabilities are far more likely to be victimized, and often the perpetrators are people the victims know and may even love or trust. “
There are a hundred organizations that support survivors, hold predators accountable, and protect the community. I am proud of my advocacy for supporting survivors and holding sexual predators accountable.
Resources for those interested in Sexual Abuse and Trafficking
The Polaris Project is the major organization fighting trafficking in the world. Check them out. They do the work and take action. Contact them if you are interested in advocacy about sex trafficking.
Check out some Allies and sister organizations of the Survivors Movement in the fight to stop sexual abuse.
The fight to end fantastical conspiracy theories requires that we oppose racist tropes and characterizations, resist falling into despair, banish the foundations of fear, support another who is suffering, and embrace knowledge. Then, our solidarity and community can extinguish the conspiracy theories.
August 22, 2020