Perversely, distrust of these institutions means that when people’s intuitions appear to be rejected, or the knowledge they value undermined, it becomes a type of validation: if they say it’s false, it must be true!
When you realise that the very same itch to get to the bottom of things underlies the book of Revelation, The Wizard of Oz and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, you can begin to perceive what a big, rough beast the apocalyptic genre really is.
Much of mainstream liberal commentary on the 5G conspiracy consists of snide dismissals that blame credulous individuals for inaccurate beliefs. Yet, given how widespread the 5G conspiracies have become, it is not enough to dismiss them...
Feeding into this inchoate state of transgression is a cross-current of vectors: our knowledge of impending climate catastrophe, the disavowed madness of the economic system, the danger and transformative power of COVID-19, galloping I-centredness, social fragmentations, and more. This welter of concerns raises the deepest anxiety.
As lockdown restrictions slowly ease, a peruse of the encrypted networks used by anti-lockdown protesters reveals the extent to which confused allegiances and conspiracy theories have plagued the movement.