Conspiracy theories, anti-Semitism and fun

You don’t have to be stupid to be a conspiracy theorist. Many people who buy into paranoid fantasies about stolen Presidential elections and sinister global Jewish cabals are perfectly sane, well-educated individuals. So why do they fall for these myths? This week we consider the possibility that the attraction is primarily aesthetic, and that the experience is fun – because the world of a conspiracy theory is very like the world of a game, and the rage, fear and conviction that conspiracy theorists display are aestheticized versions of the real thing. But why the perennial focus on Jews? The answer can be found in a peculiar tension between philosophical monism and the worldview of the TV series Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Listen to this program with David Rutledge on The Philosopher’s Zone.