No conspiracy needed

A call from an individual from a nearby town Monday reminds us that many members of this society seem to thrive on the notion there is always a conspiracy afoot. Perhaps “thrive” is not the right word. We should say many individuals need a conspiracy in order to make life meaningful, for things to make sense.

This individual went on and on about government conspiracies, about Pagosa being a center of UFO and alien activity, about secret government doings suppressed by the mainstream media, about “golden orbs” seen in the skies and a secret underground lab at Dulce, just across the border.

We have been to certain local bars late at night and we have wondered about an alien menace, but we realize we are more than able to rear our own. As for secret government activity, we check each time someone creates then passes on a rumor. We have never found evidence. We have seen flights of military helicopters land here as they are ferried cross-country. We have seen National Guard aircraft here, working in concert with local law enforcement to discover marijuana patches in the county. We know many folks who live in Dulce and none has reported strange activity beneath a mesa.

To those who suspect insidious, clandestine government operations in their back yard, we can only ask: Have you noticed lately how totally inept the government is? Have you noticed how low the government falls in the efficiency ratings?

Television shows, talk shows on the radio, the Internet — all feature promotions of conspiracy theories. It would be entertaining were it not for the fact that, if there were a truly effective and nefarious element of government working to enslave mankind, these types of concerns and media displays would be exactly what it would desire.

Why? Because trapping people in a web of fantastic tales, focusing attention on outlandish theories and plots, keeps people from concentrating on the very real things government does and can do that actually diminish our freedoms, that genuinely put us in jeopardy.

Those things are nowhere near as glittery as energy vortexes, spacecraft, underground labs and secret military plots. They haven’t the emotional cachet of black aircraft, shrouded payloads, massive numbers of citizens imprisoned without notice or trial in FEMA concentration camps.

They are things like the negligence that leads to miserable social conditions and a growing underclass that, in turn, feeds the greatest per capita prison population in the world.

They are things like mounting taxation, with less-than-clear accountability at all points when it comes to the expenditure of the tax revenues.

They are things like a persistent ignorance of the environmental crisis that is upon us and of the difficult personal and collective changes involved in meeting that crisis.

They are things like the erosion of civil rights through the politicization of the justice system.

They are things like the power of lobbyists to influence legislation and the consistent pressure of corporate America to push for more of a status quo that led us to an economic downturn of rare proportions.

They are things like increasing government control of the education system, with standards-based theories taking the day and local control fading to a thing of the past.

They are things like a health care system that can hardly be called a “system” — one in which more citizens go uninsured, where drug prices rocket off the charts and insurance companies labor overtime to maintain profits and cut payouts.

None of these things are anywhere near as fascinating as secret government plots and golden orbs floating in the skies above a lab where mutations are being created that can withstand an invasion of extraterrestrial Reptoids.

The truth is: We don’t need conspiracies to explain our difficulties and the threats we face. Bottom line: the government is, indeed, the problem. And we are the government. Karl Isberg