Civil Rights

The story of The Illuminati begins in 1776 with the formation of the Bavarian Illuminati, a secret society founded by Adam Weishaupt, a German law professor. Weishaupt, disillusioned with the limitations of conventional education and the power wielded by the church, sought to create an organization that promoted Enlightenment ideals: reason, secularism, and rationality.

The Illuminati initially attracted intellectuals, freethinkers, and progressive politicians. They discussed controversial ideas like secularism, civil rights, and rational thought, which were radical during a period dominated by religious and monarchical power.

Spread and suppression

The society grew quickly but covertly. By the 1780s, it had infiltrated various influential circles, including Masonic lodges. However, their secrecy and progressive ideas alarmed conservative and religious authorities.

The Illuminati gazing towards the Eye of Providence, by Midjourney

In 1785, Charles Theodore, Elector of Bavaria, banned all secret societies, including the Illuminati, and vigorously pursued its members. This suppression led to the disbandment and scattering of its adherents.

Conspiracy theories begin

Despite its dissolution, the Illuminati’s legacy persisted, giving birth to numerous conspiracy theories. The French Revolution (1789-1799) was a significant catalyst.

Some conservative European authors speculated that the Illuminati survived and masterminded the revolution as part of a grand scheme to overthrow monarchies and religions across Europe. In this way, The Illuminati were already outliving themselves in the mind of the public.

The 19th and 20th centuries: Spread of theories

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the myth of the Illuminati persisted. Anti-Semitic propagandists in the 19th century, including the authors of the notorious “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” falsely claimed that Jews and Freemasons (often conflated with the Illuminati) were plotting global domination. This pernicious myth found a receptive audience in various parts of the world, notably influencing Adolf Hitler and the Nazi ideology.

The Modern Era

In the 20th century, especially during the Cold War, conspiracy theories about the Illuminati evolved and spread. They were often used as political tools to instigate fear about perceived enemies, both internal and external.

In recent decades, the Illuminati has been a staple in popular culture, appearing in books, movies, and music. This omnipresence in media has played a significant role in keeping the conspiracy theory alive in the public imagination.

Psychological and sociological perspectives

The staying power of the Illuminati conspiracy theory can be attributed to various psychological and sociological factors:

  1. Human Nature and Mystery: Humans are naturally drawn to mystery and the allure of secret societies. The idea of a hidden group controlling world events is both frightening and fascinating.
  2. Simplification of Complex Issues: Conspiracy theories provide simple explanations for complex world events. Blaming a single, shadowy organization for significant historical and current events is easier than understanding the multifaceted nature of these occurrences.
  3. Powerlessness and Control: In times of uncertainty or powerlessness, conspiracy theories offer a sense of understanding and control. Believing in the Illuminati can make the world seem more predictable and manageable.
  4. Political and Ideological Utility: Various groups have used the Illuminati conspiracy theory to advance their political or ideological agendas, often as a tool to discredit opponents or rally support against a perceived common enemy.

The Illuminati conspiracy theory is a fascinating case study in the power of ideas and myths. From its inception as a small secret society advocating Enlightenment ideals to its current status as a symbol of covert global domination, the Illuminati myth reflects deeper human needs and fears.

Its stickiness highlights our enduring fascination with the unknown and our propensity to find patterns and meanings, sometimes where none exist. As society continues to evolve, the myth of the Illuminati is likely to persist, morphing to fit the anxieties and questions of each new generation.

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seditious conspiracy folks working to undermine the united states

It may have seemed like the election of 2016 came out nowhere, and the January 6, 2021 attempted coup event was another deep gash to the fabric of assumption — but in reality, the authoritarian movement to dismantle America has been working diligently for a long time. Depending on how you count, the current war against the government began in the 1970s after Roe v. Wade, or in the 1960s after the Civil Rights Act, or in the 1950s with the John Birch Society, or in the 1930s with the American fascists, or in the 1870s with the Redemption and Lost Cause Religion, or in the 1840s with the Southern Baptist split, or in the 1790s when we emerged from the Articles of Confederation.

We are facing an unprecedented crisis of democracy under attack by the most current roster of these extremists, hardliners, theocrats, plutocrats, and others of their ilk. The following mind map diagrams the suspects and perpetrators of the Jan 6 coup as we know so far — including the Council for National Policy, the Koch network, Trump and his merry band of organized criminals, the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, and other right-wing groups — from militia convicted of seditious conspiracy, to rioters who have been arrested in the January 6th probe, to persons of interest who have been subpoena’d by the January 6 Committee in the House, to anyone and anything else connected to the ongoing plot to kill America whether near or far in relation. The map extends to include coverage of the basic factions at work in the confusing melodrama of American politics, and their historical precedents.

Mind map of the seditious conspiracy

I’ll be continuing to work on this as information comes out of the various investigations and inquiries into the attempted coup to prevent the peaceful transfer of power, from the January 6 Committee to Merrick’s DOJ, the GA district attorney, NY district attorney, various civil suits, and probably more we don’t even know about yet. You can navigate the full mind map as it grows here:

Head onward into “Continue Reading” to see the same mind map through a geographic perspective:

Continue reading Koup Klux Klan: The authoritarian movement trying to take over America
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Freedom means the right to make choices. When you have a large population, that means many different kinds of people are making many kinds of different choices for different reasons. That means, mathematically speaking, a broad distribution graph of options chosen over time. Freedom produces diversity, as a direct consequence of its own laissez-faire philosophy.

The Founders knew this. James Madison was an intellectual of his day, and a polymathic student of the great ideas of his time. It is hard not to see the influence of exposure to Condorcet’s theory about decision-making in Madison’s later ideas about diffusing the flames of factions by essentially dousing them in the large numbers of people spreading out within the growing nation. He believed that ideas and interests that were actively opposing each other would be a good way to preserve enough vigor to sustain an active self-governing democracy.

Regardless of the origin, Madison clearly himself was advocating for the power of diversity to preserve the very republic. He believed that this diversity of views in fact provided the structure that would help prevent singular demagogues from rising up too far and destroying democracy forever in their quest for unlimited power. The founders shared this foresight — that giving Americans the freedom to live as they may would lead to a healthy democracy, through the promulgation of different ideas and knowledge as well as through vigorous debate.

You can’t have freedom without diversity

Many who cite Freedom as their patriotic raison d’Γͺtre do not seem to tolerate well the exercise of freedom by others, particularly others they disagree with or do not like. But as the great Civil Rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer once said, “Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.” She had the insight that if her civil rights could be taken away from her, then no one else’s rights would be safe in this nation either.

America has always struggled to live up to its founding ideals — but it seems like if we want to truly honor their memories, we would continue to take that vision at face value and continue to carry the light of the torch of equality, perhaps upwards to the crest of a hill from whence we may shine once again.

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Developed in the 18th and 19th centuries, classical liberalism is a political, philosophical, and ethical framework based on individual liberty via human rights and equal protection. Liberalism is a political philosophy or worldview founded on ideas of individual freedom, natural rights, and equality. Whereas classical liberalism emphasizes the role of liberty, social liberalism stresses the importance of equality.

Political thinkers in the 1700s were responding to the contentious issues of their time — namely the oppressive cultural and social conditions of authoritarianism and the twin totalisms of monarchies and the church. Classical liberals such as John Locke, John Stuart Mill, Adam Smith, Montesquieu and others believed that individuals ought to be free to pursue their own interests without interference from the state or other people — so long as they were not harming others, or infringing upon their rights in turn. These principles tend to require a delicate balance between respect for the rule of law, and the limiting of government power.

Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally they support ideas and policies such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, free markets, civil rights, democratic societies, secular governments, gender equality, and international cooperation.

In a word: freedom.

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