Conspiracy and the Supervillains of History - A Study of how Conspiracy Theorists View History

Ariel Storm Lokzinsky

Studenteropgave: Speciale


This thesis investigates conspiracy theories and the view of history these theories employ. The thesis reviews three earlier approaches in conspiracy theory scholarship. It proposes a synthesis of these approaches by viewing conspiracy theory as the invention of supervillains – supremely powerful agents who can control history. The heightened importance of agency in this view of history can result in a responsive urge to take history into one’s own hands. The thesis analyses texts from three prominent cases of conspiracy theory: the well-poisoning accusations against Jews during the Black Death, the Foreign Plot theory during the Reign of Terror, and the Illuminati conspiracy theories in the wake of the French Revolution. In each of these cases of conspiracy theory, the thesis examines how the ‘power’ of the supervillain is believed to manifest itself. The thesis finds that the conspiracist view of history entails ‘perfect organisations’ which makes it possible for conspiracies to control every aspect of society and thus the flow of history. Rather than criticising the inaccuracies of each conspiracy theory, the thesis concludes that one should instead challenge the premise that these perfect organisations can exist.

UddannelserHistorie, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato2 aug. 2018
Antal sider74
VejledereJakob Egholm Feldt