A conspiracy theory requires that one attribute incentives that fail the test of occam’s razor, almost always because the individual is a social outlier, and has limited sensitivity to, experience with, or knowledge and understanding of how people operate in large groups.
Conspiracy theory is the equivalent of dunning kruger failure of personal assessment, projected upon interpersonal and social assessment. In both cases the individual attributes greater ability, agency, and logic to the self and others than they have, because of mistrust, because they do not trust either their own cognition, others, or both.
This is why conspiracy theory (systemization) tends to be a male category of cognitive failure, and oppression (personalization) tends to be a female category of cognitive failure.
However, we note that in both the Male conspiracy theory and the female oppression cognitive failures, that the parties do not seek to understand the incentives of the individuals they are judging, or to falsify their conspiracy or oppression narratives.
There is a reason for it. The human mind operates by building a world model ‘fit for it’s physical, emotional, psychological, and mental budget’. A physiological, emotional, and cognitive economy. This is why people who are ill, depressed, tired, at different points of the day, rested, healthy, excited, or joyous all perceive the same world slighlty differently
In both conspiracy and oppression cognitive failures, the individual has defended his or her desperate attempt to suppress the feeling of being out of control of his or her life (due to his or her cognitive limitations), by false self-promise of comprehension.
Status is our human accounting system. There are healthy and unhealthy means of suppression emotional panic from cognitive failure to find a means of obtaining success (status) in the social, economic, and political marketplace.
Agency (success), Truth / Knowledge / Understanding (acceptance), Philosophy (settlement), Theology-Religion (detachment), Self Discipline (buddhism,stoicism), Ritual/Sport-exercise/hypersocializatin(exposure), Conspiracy and Oppression (withdrawal) narratives are the most common means of providing mindfulness.
It’s not hard to see how the consequences of deviation from Knowledge escalate.
So, both oppression and conspiracy behaviors are expressions of proto-depression, or prolonged depression from the continuous failure of one’s ideas about one’s self and others and what is in other’s abilities and interests. And That’s because evolution insured that we would remain optimistic to survive in the face of incredible stresses when continued existence is no longer rational.
Exhaust all possible explanation for rational choice prior to default to malincentives (conspiracy of intent). In most cases it’s conspiracy of organizational incentives, conspiracy of common interests, conspiracy of genetic bias (such as the ashkenazi adoption of the female strategy), ignorance, error, or stupidity.
If you exhaust all of the possible rational incentives then only malincentives remain. But rare.
Never attribute to intention what is the product of either incentives, ignorance, or stupidity. Humans by and large justify what they do post hoc with a story. Humans by ad large pursue self interests that they can justify with a story afterward. Because that’s what our brains do.
And frankly the more responsibility you have, for the more people, for more risk, the more you have to compromise between different sets of unacceptable externalities that are the cost of getting whatever it s you’re doing done with the resources available, time available, people you have to work with, and incentives you can provide.
Most organizational failure that we interpret as conspiracy is the result of people in organizations that are producing malincentives by accident rather than by design.
Most groups that engage in evil are doing so because they consider what they’re doing a good. As I’m fond of saying, serial killers justify what they do, and the mothers of serial killers justify what they’ve done, and the fathers of serial killers are happy to throw away the key if not pull the lever.
So if it is other than a conspiracy of intention, our problem is not to wish for better humans, but to rule with the humans we have, using the law and incentives to prevent malincentives.