Here's an article I originally wrote for the rebooted International Times about how many conspiracy theories advanced by some on the fringe-left actually originated on the American far-right, and how conspiracy entrepreneurs feed and exploit the fears of their followers to sell nonsense products. Read it here.
"...Conspiracy theories cause immense damage politically by misdirecting those with a genuine interest in exposing and resisting the corruption and barbarity inherent in Western capitalism. Energy is squandered chasing phantoms like chemtrails or the “truth” about 9/11 and, at the same time, people’s credibility on genuine issues of concern is tarnished. We find ourselves in the perverse situation where left-wing environmentalists push climate change denial, oppose gun-control, and promote the the repeal of affordable healthcare legislation in the US. Conspiracy theories manage to get the left doing the right’s dirty work; and it remains rare to see the transaction happen in reverse."