A Clarification regarding Michael C. Ruppert

Michael C. Ruppert has objected to being described as a right-wing conspiracist on the PRA website. The original text was modified based on his objection. It read as follows:
The Sucker Punch of Right/Left Coalitions: Right-wing conspiracists such as Jim Marrs, and self-described "truth-seeking" conspiracists such as Michael C. Ruppert, are being featured on "progressive" news programs and Internet lists. What's going on? Why is this a problem? How can progressives be susceptible to recruitment to right-wing groups through conspiracism?
Ruppert continued to complain, threatening to file a lawsuit, and the text was removed pending further study by the staff of Political Research Associates.

Political Research Associates did not mean to suggest that Mr. Ruppert was part of the Extreme Right or an antisemitic White supremacist movement in the U.S.  Nowhere on the website has there ever been any claim that Mr. Ruppert is part of any "right-wing hate group." Nowhere on the website has there ever been any claim that Mr. Ruppert is a "racist, supremacist or separatist." Mr. Ruppert says these are somehow implicit in the context of the original text. We disagree. As the author of the original text, I certainly apologize if anyone read the original wording to mean that.

I do believe that the articles on Mr. Ruppert's website are rooted in longstanding right-wing conspiracist theories about secret elites. In a e-mail responding to his complaint, I wrote the following:

The increase in right-wing conspiracy theories circulating on the political left is one reason I co-wrote Right-Wing Populism in America (New York: Guilford, 2000). This book is designed to show that the conspiracism of crude anti-elite populist rhetoric may sound leftist, but is actually rooted in old right-wing theories about conspiracies by the Illuminati/Freemasons and the antisemitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion. There is an extensive explanation of my arguments about the right-wing roots of pseudo-radical anti-elite conspiracism on the web page you cite, http://www.publiceye.org.
One of the themes of this theory is that right-wing populist conspiracy
theories are used by political and social movements throughout U.S. history to repress and oppress people of color, immigrants, and others. A further argument is that all pseudo-radical conspiracist theories, whether "left" or" right," create a political climate where oppressive and repressive social and political movements can flourish.

I make a distinction between people, like yourself, who seem to promote the generic version of the conspiracist worldview; and people such as David Duke who promotes the antisemitic version of the conspiracist worldview.  Nowhere have I ever suggested that you are a bigot.
 

Longer discussions of the issue are at

"The Sucker Punch of Right/Left Coalitions: The Repressive Side of Right Wing Populism and Anti-Elite Conspiracism." http://www.publiceye.org/sucker_punch/clues.html

and the Basic Conspiracism page
 

-Chip Berlet

4/9/02
links updated 6/15/02


 

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