Meet the New Paranoia, Same as the Old Paranoia (Mostly) with Jesse Walker


March 24th, 2021

1 hr 51 mins 14 secs

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About this Episode

Jesse Walker, author of the excellent United States of Paranoia (2013) and books editor at Reason, joins Outsider Theory to revisit his book's arguments in light of Trump era politics. We discuss the Capitol riot and why it reveals not a unified front but a highly fractured right-wing fringe, and the continuities between liberal establishment paranoia of recent years and the militia panic of the 90s. Jesse also makes the case that playful internet conspiracy theorizing is a continuation of the much older "ironic style" of paranoia that originated with figures like Kerry Thornley and Robert Anton Wilson in the 1960s. Finally, we critique Adam Curtis's treatment of all these themes in his new film "Can't Get You Out of My Head."