Advertisement

Abstract

Periodically, people are accused of conspiring against their country, against their religion, or against the party of which they are members. Now, a conspiracy is, by definition, the work of a minority. One of the most pronounced, if not the most pronounced, aspects of this accusation becomes immediately apparent: The minority is alien; either it is composed of foreigners or it is financed by and in league with foreign powers. One always seems to detect what one calls “the hand of the stranger” behind the beliefs and actions of the minority. An event will trigger this habitual thought process that one has recourse to, as if by reflex. A few examples will enable us to give our ideas more concrete form. A few years ago Indira Ghandi, India’s prime minister, was assassinated by Sikh bodyguards. The murder occurred at the same time the Sikh minority was claiming its independence, and the Indian Army had been called in to intervene against it. A few days after the assassination, Rajiv Ghandi, who had succeeded his mother, proclaimed in front of an audience of 100, 000 in New Delhi: “The assassination of Indira Ghandi is the doing of a vast conspiracy whose object is to weaken and divide India” (LeMonde, 1984). He added that the assassins were aided and abetted by foreign accomplices. Also recently, an event had great repercussions in France. Agents of the French secret service sank the Rainbow Warrior, a ship belonging to the ecological organization Greenpeace, in the port of Auckland. The ship was to take part in a demonstration against French nuclear experiments in the Pacific. Without awaiting the results of the official nuclear experiments in the Pacific.

Keywords

Mental Life Conspiracy Theory Christian Church Ecological Organization Foreign Power 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Billig, M. (1978). Fascists. London: Harcourt, Brace and Jovanovich.Google Scholar
  2. Bloy, L. (1983). Le salut par les juifs. Paris: U.G.E.Google Scholar
  3. Bredin, J.D. (1983). L’Affaire. Paris: Julliard.Google Scholar
  4. Broch, H. (1979). Massenwahntheorie. Frankfurt/Main: Suhrkamp.Google Scholar
  5. Cohn, N. (1975). Europe’s inner demons, an enquiry inspired by the great witch-hunt. London: Chatto and Heinemann.Google Scholar
  6. Déconchy, J.P. (1980). Lorthodoxie religieuse et les sciences humaines. The Hague: Mouton.Google Scholar
  7. Déconchy, J.P. (1985). The paradox of “orthodox” minorities: When orthodoxy fails. In S. Moscovici, G. Mugny & E. van Ave (Eds.), Perspectives on minority influence (pp. 187–201). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Delumeau, J. (1978). La peur en Occident. Paris: Fayard.Google Scholar
  9. Durkheim, E. (1979). Les formes élémentaires de la vie religieuse (10th ed.). Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.Google Scholar
  10. Farr, R.M., & Moscovici, S. (1984). Social representations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Herling, G. (1935). Un monde à part. Paris: Denoel.Google Scholar
  12. Hofstadter, R. (1979). The paranoid style in American politics and other essays. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  13. Jankelevitch, V. (1966). Le pur et l’impur. Paris: Flammarion.Google Scholar
  14. Kierkegaard, S. (1937). Riens philosophiques. Paris: Gallimard.Google Scholar
  15. Kierkegaard, S. (1962). Paris: Gallimard.Google Scholar
  16. Kojève, A. (1947). Introduction à la lecture de Hegel. Paris: Gallimard.Google Scholar
  17. Le Mert, E. (1937). Paranoia and the dynamics of exclusion. Sociometry, 25, 2–25.Google Scholar
  18. Moscovici, S. (1985a). The age of the crowd. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Moscovici, S. (1985b). Le ressentiment, Le genre humain, 7, 179–186.Google Scholar
  20. Papastamou, S., Mugny, G., & Kaiser, C. (1980). Echec à l’influence minoritaire: La psy-chologisation. Recherches de Psychologie Sociale, 2, 42–61.Google Scholar
  21. Poliakov, L. (1980). La causalité diabolique: Essai sur l’origine des persécutions. Paris: Calmann-Lévy.Google Scholar
  22. Popper, K. (1965). Conjectures and refutations. New York: Harper Torchbooks.Google Scholar
  23. Rokeach, M. (1960). The open and closed mind. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  24. Rudwin, M.J. (1931). The devil in legend and literature. Chicago: Open Court.Google Scholar
  25. Scheler, M. (1915). Das Ressentiment im Aufbau der Moralen. In: M. Scheler (Ed.), Vom Umsturz der Werte Abhandlungen und Aufsätze, Vol. 1. Leipzig: Der Neue Geist-Verlag.Google Scholar
  26. Tacitus. (1842). Annales. In Pankucke (Ed.). Paris.Google Scholar
  27. Trotsky, L. (1950). Histoire de la révolution russe. Paris: Le Seuil.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Serge Moscovici

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations