My dear conspiracy theorists”. I do not consider it a disgrace if this expression, or any other, is applied to me when following my conscience in the pursuit of a legitimate objective with legitimate means.

William Johnson Fox, translated by Frédéric Bastiat
Complete Works, Volume 3, pages 246 to 259 (in French)
Covent Garden, February 15th 1844

This speech in Covent Garden is given at a time when the Anti-League is starting to be vocal. We learn on one hand that it is attacking the League of all evils, accusing it of conspiring (at the same time of the trial against Daniel O’Connell for “conspiracy”) or getting help from the dead and, on the other hand, that it places itself as supporting the working class. The speech from William Fox exposes this hypocrisy, asking at what time of history did the nobility cared about the worker. He exposes numerous lapses of the nobility while concluding: “Really! may the aristocracy enjoy its prosperity, but also cease to thwart and enslave the tireless labour that allowed it”, showing once more how the liberals are attached to the Rule of Law.

Today’s quote pertains to the accusation of conspiracy and seems of particular relevance these days when one observes the development of conspiracy accusations since 2020 against all those who refuse to embrace governments’ positions on the way to “manage” a pandemic, to implement vaccine obligations or to fight against climate change. When I am accused (or anybody whom I agree with is accused) of being a conspiracy theorist, I identify with William Fox. If my conscience is clear and I consider my position to be legitimate, I am not bothered by the accusation. There is no disgrace in disagreeing with those who consider themselves superior and legitimate to impose their views on me, be them right or wrong. Attempting to silence me through insult rather than conviction is not going to serve the purpose.

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