The other point you need to understand - there is no conspiracy theory. People behave the way they do because of where they fit in the system, in general. The system drives the behaviour unless it’s questioned. The billions marching in lock step to the slaughter house cannot see there is a better way - it’s never occurred to them and their owners want to keep it that way. I’m not pointing to conspiracies, I’m pointing to circumstances and how they narrow people’s thinking and choices. There doesn’t need to be a conspiracy, there just needs to be enough desperation, and an insidious hunger that keeps people quiet and compliant. No conspiracy required. In fact, when you talk to the people whose heads are full of conspiracies it takes their agency from them. They abandon it in the face of overwhelming helplessness. Falling for these theories is a good way to keep hold of your anger while not being able to do anything with it. It’s also a good way of ending up with a head full of dodgy racist nonsense.

The same goes with the media. Herman and Chomsky described this in the book Manufacturing Consent many years ago. Journalists aren’t forced to write things that follow the establishment line. They key thing is they are the establishment, and they got their jobs because they are the safe voices of the establishment, so no coercion is required. The outlets they work for are part of the corporate web that is strangling us all, and their voice is the establishment’s voice. Again, no conspiracy required. It’s just the way things are. The truth is easy enough to find, but it never makes it into print or onto your screen. The consensus, the pretence at balance, simply documents how the different factions of our owners’ interests collide. In recent years campaigning journalists such as John Pilger have found it harder and harder to get their work published because the corporate grip has become even stronger.

When the chips are down the fundamentals of how things are done, where for example something as overwhelming as climate change points to the whole system we live under and the people in charge needing to go, that conversation is never had. Our interests do not align with those of our owners. They are trapped by a system that demands continuous growth and the pursuit of profit every bit as much as we are, except their lives are far less unpleasant than ours and they can’t see anything wrong with it, as long as we do most of the suffering and dying.

Wishing never made it so, but we live in a disconnected world where people act like it does. They’re selling us the delusion that if something makes you uncomfortable you can wish it away. They’re selling us the idea that getting rid of plastic straws will stop us killing the oxygen producing creatures in the sea and choking to death for lack of oxygen. They are not our friends.