Culture Magazine

Anomalies of French Life: Thinking the US Government Knows Everything

By Sedulia @Sedulia

"No! France will not be a colonial country! Americans in America!" Issued by the French Communist Party. This poster was paid for with funds collected by the workers in the Renault factories.

Many French people have what seems to be a sincere belief that the U.S. government is in charge of things. Watching over the world. Blundering, doing things wrong, but omniscient. I can't tell you how many times I've heard conspiracy theories based on the idea that the U.S. government had to know.

Among the things that the U.S. government knows, according to French people I've met:

--the moon landing did not really take place; it was filmed in Hollywood or Arizona
--polio vaccine and the AIDS virus are U.S. government conspiracies
--the World Trade Center attack was an inside job (so many people believe this! including, apparently, Marion Cotillard)
--the worldwide financial crisis was engineered by the U.S.
--Dominique Strauss-Kahn was snared by a U.S. government honey trap
--the Ukrainian crisis is being manipulated by the U.S.
--the Malaysian plane landed on a U.S. air force base in the Indian Ocean

I think they find it reassuring in some way to think someone is in charge of the world. How terrifying if there were no one!

I don't believe in huge conspiracies much myself. Have you ever tried to keep even a big surprise party secret?

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