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noly's avatar

Do any secret societies rule the world?

Asked by noly (227 points ) October 21st, 2012

Some people believe that the world is ruled by some kind of secret societies (freemasons, illuminati…) whose power is even greater than governemnts and international institutions. They believe that democracy is an illusion. I dont believe it. Can you help me with some solid arguments. Thanks you.

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26 Answers

Lightlyseared's avatar

People are very bad at keeping secrets. Any organisation big enough to run the world couldn’t keep itself secret for five minutes before some idiot bragged about being a member to a get a girl into bed.

DrBill's avatar

If it were secret, we would have no way of knowing.

flutherother's avatar

The massive incompetence of governments and institutions worldwide indicates the opposite. The credit ratings agencies might qualify however. They decide the rate countries pay to finance their debts. These mysterious people are more powerful than governments and hold the fate of millions in their hands.

gailcalled's avatar

Imagine the board meetings of the conspiracy…how to find consensus for ruling Iran, Australia and Lichtenstein would be an interesting challenge.

Plus what to serve for lunch.

syz's avatar

No.

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glacial's avatar

Yes. Wait, no. No. Definitely no.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Stephen Hawking is reputed to have said that if the government is covering up knowledge of alien life, they are doing a better job of it than they do at anything else. A similar sentiment would seem to apply to the secret societies that are sometimes said to be ruling the world. Considering how poor a job they are doing, it would really be quite amazing that they were competent enough to keep such a big secret.

zenvelo's avatar

The Carlyle Group ran things pretty well for them selves. East Coast preppies controlling the American oil Industry and conspiring with the Saudi royal family. They’re the ones that got the Bin Laden family out of the country on 9/12 on the only non military flight out of US airspace. Maintained control over the poppy harvest in Afghanistan to keep the Taliban in line. Started the Iraq War to keep Haliburton profitable. Would still be in complete power if GW Bush hadn’t been such an idiot.

YARNLADY's avatar

The big money corporations who run the world do not even try to keep it secret.

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noly's avatar

What could be the background of such a nonsense.. i mean many people believe in it and even some scholars wrote about it. Why?

AngryWhiteMale's avatar

They’re not keeping it secret at all, but I’d say the bankers/corporate heads, whether on Wall Street or elsewhere. They wrecked the economy, continue to keep a stranglehold on global/national economies, and through PACs, they’re manipulating our political system here in the States.

Why there hasn’t been more than just vocal outrage against the banks, I don’t know. But if people want to see real change, there needs to be meaningful/lasting reform in our financial systems.

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noly's avatar

@SavoirFaire, @flutherother i understand what you mean but you assume that their agenda would be improving our lives at the individual level ( democracy, full employement, respect for human rights, security, education..ect)
For example, achieving peace between entities(states, citizen, corporations, religious intitutions…) that have so many conflictual interests is a tough job. Some say they succeed in some parts of the world (west) because there is no war.

wundayatta's avatar

Secret societies don’t rule the world because they can’t stay secret if they do so. The purpose of a secret society is to control an extra portion for themselves, and to do so by having spies inside of other organizations. The spies generate information and cooperate secretly to pursue the agenda of the secret organization rather than the interests of the organization that hires them.

If you get big enough, then you can’t be secret any more. There’s really no point in it. The organizations with power now are very clearly who they are: governments, churches, businesses, etc. They have different powers and different purposes. They have some intersecting membership.

But mostly people want to be in a secret organization in order to gain power inside another organization. And it is rare that there is need for secrecy. You mostly only need to be secret when you are doing something illegal, like sharing information your shouldn’t or selling products that are illegal.

Secret societies are nice for people of a conspiratorial bent to think about. They make for good stories. But secrecy is a big burden, and people generally want to blab. You need fear to keep a secret, and fear is not a good way to motivate people over the long run.

So there are a lot of theoretical reason to think there are few secret societies. The other reasons to think they have little influence is that there is no evidence to suggest they do have power.

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SavoirFaire's avatar

@noly No, I do not make that assumption. When I refer to how badly the world is run, I do not mean merely that individual well-being has not been maximized. I mean that government are generally incompetent regardless of what they are trying to do (be it for good or for ill).

As for your question about the background: some people will believe anything, and there are some mistakes it takes a PhD to make. People get an odd comfort out of thinking that there is some mythical entity secretly in control of the apparent chaos. For some it’s God, for others it’s the Illuminati.

LostInParadise's avatar

What is the agenda of the supposed secret societies? Did they support the Soviet Union? Nazi Germany? European colonialism? The war in Vietnam? It is hard to imagine any organization supporting all these movements. If they supported any of them, they messed up really badly. Things change so quickly and dramatically that it is hard to discern any underlying pattern.

noly's avatar

Thanks you for your answers.

Dr_C's avatar

Just FYI, Freemasonry is a discrete (no longer secret) society where decent free men calling each other brother, exalt Liberty, Fraternity and Equality among people. Their principles are Tolerance, Philanthropy and Justice. Its secret character was due to persecution, intolerance and lack of freedom of some regimes of the past. Today with democratic winds blowing, masons prefer to be kept in a discrete position.

gm_pansa1's avatar

YES.
......and they aren’t exactly SECRET. >_<

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