Wilfred McClay talks about the blame game and the need for people to delude themselves that they’re in control.
He also points out the connection between the screeching and finger-pointing to the paranoid style of politics (and by my extension, literature):
It has often been argued that an individual’s attraction to conspiracy theories, far from being a sign of irrationality, is a sign of hyperrationality, of an insistence that great events in the world cannot ever proceed by chance or without human direction. The historian Gordon Wood wrote a brilliant essay a number of years ago, arguing that “the paranoid style” in politics was partly a product of the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment, with their insistence upon the rational intelligibility and orderliness of events, and upon the human ability to exercise control over them.
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