Anyone who has met me in person knows that I think the world is made up of greater and smaller conspiracies. I am deliberately picking that unfashionable term because I think it is accurate.
It isn't by chance that 'conspiracy theory' has become linked with the lunatic fringe. There can't be any better place to put it if you are part of the British Establishment (running the City, the Tory Party and the Security services). That way, any hint of insider trading, disinformation, masonic involvement in large contracts, 'jobs for the boys', etc can be dismissed as left-wing paranoia. Magic! They are just conspiracy theorists...
I am reading "Smear" at the moment, which is precisely about this subject in relation to Harold Wilson's Labour government of the 60s - and what a battle he had at the time with the old money and embedded power (and how he has been portrayed as a failure ever since).
Of course, I am fascinated by the lunatic fringe, too. I particularly enjoyed the crop circle nonsense -(try "Round in Circles" by Jim Schnabel for a good chuckle about that). This mostly comes from my interest in how people are capable of believing just about anything (even a Creator god) - and my real interest is whether we can usefully distinguish between these kinds of special interest groups and belief systems - or even say anything useful about 'reality'.
It's still the Dark Ages as far as I am concerned, with tiny pockets of people hanging onto the civilised possibilities of humans - I remember being naive enough to think religion was withering away (!) - when that was just the Church of England.
I still live in hope of an integrated humanity, somewhere out there in the future, with a real grasp of our position as crew of Spaceship Earth, this fragile jewel hanging in space (and equally, the fierce old mother Gaia, quite capable of eating her own young), and our place/role in these complex systems.
But I am getting old, so I know it is probably just the remnant of my youthful 'hippie' dream.
People are crazy.
But if you don't have a lot of time, and want a quick, rational overview try the pocket essentials "Conspiracy Theories" by Robin Ramsay. Short and thorough, and to the point. Or, for the most up-to-date picture, check out his website Lobster.