By: Conrad Yiridoe
Scott’s article on the QAnon continued presence in Europe was intriguing. The idea that a seemingly American based conspiracy being able to gain some popularity in Europe appears nonsensical at first glance. However, Scott does a great job of explaining that the ambiguity and flexibilities of the QAnon phenomenon are its strength that allows it to maintain a grasp on European affairs. The article goes on to explain that the pandemic has provided solid ground for QAnon to take off in the continent, and I agree with this to an extent. The idea that because of Covid-19, many more people are finding themselves online, plus spending even more time online is a fair argument. However, the idea that just because people are online more, leads to them automatically taking QAnon to heart, I tend to disagree with slightly. More likely, the fact that we are in the midst a major global event that affects many, is more likely a reason for this. Historically, whether it’s with the Brexit affair, the migration crisis of 2015, the economic crisis stemming from the late 2000s, major events in the world tend to be a great breading ground for increasing conspiracy related activity. However, to ignore some of the unique characteristics this pandemic has brought up, would be foolhardy. The ever presence anti-vaccine campaigns have continued as expected. The most interesting concept brought up during the pandemic, has been the lockdowns. Ranging from economic consequences, to the idea of individual freedom infringements, lockdowns have provided further fodder for QAnon to continue.
The Vox video on some of the conspiracies in Germany provides a great example of a few of these concepts in action. Whether it’s the concerns with the vaccines, or the idea that a few global elites are using the pandemic to control the masses, the pandemic has clearly given different people different things to believe in. Now, given the apparent stalled momentum that Afd have had lately, perhaps this is a sign that the QAnon phenomenon will not be taking on the rapid momentum, at least politically, as has been observed in the US, given the recent election to the House of representatives of a committed QAnon follower.