The world is too stupid for your conspiracy theories

The jailhouse death of Jeffrey Epstein is fueling conspiracy theories, and understandably so. Wouldn’t it be awfully difficult for the most famous prisoner in the country to kill himself, especially after a stint on suicide watch? And isn’t it remarkably convenient for the wealthy and powerful people Epstein’s testimony could have implicated to have him suddenly silenced? Isn’t it plausible this was murder?

Yes, yes, and yes — and yet, I’m far from convinced what we see here is conspiracy. I wouldn’t categorically rule it out, but neither do I think it probable. In fact, despite the, uh, skeptical reputation of libertarians like me, conspiracy theories are never my default explanation. Conspiracies happen, certainly, but more often they do not. Occam’s razor cuts through tinfoil.

Indeed, the older I get, the more I land on “stupid” in the “stupid or evil?” debate, and the more I realize what true evil does exist in Washington and our society more broadly rarely takes the trouble to hide its face. Circumspection about government and politicians is always healthy, but its fulfillment will typically be mundane.

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