<< CB: In the same vein , we might hypothesize that this theory about psychological functions of ritual behavior gives the theorist the illusion that he is controlling the reality of those people he is analyzing.
Or more precisely it gives the social scientist with this theory about the ritual behavior in elections and conspiracy theories the illusion that he has superior knowledge of how the American system works.
In Thomas Pynchon's V., a locus classicus of paranoia that makes very subtle fun of consiracy theories, the narrator explains that the only consolation Stencil drew from the Situation was that his theory explained it.
(Though sometimes I think Marxists must feel the same way.)
Btw the sad story about the lawyer in My Counsin Vinnie who thinks he's ahead of the game because the prosecutor agrees to send him his Brady & Giglio disclosures (that's what the required disclosures of exculpatory and impeaching material are called, after the cases which established that their disclosure was required), not knowing that he's entitled to them anyway, is no caricature of the legal profession, I fear.