“Cui bono?” is a phrase you’ll often see used on conspiracy-minded Youtube videos and discussion forums. It’s Latin for “Who benefits?”, and it refers to a perspective in legal analysis that the one who stands most to gain from a crime is often the perpetrator. It’s the “motive” part of “means, motive and opportunity“.
The term comes up in conspiracy circles a lot because motive is often the biggest plot hole in the official story promoted by the authorized narrative managers of the political/media class about a given event. The alleged Douma chemical attack last year, for example, had no discernible benefit to the Assad government whatsoever, but would have benefitted the cornered Al-Qaeda affiliates in the city by provoking air strikes from the west, so there remains a lot of skepticism from those who don’t automatically believe their government and the plutocratic media when they say that Damascus was responsible. Such skepticism is dismissively branded “conspiracy theory” by the establishment narrative managers, but it is fully justified.
So it’s a useful concept for analyzing world events in a way that punches through the fog of imperial propaganda. But the question “Who benefits from this?” can, and should, be taken much further.
Don’t just ask “Cui bono?” of potential false flag events. Ask it about every belief in your head. Rigorously holding that candle up to the ideas in your own mind will reveal a lot of junk floating around in there that benefit other people, both the powerful and the not-so-powerful.
To pick one of many possible examples, it’s very interesting how many of America’s ostensibly anti-establishment movements encourage their adherents to support one of America’s two mainstream establishment political parties. The so-called “Resistance” and the progressive movement both herd people who might otherwise support actual leftist movements into the oligarchic folds of the Democratic Party, as does even the lesser-evil voting promoted by those closer to the fringe like Noam Chomsky. On the right you’ve got the warmongering corporate whore party of the Republicans being enthusiastically backed by the MAGA crowd, who you’ll routinely see backing garden variety GOP agendas like the Supreme Court nomination of a longtime Bush lackey in the name of fighting the establishment.