The philosopher Eric Voegelin noted, in his magisterial essay Wisdom and the Magic of the Extreme, that what differentiates the Gnostic from the healthy mature man whose heart is open to the disturbing mystery of life is not that the latter doesn't feel the disturbing anguish of the problem of evil and doesn't therefore want to escape it somehow by finding some kind of salvation or redemption or transformation: the difference lies in the fact that the latter loves wisdom just enough to see through the false promises of Gnosticism and the false diagnosis of the problem of existence upon which its promises are based. And so, the lover of wisdom is tempted, but he does not succumb, either to the fabulously seductive escapism of ancient Gnosticism, nor to the more politically zealous revolutions (or short of that, the Leftist escapism) of modern Gnosticism.
A subcategory, so to speak, of Gnosticism in our time (with roots going back centuries, no doubt) is the Conspiracy Theory -- the theory that holds a magic key to explain all the ills (particularly the sociopolitical and geopolitical ills) that beset our world.
I've long held that when we confront the problem of Islam, then almost immediately after that notice the massive denial and myopia throughout our West to that problem, the best of us (let alone the intellectually laggard or illiterately confused among us) may be tempted to lurch into a conspiracy theory to explain why it is that the West continues to bend over backward in a mirror image of the Oriental salaam in order to placate and defend, if not often downright extol, Islam and its Muslims.
There are many flavors of Conspiracy Theory that abound. I am here of course not discussing those flavors that run counter to the Counter-Jihad (viz., the 911 conspiracy theories) -- but rather those that seem to derive from, and thrive within, the Counter-Jihad, or at least in pockets, nooks and crannies of it here and there. Today's essay is not a catalogue of all the flavors. Perhaps some day I'll explore that. Today I briefly look at two mirror images of each other.
One of these flavors I've noticed especially among certain commenters at the Gates of Vienna blog, and less obviously and more subtly, among some of its guest writers: it is the luridly antisemitic flavor, that believes that Jews are, and have been for millennia, demonically controlling the world in order to ruin it, and in that respect are aiding and abetting (if they are not actually manipulating) Muslims to revive and attack the West. Absent any positive evidence, I reasonably conclude that this flavor is relatively minor in scope and membership.
Another flavor is its curious mirror-image: the notion that the entire West is hopelessly riddled with antisemitism, substantively the same as that which galvanized Nazi Germany, and that this is why the West has become anti-Israel and pro-"Palestine" (let alone effectively pro-Islam). I recently came across a massive example of this latter flavor in a comments thread on Jihad Watch. All one has to do is read through the voluminous posts of one Daniel Bielak there to get a taste of that flavor.
It turns out that Bielak has a blog. On his blog, the vast majority of essays are solidly useful information and analyses about the problem Israel and Jews face in the form of the Muslim menace. One essay there, however, Why, and How, the West is Vilifying Israel, unfortunately exemplifies the lurch off the rails of reason. That essay examines a mountain of circumstantial evidence and its author feels bound by the straitjacket of his Box to draw only one conclusion: that the West's increasing favoritism to the "Palestinians" (and quickly on their sandaled heels, Muslims in general), and concomitantly its increasing vilification of Israel represents evidence that essentially the same antisemitism that inspired Nazi Germany (and that inspired all Christianity from when to when?) is now inspiring this geopolitical and economic and cultural disposition to Israel and its enemies.
Let's just hope that most in the Counter-Jihad, as it slowly, achingly grows in numbers and influence over the decades ahead, will keep a level head about this and neither lurch one way or another, but stay on track, keep its eye on the ball, and not gamble with the dice in a game of Muslim Roulette, nor settle for a pittance with a measly house on Baltic Avenue; rather go all the way as a tin top hat past Go to replace the mosques on Marvin Gardens, Boardwalk and Park Place with rows of hotels. You'll never win, though, if you've convinced yourself the game is rigged by a cabal of "Globalists", "Jews" and "Masons".