''It is the Devil's cleverest guile to convince us he doesn't exist.'' - Baudelaire
This quote came to mind when I was reading various online discussions pooh-poohing ''conspiracy theories.'' I put the phrase in scare quotes not because I scoff at the idea of conspiracies, but because it seems that the phrase is abused, being deployed to discredit any unpopular or uncomfortable assertion. Just call some idea or bit of information or theory a 'conspiracy theory' and you have marginalized the person who asserts it and derided the idea or information. Or so you hope. The scoffer generally tries only feebly, if at all, to refute the ideas or beliefs factually or by making good counterarguments; the scoffer is just indulging in ad hominem attacks.
And it does work a certain percentage of the time. It works because there are a great many people who are just not that concerned with truth. Some people are scared by the thought of an actual conspiracy being conducted, especially if the purported conspiracy threatens their safety, security, or prosperity. The instinctual response is to hide the head in the sand, and deny the truth of your opponent's words. "It can't be true! How could they hide something like that? We'd all know about it if that were true!"
Then follows the typical response: "you're crazy! You're paranoid. Where'd you hear that? Some right-wing extremist blog? Where's your tinfoil hat? Do you hear voices too?"
There are others who are the know-it-all type, who are sure of all the information they think they know, and who have a ready answer for anything. They like to feel in control, and they seem to hate the idea that there might be many unknowns, or mysteries, or outright conspiracies that might threaten them.
Then there are those (and they may be the majority) who scoff because they are fearful of being ridiculed by somebody else as a 'tinfoil-hat' wearer, a conspiracy kook, an extremist. Oftentimes people of this follower-like nature listen avidly to the popular pundits who jeer at 'birthers' or 'truthers' or 'fearmongers.'
The follower types often have to have one of their favorite personalities or pundits validate some belief or rumor before they will pick up on it. But it takes the seal of approval of some revered authority figure before they will follow along with an idea or belief.
I followed a link somewhere to a blog where the blogger made a blanket statement that 'conspiracy theories' are nonsense, and that he outright rejected anything implying a conspiracy. There is no dearth of people, right or left, shouting down the 'birthers' or eligibility skeptics.
But how can anybody reject the idea of a conspiracy out of hand?
All we have to do is look back through history, and history is rife with chronicles of various conspiracies. How many kings or emperors or popes, for example, were targets of conspiracies against them? How many countries invaded or conquered via conspiracies, often involving a fifth column inside the target country?
If we look back to Rome, there was the Catiline conspiracy, as well as the conspiracy against Julius Caesar. There are more recent examples aplenty, and I won't list them, but obviously there are conspiracies. To argue that such things don't happen in the real world is absurd, considering documented examples down through the centuries.
It may be true that in our age, people are more prone to suspect conspiracies when something shocking happens, something we did not expect. For example, Princess Diana's death, or even Elvis's death. While it may seem outlandish to speculate on whether 9/11 was 'an inside job' as some say, or that it was at least known to be in the planning stages and allowed to happen, the suspicion is understandable, given the circumstances surrounding Pearl Harbor, with the government apparently having cracked the Japanese codes. It's alleged, and believed by quite a few people, that the attack was allowed to happen so as to be a casus belli, a pretext for entering the War. Many Americans had noninterventionist or so-called 'isolationist' sentiments, and were reluctant to go to war.
And I think I can safely say that most ethnonationalists in the Western world, in the historically White countries, believe that there is a broad plan, not acknowledged fully by the 'elites', to create a globalist one-world system where everyone is compelled to blend with everybody else, and the minority White race thereby blended out of existence.
The scoffers and followers say this is conspiracy-mongering, especially if the belief involves a Jewish influence at the heart of the plans. In that case, the idea is not only 'crazy', so they say, but 'anti-Semitic' as well, and therefore taboo.
Now the eligibility skeptics are being branded with the 'racist' label as well as the 'kook' or paranoid label. This is obviously meant to discredit and smear the 'birthers'.
But the debate, if you can call some of the shouting matches a 'debate', is taking some very strange turns. It seems as if the anti-birthers are saying that it is all a trap, that the birth certificate just released is a deliberately blatant forgery meant to lure the right into a trap, and to make the right look crazy. So their idea is that the issue must not be talked about; just be quiet about it and concentrate on ''the real issues'', whatever those are.
Whichever way you look at that, it seems to me that this approach is in fact letting the left control us; we are reacting to their propaganda, rather than trying to uncover the facts.
There seem to be many 'conservatives' today who are paralyzed by what their enemies say or think about them. The same people who are running from the eligibility issue are those who are always trying to prove they are not 'racists'. They are dancing to the left's tune on cue, and they don't realize that.
Do they really believe that conspiracies don't happen, and that things are just what they seem, always? I doubt it; I think they are just whistling in the dark, like the people who don't believe that a devil exists. To oppose evil, we first have to acknowledge its existence. Closing our eyes doesn't make the evil disappear.