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جہانبانی کے یہودی اصول  — 1 Comment

  1. Let’s put aside the question of the factuality of the so called “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” primarily because any attempt to disprove it, even if successful, won’t do much to undermine the pernicious fascination of the idea that there is a Jewish conspiracy for global domination. Additionally, owing to the very nature of a “conspiracy theory,” that attempt is open to being written off as part of the conspiracy itself. Let’s, therefore, focus on its invocation and deployment and the eliding operation that underwrites its effectiveness as a fall guy.

    The concept of the “secret,” and its practice (secrecy), evoke both the allure and the fear of the unknown, the hidden, and the comfort and ordinariness of the known, the manifest. It inspires both affective and embodied responses, that are generative of individual and collective subjectivities. It is thus an apt choice for a concept that is read as a positive value within a particular reading of the early Islamic history and is, at the same time, harnessed to demonize a particular people on the back of a set of “Protocols” whose very existence and psychological effect turns on the operation of the open-secret. It is not clear whether one should read the inability of “Muslims” to keep their secrets as an outcome of the success of the putative conspiracy or as a condition that is intrinsic to post-Khilafat-Rashida “Muslim” societies at large. This is, of course, assuming that these societies represent a distilled and seamless whole and admit no differences of time and space. My bet is on the first one because admitting to the second would take the recourse to the conspiracy out of service, forcing a critical inward gaze that is bound to throw up many inconvenint truths.

    There are, to my mind, two aspect of the invocation of the “Protocols” that are the most insiduous. One, it erodes, or at least creates conditions for the erosion of, internal capacities that may be developed to effect real change by improving the life conditions of the disadvantaged and disenfranchised. This is because there is no internal mechanism of control within the invocation that may differentiate between genuine movements that question entranched structural inequalities and those seek to reinforce them. The most glaring outcome of such an erosion is a collective siege mentality that refuses responsibility and seeks to externalise almost every internal shortcoming. Assuming there is a conspiracy, one may say that its power does not consists in an elaborate set of “verbal pronouncements” with a grandiloquent title, rather, it consists in convincing a people to shirk collective introspection, critical self-scrutiny and responsibility. Two, and this may appear as somewhat paradoxical, the invocation seems to promote a kind of fatalism in which a people come to see themselves as mere objects to forces beyond their control. The power of such an outlook is precisely in denying the people their individuality, their capacity to control and transform their own, and by overdetermining them as mere pawns in an alleged power game hatched in distant lands and times. This denial works most effectively among historically marginalized groups. Together, the two are a sure recipe for a vicious circle within which conspiracies not just abound but become almost self-fulfilling prophecies.