It is important in this context to recognize that the
anti-Semitic conspiracy theory is structurally different from group-focused
enmity towards other groups. It assumes that the evil of this world is being
meticulously planned by the Jews. It is, in this regard, not something alike
the old, colonial cliché, which propagates that certain groups of people are
incapable of reason, but a manifestation of the complementary opposite.
Especially when appearing concurrently these two stereotypes pose a double
threat to democracy by emerging into a foreign- and self-related ideology: in the moment when people construct the
theory that their own authoritarian government is simple, weak, naive,
guileless and unkempt – and if at the same time, they draw the image of
external powers that are intelligent, malicious, cunning and coordinated, and
who conspiratorially intervene in world affairs – they can no longer believe to
hold their own destiny in their own hands. Democracy and the ballot box, as
systems immanent to the world-wide conspiracy, can no longer be assumed to be
able to change their fate for the better. Conspiracy theories paralyze the
masses. It is geared to their entire structure, not only to take from people
the faith of individual responsibility for their actions, but also to deprive
them of their collective hopes of improving their living conditions. This is
what distinguishes them so much from religion – because while all the major
religions of this world propagate responsibility, accountability, and hope for
redemption, these implications and hopes are thwarted by conspiracist ideology.
The combination of stereotypes described above can
also lead to the most serious discriminations against other minority groups.
Stigmatized by the colonial cliché of unreasonableness and mental retardation,
they become the pawns of external conspiratorial forces – and the rational
political interests of minorities become stylized as mere reflections of the
interests of world Jewry. Ultimately, this view leads to the assumption that
one’s own authoritarian government can not be held responsible for the
suppression of minorities because it responds merely to an omnipresent danger
to its own people.