The Protocols is often called a forgery but is better described as a pastiche. Forgery and pastiche are two names for an imitation, the difference being that a forgery imitates an original and a pastiche imitates a style. A fake Gutenberg Bible is a forgery. A fantasy novel written in the manner of J.R.R. Tolkien is a pastiche. That fantasy novel would remain a pastiche even if it were published anonymously and amidst vague suggestions that it might be a lost work by the great man.
The Protocols is a pastiche because it is written in the manner of early-twentieth-century radicals plotting and boasting behind closed doors. As a great many early-twentieth-century radicals who plotted and boasted behind closed doors were supremacist Jews, it is not unreasonable to say that the Protocols is a pastiche written in the manner of supremacist Jews.
The fifth section of the Protocols begins by telling us that supremacist Jews create social, economic and moral anarchy because this will eventually justify the establishment a despotic regime controlled by supremacist Jews. Far from being enemies, the Jewish bomb-thrower and the Jewish banker are secret partners in a plot to “to organize a strong centralized government, so as to gain social power for ourselves” (p. 18).
When this “mighty despotism” of supremacist Jews is established, laws will be passed enabling supremacist Jews “at any time or place to squash discontent or recalcitrant Gentiles.” Public demonstrations will be criminalized; free speech will be suppressed; dissidents will be convicted of political crimes. The mighty despotism of supremacist Jews will not, however, exactly resemble the despotism of long ago.
“When we took away their religion,” the Protocols explains, Jews destroyed the gentiles’ natural respect for authority. Consequently, in the new despotism of supremacist Jews, the masses will be controlled by psychological manipulation. The words in the Protocols are, “by means of cunningly constructed theories and phraseology, by rules of life and every other kind of device.”
Thus the Jewish despotism foretold in the Protocols will be what we nowadays call a “soft despotism.” Hard despotism compels obedience through pain and fear; soft despotism connives obedience through pleasure and desire. Soft despotism works by giving a man goodies he cannot thereafter live without. Things like addictive drugs, addictive sex, addictive entertainment, and addictive status. Soft despotism controls a man by making him dependent on goodies that others have the power to withhold.
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Let me digress and illustrate the meaning of soft despotism with some of the earliest uses of the phrase. The first is from Roman Nights, a novel published at the end of the eighteenth century by the Italian author Alessandro Verri. It describes the enslavement of a young Roman man by sex.
“More beloved than loving, the maiden, conscious of her charms and of my weakness, artfully exercised over me that soft despotism, which, by exciting desire imposes new chains upon the will.”*
A pregnant sentence in which the words “charms,” “weakness,” “artfully,” “exciting desire” and “new chains” should all be underlined. Or here is another passage by an American who was, towards the end of the nineteenth century, living in London and under the thumb of his ostensible serving man.
“Ah, what soft despotism was that which was exercised for no other end than to anticipate our requirements—to invent new wants for us only to satisfy them.”**
This serving man, whose name happened to be Smith, controlled his American master much as the fictional Jeeves controls Wooster. As in the soft despotism of our own day, Smith’s first and most effective tool was guilt.
“He can wrap up more pitying disapprobation in a scarcely perceptible curl of his nether lip than another man could express in a torrent of words. I have gone about London a whole forenoon with one of Smith’s thin smiles clinging like a blister to my consciousness.”***
Soft despotism blisters a man’s consciousness with subtle signals of disapproval and disapprobation. It keeps a man under its thumb with psychological pain.
Like that seductive maiden of ancient Rome, this serving man Smith also controlled his master by supplying him with goodies his master could not thereafter live without.
“A year or two of Smith would make it difficult for a man to dispense with him.”
Soft despotism does not drive men with a whip. It snares men in a net of guilt and addiction. But enough of this digression; let us return to the notorious Protocols.
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As we have already seen, the Protocols boasts that supremacist Jews are past masters of the art of divide and conquer. The Protocols say that mutual jealousy, suspicion and hatred are natural weaknesses of the gentiles, and that Jews have been aggravating and exploiting these weaknesses for centuries.
“We set at variance with one another all personal and national interests of the Gentiles, by promulgating religious and tribal prejudices among them, for nearly twenty centuries. To all this, the fact is due that not one single government will find support from its neighbors when it calls upon them for it, in opposing us, because each one of them will think that action against us might be disastrous for its individual existence” (p. 19).
The Protocols tell us that God gave the Jews a special “genius” to “perform this work” of riving the gentiles with dissension, distrust and discord. Should a countervailing genius of gentile solidarity arise “in the enemy’s camp,” the Protocols foretell that “the struggle between us would be of such a desperate nature as the world has never yet seen.” A struggle perhaps so desperate as to be known to history as a great world war.
To the supremacist Jews’ deep craft of sowing discord is added their power of granting and denying “gold.” Gold means capital and “the power of capital is greater than the prestige of the Crown.” This is why they say that every man has his price. Patriotism and loyalty fail when a man is bribed with riches or threatened with starvation. And the Protocols tell us that the conspiracy intends to further enlarge the power of gold by giving capital an “absolute monopoly of trade and commerce . . . in all parts of the world.”
Every human relation will be made transactional and reduced to a cash nexus; every local economy will be absorbed into the grand world system; every power will be yielded to the moneymen, the traders and the banks.
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I have said that the Protocols is not an organized book, but a rambling, repetitious and epigrammatic book . In one paragraph on page 20, for instance, we are told that the Jewish conspiracy must “disarm the people,” exploit the gentiles’ “burning passions for our causes,” hide behind “the ideas of others,” and “weaken the brain of the public by criticism.”
On the next page we are told that the conspiracy must bewilder the gentiles by bombarding them with fierce and contradictory opinions. This is because, once the gentiles are thoroughly bewildered, they will surrender politics to “the directors of affairs.”
“In order to secure public opinion, this must first be made utterly confused by the expression from all sides of all manner of contradictory opinions, until the Gentiles become lost in their labyrinth. Then they will understand that the best course to take is to have no opinion on political matters—matters which are not intended to be understood by the public, but which should only be reserved to the directors of affairs” (p. 21)
The Protocols calls bewildering the gentiles into political apathy “the first secret” of supremacist Jews. Their “second secret” is to diversify the population by,
“multiplying to such an extent the faults, habits, passions, and conventional laws of the country, that nobody will be able to think clearly in the chaos— therefore men will cease to understand one another” (p. 21).
When the men of a country share a common culture, they share a common set of faults, habits, passions, and conventional laws. They inhabit an orderly world—a cosmos—and are therefore able to understand and sympathize with one another. When the men of a country are a multicultural mélange of jostling strangers, they inhabit a confusing chaos, not a world. The confusing chaos of a multicultural mélange of jostling strangers forbids any feeling of brotherhood, while it at the same time undermines each man’s confidence in himself.
Undermining each man’s confidence in himself is imperative because, the Protocols tells us, “nothing is more dangerous than personal initiative.” Each gentile must therefore be reduced to a feeling of helpless impotence by a series of “moral shocks, disappointments and failures.” He should be made to think of himself as a doofus, a clown and a klutz.
“We must direct the education of Christian societies in such a way, that in all cases where initiative is required for an enterprise, their hands should drop in hopeless despair.”
Perhaps their hands will drop in hopeless despair because their education has told them they are moral cretins who have raped Mother Nature and been unspeakably cruel to saintly people of color. Perhaps their hands will drop in hopeless despair because their education has not given them a single useful skill. The self-confidence of each gentile man and nation will be broken by these means, until they are at last “forced to ask us to govern them internationally.” Until they are at last grateful to receive the mark of the beast and submit to “a universal Supergovernment.”
To hasten the day when the earth is ruled by “a universal Supergovernment” of totalitarian globalists,
“We must use every possible kind of means to develop the popularity of our Supergovernment, holding it up as a protection and recompense of all who willingly submit to us” (p. 23).
They might, for example, hold up their Supergovernment as a protection against global pandemics, global warming, or just about any other scary word to which the qualifier global can be affixed.
One of the first acts of this “universal Supergovernment” will be to abolish private property because a man who possesses private property can enjoy an “independent existence.” This is intolerable to supremacist Jews (which may be why we are nowadays told, “you will own nothing and you will be happy”). Property owners enjoying an independent existence run contrary to the design described in the Protocols, which is to tip all gentiles “into the ranks of the proletariat.” This will be accomplished by confiscating land (crimes of nitrogen?) and gutting industry (crimes of carbon?), while at the same time giving “all possible protection to trade and commerce, and especially to speculation.”
The plan, the Protocols tell us, is to impoverish producers while enriching and empowering the financiers. This is what we nowadays call financialization of the economy. And we are told that all the postmodern goodies on which we have been made to depend are themselves dependent on this blessed financialization.
End of Part 5
To Be Continued
Soft despotism controls a man by making him dependent on goodies that others have the power to withhold.
A prime example of the way in which the “power to withhold” is masked, is consumerism, whereby relations between people (producers, capitalists) is framed as a relationship between things (goods, money), obscuring their contingent and, therefore, changeable character.
We’re all caught up in consumer culture to one degree or another. But there’s no getting around how disappointing most consumption turns out to be. Coming across some piece of junk in the garage is like coming across a photograph of an old girlfriend. One wonders what one ever saw in it.
Consumer culture is beneficial to the state, inasmuch as it supports a large number of workers in unnecessary and, oten enough, useless employments.
In the case of war or emergency, these can be conscripted into the armed forces or used as directed labour in war work, without diminishing the workforce already employed in essential tasks: agriculture, energy, strategically important manufacture and transport.
Carnot’s levée en masse would have been impossible in a country of subsistence farmers.
Consumer culture is most beneficial when it produces lethal commodities that cause workers to drop dead when they are old and inefficient but not yet collecting retirement benefits. Fatty food, cigarettes, rot-gut booze, inducements to indolence like televisions and overstuffed furniture. I’ve always thought that Mandeville’s Fable of the Bees did not go far enough.
I’ve enjoyed keeping up with this series, sir, and look forward to the next installment. It’s been several years since I read The Protocols, so, the points you bring up in each successive edition and from your perspective are, in a certain sense, new to me.
Glad you are enjoying it. I’m going to take a break from PLEZ soon, perhaps after one more post.
JM, while this series has been valuable, I’m glad you are taking a break. It is depressing reading such a precise description of latter day modern life. It’s all so sordid and stupid. It will be good for you to get out and ramble a bit among the creeks and woods and ruins.