Thursday, 3 July 2014

Glenn Beck invokes the Elders of Zion
If this were true, wouldn't that make the Jews the most incompetent conspirators ever?

I was browsing youtube videos like I usually do when taking a break online, one of the channels I'm subscribed to is Right Wing Watch a channel that catalogues the American right wing fringe. A usual suspect its former Fox news host Glenn Beck, now Glenn likes to pretend he's an historian and often comes out with bits of trivia that he just made up but this video was a special example.

Apparently some guy called McDaniel lost an election, which upset Glenn. In fact Glenn is so upset that he's going to do something really stupid, especially when you remember some of the incidents that got him kicked off of Fox News. Glenn is going to bring up the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, one of the most famous pre internet world wide hoaxes, and a major cause of anti-semitic thought and deeds in many corners of the globe.

Before I start pointing out how stupid the above video was I will say something positive, Beck does acknowledge in an obtuse way that the protocols are a hoax. Now that's out of the way lets get started, first we have the classic attach sinister sounding labels to bad things to make both appear worse trick that's become quite common amongst American right wing pundits. Second and far more importantly its an out and out lie, the Protocols were published in 1903, and widely circulated throughout Russia and then translated into many other languages, the Nazi's spread it in Germany and the English language translation was heavily promoted by Henry Ford.
1905 2fnl Velikoe v malom i antikhrist.jpg
Behold the first edition

In 1903 the Russian government was still under the control of the Romanov dynasty more commonly known as Tsarism. Its "author" was Pyotr Rachovsky the chief of the Okhrana the Tsar's brutal secret police. Though the title of author is disputed because he plagiarised from German and French novels to compile the text. So really the author credit should be split between Pyotr Rachovsky, Hermann Goedsche and Maurice Joly, who plagiarized in turn from Eugène Sue.

Proof of its forgery dates back to at least 1921, despite this the toxic legacy of the Protocols continue to find purchase. Why would the Russian Empire published such a book? Well because the Russian Empire was the most anti-semitic state in existence before the Nazi's. Pogroms or indiscriminate and brutal raids against Jewish settlements and districts (ghettos by another name) were common and well known and unpunished. Also at the time the Russian Empire was attempting to strengthen itself by promoting anti-semitism to distract from the worsening social conditions in the Empire. The Protocols depict Revolutionary groups as tools of a Jewish plot to gain control of nations, so an uprising against the Tsar would be seen (the Okhrana hoped) as Jewish conspiracy and resisted by the none Jewish peoples of the Empire.

Now onto the "Marxism Communism" bit. The Bolsheviks had only just split from the Mensheviks in that very same year the Protocols were published, and was a heavily suppressed, small and clandestine party. Even if we didn't know that the Russian government was behind the Protocols it is simply impossible for Lenin and his crew could have published and so widely distributed the book. And why would they wish to do so given that a number of their senior members like Leon Trotsky were Jewish, and that the Bolshevik party was just the sort of secretive underground group that the Protocols describe as tools of the Jews.

Moving on from the Bolsheviks, many Anarchist, Communist and Socialist groups throughout the world had prominent Jewish members, Rosa Luxembourg, Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman, Karl Marx etc. In fact Jews were so prominent in the Labour movement that it lead to birth of another popular and related anti-semitic slur "Communism/Socialism/Anarchism is run by Jews".  In part this slur was cemented by the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Hitler wanted to united the Western world in a crusade against the evils of Bolshevism which he claimed was a Jewish conspiracy, and plenty of other right wing groups have used this Jewish connection as proof of conspiracy.

So again why on earth would Communists publish a book attacking their own members and just make it even harder for them to organise and recruit given how common anti-semitic believes were in 1903?

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