A précis on the film:
While rattling through the bustling streets of New York City in a yellow cab, filmmaker Marc Levin (SLAM) discovered the idea for his next film from an unlikely source. Striking up a conversation with his Egyptian taxi driver, Levin was unnerved when the conversation turned to the events of September 11, 2001. Angrily informing the filmmaker that he believed no Jews had died in the terrorist attacks on that day, the cabbie explained that they had all been warned of the event in advance so they could stay safely home. Levin subsequently turned to the 100-year-old book THE PROTOCOLS OF THE MEETINGS OF THE LEARNED ELDERS OF ZION, which was exposed as a forgery in the 1920s, but is still followed by a disconcertingly large number of anti-Semites across the globe.You'll agree, I'm sure, this deserve more than a five minute scan and a switch back to the Rangers' game (they lost, 3-2, the rat bastards...)
After examining the book--which was furtively written by the Russian Secret Police, and was alleged to be the meeting minutes of a group of Jews who were hell-bent on world domination--Levin decided to explore some of the protocols in his film. Traveling across America with his father, Levin encounters various hate-filled figures, and attempts to understand their feelings toward Jews. His most entertaining, Michael Moore-like excursions take place in New York City, where he encounters people whose oddball behavior does a fine job of discrediting their views, and attends a discussion group about Mel Gibson's THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST. However, these moments are tempered by some jaw-dropping footage of an Egyptian TV mini-series based on the PROTOCOLS book and the Malaysian prime minister paraphrasing from the pages in 2003. Creating a fascinating and worthwhile film, Levin sensibly discounts various crackpot theories, but makes it clear that many of the people who spread anti-Semitic feeling remain worryingly influential.
The film takes the "Protocols" and tries to divine what about them resonates with people who believe that jews run the world, the Congress, the Presidency, and are so powerful that they (and they alone) were responsible for the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks AND managed to pin it on Osama bin Laden.
Now, I cannot possibly in the short space of this blog do justice to the Protocols in terms of depth and detail, but as I watched this movie and as select protocols were read, I couldn't help but shake the feeling that they documented precisely the taking over of first the Republican party and then the United States by a fringe radical group of extremists (some of whom, coincidentally, are Jewish).
The Protocols are set up in twenty four chapters, each dealing with an aspect of world domination. For example, chapter one is entitled "The Basic Doctrine" and deals with the differences between "Them" and "Us", and how "We" can control "Them".
PROTOCOL No. 1: 3. It must be noted that men with bad instincts are more in number than the good, and therefore the best results in governing them are attained by violence and terrorisation, and not by academic discussions. Every man aims at power, everyone would like to become a dictator if only he could, and rare indeed are the men who would not be willing to sacrifice the welfare of all for the sake of securing their own welfare.[...]Sounds a bit familiar, don't it?
6. Political freedom is an idea but not a fact. This idea one must know how to apply whenever it appears necessary with this bait of an idea to attract the masses of the people to one's party for the purpose of crushing another who is in authority. This task is rendered easier of the opponent has himself been infected with the idea of freedom, SO-CALLED LIBERALISM, and, for the sake of an idea, is willing to yield some of his power. It is precisely here that the triumph of our theory appears; the slackened reins of government are immediately, by the law of life, caught up and gathered together by a new hand, because the blind might of the nation cannot for one single day exist without guidance, and the new authority merely fits into the place of the old already weakened by liberalism.
7. In our day the power which has replaced that of the rulers who were liberal is the power of Gold. Time was when Faith ruled. The idea of freedom is impossible of realization because no one knows how to use it with moderation. It is enough to hand over a people to self-government for a certain length of time for that people to be turned into a disorganized mob. From that moment on we get internecine strife which soon develops into battles between classes, in the midst of which States burn down and their importance is reduced to that of a heap of ashes.
George W. Bush, quoted in Business Week, July 30, 2001, "A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, there's no question about it...especially if I was the dictator"The other protocols are as follows, each as extensive as the first:
Protocol I The Basic DoctrineEerie, isn't it? I could spend months examining each of the protocols and the subparagraphs and drawing parallels to the neo-con rise to power (as assisted by the Christian right). For example, choosing strictly at random, this is from Protocol #23, "Instilling Obedience"
Protocol II Economic Wars
Protocol III Methods of Conquest
Protocol IV Materialism Replace Religion
Protocol V Despotism and Modern Progress
Protocol VI Take-Over Technique
Protocol VII World-Wide Wars
Protocol VIII Provisional Government
Protocol IX Re-education
Protocol X Preparing for Power
Protocol XI The Totalitarian State
Protocol XII Control of the Press
Protoco XIII Distractions
Protocol XIV Assault on Religion
Protocol XV Ruthless Suppression
Protocol XVI Brainwashing
Protocol XVII Abuse of Authority
Protocol XVIII Arrest of Opponents
Protocol XIX Rulers and People
Protocol XX Financial Programme
Protocol XXI Loans and Credit
Protocol XXII Power of Gold
Protocol XXIII Instilling Obedience
Protocol XXIV Qualities of the Ruler
1. That the peoples may become accustomed to obedience it is necessary to inculcate lessons of humility and therefore to reduce the production of articles of luxury. By this we shall improve morals which have been debased by emulation in the sphere of luxury. We shall reestablish small master production which will mean laying a mine under the private capital of manufactures. This is indispensable also for the reason that manufacturers on the grand scale often move, though not always consciously, the thoughts of the masses in directions against the government. A people of small masters knows nothing of unemployment and this binds him closely with existing order, and consequently with the firmness of authority. For us its part will have been played out the moment authority is transferred into our hands. Drunkenness also will be prohibited by law and punishable as a crime against humanness of man who is turned into a brute under the influence of alcohol.So by attempting to rid the country of illegal immigrants, as an example, the Republicans are trying to drag down the standard of living for the rest of us-- after all, capitalists will not raise their wages to living wages and harm their profits, so the only other alternative is to lower employees' expectations.
But the most chilling of the Protocols as it applies to George W. Bush? From Chapter 24, "Qualities of the Ruler":
5. Direct heirs will often be set aside from ascending the throne if in their time of training they exhibit frivolity, softness and other qualities that are the ruin of authority, which render them incapable of governing and in themselves dangerous for kingly office.To-wit:
6. Only those who are unconditionally capable for firm, even if it be to cruelty, direct rule will receive the reins of rule from our learned elders.
A note: Crackpot conspiracy theory espousal surrounding the events of 9/11 in the comments will be quickly deleted. This story is NOT about 9/11.
snarkasm, snarcasm, snarky
Protocols of Zion
Protocols Of The Learned Elders Of Zion