Let me explain, in case you never read your history, just what “The Protocols…” is.
The tract, as you can read on any link followed from the words ‘anti-semitic bullshit’ above, was produced in Czarist Russia by the Secret Police of the time, the Okhranka, to lay a foundation of blame on Russia’s Jews for Russia’s problems during it’s Revolutionary era. The rise of National Socialism in Germany can be in part blamed on the circulation of the Protocols throughout Europe in the early 1900′s.
This tract then, has influenced everything from the Krystallnacht to the rise of the Klan. It is the original paranoid conspiracy theory in a booklet purporting to outline the Jewish plan for world dominance.
I read the CNN piece I linked in the first sentence above the other day and thought maybe I was wrong – that it wasn’t the same racist bullshit that at least one virulently anti-semitic member of my family once owned. Surely the all-American Wal-Mart chain would not play any part in the promotion or distribution of such a work, except as plainly labelled fiction, or perhaps for use as a study of the history of propaganda. Nope. They just sold it, along with the whole Left Behind Series, I’m sure.
How can one boycott Wal-Mart? They’ve done what they do brilliantly. You virtually have to go there. Yet that creeping sense of paranoia I’ve always felt about the giant corporation’s encroachment on all suburban and even urban retail territories has now been magnified tenfold.
“The Protocols” has been dubbed, as the CNN article states, a “warrant for genocide.” And it was being sold by America’s most pervasive face of bland capitalism without their denial (or, to be fair, support,) of it’s message.
It’s hard to put into words the combination of wonder and revulsion I feel as I begin to sift through layers of impressions built around these subjects. How I’ve walked through a massive Wal-Mart in slack-jawed awe, struck dumb by all the stuff, the dead, flat, white lighting, the crush of people acquiring. The awe I felt was in a way the awe of a mouse trapped in the workings of Big Ben, filled with a dumb sort of terror and wonder at the massive machinery slowly working all around.
Reading of Wally World’s slick sidestepping of the issue and it’s canny withdrawal of this piece of racist trash, never admitting any kind of fault, I imagine that mouse in my metaphor standing in the teeth of the wrong gear as it locks with another gear and the machine slowly grinds it up.
The Talking Evil, it seems, is not the only insidious way hate has of making it’s way into our collective mindset.
(the preceding yammering can also be gawked at in wonder at planethuff.com/steve.)