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Wally über Alles

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According to this CNNmoney article, “The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion” was, until recently, readily available from Wal-Mart.

Let me explain, in case you never read your history, just what “The Protocols…” is.

It’s antisemitic bullshit.

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.)

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About Steve

  • Vern;

    I think the issue from where I stand was the manner in which Wal-Mart was presenting it and how nonchalantly they seemed to back off.

    As to the following: “…promoting elitism is preferable to promoting racism.”, I can only say, ‘Amen.’

  • Vern Halen

    Is the issue whether Protocols is real or whether Wal Mart should be able to sell it? Protocols has been known to be a forgery for decades – that should be a non issue. Sounds like that “wary eyes…” writer was looking for soomething to believe in.

    Should Wal Mart be allowed to sell it? It’s a free country, it’s a historical document, WalMart was founded on Christian values, yadda yadda….. What about common sense? Don’t we have enough stuff going on in our lives, our world, without having to put out yesterdays fires? WM should stick to their vinyl & plastics – leave the heavy thinking to some antiquarian book dealers & academics. Yeah, that’s elitism – but promoting elitism is preferable to promoting racism.

  • Seriously, though, Rob – why are you avoiding some of my other points? If you are bent on defending Wally World either because you work there or for them or because they are a good christian organization or just because you like beef jerky and the Enquirer, whatever your reasons, then why don’t you address my question? Do you buy what “The Protocols of the Elders…” is saying? Am I messing with your belief system? I’m seriously asking here, man. If you’re defending a company you think enough of to want to see their good name kept clean, I’ve got respect for you, and I clarify – I don’t really think Wal-Mart as an overall corporate entity is anti-semitic. I’ve seen people and companies I admired for whatever reasons unfairly criticized and hastened to their defense, myself. I point out, too, the fact that they did withdraw the book from sale. But if you’ve bothered to comment on my hectoring twice, what’s prompting you?

  • Not quite, and yes, a little. I’m calling whoever was aware of the presence of that book as an item for sale, whoever wrote that blurb I quoted, at the least suspiciously unaware of what they were talking about. It would have been one thing to treat it as a historical document – something most who sell Mein Kampf tend to do – but how can I ignore the “…might cause some of us to keep a wary eye on world affairs…” part? No, logically I can’t call an entire corporate entity, which surely probably has Jews in many positions, anti-semitic – however I can question it that anyone let that book be put out there with the caveat I quoted. Explain to me what they were saying with the “wary eye” bit.

    How’s that job at Wal-Mart going, Rob?

  • RJ

    So, are you calling the people at Wal-Mart anti-semitic? Or are you just ranting?

  • Not to thrash a dead equine, m’man, but you obviously didn’t read the entry too closely, or you would have noticed that I allowed for Wal-Mart still being able to sell such material. “Mein Kampf” is frankly a rather important historical document, and any retailer worth their salt would be remiss to not stock it. “The Protocols” have an important if terrible place in history just like “Mein Kampf.” But that “…might cause some of us to keep a wary eye on world affairs. We neither support nor deny its message…” Wal-Mart had in their blurb for the book doesn’t support the ‘selling-it-as-history’ contention to my eyes.

  • Tsk, tsk, Rob. I’m sure you’re high-fiving yourself over your clever comparison, but you neglect to notice the fact – and I admit I failed to clarify this myself – that Wal-Mart has consistently portrayed itself as an organization founded on CHRISTIAN values. Particularly conservative Christian values. Now, not all conservative Christians are jew-haters – far from it. There are certain Baptists who believe it’s their call to convert all the Jews, for instance, so they will secure their Jewish friends’ places at the right hand of Jesus. That’s certainly an altruistic aim, don’t you think? Anyway, I don’t recall ever seeing any statement put out by Amazon that it was about anything but making money off books, cds, you name it. Wal-Mart has consistently and publicly put themselves out there as a company that is looking out for us in a christian way, by censoring the music they do sell and refusing to sell other things that might be un-christian in their influence. Now, Rob, I call hate, perhaps even hate of Jews, not particularly christian. That’s just my feeling on the matter, of course – one could get into the whole “Jesus was a Jew” vs.”The jews killed Jesus” debate, but that wouldn’t have anything to do with what I’m talking about.

    Hey, Rob, let me quote, in case you didn’t bother to read thoroughly before you cooked up that neat little zinger, what Wal-Mart was saying about the book before it withdrew it from sale – “If … The Protocols are genuine (which can never be proven conclusively), it might cause some of us to keep a wary eye on world affairs. We neither support nor deny its message. We simply make it available for those who wish a copy.”

    And in case you think I’m some pagan/heathen left winger (I’m none of the above) going off half-cocked about Wal-Mart’s marriage to the Church, follow this little linky I pulled out of my hiney – http://www.amazingfacts.org/news/read_news.asp?ID=55

    Fact is, Rob, I’m a bit to the right of center in some respects and consider myself a Christian. And in my church, the kind of hate “The Protocols” have historically played a role in sponsoring don’t fly. The point you missed, in summation, is that Amazon makes no claim to a Godly call to bring low-priced beef jerky and the National Enquirer to the masses. I don’t believe the same can be said for Wally World.


  • RJ

    Amazon, I believe, still sells “Mein Kampf.” Are they a buncha Jew-haters too?