Chip Berlet // Loughner, “Zeitgeist – The Movie,” and Right-Wing Antisemitic Conspiracism

ztalk2action.org // In the orbit of the John Birch Society, the phrase international bankers is avoided and replaced with the phrase “The Insiders.” The Birchers trace the conspiracy back to the Illuminati/Freemason conspiracy theory first popularized in the late 1700s. In the late 1800s, several populist authors pursued the idea that British speculators manipulated the price of gold, which affected paper currency at the time. A common image was that of an octopus. Who was the head with tentacles reaching out across America depended on the author. This easily slid into antisemitic interpretations with the Rothschild family at the head. The most infamous source of false allegations of a Jewish banking cabal is the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. The public circulation of the Protocols grew out of propaganda intrigues of the secret police of Czarist Russia in the late nineteenth century. The main Russian print source for the Protocols first appeared as an appendix in The Big in the Small, and Antichrist as a Near Political Possibility; Notes of an Orthodox Person by Sergei A. Nilus, published in 1905 but republished to wider audiences in 1911, 1917, and 1918. The text purports to be secret minutes of meetings of a Jewish ruling clique conspiring to take over the world (a claim that should be unnecessary to point out is a bigoted falsehood.). The Protocols incorporate many of the core conspiracist themes outlined in the earlier attacks on the Illuminati/Freemasons and overlay them with antisemitic allegations about anti-Czarist movements in Russia. The Protocols reflect the same themes as other, more general critiques of enlightenment liberalism by those supporting church/state oligarchies and other anti-democratic and theocratic forms of government. Three publications that followed are of particular interest because they trace a transitional arc that starts with the theme of money manipulation, jumps to war as a form of manipulated internationalist politics, and then jumps back to money manipulation. The Reign of the Elders (Gold, Gold, Gold), is a short book by an anonymous author that starts with the Protocols, moves through the Rothschilds, and ends up with Roosevelt’s “Jew Deal.” It was published before WWII. The pseudonym “Cincinnatus” took the same basic arguments and wove them around the theme of Jews plotting War, War, War, to help an England controlled by Jews. E.C. Knuth’s, Empire of “The City”: A Basic History of International Power Politics was the post-war publication that took the same theme and returned it to focus on financial manipulation by Jews. The result was the popularization of the idea that the Rothschild family and other Jews controls the British monarchy, City of London financial institutions, and through them, the U.S. government and economy. The Lyndon LaRouche network later adopts this claim, while removing the more obvious antisemitic references after being criticized for antisemitism. Some on the Political Left have picked up these claims and mindlessly repeat them. T he bulk of published material …

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