The following satire is a guest post by Friedell
…In cultural terms it is surely irrelevant whether ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ is a fabrication or not.
To ask the question ‘Is it a forgery?’ is to misunderstand the forces that shape culture and the perception of truth itself. Since there is no such thing as objective truth, only truth created by culture, and since the cultural perception that ‘The Protocols’ is a true statement of Jewish objectives and aims in world history is so widespread, almost universal throughout the Arab and Islamic cultural sphere, but elsewhere too, then ‘The Protocols’ has a cultural veracity that makes it an expression of truth, in the same way that a myth may express the inner genius of its civilisation.
After all, in Incan civilisation it would have been culturally reprehensible to suggest that there was something unreasonable about the sacrifice of tens of thousands of prisoners, who had their hearts torn from their bodies in order to appease the Gods, or that it was actually pointless, because there were no Gods to appease. It would certainly have been extremely impolite. The Gods existed culturally. Therefore they were real. And people had a right, in their own terms a ‘human right’, if you like, to witness that appeasement and draw comfort and satisfaction from it; to deny that right would have been an act of cultural imperialism.
And so it became, with the arrival of the most culturally destructive force in human history, what some of our older colleagues still like to refer to as ‘western civilisation’, in the shape of the Spanish crusaders. The issue had nothing to do with subjective ideas about brutality, cruelty, murder; it was about the equilibrium blood-sacrifice and mass slaughter gave to Incan society.
It was no more objectionable, culturally, than Muslim Friday prayers or the Catholic Eucharist, which of course is a symbolic echo of precisely the same blood-sacrifice myth. The demise of those sacrificial victims, with all the showmanship and razzmatazz of a medieval High Mass or a Shiite flagellation ceremony or an X-factor final, was far from pointless. In their agonising deaths they were the heroes of cultural coherence; martyrs to a particular societal vision. And who can say they didn’t go joyfully to meet their Gods? Is there not a parallel between them and today’s suicide bombers? In many ways ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ is also an expression of cultural cohesion.
We may abhor the totalitarian excesses of Hitler’s Germany, since they were the totalitarian excesses of the right and not the left (I think that’s still the line, though the growth in Hitler’s popularity may require us to see those excesses with a more multicultural eye in the future), but no one can deny the part played by ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ in encouraging social cohesion in Germany. Nowadays, in providing an all-consuming focus for hatred, ‘The Protocols’ can cleanse a social milieu in which it has become a cultural truth of all the chaotic, divisive and socially destructive forces that question the unquestionable veracities that define any culture, all the more so when the religious tenets of that culture insist, with a clarity and force we can’t but find dazzling from the crumbling ivory towers of a civilisation now in terminal and well-deserved decline, that not merely hell in the next world but decapitation in this awaits anyone who thinks those veracities might not be unquestionable.
It is axiomatic that truth is whatever a particular cultural imperative demands it must be; except in the case of western civilisation where the truth is what almost any other culture’s cultural imperative demands. To criticise Hamas for instance, as so many Jews and right-wing extremists do, for making ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ a fundamental part of its charter is an expression of extraordinary arrogance and cultural supremacism on the part of a culture that only has one human right left: to spend its last days criticising itself for the barbarism it brought to humanity.
No, the true manifestation of twenty-first century intolerance is not to be found in the mischievously miscalled ‘intolerance’ of Hamas (in reality revolutionary integrity born of oppression), but in the intolerance of a corrupt intellectual and moral imperialism that blindly refuses to tolerate the culturally cohesive ‘intolerance’ (in reality recognition that the Jews really are all evil bastards) that we must fight for as a fundamental human right in a tolerant world.
Can anyone honestly say that when truth can only be what is culturally determined there is any difference at all between the Hamas Charter and the American Constitution? They are simply pieces of cultural documentation, meaningless outside their own cultural paradigms.
Yet which of those documents is the true enemy of freedom and tolerance? Which threatens civilisation’s light with darkness? You’re right, not the Hamas Charter…
- Chomsky vs. Chavez and/or Chomsky vs. The Guardian (cifwatch.com)
- The Guardian’s “Respected American Academic”: Noam Chomsky (cifwatch.com)