By Steven T. Katz, Richard Landes

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, first released in Russia round 1905, claimed to be the captured mystery protocols from the 1st Zionist Congress in Basel in 1897 describing a plan through the Jewish humans to accomplish international domination. whereas the rfile has been confirmed to be faux, a lot of it plagiarized from satirical anti-Semitic texts, it had an important effect all through Europe in the course of the first 1/2 the twentieth century, fairly in Germany. After international conflict II, the textual content used to be additional denounced. an individual who said it as a real record was once visible as an ignorant hate-monger.

Yet there's considerable facts that The Protocols is resurfacing in lots of locations. The Paranoid Apocalypse re-examines the text’s recognition, investigating why it has continued, in addition to better questions about the luck of conspiracy theories even within the face of claims that they're blatantly counterfactual and irrational. It considers the medieval pre-history of The Protocols, the stipulations of its good fortune within the period of early twentieth-century secular modernity, and its post-Holocaust avatars, from the Muslim international to Walmart and Left-wing anti-American radicalism. members argue that the major to The Protocols’ toughness is an apocalyptic paranoia that lays the basis not just for the myth’s reputation, yet for its implementation as a car for genocide and different brutal acts. 

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Extra resources for The paranoid apocalypse : a hundred-year retrospective on the Protocols of the elders of Zion

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These two races were locked in mortal combat, with a final reckoning imminent. In this scenario, “the Jew” became an abstract and symbolic Evil Other whose extermination was essential for ultimate salvation. Once again, this was not simply rhetoric designed solely for audience effect but a believed vision of a coming eschatological battle that could have only one end possible: extermination of either the Aryans or the Jews. The Protocols was taken to be a revelation of the Jews’ attempt to take over the world in fulfillment of the covenant.

Anyone who referred to it incurred the stigma of both ignorance and hate-mongering. Civil society, with its egalitarian rules, its scientific skepticism, and its high levels of tolerance for the “other,” had won the battle against xenophobic paranoia. New, unthinkable institutions of international cooperation—the United Nations, the European Union—arose and survived in this new dispensation. One might call this postwar attitude, embodied in Norman Cohn’s path-breaking and disturbing study, Warrant for Genocide, the “modern” solution to the Protocols.

I had, however, read Norman Cohn’s Warrant for Genocide, and so, at the end of a year’s worth of teaching “Political and Moral Philosophy” at Columbia, I decided to give it to my students in the week dedicated to totalitarianism. I was in for something of a surprise. Most people, myself included, think of the international conspiracy “revealed” by the Protocols as one in which the Jews manipulate capital markets to create chaos and take over the world. And, in one sense, this is both true and historically relevant.

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