Friday, 23 December 2016

Notes on The Origins of Conspiracy Theories.

(Written by others)

Conspiracy theory as fundamentally anti-semitic.

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is widely considered to be the beginning of contemporary conspiracy theory literature

Modern conspiracy theory began in Paris. Many in Europe were horrified by the French Revolution and found satisfaction in finding an organised hidden group guilty of orchestrating events. The culprits were secret societies such as the Bavarian Illuminati, the Freemasons and the Knights Templars. Then in 1791 the new French National Assembly ended all legal restrictions on France’s Jews, suggesting to future conspiracy pundits that, through the logic of cui bono, the revolution was a Jewish plot.  The Anti-Semitic League of France, founded in 1889, made its central claim that Jews seized power in the French Revolution. After the founding of Israel, the supposed Jewish conspiracy changed to an Israeli one, but it is still the shadowy plot that harks back to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Europe’s long history of anti-Semitic suspicion

Modern anti-Semitic conspiracy theories depicting an elaborate secret hierarchy of controlling Jewish influences largely take their cue from The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, a 1903 tract purporting to be the manual of a Jewish secret society planning world domination. It is still widely circulated and occasionally cited as "evidence" by various clueless anti-Semites despite being exposed as a fraud as early as 1921.
Max Weber (1864-1920), one of the founders of sociology, believed that antisemitism was abhorrent but also expressed concern that the over-representation of Jews in the leadership of European radical groups would inflame anti-Jewish sentiment.[5]
Automobile manufacturer Henry Ford further popularized the conspiracy during the 1920s by publishing the Protocols and anti-Semitic articles in his newspaper, The Dearborn Independent, and distributing hundreds of thousands of copies of the Protocols. Ford's anti-Semitic articles were later collected and published as a four-volume treatise entitled The International Jew: The World's Foremost Problem.[6]
Ford's enthusiastic endorsement of an international Jewish conspiracy proved extremely popular in Weimar-era Germany. Ford provided substantial financial backing to Adolf Hitler in the 1920's and his writings were a significant influence on the formation of the Nazi party and its grassroots support. By 1933, when the Nazi Party came to power in Germany, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion was standard reading in German schools. Hitler admired Henry Ford and even emulated him by creating his own automobile, the Volkswagen. Hitler further propagated the Jewish conspiracy in Mein Kampf and other propaganda blaming Jews for the rise of both communism and capitalism, and for Germany's economic decline following the First World War.
Spanish fascist dictator Francisco Franco similarly believed in a conspiracy of Jews, Freemasons and communists intending to establish a world government. He often made reference to a vast "Judeo-Masonic conspiracy."[7]

In Mein Kampf, Hitler outlined the notion that Jews were the driving force behind both International Communism and International finance-capitalism.
In Bobby Fischer's later years, he became a very vocal believer that the Jews controlled the United States and that they should be rounded up, executed, and those that remain made slaves.
Anti-communists in Europe and North America often associated Jews with Bolshevism, particularly European fascists, who believed that Jews were peddling Marxism, since the founder of Communism was Jewish and since several prominent Communist leaders during the Russian Revolution were Jewish, like Leon Trotsky. The advent of Rosa Luxemburg in Germany seemed to lend credence to this notion. David Duke also claims communism is a Jewish conspiracy

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