The Secret Causes of History
and The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion
The deeper causes of history—here we can refer to both those that act in a negative sense and those that may act in an equilibrating and positive sense— operate prevalently through what can be called "imponderable factors," to use an image borrowed from natural science. These causes are responsible for almost undetectable ideological, social, and political changes, which eventually produce remarkable effects: they are like the first cracks in a layer of snow that eventually produce an avalanche. These causes almost never act in a direct manner, but instead bestow to some existing processes an adequate direction that leads to the designated goal. Thus, men and groups who believe they are pursuing something willed by themselves become the means through which something different is realized and made possible: it is precisely in this that a super-ordained influence and meaning are revealed. This was noticed by Wundt, who talked about the "heterogeneity of the effects," and by Hegel as well, who introduced the notion of the List der Vernunft [Cunning of Reason] in his philosophy of history; however, neither of these thinkers was able to fruitfully develop his intuitions. Unlike what happens in the domain of physical phenomena, an insightful historian encounters several instances where the "causal" explanation (in the deterministic, physical sense) is unsatisfactory, because things do not add up and the total does not equal the sum of the apparent historical factors—almost as if someone adding five, three, and two ended up not with ten, but with fifteen or seven. This differential, especially when it appears as a differential between what is willed and what has really happened, or between ideas, principles, and programs on the one hand and their effective consequences in history on the other, offers the most valuable material for the investigation of the secret causes of history.
Methodologically speaking, we must be careful to prevent valid insights from degenerating into fantasies and superstition, and not develop the tendency to see an occult background everywhere and at all costs. In this regard, every assumption we make must have the character of what are called "working hypotheses" in scientific research—as when something is admitted provisionally, thus allowing the gathering and arranging of a group of apparently isolated facts, only to confer on them a character not of hypothesis but of truth when, at the end of a serious inductive effort, the data converge in validating the original assumption. Every time an effect outlasts and transcends its tangible causes, a suspicion should arise, and a positive or negative influence behind the stages should be perceived. A problem is posited, but in analyzing it and seeking its solution, prudence must be exercised. The fact that those who have ventured in this direction have not restrained their wild imaginations has discredited what could have been a science, the results of which could hardly be overestimated. This too meets the expectations of the hidden enemy.
This is all I have to say concerning the general premises proper to a new three-dimensional study of history. Now let us return to what I said earlier on. After considering the state of society and modern civilization, one should ask if this is not a specific case that requires the application of this method; in other words, one should ask whether some situations of real crisis and radical subversion in the modern world can be satisfactorily explained through "natural" and spontaneous processes, or whether we need to refer to something that has been concerted, a still unfolding plan devised by forces hiding in the shadows.
In this particular domain, many red flags have gone up: too many elements have concurred to alarm the less superficial observers. In the middle of the past century, Disraeli wrote these significant and often quoted words: "The world is governed by people entirely different from the ones imagined by those who are unable to see behind the scenes." Malinsky and De Poncins, when considering the phenomenon of revolution, have remarked that in our age, where it is commonly acknowledged that every disease of the individual organism is caused by bacteria, people pretended that the diseases of the social body—revolutions and disorder—are spontaneous, self-generated phenomena rather than the effect of invisible agents, acting in society the way bacteria and pathogenic germs act in the organism of the individual. Disraeli, in the mid-nineteenth century, wrote:
The public does not realize that in all the conflicts within nations and in the conflicts between nations there are, besides the people apparently responsible for them, hidden agitators who with their selfish plans make these conflicts unavoidable. . . . Everything that happens in the confused evolution of peoples is secretly prepared in order to ensure the dominion of certain people: it is these people, known and unknown, that we must find behind every public event.
In this order of ideas, there is an interesting document known as The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. I have discussed the nature and scope of this document in the introduction to its last Italian edition (Rome, 1937). Here I will only mention some fundamental points.
This document was purported to be a protocol stolen from a secret Judeo-Masonic organization and allegedly reveals a plan that was devised and implemented with the subversion and the destruction of traditional Europe in mind. Regarding the authenticity of the Protocols a rabid and complex debate has erupted, which can be dismissed, however, by Guénon's correct observation that a truly occult organization, no matter what its nature, never leaves behind written documents or "protocols." Thus, in the most favorable hypothesis, the Protocols could have been the work of someone who had contacts with some representatives of this alleged organization. However, we cannot agree either with those who wish to dismiss this document as a vulgar mystification, forgery, and work of plagiarism. The main argument adduced by the latter is that theProtocols reproduce and paraphrase in many parts the ideas found in a short book written by a certain Maurice Joly during the period of Napoleon's Second Empire. Allegedly, mysterious provocateurs of the Czar's secret police were responsible for writing the Protocols. This argument is truly irrelevant: those who decry plagiarism should keep in mind that this is not a matter of a literary work or of copyright. For example, when a general writes a plan, he could employ previous materials and writings as long as they contain ideas fit for his purpose. This would be a case of plagiarism, but it would not affect at all the question of whether or not this plan has really been conceived and carried out. Cutting short all this—that is, leaving aside the issue of the "authenticity" of the document in terms of real protocols stolen from an international secret organization—the only important and essential point is the following: this writing is part of a group of texts that in various ways (more or less fantastic and at times even fictional) have expressed the feeling that the disorder of recent times is not accidental, since it corresponds to a plan, the phases and fundamental instruments of which are accurately described in the Protocols. Hugo Wast wrote: "The Protocols may well be a fake, but their predictions have been fulfilled in an amazing way." Henry Ford added: "The only comment that I can make about the Protocols is that they perfectly correspond to what is happening today. They were published sixteen years ago, and ever since then they have corresponded to the world situation and today they still dictate its rhythm." In a sense, we can speak of a prophetic premonition. In any event, the value of the document as a working hypothesis is undeniable: it presents the various aspects of global subversion (among them, some aspects that were destined to be outlined and accomplished only many years after the publication of the Protocols) in terms of a whole, in which they find their sufficient reason and logical combination.
As I have said, this is not the place to engage in a detailed analysis of the text; it will suffice to recall the main points. First of all, the primary ideologies that are responsible for the modern disorder did not arise spontaneously, but have been evoked and supported by forces that knew they were false and had in mind only the latter's destructive and demoralizing effects. This would apply to democratic and liberal ideas; the Third Estate had purposely been mobilized to destroy the previous feudal and aristocratic society, while in a second phase the workers were mobilized to undermine the bourgeois. Another basic idea of the Protocols is that, despite all, the capitalist and the proletarian Internationals are in agreement, being almost two columns with distinct ideas but which act in unison at a tactical level in order to achieve the same strategy. Likewise, the economization of life, especially in the context of an industry that develops at the expense of agriculture, and a wealth that is concentrated on liquid capital and finance, proceeds from a secret design. The phalanx of the modern "economists" followed this design, just as those who spread a demoralizing literature attack spiritual and ethical values and scorn every principle of authority. Among other things, mention is made of the success that the secret front achieved not only for Marxism, but for Darwinism and Nietzsche's nihilism as well. The Protocols at times even encourage the spread of anti-Semitism, while in other cases mention is made of the secret monopoly of the press and of the media in democratic countries as well as the power to paralyze or destroy the most prestigious banks. This power concentrates the rootless, financial wealth in a few hands, and through it controls peoples, parties, and governments. One of the most important objectives is to remove the support of spiritual and traditional values from the human personality, knowing that when this is accomplished it is not difficult to turn man into a passive instrument of the secret front's direct forces and influences. The counterpart of the action of cultural demoralization, materialization, and disorganization causes unavoidable social crises to grow increasingly worse and collective situations to grow increasingly desperate and unbearable; in this way, a final conflict will eventually be considered as the means to finally sweep away the last residual resistance.
It is difficult to deny that such a "fiction" exposed at the beginning of this century has indeed reflected and anticipated much of what has taken place in the modern world, not to mention the predictions of what is in store for us. It is therefore no surprise that theProtocols received so much attention from those movements of the past that intended to react against and stem the currents of national, social, and moral dissolution in their own day and age. However, these movements often upheld dangerously unilateral positions, due to the lack of adequate discernment; this was a weakness that, again, has played into the enemy's hands.
In relation to this, we must deal with the issue raised by this document concerning the leaders of the occult war. According to the Protocols, the leaders of the global plot are Jews who planned and undertook the destruction of the traditional and Christian European civilization in order to achieve the universal rule of Israel, or God's "chosen people." This is obviously an exaggeration. At this point we may even wonder whether a fanatical anti-Semitism, which always sees the Jew as a deus ex machina, is not unwittingly playing into the hands of the enemy. One of the means employed by the occult forces to protect themselves consists of directing their opponents' attention toward those who are only partially responsible for certain upheavals, thus concealing the rest of the story, namely a wider sequence of causes. It could be shown that even if theProtocols were a forgery perpetrated by provocateurs, nonetheless they reflect ideas very congenial to the Law and spirit of Israel. Second, it is true that many Jews have been and still are among the promoters of modern disorder in its more radical cultural expressions, whether political or social. This, however, should not prevent a deeper analysis, capable of exposing forces that may have employed modern Judaism merely as an instrument. After all, despite the fact that many Jews are among the apostles of the main ideologies regarded by the Protocols as instruments of global subversion (i.e., liberalism, socialism, scientism, and rationalism), it is also evident that these ideas would have never arisen and triumphed without historical antecedents, such as the Reformation, Humanism, the naturalism and individualism of the Renaissance, and the philosophy of Descartes. Such phenomena cannot be attributed to Judaism, but rather point to a wider web of influences.
In the Protocols the concepts of Judaism and Masonry are interwoven; therefore, in the literature that this text spawned, mention is often made in careless terms of a Jewish-Masonic plot. Here caution must be exercised. While recognizing the Jewish predominance in many sectors of modern Masonry, as well as the Jewish origin of several elements in the Masonic symbolism and rituals, the anti-Semitic thesis, according to which Masonry has been the creation and tool of Israel, must be rejected. Modern Masonry (with this designation I allude essentially to the Freemasonry that developed since the creation of London's Grand Lodge in 1717) has undoubtedly been one of the societies that promoted the modern political subversions, and especially their ideological background. However, here too the danger is to be distracted by explaining everything with the action of ordinary Masonry.
Among those who regard the Protocols as a forgery, there are some who have noticed that various ideas in this text are similar to those that have been implemented by centralizing and dictatorial regimes, so much so that the Protocols can be an excellent manual for those who wish to install a new Bonapartism or totalitarianism. This view is partially correct. This amounts to saying that the "occult war" should be conceived, from a positive point of view, within a wide and elastic context, and we should expose the part played in it by phenomena that are apparently contradictory and hardly reducible to the simplistic formula of a Jewish-Masonic global plot.
Regardless of the role played by Jews and Masonry in the modern subversion, it is necessary to recognize clearly the real historical context of their influence, as well as the limit beyond which the occult war is destined to develop by employing forces that not only are no longer those of Judaism and of Masonry, but that could even totally turn against them. To realize this, consider the law of the regression of the castes, which I have employed as a hermeneutic tool in my Revolt Against the Modern World in order to assess the effective meaning of history. From a civilization led by spiritual leaders and by a sacred regality, a shift occurred to civilizations led by mere warrior aristocracies; the latter were eventually replaced by the civilization of the Third Estate. The last stage is the collectivist civilization of the Fourth Estate. When we reflect carefully on things, modern Judaism as a power (quite apart from the concomitant, widespread, and instinctive action of individual Jewish thinkers and writers) is inseparable from capitalism and finance, which fall within the civilization of the Third Estate. The same applies to modern Masonry, which prepared ideologically for and supported the advent of the Third Estate. Masonry still presents itself today as the custodian of the principles of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, its doctrines acting as a kind of secular religion of modern democracy; its militant action has revealed and continues to reveal itself along this line, openly or in semisecret ways. All this falls within the penultimate phase; this phase, the overall cycle of democratic and capitalist civilization of the Third Estate, will eventually usher in the last collectivist phase, to which it has inadvertently opened the way. It is therefore logical that the role of a central guiding force of global subversion in this last period will no longer be played by Judaism or Masonry and that the main current may turn against both of these groups, as if they were residues to be liquidated once and for all; after all, this can be seen in countries in which regimes controlled by the Fourth Estate (i.e., Marxist regimes) are beginning to be consolidated, even though Jews and Masons contributed to their advent.
But then again, as far as the general radical Jewish-Masonic conspiracy thesis upheld in some milieus is concerned, the actual situation shows its inconsistency. It would be a real abandonment to fantasy to suppose that the leaders of the great conflicting powers — the United States, the USSR, and Red China — receive orders from an international center of Jews and Masons (almost nonexistent in China), and act accordingly in view of the same goal. Again, it is necessary to refer to a wider horizon of influences and to look elsewhere.