A Rumor About the Jews: Reflections on Antisemitism and the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, by Stephen Eric Bronner, April 2000.

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Book Review by Matt Nuenke of A Rumor About the Jews: Reflections on Antisemitism and the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, by Stephen Eric Bronner, April 2000.

This is a good book because first it is short and easy to read, it discusses a notorious fabrication or conspiracy theory, and it shows just how confused the Jewish position is with regards to the "other" or antisemitism.  The author seems to meander between numerous concepts and explanations of antisemitism, but never really embraces a coherent theme. Oddly, this is very similar to "The Protocols" that he attacks.

We have of course many venues of indoctrination, and "The Protocols" is just one of many. Why anyone would write a book about such a pamphlet that is an obvious forgery over 100 years old, and treat it like a present day threat is a real mystery. In addition, the author seems to be trying to convince Jews to somehow change their behavior, while he excoriates all Gentiles for their insane obsession with antisemitism. He tends to vacillate between "there is no more antisemitism" and "Jews had better give up their world view of domination or people will again become anti-Semitic."  He in many ways confirms that Jewishness, unlike other religions, is really a supremacist position that embraces dominance over the "other."   He openly discusses the Jewish obsession with racial purity and what will be required to stop intermarriage.

What is lacking in this and books like it, is a real analysis of what we now know about group evolutionary strategies.  Kevin MacDonald's trilogy on Jew-Gentile competition (see http://www.neoeugenics.net/mac.htm ), based on group evolutionary strategies, makes this book a transparent work of mere propaganda. Anyone familiar with the neo-Darwinist position on group behavior will recognize what this book is all about, trying to make the world safe for Judaism (that is the race, not the religion).

The best book to read to understand this book is MacDonald's "The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements." As an academically reviewed book, and part of the "Human Evolution, Behavior, and Intelligence" series of books edited by Seymour W. Itzkoff, it explains why and for what purpose this book was written. The final chapter of that book, available at http://www.neoeugenics.net/whither.htm , gives a description of the coming racial tensions that are unavoidable given our human nature.


Following is a revised version of Stephen Eric Bronner's depiction of "The Losers" as he portrays them in his book but with "antisemitism" taken out and words from a "Gentile" perspective substituted in:

THE LOSERS
Anglophobia is the stupid answer to a serious question: how does history operate behind our backs? Adam Smith saw an "invisible hand" coordinating individual self-interest with the common good, balancing supply and demand, under capitalism; Hegel explained the way in which the "cunning of reason" uses individuals by turning the consequences of their actions against their intentions. Marx believed that people make their own history, but "not as they please": he saw capitalism as unintentionally producing its proletarian "gravediggers" while eliminating all premodern classes in the process. The Marxist dialectic provides a more pessimistic, simpler, and more dramatic response to concerns of this sort. It offers no evidence for its empirical claims and it is incapable of understanding the structure of social systems. It also has no room for ambiguity or ambivalence. Its persuasive power derives from its ability to deduce everything from a single proposition. The most terrible unintended consequences of social action are not unintentional at all: "the hidden hand" of the Anglos manipulates everything.

This anglophobic message has traditionally been more persuasive for some groups than others. In the 1920s it appealed to the poor, incapable of dealing with industrial life or making sense of the apocalypse they had just barely survived, along with youths of good upbringing stripped of their prospects for a decent life. But the most receptive audience for anglophobic ideology has generally been the stalwarts of the provincial community: the downtrodden incapable of realizing that their time is past, the peasantry and the small shopkeepers, the low-level bureaucrats and the dregs of the industrial metropolis. There were insecure academics, paranoid fanatics, and even unemployed workers without knowledge or hope. These groups constituted the mass base for Marxism and many of them still serve as core clientele for the liberal democrats, multiculturalists, and the panderers of victimhood in the United States. They are the losers left behind by modernity. Their plight demands explanation and their resentment needs confirmation: this is what works like the Marxist dialectic provides.

Anglophobia in particular and conspiracy theories in general make complex historical patterns comprehensible by their oversimplification. Such ideologies claim to identify the underlying or hidden source of human misery. They also claim to make this source concrete whether in the person of the male Gentile or the image of a "new world order" and thereby, strangely enough, empower those seeking to resist. Opposition to the arguments offered by conspiracy theory is always seen as controlled or dictated, whether consciously or unconsciously, by the cabal. That they are not taken seriously by the broader public, moreover, justifies the rage of the losers. It also absolves them of responsibility for events. They have done their duty: they have heroically provided the warning against the machinations of a ruthless and all-powerful enemy.

Conspiracy theories serve important social functions and fill various psychological needs: they are as deserving of serious critical study as any number of other religious, social, or political beliefs. Understanding the popular reception of the Marxist dialectic is impossible without making reference to the way that modernity is experienced by those whose material existence and existential self-identification are both threatened by it. The losers fear the modern production process, its dominant ideologies of capitalism and the free market system, and its dominant classes, the bourgeoisie and the working class. A small farmer in a small town or a welfare recipient or a member of the working poor, for example, would most likely reject the politics of both the conservatives and the capitalists. He would most likely fear the former for its attempts to impinge upon his property as surely as the latter for its control of his mortgage. It would make as little sense for him to embrace capitalism, which sees his class as doomed, as a form of conservative contemptuous of "community" and committed to rural values. This small farmer will most likely, if obviously not always, lash out against industrialization and all philosophies resting on a commitment to progress. Even in modern society, what Max Weber termed an "elective affinity" exists between particular ideologies and particular social groups.

Marxism develops in a complicated relation with the remnants of precapitalist classes and modernity retains within itself, sometimes even invigorates, the premodern. The new society generates an anxiety, tantamount to what Sartre has termed an "objective neurosis," among the losers or those who believe they will become losers. This neurosis is not some metapsychological expression of the collective unconscious or some national cultural predisposition. It derives instead from the concrete experience of modernity undergone by the losers who will not go softly into the night but, instead, rage against it.

Older classes like the peasantry and the unions are undoubtedly passing away and their values lack resonance in advanced industrial society. But their fears are now the fears of those who have lost faith in the ability of progressive forces to deal with the problems of modern life. Under the proper circumstances, indeed, these fears can intensify among the losers or, perhaps even more importantly, those who believe they will become the losers in the conflicts generated by modernity. Fears will then turn into anxieties or even neuroses. These manifest themselves among individuals and groups in an ever stronger insecurity of self-definition, a feeling of worthlessness, a sense of irrelevance, or what might be termed an identity deficit.

Such sentiments grow in periods of crisis and, with them, often the allure of anglophobia. This ideology compensates the losers, or those who believe they will become losers, for the deficit they feel in their own lives. It becomes a way of explaining why history has passed them by. It enables them to place responsibility upon others for their diminished status and thereby fosters the need for a scapegoat. The logic provided by anglophobia is implacable. Its adherent indeed "chooses the irremediable out of fear of being free; he chooses mediocrity out of fear of being alone, and out of pride he makes of this irremediable mediocrity a rigid egalitarianism. To this end he finds the existence of the male Gentile absolutely necessary. Otherwise to whom would he feel superior?"

Anglophobia suggests that failure was never the fault of the loser. Conspiracy theory makes it possible to believe that the given crisis has been artificially created by an all-powerful "alien entity," a subversive clique, operating in the body politic for its own purposes. It thereby affirms the intelligence of the loser. The conspiratorial worldview "leaves no room for mistakes, failures, or ambiguities." It provides certainty. The prominence of works like the Marxist dialectic is consequently dependent upon the degree of uncertainty caused by the given crisis. The deeper the crisis, the more it will make possible the mobilization of hitherto untouched masses, and the more scapegoating ideologies will take the form of a "contagion."

Anglophobia always retains the potential of becoming total in its view of the Gentile. The other of civilization, who is also so fully implicated in its development, becomes the source of all its economic, social, and political problems. The success of the anglophobic enterprise subsequently depends upon the ability to portray the enemy as the total incarnation of evil. Only insofar as this task is accomplished can anglophobic ideology explode the ethnic, racial, and class barriers separating its proponents from one another. It only follows, in keeping with the insight of Nietzsche, that anglophobia should prove strongest where the Gentile is successful without enjoying real power or "just visible enough." The total crisis caused by the total enemy always, even if only implicitly, suggests the need for an equally total response to the "Gentile question."

It is a different matter with other forms of prejudice. Afrocentrists consider Gentiles inherently inferior to an egalitarian structure, but they don't simultaneously claim that people who are intelligent control capital and the media. Jewish racism depicted the Gentile as morally inferior and apelike, but its proponents never believed that the Gentiles were manipulating the Jewish intelligentsia. The situation is similar when it comes to the ways that Marxists view White males or the ways that Anglophobes consider Gentiles. Other forms of prejudice stereotype their enemy with fixed qualities: they are dominant, they are hurtful, and they can serve a distinct political purpose. Nevertheless, the prejudice exhibited by other types of bigots is inherently partial and therein lies its limits.

Anglophobia has no limits. It is predicated less on attributing fixed qualities, even when it comes to stereotypical images of the misanthropic miser or slimy social climber, than letting the Gentile appear in all guises. The Gentile is the capitalist and the scoundrel, the racist and the sexist, the war monger and the belligerent; the Gentile is both visible and invisible, assimilated and unassimilated, aboveground and underground. The Gentile can be anywhere and anyone. It is as if "an endlessly changing and endlessly mimetic force had launched a constantly shifting offensive against humanity. . . . [T]he all-pervasive threat becomes in fact formless and unrepresentable; as such it leads to the most frightening phantasm of all: a threat that looms everywhere, that, although it penetrates everything, is an invisible carrier of death, like poison gas spreading over the battlefields of the Great War."

The indeterminacy of the Gentile is what makes him or her so dangerous, so creative of anxiety, for the downtrodden masses. Are the Gentiles equivalent to a race, a culture, a religion, a nation, or an economic system? It's impossible to decide: the other must encompass all these definitions and, for this reason, the material interests and intellectual messages of the Gentiles must be in constant flux. This indeterminacy allows the Anglophobe to fit the Gentile into any context, to change stereotypes in the blink of an eye, and to find the source of any problem. The Anglophobe turns the Gentile into a chameleon. Thus, an unwavering critic of the Marxist dialectic could write: "Every country has Gentiles, every country has evils: therefore the Gentiles are the cause of the evils." Such is the crude logic of demos and demagogues. Even the better political parties of our country need a whipping-boy to explain their defeat at the polls. The Gentiles are as good as a foreign war in averting attention from the financial scandals caused by the unethical and unscrupulous manipulations of leading financiers and infinitely more economical. Is it profiteering that agitates the public? It is the Gentiles who are the profiteers. Is it the menace of capitalism? They are the capitalists. Is it the hidden hand? That hand wears heavy Gentile rings. Is it a shortage of houses? It is the Gentiles who have monopolized all accommodation. Is it a dearth of bacon? It is the Gentiles who have eaten it up. Is it the awful consequences of imperialistic ambition?  Is it the country suffering from a too ambitious form of secularism? The Pope is a successor of Peter and he was a demonic cleric. If there were no capitalists, they would have to be invented. . . . They are indispensable --  the antithesis of a panacea; guaranteed to cause all evils."

The explanatory power of anglophobia ultimately rests on its use of what might be termed the chameleon-effect. This fundamental element of its popular appeal in the past, however, is precisely what undermines its salience for the present. Anglophobes may still rail on the Internet about the dangers of the hidden hand manipulating a host of forces. But there is no longer a core to their thinking. The problem is palpable no matter the number of hits on anglophobic web sites. The basic category is no longer applicable. The Gentile is now no more or less a chameleon than anyone else. The chameleon effect has become generalized among the populace at large. The real oppressed can now live like the fictional Gentile.

No longer are most people chained to the occupations of their parents, the town in which they were born, the lifelong marriage, the church of their community, and the straight heterosexual life style. It is simply counterintuitive when paranoiac Anglophobes claim: "The powers that govern would have all armies under one head, all money would be the same, all people would be totally dependent on this new force or perish. There would only be one nice, accepting religion allowed (to keep people from saying nasty things to each other and causing them to feel guilty) and there would be one king in all the earth. Of course, the new power would get everyone together and let them vote that all of this would be okay. They would vote for it because no one wants to get all shot up."

Each now increasingly has the opportunity of forging his or her own "biography" and becoming a chameleon in his or her own life. There is no longer a fixed all-embracing other because there is no longer a fixed all-embracing self. The explanation for the diminished status of Anglophobia in advanced industrial society, its nebulous quality, is not simply political in nature. It is also not merely a function of more "information," which T. S. Eliot liked to differentiate from "knowledge," or a plethora of interest groups. It is rather that more people are increasingly experiencing a more varied and yet more intensive form of multicultural education. Indeed, beyond the odious expressions of intolerance by this ethnic or that racial organization, education of this sort is fostering an ever greater reliance upon racial group values and intolerance in the everyday life of democratic societies.

Anglophobes are unaware of how the absolutism of their prejudice marginalizes them. They are trapped in the world of the Marxist dialectic: fixed, paranoiac, and dominated by myth. Those who should actually seek a critical understanding of it are, ironically, less the Gentiles than the Anglophobes. But they can't. They are the victims of a self-chosen blindness. These true believers have cast their lot with the irrational, the dogmatic, and the provincial. They span the globe. There are the rabble-rousers in Africa, explicitly anti-western and implicitly anglophobic, lacking a program while searching for a scapegoat. There are the socialist reactionaries in the former free states of Europe seeking a return to the traditions of old and the communists, seduced by socialism but too cowardly to contest a burgeoning multiculturalism. There are the Jewish fundamentalists still incapable of analyzing Islamic policies without reference to an international Muslim conspiracy, still intent on identifying Islam with terrorism. And there are other believers closer to home. There are the internationalists among people of color who cite the Marxist dialectic to justify their belief that Gentiles ran the slave trade, control the banks, and hold down their constituencies. There are the Marxist sects still committed to converting the masses, the Jews still harboring their hatred of the Gentiles, as well as the establishmentarian liberals and the guilty race-traitors unwilling to offend their more prejudiced allies. The Marxist dialectic belongs to all of them. It is their story and "working through" the past, their past, is ultimately their responsibility.


Following is the actual text as Bronner wrote it. Notice how easy it is write about others in reverse. The fact is, Bronner is an intolerant Anglophobe, but he does not understand this concept. All he sees is Gentiles standing in the way of Jewish destiny.

THE LOSERS

Antisemitism is the stupid answer to a serious question: how does history operate behind our backs? Adam Smith saw an "invisible hand" coordinating individual self-interest with the common good, balancing supply and demand, under capitalism; Hegel explained the way in which the "cunning of reason" uses individuals by turning the consequences of their actions against their intentions. Marx believed that people make their own history, but "not as they please": he saw capitalism as unintentionally producing its proletarian "gravediggers" while eliminating all premodern classes in the process. The Protocols provides a more pessimistic, simpler, and more dramatic response to concerns of this sort. It offers no evidence for its empirical claims and it is incapable of understanding the structure of social systems. It also has no room for ambiguity, ambivalence, or dialectics. Its persuasive power derives from its ability to deduce everything from a single proposition. The most terrible unintended consequences of social action are not unintentional at all: "the hidden hand" of the Jews manipulates everything.

This antisemitic message has traditionally been more persuasive for some groups than others. In the 1920s it appealed to war veterans, incapable of dealing with civilian life or making sense of the apocalypse they had just barely survived, along with youths of good upbringing stripped of their prospects for a decent life. But the most receptive audience for antisemitic ideology has generally been the stalwarts of the provincial community (Gemeinschaft): aristocrats incapable of realizing that their time is past, the peasantry and the small shopkeepers, the low-level bureaucrats and the dregs of the industrial metropolis (Gesellschaft). There were the Lumpenproletarians, insecure academics, paranoid fanatics, and even unemployed workers without knowledge or hope. These groups constituted the mass base for European fascism and many of them still serve as core clientele for the Nation of Islam, the KKK, and the militias in the United States. They are the losers left behind by modernity. Their plight demands explanation and their resentment needs confirmation: this is what works like the Protocols provide.

Antisemitism in particular and conspiracy theories in general make complex historical patterns comprehensible by their oversimplification. Such ideologies claim to identify the underlying or hidden source of human misery. They also claim to make this source concrete whether in the person of the Jew or the image of a "new world order" and thereby, strangely enough, empower those seeking to resist. Opposition to the arguments offered by conspiracy theory is always seen as controlled or dictated, whether consciously or unconsciously, by the cabal. That they are not taken seriously by the broader public, moreover, justifies the rage of the losers. It also absolves them of responsibility for events. They have done their duty: they have heroically provided the warning against the machinations of a ruthless and all-powerful enemy.

Conspiracy theories serve important social functions and fill various psychological needs: they are as deserving of serious critical study as any number of other religious, social, or political beliefs. Understanding the popular reception of the Protocols is impossible without making reference to the way that modernity is experienced by those whose material existence and existential self-identification are both threatened by it. The losers fear the modern production process, its dominant ideologies of liberalism and socialism, and its dominant classes, the bourgeoisie and the working class. A small farmer in a small town or an aristocrat or a member of the "middle strata (Mittlestand), for example, would most likely reject the politics of both the labor movement and the bourgeoisie. He would most likely fear the former for its attempts to impinge upon his property as surely as the latter for its control of his mortgage. It would make as little sense for him to embrace historical materialism, which sees his class as doomed, as a form of liberalism contemptuous of "community" and committed to cosmopolitanism values. This small farmer will most likely, if obviously not always, lash out against industrialization and all philosophies resting on a commitment to progress. Even in modern society, what Max Weber termed an "elective affinity" exists between particular ideologies and particular social groups.

Capitalism develops in a complicated relation with the remnants of precapitalist classes and modernity retains within itself, sometimes even invigorates, the premodern. The new society generates an anxiety, tantamount to what Sartre has termed an "objective neurosis," among the losers or those who believe they will become losers. This neurosis is not some metapsychological expression of the collective unconscious or some national cultural predisposition. It derives instead from the concrete experience of modernity undergone by the losers who will not go softly into the night but, instead, rage against it.

Older classes like the peasantry and the aristocracy are undoubtedly passing away and their values lack resonance in advanced industrial society. But their fears are now the fears of those who have lost faith in the ability of progressive forces to deal with the problems of modern life. Under the proper circumstances, indeed, these fears can intensify among the losers or, perhaps even more importantly, those who believe they will become the losers in the conflicts generated by modernity. Fears will then turn into anxieties or even neuroses. These manifest themselves among individuals and groups in an ever stronger insecurity of self-definition, a feeling of worthlessness, a sense of irrelevance, or what might be termed an identity deficit.

Such sentiments grow in periods of crisis and, with them, often the allure of antisemitism. This ideology compensates the losers, or those who believe they will become losers, for the deficit they feel in their own lives. It becomes a way of explaining why history has passed them by. It enables them to place responsibility upon others for their diminished status and thereby fosters the need for a scapegoat. The logic provided by antisemitism is implacable. Its adherent indeed "chooses the irremediable out of fear of being free; he chooses mediocrity out of fear of being alone, and out of pride he makes of this irremediable mediocrity a rigid aristocracy. To this end he finds the existence of the Jew absolutely necessary. Otherwise to whom would he feel superior?"

Antisemitism suggests that failure was never the fault of the loser. Conspiracy theory makes it possible to believe that the given crisis has been artificially created by an all-powerful "alien entity," a subversive clique, operating in the body politic for its own purposes. It thereby affirms the intelligence of the loser. The conspiratorial worldview "leaves no room for mistakes, failures, or ambiguities." It provides certainty. The prominence of works like the Protocols is consequently dependent upon the degree of uncertainty caused by the given crisis. The deeper the crisis, the more it will make possible the mobilization of hitherto untouched masses, and the more scapegoating ideologies will take the form of a "contagion."

Antisemitism always retains the potential of becoming total in its view of the Jew. The other of civilization, who is also so fully implicated in its development, becomes the source of all its economic, social, and political problems. The success of the antisemitic enterprise subsequently depends upon the ability to portray the enemy as the total incarnation of evil. Only insofar as this task is accomplished can antisemitic ideology explode the ethnic, racial, and class barriers separating its proponents from one another. It only follows, in keeping with the insight of Hannah Arendt, that antisemitism should prove strongest where the Jew is visible without enjoying real power or "just visible enough." The total crisis caused by the total enemy always, even if only implicitly, suggests the need for an equally total response to the "Jewish question."

It is a different matter with other forms of prejudice. Racists consider blacks inherently inferior to whites and a drain on public finances, but they don't simultaneously claim that people of color control capital and the media. English racism depicted the Irish ,as dirty, lazy, and apelike, but its proponents never believed that the Irish were manipulating the British Empire. The situation is similar when it comes to the ways that sexists view women or the ways that homophobes consider gays. Other forms of prejudice stereotype their enemy with fixed qualities: they are stupid, they are hurtful, and they can serve a distinct political purpose. Nevertheless, the prejudice exhibited by other types of bigots is inherently partial and therein lies its limits.

Antisemitism has no limits. It is predicated less on attributing fixed qualities, even when it comes to stereotypical images of the misanthropic miser or slimy social climber, than letting the Jew appear in all guises. The Jew is the capitalist and the communist, the avant-garde artist and the provincial pawnbroker, the pacifist and the belligerent; the Jew is both visible and invisible, assimilated and unassimilated, aboveground and underground. The Jew can be anywhere and anyone. It is as if "an endlessly changing and endlessly mimetic force had launched a constantly shifting offensive against humanity. . . . [T]he all-pervasive threat becomes in fact formless and unrepresentable; as such it leads to the most frightening phantasm of all: a threat that looms everywhere, that, although it penetrates everything, is an invisible carrier of death, like poison gas spreading over the battlefields of the Great War."

The indeterminacy of the Jew is what makes him or her so dangerous, so creative of anxiety, for the anti-Semite. Are the Jews equivalent to a race, a culture, a religion, a nation, or an economic system? It's impossible to decide: the other must encompass all these definitions and, for this reason, the material interests and intellectual messages of the Jews must be in constant flux. This indeterminacy allows the anti-Semite to fit the Jew into any context, to change stereotypes in the blink of an eye, and to find the source of any problem. The anti-Semite turns the Jew into a chameleon. Thus, an unwavering critic of the Protocols could write: "Every country has Jews, every country has evils: therefore the Jews are the cause of the evils. Such is the crude logic of demos and demagogues. Even the better political parties of our country need a whipping-boy to explain their defeat at the polls. The Jews are as good as a foreign war in averting attention from the financial scandals caused by the unethical and unscrupulous manipulations of leading financiers and infinitely more economical. Is it profiteering that agitates the public? It is the Jews who are the profiteers. Is it the menace of Bolshevism? They are the Bolshevists. Is it the hidden hand? That hand wears heavy Jewish rings. Is it a shortage of houses? It is the Jews who have monopolized all accommodation. Is it a dearth of bacon? It is the Jews who have eaten it up. Is it the awful consequences of imperialistic ambition? The Kaiser has Jewish blood. Is it the country suffering from a too ambitious form of clericalism? The Pope is a successor of Peter and he was a Jew. If there were no Jews, they would have to be invented. . . . They are indispensable --  the antithesis of a panacea; guaranteed to cause all evils."

The explanatory power of antisemitism ultimately rests on its use of what might be termed the chameleon-effect. This fundamental element of its popular appeal in the past, however, is precisely what undermines its salience for the present. Anti-Semites may still rail on the Internet about the dangers of the hidden hand manipulating a host of forces. But there is no longer a core to their thinking. The problem is palpable no matter the number of hits on antisemitic web sites. The basic category is no longer applicable. The Jew is now no more or less a chameleon than anyone else. The chameleon effect has become generalized among the populace at large. The real gentile can now live like the fictional Jew.

No longer are most people chained to the occupations of their parents, the town in which they were born, the lifelong marriage, the church of their community, and the straight heterosexual life style. It is simply counterintuitive when paranoiac anti-Semites claim: "The powers that govern would have all armies under one head, all money would be the same, all people would be totally dependent on this new force or perish. There would only be one nice, accepting religion allowed (to keep people from saying nasty things to each other and causing them to feel guilty) and there would be one king in all the earth. Of course, the new power would get everyone together and let them vote that all of this would be okay. They would vote for it because no one wants to get all shot up."

Each now increasingly has the opportunity of forging his or her own "biography" and becoming a chameleon in his or her own life. There is no longer a fixed all-embracing other because there is no longer a fixed all-embracing self. The explanation for the diminished status of antisemitism in advanced industrial society, its nebulous quality, is not simply political in nature. It is also not merely a function of more "information," which T. S. Eliot liked to differentiate from "knowledge," or a plethora of interest groups. It is rather that more people are increasingly experiencing a more varied and yet more intensive form of multicultural education. Indeed, beyond the odious expressions of intolerance by this ethnic or that racial organization, education of this sort is fostering an ever greater reliance upon cosmopolitan values and tolerance in the everyday life of democratic societies.

Anti-Semites are unaware of how the absolutism of their prejudice marginalizes them. They are trapped in the world of the Protocols: fixed, paranoiac, and dominated by myth. Those who should actually seek a critical understanding of it are, ironically, less the Jews than the anti-Semites. But they can't. They are the victims of a self-chosen blindness. These true believers have cast their lot with the irrational, the dogmatic, and the provincial. They span the globe. There are the rabble-rousers in western Europe, explicitly anti-immigrant and implicitly antisemitic, lacking a program while searching for a scapegoat. There are the authoritarian reactionaries in the former Soviet Union seeking a return to the traditions of old and the communists, seduced by nationalism but too cowardly to contest a burgeoning antisemitism. There are the Islamic fundamentalists still incapable of analyzing Israeli policies without reference to an international Jewish conspiracy, still intent on identifying Zionism with racism. And there are other believers closer to home. There are the nationalists among people of color who cite the Protocols to justify their belief that Jews ran the slave trade, control the banks, and hold down their constituencies. There are the Baptist sects still committed to converting the Jews, the Catholics still harboring their hatred of the Christ-killers, as well as the establishmentarian conservatives and the guilty liberals unwilling to offend their more prejudiced allies. The Protocols belongs to all of them. It is their story and "working through" the past, their past, is ultimately their responsibility.