Perhaps exploiting the populist rage directed at “fat cat” bankers since the economic collapse of 2008, a 30-minute YouTube film entitled “The American Dream” has been gaining traction since its July 2010 debut at FreedomFest, a libertarian-conservative convention held in Las Vegas. In several interviews, the film’s creator, Tad Lumpkin, has claimed his cartoon-style effort is essentially an easier-to-understand version of Friedrich Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom” which was a seminal attack against collectivism. Maybe Lumpkin thinks so, but there is a troubling undercurrent which revisits one of the oldest anti-Semitic conspiracy theories in existence: we are all slaves of Jewish bankers who run the entire world.
The basis of this theory comes from the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” the origins of which go back to a pamphlet published in 1797 by French Jesuit Abbe Barruel, who blamed the French Revolution of 1789 on a conspiracy of Freemasons. Non-Jewish French satirist, Maurice Joly, expounded on the idea with a pamphlet intended as a satire, but German anti-Semite (and Prussian spy) Hermann Goedsche, writing as Sir John Retcliffe, plagiarized Joly’s work, and his non-satirical version was translated into Russian in 1872. A consolidation of his work was published as the “Rabbi’s Speech” in 1891. A redacted version created by the “Okhranka,” (Russian secret police) gave birth to the familiar title, “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” in 1903, which told the story of Jewish elders meeting in Switzerland in 1897 to plot the destruction of Christianity and world domination by Jews.
Despite the knowledge that the Protocols was a plagiarized forgery, it took until 1993 before a Russian court, the country from whence it had originated, declared it as such. In the ninety year interim, they were used to “explain” world events in a fashion similar to the Biblical predictions of Nostradamus, or as Henry Ford senior remarked in 1927, “(t)he only statement I care to make about the Protocols is that they fit in with what is going on.” What Mr. Ford and others were referring to can be boiled down to an idea that still resonates: every attempt to achieve some kind of extra-national organizing, aka “globalization,” can be traced back to the Protocols.
“The American Dream” re-invigorates this idea. The film introduces a character named Pile. Pile wants a house, many of which are shown springing up like plants, so he signs a contract offered by a banker and proceeds to go to sleep convinced he has realized his American dream. When he wakes up, the dream has become a nightmare with his house in foreclosure, and Pile wondering “how could this happen?” At that point, in a take-off on “Back to the Future,” a Delorian appears out of nowhere containing one of Pile’s boyhood friends, Hartman. Pile and Hartman begin a journey where, as invisible characters in the “space-time continuum,” they observe how the banks operate, and the history of banking itself.
The first part of the movie explains the origins of the current economic crisis, showing how cheap money and easy credit led to the bubble which popped in 2008. The principle villain at this point is the the Federal Reserve, which supplied the banks with the cash to fuel the bubble. We are taken back to the 10th century to learn about the origins of money, along with the gold standard and its abandonment, characterized by Hartman as “thievery” and the beginning of the worst excess of all: “how to turn worthless paper into gold.”
So far simplistic, but still rather innocuous. Then it begins. A sign, “House of Rothschild” is shown in front of a Frankenstein-like castle where bankers, whose faces are red shields, give birth to a tentacled monster with the same shielded face. “Thus was invented the ultimate machine to steal real money and enslave all the nations on earth,” intones Hartman. In fact, the Protocols centers on an almost identical notion of nation-state servitude: “Whether a State exhausts itself in its own convulsions, whether its internal discord brings it under the power of external foes–in any case it can be accounted irretrievably lost: it is in our power.”
The film moves on to the Battle of Waterloo, depicted as a chess board with the tentacled monsters (in the Protocols this is the role of the German Jewish bankers) funding both sides, re-invigorating another long-discredited conspiracy theory. The creation of war for control and economic gain is another major activity of the Zion elders. Red Shield bankers are then shown inflicting economic misery on England, as a result of the war, and then moving on to America.