....Putting aside fine
phrases we shall speak of the significance of each thought: by
comparisons and deductions we shall throw light upon surrounding
What I am about to set forth, then, is our system from the two
points of view, that of ourselves and that of the Goyim, [i.e., non-Jews].
It must be noted that men with bad instincts are more in number
than the good, and therefore the best results in governing them are
attained by violence and terrorisation, and not by academic
discussions. Every man aims at power, everyone would like to become
a dictator if only he could, and rare indeed are the men who would
not be willing to sacrifice the welfare of all for the sake of
securing their own welfare.
What has restrained the beasts of prey who are called men?
What has served for their guidance hitherto?
In the beginnings of the structure of society, they were
subjected to brutal and blind force; afterwards - to Law, which is
the same force, only disguised. I draw the conclusion that by the law
of nature, right lies in force.
Political freedom is an idea but not a fact. This idea one must
know how to apply whenever it appears necessary with this bait of an
idea to attract the masses of the people to one's party for the
purpose of crushing another who is in authority. This task is
rendered easier if the opponent has himself been infected with the
idea of freedom, so-called - Liberalism and, for
the sake of an idea, is willing to yield some of his power. It is
precisely here that the triumph of our theory appears; the slackened
reins of government are immediately, by the law of life, caught up
and gathered together by a new hand, because the blind might of the
nation cannot for one single day exist without guidance, and the new
authority merely fits into the place of the old already weakened by
In our day the power which has replaced that of the
rulers who were liberal is the power of Gold. Time was when Faith
ruled. The idea of freedom is impossible of realization because
no one knows how to use it with moderation. It is enough to hand
over a people to self-government for a certain length of time for
that people to be turned into a disorganized mob. From that moment
on we get internecine strife which soon develops into battles
between classes, in the midst of which States burn down and their
importance is reduced to that of a heap of ashes.
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 despotism of Capital, which is entirely in our hands,
reaches out to it a straw that the State, willy-nilly, must take
hold of: if not - it goes to the bottom.
Should anyone of a liberal mind say that such reflections as
the above are immoral, I would put the following questions: If every
State has two foes and if in regard to the external foe it is allowed
and not considered immoral to use every manner and art of conflict,
as for example to keep the enemy in ignorance of plans of attack and
defense, to attack him by night or in superior numbers, then in what
way can the same means in regard to a worse foe, the destroyer of
the structure of society and the commonweal, be called immoral and
Is it possible for any sound logical mind to hope with any
success to guide crowds by the aid of reasonable counsels and
arguments, when any objection or contradiction, senseless though it
may be, can be made and when such objection may find more favor with
the people, whose powers of reasoning are superficial? Men in masses
and the men of the masses, being guided solely by petty passions,
paltry beliefs, traditions and sentimental theorems, fall a prey to
party dissension, which hinders any kind of agreement even on the
basis of a perfectly reasonable argument. Every resolution of a
crowd depends upon a chance or packed majority, which, in its
ignorance of political secrets, puts forth some ridiculous
resolution that lays in the administration a seed of anarchy.
The political has nothing in common with the moral. The ruler
who is governed by the moral is not a skilled politician, and is
therefore unstable on his throne. He who wishes to rule must have
recourse both to cunning and to make-believe. Great national
qualities, like frankness and honesty, are vices in politics, for
they bring down rulers from their thrones more effectively and more
certainly than the most powerful enemy. Such qualities must be the
attributes of the kingdoms of the Goyim, but
we must in no wise be guided by them.
Right Is Might
Our right lies in force. The word "right"
is an abstract thought and proved by nothing. The word means no
more than: Give me what I want in order that thereby I may have a
proof that I am stronger than you.
Where does right begin? Where does it end?
In any State in which there is a bad organization of
authority, an impersonality of laws and of the rulers who have
lost their personality amid the flood of rights ever multiplying
out of liberalism, I find a new right - to attack by the right of
the strong, and to scatter to the winds all existing forces of order
and regulation, to reconstruct all institutions and to become the
sovereign lord of those who have left to us the rights of their
power by laying them down voluntarily in their liberalism.
Our power in the present tottering condition of all forms of
power will be more invincible than any other, because it will remain
invisible until the moment when it has gained such strength that no
cunning can any longer undermine it.
Out of the temporary evil we are now compelled to commit will
emerge the good of an unshakable rule, which will restore the regular
course of the machinery of the national life, brought to naught by
liberalism. The result justifies the means. Let us, however, in our
plans, direct our attention not so much to what is good and moral as
to what is necessary and useful.
Before us is a plan in which is laid down strategically the
line from which we cannot deviate without running the risk of seeing
the labor of many centuries brought to naught.
In order to elaborate satisfactory forms of action it is
necessary to have regard to the rascality, the slackness, the
instability of the mob, its lack of capacity to understand and
respect the conditions of its own life, or its own welfare. It must
be understood that the might of a mob is blind, senseless and
un-reasoning force ever at the mercy of a suggestion from any side.
The blind cannot lead the blind without bringing them into the
abyss; consequently, members of the mob, upstarts from the people
even though they should be as a genius for wisdom, yet having no
understanding of the political, cannot come forward as leaders of
the mob without bringing the whole nation to ruin.
Only one trained from childhood for independent rule can
have understanding of the words that can be made up of the political
A people left to itself, i.e., to upstarts from its midst,
brings itself to ruin by party dissensions excited by the pursuit of
power and honors and the disorders arising therefrom. Is it possible
for the masses of the people calmly and without petty jealousies to
form judgment, to deal with the affairs of the country, which cannot
be mixed up with personal interest? Can they defend themselves from
an external foe? It is unthinkable; for a plan broken up into as
many parts as there are heads in the mob, loses all homogeneity, and
thereby becomes unintelligible and impossible of execution.
We Are Despots
It is only with a despotic ruler that plans can be
elaborated extensively and clearly in such a way as to distribute
the whole properly among the several parts of the machinery of
the State: from this the conclusion is inevitable that a
satisfactory form of government for any country is one that
concentrates in the hands of one responsible person. Without an
absolute despotism there can be no existence for civilization
which is carried on not by the masses but by their guide, whosoever
that person may be. The mob is savage, and displays its savagery at
every opportunity. The moment the mob seizes freedom in its hands it
quickly turns to anarchy, which in itself is the highest degree of
Behold the alcoholic animals, bemused with drink, the right
to an immoderate use of which comes along with freedom. It is not
for us and ours to walk that road. The peoples of the Goyim are
bemused with alcoholic liquors; their youth has grown stupid on
classicism and from early immorality, into which it has been
inducted by our special agents - by tutors, lackeys, governesses in
the houses of the wealthy, by clerks and others, by our women in the
places of dissipation frequented by the Goyim.
In the number of these last I count also the so-called "society
ladies," voluntary followers of the others in corruption
Our countersign is - Force and Make-believe. Only force
conquers in political affairs, especially if it be concealed in the
talents essential to statesmen. Violence must be the principle, and
cunning and make-believe the rule for governments which do not want
to lay down their crowns at the feet of agents of some new power.
This evil is the one and only means to attain the end, the good.
Therefore we must not stop at bribery, deceit and treachery when
they should serve towards the attainment of our end. In politics
one must know how to seize the property of others without hesitation
if by it we secure submission and sovereignty.
Our State, marching along the path of peaceful conquest, has
the right to replace the horrors of war by less noticeable and more
satisfactory sentences of death, necessary to maintain the terror
which tends to produce blind submission. Just but merciless severity
is the greatest factor of strength in the State: not only for the
sake of gain but also in the name of duty, for the sake of victory,
we must keep to the programme of violence and make-believe. The
doctrine of squaring accounts is precisely as strong as the means of
which it makes use. Therefore it is not so much by the means
themselves as by the doctrine of severity that we shall triumph and
bring all governments into subjection to our super-government. It is
enough for them to know that we are too merciless for all
disobedience to cease.
We Shall End Liberty
Far back in ancient times we were the first to cry
among the masses of the people the words "Liberty, Equality,
Fraternity," words many times repeated since these days by
stupid poll-parrots who, from all sides around, flew down upon these
baits and with them carried away the well-being of the world, true
freedom of the individual, formerly so well guarded against the
pressure of the mob. The would-be wise men of the Goyim, the
intellectuals, could not make anything out of the uttered words in
their abstractedness; did not see that in nature there is no
equality, cannot be freedom: that Nature herself has established
inequality of minds, of characters, and capacities, just as
immutably as she has established subordination to her laws: never
stopped to think that the mob is a blind thing, that upstarts
elected from among it to bear rule are, in regard to the political,
the same blind men as the mob itself, that the adept, though he be a
fool, can yet rule, whereas the non-adept, even if he were a genius,
understands nothing in the political - to all those things the
Goyim paid no regard; yet all the time it was based upon these
things that dynastic rule rested: the father passed on to the son
a knowledge of the course of political affairs in such wise that
none should know it but members of the dynasty and none could betray
it to the governed. As time went on, the meaning of the dynastic
transference of the true position of affairs in the political was
lost, and this aided the success of our cause.
In all corners of the earth the words "Liberty,
Equality, Fraternity," brought to our ranks, thanks to our
blind agents, whole legions who bore our banners with enthusiasm.
And all the time these words were canker-worms at work boring into
the well-being of the Goyim, putting an end everywhere to peace,
quiet, solidarity and destroying all the foundations of the Goyim
States. As you will see later, this helped us to our triumph: it
gave us the possibility, among other things, of getting into our
hands the master card - the destruction of the privileges, or in
other words of the very existence of the aristocracy of the Goyim,
that class which was the only defense peoples and countries had
against us. On the ruins of the natural and genealogical
aristocracy of the Goyim we have set up the aristocracy of our
educated class headed by the aristocracy of money. The
qualifications for this aristocracy we have established in
wealth, which is dependent upon us, and in knowledge, for which
our learned elders provide the motive force.
Our triumph has been rendered easier by the fact that in our
relations with the men, whom we wanted, we have always worked upon
the most sensitive chords of the human mind, upon the cash account,
upon the cupidity, upon the insatiability for material needs of man;
and each one of these human weaknesses, taken alone, is sufficient
to paralyze initiative, for it hands over the will of men to the
disposition of him who has bought their activities.
The abstraction of freedom has enabled us to persuade the
mob in all countries that their government is nothing but the
steward of the people who are the owners of the country, and that
the steward may be replaced like a worn-out glove.
It is this possibility of replacing the representatives of
the people which has placed at our disposal, and, as it were, given
us the power of appointment.
First published in 1903, Henry Ford then funded the printing of 500,000 copies that were distributed throughout the US in the 1920s. Adolf Hitler received a German translation, which he used to justify his views. Today, The Protocols are still widely available in numerous languages - both in print and on the Internet.