[The Occidental Observer (TOO) contributor and scholar Andrew Joyce on the “jewish problem/question“, has a fascinating discussion on the ever relevant play by Shakespeare, the “The Merchant of Venice“, with Frodi Midjord from Guide to Kulchur.
Guide to Kulchur
The Merchant of Venice
Abusive Victim-Identity Syndrome
Jan 20, 2021
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Published on Jan 20, 2021
THE MERCHANT OF VENICE: Abusive Victim-Identity Syndrome | Andrew Joyce
First published at 15:17 UTC on January 20th, 2021.
Guide to Kulchur
Recorded Jan. 20, 2021.
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Frodi Midjord: Good evening, or good afternoon, culture vultures! We’re back! We’re back with Andrew Joyce. We’re going to talk about “The ‘Moichant’ of Venice” [in a jooish accent]. Hopefully my microphone works properly, because, well I ran some update a couple of weeks ago. And my mic stopped working. So I used a backup mic, and hopefully we’re back to business now.
So the website is guidetoculture.org. You can find us on Twitter real underscore gtk and on Telegram. Subscribe to the Telegram channel. That’s. The best way to follow us. And we have the archive of previous videos on BitChute. So make sure to follow that and subscribe and like, etc.
And having said that, I think it’s time to welcome Andrew Joyce back to the channel. How are you doing?
Andrew Joyce: I’m doing very well thanks Frodi. It’s a pleasure to be here. It’s always a pleasure to have a conversation with you. And it will be especially pleasurable to have a conversation today about Shakespeare.
Frodi Midjord: Yes! We’re [chuckling] going to talk about the “Moichant”. Well, I guess he isn’t “The ‘Moichant’ of Venice”, because the “merchant” refers to Antonio, right?
Andrew Joyce: That’s right. That’s the common mistake made by people who haven’t read the play, that Shylock is the merchant. He’s not the merchant, even though he is probably the most prominent character, or certainly the most memorable in the play.
Frodi Midjord: Oh yeah! He is the reason for the play being so famous today. I mean, otherwise it would just be one of Shakespeare’s plays. But now it’s something that even people who don’t read Shakespeare, and who aren’t very interested in culture and literature, everyone is aware of this particular play and they know that it’s about “jews”, or one jew at least. And that’s why it’s very controversial.
So the first thing I wanted to ask you is I watched the 2004 film by Michael, yeah created by Michael Redford — was also known for 1984 — with Al Pacino as Shylock and Jeremy Irons as Antonio. And the film opens with these sort of “warning labels”! It’s almost like a pack of cigarettes, [loud laughter]! You know, you’re gonna see something you’re not supposed to see!
And one thing that is claimed there. And this is a trope that I want to ask you about. This is something this is sort of a cliche almost, that jews were hated, because they were money lenders. But, in fact, jews were forced to be money lenders. They weren’t allowed to work with anything else. And Europeans, non-jewish Europeans, were not allowed to be moneylenders. So therefore the jews were left without any other option. And then unfairly, they were disliked, because of that. What’s the truth behind that?
Andrew Joyce: Well it’s a lot more complicated than that, for sure Frodi. I mean, I hadn’t seen the 2004 film before yesterday, when you told me that you were going to watch it so I thought:
“Oh shit! I probably should watch it too.”
I only managed an hour before I fell asleep. Make of that what you will. But that introductory scene had me laughing! It had me concerned. And it’s full of lies! Now the movie opens with this bald-headed monk sailing down one of the small streams in Venice, in a boat, with a massive cross behind him. And the entire setting of the scene is very sinister. And it’s intercut with short captions. Which more, or less say, you know:
“In the 16th century Venice jews were sort of harshly persecuted. They were forced into money lending. And then, because they were money lenders, they were despised by the local population and subjected to frequent persecutions and outbreaks of violence.”
More, or less that is what the opening scene says. And the reason that it says that is, because it’s an attempt to kind of mollify, or explain all of the subsequent bad actions, shall we say, on the part of Shylock for the rest of the play. It’s meant to provide him with an excuse. And it’s not in the play. But it’s been inserted into the movie.
Now in terms of the real historical context then, were jews forced into money lending? No they weren’t! Were they prohibited from possessing, … And I think in the movie it actually says they weren’t prohibited from possessing land, but prohibited from possessing possessions! Or something like this. Here they couldn’t hold possessions again, like any kind of material things, [Frodi chuckles] apart from money. Which, of course, is nonsense!
For large parts of European history jews could hold land, for example, the south of France they had whole vineyards. And they had employees and slaves work those vineyards for them. And we find the same in Spain. And we find it in other parts of Europe, also.
There were certain periods of time at which certain monarchs found it useful to ban jews from owning land. And this normally happened when there was a competition for resources between the elites at the very top. In other words, the kings and queens, and the noble class.
Say, for example, a knight who owned say a few hundred acres. It was a small scale knight. Say he borrowed some money, before he went off to war, from a jew. Because he fell on hard times he wasn’t able to repay the jew and his land would then be forfeit to the jew. Now the Crown would work a sleight of hand here, by saying:
“No! jews are prohibited from holding land. But what I will do is, I will take the land and I will pay a fee to the jew. That’s how we will work this.”
And it basically facilitated a kind of land transfer so that the monarchs became ever more powerful and owned ever larger tracks of land across Europe. And, as I say, it happens sporadically.
Now the real context in Venice at this time at the time that the play it set, the 16th century, Venice is booming as a city. It’s increasing its trade with the Ottoman Empire a and obviously being Venice, living space and land is at a premium. So you build sort of higher rise buildings, because your streets are basically water and all the rest of it. And you have an influx of merchants, and traders, and money lenders. And all the rest are trying to make a quick buck off of the economic boom.
So what actually happens is they create these ghettos. Now the word “ghetto” comes from the Venetian “getti” which means “metal”, because the original ghettos, these living quarters, were run by the blacksmiths, or the people who smelted gold and silver.
So what happens is for a lot of the jewish money lenders that come in, an arrangement is made that they will live in the place of the getti, the ghettos. So they would live in these ghettos, and the ghettos would have certain terms attached to them. Because to give everyone a fair bite of the economic cherry you had a kind of circulation, or you would cycle people in and cycle them out.
Now when we say that jews lived in the ghetto, it’s a common misconception — and it’s not really cleared up at all by the very deceptive introduction to the movie — that these are whole jewish families that are living in these ghettos, and they’re locked up for morning tonight and all the rest of it. But this is not true! The people who lived in the ghetto were jewish traders. They were adult men. Sometimes they have an adult child with them.
And they would be granted a license to perhaps come in, live in the ghetto for say three, four, months. And then they would be asked to leave again. The permit would expire. And they would go out. Their proper home would always be outside the city. Always be outside the city. It was basically like a kind of live-in business arrangement. They would come in, conduct their business for three, or four months. And then they would be cycled out and then new traders would come in.
As the economy boomed there would be an increase in the number of ghettos, and the ghettos that did exist would be enlarged in size. So this is the direct Venetian history behind the play.
And actually when you look at the play, when you look Shylock he has an adult daughter. He doesn’t have young children. He doesn’t have a wife. So clearly Shakespeare knew more about the Venetian context than the directors of this particular movie. Shakespeare doesn’t present anything really in The Merchant of Venice that is not in any way explainable by the reality of the history that’s there.
Frodi Midjord: Right. But just to be clear, usury was prohibited for non-jews as for Christians in Europe, back in those days, right?
Andrew Joyce: It was. But there were always exceptions. And, of course, it’s in northern Italy it’s among the Lombards that we see the primary competitors to the jews eventually, emerging. And it’s within the 16th century to be honest.
And at the start of the 17th century they really take hold, as well. There are always Christians who are lending money. Yet they’re extremely socially ostracized. At times they’re punished quite severely by the church. And actually a lot of the medieval expulsions of jews were incidental in the sense that there were expulsions of moneylenders, not jews. And jews just got expelled along with gentile, Christian moneylenders, also.
But but, of course, in the histories we just hear:
“Oh! The jews were expelled!”
Well some, but not all of these expulsions can be explained with these incidental expulsions of moneylenders. But Europeans were lending money at interest as well, at this time. That’s an established historical fact.
Frodi Midjord: Right.
Andrew Joyce: But it was the done thing that it was good form that if a church, for example, required instant cash credit — to be able to expand the church, or to begin a new construction project — that they wouldn’t ask another Christian to do. So that they would turn to the jews.
And for this reason we actually see that some of the major Bishops and church leaders in the medieval period are the primary defenders of the jews, mostly, because they have this kind of financial symbiotic relationship with them.
Frodi Midjord: Hmm mm. So I think the narrative, or the storyline, is pretty familiar to everyone listening. It’s quite simple. It is Antonio borrows money from Shylock and demands a Bond, that is a pound of flesh, if he doesn’t pay the money back. And in the end there is this legal proceeding about him being allowed to take a pound of flesh out of Antonio, because, well, there are lots of twists and turns. And we can get into all of those.
But what was the reception? Let’s talk a bit about how the play, or how the story has been received, or how it’s been treated throughout history since it since it was published up until now.
Andrew Joyce: Well, even when it was published it was one of Shakespeare’s more successful play. It was certainly more successful and enduring than Christopher Marlowe’s “The jew of Malta” — which appeared right about eight years earlier. — certainly was far more strikingly anti-semitic than Shakespeare’s play was.
In Marlowe’s play the main character is a jewish merchant called Barabbas, who ends up poisoning a whole nunnery and kills about half of the people of the play. I mean, this is the ultimate arch-jewish villain! A lot of people have interpreted The Merchant of Venice as Shakespeare’s response to The jew of Malta, which may, or may not be the case.
But let’s look at what The Merchant of Venice is, in itself, as a play. And how that might have shaped how it was received. I mean, the play itself, it falls within the category of a comedy. It does have tragic elements. But it’s predominantly a comedy. It’s an example of what’s called “New Comedy”.
Now when you go back to the Greek times they had a thing called “Old Comedy” an example of which, the plays by Aristophanes which were sort of satirical and heavily political. And once Aristophanes kind of leaves the scene he’s followed up by a man called, a playwright called Menander.
And Menander initiates something called “New Comedy”. A new comedy always orientates around a fixed set of tropes. And one of those is this idea of young lovers outwitting their parents, and basically seeking “a happily ever after”. A new comedy is something that Shakespeare was particularly attracted to.
We see it, of course, in Romeo and juliet. But we definitely see it here in The Merchant of Venice, also. Because although there is the antagonism between Antonio and Shylock the primary narrative really other than that, is a love story. It’s a love story between Bassanio who is Antonio’s friend, and Porsha, this wealthy heiress, or princess that he is desperate to be able to become a suitor for.
And in order to be a suitor, he requires the funds from Antonio, his best friend. Antonio is a wealthy and successful merchant, but all of his ships are out at sea. And when they’re out at sea they’re vulnerable. They’re vulnerable to storms, and as Shylock later says:
“This guy’s wealth is quite significant. He’s probably good for the loan. But it’s vulnerable to whether he can staff the ships. It’s vulnerable to whether rats will eat the stock that he has on board the ships.”
And so on, and so forth. So it’s a vulnerable wealth. And the play, of course, opens quite ambiguously and filled with tension in the form of Antonio standing, kind of brooding. I mean, his friends ask him:
“Why are you brooding? Are you thinking too much about your merchandise?”
He’s basically saying:
“I just can’t put my finger on it.”
So the tension is there from the beginning as to how vulnerable his wealth is. And in some ways the play is a meditation on fixation on wealth not just for Shylock , but for everyone. But anyway, these new comedy plays always have a bad guy. They always have an antagonist who’s going to spoil the party, and spoil the fun. And in this case it is Shylock . And the play was initially received as a new comedy. I suppose also as a commentary on the knowledge, the cultural knowledge of jews at the time.
So throughout the 17th century, as Shakespeare becomes increasingly popular and his plays be become read and re-read, the jewish aspect of the portrayal of Shylock does come to the fore over time. And by the time you get into the late 19th century Shylock has more, or less entered common parlance as a byword for jewish greed, or for greed in general.
And actually, there was a fairly recent case, probably about eight years ago where Joe Biden himself got into trouble, because in a conversation about loans, I think something to do with the military, he used the phrase:
“I can’t believe the Shylocks.”
Which brought him much opprobrium from apparently Foxman, who Biden later described as “a friend and advisor”. And thanked Foxman for correcting his views on this. Foxman very quick to silence him on that.
But the play has always been controversial, and always has been interpreted far out of proportion to what it actually is. As I said, it’s an example of “New Comedy”. It’s quite dark. It is a dark comedy. But it’s been interpreted as something much more sinister by jews. And we can get into the reasons for why that is, but we would need to dissect the character of Shylock , and what Shakespeare has to say about him. And I suppose also for Antonio.
Frodi Midjord: Yeah, it’s funny that you brought up the thing with Joe Biden, because that wasn’t his first sort of faux pas, because I think in, well I don’t know when that statement was, but in 2013 he gave a speech to AIPAC I believe it was. Where he applauded all the efforts of the jewish community to bring PC trends into Western society, homosexuality, mass immigration, [chuckling] etc., and he appreciated that. And they didn’t appreciate his honesty, I guess.
Andrew Joyce: Yeah, he said something like:
“Without you it wouldn’t have happened!”
Or something like that. [loud laughter] And this is the thing with jews. And then it leads in also into The Merchant of Venice! Is that, there are certain things that jews are quite happy to claim. But there are certain realities about them and their history that they’re very much keen to brush under the carpet.
One of which is money lending. I mean primarily that the problem with Shylock is that it’s a jew portrayed in a massively popular example of literary genius, as a money lender! And that’s a part of their history that they want to get rid of permanently! They don’t want it mentioned.
I mean, I have my own small library of books on jews, and believe it, or not, the majority of books that are in that library are not written by our guys. They’re actually opposition literature. Because I find it fascinating! I always learn something from the strategies that they employ in trying to defend themselves.
And one of my favorite, and I would say funniest books is Abraham Foxman’s “Jews and Money: The Story of a Stereotype”. Because in that book he discusses Shylock . And he was through all these kind of leaps, and bounds, and twists, and turns, in order to try and say that the jews don’t have a special relationship with money. And this is the phrasing that I personally have always used. I don’t say that they’re greedy, or this, or that and the other. They certainly have a “special relationship” with money, with finance capital, along with lending money at interest. That’s undeniable!
And if you look at texts like Salo Baron’s “Economic History of the jews” you see a more academic example of that twisting and turning, where they try and produce evidence. That, because there was one jewish blacksmith in medieval England, that that meant that there was a diverse, you know, occupational structure to the population of the time. Total nonsense! Everyone was involved more, or less in money lending to a certain extent.
So saying, or expressing realities about the jewish occupational past, or present, because don’t forget that jews are still at the forefront of money lending. And certainly most of the cases one of the most notorious and exploitative money lenders in terms of the Payday Loan companies of recent years.
And I’ve written about this. I think in 2012 I wrote an essay on contemporary jewish money lending, about ten thousand words. And took a lot of research. But basically behind most of the controversial Payday money lending operations in the United States, in the UK, throughout Europe, and Australia, they’re all ultimately owned by jews. So this issue of Shylock has not gone away.
But let’s come back to the play. All attacks seem to be on the fact that Shylock represents the worst of anti-semitic stereotypes. Being that jews are quote-unquote “greedy” and also that Shylock himself is an example of the literary representation of the so-called blood libel.
So the blood libel being the idea that jews killed Christians for ritual purposes. Reflected in the play by the fact that when Antonio comes to Shylock and he says:
“Look I want this loan on these terms. Can I get it?”
And at first there’s an ambiguity to Shylock’s first response to that first request for the money. And I’ll read it out, because I actually, I reread it last night. And I thought to myself:
“There’s an ambiguity there, because you almost feel like Shylock is going to provide the loan out of friendship. That he is making a peace offering.”
But that’s completely destroyed by what happens later in the play. But he almost sucks you in and makes you believe that he is going to meet Antonio halfway there. And even though he claims that Antonio has spat on him in the past and abused him as a jewish dog and so on, and so forth. That Shylock is willing to let bygones be bygones and make the loan, and perhaps repair their relationship.
Now in the film, as I say that I watched last night, it’s portrayed quite differently. Because you’re immediately, in the first scenes, sort of made to feel sorry for Shylock, because it opens with Antonio spitting in Shylock’s face. And I think a jew is thrown from a bridge into the river, or something, as well. I mean, it basically starts with abuse of jews.
But let me read this out. So Antonio comes to Shylock and he says:
“Look I want the loan.”
And Shylock says:
“O father Abram, what these Christians are.
Whose own hard dealings teaches them suspect the thoughts of others!
Pray you tell me this; If he should break his day what should I gain by the exaction of the forfeiture.
A pound of man’s flesh taken from a man is not so estimable, profitable neither.
As flesh of muttons, beefs, or goats. I say to buy his favour I extend this friendship.
If he will not take it so; if not, adieu;
And for my love, I pray you wrong me not.”
In other words, he’s saying there, basically:
“What do I take is my bond? A pound of your flesh.”
You know, in the grand scheme of things it’s not that realistic a request. In fact, Shylock only becomes obsessive about getting the pound of flesh once he realizes that Antonio has definitely defaulted.
And at that point he’s become so embittered at the fact that his daughter, Jessica, also seems to be running off with a Christian boy, that he basically gets into a blood frenzy.
But at first it’s almost like Shylock sets the bar so high, because, … And again he sucks me in here, because I’ve read this play, I don’t know how many times. And I read it last night and I’m still trying to wrap my head around, what’s Shakespeare saying here? Is he saying that this hostile money lending jew is willing, does he have some humanity in him whatsoever? In that he’s willing to just “pound of flesh”. But it’s not totally sincere:
“I’m just saying that’s going to be my bond. So you better give me my money back. And I pray you wrong me not.”
And even Antonio seems to perceive it that way, because he says:
“Hie thee gentle jew.”
And then once Shylocks leaves, he says:
“The Hebrew will turn Christian: He grows kind.”
So Antonio also interprets that as perhaps an olive branch in the conflict between the two. Which is certainly later, that’s thrown completely out the window, because Shylock does reveal himself to be bloodthirsty. He does reveal himself to be not so much greedy for money, but greedy for revenge. And this issue of revenge comes to the fore in the famous speech.
I mean, there are two ways of dealing with Shylock for jews.
One is to say that he’s a gross representation of anti-semitism, to try and censor the play. And this has, by far, been the predominant strategy the jews have adopted in trying to deal with The Merchant of Venice, and the genius that’s inside it.
Another strategy has been, … Just before I watched the movie actually, I read a movie review by a jewish critic called, I think, Ron Rosenbaum. And he was criticizing the movie, because it did strip out a lot of the really antagonistic elements within Shylock’s character that are in the play. They stripped it out of the movie. And he basically said:
“Look, us jews we have these kind of diversionary strategies at times in dealing with this. In that, we don’t want to admit that it’s anti-semitic. So we’ll just try and kind of soften it up a little bit. We’ll try and say that Shakespeare’s not really anti-jewish. He’s making a broader commentary on society at the time.”
Or something like this. And all of this gets, you know, it’s just dancing around the fact that, look is just a nasty jewish character! And we have to live with it. We can’t have every character who’s jewish in literature represented in a positive way! It’s not realistic.
Frodi Midjord: Yeah I mean, a go-to way of dealing with things like that is saying that he’s sarcastic. He means the opposite. This is just a caricature for Shakespeare being sarcastic, or Voltaire saying something sarcastically when it says something about jews. I mean, that is a very typical response [chuckling].
Andrew Joyce: Exactly. And the number one thing that they go to when they’re wanting to engage in this strategy, is they appeal to the:
“Have not a jew, …”
That very famous speech from Shylock . Which is supposed to be the speech where Shakespeare is speaking. And when they want to divert they say:
“Shakespeare’s saying, ‘look jews are humans too. And they bleed when we cut them ‘.”
And all the rest of it. But when you read the full speech, when you read the whole thing it’s clear that, yes, while Shakespeare is saying jews are human, he’s also saying this is a really vicious, vengeance-filled individual! And to try and soften that up by saying the jews are just human beings, … Let me read out the speech itself. It won’t take that long. But it’s worth hearing it from beginning to end. Because once Antonio basically looks like he’s going to forfeit, and Shylock is asked:
“Why do you want a pound of flesh, anyway?”
And Shylock replies:
“To bait fish withal.”
In other words, he’s saying:
“Look. I’ll do with it, whatever I want. If I want to use it to bait fish, I’ll bait fish.”
So he says:
“If it will feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge.
He hath disgraced me, and hindered me half a million; laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies; and what’s his reason?
I am a Jew.
Hath not a Jew eyes?
Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions?
Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is?
If you prick us, do we not bleed?
If you tickle us, do we not laugh?
If you poison us, do we not die?
And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?
If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that.
If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge.
If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example?
The villainy you teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.”
That’s a phenomenal piece of writing for a start. Now, if I could point to any other speech in literature that reminds me of that, it’s Ahab in the boat when Starbucks says to him:
“The White whale is just a whale! Why are you so furious about that?”
And Ahab turns to him and he said. He says something like:
“Fool! If the sun insulted me I would strike it!”
So it’s a kind of its the ultimate fury! It’s the point of anger when it just becomes unhinged from itself. And Shylock is basically saying here is:
“If there’s an antagonism that’s mutual between jews and Christians, for every time Christians come against me, I the jew will pay him back even harder!”
Which to me encapsulates so much of the dynamic of the jewish-European interaction for the last, over 1,000 years, let’s say, because it’s a pendulum. Because there’s jewish action, European reaction, and the jewish action is even harder than that. And then it swings back. And then you have this constant to and fro between the two populations.
And, rather than then focus on what Shakespeare is saying about the fact that jews are human here, and saying that they are human does not detract from the fact that they can be at fault for things. In fact, I think that it’s perfectly good that Shakespeare is saying:
“Look, they’re humans!”
Because say The Merchant of Venice is a reaction to The jew of Malta, where Barabbas is a kind of two-dimensional, cartoonish, evil jew a a meme, so to speak.
Well what Shakespeare is doing, is saying someone like that does not really have much moral agency, or responsibility. It’s just a caricature. You can impart a lot more moral responsibility and agency to someone when you say:
“Look, this person is human. They have the same faculties as me, but they’ve still chosen to undertake this action.”
And I’ve been asked in the past when I’ve doing a podcast with Luke Ford many years ago. Where he was trying to bait me into all kinds of things. But he said to me:
“Do you believe that jews are parasites?”
And I said:
“That’s a very easy way out of trying to explain, or attribute responsibility, to jewish people who are doing these very harmful things. A parasite is this mindless creature that doesn’t really know what it’s doing. It’s just feeding off of a host and all the rest of it. No. Jews know exactly what they’re doing!”
And that’s where the real problem, the real moral responsibility lies, that it’s much more terrifying in a way.
So this speech, you know, if I could point to anything in literature that kind of sums up the nature of the jewish-European antagonism, read this speech! The speech that so many jews are holding up as an example of:
“Oh Shakespeare was trying to make a defense of the jews.”
No! It’s all here. Read the whole thing! Because it begins with revenge and it ends with revenge.
Frodi Midjord: I think one of the sort of famous quote-unquote “anti-semites”, if we’re going to use that term, Ivor Benson, he wrote an essay about The Merchant of Venice. And he basically said:
“That it was the most important, or most insightful texts on the jewish issue.”
And there is a lot of depth. It isn’t just that Shylock is greedy, ore whatever. Because he isn’t greedy! And this is the thing that I want to get into next. The issue of revenge. Because the fact of the matter is that Shylock isn’t in it for the money.
Andrew Joyce: No.
Frodi Midjord: He doesn’t want the debt to be paid. He wants the bond. He wants the pound of flesh. Because he wants revenge.
And I think this is very important because, … Well I mean, we in modern times we have a sort of, it’s almost like a remnant of liberalism in our way of thinking. Where we think that people do things for rational reasons, for maximizing profits, or whatever. So that we think that it’s just resource competition between us and jews, for example.
But the thing is that they see themselves as “victims”! And I think Shylock represents that. He sees himself as a victim who needs revenge! Who hates the people that, [chuckling] he doesn’t like the people he lives among! And it isn’t just for profit.
And jews have also throughout history been willing to give up profit in order to achieve a much more sort of conscious political agenda, for example.
So there’s more depth to the issue than just greed. I mean, he wants to harm. He hates Antonio! He acts out of spite and he wants revenge, because of his perceived “victimhood”.
And I think that is a more important motivation in many, or more important motive, in many ways of interpreting a lot of jewish behavior that we see as hostile, or problematic, or whatever. That they act out of perceived victimhood and they want revenge. And they want to hurt the people who they believe hurt them.
Andrew Joyce: Absolutely! That’s the fundamental take away from the play. If you want to focus on the character of Shylock ..
People who haven’t read the play, or read on a very superficial level do think it’s about greed. But when you actually delve into the play, and when you really sort of examine the characters on the Christian side. For example, Antonio, or Solanio, these Christians have a very superficial Christianity. They’re sitting in church. But when they’re sitting in church they’re thinking about their merchandise.
And the play opens with Antonio more, or less, brooding over his merchandise although it isn’t explicit, the subtext is there. So the greed that’s in the play seems to originate with the most Christian characters, or the ones that are postulated as the sort of the origins of the kind of the Christians who are spitting on Shylock , the jew.
It’s not about greed, or it’s not primarily about greed with Shylock . You’re right. It’s primarily about revenge. And even when people turn up towards the end of the play. Bassanio returns. And he basically says:
“Look. We borrowed three thousand ducats off you. I’ll give you six thousand ducats.”
And Shylock basically says:
“If you were to take those three thousand ducats, divide each of them into ten, and then make each one of those a ducat, [making 30,000 ducats] I still wouldn’t take it! I will have my pound of flesh! I will have my bond!”
And throughout the play leading up to that act where the court scene takes place, he’s approached by Solano, Bassanio, so many of the other ancillary characters to Antonio. And all of them are saying:
“Can we divert you from this?”
But he’s single focused.
I mean, there’s that speech where he repeats “I’ll have my Bond” so many times that Shakespeare is trying to reinforce the obsession that he has. That no, the time for all negotiations and talk about money and this, that, and the other, is gone.
And Shylock does use the term “my tribe” on several occasions to discuss the offense that he feels that Antonio has caused. Shylock’s tribe has been offended. And he will have his revenge on one of the city’s most prominent Christians, on behalf of his tribe. And he will take it in the form of flesh! He wants it to be painful. And he wants to literally take a piece of the man who slighted him.
I mean, that speech, not so much a speech, but a response to the pleas for him to relinquish the bond and just simply accept the money, or accept something else. He says:
“I’ll have my Bond! I will not hear thee speak. I’ll have my Bond! And therefore speak no more. I’ll not be made a soft and dull-eyed fool, to shake the head relent, sigh and yield to Christian intercessors. Follow not; I’ll have no speaking. I will have my bond.”
And the time for negotiation has passed.
It’s prophetic in a sense because, when you see so many of the people today on the White side. Whites who are engaging in all this “woke” nonsense, or they’re apologizing for all of these putative historical crimes against non-Whites, most specifically against the jews, they think that that earns some kind of brownie points. That, that placates the matter. That’s a way of diverting it away from continuing the antagonism between the peoples, should I say.
And for most of them, they don’t even perceive that such an antagonism exists. They just view that on some level they have to recompense the jews for the crimes that have been committed against them.
But what they don’t understand is that the dynamic here is “revenge focused”. And there is a financial aspect to it, but money gets power. And it’s what the power is then put to use to, that really counts.
And I’ll never forget the words of Barbara Roche, the jewish minister under Tony Blair in the UK, who said that she feels safest walking down the streets of London when it’s, in her words “a vibrant multicultural city”. She wants to see the White population diluted right down! Because she feels comfortable in that. And she feels safe in that. And she feels that that is a more natural environment for a jew to be. And that all wraps into her own perception and worldview absorbed through her religious ideology, on how to view Europeans.
Because I remember speaking to a jewish academic years ago. And he said:
“That in the particular town that he grew up in, there weren’t that many other jews. So there’s no jewish school for him to go to. So he went to a normal school.”
And it was in Britain. And in Britain when you go to school, every school opens with morning hymns, or they did back when he was a child, anyway. He said:
“So every morning we sang hymns. And they always sang ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’.”
And even as a child all that came into his head was this vision of the Crusaders going through medieval villages killing jews! So right from a very young age, jews are led to believe that they are victims of Europeans, and European society and culture. So this naturally leads to a kind of subtext of revenge.
Frodi Midjord: Right! Yeah. I mean, there’s a lot there. And I said probably 15 years ago that, … I mean, the reason jews want multiculturalism is, because it is the ecological niche where they are successful, because they can blend in. And they are not seen.
I mean, Kevin MacDonald has described this as they stick out as a sore thumb in a homogeneous society they are the only significant minority. But yeah, they are successful, because they are adapted to this sort of tribal group competition in the sort of, well in the Middle East. And their culture has evolved in that environment.
And when it comes to the topic of greed. I mean, there are many examples I can’t think of any sort of very clear examples. But I know I’ve thought about this many times throughout the years that, yeah, they are willing to give up profit, or if they own the media, for example, if they own a newspaper, or a TV channel, their motivation isn’t:
“What will sell more copies? What will get us more profits?”
Because they are willing to not talk about certain things that would sell copies, because it doesn’t fit their political agenda, right?
Andrew Joyce: Yeah. It actually goes both ways. I mean, I always laugh at these studies that are done now and again whenever they talk about billionaires and about the psychological characteristics of billionaires and how they score highly in sociopathic and psychopathic traits.
And the inevitable question asks itself once you realize that jews comprise a huge element of these billionaires as they say. I wonder what it is about jews that lends them so extraordinarily to becoming billionaires? You know, I wonder if there’s a higher disposition to these characteristics of sociopathy and psychopathy, and this kind of single minded focus on the acquisition of money?
I mean, I’ve said before somewhere that you don’t become a billionaire by accident. I mean, you can become successful and wealthy with hard work and everything. But you can do all that your whole life and never become a billionaire. To become a billionaire you need to have such a single minded focus on the acquisition of money that it kind of blots out even huge elements of your own humanity. And I apply this also to someone like Jeff Bezos, not exclusively the jews.
But yeah, I’m talking about these kind of completely out of touch, completely sociopathic billionaires, who will sit on vast quantities of money and just hold it. And just live off it and feed off it. And that is the primary goal in their life is just to acquire more, and more, money to complete the next merger, and to take over that company. And just to keep going, and going, and going.
And I know that some people view these characters as kind of “latter-day Vikings”, that they are just going for the endless conquest. No! No! This group requires a completely different set of aptitudes and a completely different type of personality. If you think that when you look at a photograph of Jeff Bezos, that he’s a latter-day Viking you have some serious conceptual problems in your mind. That’s not what we’re looking at here.
And jews will sell what they think will sell as well. I mean, things like pornography. Unfortunately vice does sell, because it appeals to our lowest and most based nature. So you will always find a healthy customer base of gamblers, of pornography addicts, of alcoholics, and so on, and so forth.
And jews over the years, certainly in the late 19th century when they first started flooding into the West in very large numbers, made a name for themselves and created a lot of antagonism by focusing on those trades and vices. Those lucrative areas.
But you’re right also the jews will know what’s healthy and what’s not for them, and what they should avoid selling. And they will make sacrifices. And when we’re talking about it not always being about the money, don’t forget that all these jewish billionaires will be very, very philanthropic towards their own community and interests. They will pump huge amounts of money into communal interests.
I mean, Sheldon Adelson did not invest millions in Trump, and these other billionaires aren’t investing millions in the Democratic Party, and so on, simply, because they happen to like Donald Trump, or Joe Biden.
They’re acting on what they perceive to be the broader jewish interests of upholding the commitment to zionism and pursuing jewish interests generally. Whether that’s donating massive amounts to organizations like the ADL, promoting gay marriage, which is, of course, really was a jewish hedge fund project led by people like Cliff Asness and Paul Singer.
You know, you have jewish billionaires so thanks for that kind of stuff. It’s a willingness to part with their money if it’s viewed as in group communal interests. Or, as you say, if it’s going to help them get some kind of revenge on the people and the culture they feel has very mortally wounded them over the centuries, based on no matter how bankrupt an interpretation of history.
Frodi Midjord: Yeah. I mean, I did a show with Tai, my co-host, on film episodes. We did a show on films dealing with the Leopold and Loeb case. We did that I think was three days ago Sunday, yeah. And one thing I said there was that, just the fact that they are outsiders, that they are wealthy, that they are intelligent, and that they cannot relate to the society they live in. They do not feel like they are a part of that society. That alone is enough to make them hostile, or to not have any sympathies for that society. And that sort of brings out their psychopathic traits in that case.
And I mean, there’s also just on the personality spectrum the overwhelming over-representation of autism and Asperger’s Syndrome which is emotionally. I mean, it’s a part of Asperger’s, for example, that you are more emotionally callous, right? I mean, there are many of these elements that go into explaining these traits and why they are over represented.
But I definitely think that the fact that they are outsiders and that they have been outsiders for centuries, and that they choose to be outsiders. It’s sort of like gypsies, right? Gypsies have been invited to sort of become a part of society repeatedly throughout European history. But they choose not to, right? They choose the outsider’s status and mentality. And that brings out a sort of a lack of sympathy for the people around you, right?
Andrew Joyce: Yeah. I mean, some months ago I wrote an essay, a long essay, nearly nine thousand words, on the merits and inadequacies of middleman minority theory and explaining the jews.
And you get this explanation over time that jews were money lenders and this, that, and the other, because it was just kind of accidental, or they just kind of fulfilled this role. And there are kind of comparisons that can be made with the overseas Chinese, and the Parsis, and certain other diaspora populations that have been involved in trading among hosts and so on, and so forth.
And I looked at this. And I dug into the depths of the theory. And even those who right at the heart of the origins of the theory weren’t that convinced that it really applied all that well to jews. Who really for the most part represent a unique case.
And one of the things that they said was that in a lot of these other populations it’s a modern example of becoming a middleman minority, and so on, and so forth. And the trading patterns that they had.
But with the jews, it wasn’t a kind of environmentally conditioned middleman minority status. It’s that it’s so cultural with them. And it goes right back probably to the Book of Exodus, if you want to look at the jews as having this ingrained diaspora people’s mentality. Where they are kind of persecuted, outside, exiled group. That this is self-chosen.
And in the essay I basically said:
“That they had adopted the middleman role as a raison d’etre of life.”
This was the part of life that they chose for themselves. I mean, we can go back into The Merchant of Venice. And we can talk about these people voluntarily wanted to go and spend time in the ghetto, because it was financially lucrative. And, you know, Martin Luther, and On the Jews and Their Lies, he raged. He’s like:
“Why are all these jews here anyway? We didn’t go to Jerusalem and round them all up and bring them to Germany! They came here!”
And the introduction to one of the volume of essays that I’m going to publish, I’ve basically said:
“That jews when they came to Europe they knew the risks. But they decided that the risks would be worth the profit. So you come in, you adopt a really hostile role within society. It’s going to create antagonism. But you basically decide that it’s worth it to me, because the payoff’s going to be really good! I’m going to get really rich. I’m going to get really powerful! I’m going to be able to forge alliances with the elites!”
And when we look at some of the original early settlement charters, the jews would basically come to an agreement with the king that they would come in and lend capital if in return the king would section off a certain part of the town or the city with heavily fortified walls.
And to this day in England some of the oldest houses still standing once belonged to jewish moneylenders in towns like Lincoln and York. Because they were the only homes that were built of stone at the time. All the old wooden houses, and things have long since rotted away and disappeared.
But the jews houses still stand. And some of them have been turned into publishes called “The jews House”! They’re still there, because they were made of stone. They were the strongest houses built.
This was the arrangement and the agreement that the jews came to when they decided they were going to come to Europe. It was a gamble. It’s a gamble they thought was worth the effort. And you’re right that over historical time you kind of develop a selection for these gambling types. These people who are willing to risk it all. And who have this kind of single-minded focus.
And again if we want to come back to The Merchant of Venice. Just as Shylock was intent on getting his pound of flesh, regardless of all reason, jewish groups have been very intent on getting rid of The Merchant of Venice, regardless of the realities of that the play is actually rather subtle. That it can be read in any number of ways. And the fact that even today, you know how many people even in our schools now are reading Shakespeare? It’s on the decline. It’s declining fast. It’s one of the great tragedies of modern cultures that we don’t pay attention to the classics.
But the jews only really discovered — in a big way — Shakespeare in the 1890s. Because, you know, they weren’t in the Russian shtetls, reading Shakespeare. They were reading the Talmud and all of the rest of it. But they come to the West in the 1890s, early 1900s.
And I think the first Yiddish translation of the play appears on something like 1893 in New York. And at first it’s kind of Shylock is kind of a hero to them, because the first Yiddish translation isn’t called The Merchant of Venice. It’s called, in Yiddish, something like “shilak dirk coiffman”, whatever it was anyway.
In Yiddish it was something like “Shylock the Moneylender, …”, or “…, the Merchant of Venice”. They made Shylock the main character, because to them he was the main character. And he was heroic, apart from the fact that at the end he’s converted, more, or less against his will to Christianity. I’m not sure if that part was even included in the Yiddish translation.
But I do know the jews hate that part! In the “Trials of the Diaspora — History of English Anti-semitism” by the virulent, I should say, jewish activist Anthony Julius — who also was once the lawyer in the David Irving trials — Julius basically just pours total scorn on Shakespeare for having Shylock converted to Christianity at the end!
And I know that the literary figure Harold Bloom, who passed away I think last year, he also said that that was a low point in the career of Shakespeare, was to finish the play with the religious conversion of Shylock.
But it’s been very difficult for jews to let go of this play. The first major censorship efforts began in the 1920s in the United States, they spread to the UK. And I think through the 1980s, once the ADL really had started to peak in its in it’s power, they began a rash of activity to try and get a banned in schools across the United States.
I know, for example, that they managed successfully to get a banned in schools in Michigan for a while. In Canada it was banned in several schools in Ontario in 1986. And 1988 it was banned in several school districts in New York.
And even most recently when you ask me what we should talk about in this particular podcast, the reason why I said The Merchant of Venice is, because one of the top children’s authors of Britain, the guy called Michael Marpurgo has recently released a collection of Shakespeare’s plays. Kind of rewritten for a nine, or ten year old audience.
But one of the plays that was left out was, or the only play that was left out, was The Merchant of Venice. And he explained his reasons as being that it was anti-semitic. And Morphergo, I would say, has at least some relations of the jewish faith, or, if not that, then certainly has been brainwashed by the propaganda that’s been going on against the play.
But this is something that’s still a live issue. The play is over 400 years old. It’s still at the nexus of the confrontation between jews and Europeans. It has a lot to say. It’s worth paying attention to.
In the 1930s the Germans put on something like 50 major productions of the play. They saw in it — perhaps more than has deserved actually — a strikingly anti-semitic depiction. I think it’s more three-dimensional than that I think, as I say, it has a lot more depth to it than Marlowe’s play. But both are deserving of attention and serious consideration.
Frodi Midjord: Right. I just wanted to add to the fact that the jews have chosen their status as outsiders. Hitler, memorably and famously wrote, you know, 20 years before Israel was founded that, yeah, they say they want to create a country of their own. But they don’t want to live there! [chuckling] You know, they’re still going to want to live as minorities among us.
And it’s the same thing with this documentary that came out probably around 10 years ago, called “Defamation”, by this Israeli guy Yoav Shamir, or something like that. Where jewish school children go to Poland to sort of be marinated in the sort of victim status, that everyone around them is hostile to them so they have they reinforce this mentality all the time.
Going back to the play though, I think one other aspect that I found interesting is that Antonio says that it’s pointless, during the trial, he says that it’s pointless to plead with Shylock. Because he doesn’t enter the negotiation in good faith. So, and I mean, to put it kindly this is the group dynamics that appear in multi-ethnic societies.
Because, this is something that liberals and individualists don’t understand. And that is that people are tribal. And therefore a society, … I mean, because what Shylock tries to do, is he tries to take advantage of the letter of the law to manipulate and twist the law into doing what he wants. Because he doesn’t enter into the legal negotiation in good faith. And he ends up, of course, being the victim of the same tactic where the law is twisted sort of ridiculously against him [chuckling] and he ends up losing.!
But I just think this is a central point as well, that in order to have a law you have to have some sort of loyalty. It’s sort of presupposed. Because society isn’t governed by laws alone. And it’s sort of like at least the sort of mythology of America and American conservatives that America was founded by documents and like a contract.
But that is never the case, because in order to have a law functioning you need a sense of loyalty and the sense of community. And if you don’t have that, no laws and no documents will be able to keep society together. Because, if you don’t have a sense of community. And if you don’t have people who are loyal to the same community, then people will start trying to exploit the law like Shylock does. And that will lead to just a breakdown of the law and of social trust and of society in general.
And that’s what we’ve seen throughout the modern European history over the last few decades that everything just breaks down, because you don’t have this fundamental aspect of society, that is a sense of community.
Andrew Joyce: You’re right that, you know, Act Four Scene One is what you’re talking about there. The court scene go. And you’re right that Antonio does highlight the fact that Shylock does not appear to be engaging in the proceedings in good faith. And in Antonio’s words he says:
“I am arm’d to suffer, with the quietness of spirit, the very tyranny and rage of his.”
So he’s basically saying that:
“There’s no way out of this for me.”
“That no lawful means can carry me out of his envy’s reach.”
So there’s a point at which Antonio was saying:
“Look Shylock is here in court. But it’s merely to fulfill the letter of the law. The spirit of the law is completely absent from his thinking and from his heart.”
Which is true. And, of course, all of that comes crumbling around Shylock, because Portia, in disguise as a young lawyer, stranger to the city, basically outwits him. And this itself is a genre of literature of the time and which persisted actually until the 19th century, where you get these short stories of these highly aggressive and smart jews who ultimately get outwitted. Sometimes by a peasant boy, or something like this. This is a genre of literature that exists at the time.
But the question of the law. I mean, jews have a very special relationship to “legalism”, I should say, in general. I mean, it’s a fact of history that in the 18th and 19th centuries, and in the United States and Europe also, jews who were going into money lending would also be given rigorous training in the law prior to going to doing it.
The reason being was that eventually they would get some people who would default. And the jews wanted to have a good grounding in all aspects of the kind of the nooks and crannies, and twists and turns, and small print, of all the laws to make sure they could get their money back, plus their interest, and so on, and so forth.
So Shylock, within the tradition, is actually quite weak! Because he doesn’t appear to have, … He knows the basics of the law. He basically says:
“Look I have a note saying that this is going to be my Bond. I want to clear my Bond.”
But other than that, he’s not very legally sophisticated. Which allows the very smart and quick-witted Portia, in disguise. Basically a young girl, you know, a little bit of an airhead. She’s one of the lighter characters within the play. She outwits them by simply saying:
“Right, your note here allows you to take a point of flesh. It doesn’t say you can take any blood! So you can take the flesh, but you’re not allowed to cut him, because he’ll bleed. So go ahead and take the flesh!”
And he’s like:
“Well I can’t!”
And then Portia’s like:
“Well, wait a minute. If you were planning to take his flesh, that might have killed him. So it looks like you, a jew, are trying to kill this Christian. And in the law it says if a jew tries to kill a Christian he’s fit to forfeit his own life! So you’re not facing sentence of death!”
And Shylock is just like, it’s just a succession of hammer blows to his entire legal strategy, which was far too simplistic. And he basically gets outsmarted completely! And wanders off under pain of losing his entire fortune, to get baptized into Christianity. And he just basically loses everything.
And some people view this as a strategy to gain sympathy for Shylock. But actually, I think it’s a way of Shakespeare crushing him and his desire for ethnic revenge. And I think that’s why it’s particularly a source of grievance to jews to this day, for example, with Anthony Julius. They hate this scene within the book, because it’s the total crushing of Shylock’s desire for revenge to the point where he can never again even think about trying to obtain a revenge on Antonio, or any other Christian.
Frodi Midjord: Right! We have one question and it’s from Sam. I’m not going to say the last name:
“Given that the play was, …”
And this is through Entropy I should add:
“Given that the play was written when the jews were expelled from England, how much of an effect did that have on its tone and theme? Would it have been written upon their re-admission into England later on, or were these kinds of attitudes toward jews still very ingrained in England around the mid 1600s?”
So yeah did you get the question?
Andrew Joyce: Yeah. First of all the jews were formally exiled from England in 1290 by King Edward. And on paper certainly were supposed to be that there were no Jews between 1290 and the re-admission of the Jews under Cromwell.
However we do know that there were Jewish traders and jewish merchants, predominantly Sephardic, in London. One of whom was a physician to Queen Elizabeth during that period.
So the ban was not total. It was quasi-hidden. It was kind of an open secret. It wasn’t something that was discussed. It wasn’t something that was put up for discussion. And they were just they were relatively quiet, and relatively inoffensive, to be honest.
But in terms of how the play fits into broader European discourse on jews, there was a discourse which was cultural, which derived in part from the Bible, but from other sources as well. The trading of folk stories, folios of plays. And someone as worldly as Shakespeare, who read widely in literature, would have been familiar with the themes and contexts, and content that was being produced on the continent.
But the English despite exiling the jews always had a “cultural knowledge” of jews. This is the phrase that I always use “a cultural knowledge”. Because we have a lot of people today who don’t know jews personally, but they have a cultural knowledge of jews.
Some of their cultural knowledge is junk! For example, if they base their knowledge of jews on watching some stupid comedy with a lighthearted jewish character in it. For example, … What do you call the guy? Seth Rogen. You know, you’ll get a lot of people who will know that Seth Rogen, or Adam Sandler, are Jewish. And they’ll think that’s your typical jew.
But there are other forms of cultural knowledge about jews which come down from different areas within culture. It could be religion. It could be political. It could be cultural and song, for example. And a lot of these things are lost to us now over time.
But the English never forgot about the jews. As Anthony Julius says with much bitterness in The Trials of the Diaspora”, the jews were written into song. And the English, more, or less, celebrated the fact that they had conquered the jews and dominated them. And gotten rid of them! But the memory lingered on, just as most conquerors will remember the conquered in their songs of celebration. And for Julius, The Merchant of Venice is a song of celebration. A song of conquering the jew!
Frodi Midjord: Right. This is one of the things. It’s interesting that you mentioned that the English had not forgotten about the jews during the years, or the centuries, that they were sort of expelled, or not allowed to live within the country.
I’ve always thought about how likely is it that if we miraculously save this situation and we get sort of ethno-states back. And if we separate ourselves, and start living in separate countries. If that should happen how could we make sure that people understand this throughout history? So that they don’t become naive and sort of make the same mistakes again. Because that seems to just be a persistent lesson from history is that people don’t learn from history!
Andrew Joyce: The vulnerability within culture is always political instability. Don’t forget that when, … We haven’t mentioned Chaucer. We probably should have mentioned Chaucer earlier in this. But it’s another example of cultural memory. Chaucer has The Prioress’s [included in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales] as his tale, of course, which is basically a blood libel story about the murder of a young child by a jew.
But the readmission of the jews, the formal readmission of the jews, occurs in the aftermath of catastrophe. Which is the revolution in England, if you want to call it that. The beheading of Charles the First. The coming to power of Cromwell. And a shift in the spirit of the English, I should say, towards mercantilism and a focus on money. And also a shift towards radical Millennial Protestantism with this kind of eschatology about the end of the world, and on all of those notions.
So within that environment it was quite easy for Manasseh Ben Israel [1604 − 1657] the Dutch jew leader of the Dutch jewish community, and a merchant, to write to all over Cromwell basically saying:
“Look, if you grant us jews formal re-entry to England we will, on the one hand, make your country prosperous, and, on the other hand, we will help your desire for the Christian eschatological ambition.”
In other words, the second coming of Christ to come into place, or come to pass. So those were the vulnerabilities. You have the collapse of Catholic England, you have the rise of a mercantilism Protestant England — this is not a slight against Protestants. I myself grew up in a Protestant household. It’s just this is the nature of what actually happened.
So political catastrophe, or a radical reshaping. And anytime there’s a dramatic shift in the culture, and the political culture, and the social culture, of a country, there’s always a vulnerability that certain things will be dispensed with, and that certain good ideas will be thrown out with the baby’s bathwater, so to speak. And that important lessons are forgotten. And that’s the story in the English context.
But don’t forget that there are many, many countries across Europe that exiled their jews, only for jews to be readmitted sometimes within a very short period of times and the reasons in those cases were very often that a new monarch would come to power. That this monarch would be greedy and not have had the bad experiences that the previous monarch would have had.
And I’m trying to answer a question like, “How do we stop the loss of cultural memory?” It could have thousands of answers Frodi. We could go on and on. But the biggest prophylactic against such a thing happening is probably to maintain that cultural memory as strongly as possible so that it exists strongest in the population at large, rather than among the elites who are always liable to change. And always liable the stab the masses in the back.
Frodi Midjord: Yeah. I mean, that’s obviously the case that the elites, or at least the sort of upper middle class is the more likely to be open to these big changes, whereas the middle, … I mean, this is what the Left realized in the mid — 1900s [chuckling]. The working class they are more conservative, they are more stable, they’re not going to be open to the sort of transgender weird changes [chuckling] that the elites want to implement. So they have to direct their message to a different class.
Is there anything else we should say about the history of the reception of The Merchant of Venice? You wrote this article about Biden and the word Shylock. And you mentioned there that they stopped using the word “Shylocking” as a word for usury in legal texts [chuckling] that’s quite funny!
Andrew Joyce: Yeah. I mean it’s all the rage at the minute to talk about censorship. I’ve been writing for The Occidental Observer for nearly 10 years. And if there’s one thing I’ve kept returning to, it’s censorship. Because it’s at the heart of the problems that we face. It is this gradual restriction of language.
And when you restrict language, you shape, in the negative sense, ways of seeing. “Ways of seeing” being Kevin MacDonald’s phraseology for the way in which jews tend to manipulate culture. They shape “ways of seeing”. So we are having our ways of seeing gradually restricted. And part of that is the elimination of terms like “Shylock” and “Shylocking”, which have vanished from certain American legislatures to describe certain harmful usurious activities.
But it’s interesting that Shylock certainly is, … I mean, I titled that piece “Joe Biden and the Ghost of Shylock”, because the ghost of Shylock still lives with us. You can erase the words, and all the rest of it, but the ghost of Shylock lives on.
And Shakespeare was true genius! I mean, you cannot demolish, or get rid of this play. I mean, even those sections of speech that I read earlier. I mean, they’re pure poetry! And they say so much in the course of like 10 lines that it might take me 10,000 words to try and say, because the depth is there, if you treat it right. If you treat the text right, you’ll get that depth out of it.
But everywhere where the play has been translated, … I mean, it was translated into Japanese for the first time in 1885. And for a long time it shaped — and probably to be honest still does shape — the way that the Japanese see the jews, because Japan has a quite vibrant anti-semitic scene, which we may find quite difficult to believe.
But I think when we spoke about The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, there are many, many, many Japanese translations of it. And there are also many riffs on it. So there are a lot of Japanese authors who will sell their books in mainstream bookshops, that are basically about sort of jewish conspiracies! And the Japanese to this day — if you trace the lineage back of their perception of the jews — it goes back to The Merchant of Venice, which was the first Shakespearean play to be used to teach Shakespeare in Japanese schools, in 1885.
Frodi Midjord: Right! Yeah I like that that term “ways of seeing”. The feminists they tend to use the term, you know, that you have the “male gaze”. That you see through things through a male perspective. When you see a film looking at women in a particular way, that’s like the “male gaze”.
And we see everything through the “jewish gaze”. We see it from their perspective, especially parts of our history. I mean, the reason that the National Socialist era in Germany was “evil” wasn’t that they were evil to the German people it’s, because they were evil to jews. And that’s why we should think that it’s the most evil era in human history.
And I think very few people stop to think about that. [chuckling] That the suffering of this particular group is the worst of all, because we see all of our culture, and all of our values are sort of filtered through that it’s in sort of Swedish classical old-school Right-wing circles they call it “Moses glasögon” which means “Moses glasses” [chuckling]. You see everything through the glasses of Moses.
Andrew Joyce: Well recently I saw on Twitter this vetting that’s been going on of the National Guard around Biden’s inauguration. About how they’re being examined for tattoos and they’re having their history delved into. I tweeted and I’m basically saying that our entire culture now seems to be oriented around the anxieties and ambitions of jews!
This is insanity! This is insanity, to have that level of paranoia! But paranoia is about to go viral! I mean, we’re in an increasingly paranoid society. Paranoid in the wrong way. We’re paranoid about what White people might do. And that’s a jewish paranoia! We’ve adopted at wholesale.
Frodi Midjord: Yeah. I mean this is something that I’ve said and it’s probably controversial to say. I said it in a conversation I had with Kevin MacDonald’s many years ago. I said that:
“When jews become overwhelmingly powerful they will default, jewish power will default to a sort of Soviet-style totalitarianism.”
Because they perceive themselves as hated and everyone around them being hostile. And I mean, they’re just a couple of percent of the whole population, so they think everyone is hostile. So the only chance they have of being safe is an extremely totalitarian society! Where they can control everything in detail!
Because otherwise they’re afraid, because everyone is, for no reason at all, of course, hostile! And this is sort of a self-perpetuating cycle right? Because they have this paranoia. And it’s just a fact. And it’s been a fact. And I think that’s true.
I think when they will have overwhelming power in a society they will default, they will try to default to that type of totalitarianism. And I don’t think we’ve seen the end of it yet.
Andrew Joyce: When you combine paranoia with a gambler’s instinct, you get an inevitable and constant escalation towards conflict! The risk-taking mixed with the paranoia, the desire for security, is that you will go to any lengths in order to secure your security, in order to make yourself feel safe.
And, of course, I’ve written about this in the actions of Moshe Kantor, European jewish Congress leader. He’s also involved with the World Jewish Congress. He also has connections with the ADL.
And this document, this manifest, that he’s produced, called “Manifesto for Secure Tolerance”. “Secure tolerance” being real Orwellian language. Because what the Manifesto for Secure Tolerance will do — and it is in the early stages of becoming legislation throughout the European Union — is it will make it mandatory for governments to ensure that their schools teach “tolerance” and “diversity”, that all public broadcasters will produce tolerance and diversity propaganda on their television stations.
That racism and anti-semitism will be made fully illegal. And that the prison sentence for these crimes will be around, in the region, of around 10 years. So in other words if you are found guilty of an instance of anti-semitism then you will get 10 years in prison.
Frodi Midjord: Is that in America?
Andrew Joyce: Well, he has links to the ADL, but this is primarily for Europe, for now. If you look at my essay “Moshe Kantor Secure Tolerance”, you put that into The Occidental Observer it will bring it up. I can’t remember the exact title of the piece. [“Secure Tolerance”: The Jewish Plan to Permanently Silence the West, Part 1 ] But “Secure Tolerance”, and if you don’t believe me you can Google the document yourself, “Manifesto for Secure Tolerance”. And you can follow the paper trail to the European Union on it.
But he’s been working in conjunction with Jewish legalistic experts like Raphael Cohen Almagor. And one, or two other zionists from Israel who’ve come up with this legislation. I mean, it makes hate speech legislation look like a slap on the wrist! I mean, this stuff is bad! And it’s right around the corner.
This guy is a billionaire jewish oligarch. And what reason he has for being involved at the highest levels of European politics, I don’t know. I do know that his “pet”, who works for him right now in his organization, is the former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair. This guy has links to the global elite, basically. He is the global elite! And they will be enthusiastic in implementing these laws as soon as it’s possible.
So Biden coming in he staffed his cabinet with I think 18 so-called, The Forward’s [jewish newspaper] calling them “engaged jews” at the minute. That means that they’re both zionist and fully on board with the censorship agenda. That plus the fact that in Europe we’re seeing that the screws are tightening would suggest to me that we are about to enter, as Churchill said:
“Not the end, and not the beginning, but perhaps the beginning of the end.”
We are going to see a shift I think over the next four years. So it’s time to be alert, to read up as much as you can on the things that are genuinely coming up, rather than kind of Qanon delusions about what Trump’s going to pull off at the last minute of this inauguration. Believe you me the inauguration will go on without a hitch!
No. Don’t be distracted. Keep your eyes on the real developments, the stuff that you can research right now, today, in the next 20 minutes. The stuff that you can find that’s in the public view, and yet obscure. It’s hiding in plain sight. But it’s there if you’re smart enough and alert enough to be able to look up the information that you require. But this stuff is around the corner!
We’re dealing with Shylock! We’re dealing with the ghost of Shylock! We’re dealing with the paranoia, we’re dealing with the rage, and above all we’re dealing with the revenge!
Frodi Midjord: Right. Yeah. I think that the general conclusion of all of this, … And it’s something that I’ve said repeatedly before, and I’m going to say it again. The general conclusion is that anyone should be able to understand that it is sort of profoundly unwise to live — I mean, that’s the point of nationalism — the point of nationalism is that we need separate countries.
Because it is profoundly unwise to live with people who have at the center of their world view, that they are victims! And that we are evil! And they hate us for that! And they will use all their influence, any influence they have, they will use to try to control us and to exact revenge, as they perceive it, for the wrongs that we have done, or whatever, for our evil!
Because you have to sort of ask yourself, why is it that all these minority groups. And it’s not just jews. But I mean, why is it that people who hate us, and who say that we are evil, why is it that they must also live with us? Why must they live among us, if we’re evil?
And I’ve said it before. I think I said it last time I had you on, that it’s, I’ve often called this sort of like an abusive relationship with someone with borderline personality disorder. There’s a book [chuckling] there’s book about borderline personality disorder, that’s called “I Hate You! Don’t Leave Me!” And that is the relationship these people have! They have to live in our societies! They have to live among us. But they hate us! And they say we’re evil! And there’s no sense in that. And that is the fundamental truth that people have to come to grips with!
Andrew Joyce: I can’t improve on that Frodi! I cannot improve on it.
Frodi Midjord: All right. [chuckling] So do you have any final thoughts, any final ideas on the merchant of Venice?
Andrew Joyce: Just simply to encourage those of you who haven’t read it, to read the play. For those of you haven’t read in a while to pick it up and reread it perhaps in light of some of the comments that we’ve made in this podcast. And it’s always worth suggesting to people:
“Look. Go back to your Shakespeare. If you’re feeling a bit down about the culture at the moment, or down about politics, go back to the stuff that’s brilliant that’s great in our past.”
And one of those things is the likes of Shakespeare, or Chaucer, or any of the great works by Dickens, and so on, so forth. There are great things there that will lift your spirits if you’ll just get in touch with them. And there’s probably no better place to start than The Merchant of Venice.
Frodi Midjord: So we did get a final last minute question, if you have a couple of more minutes Andrew?
Andrew Joyce: Yeah.
Frodi Midjord: So Mandola, he sent a question through Entropy. And he said:
“Dr Joyce. In your opinion is there still a chance for Western Europe to vote itself out of our current predicaments? I feel the USA is lost to the ages.”
Andrew Joyce: I had a conversation this morning with Nick Griffin, who was the most electorally successful far-right British politician in history. He took it as far as he could. And his words to me were that:
“The electoral road is a dead end, for now.”
For now. The power of the establishmentarian parties and the mutual agreement they have on so many things. And believe you me the establishment GOP, and the Democrats, agree on more things than they disagree with each other about. But one of the things that they will agree with each other on is that in the event of a third party arising, they will crush them! And they also have agreed to certain sets of principles that they won’t go beyond.
And obviously the capital protest was an example of them deciding that was something outside of the bounds of what either of them were willing to tolerate. So what Griffin said to me was, … We elaborated a little bit on the tactics that can be used to crush a third party. And Trump is already talking about a patriot party.
Now to shift the focus down back to Europe. I think just before we went on air I said to Frodi that it’s unlikely, certainly impossible, that there will be any reversal of what Biden is planning in terms of legalizing all of the illegal immigrants that are currently in the United States. And certainly equally it is impossible to stop the granting of residency status to over 5 million Hong Kong Chinese that the British government is about to undertake.
And it’s also electorally impossible within the next year, or two, to prevent any of the ongoing mass migration into Europe that’s already taking place. That can sound like a black pill! But it’s not intended as a black pill!
Because as Griffin says, the time now really we should be building grassroots movement and building community. And that needs to be done at the most microscopic level. And it needs to be taking place in the context of a gradual detachment from tech. I mean, big tech, don’t get me wrong is a fantastic way to spread ideas and to communicate and network, but it shouldn’t be the be all and end all of activism.
And we shouldn’t mistake the production of a podcast, or a journal article, or something like this, as genuine progress. I certainly don’t. I’ve written a lot. But do I regard myself as moving things along significantly? No, I don’t! I view myself as quite insignificant in the big picture. And I always doff my cap to genuine on the ground activists. And that’s where the emphasis needs to be.
And I think that if big tech does hit us hard and shift things, it will actually have a beneficial impact on the way that we operate in the real world, grassroots level. And that might, in time, have a knock-on effect where we can become electorally powerful again.
But for the time being there is going to be no electoral solution! And Trump demonstrated that. The downfall of Trump demonstrated that. If he does go ahead with a patriot party, I give it two, three, years before it’s down in the doldrums.
What really needs to happen is for someone to come along and really energize that pool of revolutionary fervor that’s still lingering. It’s slowly dissipating but, and it will dissipate faster once Trump was out of office. But that big pool of people that came to, for example, the million MAGA march to Washington, in November, events like that need to be capitalized much, much better than they have been so far. And that’s going to require grassroots activism, working on the ground with working people, like truck drivers and farmers. And trying to meet on common ground.
And I’ll be honest. The number one thing, the first thing, you say to them shouldn’t be about this, and that, about the jews. That comes a lot later. I mean, there’s a time for, as the Bible says:
“Feeding someone milk and feeding them meat.”
Don’t go in feeding them a steak! You know, go gentle on people who are brand new to this thing, that are just wondering in confusion what’s happening to their country, and what’s happening to their civilization. Lead them by the hand, take them to the important milestones in their thinking. And above all, help each other and be kind to each other.
Frodi Midjord: Right! I’ll just give my own two cents on that question. And I always mention this as well that Revilio Oliver he said in a speech in 1968, I think it was, that:
“We have five more years! In five years it’s going to be too late to turn things around.”
And the thing is, that in a “sense”, he was right. Because going back to a normal society, going back to the old normal, that is, I don’t know, the 50s? Before the entire sort of destruction of our social norms started seriously? Yeah, that is too late. I don’t think we can. I don’t think that we have the ability to turn this around. I don’t think we have the ability to save all of society.
So don’t, … And that’s the unfortunate part about people getting their hopes up about Trump. I said, you know, before he became President, when his campaign started, I told people:
“Yes, get excited about the metapolitical effects. That he will energize this campaign will energize people. If we can take advantage of that, our numbers will grow. More, and more, people will become metapolitically involved. But essentially he’s not going to change anything when he’s in office.”
I mean, it’s just the metapolitical points that we can take.
And it’s the same thing about this podcast, and about other things that we do. I don’t think that we have the ability to save society, be it with votes, or anything else. I don’t think we can turn this around! We don’t have the power to do that!
What we can do, and the purpose of what I’m doing, is to build our own sort of communities. And the point of that, is in order for you, and the people you care about, to have relatively normal lives, you just need people like that around you. You need to be in touch with people like that. You need to build those networks and hang out with those people and socialize with those people.
You don’t have to save, like 300 something, million people in all of Europe, in order to do that. I mean, the only thing we can do now is to build our own communities. I’m not saying Amish communities. I’m saying just the people that you socialize with. That is the thing we have to do, organically build a sort of a metapolitical movement that is built on other values than modern society in the sort of the society that is currently in power.
I don’t think we can turn the political administration of Europe around, at this point.
So focus on what you actually can do. I think that’s more productive. And don’t sort of don’t go around with these sort of fantastical ideas about saving all of the Europe, or America. Because I don’t think that’s realistic.
But this has been a great show. I don’t think we have any more questions. So Andrew Joyce, always a pleasure to have you on the show. And I hope to have you back soon.
Andrew Joyce: Yep! Always a pleasure Frodi.
Frodi Midjord: Okay. So thanks to everyone who has been watching, and who has sent us questions, and who’s been active in the comments. I’ll be back on Saturday. So thank you so much for watching, and bye bye.
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