According to a survey by the Folio Society in 1997, as well as a poll by Waterstone’s, the booksellers, in January of that year The Lord of the Rings was voted readers’ “favorite book of all time.” J.R.R. Tolkien, a strong advocate of the Anglo-Saxon peoples, is described by many as the greatest writer of the 20th century. The filming of the book popularized it once more and stimulated speculation as to what fueled this extraordinary work. While many aficionados are content to treat The Lord of the Rings as merely an epic fantasy, some critics have detected deeper meanings, such as an underlying repugnance for the industrialization of the countryside and the carnage of war.
By Stephen Goodson, B.A., Lic.Germ.Phil.
In June 1997 Ross Shimmon, chief executive of the Library Association of Great Britain, commented: “It is astonishing that The Lord of the Rings has this impact. The idea of a parallel world . . . I wonder whether it’s something to do with trying to make sense of the world around us.”
A 20-year subscription to the journal Candour, and a faithful preservation of its volumes, may well provide clues as to what were J.R.R. Tolkien’s innermost thoughts, ideas and beliefs.
Candour was founded by A.K. Chesterton, a cousin of G.K. Chesterton, as a successor to Truth magazine, of which he had previously been deputy editor. Chesterton, a distinguished veteran of two world wars, had earlier edited the publications of the leader of the British Union of Fascists, Sir Oswald Mosley, in the 1930s.
In 1954 he established the League of Empire Loyalists, whose antics and interventions at Conservative Party meetings proved to be a constant source of irritation and embarrassment to prime ministers Eden and Macmillan. In 1967 the League merged with the British National Party, the Greater Britain Movement and the Racial Preservation Society to form the National Front. Chesterton assumed the role of leader.
In 1973 Tolkien’s copies of Candour were sold out of his estate. In 1997 this writer inherited these newsletters from Chesterton’s secretary, Moyna Traill-Smith. The quotations from Candour that follow were all underlined by Tolkien with a red ballpoint pen.
The dissolution of the British Empire was viewed by Tolkien as a tragedy, which would have permanent negative consequences for its indigenous populations: “Africa is not peopled by black Europeans, but is a continent full of tribes mentally and morally at the dawn of history. Self-government does not mean democracy. Liberia and Abyssinia are two warning lights. African hegemony would lead to the suicide of the white community in East and Central Africa and to the ruin of African hopes of sustained progress.” (August 3/10, 1956, 44)
Tolkien was disillusioned about the effectiveness of modern democracy and considered both the media and high finance to be inimical to its success: “The concentration of the power of the press has long since made a mockery of whatever degree of informed democracy we may have once known.” (February 10, 1956, 50)
The true equation is “democracy” = government by world financiers:
The main mark of modern governments is that we do not know who governs, de facto any more than de jure. We see the politician and not his backer; still less the backer of the backer; or what is most important of all, the banker of the backer. Enthroned above all, in a manner without parallel in all past, is the veiled prophet of finance, swaying all men living by a sort of magic, and delivering oracles in a language not understanded [sic] of the people. (July 13, 1956, 12)
It was in the field of monetary reform that Tolkien displayed his most passionate concern. His indignation about the evil of usury—the creation of money out of nothing and then lending it out at interest—is reflected repeatedly:
There should only be one source of money; one fountainhead from which flows the nation’s blood to vitalize commerce and industry, ensure economic equity and justice and safeguard the welfare of the people. . . . In other words, it has always been and still is our contention that the prerogative of creating and issuing the money of the nation should be restored to the state. (August 3/10, 1956, page 48)
Utilizing the above background, a brief exegesis of Lord may be attempted. The center of all evil is the Dark Lord Sauron, who has enslaved the people of Middle-Earth through the rings of power. There are seven rings for the dwarf lords, five for the elf kings, nine for mortal men, and one to rule and bind them all in darkness and slavery forever. These gold rings were “forged” in the fires of Mount Doom and are symbolic of the central banks and their monopolistic powers, which enable them to create money out of nothing and lend it out at interest to the gullible people. With their unlimited financial power, they are able to control the mass media and spellbind the general public with their propaganda. Eventually good prevails over evil, and the Ring wraiths, the orcs and Uruk-Hai monsters are defeated.
So who was John Ronald Reuel Tolkien? Did he support the National Front? Probably not in any meaningful way, but indisputably he was sympathetic to its anti-immigration and anti-Common Market policies, having endorsed Chesterton’s views for over two decades.
There is little doubt that he was a patriot and that his conviction that the civilizing effects of the British Empire were a blessing to be enjoyed by all, has been proven correct, The torment of death, debt and destruction which Africa has subsequently endured, bears regrettable testimony to that fact.
Above everything else Tolkien may be judged as an ardent supporter of monetary reform. He understood that money is not a form of wealth but a medium for the exchange of goods and services, He sought social justice through the adoption of an honest money system, which would distribute the benefits of the technological age to all mankind, and provide a secure basis for a future of progress and prosperity.
Tolkien could have written a treatise on political economy, and if published, it would in all likelihood have achieved only a limited circulation. By employing a powerful allegory, he has subconsciously embraced and influenced the minds of untold millions with his mythos.