THE AMBITION OF MR. HOUSE
While Mr. Balfour and his associates in this still secret enterprise moved towards power in England during the First World War, a similar group of men secretly took shape in the American Republic. The political machine they built produced its full result nearly fifty years later, when President Truman in effect set up the Zionist state in Palestine.
In 1900 Americans still clung to their "American dream", and the essence of it was to avoid "foreign entanglements". In fact the attack on Spain in Cuba in 1898 had already separated them from this secure anchorage, and the mysterious origins of that little war are therefore of continuing interest. The American public was caused to explode in warlike frenzy, in the familiar way, when it was told that the Maine was blown up in Havana harbour by a Spanish mine. When she was raised, many years later, her plates were found to have been blown out by an inner explosion (but by then "the mob" had long lost interest in the matter).
The effect of the Spanish-American war (continuing American "entanglement" in the affairs of others) lent major importance to the question: who was to exercise the ruling power in America, for the nature of any "entanglements" clearly depended on that. The answer to this question, again, was governed by the effect of an earlier war, the American Civil War of 1861-1865. The chief consequences of it (little comprehended by the contending Northerners and Southerners) was sensibly to change the nature, first of the population, and next of the government of the Republic.
Before the Civil War the American population was predominantly Irish, Scots-Irish, Scottish, British, German and Scandinavian, and from this amalgam a distinctly "American" individual evolved. In the direct sequence to that war the era of unrestricted immigration began, which in a few decades brought to America many millions of new citizens from Eastern and Southern Europe. These included a great mass of Jews from the Talmudic areas of Russia and Russian Poland. In Russia the rabbinate had stood between them and "assimilation" and this continued when they reached America. Thus the 20th Century, at its start, threw up the question, what part would their leaders acquire in the political control of the Republic and of its foreign undertakings. The later events showed that the Eastern conspiracy, in both its forms, entered America through this mass-immigration. The process of acquiring an ever-increasing measure of political power began, behind the scenes, about 1900 and was to become the major issue of American national life in the ensuing fifty years.
The man who first involved America in this process was a Mr. Edward Mandell House (popularly known as Colonel House, but he had no military service), a Southern gentleman, chiefly of Dutch and English descent, who grew up inTexas during the bitter Reconstruction period that followed the Civil War. He is a remarkable character in this tale. As other connoisseurs might exult in the
taste of rare brandy, he loved the secret exercise of power through others, and candidly confided this to his diary. He shunned publicity (says his editor, Mr. Charles Seymour) "from a sardonic sense of humour which was tickled by the thought that he, unseen and often unsuspected, without great wealth or office, merely through the power of personality and good sense, was actually deflecting the currents of history". Few men have wielded so much power in complete irresponsibility: "it is easy enough for one without responsibility to sit down over a cigar and a glass of wine and decide what is best to be done", wrote Mr. House.
His editor's choice of words is exact; Mr. House did not guide American State policy, but deflected it towards Zionism, the support of the world-revolution, and the promotion of the world-government ambition. The fact of his exercise of secret power is proven. His motives for exercizing it in those directions are hard to discover, for his thoughts (as revealed by his diary and his novel) appear to have been so confused and contradictory that no clear picture emerges from them.
His immense daily record of his secret reign (the Private Papers) fully exposed how he worked. It leaves unanswered the question of what he ultimately wanted, or if he even knew what he wanted; as to that, his novel shows only a mind full of half-baked demagogic notions, never clearly thought out. The highfalutin apostrophe on the flyleaf is typical: "This book is dedicated to the unhappy many who have lived and died lacking opportunity, because, in the starting, the worldwide social structure was wrongly begun"; apparently this means that Mr. House, who held himself to be a religious man, thought poorly of the work of an earlier authority, described in the words, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth".
In the search for the origins of Mr. House's political ideas (which at first were akin to Communism; in later life, when the damage was done, he became more moderate) the student is cast on significant clues. His editor finds in his early thought a note "reminiscent of Louis Blanc and the revolutionaries of 1848". With this in mind I earlier directed the readers attention to Louis Blanc, the French revolutionary who for a moment, in 1848, seemed likely to play Lenin's part and summoned the assembly of workers' delegates which was an anticipation of the 1917 Soviets.
Such notions, in a Texan of the late 19th Century, are as unexpected as Buddhism in an Eskimo. Nevertheless, Mr. House in youth acquired these ideas; someone had implanted them in him. His middle name, Mandell, was that of "a Jewish merchant in Houston, who was one of his father's most intimate friends; the fact that the elder House conferred a Jewish name upon his son indicates the family's attitude towards the race" (Mr. Arthur D. Howden, his biographer). In Mr. House's novel the hero refuses all preferment to go and live in a humble East Side room with a Polish Jew, come to America after anti-Jewish disturbances in Warsaw caused by the murder there, by "a young Jew, baited beyond endurance", of the son of a high government official. In later life Mr. House's
brother-in-law and counsellor was a Jew, Dr. Sidney Mezes, who was one of the initiators of this century's world-government plan in its earliest form (The League to Enforce Peace).
That is about all that can be e1icited about the intellectual atmosphere of Mr. House's mind-formative period. In one of his most revealing passages Mr. House himself comments on the suggestion of ideas to others and shows, apparently without realizing it, how powerless he ultimately was, who thought himself all-powerful: "With the President, as with all other men I sought to influence, it was invariably my intention to make him think that ideas he derived from me were his own. . . Usually, to tell the truth, the idea was not original with me. . . The most difficult thing in the world is to trace any idea to its source . . . We often think an idea to be original with ourselves when, in plain truth, it was subconsciously absorbed from someone else".
He began to learn about politics in Texas when he was only eighteen, then discerning during a presidential election (1876) that "two or three men in the Senate and two or three in the House and the President himself ran the government. The others were merely figureheads . . . Therefore I had no ambition to hold office, nor had I any ambition to speak". (He puts the same idea into the mouth of a politician in his novel of 1912; "In Washington. . . I found that the government was run by a few men; that outside of this little circ1e no one was of much importance. It was my ambition to break into it if possible and my ambition now leaped so far as to want, not only to be of it, but later, to be IT . . . The President asked me to undertake the direction of his campaign . . . He was overwhelmingly nominated and re-e1ected . . . and I was now well within the charmed circ1e and within easy reach of my further desire to have no rivals. . . I tightened a nearly invisible coil around the people, which held them fast. . . ")
In that spirit Mr. House entered Texan politics: "I began at the top rather than at the bottom. . . it has been my habit to put someone else nominally at the head, so that I could do the real work undisturbed by the demands which are made on a chairman . . . Each chairman of the campaigns which I directed received the publicity and the applause of both the press and the people during the campaign . . . they passed out of public notice within a few months . . . and yet when the next campaign came around, the public and the press as eagerly accepted another figurehead".
Mr. House used Texas somewhat as a rising actor may use the provinces. He was so successful as a party-organizer there that at the turn of the century he was the real ruler of the state and sat daily in the office of its governor (appointed by Mr. House and long forgotten) at the State Capitol, where he chose State senators and congressmen and handled the requests of the many office-holders who habitually besiege a State governor. The provincial tour accomplished, he prepared to conquer the capital. By 1900 he was "tired of the position I occupied in Texas" and was "ready to take part in national affairs". After further
preparation he began, in 1910 as the First World War approached, "to look about for a proper candidate for the Democratic nomination for President".
Thus Mr. House, aged fifty, was a president-maker. Unti1 I read his Private Papers I was much impressed by the "uncanny know1edge" disp1ayed by a leading American Zionist, Rabbi Stephen Wise, who in 1910 told a New Jersey audience: "On Tuesday Mr. Woodrow Wi1son will be e1ected governor of your State; he will not complete his term of office as governor; in November 1912 he will be e1eeted President of the United States; he will be inaugurated for the second time as president". This was fore-know1edge of the quality shown by the Protoco1s, Leon Pinsker and Max Nordau, but further research showed that Rabbi Wise had it from Co1one1 House!
Evidently Mr. Wi1son had been c1ose1y studied by the group of secret men which then was coa1escing, for neither Mr. House nor Rabbi Wise at that moment had met him! But Mr. House "became convinced that he had found his man, although he had never met him . . . 'I turned to Woodrow Wi1son . . . as being the only man. . . who in every way measured up to the office' " (Mr. Howden). The standard measurement used is indicated by a 1ater passage: "The trouble with getting a candidate for president is that the man that is best fitted for the place cannot be nominated and, if nominated, cou1d not be elected. The People se1dom take the best man fitted for the job; therefore it is necessary to work for the best man who can be nominated and e1ected, and just now Wi1son seems to be that man". (This description, again, is qua1ified by the allusion in Mr. House's nove1 to the methods used by a powerfu1 group to e1ect "its creature" to the presidency).
The Zionist idea coup1ed itse1f to the revo1utionary idea, among the group of men which was secretly se1ecting Mr. Woodrow Wilson for the presidency, in the person of this Rabbi Stephen Wise (born in Budapest, like Herz1 and Nordau). He was the chief Zionist organizer in America and as such still something of a curiosity among the Jews of America, who at that time repudiated Zionism and distrusted the "Eastern Jews". Unti1 1900, as Rabbi Wise says, Zionism in America was confined to the immigrant Jews from Russia, who brought it with them from the Ta1mudic ghettoes there; the mass of American Jews were of German origins and wou1d have none of it. Between 1900 and 1910, a million new Jewish immigrants arrived from Russia and under Zionist organization began to form an important body of voters; here was the link between Mr. House (whose election-strategy will be described) and Rabbi Wise. Rabbi Wise, who was known chiefly as a militant orator, if not an agitator, in labour questions, was not then a representative Jewish figure, and neverthe1ess (like Dr. Weizmann in England) he was the man to whom the political potentates secretly gave access and ear.
The strength of this secret group is shown by the fact that in 1910, when Mr. House had privately decided that Mr. Wilson should be the next president, Rabbi
Wise public1y proc1aimed that he would be that, and for two terms. This called for a rearrangement of the rabbi's politics, for he had always supported the Republican party; after Mr. House's secret selection of Mr. Wilson, he changed to the Democratic one. Thus Mr. House's confused "revolutionary" ideas and Zionism's perfectly c1ear ones arrived together on the doorstep of the White House. Agreement between the group was cordial: Mr. Wise states that (after the election) "we received warm and heartening help from Colonel House, c1ose friend of the president. . . House not only made our cause the object of his very special concern but served as liaison officer between the Wilson administration and the Zionist movement". The c1ose parallel between the course of these hidden processes in America and in England is here shown.
The secret of Mr. House's hold over the Democratic Party lay in the strategy which he had devised for winning elections. The Democratic party had been out of office for nearly fifty unbroken years and he had devised a method which made victory almost a mathematical certainty. The Democratic party was in fact to owe its victories in 1912 and 1916, as well as President Roosevelt's and President Truman's victories in 1932, 1936, 1940, 1944 and 1948 to the application of Mr. House's plan. In this electoral plan, which in its field perhaps deserves the name of genius, lies Mr. House's enduring effect on the life of America; his political ideas were never c1early formed and were frequently changed, so that he forged an instrument whereby the ideas of others were put into effect; the instrument itself was brilliantly designed.
In essence, it was a plan to gain the vote of the "foreign-born", the new immigrants, solidly for the Democratic party by making appeal to their racial feelings and especial emotional reflexes. It was worked out in great detail and was the product of a master hand in this particular branch of political science.
The unique, fantastic thing about this plan is that Mr. House published it, anonymously, in the very year, 1912, when Mr. Wilson, secretly "chosen", was public1y nominated and e1ected. In that busy year Mr. House found time to write, in thirty days, a novel called Philip Dru: Administrator (the unusual word recalls the allusion in the Protocols to "The Administrators whom we shall choose "). The chapter entitled "The Making of a President", which is obviously not fiction, makes this almost unreadable novel a historical document of the first importance.
In this chapter of his novel (which Mr. House was prompted to publish by his assiduous mentor, Dr. Sidney Mezes) an American Senator called Selwyn is depicted as setting about to "govern the Nation with an absolute hand, and yet not be known as the directing power". Selwyn is Mr. House. Apparently he could not resist the temptation to give a c1ue to his identity, and he caused "Selwyn" to invite the man he selected as his puppet-president ("Selwyn seeks a Candidate") to "dine with me in my rooms at the Mandell House".
Before that, Selwyn has devised "a nefarious plan", in concert with one John
Thor, "the high priest of finance", whereby "a complete and compact organization", using "the most infamous sort of deception regarding its real opinions and intentions", might "elect its creature to the Presidency". The financing of this secret league was "simple". "Thor's influence throughout commercial America was absolute . . . Thor and Selwyn selected the thousand" (millionaires) "that were to give each ten thousand dollars. . . Thor was to tell each of them that there was a matter, appertaining to the general welfare of the business fraternity, which needed twenty thousand dollars, and that he, Thor, would put up ten and wanted him to put up as much. . . There were but few men of business. . . who did not consider themselves fortunate in being called to New York by Thor and in being asked to join him in a blind pool looking to the safeguarding of wealth". The money of this "great corruption fund" was placed by Thor in different banks, paid at request by Se1wyn to other banks, and from them transferred to the private bank of Se1wyn's son-in-law; "the result was that the public had no chance of obtaining any knowledge of the fund or how it was spent" .
On this basis of finance Selwyn selects his "creature", one Rockland, (Mr. Wilson), who on dining with Selwyn at "MandelI House" is told, that his responsibility as president will be "diffuse": "while a president has a consitutional right to act alone, he has no moral right to act contrary to the tenets and traditions of his party, or to the advice of the party leaders, for the country accepts the candidate, the party and the party advisers as a whole and not severally" (the resemblance between this passage and the allusions in the Protocols to "the responsibility of presidents" and the ultimate authority of their "advisers" is strong).
Rockland humbly agrees to this. (After the e1ection, "drunk with power and the adulation of sycophants, once or twice Rockland asserted himse1f, and acted upon important matters without having first conferred with Selwyn. But, after he had been bitterly assailed by Selwyn's papers. . . he made no further attempts at independence. He felt that he was utterly helpless in that strong man's hands, and so, indeed, he was". This passage in Mr. House's novel of 1912, written before Mr. Wilson's inauguration, may be compared with one in Mr. House's Private Papers of 1926, recording his actual relationship with the candidate during the election campaign. It states that Mr. House edited the presidential candidate's speeches and instructed him not to heed any other advice, whereon Mr. Wilson admitted indiscretions and promised "not to act independently in future". In the nove1 Selwyn is shown as telling Thor of Rockland' s attempt to escape the thrall: "When he told how Rockland had made an effort for freedom, and how he brought him back, squirming under his defeat, they laughed joyously"; this chapter is called "The Exultant Conspirators").
Another chapter shows how the election of the "creature" was achieved. The
plan described makes electioneering almost into an exact science and still governs electioneering in America. It is based on Mr. House's fundamental ca1culation that about 80 percent of the electors would in any circumstance whatever vote for one of the two opposed parties in roughly equal proportions, and that expenditure of money and effort must therefore be concentrated on "the fluctuating 20 percent". Then it analyzes this 20 percent in detail until the small residue is isolated, on which the utmost effort is to be bent. Every ounce or cent of wasteful expenditure is eliminated and a mass of energy released to be directed against the small body of voters who can sway the result. This plan has done so much to "deflect" the course of events in America and the world that it needs to be summarized here at some length.
Selwyn begins the nomination campaign by eliminating all states where either his party or the other was sure to win. In this way he is free to give his entire thought to the twelve doubtful States, upon whose votes the e1ection would turn. He divides these into units of five thousand voters, appointing for each unit a man on the spot and one at national headquarters. He ca1culated that of the five thousand, four thousand, in equal parts, probably could not be diverted from his own or the other party, and this brought his analysis down to one thousand doubtful voters, in each unit of five thousand in twelve States, on whom to concentrate. The local man was charged to obtain all possible information about their "race, religion, occupation and former party ties", and to forward this to the national man in charge of the particular unit, who was then responsible for reaching each individual by means of "literature, persuasion or perhaps by some more subtle argument". The duty of the two agents for each unit, one in the field and one at headquarters, was between them to "bring in a majority of the one thousand votes within their charge".
Meanwhile the managers of the other party were sending out "tons of printed matter to their State headquarters, which, in turn, distributed it to the country organizations, where it was dumped into a corner and given to visitors when asked for. Selwyn's committee used one-fourth as much printed matter, but it went in a sealed envelope, along with a cordial letter, directed to a voter that had as yet not decided how to vote. The opposition was sending speakers at great expense from one end of the country to the other . . . Selwyn sent men into his units to personally persuade each of the one thousand hesitating voters to support the Rockland ticket".
By means of this most skilful method of analysis, elimination and concentration Rockland, in the novel, (and Mr. Wilson, in fact) was elected in 1912. The concentrated appeal to the "one thousand hesitating voters" in each unit was especially directed to the "race, creed and colour" emotion, and the objects of attention were evidently singled out with that in mind. "Thus Selwyn won and Rockland became the keystone of the arch he had set out to build".
The remainder of the novel is unimportant but contains a few other significant
things. Its sub-title is "A Story of Tomorrow, 1920-1935". The hero, Philip Dru, is a young West Pointer under the influence of Karl Marx, who is elected leader of a mass movement by acclamation at an indignation meeting after Selwyn's and Thor's conspiracy has become known. The manner of this exposure is also interesting; Thor has a microphone concealed in his room (something little known in 1912 but today almost as familiar in politics as the Statesman's Yearbook) and, forgetting to disconnect it, his "exultant" talk with Selwyn after Rockland's election becomes known to his secretary, who gives it to the press; a most implausible episode is that the press published it! Then Dru assembles an army (armed, apparently by magic, with rifles and artillery), defeats the government forces at a single battle, marches on Washington, and proclaims himself "Administrator of the Republic". His first major action (and President Wilson's) is to introduce "a graduated income tax exempting no income whatsoever" (Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto demanded "a heavy progressive or graduated income tax"; the Protocols, "a progressive tax on property").
Dru next attacks Mexico. and the Central American Republics, also defeating them in one battle and thereafter uniting them under the American flag, which in the next chapter becomes also "the undisputed emblem of authority" over Canada and the British, French and other Possessions in the West Indies. Selwyn and Philip Dru are obviously both Mr. House. Selwyn is the superbly efficient party-organizer and secret wielder of Power; Dru is the muddled "utopian dreamer" (the Protocols) who does not know what to do with Power when he gets it. Inevitably, at the end, Mr. House did not know what to do with two characters who were in truth one man, and was compelled to merge them, as it were, by making Selwyn, the original villain of the piece, the confidant and bosom companion of Dru. After that, equally clearly, he did not know what to do with Dru, short of having him chased off by bears. Therefore he put him on a ship bound for an unknown destination with Gloria (a love-hungry girl who for fifty chapters has had to listen to Dru's incoherent plans for remoulding the world), and concludes: "Happy Gloria! Happy Philip! . . . Where were they bound? Would they return? These were the questions asked by all, but to which none could give answer".
In fact hardly anybody can have persisted to the end of this novel, and nobody would have cared where Philip and Gloria went, with one exception. There was one solitary being in the world for whom the story must have held a meaning as terrible and true as Dorian Gray's Portrait for Dorian: Mr. Woodrow Wilson. In that respect Philip Drew: Administrator is a unique work. Two questions haunt the student. Did Mr. Wilson read it? What prompted Mr. House (or his prompter) to publish this exact picture of what was going on at the very moment when "the creature" was being nominated and elected? Considered in that light the book becomes a work of sadistic mockery, and the reader becomes aware that
the group of men around Mr. House must have been as malevolent as they are depicted to be in the chapter, "The Exultant Conspirators".
Is it conceivable that Mr. Wilson did not read it? Between his enemies and his friends, during an election campaign, someone must have put it in his hands. The student of history is bound to wonder whether the perusal of it, either then or later, may have caused the mental and physical state into which he soon fell. A few contemporary descriptions of him may be given as illustration (although they anticipate the chronology of the narrative a little). Mr. House later wrote of the man he had "chosen" and had elected ("the only one who in every way measured up to the office"), "I thought at that time" (1914) "and on several occasions afterwards, that the President wanted to die; certainly his attitude and his mental state indicated that he found no zest in life". When Mr. Wilson had not long been president Sir Horace Plunkett, the British Ambassador, wrote to Mr. House, "I paid my respects to the President, and was shocked to see him looking so worn; the change since January last is terribly marked". Six years later Sir William Wiseman, a British governmental emissary, told Mr, House, "I was shocked by his appearance . . . His face was drawn and of a grey colour, and frequently twitching in a pitiful effort to control nerves which had broken down" (1919)*.
Apparently a sure way to unhappiness is to receive high office as the instrument of others who remain unseen. Mr. Wilson inevitably looks wraithlike when contemplated against this record, now unfurled. Mr. House, Rabbi Wise and others around him seem to have gazed on him as collectors might on a specimen transfixed by a pin. In the circumstances, he must have been guided by guesswork, rather than by revelation, when at the age of twenty he decided that he would one day be president. This was known and Rabbi Wise once asked him, "When did you first think or dream of the presidency?" As the rabbi knew so much more than the President of the way in which the dream had been realized, he may have spoken tongue in cheek, and was evidently startled out of his customary deference when Mr. Wilson answered, "There never was a time after my graduation from Davidson College in South Carolina when I did not expect to become president", so that the rabbi asked sardonically, "Even when you were a teacher in a girls' college!" Mr. Wilson, apparently still oblivious, repeated, "There never was a time when I did not expect and prepare myself to become president".
Between Mr. Wilson's secret "choice" by Mr. House in 1910 and his public
* Strong resemblances occur in contemporary descriptions of Mr. Roosevelt, whom Mr. House also believed that he chose as a "figurehead". Mr. Robert E. Sherwood says with emphasis that Mr. Roosevelt was ever haunted "by the ghost of Wilson", When Mr, Roosevelt had been president two years his party manager, Mr. James Farley, wrote, "The President looked bad. . . face drawn and his reactions slow" (1935), and two years later he was "shocked at the President's appearance" (1937). In 1943 Madame Chiang Kai-shek was "shocked by the President's looks"; in 1944, says Mr. Merriman Smith, "he looked older than I have ever seen him and he made an irrelevant speech", and Mr. John T. Flynn says the President's pictures "shocked the nation". In 1945 Miss Frances Perkins, a member of his cabinet, emerged from his office saying, "I can't stand it, the President looks horrible".
nomination for president in 1912 he was prompted to make public obeisance to Zionism; at that point the American people became involved, as the British people had in fact been committed by the Uganda offer of 1903. Mr. Wilson, under coaching for the campaign, made a speech on "The rights of the Jews", in which he said, "I am not here to express our sympathy with our Jewish fellow-citizens but to make evident our sense of identity with them. This is not their cause; it is America's".
This could only have one meaning; it was a dec1aration of foreign policy, if Mr. Wilson were elected. No need existed to "make evident the sense of identity" between Americans and Americans, and Jews in America were in every respect free and equal; only a refusal to identify themselves with America could alter that and Mr. Wilson in effect proc1aimed this refusal. He was specifically stating that Jewish "identity" was different and separate and that America, under him, would support this self-segregation as a cause.
To the initiates it was a pledge to Zionism. It was also an oblique allusion and threat to Russia, for the implication of Mr. Wilson's words was that he recognized the Jews in Russia (who were then the only organized Zionists) as representing all Jews. Thus he took the Balfourean part in the American production of this drama.
At that time all the Zionist propaganda was directed against Russia. Some thirty years had passed since the assassination of Czar Alexander II, who had incurred the enmity of the revolutionaries by his attempt to introduce a parliamentary constitution (Dr. Kastein remarked that Jewish participation in the assassination was "natural"). His successor, Alexander III, was forced to devote himself to combating the revolution. In Mr. Wilson's time Czar Nicholas II was resuming Alexander the Liberator's attempt to pacify and unify his country by enfranchising the people, and once more was being fiercely opposed by the Talmudic Zionists.
Then, at the very moment when Mr. Wilson made his implicit attack on Russian "intolerance", assassination was again used in Russia to destroy Nicholas II's work. During the revolution of 1906 he had issued an imperial decree making Russia a constitutional monarchy, and in 1907 he introduced universal suffrage. The revolutionaries feared this liberating measure more than they feared any Cossacks and used the People's Assembly, when it first met, for riotous uproar, so that it had to be dissolved. The Czar then chose as his prime minister an enlightened statesman, Count Stolypin, who by decree enacted a land reform followed by new elections. The result was that in the second parliament he received a great ovation and the revolutionaries were routed (some 3,000,000 landless peasants became owners of their land).
The future of Russia at that moment looked brighter than ever before. Stolypin was a national hero and wrote, "Our principal aim is to strengthen the agricultural population. The whole strength of the country rests on it . . . Give
this country ten years of inner tranquility and you will not know Russia".
Those ten tranquil years would have changed the course of history for the better; instead, the conspiracy intervened and produced the ten days that shook the world. In 1911 Count Stolypin went to Kieff, where the Czar was to unveil a monument to the murdered Liberator, Alexander II, and was shot at a gala performance in the theatre by a Jewish revolutionary, Bagroff (in 1917 a Jewish commissar, discovering that a girl among some fugitives was Count Stolypin's daughter, promptly shot her).
That happened in September 1911; in December 1911 Mr. Wilson, the candidate, made his speech expressing "a sense of identity" with the Jewish "cause". In November 1911 Mr. Wilson had for the first time met the man, Mr. House, who had "chosen" him in 1910 (and who had then already "lined up all my political friends and following" on Mr. Wilson's behalf). Mr. House reported to his brother-in-law, "Never before have I found both the man and the opportunity" .
Before the election Mr. House drew up a list of cabinet ministers (see Philip Dru) in consultation with a Mr. Bernard Baruch, who now enters this tale. He might be the most important of all the figures who will appear in it during the ensuing fifty years, for he was to become known as "the adviser" to several Presidents and in the 1950's was still advising President Eisenhower and Mr. Winston Churchill: In 1912 he was publicly known only as a highly successful financier. His biographer states that he contributed $50,000 to Mr. Wilson's campaign.
Then during the election campaign Mr. Wilson was made to feel the bit. After initial indiscretions he promised Mr. House (as earlier quoted, and compared with Philip Dru) "not to act independently in future". Immediately after the election he received Rabbi Stephen Wise "in a lengthy session" at which they discussed "Russian affairs with special reference to the treatment of Jews" (Mr. Wise). At the same moment Mr. House lunched with a Mr. Louis D. Brandeis, an eminent jurist and a Jew, and recorded that "his mind and mine are in accord concerning most of the questions that are now to the fore ".
Thus three of the four men around Mr. Wilson were Jews and all three, at one stage or another, played leading parts in promoting the re-segregation of the Jews through Zionism and its Palestinian ambition. At that time Mr. Brandeis and Rabbi Wise were the leading Zionists in America, and Mr. Brandeis, at his entrance into the story, deserves a paragraph.
He was distinguished in appearance and in intellect, but neither he nor any other lawyer could have defined what constituted, in him, "a Jew". He did not practise the Judaist religion, either in the Orthodox or Reformed versions, and once wrote, "During most of my life my contact with Jews and Judaism was slight and I gave little thought to their problems". His conversion was of the irrational, romantic kind (recalling Mr. Balfour's): one day in 1897 he read at
breakfast a report of Dr. Herzl's speech at the First Zionist Congress and told his wife, "There is a cause to which I could give my life".
Thus the fully assimilated American Jew was transformed in a trice. He displayed the ardour of the convert in his subsequent attacks on "assimilation": "Assimilation cannot be averted unless there be re-established in the Fatherland a centre from which the Jewish spirit may radiate". The Zionists from Russia never trusted this product of assimilation who now wanted to de-assimilate himself. They detested his frequent talk about "Americanism". He said, "My approach to Zionism was through Americanism", and to the Talmudists this was akin to saying that Zionism could be approached through "Russianism", which they were bent on destroying. In fact it was illogical to advocate the fiercest form of racial segregation while professing to admire American assimilationism, and Mr. Brandeis, for all his lawyer's skill, seems never truly to have understood the nature of Zionism. He became the Herzl of American Zionists (Rabbi Stephen Wise was their Weizmann) and was rudely dropped when he had served his turn. However, at the decisive moment, in 1917, he played a decisive part.
Such was the grouping around a captive president as the American Republic moved towards involvement in the First World War, and such was the cause which was to be pursued through him and through his country's involvement. After his election Mr. House took over his correspondence, arranged whom he should see or not receive, told Cabinet officers what they were to say or not to say, and so on. By then he had also found time to write and publish that astonishing novel. He wanted power, and achieved it, but what else he wanted, in the sequence, he never decided. Thus his ambition was purposeless, and in retrospect he now looks like Savrola, the hero of another politician's novel, of whom its author, Mr. Winston Churchill, said "Ambition was the motive force, and Savrola was powerless to resist it". At the end of his life Mr. House, lonely and forgotten, greatly disliked Philip Dru.
But between 1911 and 1919 life was delightful for Mr. House. He loved the feeling of power for its own sake, and withal was too kind to want to hurt Rockland in the White House:
"It was invariably my intention, with the President as with all other men I sought to influence, to make him think that ideas he derived from me were his own. In the nature of things I have thought more on many things than had the President, and I had had opportunities to discuss them more widely than he. But no man honestly likes to have another man steer his conclusions. We are all a little vain on that score. Most human beings are too much guided by personal vanity in what they do. It happens that I am not. It does not matter to me who gets the credit for an idea I have imparted. The main thing is to get the idea to work. Usually, to tell the truth, the idea was not original with me . . ." (and as previously quoted, from Mr. Howden).
Thus someone "steered" Mr. House, who steered Mr. Wilson, to the
conclusion that a body of men in the Talmudic areas of Russia ought to be put in possession of Palestine, with the obvious consequence that a permanent source of world warfare would be established there, and that the Jews of the world ought to be re-segregated from mankind. In this plan the destruction of Russia and the spread of the world-revolution also were foreseeably involved.
At that period (1913) an event occurred which seemed of little importance then but needs recording here because of its later, large consequence. In America was an organization called B'nai B'rith (Hebrew for "Children of the Covenant"). Founded in 1843 as a fraternal lodge exc1usively for Jews, it was called "purely an American institution", but it put out branches in many countries and today c1aims to "represent all Jews throughout the world", so that it appears to be part of the arrangement described by Dr. Kastein as "the Jewish international". In 1913 B'nai B'rith put out a tiny offshoot, the "Anti-Defamation League". It was to grow to great size and power; in it the state-within-states acquired a kind of secret police and it will reappear in this story.
With the accession of Mr. Wilson and the group behind his presidential chair, the stage was set for the war about to begin. The function of America, in promoting the great supernational "design" through that war, was to be auxiliary. In that first stage England was cast for the chief part and the major objective, control of the British government, had not been fully attained when the war began.
Thus the story now recrosses the Atlantic to England, where Mr. Balfour was moving again towards office. The leading men there were still resistant to the hidden purpose and plan and were intent on fighting the war, and winning it as quickly as possible, in the place where it began, Europe. They had to be brought into line if the process foretold by Max Nordau in 1903 was to be accomplished. Therefore the resistant men had to be disciplined or removed.
From 1914 to 1916, then, the story becomes that of the struggle to displace these men in England, and to supplant them by others who, like Mr. Wilson, would fall into line.