The Protocols of the Elders of Zion: a humanist document?
It is helpful to view The ("forged") Protocols of the Elders of Zion as a modern version of The Prince, with an important difference. The primacy of the nobility, and their authority to crush their enemies, by any means necessary, was not up for debate in the Middle Ages or most of the Renaissance. Thus, Machiavelli could sign his name to the document, and honorably submit it to his prince, as part of a respected genre of prince power manuals.
By the 1890s, 400 years later, after Marx, after socialism, and communism, were available as ideas, after democracy was available (again) as an idea, the ruthless use of power by any means necessary was no longer socially acceptable. Even though the governments of 1890 were, if anything, even more ruthless, genocidal, and insane than the governments of 16th Century Italy, it was forbidden to discuss it, and because of the growth of newspapers and an educated working class, the rulers had to work harder to deceive the people, and assure them that "humanitarian ends" were being pursued . . . that the world was being "made safe for democracy."
So The Protocols for the Elders of Zion must be seen as kind of anti-Prince document: yes, a forgery, but an important kind of one, which echoes precisely the kinds of advice that Sun Tzu and Machiavelli offered to future generations. How to exploit power, corrupt enemies, play to your advantages, and, in short, WIN.
But winning, by 1890, after Marxism, after socialism, after communism, after democracy, was no longer the same thing.
What did it mean to win? What did it mean to triumph?
Whatever it meant, by 1890 -- and whatever it means now -- both now and in 1890 it is clear that, at least, a broader percentage of the public no longer views genocide as an acceptable method of control, of the perpetuation of power. (But there are always important exceptions; witness the "renowned" Henry Kissinger and his coterie's reverence for the excesses of the Athenian empire as described by Thucydides, of, again: CRUSHING ALL OPPOSITION.
So, the main difference, to me, you see, is how these documents were intended to be perceived.
Both describe the cynical use of power to achieve a political group's goals (of more power); for one, an Italian prince and his family, for another, Zionist Jews.
But the second is a special kind of forgery: revealing, as it were, what was already known to Machiavelli and Sun Tzu and others as effective methods of psychological warfare, but spinning it in a modern, humanist fashion: as aberrations.
The Protocols for the Elders of Zion should be understood, here in 2017, not as an Anti-Semitic document. Most Jews are not Zionists; nor are all Zionists Jews.
Rather, it is a revision of The Prince, in a counter-light, to make us see the horrors of our inheritance from the Renaissance and before.
If we are to be "reborn," what is the cost we are willing to bear?