The Untellable Truths in Tolkien

    By Charles Pinwill, May 2023

    Most who read Tolkien categorise it as fantasy, it is, but it is the readers’ fantasy. Tolkien’s lifelong work endeavoured to bring truths to us in a way in which we could feel them, assimilate them emotionally, and come to believing and accepting them at a depth of reality which only “story” can fully convey.

    The eternal virtues of loyalty, persistence in the face of adversity, courage, fidelity, love and friendship are portrayed through “real persons”. Those enthralled to hatred and power over others are of palpable evil and given to unceasing malice, unremitting cruelty, and a timeless commitment of dominion and subversion of the higher human spirit.

    Good and evil are both incontrovertibly present and uncompromisingly at war in Tolkien’s work. Neither has a soft presence of ambiguous values but opposes the other with unremitting resolve. This, beyond the veil of pretence, is forever as it is.

    But at the very heart of The Lord of the Rings there is an ominous force with an awesome sanction over all life. It is the one ring with such power that it is barely credible, too fearsome and disturbing, and so outside of ordinary experience to be contemplated in ordinary experience, yet in the trilogy it is credible, and may be contemplated in all its awesome power and horror. 

    The fantasy introduces the possibility, the thought, and the “fact” of an all-powerful ring at the centre of the machinations of the human organism. Could such really exist in the real world? My answer is both yes it could, and yes it does.

    The world was once controlled by the Roman legions, and later by the ownership of land in a feudal society. Now it is controlled by money.

    We all understand the power of the ownership of money. When we have a little it gives us the right to demand the goods and services of others, and through advertising, even their attention. But the compelling and overawing power of the real ring does not flow from owning money. It comes with the right to create it.

    Government everywhere have long given away the right to create our money supply. Yes, they create notes and coins, but these are now less than 5% of the money in existence.

    95% of money is now in the form of bank deposits. These are created privately in cyberspace through the actions of banks giving loans. When private banks give out loans they own them of course, but when spent they become someone’s deposits. Since these loans are always issued as debt, society owes all of its money to these (usually private) banks. In net terms, society has no money at all.

    This power to create money and direct its initial distribution is analogous with the power of Mordor. When we substitute the word “Mordor” with a similar one, “money”, we re-enter into the real world now existent. The media, higher education and even government are fully dependent upon it. Any Dark Lord of our time will live here. Tolkien’s untellable truth?