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Indybay Feature
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring of Free Trade
by st01en collective (LordRings [at]
Sunday Dec 22nd, 2002 4:26 PM
Total running time: 6:00 minutes.
18.4 MB QuickTime movie.
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Now, for the first time ever, the hidden prophecies of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic epic, The Lord of the Rings, are decoded in this accurate re-edit of Peter Jackson's blockbuster motion picture. Unknownst to many readers, The Lord of the Rings - once thought to be merely a story of archetypal struggle between good and evil - has been found to contain astute prophetic messages about the impending crisis of capitalist modernity.

Numerous scholars and linguists have already deciphered the main theme of The Lord of the Rings as being the freedom of ordinary people to be left alone from the ruling elites. However, Tolkien's hidden messages about the disasters of capitalism and the insightful predictions about the current political climate have not been made public until now. The Fellowship of the Ring of Free Trade includes subtitles of the decoded dialogues in painstaking detail and the true identities that the story's characters represent within the prophecy.
Hado i philinn!

"Mordor is in our midst." - J.R.R. Tolkien

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by Michael Feltes (mfeltes [at]
Sunday Dec 22nd, 2002 5:27 PM
This is a first for a silly post to a IMC newswire.
That was a pretty funny movie...the best part about art, in any form(moives, books, pictures, sculptures, ect.) is they can be interperated in anyway, and any form. And this is one, kind of funny one. Its not news, but it was funny to find one person/group of peoples opinion on the lord of the rings, and how they interperate it as meaning.
by Bryan
Sunday Dec 22nd, 2002 9:42 PM
This was sp Hilarious I laughed my ass off .. can't wait for the two towers.. guess u hav eto wait for a divx screener to come out or find a very good quality cam so u can do ur editing?
by yowza
Monday Dec 23rd, 2002 1:18 PM
that was so begging to happen

very good work!

by Bilbo
Monday Dec 23rd, 2002 7:52 PM
“My political opinions lean more and more to anarchy (philosophically understood, meaning abolition of control not whiskered men with bombs)… There is only one bright spot and that is the growing habit of disgruntled men of dynamiting factories and power stations.”
-JRR Tolkien, in a 1943 letter to his son Christopher
by nihilix mpls
Monday Dec 23rd, 2002 8:30 PM
this was AWESOME! 'labor movement - environmental movement - liberals'

by justicescholar
Monday Dec 23rd, 2002 8:53 PM
Just what we need to charge us up to fight the "sweeping review of federal regs" that the Bushiarchy is pushing now. They must eliminate anything beneficial to the common person.
by hehehe
Tuesday Dec 24th, 2002 7:21 PM
by Joey Only
Wednesday Dec 25th, 2002 1:50 PM
What else to do on today, when everyone else is busy with annoying Christmas crap, to just sit back and laugh myself silly.
by humble
Wednesday Dec 25th, 2002 10:49 PM
I had a good laugh. Well done, Lordrings. Great ending.
by sista lulu (sistalulu [at]
Monday Dec 30th, 2002 2:33 PM
Great, but watch the European bias
... and the end too is excellent.
by Pieter
Tuesday Dec 31st, 2002 8:14 AM
Wasn't there a corporate lobby group called the European Business Roundtable involved in pro-GE lobbying?
The Arthur legends and movies have a lot off interesting visual possibilities. With Jose Bove playing the role of Merlin .....-:)
by Lord Rings (LordRings [at]
Tuesday Dec 31st, 2002 1:23 PM
Good point, sista lulu. As one of the folks who made this video, I want to let you know that all of us involved with this project very much dislike the Eurocentric racism found in the original story's characters and how they were portrayed in the original movies. The same goes for Star Wars (perhaps not surpring that Lucas cited Lord of the Rings as one of the inspirations for Star Wars). I definitely want to address this issue on the next installments somehow...
by Isaac Bonewits (ibonewits [at]
Wednesday Jan 1st, 2003 9:03 AM
That was brilliant! The marxist jargon was a little heavy handed, but the Ring makes people that way. <G>

This intrepretation fits well with what director Jackson has said about Tolkein's environmental concerns (which he emphasized in the filming). I think it's a sign of Tolkein's genius that so many emotionally powerful intrepretations of his vision can grow.

I've always thought of Sauron as equalling the Power Elite. It's wise not to associate him with a single individual, for Sauron is the *principle* of greed, fear, and lust for power -- the reptilian part of our brains that we don't like to admit we have -- glorified and given rule over our world.

These days, at the risk of slipping into monothesisism, I have to agree that "the problem is corporate capitalism." Once we finally overthow it, something else will take its place and have to be fought by future generations.

Corporate capitalism, like marxism, is a product of 18th century economic theories, themselves rooted in medieval Christian dualism. Both are ill suited to produce a world of peace and prosperity for all in the 21st century. Spouting jargon or throwing rocks won't overthrow the forces of evil. Ordinary hobbits have to make their individual decisions to resist, and clever memetic engineers have to subvert the dominant paradigms using our corporate masters' own media tools.

Frodo lives!
by Johnny Utah
Thursday Jan 2nd, 2003 12:30 PM
Watching that is like masturbating with a cheese grater. Slighty amusing but mostly painful.
by Parabellum
Thursday Jan 2nd, 2003 6:20 PM
That's freaking hilarious!

What? You were serious? Oh. Nevermind.
by Loki
Thursday Jan 2nd, 2003 6:53 PM
Well its can seem that way.But the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit as well as the Simillarion were writton in the tradition of epics of old.People have compared the Elves as sort of a master race while orcs are sort of an inferour one.
But you really have to read the books to really understand.
Tolkien based his world on the Eurocentric view becouse that is were he lived and based his storys on.Middle Earth was a sort of Europe,but it wasn't perfect.Men and Elves alike became corupted with power and it took little Hobbits to take out evil.
If any thing,Tolkiens books are agaisnt rascim.Look at the Fellowship,its a Rainbow colaliton of sorts with Two Humans,an Elf,a Dwarf(Dwarves and Elves traditionaly mistrusted each other)a Wizard and four Hobbits all working together.Its showed that differnt types of people can work together to reach a goal.
Some people make a living from trying to find Racism in every thing.Just becouse something is Eurocentric it does not need to be attacked as such.If you look at Middle Eastern Myths as well as Asian or African their is always an Us/them, Good/Evil clash.Just read the Books.

by Voluntary Cooperation
Thursday Jan 2nd, 2003 10:05 PM
amusingly idiotic. the road to hell is paved with good intentions. the elitist anti-global movements would have us starve those in the third world. japan used to be a poor country. "anarchists" who wish to remove *freedom*??? to voluntarily trade? next step no free trade between states,cities, individuals?

"The celebrated French ban of soccer balls sewn in Pakistan for the World Cup in 1998 resulted in significant dislocation of children from employment. Those who tracked them found that a large proportion ended up begging and/or in prostitution," Maskus told me. Shutting down a non-optimal opportunity does not thereby install a better one in its place

In fact, trying to promote "core labor standards" via tariff barriers may well accomplish the opposite of its intention. Keith E. Maskus, an economist at the University of Colorado, has studied the issue of core labor standards for the World Bank. He concludes that attempts to stop so-called "social dumping" from poor nations pose a "real and serious risk" to the well-being of some of the most vulnerable members of Third World societies.

socialism is trying to use the Ring to hide, invisibly sabotaging things without blame, to gain power over the free humans. to control them. to say *NO* MORDOR FORCIBLY FORBIDS YOU FROM VOLUNTARILY TRADING WITH YOUR NEIGHBOR JUST BECAUSE HE LIVES OVER AN IMAGINARY LINE THOSE HOLDING THE MONOPOLY OF POWER, THE ARMIES, DONT WISH YOU TO. NEVER MIND YOU HAVE MINERALS TO TRADE FOR FOOD, STARVE!!!!!!

socialism = monopolistic power, worse than corporate megapower is 1 "corporate" megapower which it becomes when doing the economic work of a corporation with govt. socialism, ala stalin, etc. free tribes of early humans traded, socialism is anti-freedom, it does not arise in anarchy. trade does. i'll grow food and trade you for clothes you make. cooperation.

socialists cripple capitalism and pretend it was capitalisms fault. learn some basic economics. and history. when goods don't cross borders, troops do (eventually even if it seems unlikely now). free trade brings piece.

by Free Trader
Thursday Jan 2nd, 2003 11:38 PM
So long as you propose nothing in its place, being anti-free trade puts you on the dark side. Sure, it is unfair that the first world is rich and the third world is poor, and free trade is analogous to rich people feasting at the table while giving crumbs to those not at the table. But advocating getting rid of free trade is like advocating cutting off the crumbs to the poor -- let them die and so not disturb my conscience. Anti-Globalism proposes no solutions at all -- it is the ultimate expression of nihilism. I'm sure that anti-globalizers have some vague sounding idealistic way of feeding 3d world poor, but what I want to know is , why aren't they pushing for that system to be put in place first, BEFORE dismantling the current system?

Seriously, what do the anti-free traders propose to do about 3d world poor?
by rock
Friday Jan 3rd, 2003 12:39 PM
Do it and die trying.
by Shadis
Friday Jan 3rd, 2003 6:39 PM
"It's not free if capital can participate but labor cannot"? Do you even understand the nonsense you're typing? At the absolute bottom spectrum of the American wealthy are those who are wealthy because they inherited money from someone who started poor and worked hard to earn a living. Now take a look at the wealthy in some countries that DON'T support free trade. In each case, almost all of the wealthy have become so by simply taking money from vassals and workers.

And "without wealth, poverty cannot exist"?! That's like saying without light, darkness cannot exist. Without wealth, poverty is ALL that exists. Without light, darkness is all that's left. What you REALLY (think you) want is an all-encompasing shade of grey. Not darkness or light, just grey. Just diffuse all the light until everyone gets a little. Capitalism's goal is to multiply the light and let anyone willing to work for it have a piece.
by Shadis
Monday Jan 6th, 2003 1:52 PM
I see. And that's much worse than those non-capitalist anti-globalization countries like China and Zimbabwe.

At least with Capitalism, every relationship is entered into voluntarily. If you don't like being a $6/hr wage-slave for McDonalds, then do what I did and take advantage of our admittedly 2nd rate public education system and learn enough to get yourself a $50k/year systems engineering job. At least under capitalism, you have a choice. I don't see too many choices or options being presented by the anti-globalization left. Unless you consider "whatever, so long as it's not capitalism" a choice.
by aaron
Monday Jan 6th, 2003 2:37 PM
"I see. And that's much worse than those non-capitalist anti-globalization countries like China and Zimbabwe."

C'mon, Shadis. China is the fastest growing capitalist state in the world. It recently entered the WTO. It is capital's "global shop floor". The Chinese Communist Party has presided over a transition from stalinist state capitalism to a statist market capitalism. The dictatorial control of the CCP is the perfect enforcer. If you think that the absence of "real democracy" and the existence of various tarrifs is antithetical to capitalism, perhaps you should read some American history.

As for Zimbawbwe, sheeeat, Mugabe was imposing IMF austerity in the 1980's. Believe me, he's not hated for being "anti-capitalist"!

by Xi
Monday Jan 6th, 2003 2:55 PM
You can't really have "capitalism" without "free market competition". This "capitalism without free market competition" (like in China) of which you speak is still communism by the way the average Joe views communism (and that is how it will be viewed, so you might as well speak as to the average Joe). Free market and competition are both elements that must be in place in order for capitalism to truly be capitalism.
by Ian
Thursday Jan 9th, 2003 6:58 PM
the alternative is decentralized libertarian socialism.
by Ian
Thursday Jan 9th, 2003 7:04 PM
by Rich Weston
Sunday Jan 12th, 2003 4:03 AM
Great story i hope it gets shown on TV ( they'd probably sue but perhaps thats the publicity that would help to re-inforce the archetypal link in peoples mind)
Its a great interpretation--- Well done

I'm in a band that performed on the streets of seattle in 1999 when we were all being gassed while chanting the wto has got to go - check it out! follow the above address and download the song -
by Lord Rings (LordRings [at]
Sunday Jan 12th, 2003 5:12 PM
Hi Rich. Glad you enjoyed it. I was there when Seize the day performed at Luna Sol Cafe in LA several years ago. It's great to see that y'all are still causing trouble and getting stuff out there.
by bike bell
Thursday Jan 23rd, 2003 1:28 AM
Time to mount Mordor.
by Amused.
Friday Feb 21st, 2003 1:31 PM
Yep, I'm weighing in as amused here, and may have to watch it again some time, although I think it would have been funnier if it hadn't gotten so far from the actual words in some places (also, there were some places where I couldn't hear very well).

My absolute favorite part was the King as the Anarchist, though. Hehehehehe.
Tuesday Mar 4th, 2003 7:41 PM
by Voluntary Cooperation"

"socialists cripple capitalism and pretend it was capitalisms fault. learn some basic economics. and history. when goods don't cross borders, troops do (eventually even if it seems unlikely now). free trade brings piece."

Free trade brings a "piece" of what?

Yeah, reading a little history would be a good idea. I suggest "Kicking Away The Ladder: Development Strategy in Historical Perspective" by Ha-Joon Chang and "Economics and World History" by Paul Bairoch.

It is a disingenuous false dichotomy to say that the choice is either free trade or autarky.

by cath
Tuesday Jun 3rd, 2003 11:00 PM
I loved it - absolutely hilarious. Heartening to know that there are intelligent, creative people on the side of good!!

I showed it to all my development studies students at the end of term.

And about the above debate back and forth free trade vs. something else: if you look at the economics, it is so flawed it is laughable. I've studied it. Look into Ricardo's theory of comparative advantage that the whole free trade thing rests on: some of his assumptions to make free trade 'work' for the countries involved: 1. full employment in both countries, 2. capital cannot move across borders. Both of these assumptions don't hold true. Not to mention the ridiculous amounts of carbon dioxide generated by the transportation which doesn't get accounted for in a way which assigns the real value of the pollution to the polluter. Free trade is never going to be the answer for poor people - but reducing our unncessary consumption is a great start instead.
by Gandor the Gray
Wednesday Jun 4th, 2003 1:23 AM

no Frodo is sitting in a tree at the Salmon River Tree-sit
along with the other characters of the story.
At salmon river they kind of got bored, and well, a little lonely so they have been dressing up, in the trees.. things are getting really strange up at the Salmon River..........
by Luis Yerovi Jr MD (luis [at]
Thursday Aug 28th, 2003 8:54 PM
Dick Cheney is Sauron (A Work in Progress)
by Luis Yerovi

Ever since J R R Tolkien's fantasy trilogy, "The Lord of the Rings," appeared in public, there has been much discussion amongst Orientalists (people who protest that the "West" misrepresents the reality of the Arab world, painting it as backwards and somehow "dark") relating to how the book was a perfect example of Orientalism. After all, the "evil" creatures in Tolkien's
world were not only dark skinned but also lived in the "East" while the "good" and "free" people of Middle
Earth were from the "West" and were blue eyed and fair skinned.

They need not have worried. Tolkien was a keen observer of humanity and its potential. Writing in Europe as World War II drew to a close, the freshness of its barbarity still heavy on his mind, Tolkien envisioned something completely different to what the Orientalists feared. Breaking through the fog of Western illusions, Tolkien envisioned an alarming possible course for humanity: the world had reached a stage where global domination by one entity was not only possible but also imminent-- and the entity that he saw on the horizon was Western led globalization. In other words, the real threat to world harmony would come from the "West"--Hitler and his efficient machines, the atomic bomb were, after all, both products of indutrialized Western civilization.

Traditional Islamic societies (or the East), the so called "non-aligned countries" and the indigenous people of the world are the true "free" people of the world, struggling to stave of the process of Western imperialism, a process which began with colonialism and now is being spearheaded by "free trade" or globalization.

In today's world, the struggle between "East" and "West'" has finally come to light for a lot of people specially since 911. America's true intentions (to possess the Ring of Power) were revealed just as more and more of the world's citizens were being turned into "orcs" (mutated elves, or, in the real world, humans, lobotomized by propaganda, technology and the rising stock market, coerced into behaving in a non-human manner).

In the epic struggle between "Power" and "Freedom," Mohammed Atta and the other 18 Arab highjackers were a sort of "Fellowship of the Ring" on a quest to bring the fight to "Sauron" or the USA (the ruthless leader of globalization) in the only way they knew how-- go to Mt. Doom, or in this case , the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.

(For those offended by the last aspect of this analysis, it is just a matter of perspective. Do 3000 people (or orcs) really compare to the millions of people-- from Native Americans to Iraqi children-- that America has killed throughout the centuries in their effort at global domination?)

---Full article to be ready in a couple of weeks but would welcome any comments...

by chela
Monday Oct 20th, 2003 11:34 PM
First, this is an awesome video. I was just sitting in a room full of students watching it for the first time, and we all burst out laughing at the "Noam Chomsky" tag -- that's awesome. You guys rock.

Next, I agree that anti-globalism is a useless idea, based on a historical understanding that globalization has been going on and different regions of the world have been connected through trade and travel for centuries. There are no truly isolated societies, and there haven't been for a long time. For an excellent argument about the world economic system of the fifteenth century (centered in Asia, not Europe) check out "ReORIENT" by Andre Gunder Frank.
However, a bigger danger here is in collapsing all protests to free trade, etc. as anti-globalization. Because they aren't. It's like calling them all terrorists, which is ludicrous. They're anti-this specific form of globalization, and all the social and environmental exploitation it entails. Do you really think there have never been other forms of Capitalism, or globalization? How about historical analysis?

Finally, the most disturbing thing about your posting is your apparent sense of personal responsibility for the "3rd World poor". Why do you feel responsible for them? What gives you the right to intervene? Do you personally help with aid efforts, or do you prefer to sit back and think "as long as I pay my taxes and contribute to the Capitalist system, I am helping the 3rd World poor" and don't have to get off my ass and get informed and do anything? Have you actually studied the third world? Do you actually know anything about famine conditions/food production potentials in the third world? Have you heard of/read Amartya Sen? If you look deeper at famines, look at what people in those regions are producing. Odds are arable farmland is being used to produce cash crops which are used to buy food for subsistence. Lack of subsistence is then a market problem, not a problem of the nameless faceless 3rd world poor needing our help. Bangladesh was actually exporting grain during it's greatest crises.

I'm just sick of this attitude that we're saving the world by contributing to capitalism in this country. First of all, don't generalize about a highly diverse portion of the world without researching and knowing a little something about what you're saying. Please. And don't talk about relieving "absolute poverty" with our crumbs ... this is not a valid argument. Where does poverty come from? It's a structural condition of the Capitalist system which thrives on expansion and inequalities. Raising the bar of "absolute" poverty does nothing to help relative poverty, to help real quality of life issues for people who are denied basic human rights and choices in their lives.
Tuesday Oct 21st, 2003 12:36 AM
come worship at my feet..........

for I alone invented the concept of free trade, and showed the UN how to establish the WTO?

by St. Louis
Sunday Oct 26th, 2003 11:34 AM
I just wanted to let you know that Friday night there were about a hundred or so people at the Lost Film Festival here in St. Louis, and among other very entertaining movies we all watched Fellowship of the Ring of Free Trade. I have to say the audience thoroughly enjoyed themselves, thanks for making it.
by Kurt Steinbach (kstenbch [at]
Wednesday Mar 2nd, 2005 8:42 PM
So what system do suggest we replace Capitalism with? I enjoyed the movie but found it a touch absurd, though hilarious.
by Ari
Thursday May 18th, 2006 7:37 PM
Though I certainly enjoyed the movie, and share many values in common with anti-globalizers, I'm inclined to agree with several of the posters before me: Free trade can suck, but from my own experience and research (limited, but very earnest and unbiased), it appears to me that free trade and capitalism themselves aren't the root of the problem. It seems to me that the issues associated with free trade have a lot more to do with domestic issues: poverty, environmental policies, corrupt governments, etc. Obviously these issues won't disappear, and therefore free trade can't be as neat and tidy as it looks in economic theory. Once some of these issues have been slightly improved, free trade will be a much less bumpy road. But the point is, "capitalism" and "free trade" aren't the root of all evil. They're ideas, and surrounding conditions can greatly alter their intended effects. If economists are able to discover better ways of integrating societies into this new economic system (ways that minimize environmental destruction, increased unemployment, etc.), it's possible that free trade's negative effects could be reduced, and the positive effects would be able to shine through a great deal more brightly.

Until then, I suppose I'll just have to gripe and read about economic theory, WTO protests, and how the Millinium Goals are fairing. Being 16 sucks - I have such little experience in everything that I'm unable to form a strong opinion on such complicated topics. I guess I'll have to wait for that as well... *sigh*
by elendil
Sunday Jun 18th, 2006 7:54 AM
firstly, there is no way you are 16 year old Ari - you're a troll

any way, I found the video amusing and saw the irony of the juxtaposition but thought it confused the idea of capitalism with that of corporate greed, unrestricted 'free trade' and exploitation of developing nations and poor countries

i have no problem with capitalism as an idea - the profit motive has proved an efficient and effective social model when fundamental democratic institutions (e.g media, public service, judicial system, armed forces) are free from politicisation or external corporate influence

but capitalism is a system which can be corrupted like any other by non-democratic interests

it is this corruption of democratic institutions by cartels of multinational corporations and ultra-conservative organisations which is the problem and yet it is ignored in much of the free trade anti-globalisation dialogue
by LouisB
Tuesday Jul 11th, 2006 5:11 AM
Tolkien stopped being subtle in the epilogue to Return of the King, when the four hobbits return to the Shire only to find it as been taken over by "ruffians" and corrupt hobbits. At one point, Sam complains about "rules and orc-talk", but that to us sounds like the everyday message of the authorities. I wondered why they didn't include that in the movies (jeez they were long enough).
by duplex
Saturday Jul 29th, 2006 7:29 PM
I know detournement itself doesn't really imply subtlety, but seriously.
by Frank
Thursday Dec 14th, 2006 9:05 AM
I like "Dick Cheney as Sauron," but to state that Americas killed millions is overstating. Most Indians died from European diseases. True we did kill about 20,000 Iraqis during the March 2003 invasion, and indirectly we are responsibile for the death of another 500,000, but only indirectly. Directly it is Iraqi's killing Iraqi's.
by Smashitalready
Sunday Sep 30th, 2007 11:29 PM
I think it does have a lot of anticapitalist messages, and an antivanguardist message. Baromeer is Marx. He thinks he can use the evil ring(the state) for good. Frodo is Bakunin and realizes that you can't use something evil in order to do good. He realizes the ring(the state) must be destroyed.
by Chris
Saturday Jul 19th, 2008 12:45 PM
Um, dunno what you're basing your "Tolkien was an aparthied spy" comment on? Was it the fact he lived there till the grand old age of 3 that makes him a spy? Or was it his quotes as an adult about how racial thinking was idiotic, anti-Semitism babaric, and his condemnations of the south african and third reich governments that somehow make him a racist spy?
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