[i]Der Ring[/i] by Karl Marx

Der Ring by Karl Marx

And so we see the historical coalescence and atrophying (Verkümmerung) of the traditional forces, centres of power, long securing their control in “middle earth” and thereby usurping the natural wellsprings of ingenuity and creativity for their own gain, thence suppressing the most potent stopgap to their power: Human Will(1). Take for example the elves, ever-increasingly drawing away from the “greedy” dwarves and the “foolish” hobbits, ensconcing themselves in their sylvan castles while nonetheless utilizing the other species as a kind of “human ammunition” in their hegemonic war of the Ring against the “evil” Sauron; either the Ring will be destroyed and the elves the victors, or Sauron will capture The Ring and destroy the elves.

This is of course ridiculous; the Ring and the war is used merely as a means to distract and manipulate the great majority of society while maximizing the benefit and minimizing the loss to the respective ruling cultures. Have there been wars fought over the Ring before? Of course there have, ending not in the destruction of one or the other, but rather ultimately promoting the status quo, albeit with a moderate shift in the balance of power. Will there be future wars for the Ring? That we can be sure of, this underlined by the giving of the Ring to one of the most unlikely of creatures, a hobbit. Will the Ring be destroyed? Hardly likely, indeed truly a laughable prospect, considering the renowned lassitude and weakness of hobbits. True, the Ring might fall into Sauron’s hands, thus ostensibly increasing his power in respect to the elves (though indeed it is more likely that the Ring will merely be “lost” once more); but this is secondary to the need to suppress the greater danger presented by an unfettered populous.

But it is exactly here that we see written the end of both the elven society (and thus ultimately too their hobbit middle-men) and Sauron’s realm (Reich); for even within the respective societies the centralization of power advances, this much more advanced in the “dark lands” with only Sauron and his henchman Sauroman holding sway over the downtrodden orcs of the land, but inevitable as well among the elves, whom we see already have retreated to merely a handful of outposts, increasingly jealous of their privacy and security; both are in fact marginalizing themselves, preparing the day of their own irrelevance, when peoples of their own creation will simply sweep them away into the dustbin of history.

  1. This construction is not meant to solely apply to humans; indeed, this common formulation is indicative of the societal mores constructed to support the unnatural coalescence of power.

The philosophers have only interpreted the ring, in various ways; the point, however, is to wield it.