The Way We Live Now

by Henry Makow Ph.D. – henrymakow.com August 9, 2012

Starved for entertainment that describes “the way we live now?”
You may have to return to 1875, when Anthony Trollope’s novel by that title was published. 
A four-part BBC miniseries (2001) based on it depicts the depredations on British society of a Jewish banker, “Augustus Melmotte.” It shows his effect on people eager to protect their values, yet vulnerable to temptation (i.e. greed.)
Melmotte is a shady figure, recently arrived from Frankfurt via Vienna trailing rumors of bank collapses and swindles. He quickly establishes himself in London as the go-to man for investment and profit.
His emotionally-needy daughter Marie attracts spendthrift aristocrats. Sir Felix Carbury, a laughable wastrel is first in line for Marie’s affections (right.)
Paul Montague, an earnest young English engineer seeks Melmotte’s backing for a railroad running from Salt Lake City to Vera Cruz in Mexico.
 Melmotte floats the company on the London Stock Exchange without any intention of actually building the railway.
There is a marvelous scene where Melmotte lectures his (gentile) Board of Directors on the profit motive, which “moves mountains and changes the world.” He advises them to put their last shilling in railway shares for they will quadruple!
“Just trust me!” he says. The effect on them is intoxicating.
Melmotte runs for office and his hustings speech is both intoxicating and prescient:

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