As to the deeper meaning in both cases, it is important to know that the one Ring of Power has no magical potentials as we understand them. It cannot destroy enemy armies simply by an order of its bearer. It cannot make you fly. It cannot stop the flow of time. It can’t even prevent you from getting wet if it rains. It can make you invisible, true, but that is just an illusion. And you’d still get wet in any case. So what is it really?
It really is only GOLD! And isn’t that enough to rule the world?
For many of those who had witnessed the last decades of the great European Empires, a reign of peace and general improvement that ended abruptly and horribly with World War One, the era afterwards must have seemed like the proverbial devaluation of all values. Because the bankers and Philistines, already so powerful in Wagner’s times, had by now metastasized out of all proportion. Germany, down on its knees, was hardest hit. During the ill-fated and debt-ridden Weimar Republic the country’s capital, Berlin, boasted 115 banking institutions of which 112 were Jewish-owned. The same ratio was true for innumerable cabarets and brothels where girls and boys as young as ten years old sold their famished bodies to the new caste of money acrobats. As to the banks, they used the country’s catastrophic finances to their advantage and tricked and forced the starving population out of their assets, be it shares, shops, houses, farmland, factories or newspapers, until half of Germany was in the hands of a very few.
Accounts that surely have been observed and considered by Tolkien as well. Therefore it seems highly plausible that the Ring he began to forge in his mind during the early Thirties wasn’t so very different from the one Wagner had invented a hundred years earlier. Particularly if we remember a rather interesting detail, namely that indeed one Aragorn strode out of the wild and re-forged the sword that was broken. A man not of royal descent, it is true, but some kind of Mahdi or Sent-One, as Carl Gustav Jung has called him. Very powerful, a great orator, fearless too, and immediately setting to work and succeeding, almost overnight, to break the Ring’s terrible stranglehold. A feat he brought about by throwing worthless paper money out of the window and replacing it with barter based on real goods and honest work.
Well, we know what became of him and his folks, and how dearly they paid for an attempt that endangered the supremacy of Sauron’s banking institutions worldwide. The latter regrouped, giving his Ring full play, and Germany’s ancient cities and their innocent inhabitants, millions of them, perished in a Firestorm of unimaginable magnitude and barbarity. A sad moment in our great Christian European history, you will agree, and its final curtain fittingly drawn by one of its greatest conductors, Herbert von Karajan, who performed on the eve of Berlin’s destruction the Ring’s last episode, Twilight of the Gods.