Theatre

Inside the Theatre of Politics: US Presidential Elections

Rousseau, theatre critic, was against politics in drama. Like Plato condemning Homer’s lies, he rejected all deception on stage, demanding authenticity and sincerity instead. But face to face with reality, he turned back the other way. The Social Contract advocates prudence, even dissimulation.1 He came to feel some lies were necessary, like Plato, who founded his Republic on the “noble lie”.2 Xenophon, in his history of Cyrus’s first expedition against the Armenians, hints at the necessity for fraud. Bismarck seems to have largely agreed: making Germany great again, his social welfare rhetoric veiled concessions made to conserve political power, much…

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