misssylviadrake (misssylviadrake) wrote,

How a nations end up governed by sociopaths

It seems Shakespeare has explained this in one of his political plays:  Richard III. In the New York Times, Stephen Greenblatt (who has written much on Shakespeare) explicates:

The New York Times tells us to read Shakespeare's Richard III: I am again and again told "good people are going to vote for Donald Trump. In my view, they are not good if they are going to vote for him; among the explanations Stephen Greenblatt does not offer directly but indirectly: we are like those votiing for a sociopath: we don't want to see those voting for such a man as out of their character making this horrible choice -- we too are drawn irresisibly to normalize and find good.

If you don't want to click, here are the five reasons a nation can end up governed by a sociopath offered by Greenblatt out of Richard III:

First, there are those who trust that everything will continue in a normal way, that promises will be kept, alliances honored and core institutions respected ...

Second, there are those who cannot keep in focus that Richard is as bad as he seems to be. They see perfectly well that he has done this or that ghastly thing, but they have a strange penchant for forgetting, as if it were hard work to remember just how awful he is. They are drawn irresistibly to normalize what is not normal ...

Third, there are those who feel frightened or impotent in the face of bullying and the menace of violence. ....

Fourth, there are those who persuade themselves that they can take advantage of Richard’s rise to power. They see perfectly well how destructive he is, but they are confident that they will stay safely ahead of the tide of evil or manage to seize some profit from it ...

Fifth, and perhaps strangest of all [Greenblatt gives his own hopeful view of humanity away here], there are those who take vicarious pleasure in the release of pent-up aggression, in the black humor of it all, in the open speaking of the unspeakable. “Your eyes drop millstones when fools’ eyes fall tears,” Richard says to the murderers whom he has hired to kill his brother. “I like you, lads.” It is not necessary to look around to find people who embody this category of collaborators. They are we, the audience, charmed again and again ...

Prof Greenblatt is a superb reader of shakespeare. The Times provides a picture and one is reluctant to put an actor portraying Richard III before a reader as some readers do identify the actor with the character so I'll just copy their cartoon:

Miss Drake

Tags: animal abuse, feminism, human abuse, human rights, politics, presidential campaign, trump menacing clown, violence

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