The term 'political theatre' normally refers to performance art that makes a statement about a contemporary social or political question. Politics have been a part of theatre since the Greeks as politics, being a permanent feature of social organisation, proffers occasion for interpersonal drama and exploration of the nature of power and the depths of the human condition.
Perhaps most famously of the more recent attempts to use the halls of power as the stage for drama, next to the disappointing American remake of House of Cards, is the British series, Yes Minister, inspiring Rob Sitch's Australian version The Hollowmen. Both satirise the brokenness and absurdity of Westminster parliamentary democracy. This kind of comedy serves an important role in exposing the flaws in our systems of governance and the misalignment of interests of the elites and those they purport to serve.
Contemporary theatre has sadly regressed to more overt political activism as characters are cast and plots written to fulfil ideological agendas of PoC and feminist struggle. As the tropes of strong women™, and noble minority underdog heroes become more and more tired and worn, the distance from any semblance of real human experience begins to undermine the audience's ability to suspend disbelief and engage. What is left is often little more than a cheersquad of white liberals in an audience championing the playwright's cause; an indictment of any artist, regardless of politics. Some of the more recent examples of this are just plain amusing.
Whilst politics have come to inform theatre as an artistic medium, theatre has always been an essential element of politics. The very nature of power involves conflict, studied presentation, and appeal to archetypal or prior forms of character. Few politicians would not be keenly aware of the image they seek to imprint upon the minds of the public. The politics of theatre require both actors and an audience to be able to play out the performance.
Particular aspects of this dynamic are regularly trotted out by the liberal establishment as way of attacking their ideological opponents. The most obvious example is the 'vote-grab' or 'dog whistle', which ostensibly involves conservative politicians pandering to the unsavoury and politically incorrect sentiments of their base, sentiments which are cynically exploited against the conscience of the politician for an electoral advantage.
This can be better understood as a deliberate and false and theatrical political framing of dynamics by the media and the political bureaucracy to discredit genuine nativist democratic preferences of the population. The possibility that these views are in fact widely held and are repressed by political correctness is not only denied but inverted to claim the exact opposite. From recently retired Racial Commissioner, Tim Soutpomassarne:
The true middle ground of our society on such issues does not resemble much of our media and political debates. Those who rail against 18C and the Racial Discrimination Act frequently call upon an image of an Australian mainstream that has limited tolerance for political correctness on race. Yet it is they and their version of identity politics that are out of step with contemporary Australia.
Deftly, 'contemporary Australia' is defined by Soup in opposition to the White supermajority, which makes his claim true, albeit in the deceptive sense that non-Whites are uniformly anti-free speech and support their own legal status and ethnic interests. That entrenching multiculturalism and silencing the dissenting voices against it is in the interests of non-White newcomers and not the historic White population is conveniently swept aside and labelled 'out of step', appealing to the presupposed inevitability and righteousness of mass-displacement of Whites by third-worlders.
Here, the villains are intended to be the disingenuous right-wing talkback radio shock-jocks and the opportunists of the Liberal, National and Katters Australia Parties, while the victims are both the hypothetically racially harassed minorities, or the dumbstruck well-intentioned White progressives who were misled into believing that there was a heartland of illiberal Australians who reject the curtailing of their freedoms and the rapid demographic and social changes that are taking place.
An often unnoticed aspect of human nature is the tendency to observe patterns where none exist. As examined by Nassim Taleb in his book Fooled by Randomness, there is an innate human need to make sense of events, which can manifest itself in constructing explanations for events that do not correspond to reality. As corollary to this idea, it appears that people will naturally seek to ascribe pre-conceived character roles to those they observe in real life. Further, they will seek a role of their own to play in their perceived theatrical world, which can provide a sense of strength, clarity and purpose to the mundane predictability of everyday life.
As a student of drama, it may be the case that in the above video, Richard Spencer is attempting to affect a kind of dispassionate honesty about the reality of history, inviting his own intended audience to step-over what Bowden called 'The European Grammar of Self- Intolerance', embracing the past without guilt so as to be able forge a new future. Unfortunately, as any actor should know, the writers, directors and producers are the ones who ultimately decide what light their cast members will be seen in.
In this video, one can observe several key elements that combine to create an intended effect. The monochrome colouring, eerie music and pallid features of the speaker establish a mood of lifelessness and despair. His callous and unapologetic tone of voice, confessing to the evils of power and domination that underlie the claimed 'greatness' of Western people and civilisation, show a sociopathic villain, playing his part as a living extension of the caricatured WASP's brutality and terror that fuels and animates the narrative of Black grievance so cherished by the liberal establishment. Much like the young NEET-soc who embraces WWII imagery in order to feel dangerous, playing the villain goes beyond mere poor presentation, now known by the ugly neologism, 'optics'.
The lesson here is that regardless of how good a speaker or actor one may be, as long as he is in someone else's play, he will always be serving the ends of their story. Almost every media-hit piece on right-wing movements and personalities with any punch has been a result of letting the fox into the henhouse, the arrogant farmer believing his hens had nothing to hide. Inviting journalists to cover dissident-right events or agreeing to their interviews, whether out of vanity or ignorance, to use their terminology, is to give them a platform to spew their ideology and hatred.
The heroic potentiality of our race remains ever-present. In the past year alone we can lazily count the White divers who rescued Thai schoolboys in a flooded cave, the young White father who drowned after saving immigrant children in the ocean in Wollongong, Australia, the work of the overwhelmingly White rural fire and emergency services in floods and bushfires, not to mention the bravery displayed by the men in the Armed forces, regardless of the corruption of its leaders or the futility of their wars.
There are circumstances that occur often that with minimal spin, or editorial, can bring in to focus the story we want to tell. The story of Richard Russel, The Sky King, is both a sad yet stirring tale. The 29-year-old baggage handler stole a Horizon Air Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 airliner from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, only to crash after completing a series of daring and temporarily death-defying stunts, was described as performing a "heartfelt ‘F you’ to clown world wage slavery", having unwittingly embodied the ennui and desperation of dispossessed White Millennials.
Hey, do you think if I land this thing successfully, Alaska will give me a job as a pilot?
Writing, staging and performing our own version of political theatre will be crucial to undermining the legitimacy of the liberal-managerial regime. People will watch and believe what they see.