Definitions

Political_satire

Political satire

Political satire is a significant part of satire that specializes in gaining entertainment from politics,using political cartoons, politicians, and public affairs. It has also been used with subversive intent where political speech and dissent are forbidden by a regime, as a method of advancing political arguments where such arguments are expressly forbidden. Historically, the public opinion in the Athenian democracy was remarkably influenced by the political satire performed by the comic poets at the theaters.

Distinctions

Political satire is usually distinguished from political protest or political dissent, as it does not necessarily carry an agenda nor seek to influence the political process. While occasionally it can, it more commonly aims simply to provide entertainment. By its very nature, it rarely offers a constructive view in itself; when it is used as part of protest or dissent, it tends to simply establish the error of matters rather than provide solutions.

Origins and genres

Satire can be traced back throughout history; wherever organized government has existed, so has satire. The oldest example that has survived till today is Aristophanes. The Roman period, for example, gives us the satirical poems and epigrams of Martial while some social satire exists in the writings of Paul of Tarsus in the New Testament of the Bible. During the 20th century, satire moved from print media (in cartoons as political cartoons with heavy caricature and exaggeration, and in political magazines) and the parallel exposure of political scandals to performances (including television shows). Examples include musicians such as Tom Lehrer, live performance groups like the Capitol Steps, and public television and live performer Mark Russell. Additional subgenres include such literary classics as Gulliver's Travels and Animal Farm, and more recently, internet Ezine and website sources such as The Onion, ArnoldSpeaks.com, and the Happening Happy Hippy Party. Some websites exist solely to poke fun at politicians, per the examples below.

19th Century

One example is Maurice Joly's 1864 pamphlet entitled The Dialogue in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu (Dialogue aux enfers entre Machiavel et Montesquieu), which attacks the political ambitions of Napoleon III. It was first published in Brussels in 1864. The piece used the literary device of a dialogue between two diabolical plotters in Hell, the historical characters of Machiavelli and Montesquieu, to cover up a direct, and illegal, attack on Napoleon's rule. The noble baron Montesquieu made the case for liberalism; the Florentine wizard Machiavelli presented the case for cynical despotism. In this manner, Joly communicated the secret ways in which liberalism might spawn a despot like Napoleon III.

References

See also

External links

Examples of Political Satire on the web:

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