by Dennis Speed
“O, my offense is rank / It smells to heaven”—Claudius, Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 3
“You are all Goebbels! You are all Nazis. This is Goebbels. You are all Goebbels!! This is inciting terrorists. The blood of [Congressman, majority whip and shooting victim] Steve Scalise is on your hands. Goebbels would be proud.” The two protesters that interrupted the recent Central Park Julius Caesar performance, in the which Donald Trump, as Julius Caesar, is mock-murdered under the pretense of “poetic license” and “contemporaneity”, made their trenchant view of the matter known, and the audience—their audience, for those 45 seconds—uncomfortable. That was the only properly performed drama witnessed by that audience that night.
Lyndon LaRouche emphasizes that the figure Casca, in Shakespeare’s play, reveals the core of the real tragedy:
CASSIUS: Did Cicero say anything?
CASCA: Ay, he spoke Greek.
CASSIUS: To what effect?
CASCA:Nay, an I tell you that, I’ll ne’er look you in the face again; but those that understood him smiled at one another and shook their heads; but for mine own part, it was Greek to me.
Casca’s arrogant ignorance warns us of what fate America must suffer, were we to refuse to master those ideas, essential to our continued, durable survival, no matter how foreign they might seem to be. When President Trump, for example, invoked the American System of economy in Kentucky back in March, and Kentucky’s Abraham Lincoln in that context, he might have usefully referred to Lincoln’s habit of reading Shakespeare to his cabinet, as Lincoln often did during meetings of the 1861–65 War of the Rebellion (“Civil War”). He did this precisely so that he and they could think outside of the system of economic and social tragedy that he so eloquently portrayed in his Second Inaugural Address, a soliloquy more than a speech.
There is an unfortunate association of William Shakespeare with things British. It should not be so. The British rejected Shakespeare for over 150 years after his death, until the power of Friedrich Schiller’s tragedies forced them to seem to embrace Shakespeare as an “alternative” to Schiller. In the case of criminal acts, including the use of a drama as the pretext for inciting a criminal act, an association between British intelligence-trained actors and assassins is a not only useful, but correct one to make.
Since before the beginning of the Trump Presidency, British intelligence has made it clear that it prefers to see Trump impeached or killed. The MI6 “former spy” Christopher Steele dossier, which was the pretext for the launching of the Russia probe against the President and close associates, is a British intelligence product, as is the Russia “hacking” campaign itself. The inducing of a mass-agitation “Kill Trump” campaign in the United States, amplified by the gutter speech-like anti-Trump grunts of 15-plus “celebrities”, is being coordinated (and, probably, directly) through American-based but British intelligence-connected networks under the pretext of a nation-wide “Impeach Trump” campaign.
The British kill American Presidents, and have been doing it since the assassination of Alexander Hamilton, the man that should have succeeded Washington to that office, rather than either Jefferson or Adams. Sometimes, they use actors, including American actors, as collaborators and conspirators in assassinations, not only those less known, but even those that are famous. Lincoln is another example of a President felled by a British-deployed assassin’s bullet. (Britain supported the South in that revolt against the Presidency known mistakenly as the “Civil War”, and the nation of Canada was created 150 years ago as a way of preventing various of the Canadian provinces from joining the United States and becoming states.)
Actor John Wilkes Booth and his successful assassination of Lincoln should be recalled here. Booth’s meeting in Montreal in October of 1864, six months before the assassination, with Jacob Thompson, chief of the Confederate secret service in Canada; his account at the Ontario Bank, which still contained $455 at the time that he was killed; and his regaling of his Confederate friends and supporters in that city with readings from The Merchant of Venice and other Shakespeare plays, makes it clear why Michael W. Kauffman entitled his 2005 book about John Wilkes Booth American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies.
So, telegraphing something like a live assassination operation against the United States Presidency by means of hijacking Shakespeare, and recruiting the credulous to yell in support of it—just as happens in the play Julius Caesar itself—is the inverse of the purpose of that drama, but is in fact an efficient means to build the “plausible deniability” pre-condition for the actual operation, whose true origins are to be ignored, even as they are displayed.
This is not the Classical notion or function of tragedy. “A great Classical tragedy is composed, and performed as a Platonic dialogue, such that the audience of that performance is placed, as in the intellectual balcony, overlooking that history on stage, ” LaRouche tells us in his essay, “The Coming Eurasian World”. “From that higher vantage point, the audience is challenged to see the interactions of the figures on stage from a higher vantage point than virtually any of the depicted characters themselves…
“The players portray the action on the stage of real life. The author and players must reveal the system which controls the unfolding action, the system which controls the parts played, but which the individual participant in the real-life experience fails to recognize. Classical tragedy, so composed, so performed, is thus the model for imparting a true sense for history in both the ordinary citizens, or adolescents, and others. The pages of the historian’s book, the historian’s lecture before the audience, must aim for and accomplish the same effect; to bring the essence of real history, in the time and place it actually occurred, back into life within the mind of the audience, and of the historian, too…
“Such Classical drama, so composed and delivered, is the properly mandatory foundation for the education of all the actually qualified future citizens of a republic.”
The audience, as poet Friedrich Schiller observed in “Theater Considered As A Moral Institution,” should leave the theater better than when they entered it. The “Central Park Caesar” with its pornographic symbolic murder of the President, does the opposite. Cassius’ famous statement: “The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars but in ourselves, that we are underlings,” once heard, should have prompted the audience to immediately empty the theater, were it understood. Instead, “it was Greek to them”, the actors, and the director, and required the intervention’s metaphor, “You are all Goebbels!!”, the only true poetic idea presented. No audience member was reported to have asked, “Are we the mob in Shakespeare’s play?” that evening.
To become a qualified citizen of Hamilton’s republic, skip Central Park Shakespeare, and the play Hamilton also, for that matter. Try staying home and reading aloud Treasury Secretary Hamilton’s Reports on Manufacturing, credit, the National Bank, and its constitutionality. LaRouche’s Four Laws, Hamilton’s Reports but in a more advanced form, provide a new economic platform for America, which American must no longer reject as “Greek to me”. Small group readings of the Reports and the Four Laws can ensure joint comprehension and mastery of these principles.
Lyndon LaRouche’s idea of the republic, cited above, runs directly counter to the modern idea of tragedy, drama, and art in general. The United States is, thankfully, not a democracy. It is a Hamiltonian republic, with a Hamiltonian Presidency. And the comprehension of Classical tragedy will be the way out for the American people, causing them to accept, not Caesar’s crown, but the olive branch of win-win cooperation that Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin have offered the world, and the United States, as a way out.