POL 301C Political Satire and Cartoons

Humorists, cartoonists, and commentators around the world are surveyed.  Their wit is added to the accumulated body of satire and political-science fiction to shed light on excess, pomposity, hypocrisy, rabble-rousing, and taste.  Weekly surveys of cartoons yield examples for collection on topics such as ethics, apathy and arousal, republic, empire and hegemony.  Students assemble a caricature gallery of contemporary heroes and rogues.  Posters are prepared and placed on campus bulletin boards to stimulate awareness of current events.  Leaflets and manuals are compiled for distribution on campus and among alumni.  Timeless archetypes, fables, and cautionary tales are re-examined in the situation of contemporary public affairs.

As a basis for discussion, some timely yet classic political-science satire is chosen for close analysis--such as Bernard Crick, In Defence of Politics (4th American ed.; Chicago: Univ. of Chicago, 1992)
 Politics is not just a necessary evil; it is a realistic good.--p. 141
The attempt to politicize everything is the destructive of politics.--p. 151
"Hypocrisy," said Swift, "is the tribute that vice pays to virtue."--p. 155
Litigation, not politics, is the necessary evil of free states.--p. 148


Joseph Marie de Maistre
Every nation has the government it deserves.

Senator Sam J. Ervin
If men and women of capacity refuse to take part in politics and government, they condemn themselves, as well as the people, to the punishment of living under bad government.

Edgar A. Shoaff
Politicians make strange bedfellows, but they all share the same bunk.

Adams, Henry Brooks, The Education of Henry Adams, ch. 17
Practical politics consists in ignoring facts.

Knowledge of human nature is the beginning and end of political education.
ibid
., ed. Ernest Samuels (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1974), p. 7--"Politics, as a practice, whatever its profession has always been the systematic organization of hatred."

Fisher, Herbert Albert Laurens, A History of Europe, ch. II
Politics is the art of human happiness.

Hardiman, Larry
"The word 'politics' is derived from the word 'poly,' meaning 'many,' and the word 'ticks,' meaning 'blood-sucking parasites.'"

Henry, O., Rolling Stones. A Ruler of Men
A straw vote only shows which way the hot air blows.

Ibsen, Henrik, An Enemy of the People, Act III
Politics are the most important thing in life—for a newspaper.

Rogers, Will, Syndicated newspaper article, June 28,1931
Politics has got so expensive that it takes lots of money to even get beat with.

Sheridan, Richard Brinsley, The Duenna, Act II, Scene 4
Conscience has no more to do with gallantry than it has with politics.

Taylor, Bert Leston. Canopus, Stanza I
When quacks with pills political would dope us,
When politics absorbs the live-long day,
I like to think about the star Canopus,
So far, so far away!

Ward, Artemus (pseudo. of Charles Farrar Browne), The Crisis
My pollertics, like my religion, being of an exceedin’ accommodatin’ character.

Ward, Thomas, England’s Reformation, Ch. IV, p. 326 [Tobias Hobson, the first Englishman to rent out hackney-horses, made a customer take the horse nearest the door.]
Where to elect there is but one,
‘Tis Hobson’s choice—take that or none.