In his anti reactionary FAQ Scott tells us how terribly repressive Queen Elizabeth was, failing to compare actually observable dissent in her time with actually observable dissent in our time:
Likewise, Elizabeth and the other monarchs in her line were never shy about killing anyone who spoke out against them. Henry VIII, Elizabeth’s father, passed new treason laws which defined as high treason “to refer to the Sovereign offensively in public writing”, “denying the Sovereign’s official styles and titles”, and “refusing to acknowledge the Sovereign as the Supreme Head of the Church of England”. Elizabeth herself added to these offenses “to attempt to defend the jurisdiction of the Pope over the English Church…”. Needless to say, the punishment for any of these was death, often by being drawn and quartered.
But every Shakespearean play was written from within the worldview that Roman Catholicism is true in its views about the next world, or that paganism is true, or that materialism is true and God or the gods care nothing for humans. They are incompatible with the official religion of which Queen Elizabeth was the head
In contrast, today every television show preaches our official religion. Thus, for example every father on television is an idiot and/or evil, and his family would be much better off without him.
Under democracy, efforts to control public opinion are far more strident, aggressive, and intrusive than they were under monarchs.
Under Stalin, thought crime could get you killed, but it generally just caused you to lose your job. Under democracy, thought crime causes you to lose your job.
Under monarchy, thought crime did not cause you to lose your job, or get you killed. Using speech to in an attempt to overthrow the ruler could get you killed, but you did not have to worry about microaggressions against the monarch, the way one has to worry about microaggressions against women or blacks.
Shakespeare could not present a play in which Queen Elizabeth needed to be overthrown, but he could present a play in which a King needed to be overthrown, a play in which England’s official religion of which Queen Elizabeth was the head, was assumed to be false.
Today you could not present a play in which father knows best, still less one in which a wife deserves a spanking for failure to perform wifely duties, gets one, and improves her conduct.
If you turn on the television, you get strident, insulting, non stop propaganda, all counter stereotypical women and blacks, all insultingly and viciously stereotyped fathers and husbands, and continual denigration of males. If you attended a play in Elizabethan England, you seldom got propaganda.
Whenever someone wants to argue that Shakespeare’s plays were propagandistic, they point to his enthusiastic demonization of Richard the Third. But Richard the Third attained the throne by murdering his nephews, the rightful heirs to the throne. How is a playwright going to depict an uncle who murders his nephews?
Another example of Shakespeare’s plays being propagandistic is that they are unkind to Joan of Arc. But the official story was that Joan of Arc was a witch. Shakespeare implies the official story is a politically convenient lie. On today’s television, not only are all today’s official stories true, but anyone that thinks that today’s official stories are lies is a tinfoil hat wearing nazi white supremacist moron. Official government issued truths, such as Global Warming and female equality, are not presented as state issued, but as issued by plucky rebels resisting government power – and repeated over and over again, and woven into stories without regard for story, plot, or drama.
If you share your workplace with women or blacks, you live in continual fear of losing your job on charges of sexual harassment, sexual assault, racism, or sexism, and your employer lives in fear of a “civil” lawsuit by government charging him with alleged acts of racism or sexism by his employees, or even mere thought crimes by his employees. People in the days of Queen Elizabeth did not live in fear of losing their jobs for lese majeste.
Today, everyone lives in fear of being accused of thought crime. In the days of Queen Elizabeth, they did not. You can criticize today’s regime, but only through an identity that cannot be easily linked to your employment or business.