Ben and Holly taught me about politics

In this short post, I doff my cap to a cartoon that explained a modern political phenomenon. 

Ben and Holly’s little kingdom … its a great lil’ cartoon isn’t it? Entertaining for both children and adults.

So why do I mention a children’s cartoon on a website dedicated to political issues and history? Well, during one episode I heard something out of the corner of my ear that I thought was very profound.

At the beginning of one episode, the elves and fairies want to play superheroes. All want to play superheroes. Ben realizes that if there are all superheroes the superheroes have no purpose. Superheroes can only have a purpose if there are supervillains. One of the fairies has to agree to be a supervillain.

It is profound because that is the type of political world we have come to occupy. There are no longer protagonists who are jostling for supremacy. No, an enemy is one so evil and diabolical that their very existence poses existential risk (remember that Saddam was going to attack London in 2003 within a 45 minute window using chemical weapons?). We cannot countenance negotiation or solutions and must feed ourselves the worst imaginable nightmares possible. The world becomes a place of pure darkness and light.

Can you think of any more examples of this phenomenon?

By the way, here is that delightful episode … enjoy.


Currently, I am researching a book on Carl Schmitt. It is not a caricature. I have already authored one book Mysteries of State in the Renaissance. My Amazon page is here.


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