Sunday, September 12, 2010

Realism and Sovereignty from a Comedian's Perspective

Warning: Extremely politically incorrect, yet absolutely hysterical!

Eddie Izzard in all of his worldly comedic genius was bound to stumble upon subjects and theories relevant to our most recent class discussions eventually. Using historical and popular culture examples Eddie Izzard successfully explains elements of both sovereignty and international realism.

Izzard's explanation of England's imperialistic strategy gives perfect examples of the various elements of sovereignty we discussed in class. Britain's “cunning use of flags” is an example of claimed authority through the use of seemingly arbitrary symbols backed up by a gun “lent from the National Rifle Association”, which represents England's imperialistic power and it's capacity for imperialism. Furthermore, Izzard touches on India's lack of sovereignty because although it has the authority and capacity (“500 million of us”) for sovereignty, it lacks power, and therefore autonomy. Finally, Izzard acknowledges that in order for the system of territorial sovereignty to work, recognition of sovereignty and autonomy is key, which was not the case when England “stole countries”.

In addition to sovereignty, Eddie Izzard outlines a number of realistic tenets when describing the second World War and its aftermath. Izzard describes how one cannot rely on alliances and how treaties do not represent a guarantee through his satirical impressions of the English forces throwing everything they have while waiting for the US “cavalry” to arrive and then asking “f**kin' 'ell, where have you been?” Additionally, Izzard continues this theme as he describes how the French would rather have a sandwich than listen to the European Union, another example of how aid from allies should only be counted upon when it benefits the ally as well. Furthermore, Izzard explains Russia's “buffer zone” using one of realism's most basic tenets: the physical survival of the state outweighs all other concerns. Therefore, despite Eddie Izzard's extreme lack of political correctness, his standup acts contain a significant level of political truth based on modern theories of world politics.

No comments:

Post a Comment