The story of Louis Bonaparte was the occasion for Marx’s remark about history taking place twice, the first time as tragedy (Napoleon), the second time as farce (the nephew). Marx wanted to draw from these events a lesson about the class struggle, but I think that he stumbled on a different and eternal truth, which has to do with the place of theater—of tragedy and farce, theatrical genres—in political life. Reality TV, in Trump’s version of it, is our modern farce. There are people who demand their daily farce: This was Marx’s unwitting discovery. They insist on being entertained. About the realities of their own political situation, those people may understand nothing. They understand a personal reality, though. They want to sit in the audience and laugh and cry. Especially they want to shake their fists at villains. They want to boo and hiss. They want to tremble in loathing. If someone comes out on stage who is capable of making them do so, they will clap. It is pathetic.