Marxism: Jokesters of the World Unite!I like the idea of Groucho Marxism as a theory of political philosophy. Though humorous, it isn’t a silly idea. The central claim is that often the most effective way of making your political point or realizing your political agenda is through humor, especially satire and mockery. As Mel Brooks said, “If you stand on a soapbox and trade rhetoric with a dictator you never win. That’s what they do so well; they seduce people. But if you ridicule them, bring them down with laughter–they can’t win. You show how crazy they are.”

Groucho Marxism, the political theory of humor, is an idea that I want to explore and develop as my career progresses. I’ve long been interested in the philosophical analysis of humorous utterances. But to do that work in philosophy of language, one must recognize the political power humorous discourse can have. Humor can be, and had been, a powerful tool of social commentary and change.