Philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein said, “A serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes.” Despite the buffoonish imagery that comes to mind when one considers the joker, the clown or the pie-in-the-face comedian, humor is more than mere silliness. It is an advanced intellectual means of developing new perspectives and coping with extreme circumstances.
A maltreated animal has two potential responses to an abusive master: attack to stop the abuse, or cower/flee to avoid it. He cannot disarm the bully with a witty remark or ironically imitate his master behind his back for his own amusement. One of the first government actions in Nazi Germany was the establishment of a law against treacherous attacks on the state and party that made anti-Nazi humor an act of treason, and there was a reason for this. Research has shown that humor is the most effective means of preventing the indoctrination of brainwashing.
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