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Horror, Humour, Fiends and Fools

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Chapter Summary

A method of defence that corresponds to class struggle conducted 'from above' is one in which humour replaces horror, weakness replaces strength, and landlords or colonialism are presented as disempowered instead of empowered. If one conceptualizes the empowered/disempowered dichotomy structuring the opposition between humour and horror in political terms, it could be said to adhere to some pattern. Socialists would argue that those who rule by virtue of monarchy/aristocracy/colonialism are indeed powerful, while those who are ruled as a consequence of the existence and reproduction of these relational/institutional/systemic forms are disempowered. In contrast to the image of 'fiend' and 'friend', landowners portrayed as 'fools' are absolved from having to lead the nation, since the inference is that they are incapable of doing so through no fault of their own. The royalty, landowners and colonizers are shown to be powerful and benign, 'those above' being friendly towards 'those below'.

Keywords: aristocracy; colonialism; fiend; fools; horror; humour; monarchy; socialists



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