Perhaps laughter is the best antidote to neo-Nazis

Perhaps laughter is the best antidote to neo-Nazis

Laughing at El Cordobés has been considered tricky by many people, although it may have been a mixture of necessary catharsis, de-dramatization and, why not, even a certain deterrent effect .

Because laughter can be useful to combat certain ideologies turulatas. Take the neo-Nazis , for example.


White supremacists and neo-Nazis are having their moment of glory. Former aide to the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke , is once again back in the media spotlight, while new figures such as white supremacist Richard Spencer and Christopher Cantwell are broadcasting their views online. .

Faced with this unreason, there are several positions: fear, ignore, fight …

When Hitler convinced the masses with his ideas, many chose to reason, argue, fight intellectually. Charles Chapin , as well as other comedians, responded to the deadly threat posed by the Nazis in a different way: they used humor to highlight the absurdity and hypocrisy of both the message and its notorious messenger.

In the late 1940s, Charlie Chaplin released The Great Dictator , often regarded as Chaplin’s last great film. He was warned in 1939 that the film could be rejected in England and face censorship in the United States. The political factions of both nations were eager to placate the unpredictable and angry Hitler, and The Great Dictator was capable of enraging the Nazis. Even more.


In spite of everything, Chaplin insisted on producing the film and released it. In 1940, the year of its release, The Great Dictator was the third highest-grossing film in the United States .

That satire made fun of Hitler’s absurdity, solipsism and excessive vanity, at the same time that it highlighted the psychological captivity of Germany in the face of that political fraud. The success of the film caused a dozen films to be produced along the same lines, the best known of them being To be or not to be , by Ernst Lubitsch .

Apparently, sources claim that Hitler saw The Great Dictator . Twice. Interviewed for a 2001 documentary, Reinhard Spitzy , a Hitler intimate, said he could easily imagine Hitler laughing privately with the burlesque Chaplin. Perhaps all that mocking movement served to downplay the grandstanding of that political movement. Maybe not. Like any other position we take on this matter. Perhaps, for this reason, we should not disdain any form of struggle. Not even satire.

Via | The Conversation