Check out this insightful Op-Ed by writer Jonathan Raban. He talks about the use of language, especially, the cruel joke,  as preferred weapon for dictators to demonstrate their power. He writes:

“I once heard Jorge Luis Borges talk about how dictators relished cruel jokes as demonstrations of their power: Juan Perón sacked him as a municipal librarian in Buenos Aires only to appoint him a state inspector of chickens and rabbits in the city market.

“You see?” Borges said. “He had a sense of humor.”’

 

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