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Do the kinds of political joke that get circulated in a polity depend on the structure - page 34 / 46





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Douglas Ayling


This discussion should be prefaced with the caveat that there is a considerable

disparity between the number of jokes assessed in the totalitarian and post-totalitarian types

and the number assessed for the authoritarian type. While there were three sources for jokes

from the Franco government, this relative dearth of source material in actual numbers of

jokes means that the editorial biases of the authors are likely to have a more significant

impact on the final proportions of joke content represented than in the more comprehensive

joke anthologies found for the other regime types. Thus, while fig. 10.1 is to be regarded

with some circumspection, it does suggest that if the samples used were representative of

jokes in circulation then the overwhelming majority of jokes under Franco relate to the

regime – specifically, they are for the most part about the Caudillo.

The hypothesis posited that the proportion of political jokes which speak to the

ideology of the regime would be highest in post-totalitarian regimes, next highest in

totalitarian regimes, and that authoritarian regimes would circulate the smallest proportion

of ideology-related political jokes of the three regime types. Ultimately, the findings are

consistent with this hypothesis. Post-totalitarian type regimes manifest a 20% proportion of

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