Today’s non-violent activists are inciting a global shift in protest tactics away from anger, resentment, and rage towards a new, more incisive form of activism rooted in fun: “Laughtivism.”
There is a reason why humor is infusing the arsenal of the 21st-century protestor: It works.
humor breaks fear and builds confidence.
humor can incite clumsy reactions from a movement’s opponents.
The best acts of laughtivism force their targets into lose-lose scenarios, undermining the credibility of a regime no matter how they respond.
The best acts of laughtivism force their targets into lose-lose scenarios,
These acts move beyond mere pranks; they help corrode the very mortar that keeps most dictators in place: Fear.
humor offers a low-cost point of entry for ordinary citizens who don’t consider themselves particularly political, but are sick and tired of dictatorship.
Make a protest fun, and people don’t want to miss out on the action.
Make a protest fun, and people don’t want to miss out on the action
Humor effectively communicated a positive image
the Internet meme into a funky satirical protest that underlined the creative, democratic aspirations of so many young people across the region.
they’re young kids eager to embrace democracy. They just want to be able to have fun doing it.
By using humor, activists confront autocrats with a dilemma: the government can either crack down on those who ridicule it (making itself look even more ridiculous in the process) or ignore the acts of satire aimed against it (and risk opening the flood gates of dissent). Indeed, when faced with an act of brazen mockery, oppressive regimes have no good choices. Whatever they do, they lose.
when faced with an act of brazen mockery, oppressive regimes
have no good choices.
Whatever they do, they lose.
once the spirit of laughter and people power comes out of the bottle, there’s no stopping it.
Satire and jokes have been used for centuries to speak truth to power.
Laughter and fun are no longer marginal to a movement’s strategy; they now serve as a central part of the activist arsenal, imbuing the opposition with an aura of cool, helping to break the culture of fear instilled by the regime, and provoking the regime into reactions that undercut its legitimacy.
Laughter and fun are no longer marginal to a movement’s strategy; they now serve as a central part of the activist arsenal
laughtivism requires a constant stream of creativity to stay in the news, headlines, and tweets, as well as to maintain a movement’s momentum.
Without creativity and wit, laughtivism can wilt before a movement’s ambitions are met. And without discipline and sound judgment, mockery can quickly descend into chaos and violence.
what may have seemed like isolated acts of humor soon proved infectious, inspiring activists across the country.