The Writings of Bertell Ollman
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Kiki & Bubu explain the neoliberal shift in labor relations

Radical Jokes < DIALECTICAL MARXISM: The Writings of Bertell Ollman
Radical Jokes

("Radical" means to get at the roots of whatever is being described, and the roots of our society lie in the capitalist relations that structure and hence loosely determine—whether directly or indirectly—all that happens to us in this society. Jokes are radical when they reveal something important about these little understood relations and criticize their effects on our lives.)
  1. A young girl asks her father, "Why is it so cold in the house?"

    "We don't have any coal", he says.

    "But why is there no coal?", she wants to know.

    "Because I lost my job", he replies.

    Still unsatisfied, she asks one more time—"And why did you lose your job?"

    To which he answers, "Because there is too much coal".

  2. Boss to employee: "Young man, you have risen very fast in this company. Two years ago, you began as an office boy. In a couple of months, you were a clerk. Then, you became a salesman, after that assistant manager, then manager. Now you are the vice president of the company. What have you to say about all this?"

    Employee: "Thanks, Dad".

  3. Question: How many capitalists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

    Answer: None, since we don't need capitalists to screw in light bulbs or any thing else that really needs doing in our society.

  4. Capitalism is a lot like an airplane in which the pilot announces to his passengers that he has two pieces of news to tell them. The good news is that they are traveling at the pre-established speed of 600 miles an hour and all the systems on the plane are functioning perfectly. The bad news is that they are lost.

    (I've added the qualification "a lot" to the joke, because even capitalism's "systems" are not functioning all that well lately.)

  5. Student asks his principal, "Where is my teacher?".

    "Citywide layoffs", replies the principal.

    "My text books?" asks the student.

    "State austerity plan", says the principal.

    "Student loan?" continues the student.

    "Federal budget cuts", says the principal.

    Finally, exasperated, student asks, "But how am I going to get an education?".

    To which the equally exasperated principal replies, "This is your education".

  6. A capitalist is walking through his factory with a friend.

    Friend asks, "What did you tell that man just now?"

    "I told him to work faster", answers the capitalist.

    "How much do you pay him?" asks the friend.

    "Fifteen dollars a day" answers the capitalist.

    "Where do you get the money to pay him?" asks the friend.

    "I sell products", answers the capitalist.

    "Who makes the products?" asks the friend.

    "He does", answers the capitalist.

    "How many products does he make in a day?" asks the friend.

    "Fifty dollars worth", answers the capitalist.

    "Then", concludes the friend, "Instead of you paying him, he pays you thirty-five dollars a day to tell him to work faster".

    "Huh", and the capitalist quickly adds, "Well, I own the machines".

    "How did you get the machines?" asks the friend.

    "I sold products and bought them", answers the capitalist.

    "And who made those products?" asks friend.

    To which the capitalist can only respond—to his friend, but also to the media and to the schools—"Shut up! He might hear you".

    (Remember, I didn't say radical jokes had to be very funny to be radical, or to be jokes.)

  7. A group of workers enter the boss's office and tell him that they have just taken over the factory. "You can't", says the boss. "I own it"

    "And how did you come to own it?" asks one of the workers.

    "It was left to me by my father", says the boss.

    "How did he get it?" asks the worker.

    "He got it from his father", says the boss.

    "And he?" asks the worker.

    "From his father", says the boss.

    "And he?" persists the worker.

    "He fought for it", says the capitalist in a burst of familial pride.

    "Well", say the workers, all together this time, "We'll fight you for it".

  • Don't forget to pass on the radical jokes you like to those who need to hear them.

  • Also, please send me your favorite radical jokes through the Message Board on this website so I can consider adding them to this list.