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The Purpose of Satire

Will Self finds himself driven to reconsider the nature and purpose of satire in the wake of the murders at Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

Will Self finds himself driven to reconsider the nature and purpose of satire in the wake of the murders at Charlie Hebdo in Paris. "The paradox is this: if satire aims at the moral reform of a given society it can only be effective within that particular society; and furthermore only if there's a commonly accepted ethical hierarchy to begin with. A satire that demands of the entire world that it observe the same secularist values as the French state is a form of imperialism like any other.".

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Sun 15 Feb 2015 08:48

A Point of View: What's the point of satire?

A Point of View: What's the point of satire?

Satire is supposed to prick people's consciences and challenge the powerful - but is that possible in a society where no-one can agree the basis of right and wrong, asks Will Self.

Read Will Self's article on the BBC News website

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Presenter Will Self

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