In other words, when I laugh at myself together with others, I am not simply disciplined into a given social order, but co-developing and appropriating cultural forms, and disciplining myself and others in the process.
from Morten Nissen's "Attempt at a Hegelian-Marxist Completion of Mørch's Completion of Critical Psychology (…nah, I'm only joking)"
With the victory of the bourgeois class in the Christian era, the function of irony loosened up. It has at times run over to the side of the oppressed, especially where these latter were in truth no longer anything of the sort.
Admittedly, as something imprisoned in its own form, it has an authoritarian legacy, which never totally divested itself of an unprotesting nastiness.
Irony is needed to change the world. Nevertheless, the main attraction of irony is at the same time its defect. Indeed, irony may be defined by its abrasive character, by its "enthusiasm for destroying," its "divine madness" that "does not leave stone upon stone."
This aspect of irony produces within it a movement of detachment from actuality and hence from the community in which it originates. Nothing supports irony, and this allows it to do with great efficacy its critical and destructive function.
from Rafael del Aguila's "Macchiavell's Theory of Political Action: Tragedy, Irony and Choice" (.pdf)