In The Tragic Vision of Politics (Lebow, 2003), Richard Ned Lebow argues that a 'tragic understanding of the political' provides the best ontological and epistemological foundations for a theory of International Relations. This article challenges that claim. It argues that other literary modes of representing social life can offer equally strong bases for international theories. To that end, it examines the 'satirical vision of politics' with reference to satirists as diverse as Aristophanes and Erasmus. It concludes that satire can provide just as good a form of political education as tragedy and just as robust a foundation for the kind of theory Lebow prefers.