Punks rebellion lyrics essays

This book brings together writing from leading critics such as Greil Marcus and Dick Hebdige, personal reflections from punk pioneers such as Jimmy Pursey, Darryl Jenifer and Mimi Nguyen, and reports on punk scenes from Toronto to Jakarta. The book features photos, lyrics, letters, and accessible articles from musicians and academics concerned about the greater issues in revolutionary music. In this extract from The Wire Primers , acclaimed music writer Simon Reynolds takes us on a tour of Grime's seminal records. We use cookies to enhance your experience.

Dismiss this message or find out more. Forgot your password? Don't have an account? Sign up here for discounts and quicker purchasing. The ultimate collection on punk and race, from the Clash to Los Crudos. The concrete distinctiveness of certain sections of the population is a product of specific historically developed subordinate roles assigned and enforced by the dominant ideology and politics.

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And though a class culture is composed of broad elements and roles that attempt to embrace the majority of the class, as a class, regardless of sex, race or age, certain differences in cultural expression can lead to the generation of a subculture or a counter-culture. Relative to class cultures, sub-cultures are sub-sets—smaller, more localized and specific structures within one or the other of the larger cultural realms.

Generally speaking, the tendency is for cohesive subcultures to develop within the subordinate classes, while counter-cultures develop within the dominant culture. Subcultural expressions are one way that oppressed individuals find to cope with the pressures of their subordinate existence, and in negotiating their collective existence. Sub-cultures can be characterized as focusing around certain activities, values and uses of material goods and spaces, which differentiate them in certain significant ways from the broader parent culture.

Four specific modes of expression have been identified as primary elements of sub-cultural style: dress, music, ritual and language including specific slang, dialect, vocabulary and assigned meanings.

Similarly, though distinctly, there is the tendency within the dominant culture towards the generation of alternative counter-cultures, rather than cohesive sub-cultures. The latter precipitate, typically, not tight sub-cultures but a diffuse counter-culture milieu. The primary reason that counter-cultural alternative institutions can develop within, and even in conscious ideological and political opposition to, the dominant culture is that that culture affords the space and opportunity economically and ideologically for sections of it to drop out of circulation and to explore alternatives.

Such exploration can take the form of new patterns of living and family life, as well as experimenting with careers that fuse leisure and work experiences the retreat to the country commune, the artisan production of arts and crafts, etc. The working class is generally afforded no such options. The distinction between sub-cultures and countercultures is important for an analysis of punk rock because, while punk rock in England developed as part of a working class sub-culture, it has always functioned in the U. But the specific position of youth within the subordinate and dominant classes tends to generate specifically similar responses to the predominant rhythmic patterns of daily life such that a concept of youth culture is a useful analytical tool.

This is the case primarily because even though there are distinctly different responses, there are definite similarities at times more so than at other times between both youth sub-cultural and counter-cultural experiences. There have been numerous theories and interpretations of youth culture in general. Liberals and conservatives have tended to generate their own meanings and responses; and Marxists have disagreed not only on definitions, but also on the validity of the concept itself. The correctness of the insistence on the distinctness of each new generation seems They thus share in some degree or other various common experiences and therefore expectations and values which are different from those of other generations.

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The degree to which this is true. But Jacques is careful not to liquidate the concrete differences between the experiences of the youth of various social classes. In much the same way that we discussed subcultures in general above, he explains that,. Firstly, within each class or fraction of the class, the youth element possesses particular and distinctive characteristics in relation to the class as a whole and, secondly, youth in general shares certain similar overall characteristics.

But it must be said that youth culture is not a monolithic whole, rather it is more appropriate in many ways to speak of youth cultures. Jacques argues that the disparity that has distinguished the experiences of the post-war generations those born during or after from previous generations has been most dramatic in three areas: 1 the ideological arena, 2 the numerical and material position of youth, and 3 its social composition.

This disparity reflects the fundamental differences between the long wave of capitalist contraction and crisis which characterized the period between the world wars, and the long wave of capitalist expansion following the second world war. Ideologically, the post-war generations have never confronted the major problems that dominated the lives of the previous generations, namely massive unemployment and fascism in power in major industrial countries.

Because youth have come to accept a state of relatively full employment and rising living standards as normal, they have judged capitalist society by quite different standards than those most likely utilized by people who lived through the s. This combined with the growth in the educational sphere, including the emphasis on extending the years spent in education, the increased income and spending capacity of working youth, and the declining role of the family, have all served to increase the ideological, economic and political autonomy and influence of youth as expressed in such phenomenon as popular music, clothing and sexual behavior.

Concerning the social composition of youth, the growing importance of various strata, of technical, scientific, intellectual and service related labor within the realm of wage-labor, especially in food production, entertainment and health care, as well as the financial and distribution sectors of the economy, has had a marked effect on working class youth. This can be seen in the increasingly diverse areas and types of employment, with very different traditions, work situations, degrees of organization and educational requirements.

Further, the length of time spent in education, including high school, community colleges and technical schools, as well as universities, has meant that more youth not only receive more education, but also remain outside of the full-time labor market for longer periods of time, quite often not by choice. Thus, the composition of working class youth is now much more diverse than ever before, and numerically certain new sections are becoming quite important.

Also, since most students enter the ranks of the wage-labor force, the social distance between student youth and working class youth, and between sub-cultural and counter-cultural responses, can at times become considerably narrowed. Though these facts should not be exaggerated in considering the existence of a youth culture, especially given the potential for extreme divergence of the experience of a young factory worker in Oakland and a secretary on Wall Street, and the wide divergence of national minority cultures, the tendencies do exist and the implications are important.

The general oppression of working youth can be summarized into four major categories. This process can often involve the older generation teaching old and regressive values, such as racism and sexism, and negative practices such as alcoholism and child abuse.

Punk Rock Essay

The rebellion of youth against these various aspects of their existence takes on different forms depending on the class character of those responding. Music has tended to become a powerful vehicle for this rebellion because it can provide an expression for the focal concerns of youth, in words as well as sounds. But given the hegemony of capitalist ideology, the rebellion tends toward individualism and subjectivism, particularly in a counter-cultural framework, such as prevailed in the U.

This can develop further into a more consciously political response of Utopian anarchism that rejects all authority and organization. To define revolutionary cultural practice we need to return to certain elements of our discussion of ideological class struggle, as well as to develop certain new elements specific to cultural practice itself. New relations can be produced in culture.

The question of whether or not such new relations are revolutionary can only be judged in their relation to, and impact on the broader realm of ideological class struggle. Does the portrayal and possible transcendence of existing relations serve to reinforce the hegemony of the dominant class ideologically and politically, or does it serve tendencies toward the dissolution of that hegemony? A song, or poster, or work of art can be said to be revolutionary if it serves to help break down the hegemony of the ruling class.


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Further, a single cultural object can contain both tendencies. Fundamental to this understanding of class struggle in culture and ideology is a conception of revolution painfully absent in the theories and strategies of the majority of revolutionary groups in the USA today. Most revolutionaries have a vision of revolution that involves the dramatic physical assault by the working class against the capitalist state, in much the same way that the Russian working class rose to power in However, such an approach was successful for the Russians because of the concentration of state power in a narrowly defined power base.

The autocratic regime had been overthrown by the mobilization of the vast majority of the popular masses against the Czar.

No future? Punk is still the sound of youth rebellion the world over | Music | The Guardian

Bourgeois rule after February, , was tentative, and based on the support or neutrality of the working class and its primary ally, the peasantry. When this support was withdrawn, the state was highly vulnerable and susceptible to a frontal assault. Thus a frontal assault on an advanced capitalist state by itself, without other forms of struggle is no longer a viable strategy.

It is precisely this struggle for working class hegemony and its necessary class alliances that points out the validity of a conception that sees revolutionary cultural practice in whatever elements that serve to break down capitalist hegemony. The need for a process of developing working class hegemony can not be envisioned in isolation from the broad struggle against the hegemony of the ruling class, which also maintains alliances and unites other classes and class strata.

Further, such a developmental process requires a large and effective revolutionary party actively practicing the science of Marxism-Leninism in the service of the working class. Our understanding here is based on the fact that a revolutionary situation is not simply an opposition of the working class to the capitalists. A revolutionary situation is rather a complex accumulation of many social contradictions acting simultaneously with the fundamental class contradiction.

This is the Leninist conception of revolution, and Althusser has provided us with a theoretical summation of this process. Thus, any elements that serve to challenge the authority and legitimacy of the status quo can serve a revolutionary function. This is not to say that they will do so consciously, or that they will support the revolutionary process itself.

It is to simply acknowledge the objective effect that such elements can have in challenging the hegemony of the ruling class. It is the role of communists to provide direction for such challenges, and to struggle to develop an alternative to capitalist hegemony in the ideology of the working class. And we must be quite clear on the fundamental distinction between revolutionary communist practice and revolutionary anti-capitalist practice, both of which are vital to successful socialist revolution. Once communists understand the class struggle that is unfolding we can undertake conscious ideological campaigns to influence audiences, as well as certain musicians.

Energy must be concentrated on reaching the audience because the masses are much more stable than a few isolated individual musicians, and it is the masses who will create their own artists and musicians, both by organically producing them and by supporting those who reflect their ideals.

The Emergence of Pop Punk Music Essay

Then the cultural workers can be involved in the process of learning the needs and desires of the working masses, and acting for their fulfillment, i. The cultural process must, therefore, be understood as highly contradictory, and potentially highly volatile. It is no accident that the dominant culture is overwhelmingly filled with elements that serve to avoid and obscure the concrete class contradictions, as well as any contradictions or history that serve to call into question the existing relations of existence. One of the more all pervasive myths today is that of consumerism, a myth that actually has quite recent origins in opposition to the traditionally frugal work ethic.

Publicity is the culture of the consumer society.