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“The trouble with music is that we’re in trouble without it; not only are musicians screwed by a visciously exploitative industry, not only are gross injustices done when entire musical legacies are expropriated to be sold like trinkets to tourists; most important is to recognise that without a deep, living connection between people and music there can be no community. Without a love and respect shared by musicians and audiences alike for this wondrous human activity, we are lost.” p.XXIV

This book published in 2005 by AK Press has only just come to my attention. Broadly it gives what could be a theoretical background to Agit disco, at least from his very widely read point of view.

One difference might be on his Tolstoyan view of culture as that which creates community. I view culture from the Raymond Williams view (1958) as elaborated some time later:

“Culture may be thought of as a causal agent that affects the evolutionary process by uniquely human means. For it permits the self-conscious evaluation of human possibilities in the light of a system of values that reflect prevailing ideals about what human life ought to be. Culture is thus an indispensable device for increasing human control over the direction in which our species changes.” (Prof. Jaegwon Kim. 1995, Oxford Companion to Philosophy, p172)

Not that I’d disagree that community and identity forms around cultural, and in particular musical, activity.

Anyway this book is stuffed full of ideas. On page 145 are three crucial errors of Adorno and some thoughts on Cage that are relevant at the moment as I’m preparing to put on a performance of his Song Books and buy Silence against X Factor.

” Music that is consciously designed to inspire the liberatory aspirations of the oppressed and their struggle to make real those aspirations is a major influence in music now and has been for a long time.” p.152

“Behind the veneer of democratic rights, the offer of free choice, suppression goes on with a vengeance. There are two basic suppressive tactics, the first being banning and burning, the second, marginalising and impoverishing.” p.180

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