Friday, September 11, 2009

EDITORIAL: Bite the Hand That Steals

Bite the Hand That Steals ~Chris

Once upon a time, in the annals of RAC history, "Rock Against Communism" and "Rock Against Capitalism" went hand in hand. All the original first wave of RAC bands were critical of capitalism, particularly the laissez-faire variety, which was born of the Thatcher/Reagan revolution. Being the product of White working class communities, these early proponents of Nationalism saw their estates decimated, their fathers, brothers and friends lose jobs, be reduced to penury in the name of corporate profit. Their trade union rights disappeared; the concept of a "job for life" went the same way as the dinosaurs, as the manufacturing base disintegrated in favor of a consumer based society. For Nationalists and Skinheads of our generation to laud the virtues of capitalism would have been literally to reload the pistol with which we had already been shot.

Yet there was a broad perception which has a legitimate foundation that when RAC traveled across the Atlantic, this anti-capitalistic vein was ignored, or at best sidelined. Many American Nationalists were perceived to have swallowed the lie, perfected under Reagan, that free market capitalism was as American as Colt. Many were silent or seemed to give tacit approval to capitalism. Perhaps by exclusion rather than inclusion, bands were quick to attack communism but seems loathe to take on capitalism. There were exceptions. Day of the Sword’s song "Consume" was one of their more overt attacks on capitalist culture; Red White and Black have several songs which contain references to the dangers of capitalism. There are others, but that they are vastly outweighed by the anti-communist diatribes in an age where communism has been exposed as a spent force, is an odd scenario.

Whether bands avoided overt attacks on capitalism because they were offering tacit approval, or because attacking capitalism would alienate a section of their fan base, there have been few effective volleys fired in this war on economic liberalism. We have established that music is the most effective messenger, is the catalyst for much of the shifts in our collective political consciousness, and given the recent havoc created by the profiteering of unregulated capitalism, perhaps we will finally see the first effective salvos fired by the younger generation. Anything that musically could be achieved to put a wedge between young Nationalists and the neo-cons and conservatives, who would use them in times of upheaval to defend an ideologically bankrupt fake patriotism, can only be a bonus.

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