Essay on Art, Truth and Socialism

Art can only be meaningful when it aims at truth. There is no point in trying to be artistic without understanding this concept. An artist walks a fine line between wanting their work to be well-received, while also challenging the audience to meet the work and the ideas behind it on its own terms. At first, the public may often be hesitant to follow the artist into deeper water, especially with serious art that questions generalized conceptions. Unfamiliarity has the tendency of making people reluctant, but eventually, if the artist has succeeded in penetrating to the heart of the matter, society will find its way to the deep end of the pool.

This music is imbued with socialist consciousness. It understands that the world today is a terrible mess, and therefore it follows that anyone who calls themselves an artist can not think otherwise. This is a world of criminally imperialist wars whose purpose is to conquer and loot under the guise of ‘freedom’, ‘democracy’, and ‘homeland defense.’ It is a world where domestically, there is a wholesale offensive by the ruling class on jobs, wages, living standards and democratic rights directed against the working class. A revolutionary socialist knows these are merely two sides of the same coin. The level of decay and corruption isn’t hard to realize—just take a look around. There’s plenty of work that needs to be done—everywhere—and there are armies of unemployed, able-bodied workers; and yet we have a capitalist system that is incapable of putting the two together. This is because the only time any kind of large-scale productivity is allowed is when an elite ruling class is there to exploit and profit from the labor of those less fortunate.

Some who call themselves artists claim to be ‘neutral’ when it comes to all this. Pacifists and liberal reformists fall into this group. For them, it seems much easier to pretend that they exist in a vacuum without these uncomfortable realities affecting them. This is delusion at best and deeply cynical at its worst. The fact is this– there is no neutrality concerning any of this. It is up to each of us to either accept the conventional wisdom of capitalism’s apologists, with its mantra of ‘free enterprise’ as the Holy Grail of human achievement, or reject it by understanding the fact that the problems and issues of today are global and therefore cannot be seriously addressed (much less solved) in an antiquated system of competing nation states that divides each population into economic classes with diametrically opposed interests.

Magnified Reverse

No, the ‘free market’ is not the pinnacle of human culture, in fact it is now the leading cause of its profound decay, as the point where capitalism shifted from being an engine of progress to that of being a brake is long since past. Today the stalwarts of capitalism can only promise us more wars, more misery, and more inequality– that is if they could allow themselves to speak honestly. To those who say you can’t change the way the world works, let it be noted that history shows otherwise.

The United States of America became a nation from one of the great bourgeois revolutions of the 18th century. Nearly a century later the U.S. Civil War, often referred to as the Second American Revolution, ruthlessly determined which mode of production would predominate—wage labor or slave labor. Wage labor won, in short, because it produced guns and butter more efficiently. Today we are living in an era similar to these examples; an epoch where the existing social, political and economic order has become increasingly unsustainable.

This is a pre-revolutionary time in history, and the working masses of the world have a date in the near future with international capital and its well-paid representatives. The task now is to prepare for it with the understanding that a socialist world (and it can only be global as the failure of the USSR proved) means the elimination of want and privation, and the freedom for everyone to live their lives in peace and harmony with others, in dignity as equal members of the human race which has barely begun to achieve the greatness that is its true destiny.

These are the ideas that are at the heart of this music.