[Marxism] Troubled times

Ian Pace ian at ianpace.com
Mon Nov 20 02:28:25 MST 2006

From: "Alan Bradley" <alanb1000 at yahoo.com>
> From: "Ian Pace"
>> And do you not think culture (even including
>> music) plays a part in producing false
>> consciousness?
> Of course it does. But there is a point at which
> spending too much time on such things amounts to
> political disengagement.
> A clue: Joaquin just issued a theoretical challenge to
> the whole of Marxism, and you are defending the
> political importance of analysing music?
For a start, I just included music within the much wider category of culture 
in general (you might notice I've only very occasionally posted on the 
subject of music here, despite it being my profession and area of 
expertise). My line on music and culture in general is that to assign such 
things a possible role in effecting social transformation for the better is 
ridiculous; however, they can certainly play a part in making society worse, 
and are often fundamental in terms of propaganda (working on all sorts of 
levels). Nazi Germany gives the archetypal example of this (to dismiss the 
aesthetic side to fascism is highly misguided, in my view), but such factors 
are at play in the role of culture in a late capitalist era as well. That's 
why I think culture needs to be addressed by Marxists. Including in terms of 
gender, race, sexuality as well as class.


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