[Marxism] Open statement: Resignation from the SWP - revolutionary socialism in the 21st century

Ralph Johansen mdriscollrj at charter.net
Mon Dec 23 16:10:13 MST 2013

Louis Proyect wrote

Includes Neil Davidson and Ian Birchall...

Also signing this Open statement: Resignation from the SWP: Dan Swain, 
who wrote a fine little book entitled Alienation and was on the ISJ 
editorial board, and Simon Behrman, who wrote the book Shostakovich: 
Socialism, Stalin & Symphonies, an insightful look at culture from a 
Marxist perspective; also the article "From revolution to irrelevance: 
how classical music lost its audience", International Socialism 121 

Behrman writes:

    Raynor does identify the artistic crisis engendered by a world as
    fundamentally alienated and ruthlessly functional as modern
    capitalism. It is the impossibility of escape from the spiritual
    poverty of industrial capitalism, short of its complete destruction,
    that has condemned the sublime power of the Western musical
    tradition to its ghetto.

And on a hopeful note:

    There are a couple of shining examples of what is possible. The
    first is the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, a project set up by the
    Israeli conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim and the late
    Palestinian academic Edward Said.42 Its aim is to bring together
    young Arab and Israeli musicians in order to promote at least some
    limited mutual cultural understanding between the two communities.
    The second is El Sistema in Venezuela, a project begun in the
    mid-1970s to distribute free musical instruments and education to
    poor children from the barrios, which has grown with the advent of
    the Bolivarian revolution and support from the Chavez government. In
    recent years its orchestra, aptly named the Simon Bolivar Youth
    Orchestra, has burst onto the international classical music scene.
    By common consent their performance of Shostakovich's Symphony No 10
    and a medley of Latin American music at the BBC Proms in 2007
    demonstrated a vitality sorely lacking elsewhere.

Interesting as well is his article on Shostakovich, "The Sound of a 
Soviet Tragedy", Socialist Review, September 2006, 

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