[Marxism] David Bowie

Stuart Munckton stuartmunckton at gmail.com
Thu Jan 14 18:45:25 MST 2016

On the one hand, while Bowie appeared to have been suffering some sort of
cocaine psychosis at the time, there is still no excusing his fascist
comments. On the other hand, Bowie himself later condemned them. So it is
not like he went through is life espousing fascist views.

There is also a lot more to Bowie's political statements than the ones he
made at that time.He wen tot Australia to make the video
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4d7Wp9kKjA> for "Let's Dance"in 1983  as
a powerful anti-racist statement.

Outspoken Aboriginal journalist Stan Grant has written a piece
on how the song and video  "shone a light on Indigenous struggles". Bowie
himself called the clip a "very simple, very direct" statement against
racism and oppression.

Speaking about his experience in Australia, Bowie said: "As much as I love
this country, it's probably one of the most racially intolerant in the
world, well in line with South Africa. I mean, in the north, there's
unbelievable intolerance. The Aborigines can't even buy their drinks in the
same bars-they have to go round the back and get them through what's called
a 'dog hatch.' And then they're forbidden from drinking them on the same
side of the street as the bar; they have to go to the other side of the

These are quite obviously not the comments of a fascist.

His fascist comments shouldn't be forgotten or excused. But neither should
the support and solidarity he gave to Aboriginal people fighting apartheid
like oppression.

You cannot just hang the entire judgement of the man on comments he made at
one point and ignore what he made at another -- even from the narrow view
of trying to make an explicitly *political* judgement of Bowie, let alone
trying to view him as a cultural figure, which of course is the right frame
to view him in.


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