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Does music influence politics?

kelly224
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11/26/2009 9:10:51 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
In recent years, musicians have become more vocal in advocating particular candidates. Do you remember the Dixie Chicks, and how they got virtually blacklisted by the Bush aministration for speaking out against the war. Or how hip hop groups like Public Enenmy, and KRS One have raised consciousness in that genre?

There have always been artists who spoke out against war, like Johnny Cash,and others.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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11/26/2009 9:13:51 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Music's mind is not for rent

To any god or government.

No. Echoing a political movement in lyrics has at best a negligible effect on politics.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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11/26/2009 9:16:56 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Immortal Technique has been very active in politics.
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PoeJoe
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11/26/2009 9:21:34 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
I wouldn't say music influences politics. The other way round, actually. Politics influence music.

I like to think of musicians as people who capture the zestiest of a time. That's why many old time hippies still like to listen to old Bob Dylan songs: to remember the good times.

In fact, many songs are made in direct response to politics. The Clash's London Calling, Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire, Green Day's Wake Me Up When September Ends, and Sting's Russians are just a few examples.

It is very rare (I certainly can't think of an instance) that music influences politics.
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Volkov
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11/26/2009 9:22:22 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Music has no mind, Ragnar. It is not a being separate from the minds of individuals, anymore than God or government is. Music is simply the expression of individuals, based on what they see, what they feel, and what they wish to know or happen. Nothing more, nothing less.

To say it has no bearing on politics isn't far off from the truth, though. Artists, with their popularity and ability to appeal to segments of the population, certainly can have an impact. But music itself cannot change the direction of a government or the world - only its appeal to individuals can. It can certainly motivate people towards political goals, and it can connect people to ideas and thoughts that they never would have realized without hearing the words spoken. But, that is the product of the artist, more than the music itself. Which is what I think you meant anyways, kelly.
GeoLaureate8
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11/26/2009 9:23:28 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 11/26/2009 9:21:34 PM, PoeJoe wrote:
I wouldn't say music influences politics. The other way round, actually. Politics influence music.

I like to think of musicians as people who capture the zestiest of a time. That's why many old time hippies still like to listen to old Bob Dylan songs: to remember the good times.

In fact, many songs are made in direct response to politics. The Clash's London Calling, Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire, Green Day's Wake Me Up When September Ends, and Sting's Russians are just a few examples.

It is very rare (I certainly can't think of an instance) that music influences politics.

I would say music at least influences political movements, or even political ideologies of people.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Ragnar_Rahl
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11/26/2009 11:51:15 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 11/26/2009 9:22:22 PM, Volkov wrote:
Music has no mind, Ragnar. It is not a being separate from the minds of individuals
Music is a product of mind. To "Have" is ambigous. One can "have" something above in a conceptual hierarchy as much as one can have something below.

But, that was not my intent. My intent was to make a metaphor, by slightly altering lyrics to a certain song. Lrn2google when someone says something funky like that.

and it can connect people to ideas and thoughts that they never would have realized without hearing the words spoken.
Can you find a person who would have had a different ideology had they not listened to a given song? I don't know such a person.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Volkov
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11/26/2009 11:58:48 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 11/26/2009 11:51:15 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
But, that was not my intent. My intent was to make a metaphor, by slightly altering lyrics to a certain song. Lrn2google when someone says something funky like that.

Fair enough. In honesty, I probably should have Googled when you said something so off-putting like that. Its rare that you get so out of character.
Ragnar_Rahl
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11/27/2009 12:14:22 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
Now, on the other hand, getting someone to believe that their error is more serious than it actually is, and making them feel guilty for not doing something they are under no reasonable obligation to do...

THAT is a trick that can influence politics.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
brian_eggleston
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11/27/2009 5:10:24 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
Most musicians seem to be left wing for some reason. This list of British bands that have supported the Labour Party and other ethically-sound organisations and opposed the Tories and their ruthless capitalist henchmen is almost endless.

UB40 (the name of the unemployment benefit application form) was a band that was very popular during the early eighties when the evil tyrant Margaret Thatcher was decimating British manufacturing industries and throwing the workers onto the scrapheap of society. Here they are singing "One in Ten" a reference to the ratio of unemployed to employed at the time.
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Danielle
Posts: 21,330
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11/27/2009 9:06:25 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
Lol doesn't UB40 sing "Red Red Wine" too? Or am I confusing things? You guys haven't mentioned U2 and Bono especially which is surprising. Anyway a lot of people write songs about what's going on in the world because they're influenced by it, so I would agree with PoeJoe that it's more of the other way around. However sometimes music inspires people to become political; take for example Eminem's anti-Bush song (I don't remember the name of it but it was popular during the 2004 campaign) and hell punk music in general. There's bands like Anti-Flag (which I hate) that desperately try to be political all the time. And finally you gotta remember a group like the Beatles, man, and other bands from around that time. They were a product of their time and musicians during an important time of social change and awareness in society. Interesting stuff. Their songs "Taxman" and "Revolution" were blatantly political.
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Danielle
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11/27/2009 9:08:42 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
Hey on that note, isn't it interesting that in Taxman the Beatles complain about being taxed so much, but yet they're all about unity and sharing and all that? Oh well. I like the song Revolution better :)
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brian_eggleston
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11/27/2009 9:56:30 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 11/27/2009 9:06:25 AM, theLwerd wrote:
Lol doesn't UB40 sing "Red Red Wine" too? Or am I confusing things?

No, that's the same band. Unfortunately, they completely sold themselves out and started producing mainstream music, albeit with a diluted ska beat.
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Kleptin
Posts: 5,095
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11/30/2009 1:53:56 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Music influences politics just as much as slogans do. Given that people are stupid and sheep-like enough, messages will sink in.
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Reasoning
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11/30/2009 2:10:00 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
"What we really ought to ask the liberal, before we even begin addressing his agenda, is this: In what kind of society would he be a conservative?" - Joseph Sobran
Freedomaniac
Posts: 365
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11/30/2009 8:38:05 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 11/26/2009 9:10:51 PM, kelly224 wrote:
In recent years, musicians have become more vocal in advocating particular candidates. Do you remember the Dixie Chicks, and how they got virtually blacklisted by the Bush aministration for speaking out against the war. Or how hip hop groups like Public Enenmy, and KRS One have raised consciousness in that genre?

There have always been artists who spoke out against war, like Johnny Cash,and others.

Of coarse it does, music can revolutionize entire cultures, look at the 60s!
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patsox834
Posts: 406
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12/1/2009 11:54:16 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
Uh...of course? The incredibly sheepish nature of people makes it so that they'll repeat the rehashed rhetoric of whoever they hear talk (or sing....)
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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12/1/2009 12:11:34 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 12/1/2009 11:54:16 AM, patsox834 wrote:
Uh...of course? The incredibly sheepish nature of people makes it so that they'll repeat the rehashed rhetoric of whoever they hear talk (or sing....)

Says the guy with a Flashlight Brown CD cover as his avatar.
kelly224
Posts: 952
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12/1/2009 12:41:23 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 12/1/2009 11:54:16 AM, patsox834 wrote:
Uh...of course? The incredibly sheepish nature of people makes it so that they'll repeat the rehashed rhetoric of whoever they hear talk (or sing....)

What sense did this make?...It's human nature to mimic what you see others do.
kelly224
Posts: 952
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12/1/2009 12:42:15 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 11/27/2009 9:08:42 AM, theLwerd wrote:
Hey on that note, isn't it interesting that in Taxman the Beatles complain about being taxed so much, but yet they're all about unity and sharing and all that? Oh well. I like the song Revolution better :)

Interesting. Havent thought of it in that light....lol
feverish
Posts: 2,716
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12/1/2009 1:30:54 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Political music is not a new phenomenon and political lyrics have been influencing individuals since at least the sixties.

For the best example of a musician actually having a direct influence on politics, you need to forget your Bonos and your Geldofs and remember Bob Marley.

Marley bought temporary peace to the island of Jamaica when he forced Manley and Seaga to shake hands publicly. This led to a ceasefire in the civil war between supporters of the two parties. Marley had previously also been shot in relation to his political activism.

Oh yeah and regarding UB40 they did completely sell out of course but still deserve some props. They're from the same part of Brum as me and my mum used to make jam with Ally and Andy's mum lol. Red Red Wine was a horrible cheesy cover but it's a love song not an ode to alcoholism.
patsox834
Posts: 406
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12/1/2009 1:54:42 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 12/1/2009 12:41:23 PM, kelly224 wrote:
At 12/1/2009 11:54:16 AM, patsox834 wrote:
Uh...of course? The incredibly sheepish nature of people makes it so that they'll repeat the rehashed rhetoric of whoever they hear talk (or sing....)

What sense did this make?...It's human nature to mimic what you see others do.

And now you can explain why being a sheep is justifiable by virtue of being "human nature."

Going around emulating others and repeating their thoughts as if they're your own is completely counterproductive to critical thinking and rationality. You can drone on about how it's "natural" all you want, but something being natural doesn't mean it's right.