The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #15411   Message #138669
Posted By: Len Wallace
20-Nov-99 - 02:51 AM
Thread Name: BS: Capitalism and the Arts
Subject: RE: BS: Capitalism and the Arts
"In Babylon, dark Babylon, Who take the wage of shame? The scribe and singer, one by one, That toil for gold and fame. They grovel to their masters' mood; The blood upon the pen Assigns their souls to servitude - Yea! and the souls of men!" - George Sterling, from "In the Market Place"

"Gold? yellow, glittering, precious gold? . . . This yellow slave Will knit and break religions; bless the accursed; Make the hoar leprosy adored; place thieves, And give them title, knee and approbation With senators on the bench." - William Shakespeare

"[The bourgeoisie] has piteously torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his 'natural supriors', and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous 'cash payment'. It has drowned the most heavenly ectasies of relisious fervor, of chvalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom - Free Trade." - Karl Marx and Freddy Engels, from the Communist Manifesto

"Shall we all be slaves and work for wages? It is outrageous! Has been for ages! This world by right belongs to toilers and not to spoilers of liberty!" - from "Workingmen, Unite!" to the tune of "Redwing", E.S. Nelson, 1909 edition of the IWW Little Red Songbook

As a singer, songwriter, full-time, and as a socialist, I hold that the "arts" are stifled, perverted, manipulated when the measure of value in all things is that of money - making a profit. And let me make clear that to me the former USSR, China, Cuba were/are not socialist - just another form of capitalism (state capitalism). As long as we are forced into a situation where the majority of us work for a wage or salary while a small minority lives off the profits WE create, then profit (money) will be the measure of success, of what is "good", what is recognized and considered useful.

I kind of agree with the anarchist slogan - Capitalism? So-called communism? One down. One to go.