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by Nicholas Evans
Thursday, Jul. 15, 2010 at 5:26 PM
The mainstream band RATM others like them are workers
I was checking out Rage Against the Machine and other bands, artists, directors like them that talk about social issues while being employed by corporations. One article suggested bands like RATM are capitalists 1., however RATM and others like them are actually workers.
RATM are workers because they are highered by employers that keep a portion of what RATM makes in money. The act of an employer that keeps a portion of what their employees make on a market is a capitalist. 2. The employer also controls what RATM makes and how it is distributed.
As the article pointed out:
"To justify its compromised position, Rage Against the Machine drags Noam Chomsky into the debate, making the twisted analogy that Chomsky wouldn’t object to Barnes & Noble–a big, bad company–selling his books, because that’s where people buy books. That analogy might explain why Rage would allow its records to be sold at Tower megastores, but not why its members would become employees of and sell ownership of their music to Sony, which makes far more money selling Rage records than Rage itself does." 3.
The article seems to leave the impression that if it wern't for the corporations, RATM and bands like them wouldn't be where they are today.
"Leftists desperately want to avoid real discussion of such contradictions. That’s because such contradictions suggest that if it’s impossible to escape acting like capitalists, maybe there isn’t anything wrong with openly being one." 4.
Working for a corporation as an employee, and an employee who does not employ another person and get paid without working is a socialist. In a market socialist system, RATM could still make a lot of money on a market, its just that there might be equality of opportunity on the market, something that capitalism may not have- due to 'market power' from wealth earned by employers keeping a portion of wealth of their employees and getting very wealthy off it while controling the market through owning the means to enter it, therefore most people who want to enter the market must work as an employee or wage worker (porletariate) since they might not have the means to enter the market and make a living by working as self-employed or as a worker owned company (both of which would be forms of market socialism).
Since RATM do not employ anyone from what I am aware of, they are workers. As the capitalist corporation is set up so "... the instruments of production belong to a few.", 5. *
As the article states:
"That’s pretty strong stuff coming from work-for-hire employees of one of the great cogs in the global capitalist machine, the megaconglomerate Sony, which wholly owns and distributes Rage’s music and even is a co-owner of the group’s publishing. Since 1992, Rage has sold nearly 7 million records, and it’s safe to say that nobody has benefitted more from that commerce than the band’s unabashedly capitalist paymaster."
I think ChumbaWamba is in a similiar situation as RATM, so it may be good if they want to be maybe more consistent (if they are Libertarians) with their principles, if they are not doing this already, is to live a comfortable middle income or upper middle income life since the middle or upper middle income life is a goal of the Libertarians. "... a more substantial well-being than that enjoyed today by the middle classes." 6. While living the middle to upper middle income lifestyle perhaps ChumbaWamba could spend the rest of their extra money (ie. perhaps the extra un-needed money made from copyright monopoly ect.) supporting self-employed or worker organizations until the majority of people want a different system. If capital tends to shift out of the area towards cheaper labor as the workers become more self sufficiant, perhaps Chumba's money could help out.
Also the intelligent author of the article asks:
"...how Ho’s Vietnam, say, or Mao’s China, two alternatives invoked by rockers as preferable to contemporary America, provide models for a freer world is left unspecified.)" 7.
There is a form of left politics organized by direct democracy with civil and political liberties. It is called Libertarianism (aka 'Anarchism' by Proudhon and Kropotkin) For more information, please see this website: www.anarchistfaq.org.uk **
1. Doherty, Brian. Rage On: The Strange Politics of Millionaire Rock Stars. Reason.com Oct. 2000 Retrieved Jan. 17, 1010 from: http://reason.com/archives/2000/10/01/rage-on
2. Please see Capital Vol. 1 and Critique of the Gotha Program by Marx and What is Property? by Proudhon
3. Doherty, Brian. Rage On: The Strange Politics of Millionaire Rock Stars. Reason.com Oct. 2000 Retrieved Jan. 17, 1010 from: http://reason.com/archives/2000/10/01/rage-on
5. Kroptkin, Peter. Conquest of Bread. AK Press: Oakland. (2008) pp pp 132
6. Ibid. pp 136
7. Doherty, Brian. Rage On: The Strange Politics of Millionaire Rock Stars. Reason.com Oct. 2000 Retrieved Jan. 17, 1010 from: http://reason.com/archives/2000/10/01/rage-on
8. In 1936 in areas under control of the CNT, The historian Gabriel Jackson notes the Spanish Libertarian committees made constant efforts to make sure monarchists and conservatives were allowed freedom of thought for their views. (Peirats, Jose. The CNT in the Spanish Revolution Vol. 1. East Sussex: The Meltzer Press. 2001. pp 146) Former employers and nuns and priests were protected by the CNT FAI. Fraser, Ronald. Blood of Spain. New York: Pantheon Books. (1979). pp 446 and The Spanish Civil War. Hugh Thomas (1986) pp 277
The historian Burnett Bolloten noted that Catholic churches were left free in the Basque region because they supported the Republic (Bolloten, Burnett. The Grand Camouflage. Paul Mall Press: London. 1968. pp 40) and historian Hugh Thomas noted Protestant churches were left free. (Thomas, Hugh. The Spanish Civil War. Touchstone: New York. 1986. pp 269)
*If someone made all or the vast majority of their money through charging high interest or through landlordism they would would not be Capitalists either, nor would they be workers. Landlordism is a form of Socialism. Please see: Marx's 'Communist Manifesto' Part 3 Under 'Feudal Socialism' This is why Lysander Spooner is a Socialist.
If Chumbawamba and RATM agreed with the tactic of strikes, they could be like the famous workers (ie. the football players to film directors) who supported the workers and students during the situation in France: "By May 21st, 10 million french workers were on strike...everybody from pro-footballers to film directors... were supporting the students." Vague, Tom. The Boyscouts Guide to the Situationist International
**The AFAQ has been regarded as “…very comprehensive…” by Graham, Paul; Hoffman, John. Introduction to Political Ideologies London: Pearson/Longman. (2006) pp 109 And as an "exemplar of the principles…” of community governing by Harvard resident fellow Joseph Reagle in: Why the Internet is Good - Community governance that works well Berkman Center for Internet and Society: Harvard Law School
(1998) Retrieved June 20, 2009 from: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/archived_content/people/reagle/regulation-19990326.html
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