Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Lukács

Saturday, November 18, 2006

A muse on Muse

After the mixed reception to my various posts on other rock bands on this blog (Iron Maiden, Oasis, System of a Down) it is perhaps not altogether surprising that I have left it a while before venturing any other comment on any other bands (incidently, I think Maiden's 'romantic anti-capitalist' politics deserve a deeper analysis than my post was able to do). However, when I heard Muse's latest album 'Black Holes and Revelations' I thought - bloody hell, Muse are moving to the Left in a big way, aren't they?

Songs like 'Soldier's Poem' ('It's a shame we're all dying...How could you send us all far away from home...There's no justice in the world, There's no justice in the world, And there never was') are defiantly anti-war - though Muse still have some way to go before they are a patch on the haunting lyrics and melodies of Thom Yorke's 'Eraser' ('Harrowdown Hill') in this respect. However, it was on hearing the powerful 'Knights Of Cydonia' that I was convinced that there was the definite start of a shift - nothing more, nothing less - away from Matt Bellamy's obsession with conspiracy theories (which leave humanity as mere passive objects of History) into a realisation that the inhuman bastards who run society can be - and have to be - resisted by us.

Come ride with me
Through the veins of history
I'll show you how god
Falls asleep on the job

And how can we win
When fools can be kings
Don't waste your time
Or time will waste you

No one's gonna take me alive
The time has come to make things right
You and I must fight for our rights
You and I must fight to survive

No one's gonna take me alive
The time has come to make things right
You and I must fight for our rights
You and I must fight to survive

No one's gonna take me alive
The time has come to make things right
You and I must fight for our rights
You and I must fight to survive


My suspicions about Muse's radicalisation in this respect were confirmed by the interview with the band in this week's NME, which a housemate had kindly bought and left lying around the house:

Matt Bellamy: 'I see the only thing to do is to build some Molotov cocktails and start bunging them at fucking MPs. I'm not sure what else there is to do. It's almost got to the point where its "Let's just have a civil war"'
Interviewer: 'You're suggesting a full-on revolution?'
MB: 'There's not enough of that in music. We're born into this bondage, this system. It's pleasant, it's a nice world, but put it this way: the vote we all get is useless. The concept of democracy is a fucking joke. Rock's supposed to shake that up and say, "Fuck that, this is shit, man! Let's burn down the Houses of Parliament!...I'm not going to lead a revolution, but I'm happy to join in on one.'

This marked shift in their politics away from conspiracy theories to thinking about urban insurrection - with all its contradictions - should be welcomed by Marxists, given Muse's current - and in my opinion deserved - status as probably the biggest rock band in Britain at the moment. I will leave the last words to Muse, and their song 'Assassin':

War is overdue
The time has come for you
To shoot your leaders down
Join forces underground

Labels:

2 Comments:

At 3:26 am, Blogger Louis Proyect said...

I wrote about the movie "Screamers", which features System of a Down here:

http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2006/11/09/insulting-turkishness/

 
At 3:37 pm, Blogger ragged trousered pessimist said...

you ignored the opening track - the blair song

 

Post a Comment

<< Home