Looking at the analytics on my academia.edu page, I found that my article on the Communist Party of Great Britain and Rock Against Racism was getting a lot of hits from the Post Punk Kitchen Forum. After a little bit of digging, I found this post using my article to denounce Marxism and the supposed influence of communism in punk rock. The full wacky rant is below:
Hello, my name is Joseph. I am a former punk rock enthusiast. I have been into such bands as the Dead Kennedy’s, Propagandhi, Minor threat and various other bands. I have noticed that many bands have a political message. I used to hear the bands and enjoy the political message. I used to be politically very far to the left, an anarchist or a socialist or something like that. Of course, it was from listening to all of that music. But, as I have gotten older (I am 27 now), I see that the left wing politics in punk rock was tied to Marxism, something I never really was deeply involved in. Even the music that claims to be “anarchist” is actually really deeply authoritarian and deeply influenced by Marxism. Such is the nature of left wing politics, you never really know if the people who would seem to be most opposed to authoritarian communism actually are, in fact, Communists.
When I read this link, I noticed that the Communist party itself was involved in the production of punk rock music. This made me angry. I am now a born again Christian, I have seen miracles and the reality of God. I used to consider peoples political beliefs a private matter of great significance, and it virtuous to consider others political predicaments. I still believe this, but I see a darker force at work, where the Communists are using music to try and lead young people away from the church and into their movement. They don’t seem to care that many people in the punk subculture die of drug overdoses, I personally have suffered greatly as a result of my drug use.
I would like you all to consider the role that you may encourage others to follow a ideology of Marxism (such as that promoted by the band The Clash) that, in fact, has little to do with loving others or helping the poor but actually has everything to do with advancing an authoritarian and nihilistic philosophy.
I understand that most of you will not consciously support the policies of Stalin or Mao or any other Communist nation. Most of the left today is very critical of these regimes. I would like you to consider that perhaps they do this because it is necessary to build their movement. Marxism has never resulted in a Democratic country, Marxism has always led to authoritarianism.
I do not think that you can be a punk and be a Marxist. Punk is about challenging false authorities and overcoming injustice. Marxism is about doctrinaire and authoritarian ideologies that suppress truth and use violence to force people to believe lies. I do not see how any of this can be considered remotely consistent with the punk spirit.
I see the place that I am now, as a Christian committed to social justice to be a far more consistent position with the original punk rock ethos that I once had. I would urge you to consider whether your de facto acceptance of Communism is in fact consistent with your commitment to DIY, free speech, resistance to tyranny, hatred to racism and injustice, etc. I do not think it could possibly be made so.
I’m not really sure where to start with the crazy propositions made by Joseph, but I would argue that he hasn’t read my article closely. Maybe Roland Barthes is right – the text says whatever the reader decides it says… Isn’t the internet wonderful?