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Does “Punk” Need Capitalism?

Posted on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 in Punk Rock 101

I was talking to a friend today and I pointed out how in a capitalistic society there is no way to be a “true punk”. However, she pointed out to me that “punk” needs capitalism to exist. I thought about and I think she’s incorrect. Punk would exist under any other form of government (even if only in secret). As long as there is angry people and something to be upset about and people always find something to be upset about – there will always be “punk.”

Wealth isn’t a prerequisite for punk. At first glance, it looks like “punk” and capitalism are intertwined. That an excess of time, money, and education is required for “punk” but that is not the case. I saw the documentary “The Punks Are Alright” and it was about punks from first world countries to third world countries. The punks from first world countries had more style and made better noise because they had time and money. But, in the third world, the punk scene was/is huge in Indonesia. Even though the people didn’t have the wealth that capitalism provides being the cheap labor the system thrives off of, they still rage against the machine. Even though they only had the resources to have band practice twice a year – they still had bands. Even during fascist regimes that kill off people for opposing: resistance exists. The people just go into hiding and underground. No system is “perfect” and there will always be something to be pissed off about.

It just so happens that our current establishment, the capitalistic system, foundation is based on have’s and have nots. Which has people angry – reasonably so. However, if we did have a system of true democracy, freedom, and justice for all – there would still be people who would oppose it for whatever reason. Not all punk is about freedom but all punk is about being angry at the establishment. As long as there is an establishment and society can’t exist without it, there will always be punk.

Punk is not dependent on “capitalism” or any system except the need for something to oppose. There is always something to oppose so there will always be “punk.”

Bring on the comments

  1. Tessa says:

    Every form of government will have its problems, and society will always have its problems. As long as oppression exists, so will punk. Punk still thrives in non-capitalist countries as well, such as Cuba or Venezuela.

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