By Pete Dale
For greater than 3 many years, a punk underground has again and again insisted that 'anyone can do it'. This underground punk flow has advanced through numerous micro-traditions, each one supplying unique and novel displays of what punk is, is not, or can be. Underlying a majority of these punk micro-traditions is a politics of empowerment that says to be anarchistic in personality, within the feel that it really is contingent upon a spontaneous will to liberty (anyone can do it - in theory). How legitimate, even though, is punk's religion in anarchistic empowerment? Exploring theories from Derrida and Marx, "Anyone Can Do It: Empowerment, culture and the Punk Underground" examines the cultural background and politics of punk. In its political resistance, punk bears an ideological courting to the folks circulation, yet punk's religion in novelty and spontaneous liberty distinguish it from folks: the place punk's traditions, from the Nineteen Seventies onwards, have tended to go looking for an anarchistic 'new-sense', people singers have extra frequently been socialist/Marxist traditionalists, in particular through the Nineteen Fifties and 60s. specific case reports convey the continuities and variations among 4 micro-traditions of punk: anarcho-punk, cutie/'C86', revolt grrrl and math rock, hence surveying united kingdom and US punk-related scenes of the Eighties, Nineteen Nineties and past.
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Extra info for Anyone Can Do It: Empowerment, Tradition and the Punk Underground
147. 8 Penny Rimbaud, key player in the anarcho-punk collective Crass (see Chapter 7), has made a comparable claim that Crass’s punk was ‘modern folk music’. 10 The element of which Rimbaud speaks can be labelled as a desire for inclusivity, a desire that ‘anyone can do it’ as punks will often say. 12 This element of ‘de-skilling’ is, presumably, essentially synonymous with the term ‘amateurism’ I have used above. It may be that Hesmondhalgh is right that the ‘widespread participation’ which amateurism can seem to allow involves a nostalgic fantasy for a pre-modern society.
Shane MacGowan’s pre-Pogues work in The Nipple Erectors is worth bearing in mind here, also. In short, we can say that the ‘young punks’ may have had more knowledge of, and sympathy for, the ‘folkies’ than Jansch realized when he made these comments. 17 During the post-war period, the question of what folk music ‘really is’ has been hotly contested. Indeed, even casual observers of the mid-twentieth-century revival of (an idea of) folk music must be aware of the debates that have raged around, in particular, authenticist positions (exemplified by Ewan MacColl in particular, with his insistence on ‘correct’ performance for maximization of authenticity) and progressive approaches (with Bob Dylan’s 1965 decision to ‘go electric’ being the most discussed case).
Nevertheless, the capitalist system can hardly be wished away, and it is fair to point out that even the most ardent anarcho-punk bands act within that system 13 For a succinct description of the mechanism, see Michael Chanan, Repeated Takes: A Short History of Recording and its Effects on Music (London: Verso, 1995), pp. 99-100. 30 Anyone Can Do It also. ) Having said that, punk bands such as Crass in particular ‘politicized’ a huge body of people in the early 1980s, stimulating significant anti-establishment agency (see Chapter 7 for more details); Rage Against The Machine, by contrast, stimulated little more anti-establishment agency than dancing at ‘alternative’ discos, whilst they generated far more profit for Sony than they ever donated to, say, the Mexican Zapatistas.
Anyone Can Do It: Empowerment, Tradition and the Punk Underground by Pete Dale