Monday, December 21, 2015

Why Do Despotic Regimes Hate Music?

From the Nazi’s to the so-called Islamic State / Daesh, does anyone ever wonder why despotic regimes and despotic political movements are “music haters”? 

By: Ringo Bones 

The recent siege on the Bataclan theater during that fateful Friday evening back in November 13, 2015 by the so-called Islamic State or Daesh only seem to remind us yet again that despotic regimes and despotic political movements more often than not tend to hate music. Despite the tragic terror attack that made a previously relatively obscure metal band The Eagles of Death Metal being catapulted to fame and the venerable U2 fulfilling their promise to their fans in Paris to play in Bataclan after their concert slated for Saturday November 14, 2015 was cancelled due to the tragic terror attack had made U2 a household name again since that time when together with Sir Bob Geldof they made history by starting Live Aid back in 1984. 

When Adolf Hitler came to power, he together with his Nazi thugs disparaged German fans of American Jazz – a then newfangled musical genre established by mostly African-American musicians – and labeling it as “degenerate art”. Weird, given that Adolf Hitler was obsessed with Wagner’s opera.
During Chairman Mao’s “Cultural Revolution”, not only Western forms of music – from Classical to Rock N’ Roll – but also Chinese folk and stage music. And most of the Cold War, tales of despotic Marxist-Leninist regimes, like the Khmer Rouge amongst others, enforcing draconian ban of Western music was a salient theme of the “soft power” struggle between NATO and Warsaw-PAC. 

Back in 1996 when the Afghan Taliban came to power after a protracted civil war that plagued Afghanistan after Soviet troops exited back in 1989, the whole word witnessed how an Abrahamic Theocracy based despotic regime performed yet again its own version of a “cultural purge” by imposing death penalties to anyone caught listening and performing music. The entire Afghan music and film archive were burned by the Taliban in the name of their misguided theocracy. 

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