On the Politics of Music and the Music of Politics
By Robert Seidel Costic
Copyright 2012 Robert Seidel Costic
Dedicated to Martin Shulman
Introduction: A Quick Overview of the Music World
The Introduction of a new kind of music must be shunned as imperiling the whole state; since styles of music are never disturbed without affecting the most important political institutions. –Plato
Music, culture, and politics are intimately bound together, and through the music world one can show how the global capitalist system is taking over the political power of shaping people's worldviews. The problems that are evident in the corporations' treatment of music are also evident in the new political structures of society -- the ability of people to organize, communicate in, participate in, and think about the societies around them -- and in fact play into their creation in a significant way.
Today the global capitalist system is asserting itself as the primary point of power, and one way that it has been able to assert that position is through the global production of music by multinational corporations. This has come to the detriment of the nation-states, which are now losing their identity and claim to authority. In recent years they have tried to reassert themselves by censoring music, subsidizing national music, and regulating the play of local talent on the radio waves, but these last grabs at the music world have been drowned out by the power of the multinational corporations, which have to an extent won the ire and jealousy of state governments.1