"There’s a plague of sameness that is killing human joy." Zita Cobb

I have been reading Marx recently, as you do, and I have found his ideas deeply interesting. Some aspects are deeply flawed but there are many ideas that we should be thankful for.

He was most definitely someone who lived what he believed and wrote about; spending most of his adult life in totally poverty and because of his writings he was exiled from Germany and France and ended up here.

He and Engels formulated a way of understanding capitalism and  proposed an answer to it which led us in many ways to the national health system, a shorter working day and all of the things that the unions fought for and won in the 60’s and 70’s and he should be applauded for this.

It is easy for commentators to ridicule Marxism but without his ideas many of the great musical ideas would not have happened. He was an important source of inspiration for artists here and America in the 50’s and 60’s and the Americans had to run the gauntlet of the McCarthy witch hunts for their beliefs.

I am always inspired by people who are passionate in what they believe, those who make their beliefs become their lives; something that sadly  the majority do not do anymore.

Marx was not cut from the same cloth as of those around him, he was truly different. The irony was that his ideas through Stalinism made people have to all become the same but that was not Marx’s intention, but the corrupting influence of Stalin and the Bolsheviks.

For us, both in art and the teaching of it, the worst thing is to be like everyone else, it is the kiss of death, you must be different, you must find something that you believe in and then live it. Maybe this is the lesson of someone like Karl Marx; make your life become what you believe. 



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