Art and the Class Struggle
An introduction to the important topic of art and revolution. Because man does not live by politics alone!
Some people consider that art is a secondary matter, not really important. Yet art is actually one of the fundamental aspects of the human condition - so fundamental, that some anthropologists believe that one can express the beginnings of our species through the emergence of art. If art represents a kind of mirror—and it does represent a kind of mirror in which society can see itself reflected—then this is a very faithful reflection of bourgeois society in the 21st century. This represents a crisis of culture and its final degradation. But in a sense even this art has got something to say to us, it is telling us that culture under capitalism can no longer develop. It is a very serious message and therefore the task that now falls to the proletariat. This is what we are fighting for. We are fighting, not only for the economic emancipation of the proletariat, we are fighting for the soul of the human race. We are fighting for a society in which the potential of everybody can be developed to the full. And freed from the humiliating dependence on the slavery of capitalism we will finally raise ourselves up to our true human stature and reach out our hands to the stars. Art and culture and science would blossom as never before and above all, the highest art, the most important art, the art of life itself. To make life beautiful is the greatest of all causes, because we only have one life. As dialectical materialists, we do not accept the idea of life after death. It is up to us to ensure that people’s lives are no longer empty and meaningless, but that everyone is able to live life to the full, and when the time comes, to depart from it without regret. This will be, in the words of Frederick Engels, “Humanity’s leap from the realm of necessity to the realm of freedom.
Transcription of a speech by Alan Woods.
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