Thursday, December 03, 2009

Apoliteic music

In his new article, "Apoliteic music: Neo-Folk, Martial Industrial and 'metapolitical fascism'" (Patterns of Prejudice 43, no. 5, December 2009, pp. 431-457), Anton Shekhovtsov suggests that there are two types of radical right-wing music that are cultural reflections of the two different political strategies that fascism was forced to adopt in the ‘hostile’ conditions of the post-war period.

While White Noise music is explicitly designed to inspire racially or politically motivated violence and is seen as part and parcel of the revolutionary ultra-nationalist subculture, he suggests that ‘metapolitical fascism’ has its own cultural reflection in the domain of sound, namely, apoliteic music. This is a type of music whose ideological message contains obvious or veiled references to the core elements of fascism but is simultaneously detached from any practical attempts to realize these elements through political activity. Apoliteic music neither promotes outright violence nor is publicly related to the activities of radical right-wing political organizations or parties. Nor can it be seen as a means of direct recruitment to any political tendency.

Shekhovtsov’s article focuses on this type of music, and the thesis is tested by examining bands and artists that work in such musical genres as Neo-Folk and Martial Industrial, whose roots lie in cultural revolutionary and national folk traditions.