Trendy Fascism: White Power Music and the Future of Democracy

SUNY Press
Free sample

 Explores how white supremacist groups use popular music and culture to teach hate and promote violence.
Popular music plays a major role in mobilizing citizens, especially youth, to fight for political causes. Yet the presence of music in politics receives relatively little attention from scholars, politicians, and citizens. White power music is no exception, despite its role in recent high-profile hate crimes. Trendy Fascism is the first book to explore how contemporary white supremacists use popular music to teach hate and promote violence. Nancy S. Love focuses on how white power music supports “trendy fascism,” a neo-fascist aesthetic politics. Unlike classical fascism, trendy fascism involves a hyper-modern cultural politics that exploits social media to create a global white supremacist community. Three case studies examine different facets of the white power music scene: racist skinhead, neo-Nazi folk, and goth/metal. Together these cases illustrate how music has replaced traditional forms of public discourse to become the primary medium for conveying white supremacist ideology today. Written from the interdisciplinary perspective on culture, economics, and politics best described as critical theory, this book is crucial reading for everyone concerned about the future of democracy.

“Trendy Fascism has the potential to unsettle how theorists of democracy frame their most basic assumptions in the study of politics. The case studies of white power music are indeed unsettling, and at times they will bring chills to the reader. But, as Love argues, we must confront the realities of and rationalizations for the often-disavowed transnational white supremacist communities and networks in our political present if we are serious about overturning the racial contract pervading late modern states.” — Neil Roberts, Williams College
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About the author

 Nancy S. Love is Professor of Political Science and Humanities Council Coordinator at Appalachian State University. She is the author of Musical Democracy and coeditor (with Mark Mattern) of Doing Democracy: Activist Art and Cultural Politics, both also published by SUNY Press.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
May 30, 2016
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Pages
268
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ISBN
9781438462059
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Language
English
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Genres
Music / Genres & Styles / Heavy Metal
Music / History & Criticism
Social Science / Popular Culture
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Paul Simon is commonly acknowledged to be one of the most successful singer-songwriters of the pop-rock era. His work has flourished in the context of Simon and Garfunkel as well as in his own solo career. Starting with the folk-rock style that marked his earliest significant success, he has drawn on a wide variety of influences, including many American traditions and, later, many international ones as well. He has won multiple Grammy awards in both the duo and the solo phases of his career. His songwriting has also provided the impetus for brief forays into film and musical theatre. After providing a brief biographical overview, this work examines Simon's songwriting work in depth, providing a critical discussion of each song as a fusion of text and music so as to help the reader to identify elements that enhance appreciation.

A particularly valuable contribution in this context is the discussion of the wide variety of musical elements that contribute significantly to the value of Simon's work. These include such easily-understandable issues as verse-chorus structure, melodic variation, selection of particular instruments and even performers, variation of musical style within a song, general harmonic characteristics, relationships among keys, rhythm and pacing of text, etc. While the book proceeds chronologically through Simon's recorded output, specific threads are developed throughout, and the discussion of individual songs takes place in the context of these threads, both drawing on them and developing them further. The diversity of Paul Simon's work reflects his very American background, and no discussion of American music is complete without accounting for his influence.

The Racial Contract puts classic Western social contract theory, deadpan, to extraordinary radical use. With a sweeping look at the European expansionism and racism of the last five hundred years, Charles W. Mills demonstrates how this peculiar and unacknowledged "contract" has shaped a system of global European domination: how it brings into existence "whites" and "non-whites," full persons and sub-persons, how it influences white moral theory and moral psychology; and how this system is imposed on non-whites through ideological conditioning and violence. The Racial Contract argues that the society we live in is a continuing white supremacist state.Holding up a mirror to mainstream philosophy, this provocative book explains the evolving outline of the racial contract from the time of the New World conquest and subsequent colonialism to the written slavery contract, to the "separate but equal" system of segregation in the twentieth-century United States. According to Mills, the contract has provided the theoretical architecture justifying an entire history of European atrocity against non-whites, from David Hume's and Immanuel Kant's claims that blacks had inferior cognitive power, to the Holocaust, to the kind of imperialism in Asia that was demonstrated by the Vietnam War.Mills suggests that the ghettoization of philosophical work on race is no accident. This work challenges the assumption that mainstream theory is itself raceless. Just as feminist theory has revealed orthodox political philosophy's invisible white male bias, Mills's explication of the racial contract exposes its racial underpinnings.
Nancy Love’s concise yet complete volume aims to inform students of their choices among political values. By exploring the assumptions of various ideologies and comparing their positions, students begin to understand political alternatives to be able to choose among them—in essence, they learn to think democratically. Offering historical and analytic context for the selections in her companion reader, Dogmas and Dreams, Love challenges students to consider the various ways ideological frameworks shape political actions.

Reframing her approach in this second edition, Love examines how traditional left/right ideologies—liberalism and conservatism, socialism and fascism—are shifting to adapt to new political realities in an ever turbulent, post-9/11 world. She also discusses why alternative ideologies—feminism, environmentalism, fundamentalism, and globalization—may better convey our global political future. While pushing the boundaries of the left/right political spectrum, she looks at how grassroots social movements offer alternative ways to view ideological differences, from cluster-concepts to micro-discourses, and even a planetary galaxy.

Expanded coverage includes:a new chapter on nationalism and globalization, which examines the work of Samuel Huntington, Kenichi Ohmae, Benjamin Barber, and many more, to explore fundamentalism in Islamic politicsincreased coverage of global environmental politics, including Shiva’s Stolen Harvest and Kelly’s Thinking Green, examining the relationships between developed and developing countriesfresh material on socialist politics post-1989 and the rise of neo-fascist movements in the United States and Europe, including analysis of Hayden and Flacks’ “The Port Huron Statement at 40” and Bob Moser’s “The Age of Rage”an updated feminism chapter that considers the impact of third-wave, post-colonial, and so-called “power” feminists and incorporates new analysis of Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman and Mohanty’s Under Western Eyes Revisited

A thinking person’s package…
Nancy Love wrote Understanding Dogmas and Dreams with her edited collection in mind—the two work together as a seamless package and give students great value for their money. Order the two books shrink-wrapped at significant savings.

Please specify ISBN 0-87289-287-5. For the full table of contents of Love’s reader, Dogmas and Dreams, click here.

"They've said some crazy things about me over the years. I mean, okay: 'He bit the head off a bat.' Yes. 'He bit the head off a dove.' Yes. But then you hear things like, 'Ozzy went to the show last night, but he wouldn't perform until he'd killed fifteen puppies . . .' Now me, kill fifteen puppies? I love puppies. I've got eighteen of the f**king things at home. I've killed a few cows in my time, mind you. And the chickens. I shot the chickens in my house that night.

It haunts me, all this crazy stuff. Every day of my life has been an event. I took lethal combinations of booze and drugs for thirty f**king years. I survived a direct hit by a plane, suicidal overdoses, STDs. I've been accused of attempted murder. Then I almost died while riding over a bump on a quad bike at f**king two miles per hour.

People ask me how come I'm still alive, and I don't know what to say. When I was growing up, if you'd have put me up against a wall with the other kids from my street and asked me which one of us was gonna make it to the age of sixty, which one of us would end up with five kids and four grandkids and houses in Buckinghamshire and Beverly Hills, I wouldn't have put money on me, no f**king way. But here I am: ready to tell my story, in my own words, for the first time.

A lot of it ain't gonna be pretty. I've done some bad things in my time. I've always been drawn to the dark side, me. But I ain't the devil. I'm just John Osbourne: a working-class kid from Aston, who quit his job in the factory and went looking for a good time."
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