Sunday, May 24, 2009

Question of the day - May 24, 2009


Jane Zatkin asks:

What do you think can fix the economy right now? And do you think that it will affect the music business even more if it gets worse?

Hartmann responds:

The state of the economy is not the result of some accidental choice or random, disastrous event. It is the direct product of an intentional conspiracy to destroy the American middle class. Prior to World War I and WWII the economy of the United States was cruelly dominated by "robber barons" and an egalitarian elite known euphemistically as the "idle rich." These powerful corporate monsters and banking predators drove the country into the Great Depression and built a giant "war machine" to reinforce a failing economic system. Through the music of revolutionary troubadours like Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger a strong labor movement was evolved that provided a balancing mechanism that resisted corporate dominance and the great American middle class was born. Music was a key component in the inspiration of this transition. The education of the veterans of these global wars and the rise of middle America, was something the ruling class eventually grew to regret. A middle class is not a natural phenomenon. Throughout all of world history the rich and powerful have enslaved the poor and defenseless. It has always been incumbent upon the intelligentsia and the artistic community to speak out to power in defense of the masses. For the past thirty years, initiated by Ronald Reagan and sustained by the heirs to America's political system, the neoconservative agenda has driven the middle class back into poverty. The resolution of our current dilemma is tied to the danger of rebuilding our economy on the same model that brought us to this disastrous precipice in the first place. Reinforcing the global banking apparatus is a huge mistake; it will only lead to history repeating itself. The creation of perpetual wars to enrich the war machine will destroy America. Only through a global cultural "Evolution Revolution" can we precipitate the changes that will turn our world from a "geed" armament machine into a "green" survival mechanism. For this to happen the hearts and minds of Americans must change course and we must revise our vaunted life-style. If the force of music is brought to play on this problem by an impassioned and motivated artist's community it will provide the fuel for the revival of the music industry. It will simultaneously enlighten and lead the world population toward a higher calling than they presently embrace. Turning from a "me" mentality to a "we" consciousness will only happen if pop culture heroes stand up and sing this truth in their message. Musicians have always been the champions of cause, and without them all we can expect is more of the same. Find the voice for change and learn the cost of freedom. Start with your self and live your life for change; the world is sure to follow. The business adapts to the music and the fans implement the changes. This survival mechanism will work, but it requires that musicians take charge and force the next generation to stand up, take notice an defend itself.

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