I listened to the person giving the workshop explain the evils of capitalism and the insinuation that it is behind colonization, racialization, sexism, slavery and squashes the voice of the little guy. She also spoke about the revolutionary writing and plays of Bertolt Brecht and her pleasure from Marxist ideas. At the end there was time for Q&A and I sensed my question made things uncomfortable. I asked how Brecht felt about living under the Soviet Union after they colonized East Germany and all of Eastern Europe and conducted the murders of a zillion Ukrainians and called any critical ideas counter revolutionary and whisked those people away through secret police into forced labour death camps and shamed their families and despite rhetoric about women’s equality treated the female soldiers post World War Two as shameful harlots who didn’t give their lives for the political struggle while also caring for the sick and wounded. She said she didn’t know but might look into it.
I wondered if that made everyone think I was a defender of capitalism or a critic of Marxism, though I also get pleasure out of Marxist ideas. I just don’t want to pretend people are different than they are. I’m pretty sure what’s rotten and corrupt is everywhere including myself and even inside the people I love. I asked a music manager one time, a guy who was highly placed and represented a lot of producers for whom he negotiated very high fees, why people worked with him, why they needed him instead of making those deals themselves. This was at the music conference SXSW and he didn’t have an answer for me, he just grimaced like I was a mosquito in a car where the windows were stuck.