We went round and round the block on this with the fire extinguisher from the sky thing but who really gains when rock n roll imports a fantasy of political violence as a blue bill to boost its flagging vitality and relevance? Not the audience. Certainly not the arist. And definitely not the oppressed.
Yes, this is the point isn't it ? Who benefits from political posturing in music these days, be it violent or non-violent posturing. Its all co-opted, its all lifestyle, its all just badge and image. I agree with everything Necropolist has posted on this subject, I'd go further and argue that if you want to talk fantasies then a non-violent revolution is most definitely a fantasy also. I'm not advocating walking armpit deep in the blood of your enemies, but I'm also realistic enough to accept that any movement that becomes a genuine threat to a state will be met with violence, and will therefore be forced to respond with violence in order to survive. This has nothing to do with music or our wider creative culture though.
It is extremely difficult to raise any kind of flag to rally people around in our western democracies, I completely appreciate that. People like cope who are co-opting revolutionary symbolism and effectively cashing in on (or proving their right on credentials) the current mood within the alternative sections of society really aren't helping anyoone except themselves. They are not raising a flag that anyone could rally around, they are not producing strategies or tactics, they're just wailing and protecting their own self image imo.
The occupy movement is a case in point. I'm no fan of Zizek at all as some of you may know but the speech he delivered in NY to them was spot on. 'Don't fall in love with yourselves' this is what they most definitely have done. The UK occupy movements appropriation of buildings and turning them into autonomous spaces is however an excellant tactic that anarchist groups in this country have been doing for a very long time. Its a lead by example tactic, and it does resonate with people and make them think. However relasing another bloody fund raising album with all the usual bloody suspects and a cover by Mr Reid is just dumb.. incredibly dumb. Can't remember who said it but capitalism doesn't care what you're doing as long as you're making money. Now, I'm not saying that this album is indicative of that, but its part of the problem in the wider conciousness. I mean, they had workshops on designing the new logo for the occupy movement, wtf ? Make yourself a brand ?
Whats needed is creative redeployments (such as the appropriation of buildings for new uses), even if it does mean wading through pointless and arguably (from a PR point of view) counter productive courses in Homeopathy and Yoga (both of which was going on in the 'Bank of Ideas'). If you want to make music for a new breed of revolutionaries read 'May 68 did not take place' cut the vocals out and just give us a fucking hard beat and a shredding mid range.