Sunday, December 17, 2017

Life after Rush: libertarian metal is alive and well

Libertarianism and Heavy Metal: Two Peas in a Pod? - 71 Republic - Mason Mohon:

December 12, 2017 - "Anybody who knows me, even just a little bit, knows that I am a big fan of metal....

"The genre itself seems to appeal in a few ways to the anti-government crowd. Lyrics of many major bands in the metal scene reflect very anti-government anti-authoritarian themes. The most notable of these will probably be familiar to those in libertarian circles: Backwordz. Their songs reflect various aspects of anarcho-capitalist philosophy, from the economic foundations made clear in 'Praxeology' to the basic idea of control over one’s life in 'Self Ownership'. Their merch often sports 'taxation is theft' and other libertarian friendly slogans, and on stage lead singer Eric July is always ready to speak of freedom to the crowd.

"Backwordz is very libertarian, but the genre as a whole also seems to be very reflecting of the ideas, although not explicitly. Libertarianism and heavy metal have a parallel in their stance against the established way of things and refusal to conform to the norm. Libertarians are ... characterized by their opposition to coercive power, and will not settle for the way things are.... Similarly, metal tends to stand against the conventional order of music and genre....  It is loud and seen by many as scary, but the metalheads do not care.... An article from the Scientific American outlines that people of other genres tend to be conformists, while metalheads stick to their guns....

"Many would assume that metalheads tend to be angry aggressive scalawags that wander the streets late at night, hoping to mug an unsuspecting soul....  Metalheads are generalized as people who would cause harm.... The fact of the matter is, though, that this stereotype of metalheads is wrong.

"A Humboldt State University study reveals that those who listen to metal and entrench themselves into the genre’s subculture receive an array of benefits (mostly psychological)  throughout life. When metalheads were labeled the same way I did in the previous paragraph, this study, which was done over 30 years on nearly 400 people, revealed that metal listeners 'were significantly happier in their youth and better adjusted currently than either middle-aged or current college-age youth comparison groups'....

"The metal community and libertarian community seem to parallel in many ways. The groups often share a common anti-authoritarian message, and they both have an anti-status quo theme. They are always working against what is popular and refuse to give in to the masses. They also both promote a lifestyle of non-aggression and voluntary action. The two seem to mesh well together, which is why we only hope to see more heavy metal with a libertarian theme."

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