PRAGUE ROCK

"Prague Rock" is an instrumental track.

This song is about the death of the working class hero
& history's end.

Since the end of the Cold War, the idealist has dwindled in influence.
The last breath was the Velvet Revolution,
and Vaclav Havel was the last hero of the working class.
He was the last successful idealist
who managed to eek out a political victory
in the western world.

Sadly, substantial changes in technology, communication
and a predatory form  of capitalism
made it difficult for Havel
to compete with
more potent persuasion.

Vaclav Havel was a playwright
who used his skills writing scathing critiques.
His dissident notions played out on stages across Prague.
As early as 1959, Havel refused to bow to threats of violence
and embraced rebellion, making him an iconoclastic folk hero
who embraced other artists work in Prague’s underground scene,
such as the musical group, The Plastic People of the Universe.

These associations grew
to became a network of idealists
who formed the front lines
of the Prague Spring in 1968.

1968 Prague Spring

Though in the end, the Soviet Union quelled the uprising,
Havel fought institutions of power on behalf of the powerless for decades.
This kept him under constant surveillance by secret police
who placed him, his friends and their work on blacklists;
monitored his movements; and repeatedly placed him under arrest.

Yet despite the attacks on his personal freedom,
Havel envisioned a future with true democratic representation,
an effective economy based on fairness,
as well as true equal rights for all.

Prior to entering a position of authority after the Velvet Revolution,
his challenges to injustice took the form of plays,
long-form essays, novels, songs, protests
and the formation of human rights groups
(such as Charter 77)

Havel became a potent influence for the insurrectionist movements.
One group he inspired was the Socialist Union of Youth,
who led demonstrations on November 17, 1989,
observing International Student’s Day
and the students who’d died at the hands of Nazi soldiers 50 years prior,
fighting for the same causes.
Havel marched with some 1,500 students and professors through Prague,
bidding more and more Czechs to join them as they went along.
Over just a few weeks,
hundreds of thousands shook the city with their voices
and forced the powers that be to relinquish their authority.
A shining moment in history.

Wencelas Square

Wenceslas Square November 19, 1989


Yet it was the last moment.
The last time the humane & the just would stand victorious
over the power of organized greed and it's machinery.
It's difficult to understand how and why,
but this was a moment only...it was a brief time.


Havel’s presidency in the end failed.
The idealist became a pragmatist. 
Somehow the rebellious artist
became just another jaded suit
aimlessly wandering the halls of power.

The fragile dissident,
with his crumpled jacket and uncompromising ethics,
was trampled by residual powers within his own country,
and the forces of a vulture form of capitalism without.

In the end
The brilliant man
who opposed  any and all totalitarian power
was transformed into a largely ceremonial character.
He became a president who babbled about the anthropic principle
and the end of the Cartesian paradigm,
while the subjugator's  minions
merely changed faces.

This is hardly the ending we'd like,
but in no way is this a criticism of Havel.
He did more in 10 minutes than most do in a lifetime.
He owes us nothing.

The combination of powerful forces
armed with new weapons & technologies
were just insurmountable.

History has ended for those who seek economic and social fairness.
The roots of the weeds
that became the Putin or Trump oligarchys
were nurtured long ago.

The history of "humans" is over.
Could it be resurrected?
One must concede that anything is possible.

But the totalitarians, profiteers,
and all the leeches attached to them
will be there with new weapons,
disguised agendas,
& new economic schemes.

Subjugators will bring along  new methods of oppression & domination.
There will be "interventions", materialism, consumerism
and oligarchy masquerading as democracy.
The base nature of man will be appealed to,
 individuals will be enticed to form a direct relationship
with their surroundings through spending.

If there is a lesson to be learned...it is just that.
Vaclav Havel could simply not compete against the shiny beads of consumerism.
Ideas manifest benefit over time, while things can be had quickly.

I have re-used the term "The End Of History" here,
it was used 1st by Francis Fukuyama
in his prophetic analysis of the fall of the Soviet Empire.

This is what he had to say regarding the globalist age
we now find ourselves denizens of:

"The end of history will be a very sad time.
The struggle for recognition,
the willingness to risk one’s life for a purely abstract goal,
the worldwide ideological struggle
that called forth daring, courage, imagination, and idealism,
will be replaced by economic calculation,
the endless solving of technical problems,
environmental concerns,
and the satisfaction of sophisticated consumer demands.
In the post-historical period
there will be neither art nor philosophy,
just the perpetual care taking of the museum of human history."

~Francis Fukuyama


"Just the caretaking of the museum of human history"
This is where we are now.  No more significant developments.
Mankind will create no more.
Mankind will accomplish nothing further.
This is what is meant by the end of history.
We are now in the post historical era.



I for one
refuse to assimilate.

I will make my art.
I will create my music as if the universe relied on it for survival.
I will work towards abstract goals.
I will not concern myself with cheesy material goods.
I refuse to worship money.
I will value the work of others.
I will strive to leave this world a fairer place than when I arrived.
And I will outnumber you.

In conclusion, Havel’s political ascension occurred
at a time when philosophical truths had exhausted people,
and there was no competition with the allure of unmitigated commerce.

There have been others who’ve attempted to carry
their idealism into governments
and fight on the behalf of the powerless,
but they are locked out of any position of authority by rivals,
or neutralized one way or another.
(Jo Cox comes to mind in recent years.)

A sincere person who manages to acquire any position of power,
has been unable to affect meaningful change.
Because the toxicity of divisive blind ideologies overwhelms their efforts;
...or they fail to maintain spectacles in the the media.

Havel came to understand this, 
he became despondent & saw the office as a prison over time.
A prison that prevented him from acting on his conscience,
keeping him put until he could be made an example of.

 Consumerism, communication,
and information have been transformed
into a monstrous phantasmal Chimera.
Social media has given rise to political leaders
and a hoi polloi that exists on celebrity alone
with no substance whatsoever.

Today, any truthful sincere idealist
who might walk in Havel’s shoes,
will find it impossible to spread their ideals
without succumbing to crass commodification.

To communicate through the internet,
they must assume the shape of entertainment,
They must succumb to being a cheap commodity.
The concessions required detract from or destroy
any honest thesis making it unlikely
to simultaneously communicate
effectively and truthfully.

The stories of Fahrenheit 451, Idiocracy, Brazil,
1984 and Black Mirror's "The Waldo Moment"
are mere childsplay now
in comparison with where we are as a society
and what we have actually become.


2018 Ben New
(BMI)
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