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Red StrainsMusic and Communism Outside the Communist Bloc$
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Robert Adlington

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265390

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265390.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 30 June 2022

Rocking Against Racism

Rocking Against Racism

Trotskyism, Communism, and Punk in Britain

(p.267) 18 Rocking Against Racism
Red Strains

Jeremy Tranmer

British Academy

Rock Against Racism was one of the most dynamic and innovative British social movements of the 1970s, bringing together music fans and left-wing activists in the struggle against the far-right National Front. This surprising alliance was forged by members of the Trotskyist International Socialists/Socialist Workers Party who had a long-standing interest in popular culture and championed punk as a form of working-class revolt. This attitude contrasted sharply with that of the significantly larger Communist Party of Great Britain, which tended to view mass culture as a development of American capitalism. Seeking to adopt the dominant social and cultural norms of the labour movement, communists were unable to relate to the subversive irreverence of punk. Rock Against Racism disappeared in the very early 1980s but acted as a template for future attempts to link music and politics.

Keywords:   Trotskyist International Socialists, Socialist Workers Party, communism, punk, Rock Against Racism

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