A Pictorial History of Jazz: People and Places from New by Orrin Keepnews, Bill Grauer

By Orrin Keepnews, Bill Grauer

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For some time now our whole European culture has been moving as toward a catastrophe, with a tortured tension that is growing from decade to decade: restlessly, violently, headlong, like a river that wants to reach the end…25 This is a truly apocalyptic vision for the near future of humanity, and becomes a trope in the arts throughout the twentieth century including its use as a central theme in the Industrial music subculture. Nihilism is seen as an unstoppable energy that will tear down all aspects of society, destroying any and all interpretations of the world until all is meaningless and without morality, 24 Nietzsche frequently refers to religion as a poison that inflicts a sickness on humanity.

As with many of his philosophical concepts, the will to power constitutes an aspect of humanity that can benefit us or ultimately destroy us. Any form of the will to power that involves the control of others is a perversion of this basic universal Will. 28 Industrial musicians were more than willing to confront the harsh realities and dark places were this philosophy was invoked. From these extensive philosophical concepts Industrial musicians derived some very practical modes of thought. From Nietzsche‘s conceptions of good and evil they developed strong skepticism of religion and a worldview that questioned simple black-and-white understandings of morality.

One thing is clear–it will require a revolution that is not afraid to see blood spilled: ―They [the communists] openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all social orders up to now. Let the ruling class tremble at a Communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose from this but their chains. They have the world to win. ‖20 It is no wonder that the manifesto upset and enraged so many who held seats of power. For Marx this moved from philosophy to politics, and most of all it must become action.

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