Adorno is clearly aware of the hold that capitalism and business have over art and many other forms of expression; forcing them (music, TV, literature) to adhere to the standardization of mass production, but he does not account for the more modern forms of expression that work within the culture industry, in order to dismantle it from the inside out. Music has most definitely fallen prey to predetermined schemas, but prime examples of music exist that blatantly challenge the very structure it is participating in and also a part of. Bands like Rage Against the Machine (RAM) specifically use the capitalist control system (record labels, producers, radio etc.) to their advantage as a means of accessing the billions of people that are absorbed into their sphere of influence; but they do so only in an effort to try and expose the very sphere of influence itself as a manipulative force that that engulfs us all. They do so by shedding insight through their music which evokes and inspires challenging thoughts that bring people to analyze the system that surrounds us, controls us, and has come to dominate our lives.
Adorno states that The whole world is passed through the filter of the culture industry. RAM is no exception, but what has happened here is that the masters of the system have let their love for money undermine their judgment for what should pass through their filter. These masters have let this music reverberate throughout a society they desire to be submissive and obedient, making a massive mistake by letting loose the seeds of their own destruction because they only saw the profit that was to be made from this rebel niche in the market. Adorno is right in stating that, the executive powers [come] to produce or let pass nothing which does not conform to their tables, to their concept of the consumer, or, above all, to themselves.
[...] RAM seeks to destroy the “machine” from within by creating a new niche that serves to economically profit the producer, but more importantly profit, liberate, and educate the public even at the coast of being part of the system itself. All their efforts will hopefully create something new: a public that is more aware and is less susceptible to the manipulation and control of the system, and is willing to do take drastic actions to change it, all because of music/art that begs them to question, analyze, and realize the world around them behind the that currently exists. [...]
[...] All the listener has to do is make the connection between the story in the song and the reality it directly reflects/exposes. In doing so, people can now see the world around them in new light; freeing them from the monotonous ramble of the culture industry and allowing them to now seek new ideas outside of their repetition. RAM has a clear message in this song that echoes ideas of Adorno's when he talks about the dangers of sameness in music stating, and in light music the prepared ear can always guess the continuation after the first bars of a hit song and is gratified when it actually occurs.” The chorus of “Ashes in the Fall” forces the acknowledgement of this discussed sameness and utter reproduction, scrutinizing it while singing, “This is the new sound, just like the old sound, just like the noose wound, Over the new ground.” Not only do they expose the repetitious manner of most popular music brought forth by the culture industry, but they encourage their listeners to proceed to question the world around them outside of this singular song by addressing—but not focusing on specifically—other false promises made those who control the system. [...]
[...] Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception.” Dialect of Enlightenment (published in English) 2. Althusser, Louis. the Reproduction of the Conditions of Productions.” Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (Notes towards an Investigation) Rage Against the Machine. [...]
[...] RAM has slipped through the to bring the very into the light for all to see, making society aware of what guides the messages we receive. Evidence provoking the destruction of this veil can be found in specific lines that invite their listeners to analyze/realize what this system has done to our world and how. RAM places the listener (the masses) as a character in their song saying, mass of hands press on the market window, Ghosts of progress” This places one directly in the story of the song as a “Ghost of progress[a thought evoking metaphor in its and then RAM states that the “mass of hands” are now “glaring through the promise,” the “promise” being the ability to thrive and be happy in a system that seeks to control and mold their population to their advantage in any way possible. [...]
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