Colin Coulter
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Working for the clampdown
An introduction
in Working for the clampdown
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The introduction sets out in part to locate The Clash in their own very specific historical context. It is argued that the band offer one of the most compelling cultural documents of that moment when the crisis of social democracy paved the way for what would in time be termed the ‘neoliberal revolution’. While The Clash may well have chronicled the political defeats of the past, the body of work that they bequeathed to us represents perhaps one of the resources that might facilitate a rather more progressive political future. There has been no time since the band parted company when their songbook has seemed more relevant. It is acknowledged that there are certain dangers in seeking to take radical artists like The Clash out of their own place and time. Not the least of these is the possibility that we might mimic the culture industries in canonising the band in ways that airbrush out their critical political perspective. The chapter concludes, however, that there are theoretical resources that allow us to avoid this pitfall and to embrace The Clash as though they were a contemporary band, documenting our own current period of global economic and political crisis.

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Working for the clampdown

The Clash, the dawn of neoliberalism and the political promise of punk



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