The Info List - Punk Ideologies

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PUNK IDEOLOGIES are a group of varied social and political beliefs associated with the punk subculture and punk rock . In its original incarnation, the punk subculture originated out of working class angst and the frustrations many youth were feeling about economic inequality and the bourgeois hypocrisy and neglect of working people and their struggles. It was primarily concerned with concepts such as pro working-class, anti-establishment , equality, freedom, anti-authoritarianism , anti-corporate culture/corruption, anti-war , free-thought and non-conformity . One of its main tenets was a rejection of mainstream, corporate mass culture and its values. It continued to evolve its ideology as the movement spread throughout North America from its origins in England and New York and embrace a range anti-racist and anti-sexist belief systems. Punk ideologies range from left wing views (e.g., NOFX
) to right wing beliefs (e.g., Misfits ).

Punk ideologies
Punk ideologies
are usually expressed through punk rock music and lyrics, punk literature such as amateur zines , spoken word performances or recordings, punk fashion , or punk visual art . Some punks have participated in direct action , such as protests , boycotts , squatting , vandalism , or property destruction . Punk fashion
Punk fashion
was originally an expression of nonconformity, as well as opposition to both mainstream culture and the statu quo . Punk fashion
Punk fashion
often displays aggression, rebellion, and individualism. Some punks wear clothing or have tattoos that express sociopolitical messages. Punk visual art also often includes political messages. Many punks wear second-hand clothing, partly as an anti-consumerist statement.

An attitude common in the punk subculture is the opposition to selling out , which refers to abandoning of one's values and/or a change in musical style toward pop and embracing anything in mainstream capitalist culture or more radio-friendly rock in exchange for wealth, status, or power. Selling out
Selling out
also has the meaning of adopting a more mainstream lifestyle and ideology. The issue of authenticity is important in the punk subculture—the pejorative term poseur is applied to those who associate with punk and adopt its stylistic attributes but are deemed not to share or understand the underlying values or philosophy.

Because anti-establishment attitudes are such an important part of the punk subculture, a network of independent record labels , venues and distributors has developed. Some punk bands have chosen to break from this independent system and work within the established system of major labels . The do it yourself (DIY) ideal is common in the punk scene, especially in terms of music recording and distribution, concert promotion, and photocopying magazines, posters and flyers. The expression DIY
was coined by commentators after the fact.

On religious issues, punk is mostly atheist or agnostic , but some punk bands have promoted religions such as Christianity , Buddhism
, Islam
, the Rastafari movement
Rastafari movement
or Krishna .


* 1 Specific ideologies and philosophies

* 1.1 Anarchism
* 1.2 Animal rights
Animal rights
and veganism * 1.3 Apoliticism * 1.4 Christianity * 1.5 Conservatism
* 1.6 Hare Krishna * 1.7 Islam
* 1.8 Liberalism
* 1.9 Libertarianism * 1.10 Neo-Nazism * 1.11 Nihilism
* 1.12 Socialism
* 1.13 Straight edge
Straight edge

* 2 Criticism of punk ideologies * 3 See also * 4 Bibliography * 5 References


The following include some of the most common ideologies and philosophies within the punk subculture (in alphabetical order).


Main article: Anarcho-punk
A punk protester carries a sign including an anarchy symbol.

There is a complex and worldwide underground of punks committed to anarchism as a serious political ideology, sometimes termed "peace punks" or "anarcho-punks ." While some well-known punk bands such as the Sex Pistols
Sex Pistols
and The Exploited had songs about anarchy , notably the Pistols' Anarchy
in the UK , they did not embrace anarchism as a disciplined ideology. As such, these bands are not considered part of the anarcho-punk scene.

Anarcho-punks typically believe in direct action . Many anarcho-punks are pacifists (e.g. Crass
and Discharge ) and therefore believe in using non-violent means of achieving their aims. These include peaceful protest, squatting , graffiti , culture jamming , ecotage , freeganism , boycotting , civil disobedience , hacktivism and subvertising . Some anarcho-punks believe that violence or property damage is an acceptable way of achieving social change (e.g. Conflict ). This manifests itself as rioting , vandalism , wire cutting, hunt sabotage , participation in Animal Liberation Front
Animal Liberation Front
- or Earth Liberation Front -style activities, and in extreme cases, bombings. Notable anarchist punk artists include: Aus-Rotten , Dave Insurgent
Dave Insurgent
, Crass
, Subhumans (British band)
Subhumans (British band)
, Colin Jerwood
Colin Jerwood
, and Dave Dictor .


In the 1980s, both straight edge hardcore punk in the United States and anarcho-punk in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
became associated with animal rights . Consequently, vegetarianism and veganism became a feature of the punk subculture. This association continues on into the 21st century, as evidenced by the prominence of vegan punk events such as Fluff Fest in Europe.


Some punks claim to be non-political, such as the band Charged GBH and the singer G.G. Allin
G.G. Allin
, although some socio-political ideas have appeared in their lyrics. Some Charged GBH songs have discussed social issues, and a few have expressed anti-war views. G.G. Allin
G.G. Allin
expressed a vague desire to kill the United States president and destroy the political system in his song "Violence Now". Punk subgenres that are generally apolitical include: glam punk , psychobilly , horror punk , punk pathetique , deathrock and pop punk . Many of the bands credited with starting the punk movement were decidedly apolitical, including The Dictators , Ramones
(which featured staunch conservative Johnny Ramone alongside liberal activist Joey Ramone
Joey Ramone
), New York Dolls
New York Dolls
, Television , Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers , and Richard Hell