The Beautiful Struggle

“The worst illiterate is the political illiterate, he doesn’t hear, doesn’t speak, nor participates in the political events. He doesn’t know the cost of life, the price of the bean, of the fish, of the flour, of the rent, of the shoes and of the medicine, all depends on political decisions. The political illiterate is so stupid that he is proud and swells his chest saying that he hates politics. The imbecile doesn’t know that, from his political ignorance is born the prostitute, the abandoned child, and the worst thieves of all, the bad politician, corrupted and flunky of the national and multinational companies.”

Bertolt Brecht

I’ve listened to Talib Kweli’s “Beautiful Struggle” a million times–brotherman is pretty cynical about the state of The State.

His jabs at organized religion, bi-partisan politics, apparently all the places folks look to for revolution in his estimation, are especially resonant as we enter the last bit of another election season.

There are many moments when I’d rather not care; imagine myself in a bubble that can be unaffected if I participate marginally, just a little, from the periphery.

That’s my lazy dejected way of giving up.  And a disrespect to those who could not participate as little as they might have felt in the Grand Scheme; as frustrated as they might have been about the likely outcomes.

Kweli’s intro is probably more telling than even his “I don’t fuck with politics/I don’t even follow it” line from the middle of his second verse.

The voiceover in the intro says, “The revolution is here,/ the revolution is here people/I said it once, I’ll say it twice/You gots to be ready/The revolution is inside of you…”

What I also find telling is that it’s not spoken with the urgency one might expect.  The voice is resolved like it’s saying something the listener knew all along.  Like it’s decided that “revolution” is only a theory anyway.  That through practice–personal practice–comes the consensus.

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