Thaddeus Russell on the Progressive Lineage of Macklemore’s And Lorde’s Attacks On The Pleasures Of The Poor

One of the more remarkable
results of the rise of industrial capitalism was that, for the
first time in human history, the poorest classes of people gained
access to luxury goods. Another remarkable result was that
wealthier people who claimed to be allies of the poor told them
this was bad for them. Recent developments in American popular
music demonstrate that this paradox lives on. Last Sunday night,
Macklemore and Lorde, artists who have built their careers upon
songs attacking the desire for luxuries among African-Americans,
received the highest commendations from the music establishment in
the form of multiple Grammy awards. Thaddeus Russell says their
songs continue a long tradition, rooted in progressivism, of
protests against the pleasures of the poor.

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from Hit & Run

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