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Dystopia In Pink Floyd Albums (Pink Floyd Albümlerinde Distopya)

Journal: Arete Journal of Political Philosophy (Vol.2, No. 2)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 61-74

Keywords : ütopya; distopya; rock-müzik; benlik; kültür (utopia; dystopia; rock-music; self; culture);

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This study examined the reason for the use of dystopian elements in alternative and especially rock music genres in 1970s Europe. Since the modern ages, Europe has been under the influence of optimism of the idea of progress that accompanies the transformation processes with significant social effects such as the Renaissance, geographical expansion, the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, industrialization, and technical inventions. When these transformations result in harmful and destructive consequences, philosophical and cultural pessimism – at least towards current relations – rises against that progressive optimism. The purpose of this article is to trace this destruction-pessimism cycle after the second world war, where dystopian elements were the main ways of cultural expression. Dystopia, contrary to utopia, connotes the suppressive social and political system, criticizes the existent social relations, and sees the future of societies as gloomy. Dystopia in rock music has distinctive characteristics in terms of its exceptional lyrics and musical style. While primarily performed by progressive sub-genre, dystopia in rock music signifies this world and its future in a pessimistic way. From the 1970s onward, rock music witnessed both technical and contextual changes. Some progressive groups such as Pink Floyd, Eloy, and King Crimson epitomized this change and reflected the dystopian concepts in their song lyrics. Having published striking concept albums, Pink Floyd exemplified dystopian visions via the albums Animals, The Wall and The Final Cut and Roger Waters' solo album, Amused To Death. Animals put social and political criticism of military, political and lower classes under the sway of Orwell's book Animal Farm. Also, the album The Final Cut criticizes the war machine and nuclear arming. Last, the album Amused To Death aims at the culture industry and television shows by denoting what the Gods of the market want. Covering this issue has significant implications concerning the criticism power of the albums which describe existent capitalist relations with dystopian traits. As a result, pessimism, through dystopian elements, turned into cold war rhetoric, including not only resentment against the political elite but also opposition to the culture industry.

Last modified: 2022-12-06 03:27:30