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Issue 1

September 27th, 2019

Punk ideology rocks the political scene

TUES. | 11-10-20 | OPINION

     Black clothes, ripped jeans, patches and more. All of this is what makes punk the beloved style that it is. Not only that, but the music is rocking. There are bands such as Green Day, Blink-182, The Misfits, the Offspring, etc., and all of these bands have made music for rebels and teens who just want to escape the world and dress in chains and studs. This look can be confused with other styles that are very similar.

     Punk is usually confused with the style of emo and goth. The biggest differences between these two are the style of music and personality traits behind it. Musically, emos tend to listen to bands, such as My Chemical Romance, Pierce the Veil and Panic! At The Disco. Goths listen to bands like Joy Divisionand the Cure. These bands talk more about emotion, but punk bands speak more on politics. Basically, emo and goth are more

punk graphic.JPEG

Graphic by Liv Stewart

focused on one's emotions, and punks focus on politics. However, there is more to it than just the music. The politics goes way more in depth. 

    According to Punx in Solidarity, politically speaking, punk ideologies are very anarchist and libertarian, meaning that they don’t believe in authority. Ideologies are formed based on different ideas and opinions, and they’re usually political. People mistake anarchists as people who cause violence and initiate riots. This idea mainly comes from the popular media saying that protesters are “anarchists.” According to The Convention writer Andreas Wittel, anarchists do believe in violence, but they believe that it should only be used when it comes to self-defense. I’ve seen people assume that punks are usually violent because of their anarchist beliefs, but there are not many violent crimes that are committed by punks. However, even though the ideology mentions it, not all punks are anarchists. 

    If someone isn't anarchist, but they still want to be punk, that’s okay. There are many punk subcultures to choose from. Punk’s history originates from England where garage bands began to form, and this where the different subcultures came from. According to Subcultures Reader writer Thornton, “subcultures are groups of people that have something in common with each other...which distinguishes them in a significant way from the members of other social groups.” This is when their ideologies then began to form. 

The main belief system for punks is a belief for human rights. Punks have been known to protest for African American rights, LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights and many other issues. Punk bands — such as Green Day — are known for writing lyrics about this. I will admit that I agree with a lot of the opinions that these musicians have; others, I don’t, but it’s okay to not believe in the exact same things. 

    If someone is more conservative politically, they have a few subgenres to choose from. The most popular is Conservative punk. There are many huge influencers who are conservative —  such as Johnny and Dee Dee Ramone of the Ramones and Duane Thomas of the band U.S. Bombs. This subgenre is actually very underrated. I’ve seen a lot of people gatekeeping this subgenre by saying that it’s “not really punk.” I think that you don’t have to believe the exact same things as the average punk. If you believe a large majority of its ideology, then you’re punk. However, a lot of punk subcultures are pretty liberal.

    There are many different kinds of liberal punks, but the most notable is Liberalism punk. Some of their icons include Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Joey Ramone of the Ramones, Ted Leo of Ted Leo and Pharmacists and many others. In my opinion, I think that this is the most popular subgenre today. A lot of punks today are predominantly liberal. In fact, according to FiveThirtyEight writer Claire Malone, over 38% of Democrats who voted in 2016 identified as punk. Some people want to be punk, but they don’t want to affiliate with any political party. There’s a subgenre for that too. 

    Apolitical punk is a subgenre where the person doesn’t affiliate with a political party. I identify with this subgenre because I believe politics can divide almost anything, and it seems that it has divided punk. Whenever I say that I’m Apolitical, people will limit me by saying that you have to be political to be punk. This is not true, since the main belief is human rights and that topic shouldn’t be political. One icon of Apolitical punk is G.G. Alin of Charged, but there are many other big name bands,  such as The Dictators, the New York Dolls, Johnny Thunder and the Heartbreakers and many more. 

    Punk is way more political than many people think, but it is still okay to not be as political. I feel that people don’t realize how many subcultures of punk there are, and it’s possible for anyone to be punk. It’s even possible to believe the average ideologies but not wear any black clothing. My plan with this is to show people who like to gatekeep the different types of punk, and prove that there is way more to it. Hopefully, this turns people on to the punk aesthetic and more people decide to be punk. 

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