I love rock and roll. I love music generally. And many of the bands I love, despite my libertarian disposition, tend to be left of center, some far left of center. There are many reasons for this which maybe I’ll explore later. For the time being I just wanted to list out 10 songs which despite coming from artists generally associated with the “Left” have pro-liberty overtones.
This is the sort of thing I think about when I go on my run.
10. Guns of Brixton by The Clash
You want gun rights? I got your gun rights. Punk style.
When they kick at your front door
How you gonna come?
With your hands on your head
Or on the trigger of your gun
9. Volunteers by Jefferson Airplane
Rand Paul actually tweeted this song out to his followers a while back.
One generation got old.
One generation got sold
Yeah, that’s about right.
8. Freedom by Rage Against the Machine
Everyone’s favorite Marxist-Leninist band, who made millions thanks to capitalism. This song is about the crushing of the American Indian in general and the shootout at Wounded Knee specifically. No one’s gotten a rawer deal from the Feds than the American Indian.
7. Masters of War by Bob Dylan
The Military Industrial Complex is real. It is expensive. It is Big Government. It is self generating in many respects and one should never forget the business side of war. We forget at our peril.
6. Freedom by Jimi Hendrix
Hendrix was a genius and one can hear his desire to breathe free and push boundaries in this tune. This is not the song of a man who fits well into an overly regimented society.
5. Trouble Man by Marvin Gaye
I am almost completely convinced that Marvin Gaye was a closet libertarian.
There are on 3 things that’s for sure…Taxes, death, and trouble…This I know…
4. Something in the Air by Thunderclap Newman
Another lefty homage to gun rights and anti-authoritarianism. Back when Republicans were for gun control and the Black Panthers were walking around with shotguns.
3. Liberty and Freedom by Rancid
Straight out of Berkeley California, a place where some forms of liberty and freedom are lacking. Though there are tons of pot dispensaries.
Liberty and freedom…They’re quotations spray painted on the wall…Verbalized explosions…We will come back some day…
2. Fearless by Pink Floyd
Perhaps my favorite Floyd song. Not overtly political but it feels like freedom.
1. Libertarian of libertarian rock songs. Taxman by The Beatles.
Should five per cent appear too small
Be thankful I don’t take it all
Cos I’m the taxman, yeah I’m the taxman
If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street
If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat
If you get too cold I’ll tax the heat
If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet
*I left out a ton of songs by bands which aren’t “lefty” bands, such as Rush, Billy Joel, Oingo Boingo, and The Kinks (among others).
Come to think of it, I feel like The Kinks 20th Century Man has to be included here.
I was born in a welfare state
Ruled by bureaucracy
Controlled by civil servants
And people dressed in grey
Got no privacy, got no liberty
Cos the twentieth century people
Took it all away from me.