An investigation into the emergence of the anarcho-punk scene of the 1980s
This thesis aims to investigate the way in which anarchism - both as a means of theoretical political dissent as well as a practical tool of shock - was transformed from the `chaotic' intent of first wave punk towards a more informed political ideology in the emerging `anarcho-punk' scene of the 1980s. In particular, I wish to explore the way in which ideas surrounding `anarcho' and `punk' were fused together so as to provide a space where individuals could develop a more `informed lifestyle' in expressing a subversive distaste towards corporate forms of oppression such as multinationals, governments and the police. Chapter one will provide an overview of punk within a wider history of political and philosophical dissent, exploring ideas that link it to a continuing thread of agitation akin to groups such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and Situationism. This debate will be further explored in chapter two. With particular attention to the music of the Sex Pistols, I wish to explore the extent to which the break down of the post-war consensus, and the resultant economic crisis in Britain in the 1970s, nurtured a social, political and musical environment for first wave punk to flourish. The anarcho-punk scene proper is introduced in the main body of this work. Here, I will turn primarily to the way in which the musical characteristics of the anarchopunk movement encompass the twin ideals of `punk' and `anarchism' so as to provide a new form of organised dissent towards a capitalist system seen to embody oppression and uniformity. In particular, I wish to explore the extent to which the practical realities of applying a complex political system such as anarchism had repercussions on the transformation of the British punk scene as a whole.