People who like our friendly, anti-hierarchical, pleasure-centred Marxist politics at the AMM often ask me, "Why music? Why Association of Musical Marxists? Why not Association of … nice … horizontal … realistic … bullshit-free Marxists? Why this 'music' thing??" But now, listening to Derek Bailey in Liverpool in 2003, I've got a reply: I don't want a politics which tramples upon the things I know are true but find hard to justify in the public realm. This principle, I know, throws me into sea-sick stuff many socialists and righteous activists don't like: art, subjectivity, shrinkiness, me-wallow etc. With reason! It's not like I like all that crap either. But talking about music broaches something else, I think. Because recording and records came and upset the whole settled thing of bourgeois 'greatness' (Bach, Beethoven and Brahms etc), and suddenly the Beatles mattered. And after that, you can't talk about music without talking about class and privilege and where we really are. 'Art' and 'Science' remain specialised pursuits which socialists can comment on; music however begs the question of, Who are you? and, Why do you respond to this? What do you REALLY like — I mean, really, for real?? This is the BIG discussion of the democratic proletarian ferment, and no-one has convinced me that this is not so. When people talk about music they reveal what soul is left us by the work grind, and that is the truth of this world. That's why when I hear what issues forth from a sanctified church I don't condemn 'ideology', I wail along, baby. If the intellectual left can't wail along, it's not intellectual anymore: "the tear is an intellectual thing" said William Blake … Oh shit I've got déjà vu; anyone heard this argument before? If so, where?