Since its launching in February 1998, the World Socialist Web Site has devoted a great deal of attention to artistic and cultural matters. We have reviewed thousands of works—films, concerts, plays, television series, novels, albums—and commented on artistic currents and problems out of a concern, above all, for the development of the social awareness and consciousness of the working class.

Marxists consider that art and culture play “an immense role in shaping and broadening the outlook of the working class, sharpening its awareness of the injustices of capitalism, strengthening and refining the workers’ outrage and willingness to sacrifice and making more ardent their belief and confidence in the possibility of realizing socialism and building a society based on genuine social equality and solidarity.” (Introduction to The Sky Between the Leaves, David Walsh)

Our attitude toward present-day cultural life is highly critical. Indeed, as a leading German socialist once explained, “contemporary culture is the enemy of culture.” Triviality, self-centeredness and social indifference largely prevail. Art, if it is to make a deep impact and endure, needs to turn its attention, by whatever means it chooses, to the great questions and convulsions of our day.

Diego Rivera, Leon Trotsky, and André Breton
Essential reading on the relationship between art and socialism

New York concerts examine “lost music” of twentieth century

Classical works by composers who died at the hands of the Nazis or who were forced into exile have been receiving increased attention. Conductor James Conlon has taken the lead in this project to rescue unjustly neglected or unknown work.

Fred Mazelis
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