Pete as communist

L. Bird pkeets at
Fri Jul 23 14:53:22 CDT 2004

>For many years Capitalism as a political system was defined by the
opposition of Communism as advanced by the USSR and other highly socialist
states that also used central planning instead of a free market economy.
However, it's important to note that our US political system is a mixture of
capitalist and socialist elements.  What we've been experiencing is not pure

England, BTW, went very heavily into a socialist system back in the 
seventies, but was rescued from the typical stagnation of heavy socialism by 
Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s.  Germany also runs fairly socialist, and of 
course, I'm not sure Russia has completely given up on the idea.  They just 
don't have the resources to provide social services right now.  The problem 
for any economy is to find a good balance.

I'm not sure if I posted it here, but I made some comment on Relayers about 
Pete's political leanings, and here's what Brian Cady answered:

>Here's a piece I wrote for another Who list about
Pete's political views:

Pete's politics (and the politics of The Who) is
always an interesting subject. Just for the record:
Pete was (is?) a card-carrying member of the British
Communist Party. He has espoused Communism as a
guiding principle from as early as 1966 and as
recently as 1982.

He is (or was until recently) a heavy contributor to
the British Labour Party although he belittled PM
Blair onstage during one 90's show. He also strongly
praised the Clinton administration in a 1994

However, he did write "Won't Get Fooled Again," which
was an attack on the prime leaders of the New Left
Movement. He may have done so because he disagreed
with their methods in general but interviews with Pete
tend to imply it was because they demanded that The
Who do something Pete didn't want them to do; i.e.,
dedicate the band to promoting the Revolution (John
Lennon agreed to this; see, "Sometime in New York

Pete is also a self-described "capitalist socialist"
who lives as richly as he wants to live (with lots
given to charity) but says he will gladly hand over
his wealth to the central government come the
revolution. And if anyone thinks "sure he will," Pete
did stand by his word by refusing to leave Great
Britain during the 1970's as many other rich rockers
did to avoid the high taxes of the time, a refusal
that probably cost him millions of pounds.

To sum up: Pete does hold views that would be labeled
"red" even in Europe, much less here, but the
operative factor is more personal than political. If
someone tells him he ought to be doing something,
he'll denounce them no matter what their political
leaning. Pete HATES being told what to do.


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