“Hardcore punk (or referred to simply as Hardcore) is a punk rock music genre that originated in the late 1970s”. (source: Wikipedia) Fuck that. Fuck Wikipedia and fuck every other source about hardcore. Hardcore/Punk is more than music and anyone who took a long dive in the hardcore world knows that. I am talking about a long dive, because many bands nowadays have really forgotten the roots, and I am not saying about the music roots, but the political roots this music has from its beginning.
I am not going to talk about the golden days/years of hardcore, because this counterculture is about the communication with each other and the individual communication with its own self, so it is beyond any limit of mainstream history.
Through the hardcore counterculture people have found and still find meaning in their lives. It is an ocean of education if you have your eyes and heart open. It’s a life-changing movement if you really want to change the rotten world we live in. So, on this article I am gonna focus on the impact that hardcore and its politics has on the individual. I know that the individual is often nothing outside the society, but we have to believe more on ourselves. We have not only to believe in ourselves, but first and foremost defeat ourselves. Burn the values that this sick society has spread in our minds and hearts and like a phoenix rise through our ashes. We need to reconstruct ourselves and our way of communicating and relating with the others. Borrowing the title from Raoul Vanegeim’s book, the Revolution of Everyday Life, I totally think that our individual awakening is an important step for total liberation. We need to live our lives to the present and to breath anarchy in the now. We have to realize that if we cannot change ourselves, we cannot expect the others to change. Hardcore has taught me all these years that I need to take my life in my hands and do what I love to, not giving a damn about society’s pressures. Knowing that you have a place to meet all these people that share so much with you is really liberating. This safe place we call hardcore scene, is a common ground for music, politics and feelings.
The things we can do to improve and radicalize our everyday lives are way too many to imagine. The first thing we always have to think is self-determination, which is the highest value for living the freedom. Being dependant on yourself and not the state institutions is really important and giving that a good push can help in organizing radical actions. And that is the DIY spirit in hardcore, not being dependant on anyone else to put up a show, release your record, and record your music. Same with anarchy, where you are not dependant on anyone to act. You choose to act yourself or with friends and do anything to change this fake reality we are into. It is true that the world we live in is a world of money, but creating a network of common-like people can change a lot in our lives. What society and the mainstream media try to impose on us is that we need them in order to achieve anything we want. There are too many cases where hardcore bands have fallen in that trap and try to make money out of this, or be dependent on huge record labels and booking agents. It’s in our hands to not let our activities, hardcore/punk, and everything we do in our lives, be organized by faceless institutions or large groups that consider that as a job, a way to make money. We have to reclaim our dreams, our hardcore scene and make it again a threat for the system. Make hardcore an underground network for all these people who have rejected society’s values, and decided to do something different with their lives, do something to promote friendship, freedom, solidarity, radical politics and true feelings. We must not see hardcore as something different from our entire lives, from our everyday activities. Hardcore is not only at the live show, or at the records we listen to our houses, but we need to live hardcore reality on our every breath, connect it with the feelings we have for this world and with the actions we do to impose change on it.
So to end with this article I am gonna say a few last words about what hardcore taught me. Hardcore punk gave me a reason to stay awake in this world of apathy and misery. Gave me a reason to love something beyond myself, love something bigger that anything, life itself. There is nothing higher than loving and fighting for life, not being afraid to do something wrong, and just be yourself and act any way you feel is right. If we feel that we need to change anything in this world, or even in a relationship or the hardcore scene, the first we always have to do is be the change. Never expect the others to think of something you never said, make it clear, take your stand and live today cause tomorrow might be too late.
By Nikos XVX, the author resides in Greece and is involved in the local DIY and activist political scene.