Matthew Lee/Basic lesson in Marxism
Matthew Lee (click on photos to enlarge them)
Last night I and some friends were fortunate enough to see the very first London appearance (at the Half Moon, Putney) of Matthew Lee and his band, a young Jerry Lee-type singer/pianist from Italy.
He performed for about 90 minutes, very energetically, using many of the trademark gimmicks of the man known as ‘The Killer’. But Matthew also sung his own compositions and songs by other artists, including Louis Armstrong’s ‘What A Wonderful World’ and an amazing rocked up version of Presley’s ‘It’s Now or Never’ (which, of course, is based on the classical ‘O Solo Mio’).
A very presentabale, charming and talented young man I hope we see more of on our shores. This was a last-minute gig, little advertised, so I hope the next time he appears in London he gets a bigger audience.
This is the start of Jerry Lee Lewis month for me, kicking off with the Matthew Lee show. Later this month the man himself performs two shows in London, 50 years after his first three London concerts in 1958. Jerry appears at the 100 Club, Oxford Street on October 25th, then on 27th his niece MaryJean appears at the Inn on the Green with Country singer Jonny Williams. Supporting them on the bill is Jenny Laine, another Country singer in the mold of Patsy Cline. On 28th Jerry’s sister (MaryJean’s mother) Linda Gail Lewis supports her brother, along with that other female rocker Wanda Jackson, at The Forum, Kentish Town in a show headlined by The Killer.
I then have two weeks of showing an American Jerry Lee fan and her husband round London and Paris (they’ve never been out of North America before), and we see Jerry Lee Lewis again in Paris on November 14th, with his sister Linda Gail replacing Little Richard on the bill. Chuck Berry is also scheduled to perform on that show.
Little Richard is undergoing hip replacement surgery, but is due to return to Europe in March, and a London show is being lined up at The Forum with Jerry Lee Lewis. The old rockers just keep on rockin’!
Little did I think when I first got hooked on Jerry Lee, and Little Richard, way back in 1964 after seeing their Granada TV specials, that I’d still be going to see them ‘live’ 44/45 years later!
The current financial crisis and partial collapse of the banking system around the world just proves what shaky foundations the whole capitalist system is built on.
There is a belief that you need money in order to make money. While this appears true for a minority of people, one moment’s thought proves that it is the ultimate fallacy. Money may attract more money, but it cannot create true value. On the contrary, the more money attracts money, the more money itself becomes devalued.
If money really could create wealth, then we could give everyone in the world a million pounds or so, and then all sit back and live off the interest. Fine, except with nobody working crops would rot in the ground, nothing would be built or produced, and there’d be no shops to sell anything anyway. As Marx said, only labor creates real value, and it is the surplus value of labor which is exploited by capitalists in the form of profits and other unearned income such as huge bonuses, shareholders’ dividends and interest on capital above the level of inflation.
The current financial crisis is brought about because of all this unearned income, which has gotten out of control. Huge bonuses for company directors, loads of people living on credit, plus all the dividends and interest being generated have now come home to roost, resulting in the nationalization of much of the banking system.
All financial institutions should now be taken into public ownership, and all this living on credit and other unearned income stopped for good. There would then be a vast pool of money to fund the public services and keep taxes low.
The fairy tale world of credit and everybody living off interest on capital was never going to work – unless you believe the fairies themselves are going to produce everything we need to survive. Moral: get off your butts and work to earn real money. ‘To each according to their work’ is the motto of Socialism, with elements of ‘from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs’ which is the motto of Communism proper.
Everyone of working age who is able to must work to earn a living, and at the same time those not able to due to age or disability must have their needs satisfied by a caring society.