A Better World: A May Day Mixtape

Sean O'Reilly

A Better World mixtape

This mixtape is part of a monthly series by Brady O’Callahan. For fresh tunes like this in your inbox every month, check out A Show Sometime.

I’m a socialist. That does mean something to me. There’s an ideology, a morality, and a history there. I’m proud of the tradition of struggle, hope, fury, despair, and love of humanity that label entails. All of these currents are reflected in this mix in some way. All these songs are, however, about one thing: liberation. The liberation of humanity and the unleashing of the will to create something better, something beautiful. I hate the capitalist system for the same reasons as Barabara Dane, in addition to the fact that humanity can never truly flourish in the conditions of the world as they are today. Everything we buy, consume, watch, wear is all the result of someone else’s suffering and exists only for the profit of someone else.This inhibits us all, it stagnates us as a species, and the labor which we all exploit is the work of people.

These songs, from different times, places, and (in some cases) languages other than my own all express that suffering. Express the experience of it or the solidarity required to end it. And I hope these are things that this mix inspires in you. I hope Ab-Soul makes you mad. I hope Nina Simone touches your heart and mind and helps you realize you too do not know what freedom would actually feel like. I hope Phil Ochs makes you laugh at the exact type of person we’re all in danger of becoming when we stop empathizing and we lose that solidarity. I hope Kendrick Lamar gives you a glimpse of what America actually is. And I hope Todd Snider helps you realize they need you more than you fucking need them. This mix is fun, there are bangers, and I hope you listen to the words. A better world IS possible, and I hope you see that. And that’s all we have: hope in the possibility that we can make this world flourish. I’ll end on a quote from Irish Socialist and rebel James Connolly that I think simply states what I have taken two paragraphs to almost express: “For our demands most moderate are, We only want the earth.”

Good Luck, Comrades. —Sean O’Reilly

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