Rock ‘n roll overthrew communism, says Hungary’s ambassador to the United States. According to Andras Simonyi, it was the Beatles, Cream, Traffic and Jimi Hendrix—not the Bible, Bach, or Sï¿½ndor Petï¿½fi—that gave Hungarian baby boomers the resolve to bring down the communist state.
The fall of communism, like the defeat of Nazi Germany, was a great historical event and the overthrow of colossal evil. Still, it’s a mistake to think that the goals or even the ideals of those who take part in great events are necessarily up to the events themselves. Grand politics do not necessarily go with a life worth living. After defeating Nazi Germany in the name of the Four Freedoms people wanted security, prosperity, and domesticity. After a while they realized they couldn’t stand it and we had the ’60s. After overthrowing communism in the name of human rights and (apparently) rock ‘n roll people mostly seem to want shopping malls. Who knows how long that illusion will last or how it will end?