Tuesday 16 March 2010

The Anthem of the Cultural Property Internationalist Movement

US cultural property activists Sayles and Welsh have recently revealingly contributed to the debate on culture a rousing call (update, new URL) to encourage people to join their movement urging world governments to give heed to the political demands of the worldwide community of Internationalist collectors of dugup antiquities which they lead. To pay heed to the Internationalist demands of the "educated working class" men and women for whom collecting antiquities becomes a "tangible bridge" linking cultures across space and time. To break down legal and administrative barriers thrown up by Nationalist bodies which the Sayleswelshian Internationalist movement proclaims serve only to divide and alienate. It was only a matter of time before such rousing Internationalist rhetoric would find its expression in words and music, in a rallying call under which all who think likewise can gather and confirm their adherence to the ideals espoused by their new leaders, First Secretary Comrade Executive Director and his Head Commissar of International Affairs. After some laborious research in the internet for all of four minutes, I have found just the anthem this movement requires. Here are the words of the Internationalist Collectors' Manifesto (update, new URL) set to music:

(or here in MP3 - opens in a new window)

Stand up, all victims of oppression
For the tyrants fear your might
Hang on tight to your possessions
You have nothing, if you have no rights
Let nationalist ignorance be ended
For respect makes the empires fall
Freedom is merely privilege extended
Unless enjoyed by one and all

So come brothers and sisters
For the struggle carries on
Internationalism unite the world in song
So fellow collectors come rally
For this is the time and place
The international ideal
Unites the human race

Let no one build walls to divide us
Walls of hatred, nor walls of stone
Come greet the dawn and stand beside us
We'll work together or we'll die alone
In our world poisoned by exploitation
Those who have taken, now they must give
And end the vanity of nations
We've but one Earth on which to live:

So brothers and sisters...

And so begins the final drama
In streets, the courts and fields
We stand unbowed before their armour
We defy their guns and shields
When we fight (provoked by their aggression)
Let us be inspired by like and love
For though they offer us concessions
Change will not come from above.
Vignette: Sayleswelshian Internationalism in action? What actually lies behind their rhetoric?

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