Thursday, May 24, 2012

Springsteen grasps the essence of Benedict Anderson's 'imagined communities'

The chorus of Springsteen's "We Take Care of Our Own," goes:

Wherever this flag's flown 
We take care of our own

This is about as succinct a summary of Anderson's notion of "imagined communities" as you can get. Of course, Springsteen's song is critical of our government's abysmal failure to take care of our own in New Orleans, in the wake of Katrina. But he's not critical of the essential notion of USA nationalism, based on what Anderson calls "horizontal comradeship," which, for Springsteen, has democratic and emancipatory. Rather, he's critical of failures, especially at the moment Katrina, to fulfill such noble and moral ideals.

The full lyrics of the song are here.

And here's the vid:

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