chapter  6
No music, no dancing: Capitalist modernity and the legacy of Puritanism
Pages 12

The notion of the ‘subject’ as a coherent category of human experience is normally identified as emerging as one of the central aspects of modernity itself, at the end of the Renaissance. We can understand the ‘subject of modernity’ as an effect of a specific interaction between different discourses with different historical time-spans; in particular it is the interaction of the long discourse of phallogocentric metaphysics with the bourgeois discourse of possessive individualism which results in the creation of the modern subject. By the same token, it is institutions motivated by a commitment to metaphysical ideals on the one hand, and to bourgeois hegemony-the rule of the capitalist classes-on the other, which have been most central in enforcing this model of subjectivity. Perhaps no set of institutions has been so committed to these conjoined projects as those which are responsible for the dissemination of music discourse since the start of the nineteenth century. ‘Classical’ music discourse as we know it today, is still predominantly bourgeois, metaphysical discourse, predicated on and concerned to promote the bourgeois-modern subject. Popular music discourses, with their mobilizations of Romantic aesthetics and their obsessional star-systems, likewise tend to replicate and perpetuate the individualist and phallogocentric terms of these wider discourses. What is particularly interesting from our point of view, therefore, is the

extent to which rave and post-rave dance cultures can be seen to have posed a threat to this model of subjectivity.