Seminal Moment in Miles’ 1978 Rush Interview

Editor’s note: Near the middle of the first column on the second page of Barry Miles’ 1978 interview with Neil, Geddy, and Alex, in which he links Rush’s philosophy to “proto-fascism” and makes allusions to Nazism, he quotes a Nazi slogan “Work makes us free” and then says, “Shades of the 1,000-year Reich.” That passage is circled in red on the image and transcribed below.

Barry Miles: Do you really think [young English protestors are] a product of socialism?

Neil: “Yeah! What else? What are they fighting against if they’re not fighting that?”

Miles: Fighting against socialism? I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

Neil: “Yeah! Why is there no future in England? What other reason is there? I really think that’s the root of it. You could find all sorts of fancy answers but when it comes right down to the root of it, the reason that these kids are growing up and feeling that there’s no future for them is because there simply isn’t. If they don’t join the union, and go to work with all their mates, then they’re lost. There’s nothing else they can do.”

Miles: I didn’t really see how there would be much else for them to do under a capitalist free-for-all such as he was advocating. I said that the multi-national corporations—the most developed form of capitalism—infringed human rights all the time. This annoyed Neil, who responded, “How? By giving you a job? You can just quit!” So now I understood the freedom he was talking about: freedom for employers and those with money to do what they like and freedom for the workers to quit (and starve) or not. Work makes us free. Didn’t I remember that idea from somewhere? “Work makes us free.” Oh, yes, it was written over the main gateway to Auschwitz concentration camp.

Neil: “You have to have principles that firmly apply in every single situation. I think a country has to be run that way. That you have a guiding set of principles that are absolutely immutable—can never be changed by anything. That’s the only way!”

Miles: (Shades of the 1000-year Reich.)

Back to main piece on Barry Miles’ 1974 interview.

~ by rvkeeper on July 27, 2011.

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