The Germs – Communist Eyes

The tendency of communist states to become totalitarian dictatorships that squash personal liberty is addressed by seminal Los Angeles punkers The Germs. Karl Marx envisioned a world without government in which people would selflessly look after everyone. It’s country-wide applications never shed off the intrusive government required to bring this about.

The narrator of the song imagines himself looking at life and the world through communist eyes, which is where the disgust enters. He longs for a day when the “madness passes” because the hammer and sickle (a reference to the Soviet Union flag) is about lies. Perhaps noting that communist states restricted entry and exit from their territories, the narrator also wonders what the world is like outside.

The Soviet Union would survive another ten years. But life for the band in the land of the free and the home of the brave, in such Cold War times, wasn’t great, either. The Germs released only one (Joan Jett-produced) album in 1979 and the singer committed suicide. However, they have a worthy reputation of being a wild, chaotic live act in the true punk spirit.


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