We publish here the transcript of a speech by Alan Woods on the subject of the relationship between Art and the Class Struggle. The speech was given at a Marxist Summer School in Barcelona (Spain), in July 2001.

Art is important to people. It has always been so from the earliest human societies, when it was indissolubly linked to magic — that is, to the first primitive attempts of men and women to understand and gain control over the world in which they live. However, in class society art is so designed as to exclude the masses, and relegate them to an impoverished existence, not only in a material but in a spiritual sense.

“If sharks were people,” Mr K. was asked by his landlady’s little girl, “would they be nicer to the little fishes?” (Bertolt Brecht)