Musician and activist Pete Seeger, who passed away yesterday, early on discovered a simple, powerful machine for transformation: his banjo inscribed with the words:

This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender. 

Andrew Sullivan/The New York Times
Andrew Sullivan/The New York Times

He was rarely without it and used it to tell stories with song that would indeed cause hate and darkness to surrender. It worked along this principle:

The key to the future of the world is finding the optimistic stories and letting them be known. —Pete Seeger


…gonna miss that guy…

There’s a beauty of a slideshow here about old Pete.

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3 replies on “Pete Seeger’s Unique Machine of Transformation

  1. The message on Pete’s guitar, and of course in his music, was inspired by Woody Guthrie, in whose tracks he surely walked. Guthrie’s guitar was famously inscribed with the words “This machine kills fascists.” Billy Bragg, the British singer song-writer has the same words on his guitar, as a tribute to the power of the folk-singer to push social change.

  2. This is lovely. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Thanks so much Andrea. It’s great to know the roots, and the evolution.

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