The mysterious lyrics of “Great Imperialist State” may seem somewhat quirky, even queer. But once the surface is pried open, therein lays a core, dejected and contrite. Simone White uses apt metaphors to depict vivid pictures of disheartening issues like labour exploitation, rioting and biased resource allocation, evidently rampant in certain parts of the world.
White’s purpose of this song is to highlight the plight, predicament and socio-economic inequality faced by the developing nations to people in developed nations. An “Imperialist State” refers to a nation’s extension of rule over foreign countries through financial capitalism and militarism. Since antiquity, capitalism entails a “bourgeoisie–proletariat” relationship which stands till today – albeit having been perverted by profit-driven Transnational Corporations and further proliferated by the inexorable march of globalisation.
White’s submission of “Will you believe me… I never loved profiting from your pain”, suggests a yearning for forgiveness for the sufferings and hardship imposed. Furthermore, “Food turned into flowers… world will not deliver on demand” signifies resources being channelled to trivial commodities juxtapose to urgent necessities of the extreme poor. An imminent rebellion is also cautioned by the proposition of “revolution knocking down my door” where the oppressed would rise after taking the last straw. Hence, the penning of injustice and ensuing repercussions in a repentant and sympathetic fashion may be hinting and hoping for reforms to right the wrongs.
In conclusion, White has resoundingly captured the essence of the tribulations faced by developing nations and successfully evoked feelings of remorse seeking redemption.