Take The Power Back By Rage Against The Machine

Rage Against The Machine

1992 | Rock

Spotify | Amazon

“In the right light, study becomes insight, but the system that dissed us, teaches us to read and write. -- So called facts are fraud, they want us to allege and pledge, and bow down to their God."


  • The album hit #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart and number 45 on the Billboard 200.
  • The cover is a photo of Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thích Quảng Đức', self-immolation in Saigon in 1963.
  • "No samples, keyboards or synthesizers used in the making of this record" is printed in the liner notes.


Luke Tatum

Boy oh boy, do I love attacking the public education system. (Anyone noticed that yet?) Here's my favorite bit from this track: "The complacent students sit; And listen to some of that bullshit he learned in school." Why is that impactful? The teacher is just regurgitating what he was taught to another generation. This is why controlling public education has to be a key component of any mass-propaganda scheme. People spend all of their formative years in a school setting. Why? To learn the basics. For many people, this is where their education on "the basics" stops. The pressures of paying back their student loans, having a family, keeping a job, getting promoted, and all the rest keeps people from returning to the "learning" part of life. This is fallacious on its face, of course--edcuation can and should be continuous. But like so many things, the government "gives" us a certain minimum standard, and this prevents most of us from seeking anything further.

Sherry Voluntary

OOOH another RATM song. As y'all know, I love them, and I must admit, I get a slight perverse delight in knowing they annoy our friend, Nicky P. He always pulls something good out of his hat though, so I look forward to it. This song goes pretty hard after the "education system." I agree that it is a travesty and does more damage to kids than any perceived good. The public school system is about controlling and indoctrinating the next generation of the tax farm. Raising good and obedient citizens who are greatful for the freedoms they allow them to have. No person who desires freedom should ever turn the education of children over to The State.

Nicky P

I'll never get why this band was so ubiquitous when i was growing up. This song wasn't even important enough to have it's own Wikipedia page but I knew it immediately. I'll admit out of all the Rage Against The Machine we've covered, I appreciate this song most on both the musical and lyrical fronts. I suppose since education is one of my soapbox issues it makes sense. Schools exist to make compliant adults and weave a narrative that does that. As it gains ground the narrative changes ever so slightly in each incarnation until eventually that spark for freedom that we once had will be extinguished and forgotten. My favorite analogy for the American education system illustrates how insane the entire thing is by swapping out the US government for Walmart and the presidents for Walmart CEOs. It's clunky but it points out exactly how ludicrous the idea is of sending your children to any monopolized educational institution.

Created By
Nicky P