Mike Rosen Can't "Imagine" John Lennon's Utopia
After noting Elton John's recent anti-religion tirade that made a mention of John Lennon's worse-than-wishful-thinking "Imagine", Mike Rosen set about examining the unrealistic, utopian song whose catchy tune provides stealthy cover for some rather dubious thinking:
In the midst of his ramblings, Elton John invoked the memory of John Lennon, saying that if he were alive today he'd be fighting for peace (my oxymoron, not his). Which reminded me of Lennon's epic song, Imagine. Baby boomer romantic nostalgia notwithstanding, the puerile lyrics of that tune sound like a collaboration of Karl Marx, Cindy Sheehan and Dennis Kucinich.No doubt the philosophy derived from some weed-induced haze and not reflective thinking. Having distilled Communism and other philosophical dead-ends into generic platitudes, Lennon's "Imagine" attempts to persuade an easily fooled public through the cult of celebrity and the mask that the statements made in the song are really reasonable. The world's complex problems are never solved so "simply", and as Rosen points out, attempting to reach such a pacific reality often entails violence and repression to a degree more severe than the current situation.
Imagine there's no heaven/It's easy if you try/No hell below us/Above us only sky/Imagine all the people/Living for today
Even if you don't believe in rewards or punishment in the hereafter, responsible adults don't live just for today. They defer gratification and save for a rainy day and retirement. Think of the parable of the grasshopper and the ant.
Imagine there's no countries/It isn't hard to do/Nothing to kill or die for/And no religion, too/Imagine all the people/Living life in peace
No, I can't imagine that. It's anti-historical and contrary to human nature. People are inherently tribal and nationalistic. They band together, linked by common cultures, superstitions, beliefs, values and preferred systems of political economy.
You may say that I'm a dreamer/But I'm not the only one/I hope someday you'll join us/And the world will be as one
You're a dreamer. Never happen. The only way the world would be as one is under the guns of a militaristic, totalitarian regime. And even that would only be temporary. Empires invariably fall.
Imagine no possessions/I wonder if you can/No need for greed or hunger/A brotherhood of man/Imagine all the people/Sharing all the world
Good heavens, no! This is right out of The Communist Manifesto. No possessions? You mean no property rights? That means no rewards, no incentives, no creativity and very little production. Moochers living off a dwindling pool of hard workers. Who's going to harvest the crops while the "dreamers" are smoking dope and flashing peace signs with that silly grin on their faces? What everyone owns, no one owns. Think of the graffiti on the walls of community-owned property like a New York City subway station men's room. By comparison, have you ever seen graffiti on the walls of a bathroom in someone's private home?