Updated: 21 May 2008, 22:43
Originally written: 24 December 2005
John Lennon wrote imagine, which to some is the most beautiful song ever. It is a political song. imagine is about a new approach for living. To implement that approach demands that we change the economic and political structure of society. We must change who gives the orders. Instead of a minority fighting to get bigger shares of the profits which workers create, it must become the vast majority, in cooperation, who decide how society is to be run.
imagine there’s no heavenHeaven is a hope for a better life, after a life which generates the question and answer “can this be all there is? There must be something better!”
it’s easy if you try
no hell below us
above us only sky
imagine all the people
living for today…
Hell keeps us in line, in a society in which the ruling class needs us to follow their rules.
Instead of hope for, and fear of, an imaginary future, socialism will be a society in which we do not need fantastic rewards or punishments to make up for the reality of our lives. Instead of trading our lives for an afterlife, we will live lives worth living.
imagine there’s no countriesInstead of division into artificial, competing, and necessarily adversarial nations, socialism will be a world of cooperation.
it isn’t hard to do
nothing to kill or die for
and no religion too
imagine all the people
living life in peace…
Instead of wars for the economic benefit of the capitalists, whether religion is used to incite the blood lust or not, we will live life in peace. In every war that has ever been, the poor have been the cannon fodder in the wars of the rulers. Working people were the cannon fodder for the birth of capitalism, and every war since.
When the cause of war — economics — is eliminated with capitalism, it will no longer be able to cause war.
imagine no possessionsOnly those who do not expend anything more than superficial thought, believe, and those seeking to disparage socialism, tell us, that “no possessions” means that somebody is going to take your toothbrush, or your shoes, or your supper, or anything else of normal daily consumption. No socialist has ever implied that. No ownership of the means of production will mean that everyone owns the factories, and farms, and mines, and rivers, and lakes, and fields, and oceans — the whole world.
i wonder if you can
no need for greed or hunger
a brotherhood of man
imagine all the people
sharing all the world…
It means that we will finally be able to produce for use. This will be a big change from denying people’s needs because they cannot afford to pay for goods produced for sale. It means that never again will people starve for want of employment. Never again will there be wars to protect the means of production, raw resources, trade routes, and markets, from competitors.
Socialism will be a society of cooperation, not competition. There will be no trade (meaning buying and selling or exchange). Goods, including food, will be produced for use, not for sale. If someone is hungry, the food will be there to eat. If someone is ill, the medicine will be administered to treat the illness. There will be nobody demanding payment for the necessities of life.
Around the world, today, people are far more alike than they are different. But the differences are used to set us at each others throats. The only beneficiaries are the capitalists for whom we have built a paradise, and trick us to kill each other, in wars to maintain their paradise. Capitalists serve no useful purpose in society. In a socialist world, there will be no classes. There will be no capitalist class and no working class. In socialism we will all expect to work according to our abilities, and to consume according to our self-defined needs.
you may say i’m a dreamerJohn Lennon was not the first to think these thoughts and imagine this future. Socialists have been thinking exactly the same thoughts, and imagining and working for the same future for over a century. We are glad that others are catching up to us. Many people have had the same thoughts and imagined the same future. And most of them have thought they were alone. We are not alone.
but i’m not the only one
i hope some day you’ll join us
and the world will live as one
The ideas are not ridiculous, although the capitalists and their lackeys tell us that we are fools with foolish ideas for an impossible future. This is the big lie, repeated often, until people believe it is the truth. The capitalists have a vested interest in the status quo — they are rich in a paradise for the parasitic.
The ideas of any historical period are the ideas of the ruling class of that period. For example, during feudal times, it was generally believed that kings ruled by divine right, and that it was right and proper for serfs to be beholden to the lord of the manor. To suggest otherwise was ridiculous — everyone knew that is the way it had always been, and always would be.
Then capitalists got workers and peasants to fight the feudal ruling class so the capitalists could establish capitalism. Now, most people believe that working for the capitalist leeches is the way it has always been and will always be. It is considered right and just that the rich should deny us the necessities of life when they do not need to employ us.
History proves that what has always been and will always be, was not always, and need not forever be. It is time for the ideas serving the tiny capitalist minority, and believed to be immutable, to be replaced by ideas which will serve the vast majority of today’s humanity, and all of humanity in the socialist future.
The ability to imagine a better world is the first step. Now that you have imagined socialism, join us to build it!