Updated: 21 May 2008, 23:33
Originally written: 30 November 2006
John Lennon was murdered 26 years ago, on 8 December 1980. He left humanity a legacy of his music. For socialists, at the top of the list sits the song imagine.
imagine expresses a desirable and practical vision for our future.
As a song it has reached millions of hearts and minds around the world. As a song that is all it can do. It is up to those many millions of people to take the ideas and build the future which incorporates them. If people hope and wish and do nothing else, the result will be hopeful and wishful-thinking people who are disappointed. If people take the music to heart, and take the ideas into their minds, and actually decide to build the society they want, then the song will be a beacon lighting the way to our future.
One person cannot create socialism. Nobody can create socialism for us. Only the huge majority of people, worldwide, can create socialism. That sounds impossible: to get such a majority to agree and build socialism. It becomes impossible as each person decides they will not commit because others have not already committed in great enough numbers. That certainly is a cookbook for failure.
The question then becomes whether failure is an acceptable option. For socialists the answer is that failure is not acceptable. If one courts failure, then failure is assured. Court success.
The first drop of rain in a bucket is relatively insignificant. One drop could never fill the bucket. A person courting failure would give up, knowing the bucket would never fill. There are billions of workers. As rain can fill the bucket, the ninety to ninety-five percent of the world’s population that is the working class, can change the society in which we live. Society has changed before — capitalism was a revolutionary social change built upon on the backs of the working class — and it will change again when we turn our minds and some effort to the task.
The alternative is more capitalism. That means more poverty, more terrorism, more war, more hatred, more starvation, more deaths from easily cured diseases. More of our work to make other people rich. Capitalism is no closer to solving those problems than it was 150 years ago. It will not get any closer in the next 150 or fifteen hundred years.
Those problems will be impossible in a socialist society because the cause will have been removed. Socialism is a real solution because it removes today’s cause of those problems: capitalism.
It is your choice. You can choose capitalism, or you can choose socialism. imagine, then make it happen.