BY EFFIE DEANS
I think I saw the Killing Fields (1984) when it came out, but I really don’t remember. I may have seen it on video afterwards. It’s a film about the Cambodian genocide that took place between 1975 and 1979. I don’t remember the details of the film, but I remember the ending. John Lennon’s Imagine plays over the final scenes and the credits. A friend of mine at the time remarked about how powerful the song was. I don’t know what the intention of the filmmakers was, but I always thought the opposite. Surely, they were pointing out the irony of the song’s lyrics juxtaposed with an attempt to put them into practice.
I was reminded of this the other day when a group of Hollywood actors and actresses filmed themselves singing Imagine. They must have thought that a feel-good lefty hymn is just what the world needs right now. But they demonstrated once more how actors are paid to pretend not to think.
Let’s analyse the song:
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
This has been the goal of every Communist regime. The aim of Communism is to create Heaven on earth by abolishing the idea of an afterlife. Communists think that if they can only make people live for today rather than dwell on their reward in heaven, then equality and abundance will be possible.
But what has been the result. Every attempt to begin the path towards Communism has led to Hell on earth. Communism is responsible for more deaths than any other ideology. It has created poverty and it has taken away people’s freedom. It has done so precisely because people think it’s easy if you try.
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, you
This is straight out of the Communist hymn the Internationale. After all the chorus of that song goes:
This is the final struggle
Let us group together, and tomorrow
Will be the human race.
In fact, the nation state and religion have been the greatest opponents of communism. Those countries like Poland which kept their faith despite Communist attempts to eradicate it were the least Communist. Christianity is the foundation of Western morality and the idea that individuals matter, and we are each responsible for our own actions. Only by abolishing Christianity could Communism change human nature by changing our morality and in this way bring about collectivisation. Faith and family were what prevented this. This is why every Communist regime fought against them.
The result was not peace. The result was internal war with Communist regime invariably fighting against its own people and the division of the world into two armed camps armed with nuclear weapons. Imagine going back to the Cold War.
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, you
The aim of Communism was always to abolish property. In Britain we can frequently trace ownership back many generations. In formerly communist countries the ownership of most buildings and most land began with a decision by the state to steal it and reallocate it. But it was precisely the attempt to abolish property and with it the profit motive (“Greed”), that meant Communist countries were both poor and also hungry. Because people did not own their own homes they didn’t look after them. Because land was owned collectively it was frequently treated carelessly and spoiled. The Great Chinese Famine (1959-1961) killed between 15 million and 45 million people precisely because Mao attempted to make real the lyrics that John Lennon would rather stupidly write a decade later.
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one
This is our problem. Too many people in the world are dreamers. They are also hypocrites. They like to imagine that socialism which is just a stage on the way to Communism will solve the world’s problems. It won’t. It will make them worse.
The individual, the family and the sovereign nation state with democratic government, free markets and a judicial system free of corruption protects us from all dreamers and especially from rich actors living in mansions pretending to want no possessions.
The excellent Effie Deans writes at Lily of St. Leonard’s here.