Americanism vs. Marxism-Lennonism

By | 2017-06-02T18:30:05+00:00 March 25, 2017|
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I have a friend who is a retired public school teacher. She is very likeable and in some areas an independent thinker. One day in conversation she brought up the terrible poverty and near-anarchy that prevails just on the other side of America’s southern border. It quickly became clear that she believed America was at fault, that America’s prosperity was somehow the cause of Mexico’s problems. When I asked her what the solution might be, she replied without hesitation that we should get rid of that border, and not stop there but get rid of all borders. Then, she said, people everywhere could live in peace.

If I could capture for you precisely how she said this, you would hear as I did John Lennon’s “Imagine” forming her thoughts:

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…

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man.

The simplest explanation of what happened to the modern progressive Baby Boomers is that they found for themselves a new national anthem, one they like much better than that old and out-dated one that asked them to be brave if they expected to be free.

When John Kerry in a commencement speech told college graduates they will live in a borderless world, he made it clear his muddled Marxist thinking—like my friend’s—is of the Lennonist variety.

In conversations with my progressive friends, I find they see America as the problem. They place their hopes in the world beyond America’s borders. When Kerry said America needed France’s approval to conduct foreign policy, his assertion made perfect sense to Lennonists. When Bill Maher said if half the country wants Trump as president then the United Nations needs to intervene, he spoke for American Lennonists everywhere.

You have to admit that American Lennonism has a certain logic. If America is the problem, then getting rid of America’s borders is an important and even an essential step toward a better world. But if America is not the problem, if America deserves to live, if there are still many Americans who want America to live, then not so much. And if getting rid of America turned out to be a mistake, it would be a mistake impossible to undo.

If you doubt that Lennonism has a powerful hold on the thinking and the imaginations of many in America, please consider this: “Imagine” has become the more-or-less official anthem played in the United States on New Year’s Eve.

I prefer “The Star-Spangled Banner.” To me, nothing expresses America’s uniqueness better than the fact that, as it is traditionally performed, America’s national anthem ends with this question:

O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

That question is actually a challenge. Our national anthem issues a challenge to every generation down to our own, reminding us of our responsibility to preserve the Founders’ gift.

I’ll ask you the same question: have we kept America the land of the free and the home of the brave?

 

About the Author:

Robert Curry
Robert Curry serves on the Board of Directors of the Claremont Institute and is the author of Common Sense Nation: Unlocking the Forgotten Power of the American Idea from Encounter Books. You can preview the book at: http://www.amazon.com/Common-Sense-Nation-Unlocking-Forgotten/dp/1594038252 He also serves on the Board of Distinguished Advisors for the Ronald Reagan Center for Freedom and Understanding.
  • Haga Akane ✓ᴰᵉᵖˡᵒʳᵃᵇˡᵉ

    I sincerely believe when all is said and done, we’re going to have to toss these idiots into re-education camps.

  • Excellent. Marxist-Lennonism gets it exactly. I’ll probably borrow that phrase. Yesterday, in the news (Breitbart) was an item about the Canadian Parliament passing a motion that singles out the criticism of Islam as a form of Islamophobia. It states that the government must “condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination.” 210 MPs voted for it and 91 against! The picture was of PM Trudeau behind a podium with a large sign saying “diversity is Canada’s Strength” in 2 languages. An anti-Sharia petition on the Parliament website had at the time 24,000 signatures. But I was reminded of a brief mention in an article about Germany’s migrant problem that someone complaining about the migrants was attacked with a shocked “But don’t you appreciate the Diversity this has brought to Germany.?”

    This all sent me to haul out my copy of Ernest Sternberg’s “Purifying the World: What the New Radical Ideology Stands For” (Orbis December 2010) and John Fonte’s “Liberal Democracy vs. Transnational Progressivism” (Orbis/ Summer 2002). Both available online. Ideology. It seems impossible that anyone in this day and age could fall for such claptrap, but then one hears of Noam Chomsky’s books still being favorites of college students and even assigned by leftist professors. In Sternberg’s essay, he mentions that a few nation-states have started flying the purification banner…”most prominent is Venezuela, its strongman Hugo Chavez, being a prominent speaker at World Social Forums”. We’re all seeing how that plays out. Starving Venezuelans are dying from eating the wrong kind of Yucca, the poisonous one.

    Yes, human nature is flawed, argumentative, difficult, but it cannot be “fixed” to have that wondrous brotherhood of man, living in peace. Sorry.

    • Robert Curry

      Dear theelephantschild,
      Thank you for your thoughtful, informed, and informative reply.
      You are so right about human nature. The problems it presents will not disappear if we get rid of borders or get rid of property.
      With best wishes

    • CincyGal

      So it is now against the law in Canada to critique Islam? You need an attorney on hand to discuss comparative religions if you include islam? That may not have been the intent, but I bet it becomes the reality. So much for letting ideas play themselves out n a public forum.

    • TruthorDare

      It has historically been human nature to conquer, with destruction of the foe the intent. Some “civilized ” pods think we can conquer poverty and hate with the Imagine ideals espoused by Lennon. What they fail to realize is that a great many of those in poverty and disarrey carry the desire to conquer as well. The difference is that their intent is destruction of their foe – The United States of America.

  • Look! Pretty balloons!

    That might be the story sold to the masses by “Marxists”, but to believe that John Kerry really cares about any of this seems a bridge too far.

    I prefer the simpler explanation. Immoral opportunists, like a group of parasites, see the opportunity make permanent their power structure in America. To do so, they will import uneducated foreigners by the millions, knowing how they will vote if just given free health care, a good liberal indoctrination, and some work to keep them busy.

    Most of the people coming here want better for themselves, I have no doubt. But they’ve long since stopped being proud to have gotten here, in too many cases.

    Democrats learned well the power of building a modern day plantation on which they set the African Americans. Now they want to add Central and South Americans to the plantation, and when the circumstances are right, some Syrians or Somalians.

    American culture and exceptionalism be damned. We will control the plantation with excessive force and Constitutional rights violations.

    And, if a few daughters have to be raped or a few sons murdered, well… you have to crack some eggs to make an omelette.

    • Robert Curry

      Dear Look!Pretty balloons!,
      Thank you for your very interesting reply.
      Seeing “the opportunity make permanent their power structure in America”, I think, is just right.
      With all best wishes

      • steve8714

        I don’t believe Lennon believed this for HIS money. He also wrote “Taxman”.

        • RaleighDevil

          George Harrison says hello.

    • Montanagirl1

      This is the same recipe, with different actors, used in the EU to convince them that their national cultures are not worth saving. The same contempt for the victims of their polices as we are drifting towards here in the US. God help us all.

    • SophieA

      Ah, yes, make that omelette! But someone much more wise than me asked if anyone had ever tasted that particular omelette (or was it a cake?). No matter. We need only ask victims of communism/socialism the bitterness of their oppression. Your point is spot on.

  • Jayne

    Great article. It is so interesting that you analyze the leftists view of Mexico as that open borders will solve the problem. Whereas I always look at Mexico and wonder why a nation blessed with ours and Canada’s types of resources has not become an economically thriving member of the developed world. The question of economic development, so that people would be happy and prosper in their country of birth has more promise than does the off kilter idea of open borders.

    • Robert Curry

      Dear Jayne,
      Thank you for your thoughtful, common sense reply.
      With best regards

    • erp617

      We drove all round Mexico and saw nothing but poverty, except at the expensive resorts and upscale areas of the cities. We actually saw women washing clothes in a muddy river within sight of Acapulco’s palatial resorts along with Pacific. Driving back through Brownsville we passed moonscape like desolation while right across the Rio Grande were huge irrigation machines, greenery and thriving towns.

      The difference is we were settled by people wanting to be free and south of the border was settled by grandees with huge land grants from their kings who had no interest in developing the country as a viable place for ordinary people to prosper.

      • Not Chicken Little

        Much like the difference between Israel and the Arab countries surrounding it, and the difference between West Germany and East Germany in the Soviet era. Gosh I wonder if their could be some kind of parallel explanation, why things change so drastically moving just from one side of a border to the other, in these and many other places? What a mystery.

        • Robert Curry

          Perfect !

        • erp617

          Total mystery to those who choose to see not.

        • Nuther G. Mule

          Kinda like Haiti and the Dominican Republic — one a sink hole of devastation, poverty, illness, foreign aid and corruption and the other (a representative democracy) barely if ever in the news. Go figure.

      • JJS_FLA

        The first Democratic Senator of California was elected under suspicious circumstances. One of his first acts was to try to import Peons and Hidalgos from Chile – so as to sway California to become a slave state.

        The Gold Rush era “Miners 49ers” were free men who recognized the Democrat’s feudal threat to their livelihood and immediately drove them out.

      • Hugh Miller

        The other thing that contributed to the poverty was the catholic influence on birth control. Hard to have a thriving society when you have too many children living below poverty levels!

        • erp617

          True, but mostly because there was practically no middle class. There were the mega-rich vast hioldings where the peons worked and some professionals. No upward mobility at all.

      • steve8714

        Sad to say, the difference between Puritans and the Catholic Church matter also.

  • BOB®

    John Lennon as a political thinker rates just below his taste in women.

    • Actually there is SOME evidence that the song is parody. “When you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao….” is at least a mixed message.

      • BOB®

        That is the best lyric in the song, but still not a defense of the rest of the bile.

      • Dudley Pedro

        +You are confusing “Revolution.” This article is about “Imagine.”

        BTW : in ‘Revolution” . . . “When you talk about destruction, don’t you know that you can count me out (in).” That is on the ‘White Album’ slow version (“unplugged”) It is also from the ‘Live’ version played on the Smother’s Brothers Show years ago, ” . . . don’t you know that you can count me out (in).”

        • davidscott999

          Also, I believe the lyric was “out (in”) on “Revolution 1” on the White Album.

          • RaleighDevil

            When asked about this years later, Lennon rejected the “in.”

          • Dudley Pedro

            That’s what I said.

  • Dee Win

    Leftists are too stupid to know how stupid they are.

  • Russell Steadman

    John Lennon was more on track if “Happiness is a Warm Gun” was literally about a gun. But he was probably referring to a heroine syringe.. What a dope!

    • Steve Jones

      Actually, he copied th song title that from the cover of Guns and Ammo magazine.

  • CincyGal

    Let me answer directly: no. We are hanging on to the Land of the Free by our fingernails, but we have not educated the upcoming generation what it means to be free or why it’s valuable. What people do not value, they will not bother to keep. As to the Land of the Brave, there is little occasion for kids to learn to be brave. i believe high schools actually focus on group projects to encourage cooperation and group dynamics – or as we used to call it, conformity. John Lennon succumbed to a life of heroin addiction while snuggled in his cozy bed. That gave him lots of time to exercise his imagination.

    I do wonder if we are not too comfortable and too rich and way too distracted by a constant stream of casual entertainment to bother ourselves with anything important. We excelled as long as we were faced with challenges. Perhaps what we need is a challenge to live up to. Can’t think of what that might be, but I hope there’s something out there.

    • Robert Curry

      Dear CindyGal,
      Thank you for your comment.
      No question Americans who care are going to have to save America.
      http://34.201.232.221/2017/03/22/make-americanism-great/
      With best wishes

    • Not Chicken Little

      One thing I would change by the process of amendment to our Constitution, is that citizenship and the right to vote would have to be earned and not granted automatically.

    • Writes CincyGal:

      I do wonder if we are not too comfortable and too rich and way too distracted by a constant stream of casual entertainment to bother ourselves with anything important. We excelled as long as we were faced with challenges. Perhaps what we need is a challenge to live up to. Can’t think of what that might be, but I hope there’s something out there.

      Robert Zubrin, in The Case for Mars (1996), citing the historian Frederick Jackson Turner, said:

      . . . in one bold sweep Turner presented a brilliant insight into the basis of American society and the American character. It was not legal theories, precedents, traditions, national or racial stock that was the source of America’s egalitarian democracy, individualism, and the spirit of innovation, he said. It was the existence of the frontier.

      It was the challenge of this vast new continent to conquer and develop that kept us young and vibrant, unlike turgid old Europe. I think Mr Zubrin (and Jackson) does minimize the cultural difference between the colonists bearing the fruits of Protestant English and Scottish political philosophy and those from the aristocratic Catholic societies of Spain and Portugal: there was a frontier in Central and South America, too, but it didn’t create dynamic Republics.

      Still, Robert Zubrin has an vital point:

      . . . The creation of a new frontier thus presents itself as America’s and humanity’s greatest social need. Nothing is more important. Apply what palliatives you will, without a frontier to grow in, not only American society, but the entire global civilization based upon values of humanism, science, and progress will ultimately die.

      Mr Zubrin thinks that frontier should be Mars. I’d say the entire Solar System. But I think he’s right, at least for Americans. Otherwise we can see our fate as coming right behind Old Europe, mired in indulgent satiety, overwhelmed by invading barbarian hordes from the south and across the oceans. . .

      /Mr Lynn

      • AEJ

        Totally agree about the frontier. Add to that that the open space in the West helped determine that Socialism and Socialist movements rampant in Europe didn’t get a foothold here. When your employer was a dirtbag, you had a choice: side with Socialists or move West. The Europeans didn’t have the frontier option at home.
        A friend in the Uk told me “Europe is a bunch of tribes all fighting over one little spit of land, and it’s always been this way”.

      • JJS_FLA

        Gordon Wood writes about this in his “The Radicalism of the American Revolution” He notes that indentured servants in the colonial era once freed would leave to the frontier and return richer than their former masters — totally upsetting the established social order.

        Wood uses primary sources to illustrate this social upheaval of the feudal order — the reestablishment of which is the goal of Democrats who pine for “Camelot”. What explains the DEMs excuse of the Lewinsky-scandal other than droit du seigneur?

        https://www.amazon.com/Radicalism-American-Revolution-Gordon-Wood/dp/0679736883

    • We have grown foolish in plenty. We will grow wise in hunger. If we live that long.

    • Hugh Miller

      Yes, our plenty actually goes against our need for freedoms and self reliance! We have become too lazy and self-absorbed.

  • zombietimeshare

    I notice the open border only goes one way—into the US.

    • Like the Hillaroids only threaten to go to Canada.

    • Brother John the Deplorable

      Governor Moonbeam isn’t so sure. That dumb SOB doesn’t understand the difference between a wall meant to keep something in and keep something out.

  • howmanyamericans

    Hi, Am I the only one who remembers the study by the World Bank titled, “Where Is the Wealth of Nations?” which cited the rule of law and education of its people as necessary components over resources? Google “The Intangible Wealth of Nations” by Bailey. Also see nationsavers web site.

  • itsy_bitsy

    How do you deal with idiots? What’s worse is that she was teaching our children! This woman is the poster child for everything this country does not stand for or at least should not stand for! She should take herself off to Europe and settle there. It’s where she belongs. She seems to have no concept of the meaning of a Constitutional Republic, better that she settle herself somewhere within a communist community where they can all tell each other how wonderful they really are!

    • Robert Curry

      Dear itsy_bitsy,
      You make an important point. But she is not alone.
      Public schools and public and private universities are the point of the spear in not just not teaching the meaning of a Constitutional Republic, but actually teaching against it.
      http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/02/what_ever_happened_to_common_sense.html
      What is going on in American education is the explanation for the astonishing speed of anti-Americanism’s advance in recent years in America.
      Anti-Americanism has long been a mainstay of popular sentiment abroad. Now many Americans have come around to that way of thinking about America.
      With best wishes

      • itsy_bitsy

        I could not agree with you more!

  • Still Out of Service

    The USofA has some great anthems, performed by a variety of artists.
    One I really enjoy is the Jimi Hendrix (Airborne) version,
    We played it real loud in the bunker,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  • William Westchester

    Has that imbecile Kerry calculated the number of square feet per person if all 6 billion migrate to the space between Canada and Mexico?

  • Vicki

    You can never get poor enough to help poor people.

  • jdelayknee

    Excellent article and potentially thought provoking if read and discussed where it really counts: our schools and universities. Just finished reading Pearl Buck’s “The Good Earth”. It crystallized the paradox we have and the realization we (the people reading what you write) are too late. Wang Lung’s 2 sons comforting their dying father with assurances they “get what he says” while secretly smiling to each other confirming their intent to disregard his advice. Marx-Lenin put words to a growing sense of economic disparity in pre-revolution Russia and China. Vietnam was a bridge-to-far moment for my Dad’s generation’s noble intent to stem the scourge of Communism because it sent too many “Boomers” to fight a war they didn’t get. I hate to even mention this but history suggest we will see a continuous drift/lurch leftward until another cathartic moment arrives to wake up the current crop. The control panel of life is set to “repeat”.

    • Robert Curry

      Dear jdelayknee,
      Thank you for your reply.
      Re “read and discussed where it really counts: our schools and universities”.
      Have you read Common Sense Nation? Please consider promoting it among those victims of our schools and universities who are in your circle of influence.
      What if it’s possible to turn this thing around?
      With all good wishes

  • Stick

    Lennon-ism is a good play on words and capsulization of the cup re sac thinking of our trustafarian culture but I think Harry Potterism better describes today’s zeitgeist. After all this postmodern nonsense was given flight by Gen Xers and Pajama Boys electing a half blood prince. There is actually more narcissism with Harry than John. John had a real resume with real achievements – Harry, like Obama and Hillary, is merely a fictional character.

    • Robert Curry

      Dear Stick,
      An interesting suggestion. I don’t know enough about Harry Potterism to comment about that.
      But hitching a ride on your thought, perhaps what happened is that Lennon captured the imagination of the Boomers, and Potter captured the imagination of your “Gen Xers and Pajama Boys.”
      Revenge of the Brits?
      With best regards

      • Stick

        Robert, watching the movies it becomes obvious that the director wanted to cast Harry as a little John Lennon. This may be at R.K. Rowlings instruction.

        • Robert Curry

          Interesting.
          All I know about Potter is the pictures I have seen of him–and he does look like a young Lennon. Good one!

  • By all means, Maherites, get the UN to intervene. There will be a mountain of bloody white helmets for a start.

  • I always thought Lennonism could be defined as emotional utopianism, without benefit of a guiding ideology, a product of “If it feels good, do it,” or maybe “If it feels good, think it.” But clearly some of the ’60s ‘flower-power’ generation were infected with various bastardized forms of Marxism, or Maoism; witness Bill Ayers, et al.

    /Mr Lynn

  • AEJ

    In his book Radical Son, David Horowitz wrote: “conservatism was an attitude about the lessons of an actual past. By contrast,
    the attention of progressives was directed towards an imagined future [a liberated future].
    Conservatism was an attitude of caution based on a sense of human limits and
    what politics could accomplish.”

    He goes on to write about equality and freedom being inherently in conflict and leveling/equal distribution can only be accomplished by force, by restricting individual freedom. And that humanity is flawed, there’s a dark side to it that the Left’s utopian ideas can’t change (that the idea of an arc of the moral universe bending towards justice is a dream, not the reality of history; that there is no exit from the dilemmas of history).

    Here’s the passage:

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NJPBj967vGOsBHCybiJOxILokvH__eSKSp1YMdS_GV4/edit?usp=sharing

  • Can America stay great with half the population mired in mush-brain thinking? Eliminating borders has been tired in Europe and we can see what it got them.

  • Dan Schwartz

    Actually, The Star Spangled Banner ends not in a question but in an exclamation, thus:

    Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
    And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.’
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave![

  • scott forman

    There will be a civil war. The left can’t help themselves. They will start the next civil war. This is because they thought they were almost home with 8 years of Obumer and 8 years of the Hildebeast (or so they thought). They are beside themselves that the patriots (everyday people) stole what they thought was their birth right to destroy America. There will be a civil war that the left will start and LOSE badly.

  • N.S. Palmer

    Lennon’s song exemplifies the problem, but the root cause is that many Baby Boomers never grew up.

    https://ashesblog.com/2017/02/07/americas-suicidal-arrested-development/

  • SineWaveII

    I believe that the John Lennon/Imagine system of government is also responsible for the EU as well. It’s obvious that they thought they were getting rid of the nation/states of the Europe with the creation of the EU but what they and Saint John doesn’t understand is that you can’t do away with nation/states you can only replace one nation/state with another one. But since the EU refuses to think and act like a nation/state it’s doomed to complete failure.

    • Robert Curry

      Dear SineWavell,
      Point taken!
      Best regards

  • SUAeditor™️✔Fearless Leader

    As a home owner in Mexico I have many occasions to discuss Mexico’s problems. It’s very simple. They haven’t had their Revolutionary War yet. A Mexican can’t go dig a hole in the side of some mountain and discover gold or silver. A Mexican can’t drill a hole in the ground for water and start farming. A Mexican can’t go dig a hole in the ground looking for oil. They never have had the freedom our constitution gave us in the beginning. There is freedom and then there’s American Freedom. It was a huge difference.

  • Ed O’Brien

    Reminds me of a poster I saw in the dorm room of 2 Wharton School students in the early 1970’s: “All Hail Marx & Lennon!” And the “hailees?” Groucho Marx and John Lennon.
    Suppose I shouldn’t be, but I am often surprised at how naïve supposedly sophisticated, experienced officials, entrusted with guarding our nation, are or can be. Never underestimate the human capacity for self-delusion, I guess. A line I’ll never forget was uttered by Pres. Jimmy Carter’s dovish Secretary of State, Cyrus R. Vance, sometime between 1976 & 1980. This allegedly experienced Wall Street lawyer said “If the Russians prove themselves untrustworthy…” as if the prior 30+ years of the Cold War wasn’t ample proof, several times over, of the USSR’s untrustworthiness. Of course, Democrats have no monopoly on foolishness at the US State Dept. It was Charles Evans Hughes that negotiated the 1922 Washington Naval Treaty & Frank B. Kellogg who negotiated the 1928 Kellogg – Briand Pact.

  • ererwhig

    Attributed to Voltaire: “That which is too stupid to be spoken, is sung”

  • Sam McGowan

    Interesting. However, I have been to Mexico many, many times and the truth is that the country is thriving. There are pockets of poverty, such as along the Rio Grande (there’s not much of anything across from New Mexico – or in southern New Mexico) but there are pockets of poverty north of the Rio Grande as well, and is there an American city that doesn’t have slums? Yes, it is Lennonism-Marxism. John Lennon was as left-wing as they come and a little over half of Boomers idolized him and followed his lead by opposing everything the United States did. That group became left-wing teachers and academics, and they’re as looney now as they were then. The other group went to Vietnam and knew it was all a lie.

  • SophieA

    John Kerry, et. al., like all the other elitist lefies can afford to live in a world without borders. They live in total security in their walled estates or accompanied by their many armed bodyguards. We in middle America are just as deserving of protection as theoretically we are all equal in our democracy.

  • So – if the Lennonists think that having no possessions is such a great idea, why – let them first get rid of ALL their possessions – home, contents, car, country club membership, place in an elite college, credit cards, etc.

    Then, after they go back to those people who gleefully took their stuff, and ask for it back, ask them again – was that a great idea, or what?