Thursday, March 5, 2009


You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it's evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you can count me out

You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We'd all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well, you know
We're all doing what we can
But when you want money
for people with minds that hate
All I can tell you is brother you have to wait

You say you'll change the constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it's the institution
Well, you know
You better free your mind instead
But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao
You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow

In case anyone's wondering, I'm with John Lennon as far as revolution is concerned. Yes, "we all want to change the world." And, yes, as I see it, we are headed for revolutionary change. But no, not based on violence, not based on destruction, and certainly not based on the teachings of Chairman Mao. Or "General Secretary" Stalin either.

The problem with violent revolutions, aside from the violence (in itself something to be avoided at all costs), is that it's all too easy for things to get out of control, for too many innocent people to be victimized, for power to get into the wrong hands, and, consequently, for the original goals to be co-opted and ultimately subverted. We have seen this happen over and over again in history and there is a real danger it could happen again. The American revolution was an exception and not the rule.

Where may the wearied eye repose
When gazing on the Great;
Where neither guilty glory glows,
Nor despicable state?
Yes --one--the first--the last--the best--
The Cincinnatus of the West,
Whom envy dared not hate,
Bequeath`d the name of Washington,
To make man blush there was but one!

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