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
Livin’ life in peace
* * *
Russians and Ukrainians are killing each other by the thousands. Putin has his reasons. Every fool does. Zelensky has his reasons. Every victim does.
Ukraine has its allies. Russia does too. Countries have their reasons: Maintain a balance of power. Don’t let one country get it all.
That’s what precipitated World War I. Russia was obliged to side with Serbia, Germany with Austria, France and England with Russia. And so it went.
Millions of young men were slaughtered even though there’d been multiple opportunities to avoid war. There’s nothing like war to make smart men foolish. It’s the march of folly.
Reason is critical. But it’s not sufficient. People are riddled with powerful dark instincts.
One year on and Russia and Ukraine are still at war.
I can’t imagine no countries. I don’t even want to try. I like countries.
I like diversity. I like different languages, apparel, music, art, cuisines, religions. I’d fight to keep the world diverse, to save the forest and blow up the parking lot. Diversity is healthy. Maybe that’s worth dying for. Diversity sustains nature. Monocultures deplete it.
Countries and religions aren’t the problem. People are. People were killing people long before any country or religion existed.
(Imagine there’s no people.)
And yet most people don’t want war. Only a few do. The rest pay for it.
In 1954 most people and most countries, including the Soviet Union, China, Vietnam, France, and England, wanted a peace settlement in Southeast Asia. The U. S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles (a devout Presbyterian!) did not. He wanted to stop communism before it ran the table. And that meant killing commies.
It didn’t matter to him that most people in Southeast Asia only wanted to be free of Western colonialism. It didn’t matter that nationalism, not communism, drove their resistance. All that was known, and yet fools rushed in.
Dulles threatened “massive retaliation” if China or Russia meddled in our business. And he was considered brilliant.
The march of folly is led by reasonable persons and the duped follow. The financiers wave the flag, sing the national anthem, and count their profits.
I keep imagining all the people livin’ life in peace. But it’s not working.
Anybody know what will?