On Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ and Marine Le Pen
In following up my post from Thursday, I want to briefly focus on ‘Imagine’ as a summary of the Baby-boomer, liberal establishment project. Lennon’s song represents the hope that all the characteristics that distinguish cultures and peoples, being divisive as they are, be abolished so that humanity can live in unity and peace. Of course, without those characteristics a society falls into the cult of the individual and selfish, which was the point of my previous post.
But, I also believe that ‘Imagine’ represents the mentality that drove the western world to the political point we are at: Brexit and UKIP, Geert Wilders, Marine Le Pen and the National Front, Donald Trump’s ascendency and the alt-right, and Black Lives Matter and the current free speech debacle on American college campuses. Erasing distinctives and characteristics of society does not leave behind pure, unadulterated peaceful humanity, but a void that will be filled by alternative cultural values and distinctives.
Books like J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy and the myriad of subsequent commentaries have focused on this quite a bit recently, but this article from the American Conservative on the political culture of France does a good job of putting this into perspective. The reactions to the liberal establishment project of the west may include a sort of Hegelian/Marxist antithesis, but the content of the current reaction is that Lennon’s dream came, wrought destruction, and was found wanting. It erased what made people themselves, and opened up the door to a different set of cultural values (e.g. a neutered French establishment that actively pushes back on any idea of Frenchness, North African and Arab Muslim populations in France that are seeking cultural control) that will quash the traditional characteristics and the people belonging to them.
In other words, the cultural and political turmoil of western civilization right now is a response to the enacting of the dream of which Lennon sang. New groups, uninterested in imagining the erasing of their heritage came and have begun supplanting the original heritage, and the dreamers are using cultural pressure on traditionalists to remove their distinctions. Large scale pushback and reaction was inevitable.