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Was Lennon a Marxist?

by Charlie Thunell PL&T / June 20, 2004 2:54 AM PDT

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There is a line in "Imagine" (considered one of the best song in the history of rock/pop) that says:
"Imagine no possession..." He kind of glorify the idea about no possession and a world tat don't have any possessions is a world of peace. Isn't this pretty much what the Communist manifest says? I am not saying that Lennon was a Communist, but don't you think he was definitely to the left of the Democratic party?
He was also very early with the women liberation when writing Woman is the Ni**er of the World"... And "Power to the People" contains some lines that say:

"Say you want a revolution,
We better get on right away,
Well you get on your feet,
And out on the street."

"A million workers working for nothing,
You better give 'em what they really own,
We got to put you down,
When we come into town."

And I could go on with "Working Class heroe" and others, but let's keep it here...

Just thoughts since I am listening to one of his albums here and now...
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Yes, he was and yes,
by Kiddpeat / June 20, 2004 7:23 AM PDT
In reply to: Was Lennon a Marxist?

having no possessions was probably a communist idea. We know how WELL that idea worked don't we? It destroyed Russia.

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Big egg on face. I thought you
by Kiddpeat / June 20, 2004 1:26 PM PDT
In reply to: Yes, he was and yes,

said Lenin. I guess my Beatle ignorance is showing. I think it was 'Hard Day's Night' blaring 24 hours a day through the dorm walls that did it.

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Re: Was Lennon a Marxist?
by Josh K / June 20, 2004 8:44 AM PDT
In reply to: Was Lennon a Marxist?

I don't think he considered himself a communist or a socialist, but Imagine was written at a time when he had moved to the far left, where he would remain for several years. And yes, the lyrics (which John later admitted were co-written with Yoko) espouse ideals that are also espoused by communist ideology.

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Lennon was a Beatle :-)
by C1ay / June 20, 2004 10:43 AM PDT
In reply to: Was Lennon a Marxist?
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I always assumed he was a Marxist ...
by Bill Osler / June 20, 2004 11:04 AM PDT
In reply to: Was Lennon a Marxist?

IIRC it was fairly fashionable at various times for Leftists to support Marxist ideology even if they did not always fully support Communist implementations of Marxist teaching.

Not that it matters. Lenin was a popular musician. Artists may try to make political statements of one sort or another but artists and actors are not inherently any more competent as politicians or as arbiters of moral truth than anybody else. In fact, I wonder if they are not less qualified than most to offer an informed opinion.

In most cases, if I see a celebrity advocating a cause it makes me inclined to adopt the opposite viewpoint out of pure orneriness.

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Thanks to you all...
by Charlie Thunell PL&T / June 21, 2004 8:13 AM PDT
In reply to: Was Lennon a Marxist?

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Does anyone believe that Lennon was right in his analysis of the world in songs likre PTTP or Imagine or Working Class Heroe?
.

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Re: Thanks to you all...
by Josh K / June 21, 2004 9:59 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks to you all...

I don't think there was any "analysis of the world" in those songs. Working Class Hero was an entirely personal song about disillusionment with fame. Imagine was a song about idealism, a song about the concept of communism though I suspect even John knew it didn't work. Sort of a "Wouldn't it Be Nice" about brotherhood. PTTP was a call to protest and IMO entirely appropriate for the time it was written.

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Great info Josh.
by Charlie Thunell PL&T / June 22, 2004 3:43 AM PDT

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Would it be correct to say that Sometime in NYC is the most political album he made?
I like a lot of the songs there and think it is an awesome album, but I also know that a lot of people don't associate with it for different reasons.

BTW, which is your favorite album by Lennon? Mine is probably Imagine (and not for the title track). I don't coun't greatest hits albums.
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Re: Great info Josh.
by Josh K / June 22, 2004 4:10 AM PDT
In reply to: Great info Josh.

Sometime in NYC is the most overtly political album he ever made. It's not my favorite, though there are a couple of good tracks, notably "New York City." It feels like he tried to attach himself to too many causes rather than committing himself to one or two. I much prefer the more general messages in songs like Imagine or Give Peace a Chance.

Favorite -- hard to say. Plastic Ono Band is a brilliant album but it can be hard to listen to because much of it is very dark. Imagine has a lot of beautiful songs on it like "Jealous Guy" and "Oh My Love" and some killer tracks like "Gimme Some Truth." Double Fantasy has some wonderful songs also but of course it's hard to listen to some of them (like "Beautiful Boy") without weeping.

If you have Mind Games, check out "Meat City." It rocks! And turn the volume way up at the very end of the song to hear what he's saying.

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Re: Great info Josh.
by Dan McC / June 22, 2004 4:21 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Great info Josh.

'Give Peace a Chance' would be a much better song if it were about 15 minutes shorter. But your'e right about 'Beautiful Boy', there always seems to be a lot of dust in the air when that comes on.

Dan

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As it is today...
by Charlie Thunell PL&T / June 22, 2004 5:30 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Great info Josh.

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it could have been an hour long and I doubt it would be enough...
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Meat City...
by Charlie Thunell PL&T / June 22, 2004 5:28 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Great info Josh.

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That tune kicks a**! Awesome!(going to put it on right away. Has been some time since I heard it!). But do you have the Mind Games CD or the LP? The CD can drive you nuts if you try to follow the track # since there is one track that is numbered (I think it is the Nutopian International Anthem, track #6) which doesn't exist...). Typical John Winston Lennon! And the declaration of Nutopia is simply very good!

What do you think about "The Luck of the Irish" on STINYC? One of my favorite songs on that album!
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Re: Meat City...
by Josh K / June 22, 2004 5:39 AM PDT
In reply to: Meat City...

The only Lennon album I have on CD is Double Fantasy, which I also have on LP. I have all his other albums on LP only.

I like "Luck of the Irish" musically; it's a nice homage to Irish music. Lyrically it's a little harder to embrace because (as I noted before) it's one of 12 different causes he got behind on that album.

The Nutopian National Anthem "exists." It's three seconds of silence for you to fill in as you like in your mind. Fitting for a conceptual country!

Wink

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