Make love not war, is this still relevant?

Posted: September 4, 2012 in anarchy, featured, peace and love
Tags: , ,

The statement Make Love Not War seems to come straight from the sixties. It was coined together with the Ban the Bomb symbol (now universally known as a peace sign, by the way). Back in the 60s, the world stood up in protest against injustices. There were the hippies who were against the Vietnam war in America, the Dolle Minas fighting for women’s liberation in the Netherlands. And the rest of the people who felt that now was the time to really make a difference and to take our world back. They achieved a lot, including the recognition that the world wasn’t working right. Things changed. Slowly but surely, however, things changed back right to the way they were. The hippies of the 60s are now in their sixties and have put down their ideologies, tired of fighting. Is it now our turn?

Country Joe and the Fish

Country Joe and the Fish was a band from the 60s who sang at Woodstock. Their most famous song was “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die Rag”, which was a song about Vietnam. In it, they sing that there is nothing we can do anyway except rejoice that we are all going to die. After all, parents are told that they should be proud when their sons come back to them in a box and the war is a huge money making scheme.

Fast forward to the present day. We are engaged in wars in Iraq, a brainchild of some of the world’s most corrupt leaders, and Afghanistan. Just for the fun of it, look up the lyrics of I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die Rag. Wherever it says “Vietnam”, replace the word with “Afghanistan” and wherever you hear “Viet Cong”, replace it with “Taliban”. And wherever it says “communist”, replace it with “Muslim”. And what do you know? The song works just as well. Soldiers that are dying in Afghanistan – soldiers who have killed Afghan people – are hailed as a hero and we are lead to believe that they are providing us with a necessary service.

Barry McGuire

Barry McGuire’s song “Eve of Destruction” is an even better example. You don’t even have to change any of the words in it. He starts by talking about the war in the East, referencing the Jordan River. This is still a very current issue. Next, he sings about the nuclear threat. Again, this is very relevant with countries such as Iran and North Korea claiming to have nuclear weapons. He then discusses how nothing seems to work in protest, which is the general attitude of people today. After all, how many times have you, yourself, thought that you could do something but then decided against it because you felt you are just one person and one person can’t bring change? Lastly, he looks at what is wrong with society. How we explore space and think of new worlds to discover, when we haven’t even fixed problems here. How we hate people for their religious or social beliefs, but act as if we are all perfect ourselves. Again, this is a hugely current issue. You only need to look at the anti gay movement that is happening in America right now by far right religious groups to see what is meant by that last statement. And, as Barry McGuire quite rightly says, most of us feel that so long as we keep telling ourselves everything is fine, we aren’t actually on the eve of any type of destruction. So where do you stand in all of this?

If you are yourself one of the many who feels like standing up and saying “no more”, go for it. Wear designer t-shirts that state “make love not war” and make a public stand. It starts with one, it starts with you.


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