A call for a World Peace Concert

In the 1960s, anti-war music, rock music, and folk music transformed culture and helped bring an end to the Vietnam War.

Nowadays, there seems to be too little popular music about social justice and peace. The costs of war are largely hidden from people. Films cover war mostly as entertainment. Soldiers are treated as heroes who deserve special treatment. The costs of war fall particularly hard on poor people and African Americans, who rely on military service as a way to earn a living.

There is some existing anti-war music — some examples can be found at https://worldbeyondwar.org/music/ and http://www.peterbergel.org/ but it has much less influence than it did in the 60s.

Perhaps aging rock stars and up-and-coming musicians can be convinced to join to compose and perform songs about war, peace, economic justice, etc.

How about a We Are The World of the modern peace movement?

You’d think that faith-based groups would be eager to jump on board the peace movement. Instead, most of them seem to welcome war with Islam.  Maybe Pope Francis would join.  The Poor Peoples’ Campaign, under Reverend Barber, is working in this area.

Music can be more powerful than angry protests — which can be a turnoff and which can be co-opted, infiltrated, and twisted by media — and can reach more people than sad articles such as Army Virtue-Tweet Backfires: 1000s Expose “Heartbreaking” Horrors Of War and How About a Peace Race Instead of an Arms Race?.

War sucks but the U.S. has been in a continual state of war since 9/11. The U.S. now has troops in scores of countries. Military bases surround Russia and Iran. The U.S. is threatening another democratically-elected government in South America, Venezuela, which is suffering under sanctions. Bipartisan majorities in Congress want to spend even more on the Pentagon, despite our $22 trillion in debt, and despite the disastrous consequences of recent wars.

OpEdNews headlined one May 27, 2019 an article about a memorial in honor of peace icon Blase Bonpane:  70’s, 80’s Anti-War Heroes Call for New Anti-War Uprising. The article mentions several famous people in the audience, including Jane Fonda, Martin Sheen, Mike Farrell, and Jackson Browne, who sang some songs at the memorial service.

It would be great if famous singers or Hollywood stars would speak out or perform more about these issues and if magazines like Rolling Stone or Vice (or whatever young people watch nowadays) gave coverage.     Most people won’t be interested in angry, message-laden peace music unless it’s performed by a famous person.   What do these aging rock stars do with their time nowadays?   They can use their fame to help bring peace on earth — or at least, lessen the amount of war.

I propose a World Peace Concert similar to Live Aid and other benefit concerts on this list.

Leave a Reply