Funny, I was discussing Ireland's IRA this morning with my daughter and son-in-law, how people often blame their altercations on religion, but that they simply use religion to identify the British from the Irish, and it was not about being Catholic (Irish) or Protestant (Church of England-British), it was about British occupation in Ireland.
I will agree there are many problems with "religion" but I no longer believe the problem lies in the religion of man. Let me take a few points from the song, Imagine.
Imagine all the people living for today. Don't they already? As I recall, Aesop was not particulary a religious man, but even Aesop knew one could not live his life without regard for tomorrow, as was inferred in the parable of the ant and the grasshopper. I realize that many religions reach beyond the realms of sound judgment, but it is, I belive a problem of man, and not one of religious persuasion that drives zealots to extremism and oppressors to oppression. Just listen to NPR discuss the Chinese government and the absence of human rights to get a good idea of what government is like that rules from the perspective of practical law outside of God(s).
Imagine there's no country and no religion too. I was very young when I was so impressed with this song and I didn't really understand people. People are pack animals. If it's not about OUR God, then it's OUR Country or OUR Baseball Team or OUR Rugby Team: OUR School; OUR Political Party; OUR Skin Color or OUR Hair Color or OUR Hair Length, OUR Sex, OUR Preferences; OUR Cool Friends, OUR Educated Bookworms or OUR Bucolic Buffalos. We're cliquish; we bond and then we look to solidfy that bond by diminishing the value of anyone who opposes it. We like to define ourselves beyond the general brotherhood of man and when we create a faction, we create a friction... and eventually a friction leads to an altercation. I remember I was reading about the war between Rwanda's Tutsis and Hutu tribes. I was trying to research what was going on with them. Their wars are over class differences. The Tutsis are Cattle ranchers and the Hutu are Farmers and the fight is basically over the better use of the land and the perception of status of cattlemen over lowly dirt farmers. The death toll over the years is incomprehensible and they use their government to further the bloodshed. No country! No religion! We don't need it. We're going to choose a side, with or without God.
Imagine no possessions I wonder if he can? 22 million dollar estate back in 1980. Heh, not exactly tent city. Maybe He and Yoko wouldn't mind if everyone was as rich as they were (although it's a funny thing about most rich folks, they don't really feel that way) but I rather doubt they'd give up everything to live in a duplex so the people in Bangladesh could eat 3 squares a day and have a duplex too--not to cast aspersions on their character. Present company excepted, I think most people are not willing to do that and quite frankly, I have yet to see a single government in existence that was "for the people." America came closer to it than most in history, once upon a time, but even so, you would not call it altruistic.
So, yeah, I would say he was a dreamer... and he's not the only one. But I don't smoke pot and to lend any credence to the practicality of that song, you would have to be wasted.
I mean, seriously.