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Commentary :: War and Militarism
Bob Dylan’s Prophecy Democracy Don’t Rule the World
31 Dec 2007
Bob Dylan’s lyrics from 24 years ago have now come true. Hopefully we will now turn the ship around.
For the past eight years Pakistan has been ruled by the military dictatorship of President General Pervez Musharraf, who came to power in a coup. Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan to restore democracy but she was assasinated. Now she has designated her eldest son, 19 year old Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari (his father is the husband of Benazir Bhutto Arif Ali Zardari) as the successor of the Pakistan People’s Party. Today at a news conference televised around the world from the Bhutto family’s home in Pakistan, 19 year old Oxford University student Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said, “My mother always said that democracy is the best revenge.”

A prophecy is a prediction of the future under the influence of divine guidance. A prophet is a person who speaks for God or a God, or as though under divine guidance. In many religions God or Gods or angels or spirits provide prophecies to people by dreams, visions and putting thoughts into their heads. Many songwriters believe that they have channeled the melodies and lyrics for their songs from spirits. Whether or not the music is coming from their own minds, spirits or a combination of the two we will never know.

Bob Dylan is 66 years old. Last year, his latest album, “Modern Times”, debuted at #1 and was voted “Album of the Year” by Rolling Stone Magazine. In 1983 Bob Dylan released an album called “Infidels”, and on that album Bob Dylan wrote a song called “Union Sundown”. In the song “Union Sundown” Bob Dylan wrote, “Democracy don’t rule the world, You’d better get that in your head, This world is ruled by violence, But I guess that’s better left unsaid.”

In the same song “Union Sundown”, a song about the fall of the United States of America, Bob Dylan also wrote,
“Well, this silk dress is from Hong Kong
And the pearls are from Japan
Well, the dog collar's from India
And the flower pot's from PAKISTAN,
All the furniture it said "Made in Brazil"
Where a woman, she slaved for sure
Bringing home thirty cents a day to a family of twelve
You know, that's a lot of money to her.

Well, it's sundown on the union
And what's made in the USA
Sure was a good idea
'Til greed got in the way.

Well, you know, lots of people complaining that there is no work
I say, "Why you say that for
When nothing you got is US made?
They don't make nothing here no more
You know, capitalism is above the law
It say, "it don't count 'less it sells"
When it costs too much to build it at home
You just build it cheaper someplace else.”

If you look at the lyrics of Bob Dylan’s song “Union Sundown” written 24 years ago, it certainly looks like an accurate prediction of events unfolding in Pakistan and the United States of America today. Whether or not these words came from the mind of Bob Dylan, spirits who know the future, or a combination of the two, we will never know. Hopefully, the title of the song, “Union Sundown” will not come true, and God will bless the people of the United States of America, Pakistan, and all the people of the world for many more years to come.
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