Yet Lennon's legacy lives on in his words, his music and his efforts to speak truth to power.
Even so, his work to change the world for the better is far from done.
As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, peace remains out of reach. Activists and whistleblowers continue to be prosecuted for challenging the government's authority. Militarism is on the rise, all the while the governmental war machine continues to wreak havoc on innocent lives. And those who do dare to speak up are labeled dissidents, troublemakers, terrorists, lunatics, or mentally ill and tagged for surveillance, censorship or, worse, involuntary detention.
As Lennon shared in a 1968 interview:
I think all our society is run by insane people for insane objectives" I think we're being run by maniacs for maniacal means. If anybody can put on paper what our government and the American government and the Russian" Chinese" what they are actually trying to do, and what they think they're doing, I'd be very pleased to know what they think they're doing. I think they're all insane. But I'm liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That's what's insane about it."
So what's the answer?
Lennon had a multitude of suggestions.
"If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there'd be peace."
"Produce your own dream. If you want to save Peru, go save Peru. It's quite possible to do anything, but not to put it on the leaders".You have to do it yourself."
"Peace is not something you wish for; It's something you make, Something you do, Something you are, And something you give away."
"War is over, if you want it."
In other words, fighting the evil of the American police state can only come about by way of conscious thoughts that are put into action.
Do you want an end to war? Then stop supporting the government's military campaigns. Do you want government violence against the citizenry to end? Then demand that your local police de-militarize. Do you want a restoration of your freedoms? You'll have to get the government to recognize that "we the people" are the masters in this relationship and government employees are our public servants.
The choice is ours.
The power (if we want it), as Lennon recognized, is in our hands.
"The people have the power, all we have to do is awaken that power in the people," concluded Lennon. "The people are unaware. They're not educated to realize that they have power. The system is so geared that everyone believes the government will fix everything. We are the government."