Tears For Fears – Everybody Wants To Rule The World

Freedom can be used for good or ill, and countering our selfish tendencies as individuals, as groups and through governments can be challenging. If choice can also lead to war and misery, should we enjoy ourselves to the fullest extent now before the coming Armageddon?

The narrator of the song wants help in making decisions related to freedom. This 1980s new wave song could then consider what checks and accountability mechanisms may be important and necessary to temper our freedoms and guide us to making the “right” choices. Typically, these institutions include:

  • at the international level, bodies such as the United Nations and international agreements that countries agree to follow;
  • at the country level the rule of law and constitutions, an independent judiciary and the media (a free press); and
  • at the societal level, the family, church and peers.

All of these institutions have their own strengths and weaknesses; their ability to steer us to the good is often questioned. Sometimes these institutions are not trusted for seeking or encouraging and wielding excess power themselves.

Thus like the song bemoans, we are left with holding hands while the walls around us fall?


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