“Territories” from 1985’s Power Windows
Here’s a wonderfully apt little ditty, considering the state of the world today. Regardless of where you’re from, you can certainly identify with the accuracy of these lyrics across all of human history.
We all figure that our homes are set above
Other people than the ones we know and love
In every place with a name
They play the same territorial game1
By defining the human condition as one that insists that “here” is better than “there” and that “we” are better than “they,” the conditions are set for the inevitable conflicts between man and man, nation and nation, religion and religion.
We see so many tribes overrun and undermined
While their invaders dream of lands they’ve left behind
Better people…better food…and better beer…
Why move around the world when Eden was so near? 1
Logically, this verse is incredibly accurate: if “here” is so wonderful, why do we feel the need to go “there?” The use of the “tribes” can be thought of on several levels, from the generic separation of religions or nation-states, all the way to classic “white man’s burden.”
Better the pride that resides
In a citizen of the world
Than the pride that divides
When a colorful rag is unfurled1
While this idea runs counter to the band’s—and especially Neil Peart’s—seemingly anti-collectivist philosophy, it is a nice thought, while not necessarily discarding completely the idea of separate states.
In the end, though, all that remains is the idea that nothing really changes when one territory feels the need to invade/infest/attack another.
1Rush. “Territories” Lyr. Neil Peart. Power Windows. Atlantic Records. 1985. CD.