“I have never voted. Like most people I am utterly disenchanted by politics. Like most people I regard politicians as frauds and liars and the current political system as nothing more than a bureaucratic means for furthering the augmentation and advantages of economic elites.”
“Total revolution of consciousness and our entire social, political and economic system is what interests me, but that’s not on the ballot.”
“The price of privilege is poverty. (…) Profit is the most profane word we have. In its pursuit we have forgotten that while individual interests are being met, we as a whole are being annihilated. The reality, when not fragmented through the corrupting lens of elitism, is we are all on one planet.”
“We have become prisoners of comfort in the absence of meaning.”
“We British seem to be a bit embarrassed about revolution (…). Well, the alternative is extinction so now might be a good time to re-evaluate. The apathy is in fact a transmission problem, when we are given the correct information in an engaging fashion, we will stir.”
“We have to be inclusive of everyone, to recognise our similarities are more important than our differences and that we have an immediate ecological imperative.”
“We now must live in reality, inner and outer. Consciousness itself must change. My optimism comes entirely from the knowledge that this total social shift is actually the shared responsibility of six billion individuals who ultimately have the same interests. Self-preservation and the survival of the planet.”
“For me the solution has to be primarily spiritual and secondarily political. (…) By spiritual I mean the acknowledgement that our connection to one another and the planet must be prioritised.”
“The Agricultural Revolution took thousands of years, the Industrial Revolution took hundreds of years, the Technological Revolution took tens, the Spiritual Revolution has come and we have only an instant to act.”
Click to read the whole article by Russell Brand
Published on 23 October 2013 in: New Statesman
Have a taste of “Revolution”
An extract published in the Guardian:
“I suppose we must each ask of ourselves – or each other, have fun with it, it could be a quiz – two fundamental questions: 1) Are you happy with things the way they are? And 2) Do you believe that things could be better?
I know most people want change. I know most people can’t be happy with the current regime. In any electoral process worth having, we might assume that the 3.5 billion people who have as much wealth collectively as the 85 richest people in the world are up for some amendments an’ all. I just used the calculator on my phone to subtract 85 from 3.5 billion and the answer had a letter in it. Even the calculator has gone berserk at this injustice.
That aside, a significant number of people are not happy with the way things are. I’m not, and I’ve done all right out of this system: I’ve a big house, a nice cat, and when I write books, they’re immediately put on the school curriculum. So this system has not been bad to me. I’ve been given everything I wanted. The problem is, I didn’t really want it. That desire was put there. Who put it there? And why?”
Click to read the whole extract (new window)
Russell Brand talks to Amy Goodman
On revolution, fighting inequality, addiction, militarized police & Noam Chomsky
Click to watch the discussion on Democracy Now!
(video with transcript, new window)
AMY GOODMAN: Russell, we just have a minute. What gives you hope?
RUSSELL BRAND: Everything gives me hope, because every—my hope comes from the fact that I know that everybody wants change. I know that people are not apathetic. I know that people are ready for change. I know that alternatives are possible and that you constantly see how hard the establishment has to work to maintain order. Look at all these institutions, the banks of the Thames lined with institutions to hold ordinary people down. Constantly through the media, they try to prevent different arguments emerging. That is because they know change is inevitable. Change is just a different story. We, people in the media, have an obligation to reframe this argument, to tell people that they can change the world, that we are connected to one another. We have more in common with each other. We have more in common with the people we’re bombing than the people we’re bombing them for. People that say the system works work for the system. We can change the world. The revolution can begin as soon as you decide it does in yourself, Amy.
We don’t want your revolution
Polly Toynbee: Russell Brand has called his book “Revolution”, he thinks we can have a revolution. What do you make of that?
Johnny Rotten: You know, what you get is a rat pile of infestation, indolence, laziness, and eventually you’ll all be evicted. If you don’t contribute or in some way try to reshape the society around you, you’re gonna have no effect, therefore becoming ineffectual, ignored, condemned. Really, what he is preaching there is a lifestyle of cardboard boxes down by the river. He’ll make you all homeless.
Polly Toynbee: But not himself
Johnny Rotten: No, no, no, he is preaching all this from a mansion. Lovely, innit?
Click to watch the video with Johnny Rotten (new window)
Click to read Toynbee’s article in the Guardian (new window)
The vilification of those who question power
Most people with a minimum of awareness will agree with Russell Brand on the fact that capitalism is destroying humanity and the planet Earth. From this follows that we are faced with a stark choice: save the planet and ditch capitalism, or the planet will ditch the human species.
Russell Brand is animated by the prospect of creating community and free societies where people actually decide themselves about how they want to organize their living together on this planet (tradition of autonomy). He situates himself in opposition to the capitalist project of unlimited expansion and mastery (tradition of heteronomy), a project from which more and more people are excluded.
Russell Brand fulfills all criteria which according to John Clark define a true anarchist. It is no surprise that his engagement for empowering ordinary people and his opposition to the ruling establishment prompts hostile reactions. Looking down from their high horse, malicious corporate journalists, think tankers and academics try to ridicule and devalue his ideas and himself as a person. Hereby these servants of power give proof that Russell Brand’s activities and ideas are having a significant public impact. Mobilizing people to grow up and free themselves from guardianship is dangerous to the powers that be. Therefore: expect more belittlement and defamation to come.
Becoming an object of character assassination is no privilege of Russell Brand. It happens to people like him who stand up and challenge established power relations, trying to empower the powerless. Think of Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Norman Finkelstein or Dieudonné and so many others. Think of Etienne Chouard, sincere, courageous, deeply engaged since many years in promoting real democracy in theory and practice, with an open mind and heart, reaching thousands and thousands of people; he, too, has become the object of most perfidious backstabbing by people who call themselves educated.
1. a view of an ideal, noncoercive, nonauthoritarian society;
2. a criticism of existing society and its institutions, based on this antiauthoritarian ideal;
3. a view of human nature that justifies the hope for significant progress toward the ideal; and
4. a strategy for change, involving immediate institution of noncoercive, nonauthoritarian, and decentralist alternatives.
Source: John P. Clark, “What Is Anarchism?” in J. Roland Pennock, & John W. Chapman, eds., Anarchism: Nomos XIX. New York: New York University Press, 1978. (available online)