Russell Brand is No Revolutionary
Perhaps you have seen the video below circulating on your preferred social media website:
Russell Brand has a lot of good points to make. The Earth is being poisoned, the poor are getting poorer, and the political systems of the world’s most influential countries are largely at fault. These political systems need a radical overhaul in order for real change to happen, and our current electoral systems make that kind of overhaul seemingly impossible. Brand makes his points with impassioned delivery and engaging wit, and I don’t question the genuine frustration behind his words. He does indeed come across as the fiery revolutionary everyone is making him out to be.
I’m still not, however, buying it.
I might be more inclined to buy it if it weren’t for the fact that an alternative political party, whose platform addresses precisely the issues Brand is decrying, does in fact already exist — a political party that never gets to power because nobody ever votes for them. So either Brand is actually not politically astute enough to have done his homework, or he sincerely believes that the best way to take down the current political hierarchy is to continue to not to support the party that is actually trying to do that.
At the very start of his speech, he admits to not knowing much about politics, and reveals that he agreed to edit a political magazine simply because he was “politely asked by an attractive woman”. When cornered again and again by Jeremy Paxman to elaborate on his ideas about alternative political systems, he hedges and backpedals. This leads me to believe that all of his spirited rhetoric isn’t much more than bluster to cover up his voting apathy — because yes, Mr. Brand, “indifference” and “apathy” mean exactly the same thing.
I would like to be proven wrong. I would like to see Russell Brand, and every single person who shared his video all over the Internet, stand up and take some kind of meaningful action against the political status quo in their respective countries. I would like to hope that this viral video will not, instead, simply give even more people an excuse to disengage completely, and stay inside their warm and comfortable homes on election day. I would like to hope that this viral video doesn’t in fact play into the hands of the current political hierarchy by reinforcing the mistaken impression that all political parties, including the radical outliers fighting for actual change, can be lumped together and ignored. Remember that those at the top are perfectly happy when the disillusioned fail to vote.
So let’s see it, Mr. Brand. Let’s see you put your revolution where your mouth is.