October, 28, 2013

Viva la revolución!

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Name: Matthew Procter
Member of: Youth Panellist
Joined: November 2011
Matthew's Full Profile

I had the unfortunate experience of watching Russell Brand own Jeremy Paxman a few days back on Newsnight… Now the video has gone viral, with posts on Facebook exclaiming, ‘this is the truth’.

Well, it isn’t and it makes my blood boil that some fucked up actor who’s short on work and feels the need to spread this anti-capitalist crap has so far had little opposition. It’s a shame Paxman wasn’t on true form, otherwise he would’ve revealed Brand as the idiot that he is. So, I feel obliged to go through this interview and come up with the responses Paxman should’ve. Here goes…

Brand

Photo by Eva Rinaldi

‘ I don’t get my authority from this pre-existing paradigm which is quite narrow and only serves a few people, I look elsewhere for alternatives that might be of service to humanity.’

Aside from the fact that he feels the need to use large words to cover up the vagueness of his statements, it’s unclear what exactly the ‘paradigm’ is. If it’s the system at large, then he almost certainly gains his authority from a system in which the ‘media’ is narrow in it’s focus and serves a few producers, publishers and celebrities, of which he is a beneficiary.

If he is speaking about our parliamentary democracy, then this really makes me angry. To imply that parliamentary democracy is of no service to humanity, is down right disgusting. If he feels so strongly at how useless it is at serving ‘the people’ why doesn’t he leave the UK, where parliamentary sovereignty and a tradition of civil liberties afford him the right to rant, and go live in China, North Korea or Iran. I’m sure there ‘paradigms’ are much more open and will serve ‘humanity’, unlike our own.

Brand

Photo by Nick Richards

‘…Alternate political systems’

Paxman – Those being?’

‘Well I’ve not invented it yet’

Hail the revolution! Screw democracy – who needs 400 years of parliamentary sovereignty and a strong tradition of freedom, when we can have a vague system based on the ranting’s of an emotional and angry actor stating of how shit the world is?

Brand to Paxman-  ‘are you saying there is no alternative?’ (after a rant at how awful the world is)

Well, no, however given you don’t describe the alterative it makes the task of trying to compare them like nailing a jelly to a wall. In addition, given we have some of the highest standards of living in the world, wholesale reform/revolution without any detail isn’t a fantastic proposition.

‘I was busy being a drug addict because I come from the social conditions that are exacerbated by an indifferent system that administrates on the behalf of large corporations’

This happens to be bollocks by simple analysis. If it’s true that this ‘class’ of people who are so inherently exploited are the apathetic ‘majority’ he so dearly cares about, why is the majority of the nation not hooked on heroin? Alternately, you could explain his drug addiction though personal responsibility, but Brand hates the concept, he would prefer to collectivise the blame so his conscious can take a free ride on everyone else’s poor decision making.

Brand

Photo by Appolinar

Paxman ‘what will the revolution be like?

‘I’ll tell you what it won’t be like …’

Translation = I don’t have a clue, I’m just an angry actor raging because the world isn’t perfect.

(But hold on to your hats viewers, here come some specifics)

‘I believe In a socialist egalitarian system based on the massive redistribution of wealth, heavy taxation on corporations and massive responsibility for energy companies and any companies exploiting the environment. The very concept of profit should be greatly reduced, Cameron says profit isn’t a dirty word, I say profit is a filthy word because wherever there is profit there is deficit’

I’ll be honest and say I don’t’ quite understand his last line. but luckily for me this is all crap anyway. What is profit? It is the reward for creating something that someone else is willing to purchase at a price which exceeds the cost of producing it. Putting it simply, it is creating value. The profit motive is the essence of what drives companies to become efficient, it’s what encourages investment, it’s what raises living standards in the long run. Our own industrialisation and movement away from near starvation is based on the ‘evil’ profit motive, on creating value and wealth. If Brand despises profit so much, why does he not abandon his wealth to the poor and go live as a monk? Because, he, like each one of us, is inherently selfish. However, I, unlike Brand, am quite happy with that.

Brand

Photo by Zennie Abraham

‘There are people with alternative ideas that are far better qualified than I am, and far better qualified more importantly, than the people who that are currently doing that job’

Care to mention any? Of course not, that would make critical analysis possible, and who needs critical analysis in a socialist utopia.

And to some it all up:

‘aint you bored?’

Well, no, given I’m not insanely wealthy like yourself and don’t have days on end to ponder how ‘disenfranchised’ I am. If simply being bored with the political class is now a genuine reason for a call to revolution then humanity is officially fucked.

In conclusion, Russell makes a very heart-warming plea to the injustice we all feel that we are not getting rich as fast as our parent’s generation did or that some members of our society are incredibly rich.

Fair enough for being able to point out the problem, but not setting out any solution other than a vague ‘revolution’ has as much worth as a condom machine in the Vatican. The world isn’t perfect, it’s quite miserable on reflection – but if the competition is for the shiniest shit, the current situation outshines Brand’s elusive and vague utopia tenfold.

Rant over.

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26 Comments

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  1. Kader Marshall

    Haha yes! About time someone said this!

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  2. Francesca McEvoy

    Every response to what Brand said in this article seemed to be pretty much the same. Either, Brand is a hypocrite, he does it himself, therefore what he says is invalid. Or, if he doesn’t like our system, then he can go live somewhere else. I will admit, the guy strings fancy words together, giving the effect that everything he say’s is intelligent. But the guy is genuine. He’s lived the life that no politician ever has, and so he has more right to speak for the lower class than those poxy upper class politicians will ever have.

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  3. Sepideh Akbarian-Tefaghi

    I agree with everything RB said

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  4. Daniel Fountain

    I agreed with many of your points, I also like Russell Brand and also agree with you that Paxman wasn’t on top form. However you don’t truly pick apart Brand’s arguments (although they were very vague) and just seem to resort to personal digs at Brand. I think the reason for the popularity of Brand’s talk of “revolution” stems from the fact that many people do feel disillusioned with the current political system and, as has happened many times in history, feel the answer is a socialist or marxist “revolution” as it appears to be the most humane and just political and economic ideology. However free market capitalism is the best and most fair system humanity has come up with. I think what Brand and many other people feel angry at is “crapitalism”, capitalism that only serves a few people at the very top. Whether you believe in a socialist egalitarian utopia, or free market capitalism (like me) you cant deny the fact corporations do have too big of an influence in modern politics, and that is the real issue, not capitalism. Who knows maybe in a few hundred years technology will make all human labor redundant and we can all sit around writing poetry and exploring space but until that day free market capitalism is the fairest system we have. I gave your article 4/10 because, while I agree with many points you make, you failed to point out that Brand does shine a light on issues which are affecting many people, even though he offers no alternative and the idea of a
    “socialist egalitarian system” is one I object to.

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  5. Alice Dent

    I think Russell Brand is a modern messiah. He knows more about real life and the problems our youth encounters than any of those middle class politicians! He is an excellent spokesperson for the people and is helping raise questions about the negligence of our so called bureaucratic system.

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  6. Magdalena Damrath

    I can’t agree with you, I’m sorry. I also don’t think you realize how influential Russel Brand really is.. he might not be a big fan of capitalism or rather the idea of government and what they do with us. He is clearly sick and tired of seeing same old things; because to be quite frank not much has changed.. poor are still poor and rich are even richer.. this is why he mentioned how disparity between poor and rich affects every single aspect of living in the UK .

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  7. arthur caulfield

    I read this until around half way down, but it was horrifically written, showed your close minded puppy dog loyalty to being a sheep and not opposing the norm, and the majority of your statements reflected what I could see from you as oppose to Mr Brand. So I decided to give up, shouldn’t have clicked on something rated less than 4/10, my bad I suppose…

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  8. Anthony Jeffree

    Just because parliamentary democracy hasn’t completely screwed the pooch so far doesn’t mean that it won’t in the long run. Look up Direct Democracy, like they have in Sweden. This takes the power away from politicians, making the people the policy-makers, meaning that private companies and corporations can’t get anywhere by pressuring/paying officials.

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  9. George Robinson

    Read up on Marxism, thats what Brand is trying to sum up for the public. He’s being “vague” because theres so much disagreement to what an alternative to free-market capitalism could be. However there are plenty of socialist societies based on redistribution of wealth that work. If you look at the Scandinavian countries, state intervention has created a much more equal society than over here; and I think thats what Brand is trying to get at.

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  10. Muhammad

    Spoiler alert!!! Bearing in mind that that interview did not and could not represent the complexities of Russell’s perspective, which incredibly is a perspective shared by many others, this article could be edited down to one sentence, “I dislike Russell Brand”.

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  11. Beth Warden

    This is an article by someone who is a supporter of a free society and he has a point. http://junkee.com/why-russell-brand-is-wrong-about-almost-everything/22288 but some of your argument seems to be simply attacking Brand as a person rather than his overall argument (?)

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  12. SP

    It seems like you didn’t really get Brand’s rhetoric, you’re just angry at the dude

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  13. Tarquin

    You sir, are an idiot. 0/10, and learn to form an objective argument.

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  14. Hilary Brennock

    Awful.

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  15. Thomas Challen

    Amen dude

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  16. here we are at seaworld

    “I’ll be honest and say I don’t’ quite understand his last line. but luckily for me this is all crap anyway. ”

    What’s reading comprehension. What’s trying to construct a solid argument based on testimony of another, even if said testimony is a bit wobbly. What’s trying to prove that capitalism is objectively better than socialism other than “I don’t like it and this other guy I hate likes it so this is the perfect opportunity for me to have a good rage”

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  17. George Mulvihill

    Poor article, as poor as Brand is vague in my opinion

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  18. Warren Newman

    I agree with all the comments previous to mine. I do agree that he was vague and may not necessarily be correct in what he thinks I still think he did quite eloquently explain what to him is wrong with the current political model. I was quite saddened at how poorly Jeremy Paxman interviewed him often with repeating questions but it did result in Russell Brand saying what he thought and so I suppose he did succeed. The interview was a bit confusing as Paxman asked why be the editor of a political magazine when you don’t vote, Brand explained why he doesn’t vote and then was suddenly pressured into an on the spot reform of the current political system.

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  19. Callan Powers

    I think you’re mistaken in believing Jeremy Paxman was not on form. In fact Russell Brand is actually an incredible intellect: one which, until very recently was very much wasted. Paxman too, is hugely intelligent, and I think his respect for his opposite number their was evident in his exasperation at what he felt was not taking things seriously.

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  20. Tom Cech

    0/10.

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  21. Mehdi

    Totally agree with the comments below. Terrible article from almost every angle. Amazed it was published.

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  22. A terrible article.

    I’m seriously considering cutting all ties with opinion panel after reading this article. While I respect everyone’s right to express their opinion this kind of reactionary idiocy seems expressly written to provoke. It is the kind of rubbish that should have been left as a comment on “posts on Facebook exclaiming, ‘this is the truth’”, not hosted and publicised. Please do not publish poorly written articles full of unnecessary vitriol. Object to Brand in a reasonable, intelligent way to engage and convince people.

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  23. Rebekah

    I think you made a few decent points and a few I don’t agree with. Yes he was vague as to how he would bring about change and on what specific changes would be made; however, he is clear in his vision of a country (or the world…who knows what goes on in Brands’ head) where the wealth divide was reduced. He is right when he says he isn’t qualified to bring about this change, but as someone who can use the media to get a message to the masses he is qualified to ask the masses to think about their government and if they are happy with it. Attacking his use of the word profit is immature, it is obvious that he is talking about the rich getting richer while the poor stay poor, millions of pounds made annually by the leaders of corporations compared to very slim amount of money I receive for working all day in the public sector. “Wherever there is profit there is deficit” means to me that there is only a finite about of money and if one person gets £100, 000 there will be £100, 000 less for everyone else to share. Again, back to the classic argument that the rich minority own 99% of the wealth when the poor majority own 1%.

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  24. David

    This is a heavily biased article, the line “some fucked up actor who’s short on work” demonstrates how little you care for the content of Brand’s argument, but instead you seem to “reacting” to his persona. Frankly suggesting that Brand “leaves the UK if he doesnt like democracy” is either deliberately disingenuous, or downright idiotic.

    He is arguing that the current democratic system has deep flaws, ones that need to be addressed, and essentially an angry article telling him “fuck off” not only ignores the issues, but it’s lazy writing. 0/10

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  25. Jack Cloves-Hayden

    I think you’ve got a dislike for Russell Brand and don’t like him gaining popularity from speaking some sense. This is a terribly written article and it is just full of you trying to point out his flaws. Get off your high horse and stop trying to analyse what you obviously don’t understand.

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  26. Who asked you?

    Jesus Christ this is a pile of shit. Aside from anything else, such as how badly written it is, or the many other flaws in your argument, you explanation of profit is laughable. I think you’ll find profit is generally the ‘reward’ you get for owning shares in a company managed by someone else, who hires someone *else* again to make something that can be sold for more than it costs to produce. The reward doesn’t go to the person who actually does the producing, unless the firm is a cooperative or the person is self-employed.

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