Russell Brand’s Scathing Critique Of The Political System

Russell Brand earns the respect of non-voters everywhere standing up for himself in the face of an extremely hostile BBC interviewer and calling for an overhaul (change, revolution, alternative, whatever you want to call it) of the establishment political system.

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  • Futile Democracy

    Paxman is usually far more hostile then this. I’m almost certain he agreed with Brand.

  • echar

    I’ve never understood the stance of people who claim that those who do not vote do not have a say. Like they are special because the teacher gave them a star.

    I feel that Russell Brand nails it when he talks about the voting system. As if some little act of selecting a name makes a difference. Maybe if you’re loaded it may make a difference, yet that didn’t work out so well for John Schnatter.

    The more I want the system to be something good, the more I realize it’s fucked. At risk of sounding cliched… Fuck the system.

    • Antediluviancurrent

      I agree. The essence of a truly democratic society is not the ballot, but the third place. It can function as much as a space for communal leisure and the like, but also as an agency for social change. This third place has been deteriorating in the late 20th and early 21st century, something, of course, to the benefit of the powers that be.

      • Adam S.

        No the best answer is participate in as many different political roles as one has time / the stomach for.

    • Simon Valentine

      the stance? it’s cousin, Obama Care, and it’s niece, Insurance, try to ignore “the other family’s tree”, which has apples like “fraud” and “laundering”, blossoms like “solicitation”, “slavery”, “wigs”, and “freeloading”.

      “the law” is ill-prepared and inadequate, and all likewise execution obviates it. what’s worse? legislation. hah! theory crafting at its forumized damndest!

      ignorant claimants anyhow, in need of a good old roflcurbstomp humility check. check that. reality check. actually screw it, they’re guilty of psychological crimes at the least, with their “therefore you don’t have free speech” theory. worthless bitches. *shakes head* they didn’t even mention genus!

      *edit*
      oh, and let’s not forget the grampa of the bunch: Hitler
      *2nd edit*
      oh, and let’s not forget, you know, “classic stories of roman surf whores”

      • Juan

        “Roman surf whores?”

        • Simon Valentine

          yeah, the whole picky-choosy-citizeny class rank thing. surfing on waves of bodies … bodies of serfs … *shrug*

      • echar

        Eye conkur kriptick cuzzon. dAH lemons haft feel frohm ternnup the vohlhume ships baht wither knowed abutt ablated lice.

        • Juan

          It’s getting all Joycean up in here.

          • echar

            I should probably read Ulyssees.

          • Juan

            You should try Finnegans Wake. That shit’s not even English. I gave up after the first sentence. Could not be bothered to even try and make sense of it.
            Though, you can actually understand Ulysses.

          • echar

            I’ve been meaning too, but I’ve been hooked on Jim Butcher for most of this year. His two series are not literary like Joyce, but still pretty awesome. I am about to catch up to the most recent book in the Dresden Files.

          • Juan

            Not familiar with him. I’ll have to have a look.
            Been reading mostly non-fiction lately. Just finished a biography of PKD by Anthony Peake. Also reading The Sacred History: How Angles, Mystics and Higher Intelligences Made our World by Jonathan Black.

          • echar

            I am about due for some non-fic. That second one seems very interesting.

            cool youtube has a video on it.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApZBb2QpFoQ

          • jnana

            how is that? is it worth getting for someone who’s read quite extensively about PKD?

          • Juan

            I enjoyed it and though Peake did a good job.
            Not sure how someone who has read a lot about PKD will like it. Though, the author is particularly interested in PKD’s idiosyncratic mental states. Perhaps that is a a bit of a different take from the way other biographies have handled his story, I dunno.

          • mannyfurious

            Yeah, Finnegan’s Wake is what everyone pretends Ulysses to be. Ulysses is basically just a maximalist novel where Joyce uses just about every style/mode/genre of writing to tell a rather simple story. It’s actually easy to follow and read if you have any sort of practice reading “literary” works. The Wake is just… I don’t even know.

          • Juan

            I know. I am highly suspicious of anyone who claims to have read and understood Finnegan’s Wake. I think they are lying because I found it impossible to make sense of. There are a few exceptions, I guess, like Joyce scholars and maybe a handful of magicians like Terrence McKenna.

          • mannyfurious

            I think Joseph Campbell legitimately understood it. But he was well versed in several European languages and was so well-read in such an array of genres, that he’s one of the few people who are even remotely qualified for such a task.

          • Juan

            Exactly, it’s for über eggheads. Way beyond my abilities.

    • Adam S.

      echar, one can reject the current political system, try to plan a new much
      different political system AND vote in the current system. The actions are not mutually
      exclusive. Those who reject voting are HURTING THE LEFT. Only rejecting
      voting only throws some of our limited power in the street.

      • jnana

        to hell with the left, too!

        • Adam S.

          Who do you think “the left” is jnana? I bet $1 what you type in is incorrect? Too clueless to bother to find out who they are actually telling to go to hell.

          • jnana

            its sorta a broad category, encompassing everything from neo-liberal capitalism embodied by some democrats, all the way towards the end of the spectrum embodied by groups like Marxists and some Anarchists. It’s really not even possible to define because its a term used in different ways by different people.
            When I say to hell with the left, I mean to hell with the categories that are only meant to separate us.
            For what its worth, I tend to embrace much of the ideas of the left. well, kinda

          • Davey Dirt

            Convoluted and scatterbrained.

          • jnana

            ok

        • Davey Dirt

          There is one party in US politics. It has two right wings.

          • echar

            This offers an excellent image of a bald eagle flying in circles, or maybe unable to take flight.

          • jnana

            I see I offended somebody’s Dear Party.

      • BuzzCoastin

        “I think the puppet on the right shares my beliefs.” “I think the
        puppet on the left is more to my liking.” “Hey, wait a minute, there’s one guy holding out both puppets!” “Shut up! Go back to bed, America. Your government is in control. Here’s Love Connection. Watch this and get fat and stupid. By the way, keep drinking beer, you fucking morons.”

        • Adam S.

          The Scandinavian “team” has far far better life expectancy than every other “team” including the Red, Blue, or Tea “team” and their kids get college free because their “team” nationalized their oil companies.

          • BuzzCoastin

            Klaus Bernpaintner – A Swedish Lesson in Conformity & Control
            http://www.redicecreations.com/radio/2013/10/RIR-131021.php

          • Adam S.

            Again…You see anywhere I claimed Scandinavian are perfect; incapable of errors. FAIL. They’re just as human as me.

          • tecab

            RedIce confuses me. A show which has gone more and more to the crazy wing of conservatism over the years, hosted by a Swedish guy who never has a good word to say about Sweden and has guests incessantly go on about how Sweden is terrible because it’s so conformist.

            Now ironically the host is a product of this system, is clearly well-educated, can speak fluent English and the evil leftists in Sweden happily allow him to run a show covering far right-wing topics that would get him prosecuted in some other countries (i.e. the anti-holocaust stuff). Clearly the existence of Red Ice kind of shows the Swedish conformism isn’t nearly as oppressive as he pretends. After all you don’t get many pro-American radio shows coming out of North Korea, or pro-Israeli programs from Saudi Arabia. Daresay like any nation Sweden probably has many problems and many dark things about its history, but still seems odd its most popular paranormal podcast is 99% anti-Swedish/leftist/Muslim/Zionist/Socialist and fawning over minority political figures like Ron Paul…

            Am genuinely puzzled at whether the host is merely playing to the whacked-wing of American audiences, or if he wants to live in America or if he’s just a right-wing extremist who throws in the new-age themes to confuse. Perhaps he’s being funded by some shady ultra-conservative group from across the pond as his site gets rather a lot of traffic and the content is no better than a hundred other online radio presentations about weird shit.

          • BuzzCoastin

            all information not obtained through personal experience
            is disinformation, regardless of the source
            and any information having to do with politics
            is pure bullshit disinformation, regardless of the source

          • gustave courbet

            Mr. Hicks was speaking specifically about ‘Merica. If you had asked him about european socialist democracy, he probably would have endorsed them much more that the callous American system.

      • echar

        I like neither the left nor the right, because I don’t like whose helping them get in office. Goldmann Sachs had their fingers in both pies this last time around. I could go on about how Obama this, and that. But, that’s a dead horse whipped 2 months into the shrub’s term.

        • Anarchy Pony

          Obama’s a leftist? Since when? Did he suddenly have a massive policy shift?

          • echar

            That’s what it said on the package.

          • Anarchy Pony

            Someone in shipping needs to be reprimanded.

          • echar

            I think they got glad handed instead.

          • Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness

            I vote in my local elections if I consider myself informed about the
            issues and candidate positions. It significantly effects my community
            and my input is actually relevant.

            The
            larger the scale of the election, the more corrupt/pointless your input
            is. I can’t believe people are arguing about the presidential
            selection. That ship sailed in 1963.

          • gustave courbet

            Nixon was further to the left than Obama.

          • Juan

            Exactly. What passes for “left” these days is fucking fascism. Nixon makes Barry look like an Orange County republican.
            Either way, they’re both EVIL pieces of shit.

          • mannyfurious

            What’s ironic is that all the right-wing morons bitch, piss and moan about “how bad thing’s gotten in dis cuntry” and they don’t realize that we seem to have gotten worse while the overall political landscape and gotten much more right-wing.

          • http://skadhiblog.wordpress.com/ skadhithjassisdottir

            Has it?

            Right of centre ecomomics (right liberalism) has become merged with left of centre, post-Marxist first world issues (left liberalism).

            The effects were twofold. On the right, authentic conservatism was killed off as a potent political force and replaced with Neoconservatism and Thatcherism. On the left socialism was discarded or marginalised whilst a university educated left began to push Cultural Marxist issues at home… and abroad.

            Basically the old right and left are reduced to self-important political sects and thinktanks, whilst first world issues are used as a moral mask for pushing economic globalism.

        • Adam S.

          Utter hogwash. Obama is political right of Reagan. Reagan didn’t execute any American citizens. Obama cut taxes more than Reagan and lower top tax rate than Reagan.

          • sonicbphuct

            I’m confused. If we don’t vote, we hurt the left (not that i’m particularly concerned for a cardinal direction). If we do vote, we get to choose between Romney or Obama – both of whom are to the right of Reagan.

            So, tell me again how not voting hurts the left.

          • echar

            Yes and Reagan militarized the police to ramp up the war on drugs, costing billions of tax dollars to this very day. And the Tea baggers worship him, because it’s easy to sell sno cones to eskimos, you just have to get them to believe it’s fire. And Blah blah blah…

            I’d skull fuck Reagan’s skull if it weren’t for the fact that it’s now a gorgeous cup with a cute martini umbrella and such.

            Do you get my understanding?

            Probably not. If you want to put your energy into that dog and pony show, then by all means. Knock yourself out.

            Meanwhile, I’ll abide happilly in my fuck the system quadrant.

        • Juan

          Big money has always had its hands in both pies. This shit’s been rigged from the get go.

      • Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness

        I despise straight ticket voters. Anyone voting for a party affiliation really shouldn’t participate.

      • alizardx

        You are probably aware of the studies that state that the correlation between the view of the 99% and Federal legislators’ votes is fairly minimal. There was speculation in one that said it’s possible even 1% opinion irrelevant except as it agrees with the opinions of the elites.

        The sole major party choice at the polls is between two different flavors of neoliberal centrism (i.e. sole legitimate purposes of government are to transfer wealth upward and protect the wealthy), the difference between the two are what demographics they are sold to and how fast each faction wants to “boil the frog”.

        While the Tea Party financial backers want to turn up the heat until the stove explodes and Democratic money wants to extract nutrition from us slower, both factions are united in wanting to cook the 99%.

      • Davey Dirt

        There’s a left out there somewhere? Could of fooled me.

  • Adam S.

    One can reject the current political system, try to plan a new much different political system AND vote in the current system. Not mutually exclusive. Those who reject voting are HURTING THE LEFT. Only rejecting voting only throws some of our limited power in the street.

    • BuzzCoastin

      357 elected whores run the Feral Gruberment
      and you can vote for 5 of them

      voting is a sham &
      a scam to placate people like you

      • Adam S.

        The Koch brothers are this fucking close to stealing the Social security Trust Fund because you refuse to vote, you clueless fuck.

        • BuzzCoastin

          stolen long before the cock suckers tried
          besides
          the money’s worth a fraction
          of what anyone paid in or gets out
          but one thing’s fer sure
          you paid attention in school
          learned their BS real well

          lemme guess
          yer a Blue Teamer, right?

          • Adam S.

            Chock full o’ right wing nutcase nonsense, Buzz. The Koch Brothers are only a few votes in the House short of stealing the social security trust fund. Stop ordering ALL your reading material from small Texas websites.

            You can plan your revolution AND make sure the guys who are more likely to call a Black President a “monkee” aren’t allowed near DC, too. Little details that modern civilized nations aren’t still having problems with.

            I’m a Scandinavian model Social Dem. Best per capital economic stats in the world. Go look at all the things Denmark, Norway and Sweden are doing right… like nationalizing the oil industry to pay for health care and education. Home of Nokia, Volvo, Saab, and ABBA. :)

          • Andrew

            Dude, Buzz lives in China.

          • Adam S.

            That fits. Buzz sounds like a guy who have no problems running a sweatshop for Apple or Nike.

          • Adam S.

            Here’s a link to an article that shows what’s really running through the minds of the 1%…

            American excess: A Wall Street trader tells all

            Fine wines, lobster lunches and million-dollar salaries – life as a Wall Street shark was thrilling at first. But amid the extravagance, Philipp Meyer was sickened by a moral deficit at the heart of America’s financial system

            http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/american-excess–a-wall-street-trader-tells-all-1674614.html

            The easiest thing was buy into the system, convince ourselves that there was no other way to live. A few semesters worth of economics classes certainly helped; the in-house economics classes taught by the bank helped even more. The financial markets operate on the principle
            that, at our core, we’re all basically shit: selfish, self-interested creatures. There’s a whole branch of economics devoted to proving that if you help someone, say, run in front of a speeding train to push another person out of the way, you are actually acting out of self-interest, not altruism; that what most of us would consider humankind’s cardinal virtues – love, honor, compassion – do not actually exist.

            The idea that we’re nothing more than selfish animals is an
            attractive philosophy to a person pulling down a few million dollars a year. It is a philosophy that negates guilt. The guilty feeling a normal person gets while visiting a Third World country is the same feeling a senior investment banker gets when they see a working class neighborhood
            in Birmingham or Philadelphia. When your paycheck could cover the salaries of a few hundred nurses or teachers, you need some explanation for why that’s okay. The only one that really works is that life is a pure meritocracy. That whether rich or poor, we’re all getting what we deserve.

            The fact is, I became pretty good at making this argument myself. Until a roommate of mine, a guy named Mark Brewin, asked me: “So is that really what you want to be? A selfish animal?” “It’s not like we have a choice,” I said. “No,” he said. “You always have a choice. It’s just easier to pretend that you don’t.” Ouch. The strangest thing was, this
            thing I’d wanted for so long, this chance to become wealthy, was causing me more internal conflict than anything I’d ever done. I began writing a second novel, about a kid from the provinces who comes to Wall Street and is both drawn in and horrified by the culture of excess.

            I understood it well. I put on 45 pounds in my first year at the bank, and, as you might guess, it was not from eating McDonalds. Occasionally I ate stuff like sushi, but mostly it was steak. We went to the good places like Sparks, Peter Luger’s, and the Strip House. We tended to look down on chains like Morton’s and Ruth’s Chris-they were
            for car dealers or stock brokers, not traders. Regardless of where we ate, we ate in quantity. My standard strategy was to order half a dozen appetisers, plus a steak and lobster, plus a few desserts and much wine as I could drink, as long it was under a few hundred dollars a bottle. Followed by a digestif, typically a 30-year-old port. There’s not any
            way to justify this except to say I was trying to catch up to my colleagues. We would treat those restaurants like Roman vomitoriums. Andit wasn’t the food so much as the wine. Being a junior employee, I couldn’t really order bottles that cost more than a few hundred dollars, but the senior guys could get nicer stuff – Opus One, Chateau Latour.
            As long as we were out with a client, the bank paid. I remember being stunned the first time I saw a dinner bill for ten grand. But that was just the beginning.

            What it boiled down to was austerity for everyone else and rampant consumption for ourselves. I never saw anyone literally set fire to money, but I did drink most of a bottle of 1983 Margaux ($2,000)….”

          • VaudeVillain

            Not anymore. By his account, he used to work for The Man as a corporate asshole looting the world for his own enrichment, but then he saw the error of his ways. So now he bums around the world blowing through his retirement fund criticizing people who never made it in the first place for not abandoning The Matrix like he has.

          • Juan

            Brilliant description:)
            Wish I had a nice chunka change so I could fuck off some place cool and never work again. Sucks being a wage slave.

          • oneironauticus

            Uh-huh…like Scandinavia doesn’t have it’s own problems with racism…*eye-roll*

          • Adam S.

            You see anywhere I claimed they are not human? They’re just as human as me.

          • oneironauticus

            You just now claimed that you don’t have racism, here:

            “Little details that modern civilized nations aren’t still having problems with.”

          • Adam S.

            Fail. Charlotte. You’re utterly incapable of sensing exponential differences in scale. Scandinavian nations have some racist hate crimes. The AP did a poll of Americans and determined 50% of Americans ARE RACISTS and American elected leaders are so unafraid of blowback from voters from making racists statements that US Senators and Congressman are making racists statements into the Congressional Record!

          • oneironauticus

            Every Scandinavian I’ve ever met has been hideously blunt about their racism. One tried to freakin’ recruit me to her neo-Nazi weirdness until I pointed out how she’d been mistaken about my lineage.

            Although it’s altogether possible that these particular racists moved to the southern U.S. because they hold these opinions, it has been my experience, nonetheless.

            By the way, I’d LOVE to see this supposed poll. Link or didn’t happen.

            p.s. Much easier to espouse platitudes of racial equality in a nearly-homogenous society. Also much easier to maintain Social Democracy when pretty much everyone feels like everyone else could be their relative, literally.

            Check out this article:
            http://www.vice.com/read/guide-to-european-racist-leagues

          • VaudeVillain

            Dude, I’ve got a hardon for Scandinavian Social Democrats too… but seriously, there are major political parties running on platforms that don’t even bother to conceal their bigotry and white supremacist beliefs. Probably best to just concede that one and move on.

          • Adam S.

            More VaudeVillian FAIL! … not a single Parliament seat is held by a white supremacist political party in a Scandinavian county. (Go look it up. I did.) Not one. They are not major political parties there. They’re an * asterisk in politics in N. Europe.

          • gustave courbet
          • Juan

            Wtf? I am at a loss here. Can someone please explain what I am looking at? I mean, who are these people?
            Edit: That’s photoshopped, right?

          • gustave courbet

            No that is an actual photo of the totally not racist culture minister of Sweden at an ill-advised photo op.

            “Sweden’s culture minister clarified on Wednesday that she has no intention of resigning over photographs of her taking part in a performance art piece on female genital cutting, which featured a cake shaped like a stereotypical African tribeswoman that screamed when it was cut into.”

          • Juan

            Wow, that’s totally racist and in shockingly bad taste, geez.

          • Calypso_1

            No doubt she is also wearing cosmetics made with foreskins.

          • VaudeVillain

            Geert Wilders. He heads the fourth largest Dutch political party, which holds a significant number of seats, one of which he occupies.

            Your turn.

          • Calypso_1

            I do not think you comprehend exponential differences much less sense them.

          • sonicbphuct

            The same is true in Scandinavia and the rest of Europe as well. See the rightward shift of The Netherlands, Denmark, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy – the list goes on.

            Perhaps you’re thinking of the tiny island nation of Iceland? Though I’m sure they have their racists, too.

          • BuzzCoastin

            when the “FED” pumped $17 trillion into the money supply
            they stole SS and lot of other shit too
            (you voted for that right?)
            but you can pretend what they taught you is true
            every vote counts
            but who ya gonna believe
            them
            or your lyin’ eyes

            Congress, the whores of Babylon
            goes to the highest bidder
            Red, Blue or Tea Team
            they all take the money honey

          • Adam S.

            The Scandinavian “team” has far far better life expectancy than every other “team” including the Red, Blue, or Tea “team” and their kids get college free because their “team” nationalized their oil companies.

  • hannah

    WHOOOOOOAAAAAA>>>…

  • X.

    He is right, the only way to facilitate real “change” is to stop supporting the destructive system. Ceasing voting is one powerful way of accomplishing this (provided it is done on a large scale). Stop kidding yourselves that it can be done otherwise under this left/right facade.

    • jnana

      ceasing voting is far from a powerful way of changing the system, even if done on a large scale. now, ceasing production and consumption on a large scale as in a General Strike-that would create some changes.

      • X.

        Surely one would be the by-product of the other? But I agree with you to a certain extent; this isn’t the heart of the problem…

  • Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness

    Enjoy your relatively benevolent plutocratic police state. Vote in national elections if it makes you feel better. That’s the point.

  • John Richter

    As individuals we have to begin to take an interest in which corporations support which politicians and then support those corporations. Win our freedom and money back by ‘the rules’. Educate people in your lives on this basic politico-economic law and watch how quickly we reclaim our true progress as a species and a civilisation.

  • Bruteloop

    Brand did the whole sell out to Hollywood/crassly high profile marriage thing. But he made bad choices of film in his desperation to become more famous and it bit him in the proverbial badly. His 5 minute marriage was an embarrassment. None of it made him as rich, famous and ubiquitous as he wants. This is just a reinvention. Why care what Brand says? He turns on a dime. Shell of a man. An act.

    • gustave courbet

      You may be right. He’s obviously a narcissist, but for the moment, he is saying things that need to be heard by the larger population. Why not hate on people who spend their entire careers shilling for the system, without interruption? I’d liken it to the popular fad of hating on hippies. I understand the distaste for patchouli, but why not hate on hedge fund managers that are strangling third world countries to death or any number of people that are actively fucking the planet.

      • Bruteloop

        Good point. But who says I don’t save far more dislike for hedge fund managers? They are not in this post. Personally I think Brand is still shilling. The bad boy act sells. He goes to award ceremonies and dinners and parties, plants a few well chosen but not particularly insightful quips and writes the occasional article flamboyantly biting the hand that feeds. I agree with a lot that he says but I think that we are expected to want to listen to him say it because of the bad boy schtick…all the while the need to have someone like him appearing opposite Paxman and the like is indicative of the need for ‘entertainment’. Ironically, actions speak louder than words and he actually hasn’t done much apart from shag around, spend money like water, get in all the glossies and make some bad films. There is the stand up and, while I never thought him funny I admired his ability to riff. But that’s a personal thing.
        He fills a role. One that the industry needs.
        But it is the industry and he is very much a part of it while acting out against it.
        Court jester.
        And I never hated on hippies. Well, except when I was a 16 year old punk.

  • Juan

    Reminds me of an old saying: “I don’t vote; it only encourages them.” Or something along those lines. Anyway, I think the dude nailed it.
    Why participate in a farce?

  • Kitty Davenport

    America is not a Democracy. It is a Repugnant Republic. There is no fixing a system created with blood and genocide. Time to peacefully find another way. The American Social Experiment failed. Time to look honestly and unbiased at what forms of social systems of governance are prospering and to emulate them. For me, that is Socialized Democracy.

  • mannyfurious

    Eh, it’s lose-lose. Choose your poison. I don’t hold it against anyone for choosing to vote or not. Both sides have legit points. My personal philosophy (and I don’t expect or even want anyone to share my philosophy if they don’t want to) is that choosing the lesser evil is a defendable act. But then again, choosing between Cancer or AIDS is not really a choice at all, now is it?

    Oh well, fuck it. Let’s go bowling dude….

  • Hit Mark

    The non voting it’s comprehensible, but it’s the only point i disagree with.
    Voting it’s the only system yet societies have and still sacred in some way.
    If people don’t vote, they’re not together, they’re all invisible and defenseless to the rest of the population and we all need the rest of the population you like it or not.
    We can’t be more than sheeps, no one is better than the rest, so we must become smarter sheeps. And inprove the system, not deny it.