Russell Brand, best known for movies like Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him To The Greek, and The Tempest, is also a political radical and not afraid to talk about it. In an extended interview with Jeremy Paxman of the BBC, Brand explains why he doesn’t vote, and it’s time for a revolution.
“It’s not that I’m not voting out of apathy, it’s that I’m not voting out of absolute indifference and weariness and exhaustion from the lies, treachery, deceit of the political class which has been going on for generations now,” said Brand. “We have a disenfranchised, disillusioned, despondent underclass, which is not being represented by that political system, so voting for it is tacit complicity.”
Brand’s prescription: don’t vote, start a revolution, is not one I can fully endorse, but his diagnosis deserves lots of attention.
Earth’s population is collectively the wealthiest it has ever been but that wealth is going mostly to the richest 1% of the population, who doesn’t need it, and is generated by and used to destroy the Earth and the climate it depends on.
Sure, that’s a simplification, but it’s an accurate one, and there needs to be more attention on those issues. Wealth disparity and the destruction of the environment are seen as static issues—they haven’t changed in a while—but that doesn’t mean they aren’t hugely important. If it takes Russell Brand and his hysterical style to give us all a kick in the pants about this, so be it. We need it.