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Russell Brand, the media and the desire to discredit

October 25, 2013

BrandSo, it was bound to happen. After Russell Brand’s excellent and entertaining interview following his superb editorial in the New Statesman, including his entertaining and thought provoking essay, the media is clambering to discuss him in the light of some sort of ‘new leader of the left’ e.g. “Could Russell Brand stop Clowning around and be Britain’s Beppe Grillo” blah blah etc. etc.

This was to be completely expected. In a world in which personality politics is the norm, Brand’s radical utopian vision of a world shaped by its whole population through a mixture of chaos, dialectical relationships and a new real and contextual ethos of spirituality in order to create a reality in which the existence of people and the whole planet can be salvaged from the dire consequences it faces now, has been reduced to the endeavours of one man. One man who readily admits (as any sane man should) that he does not have all the answers.

How convenient it is then, for the existing elite and their mechanisms of power that the radical ideas that Brand has formed, through his own intellectual endeavours and the realities in which he has lived, can be condensed to only carry significance with him. As a celebrity, Brand will probably understand more than most that the good and bad times can come and go as quick as the each other and that todays media darlings are almost assured to be dropped and smeared tomorrow taking all meaning and significance for what they stood for and believed with them.

These utopian, radical ideas that Brand has discussed (non of them intrinsically new, but still yet relevant and beautifully executed) do not belong exclusively to Brand as the media will endeavour to portray. Nor do they belong only to the radical scholars, supposed leaders of the left, or the kids of London, Liverpool etc who rioted in 2011 (who Brand discusses within his essay), the student demonstrators who took to the streets in their tens of thousands or to me or to you. They belong to every disenchanted individual on the planet, every person who struggles and who has become disillusioned with the status quo of global politics. These are our ideas, these are our grievances and dreams for the future, to be discussed, shared and transformed and I believe that is how Brand intended them to be.

The political elite and the media will be happy to run with Brand as the ‘new messiah’ of the left for as long as it suits them, then will seek to discredit him when they feel it bests suits and with that they will hope the progressive ideas that he shares. The only way of stopping that is through the ownership of ideas being taken by us all so that they can not be homogenised and controlled in the way the political powers wish.

But to the question of whether Brand could be the new leader of the revolution? Possibly I suppose, but probably not, but I don’t think he’s trying to be either.

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From → Politics, UK

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