Des Pensable (c) 2015
I’ve just been on a short holiday to visit remote members of my family and like many people decided to buy a book to read on the journey. I chose Revolution by Russel Brand as I had seen videos of Russel on Facebook marketing his book in his typical poke-fun-at-the-establishment style which provoked a Pavlovian response among the Tories and Republicans ensuring that his marketing would be successful.
I didn’t quite know what to expect as Russel is hardly either an academic or a revolutionary and I don’t generally bother reading books from media celebrities as they’re written by ghost writers as a public relations exercises for fans and have little of substance within. This book surprised me in that while it was written for fans it contained a few gems of revolutionary thought borrowed from such legends as Carl Marx, Che Guevara and Noam Chomsky.
At first glance the book could be considered as a cynical exercise in egoism. The first 80 pages are little short of an autobiography of how Russel was a lost soul as a child who related to nothing and no one and used drugs to drop out of society. Then he found spirituality, eastern philosophy, yoga and meditation and it changed his life. He accidentally became the American dream, the rags to riches story and now having tasted the fruits of capitalistic success has decided that it’s not the answer to the meaning of life.
He now sees the uber-rich champions of capitalism as little more than a hierarchy of drug dealers flogging drugs in the form of materialistic goods and mental diversions to an addicted enslaved populace trapped in a false reality.
He sees western society as more like a prison where the people are held in a tranquil, hypnotic, mindless, helpless state by a complicit mass media of morally corrupt commercial puppeteers. In this way they can be deceived, coerced, exploited, looted and discarded with psychopathic disregard as if they were no more than depleted human battery hens.
Consequently, it’s not surprising that he’s been labelled a hypocrite by both the rich and the poor who see him as little more than a name dropping dog that bites the hand of the system that is feeding him.
On the other hand, if you are prepared to be a little less cynical and see him as a man that has genuinely travelled a hard road through adversity, deprivation, self-hate and suffering; a man that has genuinely found a path to a level of spiritual enlightenment allowing him to see beyond the smoke and false shadows cast on the walls of our Platonic cave society then maybe he has a message to give you.
He says quite honestly that the short cameos of revolutionary wisdom within his book are the product of others and are not his. He states that owing to the fact that he is a media celebrity he has been privileged to be able to share the story of many others that are currently working on revolutionary new ideas on how to transform our western materialistic society away from the capitalistic neoliberal nightmare that it is today. He even drops a few names that might be termed celebrities in the world of revolutionaries such as Naomi Klein and Thomas Piketty.
While not a scientist or even professing to know much science, he is a firm believer in Global Warming and sees it as the writing on the wall that we MUST seriously address or the world will see suffering beyond all imagination.
He calls for a revolution to start the transformation of western society away from the failing destructive exploitative materialistic form of society that we currently have imposed upon us by faceless commercial oligarchs. He calls for a revolution without violence based on love and empathy, sharing and cooperation and his path to this revolution is through adopting a more spiritual life style with yoga, meditation and organic farming.
I couldn’t help feeling that within his book there was a genuine call for the people of the western world to wake up, take notice and join the revolution. The book was not meant to be DIY book on Revolution or the Idiots Guide to Revolution but an Invitation to the Revolution that is already happening around the world quietly behind the scenes.
The Climate Scientists of the world have shown convincing evidence that our whole civilization is threatened by runaway Global Warming and we have only limited time to fix the problem. It will need a revolutionary transformation of society that involves moving away from a fossil fuel based civilization currently tightly controlled by obscenely wealthy energy oligarchs, to a more enlightened renewable energy based civilization.
It will also mean a revolutionary move away from environmentally damaging exploitative crony capitalism to a more environmentally friendly, socially sustainable society. That transformation must come before we reach the death of hope of irreversible Global Warming and it will not come easily.
We are already on the road towards that revolutionary change. Millions around the world walked in protest about inaction on Global Warming last year. More than twenty million concerned people from around the world called for a complete shut-down of the use of fossil fuel by 2050 in an Avaaz petition to the Lima Climate Change conference last December. Hundreds of millions around the world want a better life and a more even distribution of the world’s resources.
Global Warming is forcing a revolutionary change on the world whether any of us like it or not. There are likely to be many pathways and outcomes in this energy revolution. Russel Brand has wisely suggested one pathway, a peaceful spiritual eco-friendly sustainable pathway to the revolutionary transformation of our civilization based on love not hate. No one can fault him on that! What road will you choose?
Book Review : Revolution by Russel Brand. Published by Century Press, London , 2014.
Another interesting book review of Revolution
Russell Brand was nominated by George Monbiot as one of the Heroes of 2014.
Russel Brand nominated 4th Most Influential Thinker in the World 2015
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