Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Why Russell Brand is a false prophet

This post comes well into a long and acrimonious debate.

It was started by Russell Brand, who called for 'revolution'.
Brand was then challenged by a number of writers, not least Robert Webb.

He was then supported by Nafeez Ahmed.

This is my comment on the debate, with particular reference to Ahmed's article: 

Democracy under attack
Ahmed's article is simply one vapid nincompoop supporting another.

It is reminiscent of many of those writers in the 1930s who attacked 'broken' democracy and encouraged people to step outside the system and seek a 'better' way (in the 1930s, that meant fascism).
And Ahmed and Brand are as wrong now as Moseley and Northcote were in the 1930s.

The thing about democracy - its one advantage as a political system over all others - is that, when it is 'broken', it carries within it the mechanism to put things right.
That mechanism is the vote.

Of course, Brand and Ahmed are bit players in the political game, and it is typical of the Left that we should spend so much time ripping apart the very people who should be fellow-travellers! 

Democracy faces a much more coherent and organised threat from the corporatists, who are using the recession to take over whole states.
But the defeating of them is just the same - the vote.

And that is why I can agree with Brand - effete, rich, hypocritical, immoral elitist that he is - right up to the point where he urges people to abandon the democratic system.
At that point, what he has to say is simply music to the ears of the corporatists.
Because that, of course, like the fascists in the 1930s, is exactly what they want.
If they can reduce democracy to apathetic chaos; if they can consign it to the dustbin of the rejected ... then the way is open from them to move in.
And the form of government with which they replace democracy will not allow of any real change ... without revolution, real revolution, bloody revolution.

A recipe for disaster
For the moment, however, Ahmed and Brand are posturing within the cocoon of safety offered them by the very democracy they seek to overthrow.
Brand wouldn't last two minutes in a real revolution. And Ahmed is living in a fool's illusions where he is going to wave a magic wand and, shazam, the world is going to right itself.

Read Ahmed's article. Apart from re-iterating, yet again, the 'broken democracy' themes, it is only at the very end that he tells us what we might do to bring in the millennium.
Here, therefore, is the critical paragraph:

"Civil disobedience and occupying public spaces ... occupying mainstream political spaces ... intensive, organised grassroots campaigning, lobbying and dialogue with political actors; occupying media narratives [and] new equitable forms of production, consumption and exchange; occupying food and energy spaces by pooling community resources to grow our own food and produce our own energy in our communities; and so on."
By this, apparently,
"a new, emerging post-carbon paradigm will be co-created by people themselves from the ground up".

Best of luck.

Firstly, of course, how do you organise all this in an anarchic world where you are extolling the virtues of disengagement? It will be interesting whether we see Dr Ahmed sleeping rough outside Parliament this winter, or whether he chooses to continues his desk-bound career as a writer for the Guardian instead.

But, secondly, does anybody with even the smallest smattering of historical knowledge think that an extended Occupy campaign and a resurrected Digger movement will dislodge the corporatist oligarchy which currently dominates our government? All it will do at most is give the excuse for the authorities to further restrict our democratic freedoms, and hasten the fall of our only real way-without-bloodshed back to power.

The REAL - and much easier - answer
And what makes all Ahmed's twaddle particularly galling?
The irony is that we do not need Occupy movements. 

We do not need to go back to our allotments and prepare for food-exchange.
We already possess the power to change things.
It is called democracy.

First, we all join the Labour Party and force it to adopt the grassroots socialist policies it ought to be advocating. Then we all go out in 2015 and vote it into power.
Couldn't be easier - no sleeping rough, no spadework ... just meaningful mass-engagement.

But then we live in a world where people are too apathetic to attend political meetings or put a cross on a piece of paper.
So I suppose it is easier still to sit and roar with approving laughter at a comedian who is advocating a course of action few of his audience will have any intention of even considering.

The abiding danger in this, however, is that democracy's enemies - of which Russell Brand is a self-declared ally - will have reduced our democracy to an impotent shell before people realise that they have to get off their backsides and change the system.

Because - if they succeed in that - we will have by our inaction have condemned our grandchildren to a world where terrorism, bloodshed and suffering are the only way to change the government.

So please, people, wake up!

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