A new “Brand” of politics?

Russell Brand’s “Newsnight” interview with Jeremy Paxman has gone viral across social media, attracting over a million YouTube views a day since it first aired on October 23.  The English comedian, actor, radio host, and author who is notorious for incorporating drug use, alcoholism, and promiscuity into his comedic material, was recently appointed as guest editor of this week’s issue of London’s political and cultural magazine, New Statesman.  The interview began with the question:  “Russell Brand, who are you to edit a political magazine?”

See what he had to say about that question and more in this video:

Wow, is he on to something here?

How do you feel about the fact that he has never voted, and encourages others not to?

Brand says, “It’s not that I’m not voting out of apathy, I’m not voting out of absolute indifference, and weariness, and exhaustion from the lies, treachery, deceit of the political class that has been going on for generations now and has now reached a fever pitch, where we have a disenfranchised, disillusioned, despondent underclass that [is] not being represented by that political system, so voting for it is tacit complicity with that system.”

How many other people feel this way, too, but don’t have the courage to say it?  Do we actually, as a society, have influence or power in the way our current voting system is structured?   Or are we willing to consider the possibility that if we want to see some significant changes in our current paradigm, we may be called upon to take some significant actions?

Do the ideas which Russell Brand shares represent the kind of revolution Humanity is yearning for?  These certainly are the types of radical changes that will rattle powerful cages and cause the status quo to quiver in its tightly laced shoes, but is someone like Russell Brand too unrealistic, too “out there,” too unbelievable, too incredible?   He has been criticized for not offering actual and practical solutions.  But might it be possible that the solutions will unearth themselves in our choice to take the first step, which could be as simple as listening to each other?

For so many, “politics” has become a dirty, ugly word.  The more divisive and complicated our political system gets, the more disenfranchised and disengaged large segments of our population feel.  How do we get to a point collectively where the system we have in place excites and invites?  According to Brand, “Imagining the overthrow of the current political system is the only way I can be enthused about politics.”

Is that what it’s going to take?

Are we ready for that kind of a revolution?

I think it’s just the beginning.  What do you think?

(Lisa McCormack is the Managing Editor & Administrator of The Global Conversation. She is also a member of the Spiritual Helper team at www.ChangingChange.net, a website offering emotional and spiritual support. To connect with Lisa, please e-mail her at Lisa@TheGlobalConversation.com.)

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  • Therese

    Oo, oo! I saw this couple of days ago, and it got me really excited! He used many of the same words and concepts that Neale does, and he’s young and influential, and motivated and committed! He is passionate without being angry and belligerent! He admits that he doesn’t know the answers, but is open to what unfolds!

    In another interview, with someone who IS angry, he was articulate, and found common ground. If like attracts like, he should attract many more who are willing to help him flesh out the vision into a workable solution! He ends this second interview saying something along the lines that it is, at its core, so very simple…if we all just started vibrating from a certain level (I would presume peaceful, Oneness etc.) it would simply happen. There would be no stopping it.

    I’ve been watching Brand for some time now, and I like how the youngster is growing up!

    • NealeDonaldWalsch

      You can “vote” for Marianne with your dollars, Therese. Let’s use the power that “they” use against us….against THEM. Even a $5 contribution to her campaign will make a difference. Just go to http://www.MarianneforCongress.com

      DO IT. Five bucks is all she asks from everyone who agrees with her!

      • Therese

        Heck! I should have known that! Thank you, sir!


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  • Karen G.

    I absolutely agree with Russell. Voting is an illusion of participation. There is nothing he said that rang false to me. I find myself admiring him for the first time for his clarity and passion. I agree, if he has stated as suggested by Therese, that our vibration can cause what we want to simply happen. Our votes can be quietly spoken to the Universe. The revolution Russell speaks of does not have to occur in conflict. It can occur by refusing to play the old game.

    • Great points, Karen! We share a common vision of a peaceful revolution taking place on our planet and I am honored to share that journey with you.

  • Christof Baumann

    Watch another interview of Russel Brand:
    Russell Brand: Humanity Coming Out of The Cave
    Here he is talking about the oneness which Neale is also talking about. It is great to see, that there are so many speaking aboout it in so many different ways.

    • Thank you for the recommendation, Christof. I will be sure to check that video out, too. I wholeheartedly agree with you, it is wonderful to see hope and inspiration showing up in so many diverse ways and through some of the least expected messengers.

      • Karen G.

        Hi Lisa, I looked at the video recommended by Christof. It definitely displays an unexpected messenger and the interviewer Alex Jones is unexpected as well. I often make a point of observing with my husband how the packaging we find someone to be in, may be in complete opposition to what we’d expect from them. A beautiful, well-dressed drug addict for example. I feel that we (the World) are learning not to prejudge anything we see. For one, our perception may have been falsely created by our own experience or through manipulation of some kind. Isn’t it amazing that the Divine has provided so many messengers with varying shades of truth each to capture the attention of those who are ready to hear it.

        • Today had the opportunity to watch the video Christof recommended, too, and there were a couple points he made that particularly stood out for me:

          “Politics needs to be the administration of spiritual principles – we are all one, we are all together, and every individual’s rights need to be respected — and politics needs to be the administration and distribution of those ideas. We need a spiritual revolution more than we do a political one.”

          “We need to look at the world as one inclusive entity. We need to look at how many people are on the planet. We need to look at the resources that are available and what’s the most sensible thing to do with that.”

          Sounds quite logical to me.

          I also couldn’t agree more, Karen, with your statement of “Isn’t it amazing that the Divine has provided so many messengers with varying shades of truth each to capture the attention of those who are ready to hear it.”

          Yes, it is amazing!

  • Erin

    Perfect! Absolutely perfect!!!
    I would have plugged for George Carlin in a heartbeat, but that can not be…However, Russell is a young, vibrant voice, indeed…Sassy!…and inspiringly Honest! 🙂

    I have to admit…I have not had motivation to use the voting ‘right’ for the same reason…It shows support for a system which I have never agreed with, and can be too easily manipulated to bring the desired outcome of that system. I also don’t See the cattle lines everywhere as attractive…and the whole ‘way’ was introduced as ‘secretive’ & ‘unconversational’, and that just didn’t/doesn’t jive with the Soul Sounds at all. I went, each year to such events, but felt ‘lost’ & angered, more than patriotic.

    Having been in Corp. Worldship, I saw much ‘behind-the-scenes’ stuff, which only strengthened that off-beat tune. Anyone taking notes on the moves of the Insurance Industry? You should! They have been articulately planning for their ‘event coming’ for 3 decades…It will be the scam of the century! And they are quite pleased, btw, with the fears already sending folks running to them. Inglorious genius, once again!

    The fact that the commentator was soon left without words to argue Russell’s points was lovely, & Russ definitely deserves kudos for maintaining his unconventional demeanor & intelligent composure. Nice share, Lisa! 😀

    • Thank you for your insights, Erin. I can’t help but wonder how large the pool of people is who are sharing the same discontent with a system that is constructed to serve and bolster those in power, while at the same time control and frustrate those who are not. Like you, I am so attracted and drawn to the “rabblerousers” who not only “have” but who are “willing” to share their visions for a new tomorrow. It is not an easy thing to do to stand in front of the world and state publicly what is so blatantly obvious: “This isn’t working anymore.” Why is it that most people, myself included for a majority of my life, just find it easier to go with the flow and let someone else do the heavy lifting? Could it be something as unique and eccentric as Russell Brand’s style of delivery that changes that? Definitely someone to keep our eyes and ears on. Perhaps the next Rodney Dangerfield is about to step onto the field. Glad you are here, Erin.

  • Stephen mills

    I totally agree with everything Russell say,s and you have got to admire his way with word,s.But I,am not sure if not voting is the answer .The way I see it is they do not want many people to vote they want us to remain apathetic and dumb us down ,ware us down so that the status quo prevails .How about the Green Party ,here in Scotland th Green Party,s manifesto is not that far away from the new spirituality thought,s on the prime value of life and co operation over competition.

    Thom Hartmann say,s get out there and get active ,participate in politics is politics not our spirituality demonstrated ?I agree that it,s not working for most of the people and needs a complete overhaul but do we do this from the inside or outside or both.Now that is a dichotomy .

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention Lisa .

    • Thank you, Stephen. You know, I don’t know if “not voting” is the answer either. I see the benefit of voting in people like Marianne Williamson. And without a massive voting movement to make that happen, it won’t. Inside job? Outside job? Important questions. How do you interpret “politics is our spirituality demonstrated”? I hear this phrase a lot. I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas about what this means and how it can be shared with others as a catalyst to break down the idea that spirituality and politics do not play nicely together. 🙂

  • Terri Lynn

    Very powerful. I am one who does vote but most times feel I am choosing a candidate I dislike less than the other. I have not felt totally in sync with any candidate. I do not think that not voting is the answer. I feel we need more of the right people to run. Marianne Williamson is a breath of fresh air. She is a person I can get excited about voting for.

    Personally, I have always stayed away from politics because it twists my insides and drives me crazy. However, I am beginning to feel like I am ready to fight for a better way and become more involved. Russell Brand certainly made some very good points and I hope he wakes up enough people to make a difference. Perhaps we do need a revolution. But, what does that look like?

    Thanks, Lisa, for putting this in the spotlight.

    • Hi Terri! As always, I appreciate your input and observations. I am not sure what a revolution looks like, but I do know that I am choosing to be on the side of changing a system that is broken. When just the mere mention of “politics” makes people, a lot of people, want to run and hide, it is long past the time for change. People like Russell Brand and Marianne Williamson are just the beginning. I share your uncomfortable feelings around the harsh political arena, but I also know that there are people in the world whose lives can be made better by my decision to get involved. Therefore, I choose to rise above my uneasiness and stretch beyond my comfort zone as a statement of who I am. And from what I have observed about you, I’m pretty clear about who you are, too. 🙂

  • Anthony Testa

    Politics is just that, politics. Whether USA or Canadian politics, they are all the same. Corruption, name blame games and self interest. How do you change a system that’s broken ? It may take a major event, maybe a voter turnout so low that the results are negligible and a new system will have to be looked at or a brave leader to change how the system works.

    • Greetings, Anthony. You ask, “How do you change a system that’s broken?” I don’t have the answer to this important question, but I can’t help but feel that by continuing to align myself with people whose thoughts and ideas envision something different than a broken system, that positive change will naturally emerge. It may be slow. Some people may give up long before this happens. The magnitude of this situation may be so large that takes many lifetimes to evolve or dissolve. But it has been my personal experience that when I live into a life that leans into my most deeply held beliefs, that feels, to me, most authentic and most purposeful, even if in this lifetime I do not reap the benefit of my desired outcome. You’ve offered two possible game-changers in your observations. Maybe that “brave new leader” is reading your words…right now. 🙂 Thank you, Anthony, for your insights!

  • Ronald Cogan

    Just a thought on this subject. Why not come up with a system of Gov. that is both political and spiritual? Maybe we all need to take the good things out of our Gov. now and add spiritual beliefs, to come up with a gov, FOR THE SOUL. Our system isn’t bad, it is just broken, just like our belief in our old culture story. RON