Actor Russell Brand told college students that drastic measures were needed to seize power from the corporate and political elites.
“They’re only in charge of us if we allow it,” Brand said. “Complete noncompliance, complete disobedience, then the alternatives will emerge. We need to create a paradigm that makes the old one obsolete. That’s what we have to do. Not comply to it, because then we’ll get drip-fed little measures. ‘Oh, well, we’ve given you recycling bins.’ Thanks! The planet’s still f*cked.”
Brand repeated his call for revolution Tuesday during a student discussion at The Cambridge Union, urging students to stop voting as a first step.
“I think (voting) is an act of compliance,” he said. “I’m not talking about apathy, I think you understand that about me. I’m saying, ‘No, I’m not complying with your ideas at all. I’m not going to turn up and put an X in a box, like an Xbox. It’s like an illusion, it’s a temporary reality. It’s meaningless, it’s pointless. It makes no difference. Give us something to vote for, and then we’ll vote for it.”
The actor and comedian said the current situation was so dysfunctional that rich and poor alike were suffering spiritual harm.
“The poor are trapped in their poverty, the rich imprisoned in luxury,” he said. “We’re all living in a f*cking illusion, we’re all on a prison ship. It’s up to us to liberate ourselves, first as individuals and then as a society.”
Brand said socialism was politicized Christianity, but he said that most religions were essentially the same apart from their cultural or geopolitical variations.
“All spirituality is, is we’re all people, we’re going to die, try and be nice,” he said. “It ain’t complicated, it’s simple business. And politics, if politics is about anything other than ‘make sure everyone’s getting looked after,’ any system that is in place that is about furthering people that are already privileged, that’s got to change.”
Most people can intuitively recognize that need for change, Brand said, but he said the situation was too dire to change it through political protest.
“We are way, way beyond the stage of politely turning up and rattling a few placards,” he said. “There needs to be a defiant stance taken against corporations that, for their own ends, are desecrating our planet. Now the system in place, the little valves, neat little ejaculations of like apparent power, a little vote — I’m not interested in that. I want f*cking b*kkake in their faces.”
Watch this video of the discussion posted online by The Cambridge Union Society: