In the latest episode of The Trews, British comedian and social activist Russell Brand wonders whether wealthy people deserve their riches — and determines, in no uncertain terms, that they do not.
He and fellow activist George Monbiot begin by discussing “the self-attribution fallacy,” in which people attribute their successes entirely to their own skills and ignore the favorable circumstances into which they were born.
“So you’re this super-rich person,” Monbiot says, “and you say, ‘I got here on my own two feet, through my own efforts’ — forgetting that you inherited loads from your parents and had this incredible private education.”
“It’s a myth,” Brand interjects, “a story that if you’re rich you deserve to be rich, and that story means if you’re not rich, you don’t deserve to be — and that means that everything’s the way it should be and nothing should change.”
It’s a myth, Monbiot says, that you have to “espouse and espouse and espouse and espouse when you have great inequality, like you do at the moment. You have to constantly bang home the idea that the people at the top got there through their amazing genius and talent and efforts, and that they deserve to be there because this is the correct social order.”
“For example,” Brand then says, “Lord Rothermere [the chairman of Daily Mail and General Trust], what he’s brilliantly done is he came out of the vagina of this lady who’s married to a person whose name is also ‘Lord Rothermere,’ and that means he got a thing called a Daily Mail — which is a type of newspaper — given to him. If he hadn’t come out of that vagina, he wouldn’t have got it. Brilliant!”
Those who do “earn” their status in business are not likely to be model citizens either, Monbiot adds, saying that “the interesting thing about people in business is that the ones who get to the top, they elbowed and fought their way to the top. Not because they have any particular enterprise, but often, because they’re just really brutal people.”
Watch the entire episode of The Trews below via YouTube.