Posted: 12/04/2015 by zandtao in Books

Revolution by Russell Brand

How one appreciates a book depends on where you are coming from and why you are reading it. Together with how it then impacts gives a more complete understanding of the book.

I have mixed feelings about Russell Brand. I have seen the Paxman interview where he comes across quite well, and I have seen the occasional other thing where my feeling is similar. He first came to my attention to use his vernacular as a complete dickhead over Andrew Sachs. I watched some of his comedy where he presents himself as a drugged-up stud and being OK with that – not impressed and not that funny.

I had downloaded the book to read a while back then I saw that he was the fourth most influential thinker or something like that. Mmmm. And yet he says the right things – awareness, politics , the 1%.

I must also point out that I am probably jealous, I would like to have people listen to me the way they listen to him. Yet that is not true. I want people to listen to me and then use what they have heard to question themselves and find their Paths. Enough preamble!

The first thing I note is that the book is written within the paradigm that is 1%, no book of understanding written in this day and age can be anything but. When I read religions that discuss dogma and have not re-evaluated based on the 1% or some version of the Marxist paradigm bouregoisie and proletariat, I see avoidance and self-interest. And perhaps a tactic, to keep people on board they avoid the truth that the necessary confrontation accepting the 1% paradigm brings.

I liked his style of writing. I compare Russ’s literary references with that of a South African deliberating on British 18th and 19th century lifestyle; a contemporary book referencing Corrie seems much more sensible. The content was mostly terrific maintaining the 1% paradigm throughout, and finishing with a spiritual conclusion of love is very ennobling.

His ego is a real downer, something he would say but I would question how well he has internalised that. IN terms of revolution ego is extremely important, the ego wants revolution, it wants to be a leader, it wants to be rabble-rousing, attacking horses in Trafalgar Square, whatever. It is this ego that makes the book unbelievable. But of course I would say that growing up in a revolution, listening to Wolfie, or later listening to Tracy Chapman.

He does not make much claim to political analysis, and his conclusions are more observational than analytical. These observations carry with them the truth, and perhaps that is what I like most about the content. But in terms of the title there is very limited discussion. His book might have been called “before and after the revolution” because his discussion of regime-change would best be described as flawed. He does not discuss power and might except for one minimal note that the police and army are part of the proletariat, and so will join the comrades when they rise up. We need only to look at the wya the police dress now to see such a vast change in 50 years. The police in charge of kettling have so undergone indoctrination there is no way they will join with the people. And as for the military what conditioning they now undergo must be horrific, for such people to accept the feeble excuses that are now offered as excuses for war.

Yet in one sense Russell is right. If the revolution is to succeed then the forces that support the 1% have to join the revolution, and that would have to include the forces of the private militia who are charged with the personal security of the CEO’s.

I am pleased that such a book has been written. I have no idea whether he is a populist icon as I do not follow the current UK/US culture that well. I note that HHDL asked him to lead a Buddhist youth conference in Manchester, and as I trust HHDL’s judgement this means something to me.

His spiritual journey confuses me. Undoubtedly he is on the Path somewhere, and because he has chucked drugs and alcohol it makes me think he has hit bottom somehow and come out of it. He talks well spiritually but I do not feel a spiritual depth. Now ego of course explains this. In my own case I consider my first steps on the Path to be at 23, yet at 36 I was an alcoholic. Not until I meditated daily did the journey take any real hold, and to be found I had to accept sila as a prerequisite. I do not know Russ but I don’t feel his spiritual jour ney includes sila whatever else he is doing. This is a weakness, and it is ego that prevents sila.

If this book is what the young are reading there is great hope.

Zandtaometer – Revolution
Personal Growth
Sociopolitical Awareness

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

  1. zandtao says:

    This is a political book and is therefore going to contain ideas. Russell finishes with a bunch of principles – IDEAS. Ideas are a mistake. They create conflict and disagreement, I believe in this idea, I don’t etc. Processes are more important, what process do we go through? Guidelines as to how these processes come into action might be appropriate, but ideas per se create division and need to be avoided.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.