Where Will the Revolution Begin?
Russell Brand’s interview with Jeremy Paxman has over seven million views on YouTube in just a couple of days. Clearly, he really touched a nerve, but Paxman was right to take him to task for advocating not voting, as that is one of the many ways to attempt to fix the broken system. The difficulty is that we really need to start from the bottom and begin organizing at the local level first in order to get a foothold. Municipal politics may not sound exciting, but that is where the magic can begin to happen.
The system of party politics in western democracy ensures that some asshole is going to get the top job no matter how few people vote for him. If only three people out of a hundred vote, then two votes out of a hundred wins the election. That is the law. The system is designed to maintain the status quo, not to ensure that the voice of the people is heard. The influx of money from corporations and lobbyists – and I don’t know why we don’t just call this bribery straight up – has so tainted the whole process that it really isn’t democratic anymore, and some of the brightest minds will tell you it never really has been. We just call it that out of habit, but recent decades have seen the rise of corporate oligarchy and the influence of transnational corporations spreading throughout the world. Watch this TED talk if you want to understand the extent of the problem.
This trend really bad news because a corporation exists for one purpose only. Profit is now the one and only goal but it wasn’t always like that. Corporations used to have a charter that set out the obligations it was supposed to fulfill. There used to be a mandate, a public good that the organization was intended to serve. Today shareholder value has a legal claim above all others in corporate governance. In the top-down hierarchical structure, the overpaid CEOs and directors have the power. They are using that power and influence to subvert democracy and remove the checks and balances that once prevented their abuse of people and the environment. However corporations do have an Achilles heel, and the time has come to strike it. We, the people, can boycott their products and employees can work to rule and create collective bargaining units. Massive civil disobedience drove the British out of India and we can use it in North America to demand justice for people and the planet.
It is high time more people recognized that the whole economic model based on growth is wrong. We live on planet with finite resources. There are limits to growth, and we are coming up on them faster than most people realize. Fossil fuel consumption needs to be cut back hard and this has to happen now, or there may not be many future generations. The system that has allowed things to get this bad deserves to be tossed on the scrap heap, but first we have to organize and build a new system based on the principle of sustainability, which is just another way of saying first do no harm. The question is, can we do this fast enough?
Since our current system of government is hopelessly damaged and no longer reflects the will of the people, it behooves us all to demand a change and the system is so far gone that this change has to be revolutionary. Anyone who tries to equate the term revolution with violence is part of the problem and cannot see the forest of democracy for the trees of divisive party politics. The place to start is at the bottom. We need to extract ourselves from the matrix of lies that is spoon-fed through the mind-control devices in our living rooms and take back democracy one level at a time. We can connect with our neighbours, start gardens and free-cycling in our communities, and get involved in making our municipalities more sustainable. The revolution will begin in your heart and bring you out to meet your neighbours and even if the whole house of cards that is the current system collapses, we’ll still have each other.
Revision; Here’s an excellent article on this topic; http://rabble.ca/news/2013/10/some-thoughts-about-power-russell-brand
Posted on October 28, 2013, in Revolution, Terrestrialism and tagged activism, democracy, ecocide, Jeremy Paxman, media, New Statesman, news, Newsnight, occupy, Paxman, politics, russell brand, terrestrialism. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.