Russell Brand Says Don’t Bother Voting, Revolt [Video]

Comedian Russell Brand isn’t shy about politically controversial stances, and while he may be of an unusual opinion, he also has a firm, but polite, way of stating his views that makes them quite palatable.

In recent years, Russell Brand has been vocal on certain issues such as drug addiction and rehabilitation, and the comic recently did an eloquent interview, as well as a New Statesman editorial on current political issues — and why he believes voting is a useless endeavor.

Brand’s take on editing New Statesman begins with the same characteristic and well-worded honesty for which he is often lauded, and the actor explains why he took the gig (“I said yes because it was a beautiful woman asking me”), adding that he “chose the subject of revolution because the New Statesman is a political magazine and imagining the overthrow of the current political system is the only way I can be enthused about politics.”

His first quotable is his blunt and unapologetic admission that he does not vote and never has, explaining why such a civically undutiful position is one he espouses — Brand explains:

“I have never voted. Like most people I am utterly disenchanted by politics. Like most people I regard politicians as frauds and liars and the current political system as nothing more than a bureaucratic means for furthering the augmentation and advantages of economic elites.”

Calling the practice a “tacit act of compliance,” Russell cops later in the piece to being wealthy and powerful — but still gaining valuable perspective due to his ongoing participation in active recovery. The star cites regular contact with addicts as a powerful leveler and reminder of class divides, and even frames the 2011 riots in London as “political,” opining:

“These young people have been accidentally marketed to their whole lives without the economic means to participate in the carnival. After some draconian sentences were issued, measures that the white-collar criminals who capsized our economy with their greed a few years earlier avoided, and not one hoodie was hugged, the compliance resumed. Apathy reigned.”

He later “lampshades” his admitted position of privilege by saying:

“How dare I, from my velvet chaise longue, in my Hollywood home like Kubla Khan, drag my limbs from my harem to moan about the system? A system that has posited me on a lilo made of thighs in an ocean filled with honey and foie gras’d my Essex arse with undue praise and money.”

The piece is lengthy, but touches back on the contrast of privilege and poverty throughout. Admitting ulterior motives for visiting Africa, he contrasts the horrific conditions with a subsequent jaunt to Paris for fashion shows — where many starve for status. Brand says:

“Now, I bow to no one in my appreciation of female beauty and fancy clobber but I could not wrench the phantom of those children from my mind, in this moment I felt the integration; that the price of this decadence was their degradation. That these are not dislocated ideas but the two extremes are absolutely interdependent. The price of privilege is poverty.”

Both Russell Brand’s editorial in New Statesman and a sit-down he did about his comments are worth a watch/read. (Video above.)

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