Brand’s Inequality of Life

Russell-Brand-Revolution-BookUnlike Gourlay educating you on a pigeon, I’m going to attempt some heavier lifting explaining a few points from Russell Brand’s book Revolution.   I will hardly do justice to his full explanation but I will hopefully describe points I found thoughtful.  The book is a plea for people to start a revolution against the unfair principals of capitalism, the Gov’t, and corporations.

The 10th chapter used an example of how monkeys feel inequality.  Here is an experiment (it’s old but it was the first time I’ve seen it) with 2 monkeys that are told to perform a task (give the rock back).  As a reward, they are given food.  The first time Monkey1 performs the task and gets a cucumber while Monkey2 performs the same task and gets a grape.  No problem on the first try but when Monkey1 gets a cucumber for the second time…well, see for yourself.

 

The point is that monkeys prefer fairness the same way, most humans do.  A focal point of the book is finding ways to separate this huge distinction between the super rich and lower class.

One idea is to reduce security. Security is what separates the wealthy from the poor.  It’s what makes you accept that this is the way it is.  An excerpt:

“The definition of being rich means having more stuff than other people.  In order to have more stuff, you need to protect that stuff with surveillance systems, guards, police, court systems, and so forth.  All of those somber looking men in robes who call themselves judges are just sentinels, whose job it is to convince you that this very silly system in which we give Paris Hilton as much as she wants while others go hungry is good and natural and right.”

orwellfootballIf the powerful had to live a life without security, and common people were able to interact with them without interference, what do you think would happen?  I bet the powerful people would act completely differently because their actions would ultimately lead them to face to face with the people.

This leads into an idea that says to remove titles.  “One of the most remarkable things you learn when you work in a position of political influence is just how much titles separate the wealthy and the politicians from the citizens.  Ordinary people will use a title before addressing someone,  and that immediately makes that ordinary person a supplicant and the title one person of influence.”  

He goes on to make the point that the Queen of England is merely a person.  She’s only a Queen because we say she’s the queen.  She’s not a magical being or an actual queen.  She’s only queen because the people are stupid enough to believe she’s the queen because the rich and powerful say she’s the queen.   It makes zero sense.

99percentneedsaraiseI’m a big believer in the notion that the rich have too much money.  The system is in place to protect these wealthy people so that they continue to get richer and the poor stay poor.  I have no idea what can be done about this but I have 0 doubt this is what is happening.  Ahh fuck it.  I’m going to watch another Shark Tank so I can be one of the rich people and segregate myself from the poor.