Dark Book Review – Revolution
By Russell Brand
Review Written By Casey Douglass
I can remember when Revolution was released. It seemed to split opinion quite nicely, some people really liking the book, others poo-pooing it. I had a hunch at the time that I might quite like it, long having had feelings that our capitalistic “democracy” wasn't worth voting in. Like all good little capitalists though, I waited for Revolution to drop in price and come out in paperback before I gave it a go. I'm glad I did.
Revolution puts into wordy-words (sorry, couldn't resist) Russell's outlook on what our world is coming to. I didn't fully get behind everything he said, particularly the God and interconnectedness stuff but that is partly due to my own lack of certainty when it comes to more intangible matters. The stuff about corporations, capitalism and “democracy” (you might be wondering why I keep doing bunny-ears around “democracy”. You see! I did it again!) rang very true to me and helped me shuffle around some of the old brain apparatus inside me noggin to better order my thoughts on the matter. I also worryingly seemed to have caught a bit of Old Russ' parlance too.
Early on in the book, Russell explains why he chooses not to vote and details the abuse he came in for when he said as much. I do vote but I am totally aware that it isn't worth a jot. As Russell says, due to various influences, our democracy seems to be anything but, the ruling party seemingly not there to serve the people any more but to protect the economy and serve big business which is the main reason we have an economy. He gives plenty of examples of how the current landscape favours the mega corporations that seem to own pretty much everything, and how some of the trade agreements we have are stupendously wasteful when it comes to the environment and local labour (workforce, not the political party).
He also takes time to point out the ludicrous nature of the monarchy and I certainly agree with him there. As long as England has a monarchy and an unelected House of Lords, we will be stuck in the dark ages and roundly mocked by all except the U.S, who we could probably sell our Royals to for a tasty profit seeing as they buy all of that prince and princess crap.
It isn't all bitching about class though, Russ goes on to describe what he thinks the much needed revolution should be like, I.e. non-violent etc. and the system that will replace what we have now, I.e. local power in local hands, with government only there to do the admin and put the wishes of the people into action. He also laces a string of comedy through his writing that makes it all a bit less serious and more palatable, openly nodding and winking at his own inability to sometimes put the things he preaches into action.
Going back to when the book was released, I remember some reviewers snooting that it was badly written waffle. I disagree. Whether they objected to his views and more esoteric ponderings and just found his writing style the means to slam the book I have no idea. The most I can say against the book is Russell does have a habit of starting a paragraph about something and getting sidetracked for a little while before coming back to the point he was making. I personally didn't mind this and if anything, it could be argued that it helped keep me focused, I couldn't just switch off or I'd find myself in some gag about him wanking and have no context for it! Noooo!!!
If you have an interest in how the wealth of the world ended up in the hands of a tiny fraction of the population while the rest of us struggle, and why the status quo is the status quo, pick up Revolution now and have a read. It's not po-faced like some of the deadly serious books on the matter and I think it will make you chuckle. Do I like it because it polished my own reflections about the state of the world? Possibly. Do I think even Russell's Revolution will change anything? No. I am too cynical about the ability of people to not screw each other over. Will I stop asking myself questions and just end the review? Yes.
I give Revolution 4/5.