The Voice of the People needs to be heard.
I wonder what instrument can amplify the voices of the people? How can we be heard, and how can we effectively change the world and our lives? Is our frustration, our despair and apparent impotence to be answered by withdrawal from the political process? Who will speak for us?
- The Media?
Last week we witnessed a celebrity echoing the thoughts of so many of us. Our political representatives have ceased to be the servants of the people. They are the servants of the global corporations, politicians mere puppets while the puppeteers hold the real power. I wonder where we have come to, if it takes a celebrity to make our point? Are we handing over the power we might have to one individual? Is there democracy in a TV show?
Benn says the most revolutionary idea is democracy. If you have power, you use it to meet the needs of your community. As Tony Benn explains here ”People who are poor, demoralised and frightened are easy to control.” This is how the very rich exert control – ensuing people are so downtrodden, so much ridden by debt, misery and pessimism, they have no desire to vote. “If the poor were to turn out and vote for people who represented their interests, that would be a real, democratic revolution.
In this article Prue Plumridge questions how we might respond to Russell Brand’s comments.
A Response to Russell Brand’s Interview
By Prue Plumridge
“Shock and horror was my initial response to Russell Brand admitting that he never voted and whilst I still think it was irresponsible of him to suggest that not voting is an option (if only because the thought of the Tories winning through the people’s apathy is frightening and abhorrent) his article in the New Statesman (once you get round his writing style) is nothing short of brilliant and everyone should read it. It sums up perfectly the state of play. At one end of the scale we have a political system in a state of decay and a bloated corporate sector which feeds on growth and consumption, both intertwined, and on the other the so called 99% who are disillusioned and disempowered faced with rising inequality and growing poverty as well as the threat to our planet’s very existence. We face the burning question of how to save our planet from the ravages of unbridled capitalism aided and abetted by a corrupt political system and corporate sector which is totally out of control and ultimately will destroy us if we do not act.”
Time is not on our side.
The question is what to do about it?
“Revolution is bloody and destructive and could leave us with nothing better or something worse – history tells us that. Chris Hedges, the author of ‘Death of the Liberal Class’ believes that whilst violence may ultimately be the only response to repression left to us, the ‘acts of resistance that sustain us morally are those that disrupt systems of power but do not violate the sanctity of life, even of those who enslave us’. These acts of resistance he believes should be carried out not necessarily because they are effective but because they are the right thing to do. He acknowledges though that whilst those that carry out such acts are few and are often dismissed by the mainstream they are in fact beacons in the dark defying injustice. He is quite clear too about the consequences of ignoring the messengers ‘we will either defy the corporate elite, which will mean civil disobedience, a rejection of traditional politics for a new radicalism, and the systematic breaking of laws, or see ourselves consumed.’Brand talks about the ‘spiritual’ imperative by which he means that we must acknowledge our connection to one another and to the planet on which we live which sustains us. ‘Consciousness itself must change’ he says. He quotes Buckminster Fuller who felt that the collective objectives should be ‘to make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous co-operation without ecological offence or the disadvantage of anyone”. A worthy objective without doubt but also on current experience of the existing power structures pie in the sky and totally unrealistic, or so we are led to believe by the corporate and political elites whose continuing existence relies on the status quo. Our compliance and belief in our disempowerment convinces us there is nothing we can do to change things.
I don’t believe that we cannot change things and history is witness to that even if collectively we seem to have forgotten.We are lulled into a false sense of security by our fascination with the rich and famous, the media which deceives us with its stories and our attachment to consumption driven by a marketing machine which persuades us that it will make us happy. How much more comfortable it is to sit in our nice protective bubbles where nothing can hurt us as long as we keep our heads down and ignore it perhaps it will conveniently go away. There will be a price to pay for our apathy but for the moment we still can’t see it clearly. But it is coming if we fail to act.