I came across this blog containing Russell Brand’s article about his views on the world revolution, capitalism and politics, which I find insightful in some places, such as the following excerpts:
“Suffering of this magnitude affects us all. We have become prisoners of comfort in the absence of meaning. A people without a unifying myth. Joseph Campbell, the comparative mythologist, says our global problems are all due to the lack of relevant myths. That we are trying to sustain social cohesion using redundant ideologies devised for a population that lived in deserts millennia ago. What does it matter if 2,000 years ago Christ died on the cross and was resurrected if we are not constantly resurrected to the truth, anew, moment to moment? How is his transcendence relevant if we do not resurrect our consciousness from the deceased, moribund mind of our obsolete ideologies and align with our conditions?
We now must live in reality, inner and outer. Consciousness itself must change. My optimism comes entirely from the knowledge that this total social shift is actually the shared responsibility of six billion individuals who ultimately have the same interests. Self-preservation and the survival of the planet. This is a better idea than the sustenance of an elite. The Indian teacher Yogananda said: “It doesn’t matter if a cave has been in darkness for 10,000 years or half an hour, once you light a match it is illuminated.” Like a tanker way off course due to an imperceptible navigational error at the offset we need only alter our inner longitude.
Capitalism is not real; it is an idea. America is not real; it is an idea that someone had ages ago. Britain, Christianity, Islam, karate, Wednesdays are all just ideas that we choose to believe in and very nice ideas they are, too, when they serve a purpose. These concepts, though, cannot be served to the detriment of actual reality.
The reality is we have a spherical ecosystem, suspended in, as far as we know, infinite space upon which there are billions of carbon-based life forms, of which we presume ourselves to be the most important, and a limited amount of resources.”
Yes, the sufferings of humanity affect us all, as we are all one and interconnected, which requires a new consciousness to be cultivated. I also agree capitalism, organised religions, social statuses and so on are just ideas rather than real as these do not define our true essence, and unfortunately they have resulted in much discrimination and marginalization in the world from those who use these concepts to oppress or look down on others who are not like them. A global paradigm shift is indeed essential for as many people as possible for the oppressors to change their ways, and for the oppressed to be liberated from the injustice.
Apart from his characteristic candid wit and satirical humor that critiques the self-serving ideologies of capitalism and politics, I appreciate some deep insights and observations Russell Brand shared in his article. It is interesting to note that socialism and egalitarianism, as well as a profound respect for the environment including forests, soils and rivers, are spiritual principles that form the basis of some ancient pagan and indigenous cultures, such as Celtic, Nordic and Native American cultures, as he described below.
“Throughout paganism one finds stories that integrate our species with our environment to the benefit of both. The function and benefits of these belief matrixes have been lost, with good reason. They were socialist, egalitarian and integrated. If like the Celtic people we revered the rivers we would prioritise this sacred knowledge and curtail the attempts of any that sought to pollute the rivers. If like the Nordic people we believed the souls of our ancestors lived in the trees, this connection would make mass deforestation anathema. If like the native people of America we believed God was in the soil what would our intuitive response be to the implementation of fracking?
Now there is an opportunity for the left to return to its vital, virile, vigorous origins. A movement for the people, by the people, in the service of the land. Socialism’s historical connection with spiritual principles is deep. Sharing is a spiritual principle, respecting our land is a spiritual principle. May the first, May Day, is a pagan holiday where we acknowledge our essential relationship with our land.”
I am aware from reading some online articles and discussions in the past that some detractors may say that if I favor socialism over capitalism, then I should not be using an iPhone or a computer or wearing imported clothes or eating imported food because these are products of capitalism, which supposedly encouraged innovation and globalism. After pondering about this for some time, I think my answer to these detractors would be that I am in the world but not of the world, as Jesus said, and it is possible to live in a paradoxical world as we all do. I believe Jesus would also have eaten food bought by his disciples from the markets that are monetary and capitalistic in nature, and travelled on fishing boats used for the fishing industry, and even though he used or consumed these products, he did not support the greed and competition behind capitalism as he often taught people that life does not consist of possessions as well as to love one’s neighbour, for whoever shows kindness to the least of the brethren is showing kindness to him. So in essence, Jesus was teaching and living a socialist way of life within a capitalistic system, as I come to realise, and perhaps we all today can endeavor to follow his footsteps in our own ways, as I am learning to do so. Indeed, like what Drew Sumrall said in his videos, we can take up our cross and follow Jesus, and live as though the system of the world does not exist.