Russell Brand and Nigel Farage on Question Time tonight.

May 2024 Forums General discussion Russell Brand and Nigel Farage on Question Time tonight.

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  • #106802
    SocialistPunk
    Participant
    jondwhite wrote:
    Contesting elections is a major component of entering the field of political action determined to wage war against all other political parties and calling upon the members of the working class of this country to muster under its banner.

    I think Farage would agree wholeheartedly with that statement.

    #106803
    jondwhite
    Participant
    SocialistPunk wrote:
    jondwhite wrote:
    Contesting elections is a major component of entering the field of political action determined to wage war against all other political parties and calling upon the members of the working class of this country to muster under its banner.

    I think Farage would agree wholeheartedly with that statement.

    I look forward to his open letter in the Standard then.

    #106804
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    We're getting nowhere with these tit for tat one liners JDW. You never did flesh out what you meant by your bizare one liner statement below.  

    jondwhite wrote:
    Bet Farage gets more votes than Brand at the next election.

    Now you may well think Brand is a flash in the pan, self confessed sex addict, former heroin addict, attention seeking, lefty joker, but I and a number of others on the forum think he is a million miles ahead of Farage when it comes to a social conscience. Brand wants people to empower themselves and do politics for themselves, not simply voting for yet another right wing con artist preying on the insecurities and fears that capitalism rams down our throats on a never ending basis.The Brand sceptics can sneer at Brand til the proverbial cows come home, but like it or not he's got more people talking about revolutionary politics than us lot here. Socialist or not, if that gets some people switched on to questioning the way society is organised at present, for the benefit of a minority, and thinking about alternatives, that is absolutely fine with me.

    #106805
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    We are a political party with a clearly defined goal. We have a collective knowledge (or consciousness) based on the party's actual history and its past experience which combines with current debate and discussion to give us an agreed political perspective.  We are not lone wolves or lone voices in the wilderness. We are not messiahs nor prophets nor evangelisers. And we seek and organise to go beyond being mere advocates and propagandists. We come together with the understanding that political action is required to evoke social change. Propaganda is simply the first part of the revolutionary priocess to acquire sufficient support for the second phase…challenging capitalism on the political arena (and industrial field some will also add, but that is another topic, altogether.)Brand may contest Farage's views on Question Time or on his Trews videos or his tweets but until he moves on to the actual political battlefield he leaves Farage a free hand to grow stronger and entrench UKIP's position and possibly acquire the political power to implement their policies. Your remark –  "he's got more people talking about revolutionary politics than us lot here" reminds me of  ex-member and ex-Edinburgh Br secretary, Bill Knox, who in his biography of James Maxton wrote “a special kind of orator who inspired human beings to struggle for socialism…which influenced thousands of young people to become socialists”.The Socialist Standard review of his book simply asked…..where are these people now? I think it is fair to speculate, in a few years time, where are those talking about politics via Brand chosen to go…what road have they gone down…which turnings have they taken. Don't get me wrong, i don't want to neglect or ignore Brand. He has, as you say, offered us an opportunity to try and interact with his audience and we should do our utmost to do that.For me the question is how do we that…how can we offer comradely criticism and suggest something different that builds on the foundations Brand may have begun. We have to offer the bridge from cynicism about capitalism to activism to change it for socialism.    

    #106807
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Actually, it does say something but it doesn't say it all. The two statements could be true. I think they probably are true, i.e she does care and is endeavouring (though not succeeding) to improve things for people.  Not that it makes any difference. Sincere reformists can do no better at trying to make capitalism work for the majority than self-seeking ones.

    #106808
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    SocialistPunk wrote:
    …but like it or not he's got more people talking about revolutionary politics than us lot here. Socialist or not, if that gets some people switched on to questioning the way society is organised at present, for the benefit of a minority, and thinking about alternatives, that is absolutely fine with me.

     I agree. Since when has revolution been seen by most people as possibly a happy peaceful process?  I know we have been saying it for more than 100 years but not many have heard us.I have no illusions about Brand, but he says a lot of things we have been saying but – and this is the important bit – million have heard him. I suspect he will begin to water things down and in fact he is starting to support things here-and-there that have nothing to do with revolution but so what? I am sure there are many things each of us 'support' or would like to see happen as individuals.Which could be a new thread under oo-topic 

    #106809
    SocialistPunk
    Participant
    Vin wrote:
    SocialistPunk wrote:
    …but like it or not he's got more people talking about revolutionary politics than us lot here. Socialist or not, if that gets some people switched on to questioning the way society is organised at present, for the benefit of a minority, and thinking about alternatives, that is absolutely fine with me.

     I agree. Since when has revolution been seen by most people as possibly a happy peaceful process?  I know we have been saying it for more than 100 years but not many have heard us.I have no illusions about Brand, but he says a lot of things we have been saying but – and this is the important bit – million have heard him. I suspect he will begin to water things down and in fact he is starting to support things here-and-there that have nothing to do with revolution but so what? I am sure there are many things each of us 'support' or would like to see happen as individuals.Which could be a new thread under oo-topic 

    Spot on Vin.I've no illusions regarding Brand either and I don't see him as some saviour. I simply see him as someone who has media mileage right now and instead of just partying and enjoying his celebrity lifestyle, he chooses to talk openly about revolution and advocating people power. I also think he really means it.I'm not so sure he is watering things down. Lending his support to the plight of the residents of the Newham council estate in London, is a worthy cause. A group of women took on an issue that affected them directly. An issue that wasn't going to wait for the glorious socialist revolution to fix for them. Is it all or nothing? Socialists have always involved themselves in the trade union movement along side fellow workers, in the here and now struggles within capitalism. Involving yourself in the here and now struggles doesn't mean you can't advocate socialism. Surely the fact that workers have the capability to organise and empower themselves supports our case for socialism being a global system of people working together for the inclusion and betterment of all?   For the cynics out there, having a go at Brand because he isn't a socialist as we understand it, comes across as what I would call, revolution envy. Someone, somewhere on this forum, said something along the lines of SPGB propaganda being more like a sign to let those who have already found socialist ideas for themselves, know the Party exists. If that is the case then the Brands of the world are important in creating fertile ground for revolutionary ideas.

    #106810
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster
    Quote:
    Involving yourself in the here and now struggles doesn't mean you can't advocate socialism. Surely the fact that workers have the capability to organise and empower themselves supports our case for socialism being a global system of people working together for the inclusion and betterment of all?…Someone, somewhere on this forum, said something along the lines of SPGB propaganda being more like a sign to let those who have already found socialist ideas for themselves, know the Party exists.

    This is easier said than done. As Vin said;

    Quote:
     we have been saying it for more than 100 years but not many have heard us.

    I think we have been repeating ourselves and going around in circles. Let us for the sake of the argument accept that Brand is creating an audience where the message of socialism resonates more receptively, this still leaves the big question, just how do we as a party connect with those people in a way that they heed our case rater than  those of the Left and Labourite reformists who too recognise that Brand is drawing in something to tap into?When Brand is seen endorsing the Greens and not ourselves, how do we attract attention to our own answers to the social problems such as New Era, which i'm not sure we have other than our moral support whereas Brand offered tangible support for their morale, publicity. I don't see very much point to this discussion thread over Brand and his impact unless we begin to explore actual approaches that we should be making instead of generalisations. But what specificsally is something i hold my hands up to that i have few ideas…so l'm looking for suggestions on these. Something that can be placed before the party at conference, something on paper we can debate, proposals that we can turn into reality.2015 will be a year of the biggest electoral activity the party has engaged in ever AFAIK, and we have to focus on how to make that effective but more importantly, to have it sustained long after voting day. It is time for practical action.For example, Vin, i would like to see you concentrate once again on your flash animation/music which was extremely positive and we should begin to seriously link to its message on our websites and the various discussion lists we visit, getting others to reay it also. That is what i mean…something concrete that you do,  rather than this wishful thinking about the Brand Effect. Its all about promoting our own unique brand, isn't it !

    #106811
    ALB
    Keymaster
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    I have no pat answers to offer. I don't know how we can change the discussion. But i think Solidarity had it generally right.

    Quote:
    Meaningful action, for revolutionaries, is whatever increases the confidence, the autonomy, the initiative, the participation, the solidarity, the equalitarian tendencies and the self -activity of the masses and whatever assists in their demystification. Sterile and harmful action is whatever reinforces the passivity of the masses, their apathy, their cynicism, their differentiation through hierarchy, their alienation, their reliance on others to do things for them and the degree to which they can therefore be manipulated by others – even by those allegedly acting on their behalf.

    This should be guiding our attitude as regards Russel Brand and other things such as some in the environmental campaign, Zeitgeist and many others.

    In the discussion raging on the Urban 75 forum about him, apart from his dodgy past on sexual behaviour, the main criticism of him is that as a celebrity endorsing struggles he is undermining "the autonomy, the participation, the solidarity, the equalitarian tendencies and the self-activity" of those engaged in grass-roots struggles. According to the critics, this applies to all celebrity endorsements. I'm not sure that it necessarily does. It could help publicise the struggle and would depend on the attitude and perhaps the character and reputation of the celebrity. But that's a side issue.I'm not sure either that Solidarity's definition of "meaningful action" is one "for revolutionaries". It's more for those involved in day-to-day struggles of various sorts within capitalism and, for that, is in line with what say — that these should be conducted democratically by those immediately involved. But Solidarity and most of the critics on Urban 75 believe that "the revolution" will emerge from these struggles while we don't. Of course the political struggle for socialism should be conducted on the same basis but we are not there yet. We are still involved in the battle of ideas. So, at the moment, it is from this perspective that Brand's intervention (and in fact of any other celebrity) should be judged: does it promote the spread of anti-capitalist ideas or impede them?

    #106812
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    Adam,I doubt if there is any way of proving whether or not celebrity intervention promotes the spread of anti-capitalist ideas. My own view point is that the likes of Brand manage to achieve something our efforts could never match, they reach a huge audience that may never have come across revolutionary or anti-capitalist ideas otherwise. If only a tiny fraction of those people continue to explore further then it is a positive thing. Definately something that should not be sneered at, by socialists like us.At the very least for the majority, who will not deliberately explore further into revolutionary politics, the word revolution may no longer be seen as a dangerous, alien concept.Just my view, for what it's worth.

    #106813
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Actually, I agree that celebrity intervention probably does help to spread anti-capitalist ideas.  As another comrade put it on our facebook page:

    Quote:
    I don't think Brand is a 'diversion' for the working class, because he speaks with little or no authority and is not presenting a coherent philosophy. I think it's his very woolliness that makes him useful. What he does appear to be doing is giving many people permission to open up to and consider certain ideas and perspectives which they may not have done before. I could be wrong but I doubt whether Brand will survive for very long as a political figure. I suspect, though, that before he goes he will have planted a lot of seeds in people's minds where they did not exist before, seeds that have the potential to be developed into something more coherent than he is offering. Ideas don't spread through society in a simple, closely boundaried way, they evolve and change. They all, though, need to have a taking-off point.
    #106814
    Darren redstar
    Participant

    I am bored with the discussion over Brand, here, just as elsewhere, no criticism of his conduct, his collaborators, or his 'ideas' ( it's difficult to know what these actually are, as opposed to those of his ghost writer Johan Hari, or the fascist who filmed his Trews, or the conspiracy nuts who he has spent so much time with) is ever actually acknowledged by his fans, who no matter how much they deny that they think he's some sort of perfect hero, clearly consider him to be immaculate.on the Podemos thread a Trotskyist is quoted dismissing the critics who warn of the Spanish party's rapid embrace of the 'possible' Quote:The fact that Podemos has reached millions of Spaniards while self-declared vanguard formations largely speak to those already “in the know” about Lenin and the Russian questions should tell us that we are on the brink of a new period in the class struggle, one in which the socialist movement will be rebuilt on 21st century realities. It is about time.isnt this exactly the same as what is being claimed about Brand?he is not a socialist, there is nothing in either his statements nor his writing to show he either wants nor understands what socialism is.i spent 30 years in the Trotskyist party's before I became a socialist, believe me, people talked revolution all the bloody time, what they meant by that was not we do. Brand talks about revolution, it is not our revolution.

    #106816
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Could it be that he believes people should reject leadership and corrporations and run their communities themselves?Or perhaps that he disagrees with the fact that the earth and its resources being owned by a tiny minority. or is it because he said that the media is controlled by an elite and is filling us with lies?or is it because he said that they have us fighting for their oil and resources? just what is it about him  that gets your goat?  

    #106815
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Darren redstar wrote:
    I am bored with the discussion over Brand, here, just as elsewhere, no criticism of his conduct, his collaborators, or his 'ideas' ( it's difficult to know what these actually are, as opposed to those of his ghost writer Johan Hari, or the fascist who filmed his Trews, or the conspiracy nuts who he has spent so much time with) is ever actually acknowledged by his fans, who no matter how much they deny that they think he's some sort of perfect hero, clearly consider him to be immaculate.on the Podemos thread a Trotskyist is quoted dismissing the critics who warn of the Spanish party's rapid embrace of the 'possible' Quote:The fact that Podemos has reached millions of Spaniards while self-declared vanguard formations largely speak to those already “in the know” about Lenin and the Russian questions should tell us that we are on the brink of a new period in the class struggle, one in which the socialist movement will be rebuilt on 21st century realities. It is about time.isnt this exactly the same as what is being claimed about Brand?he is not a socialist, there is nothing in either his statements nor his writing to show he either wants nor understands what socialism is.i spent 30 years in the Trotskyist party's before I became a socialist, believe me, people talked revolution all the bloody time, what they meant by that was not we do. Brand talks about revolution, it is not our revolution.

     Darren You criticise Brand in the way the capitalist media criticise Marx and socialism. It would be helpfull to quote the  Brand you disagree with rather than a generalised criticism. What has he said that you disagree with?

    #106817
    steve colborn
    Participant

    Darren, there is no free reign for Brands statements from most people on here! What we are saying is, that Brands forays into the medium of "revolution" gives an "in" in so many peoples perceptions of the realities of "their own lives". What we, as a party must do, is use this door that has been opened and stick our size 16 boot, in the door and keep it open!!!Brand has provided the fertile ground (I hope), now we need to nurture it.

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