Ancient Ribs

Robin Lustig on Russell Brand’s recent editorial in the New Statesman:

What Brand says is not only daft but dangerous. It’s dangerous because he is a clever man with influence, and when he says: “Apathy is a rational reaction to a system that no longer represents, hears or addresses the vast majority of people”, there is a real risk that some people — especially young people — will take him seriously.

The core of his message is: “I will never vote and I don’t think you should, either.” He presents it as a message of hope, when in fact it is precisely the opposite. It is a message of despair.

The idea at the core of Brand’s argument—that in all (so-called) liberal democracies there is no substantive distinction between political candidates, and that participating in democratic politics is therefore a pointless exercise—is so easily disproved by counterexample that it…

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