MAY 9, 2015
In the grand scheme of things, Russell’s temporary lapse of judgment, as spectacular as it was, is just a minor blip on the radar. However, there were several very powerful lessons that were learned in the process that can help many people who are working for change. Even if airing some personal grievances makes me look bad, to not do so would be an act of fear and weakness. I started writing this as part of the healing process and it led me to a very powerful place that many of us can benefit from.
Russell Brand’s Epic Political Debacle
From David DeGraw’s website:
Over the past three years I have spent more time supporting Russell Brand than I have anyone else. From his comedy tour to the Paxman interview, from his book to his latest film, I’ve given him advice and every key finding from my economic and political research, which he has used with his own brilliant wit and style. Along the way I have invested my own credibility in building up his, working hard to get the most hardcore activists, and political and economic thinkers to support him.
I have put much energy into helping Russell establish political legitimacy and have never received any money for it. Every step of the way family and friends have told me that I was being used by Russell. I didn’t think that I was though. I have dedicated my life to creating change and having someone as charismatic and influential as Russell espousing ideas that I believe in seemed like a powerful strategic move. So when he came out of nowhere with a complete change of viewpoint and went audaciously against those ideas and everything that he had previously said and believed, by urging people to vote for anutterly corrupt political party, it blew my mind. Sadly, I had to drink a huge cup of “I told you so.” Man oh man, when your wife is right, ouch.
Before he made the tragic plea for people to vote for an utterly corrupt political party, I knew something was off. I called him, sent texts and emailed to say that I thought it would be a “colossal strategic mistake.” When he didn’t reply, I knew he was going to do it. Sure enough, two days later, there he was on the Trews with a bold plea, “On May 7th, vote Labour.” No! Say it ain’t so, Russell! Come on man! If you’re going to change course and tell people to vote, fine, but to tell them to vote for the political party that was instrumental in the theft of trillions of dollars, not to mention heinous war crimes, my god! The list of corrupt and vicious moves that the Labour Party has been involved in is mind-boggling. The party that just gave us Tony Blair, mate, really? That’s who you are pied-pipering people to.
You have a new film out about how corrupt the “bailout” was, and now you’re telling people to vote for the political party that gave us that bailout. What on earth just happened? All of a sudden the “revolutionary” says, “Emergency: VOTE To Start A Revolution.” To start a revolution vote for a political party that has had power for over 100 years! What in the name of god just happened? When will Sir Brand be knighted? Will he invite me to kiss the Queen’s ring? Can I take a picture with the Royal baby? Should I go get a wig?
Russell briefly sat down with one boy-blunder politician who promised him he would listen to the people, just like every politician says, and suddenly ole Russ was swigging neo-liberal Kool-Aid. I’ve never seen anything like it before. It was the most spectacular and sudden change of consciousness I have ever witnessed. Did they threaten to kill him? What the hell really happened?
Then he starts reciting fear-based neo-liberal propaganda talking points verbatim. He did it to help the poor and most vulnerable people against the conservative boogie monster. It was rich white-man’s guilt that drove him out of so-called “love and compassion” for us poor people to do the “morally right thing.” It would be “irresponsible” to not vote for the lesser of two evils. Not even Russell could say those words without a horrifyingly condescending tone. I mean, after all, come on children and all you naïve dreamers, grow up people, time to get real and face reality, all compassionate and intelligent people must vote neo-liberal, duh. Tired old aristocratic liberal elite groupthink was on full parade. If it wasn’t so personally offending, I would have literally been rolling on the floor in laughter, by far the funniest stunt he’s ever pulled. Holy hell, what happened to Russell? Did David Axelrod insert a neo-liberal chip into his head?
My relationship with Russell was born in Liberty Park during Occupy Wall Street. The day we met I was busy fighting to stave off the US neo-liberal Democratic Party’s attempted co-option of Occupy. Our entire relationship was built on our united understanding that voting for the lesser of two evils was the backbone of the current crisis that we are in. I’ve spent far too much time trying to fend off the highly contagious psychological plague of “vote for the lesser of two evils” groupthink, which is the most pivotal strategic block to creating the much needed structural change that we urgently need.
Voting for the lesser evil is the ultimate act of fear, akin to “battered person syndrome” and slave mentality. People who vote “less evil” prolong suffering and keep the masses in bondage. That’s an absolute fact! Have the past few decades proved anything at all? The definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
People are so propagandized into a slave mentality. They have no idea that there has been an explosion in wealth over the past generation, because it has been strategically withheld from 99.9% of the population by both of the dominant political parties. In the United States, we have at least $100 trillion in wealth. People don’t know that much wealth exists, let alone understand how much we could evolve society with just a small fraction of it.
To allow the neo-liberal “lesser evil” to continue their reign is an absolute crime against humanity. This delusion that they are any better than the conservatives is purely propaganda. Look at Obama, he has gotten away with much more than Bush could have. At least with conservatives people with half a clue fight back. With neo-liberals, the masses go into a propaganda-induced coma. Neo-liberalism is the opiate of the masses.
In the false reality of neo-liberal groupthink, you may think you are voting in support of poor and vulnerable people, but in reality you are not. I’ve spent time working with “poor and vulnerable” people, the majority of them are not voting neo-liberal. Due to my wife’s health issues, we are buried in medical debt, so I’m among the “most vulnerable,” and I can tell you that the last thing I want is for people to vote less evil and neo-liberal, or neo-conservative, to be clear.
When you vote neo-liberal or for dominant political parties who have had power for decades, as decades past have emphatically proven, you are voting for your own enslavement. In the grand scheme of things, you are a propagandized peasant. I know that sounds harsh, but once you understand how much wealth there truly is, you will come to the same conclusion. A vote for neo-liberals is to be complicit in crimes against humanity.
Voting neo-liberal eases the “compassionate” and comfortable person’s mind of the guilt they feel when they know that the majority of the population is getting screwed by an utterly corrupt political system while they relax in their million dollar homes. Voting neo-liberal is the very least that you can do, isn’t it? You’re just so compassionate. Let me give you a hug and kiss on the forehead. Why don’t you go enjoy a nice family vacation after you worked so hard to push a lever and vote on our behalf. Don’t worry, we will cut your lawn for you while you are gone, for $10 an hour, don’t want to dirty up those pretty hands now, you neo-liberal elite douche. (I could go on for hours about this. I obviously get incredibly worked up over this issue. I truly believe that voting “less evil” is the main reason why we are in this crisis. Read here for further info.)
Anyhow, getting back to Russell. Despite having what I thought was a solid grasp of this reality, when it mattered most Russell shockingly came out as the most well-known supporter of neo-liberalism on the planet. My brother in the fight for freedom shanked me at a strategically crucial moment and became the poster boy for neo-liberalism on Election Day. It was heartbreaking and I was irate. I tried to maintain composure, but anyone who is on Facebook or Twitter may have noticed that I was incredibly pissed off. I’m all for people evolving their opinions and changing their minds, that’s a healthy thing that I have much respect for. However, when you do it in a knee-jerk self-destructive way, that anyone paying attention knows you are not doing out of serious thought and reflection, that’s quite another story.
I wasn’t going to just sit quietly and watch my friend torch his credibility and everything that he has worked incredibly hard for, and that I have worked for. As people who know me have seen before, I will not sit quietly as influential friends get used by neo-liberals to continue their rule and prolong suffering. I knew posting on social media was making me look petty and bad. To Russell’s fans who are not very politically aware, I probably seemed like some random bizarre guy getting all worked up over nothing. I couldn’t just passively let everything go up in flames and keep my mouth shut as credibility in the eyes of serious change-makers was thrown under a bus. That would have been acting out of fear and weakness. What I was saying to Russell in private was much more intense then what I posted on social media. Anyhow, Russell wasn’t responding to any of my personal attempts at contact, so I went to social media. Other than a brief email, he hasn’t said much at all to me since he made the move.
From the outside looking in, given my understanding of the situation, here’s what I think happened, even though Russell publicly says otherwise at the moment. David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister called him “a joke” and Russell’s ego got hurt, which is understandable. When someone influential rises up and speaks bold truth to power, as Russell has, the guardians of the status quo come out in force. An army of neo-liberal and conservative critics pound away at your mind. It is incredibly difficult to take such a relentless mental attack over an extended period of time. Eventually the critics will beat you down until you soften your attack, quiet down and essentially fall in line. I’ve seen it happen to people many times before. That’s why we rarely see celebrities speaking up. The backlash from the status quo is intense. Russell has fought a very valiant fight against an onslaught of criticism.
Russell was reaching a breaking point prior to this election debacle. Just before the wheels came off I said to him that he should take some time off to clear his head and realign. It was a perfect storm. Cameron called Russell “a joke.” All Russell’s neo-liberal friends were saying how important it was for him to urge people to vote neo-liberal, the conservative press was attacking him constantly, and overall press attention building up to the election was furious, and BOOM, the wheels came off.
It was such a knee-jerk reaction that he actually made the announcement to vote after people could register to vote. So all the people who were influenced by his previous “don’t vote” stance could not even cast a vote for neo-liberals if they wanted to. It was a tragic comedy of errors from the start. Although I don’t know the full truth of what happened, it appears painfully obvious that Russell reacted out of ego, which he has since half-heartedly admitted.
Here’s the thing though, it’s all too easy for us to cast negative judgment on a celebrity and self-admitted attention seeker. He’s such a sell out! He’s just trying to get press! I hear that. However, given the amount of pressure he’s been under from neo-liberal friends, conservative critics and the perfect storm of election energy, most people would have done the exact same thing he did. In fact, far too many of my own friends have already done the exact same thing in the past. This is a reoccurring nightmare in my life that I thought I would never experience again with Russell. Well, everyone needs to live and learn and walk their own path, experience makes you wise. We all have our shadows to overcome. In writing this, I attempting to battle through my own shadow. This debacle is certainly a personal low for me as well.
In Russell’s first response after the election, in which the corrupt party that he supported lost to another corrupt party, he admitted that he made a “mad” error in judgment. He said he’s done with politics. He is still making up lame excuses though. In defense of the election loss, he said he was “just a comedian with a laptop” and that corporate media is still much more powerful than independent media in influencing public opinion. For Russell to put the blame on the fact that he’s “just a comedian” or the limitations of independent media is lame. As far as I see it, Russell came from a disingenuous place of ego with a fear-based message, and he did it after people could register to vote, that’s why he didn’t have a positive impact on the election. It had nothing to do with the power of independent media or the fact that he was a comedian. So let’s lose those scapegoats mate. As you know, when you radiate from a place of love and integrity, people will gravitate toward that. In this case, you didn’t, that’s why people didn’t take you seriously.
Ultimately, this entire debacle has reminded me of a very important lesson. When push comes to shove and the shit hits the fan, you need to be as self-reliant as possible. I have to stop hiding behind other people and step back onto the frontlines myself. Ever since the 99% and Occupy entered the zeitgeist, I’ve been consciously coming up with as many ways as possible to avoid being out in front. Being out front is not easy and you pay a price for it. However, operating from behind the scenes is just not working anymore. It’s holding back my evolution. Given the current state of the world, it’s time for many more of us to put ourselves out front in bold and courageous ways.
People avoid saying what they truly feel because they don’t have the courage to face criticism. They fear becoming an outcast, most everyone wants to just conform and fit in. That’s another significant factor that is holding us back. When you keep quiet to fit in and conform, you are enforcing the status quo. You become your own jailer. If more people who are aware of corruption and injustice would speak out as boldly as Russell has been, we would all be living in a much better world. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you should become an ego-driven attention seeker, at all. We all need to be aware of the ever-lurking ego. Fear and ego are the dominant forces that keep us imprisoned. We are bred and conditioned by propaganda designed to keep us focused on these weakness.
It is important for all of us to speak out boldly now because we are at a critical point. In a society with an unprecedented abundance of wealth, 75% of the population has been thrown overboard. That’s a mathematical FACT! Ferguson and Baltimore are just the tip of the ice-berg. Obviously the economically poorest communities are going to be the first to begin fighting back. As society gradually breaks down and more people become aware that they have been thrown overboard through their own declining living standards and personal impoverishment, let’s not let divide and conquer destroy us. Whether you’re living in the impoverished inner-cities or upper-middle class suburbs, we all have much more in common with each other than we have in common with the 0.01% of the population who created the conditions in which we live. As economic insecurity increases, acting from a place of love and compassion becomes incredibly difficult. However, it is in these times that we most need love and compassion, if we are to get out of the crisis we are just beginning to confront. (I’ve written more about this here.)
How To Create A Real Revolution
Do you want freedom? Do you want a genuine revolution, an evolution?
Forget about politics and external forces. Forget 10-point political plans and ideologies. First and foremost, focus within, align with your inner spirit and everything else will take care of itself. Lose the fear, the fear of fitting in, the fear of being judged, the fear of societal pressures upon you, the fear of outside pressure of any kind, the fear of failure. Forget your ego, let go of your ego. Just let go of all the bullshit, and surrender to everything that gives you cognitive dissonance.
What keeps you up at night? What causes stress and anxiety within you? What are you worried about? What are you afraid of? Unfold that and you will find that it is part of the propaganda programming, part of the psychological enslavement processes. It is based in fear and ego, exactly what you need to just let go of, without fear or hesitation. Until you lose it all, the pressure, stress, anxiety, fear, expectations, ego, until you lose it all and just surrender, you do not know what you are truly capable of.
Do something that you love and do it boldly, without fear. Take bold, fearless and courageous action. When you take bold and courageous action, your consciousness expands, doors open, doors that fear-based consciousness cannot see. Bold and passionate action, driven by love, without fear, is a portal into another dimension, a new paradigm.
Your freedom, your happiness and evolution, your path to becoming a positive force for all the people around you, therefore our freedom, the path to global revolution, global evolution, the path to an entirely new paradigm will open up when you focus on what you love, when you align with your inner passion and flow. That’s the secret. That’s the real revolution of consciousness that we need.
In the process, keep an eye toward uplifting people around you. It creates a positive feedback loop that propels you further. The more you empower others, the more empowered you become. The more individual and independent your mind becomes, the more empowered and free you become. You will then see that your ability to inspire others is intertwined with your growing freedom. The more individual the mind becomes, the more unified we all become. The path to inspiring, healthy enlightenment begins within you, the individual, the free individual, and then begins to radiate outward. The free and empowered individual organically aligns with a higher collective consciousness and becomes another living example, living proof of our divinity. Participate in the redemption of your soul and you participate in the redemption of the human spirit.
Once a critical mass does this, the old paradigm will become a relic of the past. The old collapsing paradigm is a byproduct of the fear-based ego. The shortsighted greed that is enslaving humanity and destroying the planet is a byproduct of the fear-based ego. Once you transcend your fear-based ego, you can tap into the unprecedented abundance of wealth that is presently available. I know this will sound overly spiritual to most people, but deep down, below the flood of fear-based conditioning that keeps us imprisoned, you know it’s true.
In a time of fear-based mental slavery, we have to become so free that our very existence becomes a bold and courageous act of love. Before this election debacle, Russell’s existence was a bold and courageous act of love. Call me naïve, but I believe that his existence will once again be that. Despite the dagger to the heart, despite the fact that I metaphorically want to rip his head off and feed it to the Queen, I know what he is capable of. He radiates at a high frequency. He’s a free spirit that inspires and enlightens minds. The only real question is: how many people reading this right now will do the same?
– David’s new book is Freedom In A Time of Mental Slavery. You can read an excerpt here. You can also read David’s previous posts on Russell: Occupying Russell Brand and Russell Brand: Radical Prophet, Mystical Force of Nature.