Jonathan Cook: the Blog from Nazareth -

Brand’s critics are asking the wrong question

I am staying on the Brand theme a little longer.

As I mentioned yesterday, the liberal media backlash against Brand has begun in force. Below is a prime example of the vacuous responses to Brand that pose (and, sadly, are widely accepted) as sophisticated analysis. Sunny Hundal over at Liberal Conspiracy makes this preposterous criticism of Brand’s interview with Evan Davis on Newsnight I posted last night:

But Davis has a more profound question that Brand clearly doesn’t want to answer. My version of that question goes like this: If you want to replace the current system of capitalism with something else, who is going to make your jeans, iPhones and run Twitter?

Here, in a nutshell, is what the liberal’s concern amounts to: I am doing fine in the current system. I like my privileges. How can you promise me that in a fairer society I will not lose any of those privileges?

One has to credit Hundal for his honesty. When I speak of gatekeepers, this is exactly what I mean. If Brand wants to get a fair hearing in the media, he needs first to reassure people like Hundal that they will not lose their iPhones. If Brand doesn’t think such reassurances are a priority as we try to address climate meltdown and social collapse, he will be dismissed as a simpleton or court jester.

I have no doubt Brand can answer this question, as can I. But not in a way Hundal or anyone in his blinkered generation of coopted liberals could understand. That is why Brand is talking about a revolution: not in the facile sense of cutting off our rulers’ heads, but in consciousness – consciousness about who we are and where we live. In short, to drop our God-complexes and learn a little humility and humanity before it is too late. That revolution is coming whether we like it or not because our consciousnesses are going to be forced to understand the answers by far superior forces – those of the natural world. Mankind in a fist-fight with the planet is going to lose.

So I recommend to those like Hundal for whom the most pressing question right now is where their next iPhone is coming from to read the article below. It answers the question. It is long. It is thoughtful. It is sensitive. It is worldly, in the deepest sense of the word. And its sensibility most certainly can’t be expressed in soundbite interviews on our most serious TV shows, like Newsnight. And hardest of all, it is only an answer if you know what the real question is.

(h/t Media Lens)

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