Russell Brand

Russell Brand is literally a socialist revolutionary. He wants high taxes on corporations to redistribute money from the rich to the poor, he claims corporations are destroying the environment and he thinks profit is a dirty word.

According to Brand, profit means that somebody has a deficit: see around 4:30ish in the video. This is false. If I give a person or group some money in exchange for a good or service then one of two things must be true. (1) I prefer the good or service to the money, in which case we both end up in a situation we prefer to our original position. (2) I have two or more competing ideas about whether I ought to buy the product or service. If the former is the case I and my trading partner both gain from trade. If the latter, I can’t expect to gain until I sort out my priorities, which is not my trading partner’s responsibility since he doesn’t control my thoughts.

Profit is the result of people trading for mutual benefit. To oppose profit is to say that it is wrong for people to cooperate for mutual benefit. This is the creed of somebody who expects people to sacrifice themselves, and like all ideologies based on human sacrifice it can only result in destruction and death. To quote Ayn Rand:

Such is the secret core of your creed, the other half of your double standard: it is immoral to live by your own effort, but moral to live by the effort of others—it is immoral to consume your own product, but moral to consume the products of others—it is immoral to earn, but moral to mooch—it is the parasites who are the moral justification for the existence of the producers, but the existence of the parasites is an end in itself—it is evil to profit by achievement, but good to profit by sacrifice—it is evil to create your own happiness, but good to enjoy it at the price of the blood of others.

Why are some people poor? Because they practise what Brand preaches. Why did governments bail out banks? Because they don’t a free market in money and banking, which would prevent them from running a welfare state based on the principle of human sacrifice that Brand advocates. If the government can’t print money whenever it wants to then it can’t pay for lots of people who do no productive work. And what about the planet? Won’t somebody please think of the planet? The planet is getting better by the standard of supporting human life thanks to the productivity enabled by industrial progress.

What about Paxman’s dismal performance in this interview? He first asks about Brand’s authority. This is the creed of a man who believes in witch doctors who can relieve him of the responsibility to think for himself. Oh, holy expert, tell me the answer so that I don’t actually have to think. This is a cop out. He has to pick the expert so if he’s not willing to think he will just consider whoever he finds most comforting an expert and discard anybody else as an amateur.

What about voting? Western liberal democracy is better than Russell Brand’s brand of tyranny. It could be improved if people didn’t want the terrible stuff that Russell Brand advocates. We could reform toward more stuff being done by cooperation for mutual benefit, which would be better than what we have now.

About conjecturesandrefutations
My name is Alan Forrester. I am interested in science and philosophy: especially David Deutsch, Ayn Rand, Karl Popper and William Godwin.

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