„When I was poor and complained about inequality they said I was bitter; now that I’m rich and I complain about inequality they say I’m a hypocrite.“
— Russell Brand
Context: This may be one of the many points in this book where you are shouting the word “hypocrite” as you read. Don’t think I’m unaware of the inevitability of such a charge. I know. I know. I’m rich, I’m famous, I have money, I’m being paid money for this book, I have had private security on and off for years. There is no doubt that I as much as anyone have to change. The only thing I can offer you in the face of this legitimate accusation is that change is something I’m good at. I know that change is a necessity. I have had to change to survive. I’d also like to add, by way of mitigation, that I could’ve just written Booky Wook 3, not mentioned global inequality, ecological meltdown, or the complicity of the entertainment industry in holding together a capitalist machine that exploits the vast majority of people, and collected my check. When I was poor and complained about inequality they said I was bitter; now that I’m rich and I complain about inequality they say I’m a hypocrite. I’m beginning to think they just don’t want to talk about inequality. Revolution is change. I believe in change, personal change most of all; at this time, however, we must coordinate a massive change, so, please, shout “hypocrite” at an inanimate object if you must, but please don’t dismiss the ideas in this book. Know, too, that I am prepared for change, that I have seen what fame and fortune have to offer and I know it’s not the answer. That doesn’t diminish these arguments, it enhances them. Of course I have to change as an individual, and part of that will be sharing wealth, though without systemic change will be a sweet, futile gesture.