Recently, Russell Brand gave an interview which got the libertarian part of the interwebz in an uproar. Murray Rothbard’s words on holding opinions on things we don’t know much about is quite apt for this situation.
However, we should not completely throw Brand overboard on this issue. He has in fact accepted that the current system does not work. At the very least he is thinking hard about the problems we are facing. His conclusions may be wrong or misguided, but we shouldn’t reject him entirely based on that alone.
Russell Brand is rejecting the status quo. He asserts that voting never changes anything. This is not an easy decision to come to. His is not an apathy due to laziness, it stems from frustration. I think most of us libertarians would have come to this conclusing exactly through frustration and would agree with him that voting doesn’t change anything for the same reasons. We both question the authority in place today.
His solution is wrong however, according to how libertarians see things. The solution is not more redistribution and more controls or regulations. The solution is economic freedom. Brand is open to this discussion if anyone would have it with him. He has demonstrated that he is capable of thinking outside the box. He just needs to think a bit harder.
Libertarians should not alienate Brand. They should encourage him more. He has met us half way. It is of course up to him to follow us the rest of the way. But rejecting him now will not make him amenable to libertarianism in the future. I advise caution.
Edit: Stefan Molyneux’s open letter to Russell Brand