Australian Way of Life

An Actor’s Manifesto

Written by
26 January 2014

This article from the January 2014 edition of the IPA Review is by Researcher at the IPA, James Bolt.

Once someone discovers they can repeat words really well, and that they can engage an audience with their repetition, they call themselves an ‘actor’.

Once they start to believe we’re still interested in lines they thought of themselves, usually about politics and the evils of capitalism, they become a ‘successful actor’…I think. I might be mixing causation and correlation.

But being a successful actor isn’t something to be ashamed of. The world would be boring if everyone was right.

Which is why I loved that Russell Brand interview from last month that went viral.

I’ll paraphrase him: government is bad because democracy ‘only serves a few people’, and should be replaced by a ‘socialist egalitarian system’ based on the ‘massive redistribution of wealth’ with ‘heavy taxation of corporations’, who deserve scorn as ‘profit is a dirty word’.

Make sure you’re sitting down when you read this, but Brand has no idea how this utopian anarchical society would work. He knows there’ll be a ‘central administrative system’ in it, but hasn’t named it yet.

I did some research and found out that thing is usually called a ‘government’.

Now, it would be easy to point out this revolutionary has an estimated net worth of $15 million.

Funny, too. Rewarding even.

But if Brand wants a fair system with mass co-operation between people, try capitalism.

If you’re good at something, someone else will be willing to pay you for it. Even if it is as simple as telling jokes well.

Brand should be thankful for this. Bafflingly, people have decided he is really good at telling jokes and made him rich. His profession doesn’t exist in any other market structure. No totalitarian government has a quota for fresh jokes.

Seriously. Quick, what’s your favourite joke that came out of the Soviet Union?

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James Bolt

James Bolt is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs

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