Russell Brand and Revolution

I want to address the alienation and sense of despair that you see all around us.

So says ‘celebrity Russell Brand in a recent Guardian interview http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2014/oct/11/russell-brand-revolution-alienation-despair

I admit, I’ve only just caught up with Russell and his Revolution agenda.

I have a lot of sympathy with his views. I too think that our political and financial systems are killing us. We are like the frog in the gradually warmed beaker of water – we don’t notice the rising temperature. Eventually the temperature reaches a critical point and the frog dies.

I don’t want to over-dramatise – I’ll leave that to Russell – but I do believe that the quality of our lives in the West is deteriorating. My specific focus is on our mental health. I evidence this by the increase in demand on mental health services in the UK (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24546602).

As a society, we seem to be very good at increasing levels of depression and anxiety in our citizenry.

Our political system is predicated on improving economic well-being…it’s all about growth, jobs, global competitiveness and so on. The assumption is that a wealthy nation (which assumes the removal of want) is a happy nation. What of course we are getting is the creation of highly specialised economies that increase the nature and degree of inequality.

What if we replaced our measure of our success as a society with mental well-being – and measure it by the prevalence of depression and anxiety we experience as a society?

That is my vision. I am calling for the formation of a Well-being Alliance which not only treats the symptoms of mental distress but addresses the causes – i.e. the political and financial institutions that are driving us mad.

So all power to Russell Brand. Addressing alienation and despair chime nicely with an agenda to improve our mental well-being.

Join Russell’s Revolution here http://www.russellbrand.com/

Thinking as a subversive activity

Complexity & Management Centre

While a number of posts on this blog have been dedicated to calling in to question the claims of contemporary management theory to enable managers to predict the future, there can be no doubt that much of it is dedicated to controlling employees. Or rather, there are always new developments in management theory aimed at increasing organizational efficiency and effectiveness but which have the effect of disorienting employees and keeping them permanently on the hop. Management theory is replete with suggestions for dividing, atomising, reorganising and scrutinising employees whilst denying them time to sit together to make sense of what is going on. In fact, usually they are discouraged from doing so: it is quite common to find people expressing antipathy towards meetings which might turn into ‘talking shops’, or alternatively sense-making opportunities may be described as a ‘luxury’ which the organisation cannot afford. Of course, I am not recommending…

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