Russell Brand: the new Emiliano Zapata?

The often romanticised notion of ‘revolution’ has been dragged into our 21st Century vernacular by Russell Brand’s controversial interview with Jeremy Paxman when he cited massive economic disparity, the apathy shown by an under-served under-class and the treachery and deceit of self–sustaining political and corporate elites as reasons why we will soon see a revolution here in the UK and maybe even globally.

Parallells with the Mexican revolution

Whether he is talking about a revolution of ideas or violent uprisings such as we have seen in China, Cuba and Mexico over the centuries is unclear. However, the socio-economic climate which we now face isn’t too far removed from Mexico at the turn of the century when Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata lead the Mexican Revolution.

In fact, some very clear parallels can be made when we look at the history of the Mexican Revolution and the disruptive forces of industrialisation, political corruption and power imbalance that characterised its inception.

Porfirio Diaz’s  focus on industrialisation placed Mexico at the forefront of production and commerce in the 1900s. However, as is repeated throughout history, such illustrious developments and advancements in Mexico City and the state of Morelos, left many parts of the country wanting, with free labouring of the fields controlled by powerful land-owners, purely preoccupied with profit, margins and mass-production. Not too far removed from what we see all over the word today.

Zapata w-rifle

Emiliano Zapata

Not unlike Brand’s ‘under-served under-class’ the people of Mexico were sick of the corruption, nepotism and the rigging of votes. Driven by his belief that the people of Mexico (specifically the marginalised, poor field-labourers) were the victims of an archaic system that did not represent the lower classes (sound familiar?), Pancho Villa, originating from the Northern state of Durango, lead the Villistas into many battles including the attack  in 1911, which led to the defeat of President Díaz. His compadre, Emiliano Zapata, launched the Zapatista movement which is still active in parts to this day, primarily in the region of Chiapas.

The similarities don’t end there. Much like Russell who is unwilling in the interview to ‘devise a global utopian system’ neither Villa nor Zapata had any real ambition to take up the post of president which perhaps diminished the revolution’s socio-economic potential. The jury is still out on whether Mexico remains corrupt as it once was but it cannot be denied that its economy and education have gone from strength to strength and there is a strong sense that it is a country trying to rid itself of past bad habits.

One very important difference (we hope) between these Mexican heroes and our very own modern day revolutionary is that Villa and Zapata used violence and united working class men from their respective regions to overthrow the government in a coup. While many of us may also feel Brands ‘absolute indifference and weariness and exhaustion’ with our current political system, let’s hope the modern day revolution he predicts brings about change in a gentler way.

Mision Mexico Moustache Party

So with revolution back in fashion, we are taking this opportunity to celebrate the Mexican Revolution and all it has achieved for the people of Mexico by inviting you to our Moustache Party, this Friday 22nd of November. Come down to our party this Friday and you can bid for prizes, such as a dinner at Hawksmoor for two, a holiday in Mexico, event tickets and more, with all proceeds going straight to the children of Tapachula, under the care of Alan and Pam Skuse. With the proceeds raised we will help them gain an education, a home and a new start to a previously troubled life.

Hasta entonces!

Moustach Party