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Russell Brand points out the absurdity of being anti-immigration

In a new stand-up special, "Russell Brand takes a very literal approach in explaining immigration, and further points out the absurdity of fearing others due to "imaginary geopolitical borders." Aren't we all just part of the same, mysterious, rotating sphere?" Huffington Post

Russell quite rightly points out the absurdity of being anti-immigration. The poor, or under privileged, or others simply seeking a better life may wish to move from one country to another. Nobody can reasonably oppose that basic aspiration; within reason.

But each country does have some role to play in managing the flow of people across its borders. Society, by definition, is the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community. If restricting migration flows serves the greater humanitarian good in both the emigration and immigration countries, then open minded due diligence in verifying that reality (or otherwise) will serve that greater good. Globalisation, in the Darwinian sense, is a planet-wrecker regardless of how it occurs.

Global social order does rely on the management of the parts of a whole. The "rotating sphere" that Russell Brand refers to is not a perfect world and management of each part, and the whole, tends to be slightly more complex than a "funny" joke.

For example, there are over a billion desperately poor in the developing world. Most live under autocratic regimes where GDP per capita is less than $1,000 per year. Under such regimes this calculation of GDP per capita can be misleading when the autocrats "own" and control most of the wealth.

In countries like Australia (or the UK for that matter), the Budgetary cost of supporting each individual is far higher than $1,000 per year. In Australia it is roughly $17,000 per person per year. Escalating debt in developed countries is testimony to the cost of supporting the populations of such countries exceeding the capacity of GDP to sustain them. Free market capitalism sucking the lifeblood from the economy is clearly one part of this problem as Russell seeks to highlight.

Many of the poorest people need the most help, but assisting them by facilitating their migration into Australia or the UK is not possible from a humanitarian perspective. A billion people cannot be accommodated in Australia and $17,000 x one billion is $17 trillion dollars a year. The current Australian Federal Budget is less than $400 billion per year and already struggles to support 23 million people. The same logic applies globally to mass migration from the developing world to the developed world.

So there is a shred of logic in seeking to help such people in their home countries where each dollar spent can do more good, rather than sanctioning the preferential mass migration of relatively fortunate people into high cost countries that do not have the capacity to support such rapidly growing numbers of people. If mass migration reduces the capacity of a developed country to provide much needed philanthropic aid to the world's poorest people, why simplistically mischaracterise that reality as anti-immigration? Is this part of a world view based on ideological dogma that lacks a rational, coherent action plan?

Russell spends a large part of his time rightly condemning the free market capitalism that drives global destruction in the name of GDP growth (which is driven by extreme population growth). He promotes equitable distribution of wealth. Does he realise that mass migration of relatively fortunate people into high cost, developed societies is in direct conflict with his popular ideological dogma? This migration clearly exacerbates the redirection of spending on growing migrant populations in the developed world at the expense of the poorest in the developing world.

Here's what Russell had to say:
"Do not pause to reflect that free movement of global capital will necessitate free movement of a global labour force that meet the demands of the free movement of that capital. That is a complex economic idea and you won't understand it."

It seems to me that Russell Brand doesn't understand it either.

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Comments

Literally.

The man's profession is being a jester. He's been a jester his entire 'working' life.

Whether it is Madonna, Brand, Clooney, Brangelina, whoever, these people live exceptional lives and they pretend that their concerns relate to our. They don't. How can they understand? I'm tired of their moralising.

Worse, they are hypocrites. Calling on ordinary working people to bear the cost of their ideas, while they spend millions on lavish mansions (which are NOT open to people who need them or who feel they could be better off there, oddly enough). It is not celebrities who have to compete with masses of cheap labour vying for their jobs or compete for real estate. It is not celebrities who have to move because neighbourhoods have become too dangerous. They can pretend that everyone else is being silly for wanting to control immigration, because the immigrants are not going to price them out of their homes, or undercut their roles in a new movie, or their incomes from being a TV star. Russell Brand has no personal stake, so he can be decadent and hold any morality he likes.

Besides, if geopolitical borders are 'imaginary', and therefore not worth worrying about, then we must point out, so too is the money he spends and has, the contracts that keep in in a job and the copyright that protects his work. They are constructs as well, which aren't "real". The right he has to stop me walking any time I like into his house, is based on the very idea which justifies borders. Does Brand allow free access to his house? Are we not part of the same sphere? Or do 'borders' suddenly matter when it affects him personally? Does he get to pick and choose when a border matters, and on what basis? I doubt I'll find a coherent philosophy.

"The poor, or under privileged, or others simply seeking a better life may wish to move from one country to another...." So, he would be quite happy to have all the poor and hungry, from failed nations, camping on his doorstep - instead of rebuilding their own countries?

He's not serious, just being controversial.

The primary factors that bind a nation together is the common ancestry and common ideas.

Given what many churches teach today, it would seem that's it's un-Christian to have borders and sovereignties. Their general line of thinking runs something like this - God is love and that God loves all humans equally. Therefore, all barriers, i.e. race, nation, national boundaries, etc., must fall so as to permit God to make us all "equal"!

Nations are first mentioned in the Table of Nations listed in Genesis chapter 10. The Table of Nations classifies the people descended from Noah after the Biblical Flood. These nations are all listed by heredity, like branches off a tree that has Noah for its trunk.

The separation of vastly different peoples helps reduce conflict and promote fruitful diversity. Massive uncontrolled immigration defeats order and the enhancement of good communities. Love and compassion and order fare poorly in chaos - and also in the tyranny that often follows chaos.

The problem with Brands comment, is it is just wrong. His argument is "cute".

The assumption is, that this can work. That nations can absorb large numbers of people, and remain the same at the end. Experience shows this is not the case. In performing this 'solution', we destroy the very thing we are giving away.

Take for instance fools like Doyle, who support high rise development and subdivision and crowding "because people like Melbourne". True as it is, the problem is, in accommodating this demand, the very thing that was desirable about Melbourne is being destroyed. The open spaces, the backyards, the lack of crowding. In every way, the push to 'share' what is desirable, is quickly eroding that which was desirable. The end result, no one has anything. Now that everyone has moved to desirable Melbourne, it has become a carbon copy of skyscraper ridden urban dystopias. What's the gain?

The problem is we take too much for granted. We assume our good situation is all luck, all circumstance. No one is taught about the thousands of years of painstaking philosophical, economic, political and cultural development which led to this situation we just attribute to 'luck'. The freedom, the prosperity, was largely in part due to a long torturous cultural development, debate, violence, revolution. To maintain this, one must understand this, the origin of our freedom, or economic views, of our scientific philosophy.

No one is educated in this. No one even seems to think one needs to know. Now we act like spoiled children who gained an inheritance, are blowing it, but have no idea, at all, how such an inheritance could be created in the first place. And those people we share with, are even less familiar, even less accomodating of the ideals and mentality and processed which allowed this.

No matter how moral it is. Brand's solution would leave everyone worse off.