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.