Part 5 of a 6-part series.
Politicians Stopped Telling the Truth Decades Ago
In this, the fifth instalment in an ongoing series of essays aimed at identifying the issues that affect the quality of life in Australia and the role of politicians in orchestrating societal change, the question that I now put to Australia’s politicians is this:
Is the Australian culture something to be ashamed of, watered down, and subdued through ‘multiculturalism’ and ‘political correctness’?
Before explaining what is behind this question, some explanation of the term culture is helpful.
A Working Definition of Culture
This essay does not claim that the Australian culture is as rich or as diverse as those that have existed for several centuries or in some instances, millennia. Nonetheless, given the short two hundred years of formation, it is, in line with the definitions below, the beginnings of a culture in its own right. Arguably, as outlined later, it is a unique and special culture.
Culture is the characteristics and knowledge of an identifiable group of people, defined by all that encompasses language, religion, politics, cuisine, social habits, music, and the arts. The Centre for Advance Research on Language Acquisition takes this definition a step further by describing culture as the shared patterns of behaviours, interactions, cognitive constructs, and understandings that emerge through socialisation.
Cultures emerge as groups intuitively shape distinctive social patterns and over time accept them as a norm. In essence, each group establishes unique and identifiable characteristics, attitudes, and qualities. As a result, every culture offers something special to the world. See here for more.
Thus, all cultures are different. Likewise, none can claim absolute perfection as all harbour innate imperfections – some more than others. As history instructs, powerful cultures tend to claim superiority and use aggression to dominate and control, even to the extent of waging war. Conversely, control through covert means can occur as befell to Australia.
Whenever a culture succumbs to another, something is lost depending on the degree to which the victor defeats and dominates the losing culture. In the extreme, entire cultures vanish. If not, the victor may adopt part of the defeated culture’s heritage, or both cultures may absorb aspects of each other.
Assuming there are no evil propensities, the demise of a culture is rarely constructive. The uniqueness of each culture is what makes humanity and thereby the world special. Any loss of the variety of art, music, costumes, language, religion, and cuisines, (and perhaps politics) does not improve the world. It is akin to the loss of a species. Once it dies out, that unique life form is lost forever. In a similar manner, the gifts a culture contributed to the accumulated body of human experience and wisdom may be irretrievably lost or with luck, other cultures may relearn those gifts in another era.
The Fateful Weakening of an Emergent Culture
Any examination of what defines or even describes the Australian culture is a lengthy process. There is simply no space for such an undertaking here. However, the essay titled “Was Ned Unaustralian?” provides an insight into the attributes of an “Australian”:
The Australian character encompasses qualities of mateship, equality, courage, fearlessness, strength, persistence, openness, tolerance, and love of one’s country. Australians possess a strong work ethic, are vivacious, convivial, carefree, sociable, and confident. They readily offer loyalty, fairness (a ‘fair go’ attitude), support, sacrifice, and understanding when needed most. As part of their strength and innate sense of independence, fairness, and justice, there persists a steadfast anti-authoritarian attitude. See here.
This list is not exhaustive, but at a minimum outlines the social norms that many Australians practiced prior to the events described hereafter. These norms emerged within Australian society from the time the first settlers stepped onto the shores of Botany Bay. For many, it is a way of life that is a source of pride in who we are, what we have achieved, and what we are capable of as a people and a nation. The pride prevails despite persistent efforts to malign it or claim it is non-existent.
It is here that we arrive at the main premise of this essay. An unfortunate convergence of societal attitudes and government policies effectually obscured the fledgling culture our forebears had managed to establish in the short space of two hundred years. It was no match for a formidable combination of embarrassment, a (false) sense of inferiority, an absence of courage and willingness to defend what we had, and perhaps worst of all, an ignorance of the uniqueness, preciousness, and even the existence of what had evolved into the Australian social norm.
While many today would not know it, Australians once viewed its hard won culture to be as good as any other and in some ways, both unique and better. It was an understated pride, rarely overt, which fatefully made it vulnerable to sustained verbal attack. Armed with the caustic tool of political correctness, self-serving, unsolicited opinionators uniformly supported by the media, carried out relentless attempts to shame the populace into neglecting all that characterised the Australian culture and its values. As a result, a cringe factor set in. Australians became ashamed of being “Australian”. The consequences manifested in irreversibly significant and destructive ways.
For decades, highly talented, innovative, and deep thinking people left our shores to find fame and fortune in countries that genuinely valued their qualities and attributes. Not only was it difficult to find opportunities within Australia to apply and extend great potential, the unspoken notion of ‘cut down the tall poppy’ determined the level of success that one could aspire to without incurring the dreadful denigration and ridicule of not only the target’s character, but also their notable achievements. Ironically, Australians were valued in other countries, but not in their own.
What Brought About the Demise?
There was no invasion or war, no conquest, no acquiescence to a superior nation, no forced takeover. For all the reasons outlined above (and more), the Australian people simply did not value its relatively rudimentary culture enough to notice that it was under attack. Worse, many thought there was no culture to preserve or even build on.
The post WWII migration era gave rise to a large influx of newcomers (3 million by the end of the sixties) who naturally were unaware of an Australian culture – only the one they had experienced in their countries of origin. Under the banner of “populate or perish”, the resultant mix in ethnicities reduced what remained of Australian cultural awareness to a level where the relatively lower numbers made it increasingly difficult to maintain the home grown culture. Then, a well-timed stratagem came to the fore.
In 1973, Al Grassby (ALP Minister for Immigration, 1969 to 1974) imposed reforms to the Australian White Australia policy that at the time were so extensive it was impossible to envisage the long-term implications. In hindsight, the clue to grasping the consequences lies in Grassby’s vigorous campaign to convince the populace of the benefits of multiculturalism. His subsequent decisions to remove the requirement for job availability along with the introduction of family reunification rights marked the beginning of the immigration problems that are commonplace in modern Australia.
There is Another Part to the Story
There is a cogent argument against the claims of the media and historians that Al Grassby was the “father of multiculturalism”. Influenced by the views of Walter Lippmann, a German-Jewish refugee who had settled in Melbourne in 1938, a much more ominous and surreptitious scheme came into play.
In Lippmann’s worldview, Jewish immigrants had transitioned from one type of oppression to another: what he referred to as the “Australian expectation to assimilate”. His solution was to replace Australia’s racially and culturally homogeneous white populace with a multi-racial, multicultural society that would comprise an eclectic mix of religions, cultures, and language groups distributed throughout the country.
Further, by ensuring the legislation included the requirement to accord equal status to all groups, the inevitable outcome was to effect radical and permanent change to Australia’s demographic makeup. In short, the changes to Australia’s immigration laws allowed entry to large numbers of non-white immigrants from Third World countries with racial and cultural backgrounds very different to the majority European-derived population. The use of undisclosed administrative tricks and closed room secrecy ensured unchallenged circumvention around white majority resistance and curbed open debate.
Although many argued that a culturally pluralistic model would inevitably lead to racial, religious, and cultural conflict, Lippmann saw such an outcome as a price worth paying for ensuring the survival of Australian Jewry. At the very least he argued, the policy would end the absolute dominance of the White Australia policy. Australia should not expect migrants to change to fit Australia, but instead its society must change to fit the migrant. Such expectations applied to our laws, traditions, and language.
The introduction of a meticulously planned version of multiculturalism that used immigration as an agent of change, led to a new social organisation that preserved the interests of migrant cultures and compromised the interests of the prevailing white Australian society.
For Lippmann, the strategy of multiculturalism fulfilled several intended goals. By definition, multiculturalism would establish Judaism as a cohesive ethnic group and thereby a legitimate social category. Furthermore, their strong focus on education would enable the Jewish society to gain economic and cultural pre-eminence without impediment. This view did not extend to other cultures. See more details here:
As Windschuttle (The White Australia Policy, 2004, p9) stated, by advocating the preservation of cultures, multiculturalist supporters in the sixties encouraged immigrants to withhold their loyalties and affiliations to Australia. This act of censuring destabilised the Australian character, including its traditions, values, and institutions, a tactic that conflicted with the relativist doctrine of all cultures being equal, wherein none are superior, merely different. This duplicitous act overshadowed the real intent – the equal status did not apply to traditional Australian culture.
To ensure the goals of multiculturalism were achievable, the government also enacted and enforced new racial and religious vilification laws to prevent and penalise dissenting discourse. All opposition and criticism of non-White immigration and multiculturalism became a criminal act. Viewed as a whole, the strategy of a multicultural Australia was a flawlessly planned manoeuvre. For more see here:
Political Correctness – a Tool of Control
Regardless of whether it was due to Grassby’s vigour or Lippmann’s influence, or both, multiculturalism became the thin edge of a divisive wedge. At the same time, a far more insidious and subtle mode of coercion began to take hold, one that has become standard practice for controlling and altering the thoughts and actions of every Australian. The term for this corrosive tactic is political correctness.
Because of political correctness, news reports have appeared from around the country in recent years that describe the cancellation of Christmas and Easter traditions and of public places and schools not displaying Christmas decorations. Nativity scenes are no longer set up in primary schools for fear of committing ‘culturally insensitive behaviour’.
These impositions on traditional Australian ceremonies are due to the pressures exacted on ordinary Australians by proponents of political correctness. They are also a consequence of an unwillingness of some migrants to fit into Australian society, learn its language, comply with its laws, and adopt Australia as their own country. Paradoxically, the trumpeter of truth and openness collectively referred to as the main stream media, are now the most ardent users (abusers) of political correctness, a tactic that is arguably the most powerful and invasive means for undermining a culture.
For now, the point to contemplate is that multiculturalism and political correctness have been in play for several decades and have proven to be highly destructive. The next step is to determine the role successive Australian governments have played over the past one hundred years to bring about the problems that now affect every day Australians. The destabilisation of Australian culture may prove to be the greatest betrayal of trust and the most distasteful act of deception that has ever occurred in this country.
Part 6 will place the above issues and the undeclared intentions and consequences within the context of political correctness. The aim is to establish whether ‘multiculturalism’ and political correctness are also tools to control Australians in ways not yet realised. Until the next essay, I present three questions to ponder:
- Has anyone wondered why Australian politicians repeatedly assert multiculturalism as the most successful example of integration of divergent races and cultures in the world?
- Has anyone considered that the “success” part refers to the actual deculturation of Australia and the systematic erosion of all aspects of Australian society?
- Does the current multicultural composition in Australia define the essence of its identity?
Regarding the graphic at top: blue = Coalition; red = Labor; green = Greens; yellow = Independents, and white = Voters.
A special tribute to the late Larry Pickering 18 October 1942 – 19 November 2018
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