Despite being a man who flew in the face of Australian political traditions ( this really was his mantra ) – He has some highly valid commentary on the state of decay in Australian character around the turn of the 20th century.
Here’s Eric Campbell in his book – The New Road
Our National character is out of balance. We follow names rather than qualities, Right and wrong, as abstract ideas, do not worry us; but what is called Right and Wrong does.
In politics we are both gullible and lazy, and we leave the science of government, the direction of national affairs to a band of professional nonentities, a bunch of degenerate gladiators who provide both amusement and disgust to the public with their sham fights, wherein they employ wordy invective in the place of real weapons.
To what extent is the daily life of the masses regulated by Christian ethics? The answer is: In no way whatsoever, The nearest approach to religion in the masses is a form of sentimentalism, a mere pandering to the primitive emotions, without standard other than self-indulgence and without ideal other than a dominating desire for popular acclaim.
Naturally, the spirit of self-sacrifice and self-denial inseparable from Christian ethic could not possibly commend itself to a community so slack as ours.
Post-war neurosis, gross materialism and the effects of party politics have brought us to the present low level. Too many of our young men today are like emasculated tom-cats, wel-grown, sleek but spiritless.
So it is with Australia, We are a rotten regiment at the moment under the hopeless leadership of general party politics, and his lieutenants” Party Press and Class Bitterness. There is neither inspiration, nor discipline nor is there national direction or objective morality.
Until there is a moral regeneration in Australia, bring in its train virility and the will to conquer our own national density, we must remain an insular people, provincial in outlook, satisfying our smug complacency by a clown-like imitation of the manners of distance nations, until we are dispossessed of our heritage by others more worthy of it.