Why entitle this publication “The Fight for Australian Culture”? After all, culture is hardly a matter for “fighting” – surely it is more a matter of “creating”?. However – in the Australian context – this is not the case. Nationalists are fighting for a “new people”, the Australian People of which both “Old” and “New” Australians are each clusters of the overall Australian people. Each people is compelled to express its own individuality; in order to break free of old cultural moulds. If it does not, then it retains its state of psychological dependence on other cultures – and therefore fails to realise its own potential. In this respect, “culture” is a matter, not only for fighting words, but for fighting deeds.
CULTURE IS POLITICS
The strict inter-twining relationship between culture and politics is a rule of the twentieth century. Widespread cross-fertilisation of cultures by dominant political powers is a matter of fact. When emergent nations have asserted their independence from other states, the banner of “cultural freedom” has been easy to read. In the early 1970s it was the so-called Maoist Communist movement in Australia (of all things!!) which recognised that Australia was suffering from the effects of cultural imperialism (that is, we were being culturally colonised); in particular, we were suffering from cultural Americanisation (via several influencing factors; especially from “popular” movies and television shows) which was smothering and destabilising the development of our own nativist culture (it was affecting our language, politics, ethics, etc.). As a strategic part of their political campaign, the Maoists introduced cultural activities which were grouped around the propagation of Australian folk heroism and nativist legends. While this tactic was only being used by the communists in order to promote their alien ideology behind the mask of “Australianism”, the public “front” did at least influence many people to actually begin to think about Australian culture. This movement (or more particularly, the “front” designed for public consumption) struck a chord in a nation dominated by foreign “investment”, foreign alliances, and foreign ideologies. Indeed, all throughout our national life, culture has been a political question – and we must face this question squarely.
A separate and distinct Australian culture has been identifiable from the mid-1800s. The late 1800s saw it in full bloom. Over the years, patriots have had to face the question of an Australian nationality emerging from the colonial era; we therefore have had to face the confused issue of our British past. Australia’s relationship with its “Motherland” has given birth to both Anglophilia and Anglophobia (although, in recent years, the problem has all but vanished, and Australianism is the norm). The Anglophile element has always been anxious to deny the very existence of an Australian national culture and an Australian People. Any Australian sentiment in politics or economics was likewise blackened as “subversive” and – instead – a doctrine of dependence was propagated. Today – when Britain claims no power over Australia – this element, through a number of Conservative groups, continues to deprecate the emergence of an Australian cultural identity, as they believe that just the existence of this nativist identity constitutes an attack on “our British Heritage”.
However; Australian Nationalists, rather than being overawed by the promotion of “our British Heritage”, have come to recognise that there are actually several main aspects to our national heritage:
The British cultures are undeniably the most important outside element. Of these, the English culture is the most dominant influence; the Scottish culture is also very important (insofar to that extent that it has not been Anglicised); and we could even mention the less influential cultures of Wales, Cornwall, and Manx. All of which combine many ancient cultural influences, such as from the Celts, Picts, Saxons, Normans, Angles, Jutes, and Vikings; as well as the later Latin, Greek, and French influences.
It is Britain which has provided the basis for our culture, law, parliament, public service, society, etc. As P.R. Stephensen has said:
“Culture in Australia …begins …from British culture, brought hither by Englishmen, Irishmen, and Scotsmen throughout the nineteenth century. In a new and quite different environment from that of those damp British Islands we are here developing the culture which evolved there. We spring fully armed from the head of Jove, or fully cultured from the head of John Bull. Australian culture begins with a general background of Chaucer, Shakespeare, Herrick, Byron, Charles Dickens; …We inherit all that Britain has inherited, and from that point we go on …a gum tree is not a branch of an oak; our Australian culture will evolve distinctively.”(1)
Thanks to English being our national language, Australia can readily absorb many of the treasures of Western prose, philosophy, and general literature. Through our links with Britain, other valuable knowledge has passed – and will continue to pass – into our hands. This key aspect of our past can never (and should never) be denied or repudiated.
It must be also noted that Irish culture has been a very important influence upon Australia; perhaps even more notable as it can be considered a very distinct British culture(2), from that of the English-dominated British “mainland” (unlike Scotland, which became an integral part of British imperialism); especially considering its continuing history of political-cultural independence and separate development, and its later struggle against the English.
Since the Irish have never had a satisfactory relationship with Britain, many of our early settlers were deportees and their early efforts at music and ballad recalled injustice and poverty. Our Irish element created much of our folklore (and interestingly, its importance is generally denied by the Anglophile section of the community).
Another element of our national culture is Continental European, weaker perhaps than the first two but still very important and likely to increase in influence. This European heritage reflects in our “Heidelberg art” of the late 19th century, for example, and in subtle ways in architecture and other areas.
Yet another part of our national culture stems from American influences. To be clear on this point; here we are talking of early American influences, such as on the goldfields in the 1850s, on our constitutional development, and on our early labour movements (or should we write “labor”?). We are not referring here to the crass, materialist, cosmopolitan influence that America is having on Australia today, as that is not part of our national culture; such influences can rather be described as being “anti-national culture”.
P.R. Stephensen once wrote about the influence of foreign cultures upon indigenous culture:
“There are two elements in every nation’s culture – the imported and the indigenous. English literature, for instance, developed through centuries of contact with Latin and Greek, and with directly contemporaneous imported French and Italian and other “foreign” literatures. …The impact of foreign cultures upon a native culture is the greatest possible stimulus to literature. …Survey the whole field of English literature, survey the English language itself, and you will find it overwhelmingly rich in elements of foreign and imported cultures. …With such an example before us of the English plant fertilised by phosphates from all countries, we Australians can prepare to plant our own culture here. The imported phosphates will stimulate our native plant to grow; we cannot do without them; but it is the plant rather than the phosphates which concerns us must.”(3)
However, to our way of thinking, the most important constituent element of our national culture is our Native-Australian heritage. It is truly ours. It belongs to every native-born person of European descent. This Native culture is the promise of the Australian nation and people. The myths expressed in verse concerning Ned Kelly, “The Breaker”, the Homestead, the Outback, the shearer, the strike, and mateship belong to no other land but this. In the 1930s and 1940s this promise of the 1880s was recalled with a certain Anglophobic vengeance to wake up a stale official “British-Australia”, but this in no way lessens its meaning for our present situation. Indeed, the synthesis of the old “phobias” and “philias” has led to a new Australianism which recalls its origins as references, but not as gospel.
And so, it is the native influence that is the most important element of Australia’s national culture.
As P.R. Stephensen once put it: We are being forced to be Australian “almost against our will”.
For nationalists, a clear definition of “Australia” and “Australian” has become an urgent question. The importance of this question is due to the ravages of Americanisation, multiculturalism, and the rubbish-ideology of the “Asian Destiny” planned for Australia. It is ironic (or prophetic) that just as these anti-Australian creeds circle for the kill (i.e. the death of our national identity) that truly Australian voices proclaim their rigid and uncompromising Australianism. However, in the “patriotic camp” there remains a considerable amount of confusion as to exactly what is to be defended. There are two broad strands of thinking. The first element seeks to defend our British heritage and the idea of an “Anglo-Saxon Australia”. Since it is this which the Grassby-Zubrzycki-Kalantzis type of multiculturalist frequently attacks, the old-Right rises automatically to the defence of an idea which does not even approximate Australian reality. The second element defends our whole national heritage and, in particular, the Native-Australian ethos (which welcomes both “Old” and “New” Australians into its ranks). It is imperative that the Native-Australian movement must win out in the end.
Our Culture is under attack! It is the promise of our new nation which anti-Australian forces are attacking. Intriguingly, the old-Right falls into line with the multiculturalists, who proclaim all residents of Australia of Italian origin as “Italians”, of Russian origin “Russian”, of Polish origin “Polish”, etc. The old-Right maintains that the Old-Australian type is a “British ethnic”. Voila! No more Australians! Nationalists cannot approve of such “logic”, no matter whether it comes from “Right” or “Left”.
Australia faces the double-headed threat of Multiculturalism and Asianisation. Multiculturalism seeks to swamp our national identity and culture with cultures from all over the world, thus stifling the development of our indigenous Australian culture. Often Multiculturalists claim that there is no Australian culture, a tactic used to allege that Multiculturalism is doing no damage to Australian culture (as they say there is none!!). Asianisation is also a massive threat to Australian culture, as it entails the cultural and demographic destruction of our national identity.
The fight for Australian culture is surely part of the struggle to free Australia from foreign influence, infiltration, and control (politically, legally, economically, and culturally). A community with no identity is one at the mercy of others.
As Nationalists, we must stiffen our faith and pride in ourselves. We must raise up the old Australian spirit of self-reliance.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL IDENTITY AND CULTURE
Our national and cultural identity has developed through the years: From colonial beginnings (1788 to early 1800s), to the currency lads and lasses (1800s), to the wild gold rush days (1850s), to the nationalist blossoming (1880s to 1890s), to Federation (1901), to World War One (1914-1918), to the Depression (1930s), to World War Two (1939-1945) with its threat of invasion (1941-1942), to the prosperous Menzies era (1950s-1960s), and even to the internationalist era of today (1970s to the present).
This identity arose from among those Australians (especially the native-born) who saw this country as their home, loved it as their own, and drew their inspiration from it.
In many ways, the Australian identity grew in spite of, not because of, the various foreign cultures that threatened to swallow, or at least graft themselves onto, our native identity. We suffered the ever-present “British mind-set” (especially prevalent 1788 to 1950s, but still existing today) which thought of Britain as “home” or “the mother country”, and which viewed anything British as being vastly superior to anything that was Australian or “colonial” (the “cultural cringe”); and which taught and promoted the concept that Australian culture was “British”, thus stifling the development of our own national culture. That same sort of cultural threat continues today with the “multiculturalist mind-set” (1970s to the present) which, while sometimes paying lip-service to the ideal of Australian culture, believes that it needs to be “changed” or “enriched” (actually meaning “diluted”, or “contaminated”) by every possible culture from around the globe, and is doing so to such an extent that our Australian national culture and identity is actually being slowly but steadily destroyed; and which views almost anything foreign as being somehow superior to the way of the Australians (this prejudice may sometimes be hidden, but look closely – it is there: the new “cultural cringe”).
The Australian nation had, as its origin, a group of British colonies, from whence we derived many of our institutions – and to which we owe due acknowledgment. Therefore, it would be fair to state that Australia owes much to Britain for its colonial beginnings and its language; as well as for providing the basis for the Australian legal system, political system, public administration, etc. (although many parts of these are far from perfect). However, even though we acknowledge these contributions, we should also recognise the past threat to our culture from the “British Brigade” (those of the “British mind-set”).
On the other hand, however, it is a matter of amazement that some present-day multiculturalists would say that “Multiculturalism made Australia” when, in fact, it is the fraudulent ideology of multiculturalism, alongside government programmes of mass immigration, that have provided the biggest threat to our cultural and national identity in the whole history of modern Australia.
Australians should not make any “cultural cringe” towards Britain, any other foreign nations, or especially towards the ideology of multiculturalism. We have a strong, vibrant, and living culture that serves us well, and is not in need of replacement or encroachment from foreign cultures, no matter how nicely such “cultural imperialism” may be dressed up.
British-Australianism is only transplanted British patriotism, which can have no real meaning for true Australians; while multicultural-Australianism is a cosmopolitan-internationalist ideology which, in the words of one enlightened commentator, “may cause some citizens to develop a lump in the throat, but in reality this shallow patriotism is akin to choking on a
It is time for all true Australians to stand up and defend our nation’s identity, to throw off the mental shackling of multiculturalism, and to proclaim that we are proudly Australian.
A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL CULTURE AND IDENTITY
Some multiculturalists claim that Australia has no culture of its own. This claim is made in order to provide them with an excuse to attempt to smother our cultural and national identity under the coarse blanket of multiculturalism (the argument being, in essence, “If Australia has no unique culture of its own, then the introduction of multiculturalism would not be doing any cultural harm to Australia”).
This lie can be shown to be a very shallow proposition. Australia has a wide-ranging national identity and culture. In evidence of this, some examples are provided below:
Henry Lawson, “Banjo” Paterson, Rex Ingamells, Ian Mudie, Mary Gilmore, Adam Lindsay Gordon, C.J. Dennis.
Henry Lawson, “Banjo” Paterson, Mary Grant Bruce, Rolf Boldrewood, “Tom Collins” (Joseph Furphy), “Steele Rudd” (Arthur Harris), Miles Franklin.
J.F. Archibald, A.G. Stephens and The Bulletin; P.R. Stephensen and The Publicist; Rex Ingamells and the Jindyworobaks; The Australasian Sketcher; The Republican; The Lone Hand.
Arthur Streeton, Tom Roberts, William Boyd, Sidney Nolan, Norman Lindsay, Walter Withers, Frederick McCubbin, Russel Drysdale.
SCIENTISTS AND INVENTORS:(4)
Fred Walker (Vegemite), James Harrison (refrigeration), Walter Hume (spun concrete pipes), A.P. McCormick (the “Coolgardie safe” food cooler), Richard Smith (the stump-jump plough), Lawrence Hargrave (engines and aeroplane design), David Warren (the “black box” flight recorder), Dr. Paul Wild (Interscan aviation landing system), Professor Graeme Clarke (bionic ear).
Vegemite, Four ‘n’ Twenty meat pies, Goanna Oil, Hills Hoists, Akubra hats, thongs, the Coolgardie safe, R.M. Williams’ boots, Victa lawnmowers, the Australian Military badge, the lagerphone, Drizabone coats; Federation architecture; gold prospectors, shearers, stockmen, swaggies.
BUSHRANGERS, REBELS AND REBELLIONS:
Ned Kelly, “Mad Dan” Morgan, Ben Hall;
Peter Lalor, Daniel Deniehy;
Vinegar Hill, Eureka Stockade, Lambing Flat, Buckland River, Barcaldine.
HEROES AND HEROINES:
Don Bradman, Albert Jacka V.C., the ANZACs, General Monash, Field Marshal Blamey, Bruce Kingsbury V.C., the men of the Kokoda Track, Nellie Melba, Nancy Wake, Dawn Fraser.
Aussie Rules Football, bush barbeques, games of “two-up”, mateship, the Henley-on-Todd Regatta, woodchopping contests, Surf Lifesaving Clubs.
NATIVE FLORA, FAUNA AND LANDMARKS:
Waratah, wattle, kangaroo paw;
Kookaburras, kangaroos, wombats, wallabies, Tasmanian tigers, Tasmanian devils, dingos, magpies, wedge-tailed eagles, Major Mitchell cockatoos;
Ayers Rock, The Olgas, The Daintree rainforest, The Great Barrier Reef, The Blue Mountains.
“Waltzing Matilda”, The Bushwackers, The Cobbers, Slim Dusty, Rolf Harris, The Seekers, Skyhooks, Australian Crawl, Redgum, Ted Egan, John Broomhall, John Williamson.
ENTERTAINERS AND CHARACTERS:
Ginger Meggs, Chips Rafferty, Jack Thompson, Brian Brown, Mo (Roy Rene), Paul Hogan (the early years, in particular), Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson (Barry Humphries), Chad Morgan (The Sheik from Scrubby Creek).
THE AUSTRALIAN CHARACTER:
Styled as easy-going, fair and democratic, having a healthy disrespect for authority, and a dry laconic humour.
A distinct rendering of the English language.
The “Australian language” has produced many native-born colloquialisms; for example:
This side of the Black Stump; to shoot through like a Bondi tram; gone walkabout; as game as Ned Kelly; you’ve got Buckley’s hope; happy as Larry; as fit as a Mallee bull; back of Bourke; Bullamakanka; not the full quid; a few kangaroos loose in the top paddock; a few sandwiches short of a picnic; what do you think this is – bush week?; like a stunned mullet; it’s on for young and old; don’t come the raw prawn with me; pull your head in; things are crook in Tallarook; better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick; Australia for the Australians; on the wallaby track; up Woop Woop; she’ll be apples; strike me pink; give it a burl; gone bung; stone the crows; waltzing Matilda; spitting chips; hard yakka; to souvenir; the Never Never; the Speewah; Geebung; blind Freddie; snags; troppo; ropeable; two-pot screamer; chunder; yabber; bonza; tucker; mozzie; furphy; galah; drongo; arvo; relo; cossie; pressie; g’day; cobber; no worries, mate; bewdy; fair dinkum.
NOTES ON AUSTRALIA’S CULTURE
1) THE DEPTH OF AUSTRALIA’S CIVILISATION
It has been said by some that Australia’s civilisation and culture has only the experience, depth, and basis of just some 200 years. How wrong they are!
While the Australia-specific part of our culture and civilisation is just over 200 years old, the depth of our civilisation goes thousands of years beyond that.
Those that settled Australia did not “step off the boat” as some primitive form of Neanderthal Man, with just some sort of Stone Age civilisation; they arrived here bearing within them some thousands of years of European heritage and civilisation.
Australian culture was formed using British culture as its basis. Indeed, the formation of modern British culture itself has to a certain extent lent upon a Latin-Greek-French basis. The natural procession of cultural formations explains the mechanics and existence of Australian culture, but in no way negates the remaining fact: Australia processes a distinct and unique national culture of its own.
Australia is a part of wider European Civilisation and of the wider European Culture; in 1788 we diverged along a path that was different to those of the nations in Europe, but one that nonetheless carried with it the depth of all prior European Civilisation (especially that of Britain).
Australia’s culture is unique, and its primary basis is that derived from its native-born heritage, history, and environment; however, its depth is that of the wider European Civilisation and Culture.
2) THE CONCEPT OF “AUSTRALIA” AND “AUSTRALIAN”
“Australia” is a European concept. The Aborigines knew the earth that they walked on simply as “the land” or “the world” – they had no concept of Australia as a geographic, or continental, entity. It would be more correct to say that the Aborigines belonged to the “Dreamtime”, rather than to Australia.
The Aborigines certainly had no concept of Australia as a national entity (nationalism itself is a European concept, which arose in the eighteenth century, out of the ruins of the old Empires and feudal states); they themselves did not constitute a nation, or nations, as – just like the European peoples at a similar Stone Age level of development – they were simply a collection of tribes.
Modern rendering of tribes as “nations” is farcical, if not downright idiotic (or intellectually dishonest, as some writers have a vested interest – whether ideological or sociological – in seeing the status of some native tribes being lifted up to the status of “nations”); no matter whether such tribes referred to are American Indian, Australian Aborigine, European, or whatever.
Thus, the very concept of “Australia”, and the vision, destiny, and identity of Australian Nationalism, belong solely to the new European people of the “sixth continent”: the Australians.
Note 1: Aborigines are a part of Australia; they are “Australian” insofar as they are “Australian Aborigines”‘ but they are not “Australian” in the European, or National, sense of the word.
Note 2: The word “Australian” was used by some early explorers to describe the Aborigines. The term was used in a purely geographical sense (i.e. not in a National sense), and such use of “Australian” as a reference to the Aborigines soon passed.
Note 3: Asians (and Africans, Melanesians, Polynesians, etc.) in Australia may be considered by law to be legally “Australian”, they may even be born in Australia, but they are not “Australians”. Australia is a Nation; a Nation is a unified homogeneous people sharing a common country, culture, identity, language, and racial background; therefore, those Asians, etc., residing in our country are simply “Australian residents” – they are not, and never will be, part of the Australia nation. In the European, or National, sense of the word – in the true sense of the word – they are not “Australian”.
PEOPLE, NATION, AND STATE
In discussing culture and Nationalism, it is useful to explore the usage of several associated terms: “a People”, country, Nation, and State.
A People may be defined as a homogeneous group of individuals who share certain common characteristics, such as: culture, traditions, habits, language, biology (race/ethnicity), history; and sometimes mutual affection, consciousness of difference from other peoples, and/or the will to belong to this particular people.(7)
A Nation consists of a people “living in its own state, ruled by its own people, in its own language and according to its own customs”.(8)
As a concept that emerged in Europe, from the eighteenth century onwards, “Nation” also implies a People of a certain numerical size that also possesses “civilisation” (a word originally applying to those societies which developed to the stage of possessing cities); and thus, would be applied to modern Europe, but not to the ancient European tribes, or to any other any tribes of a Stone Age culture, such as the tribes of Australia, North America, South America, etc.(9)
A People may exist without a country (i.e. a People may exist without a Nation), as may be evidenced by the Basque people (based within Spain and France) and the Kurdish people (based mainly within Turkey, Iran, and Iraq; and in smaller numbers in Syria and in several of the former republics of the now defunct USSR); where such a people does not have territorial sovereignty. The Polish people, for many years, existed without a nation.
The reverse is also true: “A country may exist without a People” (i.e. a country is not always a Nation). While the basic sovereign territorial unit across the world is that of a “country” (although they are usually described as nations), not all countries are actually Nations. Yugoslavia (1918-1991) was not a nation, but was a country basically comprised of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. Belgium is not a nation, being divided into the Walloons (French-speaking) and the Flemish people (Flemish-speaking, a language closely related to Dutch). Also, by the above definition of a Nation, Canada cannot be considered as a nation (with its large French-speaking population in Quebec), but rather as a country. In the same way the United Kingdom (Great Britain) is not a nation, but a collection of countries (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland) under one State (let alone discussing Cornwall, as well as the intricate situations of the Channel Islands, and Isle of Man). The former Soviet Union was a similar case (although ruled under the iron fist of communism), as it comprised several countries under one state.
Many African countries are not nations, as being States that were arbitrarily created by the European colonial powers, without regard to tribal boundaries. A “country” is simply a autonomous legal-political territorial unit (i.e. having its own laws and government), and may or may not be a Nation.
A Nation’s status as a Nation need not be affected by the existence of minorities within its borders, so long as its people retain basic control over that country and remain as the majority. At what point “a Nation ceases to be”, and becomes simply “a country”, can be debatable. On the other hand, it is also arguably possible that a country may evolve into a Nation (a possibility with Canada?).
As indicated beforehand, in order to comprise a Nation, a People must have its own country. The ruling mechanics of a country may be termed “the State”. In Australia, the State has taken on its own particular form (as happens in all countries), and it is useful to explore the concept of the State further.
Before discussing concerns about the State, it is first necessary to outline what, in fact, the State actually is. Many people view the State simply as being the government, or perhaps parliament itself. However, there is a lot more to the concept of the State than who are merely the elected rulers. The State(10), or State Power, encompasses a whole range of powerful forces in society. The State is the ruling government and institutions of a country (government, parliament, courts, police, armed forces, and public service). The “Establishment” is the State plus the other various bases of power within a country, such as the media, financial institutions, big business, employer groups, family dynasties (e.g. the Fairfax and Packer families), trade unions, professional associations, major political parties, etc.
The “State” is not some mysterious, omnipotent power; it is simply a collection of people, linked together by connected institutions, associations, and interests. It is a particular “class” (not necessarily a “class” in the “rich versus poor” sense of Marxist theory), or “sector”, of people who have come to attain power over a country.
While the government, and parliament, are an important part of State Power, they are only part of the complicated power web. Much power lies outside of parliament: big business, trade unions, employer bodies, the public service, the Treasury, large financial institutions, social and political groups, the police, the army, and the media. Even foreign nations, as well as international institutions (such as the United Nations) may exercise some power within a country. All of these sectors have the power to potentially affect, or actually affect, the decisions and mechanics of the government, and of the country itself. Having said all that, it is normally the government which sits at the top of that mullock heap which we call the State, and holds the reins of power over the country.
The State is not some God-made impartial fount of justice, it is made up of humans largely brought together in pursuit of common interests and individual aims. Once such people attain a position as part of State Power, they do not want to relinquish it. They have a vested interest not only in keeping power for themselves, but also in keeping power for their common group, ideology, sector, or “class”.
For instance, when the English parliament was comprised solely of landed gentry, they fought amongst themselves in squabbles for power, to implement policies relating to their different ideologies and interests; but they were united in their refusal to share their power with the “working” and “middle” classes, as they felt that such sharing of power would be against their interests. So even though they were politically divided, they were united against those who fell outside their “class” (i.e. they were united against those that did not share their vested interests and broad ideology).
Another example of the use of State Power to serve the power elite’s interests and ideology can be seen in the banning of not only trade unions, but even of employees banding together to negotiate working conditions (here again, we are looking at an English example). Legislation, such as the Combination Laws of 1799 and 1800 (which banned Trade Unions), were designed to serve the interests of the land-owning and capitalist gentry, and was not designed in the interests of the nation, even though, no doubt, its supporters would’ve claimed so(11).
In Australia, there are many examples of State Power being misused in order to serve the power elite’s interests and ideology. In 1894, the Peace Preservation Act (also known as The Coercion Act) was brought in, due to the Shearers’ Strikes, supposedly to “suppress lawlessness”. It removed the right to a trial by jury, prevented the keeping of arms without special permission, gave police extraordinary powers to search premises and seize “evidence”, and allowed “suspects” to be jailed for up to two months without trial. In 1917, the Unlawful Associations Act was used to ban the Industrial Workers of the World. The National Security Act was used in 1941 to ban the Communist Party of Australia, and used again in 1942 to jail various members of the nationalistic Australia First Movement. In 1950 the Communist Party Dissolution Act was brought in to ban the Communist Party, but this law was defeated in the High Court.(12)
The point is, that the various sectors of the power elite (i.e. the Establishment) will act against anybody or anything that threatens their vested interests or their ideology. This principle applies now in modern Australia, just as much as it did in Britain (and Australia) in the 1800s.
Nowadays, the advent of parliaments restricted solely for the landed-gentry, and the passing of legislation such as the Combination Laws, are too obvious to be accepted by the modern electorate, instilled as they are with democratic ideals and relative political sophistication. But this does not mean that the power elite (the Establishment) no longer acts in an undemocratic manner to protect its interests and ideology; instead, it carries out its aims in different ways, and with more sophisticated techniques, cloaked with “clever” reasoning to make it appear democratic or in the public interest (for example, see the various “racial vilification” laws which have been brought in with the express purpose of combating the rise of Nationalism).
The State is the political structure of our Nation, and should be the political expression of our Nation. The State is vested with a trust to look after the interests of the Nation, but in Australia’s case this is not happening. Indeed, with the introduction of liberalism, cosmopolitanism, internationalism, multiculturalism, and Asianisation, the State has become actively anti-Australian, and therefore anti-National.
To quote David Tremayne,
“The true nature of State Power in Australia is that of a traitor Establishment, which has always been anti-Australian (in various guises – whether subordinating Australia’s culture, independence, and destiny to that of Britain, the USA, or Asia). It pretends to be democratic but is actually concerned merely with its own survival – whenever the principles of democracy clash with the survival of the Establishment’s cosmopolitan-internationalist ideology, the State acts in an authoritarian, anti-democratic manner to protect itself. This anti-Australian State deserves only our contempt. Our duty is clear: Smash the Traitor State, and proclaim a patriotic Australian republic.”(13)
To sum up: A Nation is a People who share a common culture, set of traditions, language, biology, and history; who inhabit a particular territory; and who reside in their own country, ruled by their own people, in their own language, and according to their own customs.
The Nation is an extension of the individual and his family. Thus; the Nation, as the national family, deserves the same dedication and loyalty that the individual should owe to his immediate family. The Nation is the individual’s extended family; it is his People.
Nationalism, as a love of Nation, transcends ordinary politics. Examples can be cited of Nationalists from both the “Right-wing” and the “Left-wing” of politics. Nationalism seeks what is best for a nation, and in all fields takes the best course or solution available, no matter whether such course or solution may be considered as “Left” or “Right”. On the political spectrum; Nationalism is neither Left nor Right but Above.
PATRIOTS, NATIONALISTS, AND NATIVISTS
Of our true-blue Australians, we can make three broad classifications:
Patriotism is a style of thought, often expressed as “love of one’s country”. Such feelings are highly commendable, and often can act as a spur to higher – or heroic – achievement, whether in the area of international sport, on the field of battle, or in times of national crisis or civil emergency. Patriotism can bring forth many worthy human qualities, such as loyalty, integrity, self-sacrifice, and courage.
Patriotism, however, is usually regarded as being a “status quo” style of thought. Michael Walker (editor of The Scorpion, a British Nationalist journal) has articulated the problem of patriotism, as compared to Nationalism,
“Since patriotism is loyalty to the nation as state, the interpretation of the national interest is determined by the rulers of the state… a patriot may be a bad nationalist, for patriotism… often serves the interests of national government against the national community. Patriotism in more ways than one… is not enough”.(14)
Thus, a well-meaning patriot may earnestly act, and bravely fight, “in the service of his country”, even though this may be against the best interests of his Nation.
Therefore, we must recognise that patriotism is not always purely National. There may be dynastic patriotism, where the subjects of a ruling dynasty or monarchy will act on behalf of their monarch, even in cases where the Royal interest conflicts with National interest. There may be empire patriotism, where the “loyal subjects” of the empire may act as “patriots”, but in doing so may act against the National interest. Also, there may be non-Nationalist patriotism in favour of the patriot’s country and its associated institutions.
During World War One, the lives of thousands of Australia’s young men were thrown away on the shores of Gallipoli, on the sands of the Middle East, and in the mud of Western Europe. And for what? In the direct defence of Australia? Hardly. That generation of Australian youth fought for Britain and the British Empire. It was the Australian “patriots” who promised that Australia would fight “to our last man and our last shilling”(15); not for Australia, but for Britain (and the British Empire). This was not Australia’s fight; or should not have been, at any rate. Our entry into World War One was “patriotic”, but it was against the interests of our Nation.
Talk of World War One as being “not our fight” will be regarded as an anathema by many people, for two reasons: firstly, it is an important part of our history; and secondly, because the lives of so many families were tragically touched by it (therefore making it hard to admit that such sacrifice was not necessitated by the National interest).
We could therefore look at a more palatable situation: the Boer war of 1899-19O2. Again, the “patriots” demanded that we send our troops to fight. Again, it was not in our National interest. This war upon the independent-minded whites of South Africa (the Boer people, mainly of Dutch descent) was conducted in the interests of Britain and British imperialism. In fact, such “patriotic” enthusiasm by many in the Australian colonies to be an active part in such imperialism later led to the coining of the phrase “colonial-imperialism”; very apt in the case of the then Australian colonies.
Support for other ventures, such as participation in the 1990-1991 Gulf War, may be considered as patriotism, but is certainly not Nationalism.
Such patriotism exists in many matters, not only regarding National conflict, but also regarding National culture. For years, at least up until the 1950s, the culture of Australia was touted as being “British”, even though a distinct Australian identity was in existence from as early as the mid-1800s. Many “patriots” continued this “British mind-set”, promoting and teaching a British-Australian identity rather than a truly Australian identity. This stifling of the Australian National identity was truly against Australia’s National interest and against the development of Australia’s National culture.
We can still see such “patriotism” at work today. There are those “patriots” who support the idea that Australia should owe allegiance to, and/or be “ruled” by (even if in name, or in symbolism, only), an English monarchy (and truly, it is an English – not a British – monarchy; despite what any legalists or monarchists may claim)(16). The notion that Australia should have a foreign monarch as its Head of State is in diametric opposition to the idea of an independent Australian Nation; and continues the current stifling of the Australian identity and culture.(17)
Associated with the monarchist mind-set are those patriots who demand the retention of the Commonwealth Flag, with its Union Jack in pride of place, even though this flag helps to perpetuate the influence of the British mind-set and the “British identity” brigade in Australia and is a symbolic negation of true Australian political independence.(18)
It should be noted here that there are some people who consider themselves as “patriots” or “nationalists”, but who support the Government’s anti-Australian ideology of “multiculturalism” (probably the most anti-Australian ideology of all time, excepting that of Asianisation). Let us make this clear: they are not patriots nor nationalists. Both patriots and nationalists believe in, and seek to advance, their own people; the difference being in the type of political independence being sought (Nationalists always seek full independence). It is truly incredible that any multiculturalists would actually call themselves patriots; but what is really amazing is that some of them, such as Al Grassby and Bill Hayden, have even dared to term themselves as “Nationalists” (presumably this is done on the basis that they are Republicans; obviously they have no understanding what real Nationalism is). Searching for a term to describe such people, we could term them as “false patriots” and “false nationalists”.
Anyone who believes in the furthering of the Australian National Culture (something which is inseparable from the furthering of the Australian National Interest), will oppose the anti-Australian notions of both multiculturalism and monarchism.
“Nationalism” embodies the worthy qualities of Patriotism, but is made of a different character. Nationalism is a style of thought that promotes the interests of the Nation. In this way, Nationalists advocate political, legal, economic, and cultural independence for their Nation. The term “Nation” has been defined as “the insoluble bonding of a homogeneous people, sharing a common culture and language, resting on a basis of historical experiences, traditions, and National loyalty; within a geographic area”. Following this definition, it should be realised that a true Nation must comprise a common culture and biology (race).
Nationalists oppose any form of political, legal, economic, or cultural control over their Nation. Thus, Australian Nationalists have always argued for independence from Great Britain, not because they are anti-British, but because they desire full independence for their own Nation. Thus, Nationalism (love of Nation) can be contrasted with patriotism (love of country), as the latter does not necessarily entail a desire for full National independence, and is compatible to the concept of being loyal to the status quo of the state, even if the state is under some form of foreign control.
Thus, true Australian Nationalism argues for political, legal, economic, and cultural independence; and therefore demands an Australian Republic, a truly National flag(19), and the advancement of our National culture.
The Australian Nativist is, by necessity, an Australian Nationalist. In addition to the core beliefs of Australian Nationalism, Australian Nativists believe that the strength of the Australian culture springs mainly from native-born Australians (more especially, the second generation of native-born Australians, and their following native-born offspring).
To explain further, we may turn to the work of P.R. Stephensen, who once wrote about the different attitudes to Australia in relation to one’s cultural background:(20)
1) How an Englishman looks at Australia in an English way.
2) How an Australian, with a English mind-set, looks at Australia in an English way.
3) How an Australian (i.e. a truly native-Australian(21)) looks at Australia in an Australian way.
Stephensen further elaborated on the importance of true native-Australians to Australian culture:
“England is “home” to the first-generation English immigrants to Australia, and sometimes by legend to their children. But to their grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Australia is the only convincing homeland”.
“The Irish element in Australia, comprising twenty-five per cent of the population, never loved England, nor had any reason to love England. They provided the basis, if not for an indigenous Australian culture, at least for the weakening of English influences here. …Irishmen are a splendid fighting element in any country, but they suffer when in exile, no less than Englishmen, from an acute and sentimental nostalgia for their homeland. Irishmen of the first, and even of the second migrant generation, are more concerned with Erin than they need be when they become Australian citizens. But to be anti-English is not in itself enough to make one a good Australian”.
“Hundreds of thousands of Englishmen and other Europeans have become good Australians within a very short while after landing on these shores. These notable exceptions do not destroy the general rule, which is that immigrants tend to take a different view of Australia from that taken by the Australian-born.”
“Immigrants come to Australia with a preconceived idea, which they cannot easily lose. They look for those features in Australian life which will support their preconceived notion. The Australian-born, on the other hand, come into the country at least without preconceived ideas about it.”(22)
Many people, past and present, have not realised the importance of true native-Australians to Australian culture. Many people, such as Henry Lawson, for example, called for continued immigration:
“The outpost of the white man’s race,
Where next his flag shall be unfurled,
Make clean the place! Make strong the place!
Call white men in from all the world!”(23)
Such calls for immigration culminated in the post-war immigration programmes (taking place in an atmosphere of “populate or perish”) championed by Arthur Calwell, who was certainly a patriot of White Australia, but who had no real conception of where his immigration policies were to lead.
It was these programmes of mass immigration that created self-perpetuating ethnic minorities within this country, that led to the implementation of the anti-Australian ideology of Multiculturalism, which itself led to the traitorous push for the Asianisation of Australia.
Politically speaking, it is of interest to note that it appears that many migrants to Australia, and even their native-born sons and daughters, often feel they can’t oppose mass immigration as they are themselves immigrants, or sons and daughters of immigrants.
Also, many British immigrants, and often their native-born sons and daughters, support the retention of the monarchy and the Commonwealth Flag for Australia (this relates to their conception of Australia as “British”); this does not apply to all of them, but certainly to a larger proportion than of the native-Australians.
The lack of a widespread native-Australian national consciousness is due in no small part to the failure of the education system to teach our young generations about the worth of Australia’s culture and history. In the past, the education system pushed British culture, and nowadays it pushes multiculturalism. In effect, this is dispossessing Australians from their heritage, culture, and national identity. This is being done deliberately, in line with the cosmopolitan-internationalist ideology that so pervades the Australian education system today.
THE NATIONAL STATE
Several factors go into the making of a Nation. First, what one could call “material” elements such as geography, race, and certain cultural and linguistic similarities. Secondly, giving form to this “matter”, a particular role or destiny, making it enter onto the stage of world history.
The Nation, thus differentiated from all others, has an indissoluble unity based on its being unlike all others.
The spiritual and organic creation of the Nation gives it a being distinct from that of its members, one that is thus eternal and cannot be abandoned by succeeding generations. Giving life to a Nation is an idea.
As every Nation has its own destiny or role to play, so too does our Nation. Australia has a unique mission, that of being a European Nation in this Southern Land. Not only is this historical fact, but is also the ideal of all Australian nationalists: past, present, and future. The great Henry Lawson made this clear.
Nevertheless, the affirmation of our country as a vanguard of European civilisation remains an ideal.
In its eagerness to fulfil its own destiny, our nationalism has been uncompromising in its rejection of false institutions and interference from overseas (particularly England and the USA).
The true Nation is sovereign and independent, being the highest political unit. It tolerates no international interference.
Every Nation comprises a State (a country’s political structure and government), or else its People fights to have one. As the political expression of the Nation, and the instrument of its historical destiny, the State gives form to it.
It is only through a State that a Nation can fulfil its role, play its part. Without a State, a People is incomplete and in conflict. A People that does not aspire to statehood does not really wish to be a Nation.
As its most important aim, the State must work for the common good of the people.
Therefore, it cannot be a mere spectator of the economy, but must try to direct it when necessary, and make it serve the Nation, not the other way around. Modern Nationalists maintain that this means that the State must aim for economic self-sufficiency, and decentralisation; for family enterprises to have a bigger role in the national economy, as well as checking the influence and growth of multinational corporations and monopoly capitalists.
The State must encourage national culture, protecting it from multiculturalism, Asianisation, and degenerate international influence (American crassness and materialism in particular).
The State governs the country, but in a period of reorganisation it should strengthen the natural institutions that are links between itself and the individual: families, municipalities, workers’ associations, and professional organisations.
There is no conflict between the individual and the National State as the role of each is clearly defined, and each is given the power to fulfil it.
The National State faces up to its sacred duty to maintain the country’s independence. Its foreign policy is decided by national interests, and it does not embark on foolish irrelevant adventures or alliances. It ensures proper national defence and makes any necessary sacrifice to that end.
The sovereignty of the National State derives from the Nation rather than the People. That is to say, it derives its legitimacy from faithful service in the Nation’s historical destiny, and – in general – from obtaining the common good.
In this way, both absolutism of the State and absolutism of the masses is avoided. When courses are decided by an idea rather than by wills, a certain stability results. Only one political absolute is recognised – the national mission.
This is the concept of Nation and State that distinguishes true Nations from Peoples without control over their own destiny, allowing others to determine their fate.
Not only does the present “System” and State not serve the Nation (and is therefore not a true National State), but is actually working against the Nation.
The current State seeks to criminalise citizens and has used violence against Nationalists who seek cultural, economic, and political independence. However; the State prefers, and is adept at, coaxing Australians into apathy.
This current State has a “mission”: Exploitation of the Nation in the interests of internationalism, submission to those interests, and the imposition of cosmopolitan-internationalism. In short, it is an Anti-State.
The present political State is foreign in origin, a development from British colonial structures. Every political “advance” was made as a concession to the forces of Australian Nationalism, as a tactic of appeasement.
Federation merely gave an illusion of independence – Australia was still, in effect, a subservient colony of Britain.
The most striking example of this was our involvement in wars of no relevance to us: the Boer War, World War One, and the European theatre of World War Two.
After 1941 our political State changed “masters”, swapping Britain for the USA – becoming an agent of that power’s policies in the region. It would seem that the Australian Establishment is happy to be the lap-dog of whichever major power offers us “protection” and/or economic security.
Since the 1980s, it appears that the State is changing “masters” yet again: These days we are told to sacrifice our national interests for the sake of Asia (including for the sake of Japan, our wartime enemy).
Our defence force, far from being able to deal with even a regional threat, is largely a pawn in the very self-interested American military network.
One of the reasons for the crisis in our country is the erroneous concept being deliberately propagated by certain interest groups, as to the role of the State. Such people preach a State which merely watches over the “market forces” (such as banks, multinational corporations, and foreign investors), thus maintaining the orderly exploitation of our resources by international interests.
It is in this current Establishment’s interests to see the Nation divided. It has developed the parliamentary fraud, with its party games. Behind this circus, politicians have long since sold body and soul to the enemies of Australia. It makes a joke of so-called parliamentary “representation”, and the Australian people are becoming more and more aware that voting for one party or the other changes nothing.
The System is vague about where power lies, using the liberal formula for division of powers. This division sets up a permanent conflict in the State, backed by money. It is essential that Parliament must fulfil its true function of being the faithful mirror of genuine social interests, not party politics.
Modern Australian Nationalists believe that the Australian National State should have a President empowered to act. Through a clear definition of the functions and powers of the government, responsibility can be determined and abuses lessened. We do not see Australia divided up into half a dozen pseudo-sovereign entities (i.e. the states); that is a “divide and rule” system that a people inspired with a national idea will discard.
The ignorance of our historical national destiny is causing the disintegration of Australia into a population simply inhabiting a geographical area.
Apart from the unassimilable Third World population of about two million now in Australia, especially those dumped here in the last twenty years, Australians are more and more confused as to their national identity.
Some invent for themselves a “British” identity, others revert to some other culture. So we have Anglo-Australians, Italian-Australians, Greek-Australians, Australians of no description, etc. But no true-blue Australians?
The Australian cultural identity, that blending of the British-European pioneers of this land, which was suffocated after Federation, can return in force – but only through the participation of all sectors of society in the national destiny.
Australia is in a peculiar position in that it has never had a true National State. Because of this, and the great lack of will on the part of the people, Australia has not yet reached true nationhood.
The English monarchy, promoted by a few as being somehow “Australian”, has been one of the most psychologically damaging causes in deterring our true identity as a new European people. The newer threats to our national identity, multiculturalism and Asianisation, need to be fully opposed by the Australian People, as these ideologies pose a potentially-fatal threat to our national identity and culture, and even to the very survival of the Australian People itself.
National Revolution (we are talking here of a cultural and social revolution), is the great historical event that will truly forge a national identity and soul. As the ranks of Nationalists grow, this huge task must be undertaken. Such revolutionary times are when the people come to a full consciousness of their identity. In other times, it seems that only a minority fully possess the national spirit.
Obviously, the demise of the existing political order will be necessary, and with the advent of the Australian State will come regeneration of the building blocks of society: family, workplace, and municipality, so despised by the present System.
Australian Nativists are keeping alive the ideals of last century’s struggles: Eureka, Lambing Flat, the Queensland Shearers’ Strike, etc. The blood then spilt consecrated and fixed for evermore the national destiny of Australia.
It is up to all Australians to participate in the Coming Struggle for National Survival and Independence.
(1) P.R. Stephensen, “The Foundations of Culture in Australia: An Essay towards National Self-Respect”, first published as the editorial in the July 1935 issue of the Australian Mercury; reprinted in The Writer in Australia: A Collection of Literary Documents, 1854 to 1964, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1969, pages 204-244 (page 205).
Stephensen expanded this essay, with two more installments. It has since been republished in its entirety:
The Foundations of Culture in Australia: An Essay towards National Self Respect, Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 1986, ISBN 0-04-909029-1.
(2) Note: Geographically, Ireland is part of the British Isles. It is not part of Great Britain, which is comprised of England, Scotland, Wales, and the adjacent islands (but not including the Isle of Man nor the Channel Islands, which are Crown dependencies). The United Kingdom is Great Britain with the addition of Northern Ireland.
See for instance:
Hutchinson’s New 20th Century Encyclopedia, Hutchinson, London, 1971, pages 172, 490.
Whitaker’s Almanack, 1994, J. Whitaker & Sons, London, c1993, page 118.
(3) P.R. Stephensen, “The Foundations of Culture in Australia”, op. cit. (1969), pages 211-212.
(4) Stephen Gard, Inventive Australians, Jacaranda, Milton, Qld., 1990.
Stephen Gard, Our Bright Ideas, Jacaranda, Milton, Qld., 1990.
(5) Stephen Gard, Inventive Australians.
Stephen Gard, Our Bright Ideas.
(6) G.A. Wilkes (ed.), A Dictionary of Australian Colloquialisms, Sydney University Press, Sydney, 1978.
(7) For further discussion on the definition of a People, see for instance:
Harry Phillips and Campbell Reilly, Key Concepts in Politics, Thomas Nelson Australia, Melbourne, 1982, pages 152-161.
Ange Sampieuru, “What is a People”, The Scorpion, Issue No. 11 (Summer 1987), page 34.
(8) Harry Phillips and Campbell Reilly, Key Concepts in Politics, page 152.
(9) Note: Some people regard the labelling of some cultures as “Stone Age cultures” as derogatory; however, this is simply an accurate description of the level of their culture, just as European cultures were at some stage Stone Age cultures, and then moved on into the Bronze Age, and later into the Iron Age. A tribe whose development of implements, tools, and weapons has not progressed beyond the use of Stone can be factually referred to as being at the “Stone Age” level of development.
(11) Note: Many people were jailed, and even transported to Australia as convicts (e.g. the Tolpuddle Martyrs), due to the anti-Trade Union actions of the British State (the Combination Laws had been repealed in 1824, and therefore the Tolpuddle Martyrs were convicted on the spurious charge of “administering unlawful oaths”). The fall of the Combination Acts, the freeing of the Tolpuddle Martyrs, and the end of the gentry-controlled parliaments, occurred only gradually and by the courageous efforts of activists and radicals (one such radical, John Wilkes, actually became a member of the British parliament several times, but was expelled each time he was elected).
See, for instance:
Hutchinson’s New 20th Century Encyclopedia, pages 277-278, 1039, 1094.
(12) David Tremayne, The Nature of State Power: The Farce of Democracy in Australia, 1996, pages 6-7.
(13) David Tremayne, The Nature of State Power: The Farce of Democracy in Australia, 1996, page 2.
(14) Michael Walker, “The Nationalist Enigma”, The Scorpion, Issue No. 4, (Spring 1983), pages 3-5 (page 5).
(15) W. Fearn-Wannan (Bill Wannan), Australian Folklore: A Dictionary of Lore, Legends and Popular Allusions, Lansdowne, Melbourne, 1972, page 345.
(16) Although the current English monarchy is technically and legally the monarchy of the United Kingdom, in actual practice it is an English monarchy – for cultural reasons, as well as geographical reasons. It may try to be “British”; but even many British people perceive that it is an English, rather than British, monarchy.
Even further, it could be viewed as an Anglo-German monarchy, based as it is on German blood.
(17) See: William Byrne, Republic Versus Monarchy, The Institute of Australian Culture, Watsonia, 1995.
(18) See: Gary Howell, Union Jacks and Southern Skies: The Australian Commonwealth Flag and the Need For a New National Flag, The Institute of Australian Culture, Watsonia, 1995.
(20) P.R. Stephensen, “The Foundations of Culture in Australia”, op. cit. (1969), page 214.
(21) Note: In days gone by, there had been confusion regarding the use of the word “native”, as its prior common usage was as a term for “black natives”. This confusion prompted Henry Lawson to write an explanatory note for his poem “The Southern Scout” (which had a sub-title of “The Natives of the Land”):
“The writer wishes to state, for the benefit of the majority of the English people, that Australians born of Europeans have been called “natives” for many years. Also that Australians are not all black, or even brown, neither are they red. Likewise, that the progeny of Marster “Jarge” or “Willum” as went “abrad” and came to Australia, are not necessarily little savages, unless, indeed, the Marster Jarge or Willum aforesaid happens to live with a black gin.”
Henry Lawson, “The Southern Scout” (1892), A Camp-Fire Yarn: Henry Lawson, Complete Works, 1885-1900, Lansdowne, Sydney, 1984, page 227.
(22) P.R. Stephensen, “The Foundations of Culture in Australia”, op. cit. (1969), pages 215, 231-232, 237.
(23) Henry Lawson, “To Be Amused”(1906), A Fantasy of Man: Henry Lawson, Complete Works, 1901-1922, Lansdowne, Sydney, 1984, pages 269-270.
Note from the author: Parts One and Seven of this publication have been produced using source documentation previously published elsewhere (subject to editing and alteration), as well as including sections written by the author.