Other Anzac views

The piece I wrote today giving some of my reflections on Anzac Day seemed to give offence to a couple of people, who left comments suggesting I was politicising the day and showing no respect, and taking offence at my suggestion that excessive nationalism can be less than ideal. This reaction surprised me a bit, as I thought I’d made a fairly incontestable, non-remarkable commentary exploring some of the universal truths of war. However, I seek comments on my pieces specifically so I can know what reactions they produce, and the ones that don’t agree with me are often more interesting and challenging then the ones that are.

For this Anzac Night post, instead of writing more of my own, I will instead just link to and quote from two different opinion pieces that appeared in the mainstream media over the last few days.

1. Stephen Barton, a politics lecturer at a Western Australian University had a column in yesterday’s Australian which disputes the legend that “Kokoda was the battle that saved Australia from invasion in 1942.” Instead, he states, “the Kokoda campaign actually marked the beginning of the marginalisation of Australia’s war effort.” As a historian (which I presume he is), he is entitled to reassess the strategic impact and necessity of the Kokoda campaign.

However, he then goes on to say that the ‘myth’ of Kokoda is basically a creation of Labor and the left-wing. “The ALP and its coterie of sympathetic historians, such as Manning Clark, David Day, Ross McMullin and Stuart Macintyre, are the standard bearers for the dominant view of Australian history. They embrace the battle of Kokoda because it can be twisted to fit their preferred narrative: Australian troops abandoned by the perfidious English, fighting alone, with plucky Labor man Curtin battling Churchill, as well as the Japanese.”

Article 2 is by Alan Ramsey in the Sydney Morning Herald Opinion pages. He also writes of the battles at Kokoda and Milne Bay on the Papuan peninsula – not just of the soldiers, but of the men, in particular Gavin Long and Bill Sweeting, who wrote the history of that conflict in and amongst the men they were chronicling, much as Charles Bean had at Gallipoli in such an influential way 3 decades earlier.

I wonder what the subjects of the second article would think of the writer of the first.

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48 Comments

  1. I agree with Barton that Kokoda was the beginning of the marginalisation of Australia in WWII, however it was one of the great militia victories. Probably only the American militia victories of the War of Independence and 1812 can rank with it.

    Australia had poor political leadership in WWII. In 1941 we were indispensible. Britain could not maintain a second front in North Africa without us, and America could not defend New Guinea without us either. But that was wasted by both Menzies and Curtin. When Churchill demanded a victory from Montgomery for political purposes (El Alamein) to counter America’s increasing power, Curtin did not have to ask. Australia delivered victories like Milne Bay which was the first time an invading Japanese force was pushed back into the ocean.

    Whereas Menzies turned our forces over to the British and the consequent lack of independence (ie EATS and Burnett), Curtin turned our forces over to MacArthur. Both acted with a colonial cringe and did not advance Australian interests even when our military gave them every oppurtunity and political advantage to do so. That is the forgotten story in WWII.

  2. presidents and prime ministers lead us to war
    just so the rich can take more and more from the poor

    polution in our air, our water and soil
    tell me why then is our main national interest oil?

    our right to work, to play, to drive
    versus an Iraqi family’s simple right to survive

    and what about the weapons of mass destruction?
    seems to me we were looking in the wrong direction

    Hiroshima awoke one August morning
    ten thousand vaporised without warning

    thousands more died slowly in pain
    Nagasaki!……they did it again
    Maralinga!….they did it again

    lest we forget
    J.T.

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  4. If Beazley, or whoever may replace him, is going to have a good go at defeating Howard, or whoever may replace him, they have to appear to be in step with the sentiment of conservative militarism that the Howard legacy is.

    Bomber-Beazly identifies his militarism as an assett for a prime minister.

    The reason Labour lost the last federal election and the American Democrats lost their’s was because they could not make up their mind about Iraq – were they for it or against it. Neither opposition could come up with a clear statement about the war except poor old Latham who got crucified for it.

    Now the war has crumbled beyond credibility and Ted Kennedy at least is calling for U.S. troop withdrawal. But the A.L.P., far from providing a foreign policy alternative to ill-concieved failed invasions such as Gallipolli and Iraq, has simply tried to become the conservative militaristic shadow of the coalition – adding a finer point to the debate but not broadening the parameters.

    War, refugees, Indigenous rights, the environment – these are all issues needing leadership for new paradigms relevent to the 21st century. Old fasioned European industrialisation, imperialism, colonisation and the massive military machines and machinations necessary to continue it’s growth have finally come to an end. – There are nearly no more natural resources or potential national markets left to be claimed. World events and conflicts, including the central role of oil in the Iraq invasion are now dominated by corporate manouvres, the share market and the massive influence of the arms industry in the American government. Different economic blocks are now competing with each other and trying to devour each other and National governments are doing their best to accomodate these power struggles to their own best advantage. These national governments however are as expendible to the corporations as the ANZACS were to the British. – Use them if they are valuable but waste them if they are not. All the hoo-haa about the U.S.free trade agreement but there is obviously an American wheat agenda in the U.S.’s uncharachteristic exposure of bribery in the A.W.B. stuff. Why don’t they expose the bribery of Haliburten, Bechtel and the private security forces who were first in doing business in Iraq?

    The ALP apes the coalition which apes winston Churchill

    The Oz Democrats, Greens and dissillusioned rump of the ALP have to come up with a real aternative to Howard, not just for the edification of protest movements, but towards the end of becoming significant powerbrokers in the parliament over time – including participating in government through a coalition of some sorts, to force on new paradigms in foreign relations as well as domestic agendas. Not just to avoid things like body counts by having an independent foreign policy, but also to secure jobs through economic independence through national self sufficiency. At present we are so vulnerable to international trade that a hostile economic bloc could cut off our nation’s food supply.
    That is not security.

  5. p.s.
    Iraq was a modern affluent nation of 20 million people until it was crippled by economic sanctions. It could be done to us just as easily with our dependence on foreign trade.

  6. JT
    Is right about the inflood of oveseas goods destroying our farmers and others.

    The national party along with the government are particularly resposonsible for this.

    However John I am not sure its something for Anzac day.

    To set up a debate about Anzac day on Anzac day is extreamly tacky and lacks respect.

    Perhaps a week after or a month after but not on the day

    This one day belongs to the fallen.

    We would not be here if it were not for these men

    Lets We forget

  7. John, people will not sacrifice their third television on the off chance of internationl trade damaging us at some point in the future. That’s why we do all the trade – it provides a higher standard of living…

    As for the broader topic… wars are a failure of government and interpretations of history get more broad, lacking in naunces and generally useless as time goes by…

  8. john you are spot on most ppl here dont realise how easy it would be to cut our food supply. [i have seen it happen ].
    thanks manly to the howard govt,s sucking up to big corperations .

  9. That doesn’t make sense to me. Australia is a food exporter, and produces more than enough food for its own needs. Not that economic sanctions wouldn’t hurt Australia, but to say they could cut off our food supply is ridiculous.

    This just shows the level of ignorance amongst the anti-war crowd.

  10. modern war is an economic war e.g. sanctions on Iraq for 12 years laid the groundwork for an invasion.

    The collapse of the U.S.S.R. was an economic strategy. The arms race, nuclear weapons in particular forced the Soviets to spend all their money on preparing for war at the expense of the real economy of the Union. They went broke because the U.S.A. could spend more and more on arms and the Soviets just couldn’t keep up.

    This is what is happening to the U.S.A. at present. It’s enemies are trading with the new economies of China, India and the European Union, cutting the Americans out. The Americans too are dependent on foreign trade and their foreign debt is escalating. The Arms industry is making a killing out of Iraq Afghanistan and preparing for Iran, meanwhile the American economy simply can’t afford it any more.

    Whoever hit the twin towers on S11 did not just inflict fear on the U.S. population, they knocked 25% off the world stockmarket which took 3 or 4 years to recover to pre-S11 share prices.
    Just watch the fluctuation in oil prices every time there is a major terrorist attack anywhere in the world.

    Allready we have seen John Howard (all the way with the U.S.A.) pandering to Chinese demands and sensitivities, especially those bureacrat spies who defected, because of the dependence we have on trade with China at present. China is not a friend of the U.S.A. and has a number of flash points such as Taiwan and North Korea where war could break out with the U.S.A. As China grows it will easily be able to force the U.S.A.’s allies to swap economic camps as Howard is at present. Our commitment to uranium sales to China has locked us in allready.

    There is a perception outside of the western world that Bush and the American reich are world tyrants of the class of Hitler. Economic sanctions against the U.S.A. are not beyond possibility and America would collapse as the U.S.S.R. did. The U.S. allready has a massive underclass that gets bigger every day. The big corporations however would prosper by their own deals with the emerging national super economies, leaving the interests of the U.S. (and Australia) behind and following the money wherever it goes. As they have allready been doing for some time.

    We have a resource rich continent, we do not need anything else for the prosperity of our population. However our economy is locked in to mega-prosperity for the corporate elite who hold no loyalty or allegience to the Australian population. This is the only reason for dependence on foreign trade, it is a lousy way to bring prosperity to all Australians if that is the objective.

  11. Evil pundit – next time you are in the supermarket, look at the food labelling and see where it comes from.

    If we were subjected to an OPEC trade sanction, for example, because of our involvement in Iraq, then the transport costs of all the imported food lines would explode, as would everything else. We have a very finely tuned economy at present – a small wobble, let alone a major oil shortage would cause chaos on interest rates, inflation, unemployment etc. and we would very quickly descend into a major recession, as Iraq did.
    If our wheat was boycotted because of our corrupt and hypocritical dealings with Iraq, and supported by U.S. protection of it’s own wheat exports, Australia would have very cheap bread for a season but our whole wheat industry would collapse, as it is allready doing because of unfair competition with the U.S. wheat producers (a loophole in the free trade agreement)

    The stability of the capitalisst economy is based on perpetual growth. An enemy would not have to do much to stop growth, and then the economy withers away by itself. You dont have to bomb factories and transport lines to collapse a national economy, you just have to restrict growth. I think we are on a growth rate of abot 4% p.a. at the moment (not sure about that) It would not take much of an effort to knock that 4% out through trade boycotts and we are stuffed.

  12. The world economy could boycott us over our treatment of Aborigines, as they did to South Africa and our economy would collapse as South Africa’s did. It wouldnt take much to stop growth.

  13. evil how long dose it take to grow a potato.i have seen with my own eyes two ppl fighting over the last can of whatever in cole,s at everton hills in brisbane in the 80s when the truck strike was on.it only took 2 weeks from the start of the strike.

    how easy was that to cut supply .
    to alow 2 companys to have 90% of the market is stupid oh and they are trying to import most of there stock from o.s.how easy would it be to stop that supply.
    p.s australia is also an oil exporter so y are you paying so mutch for fuel.

    i still say john is spot on.

  14. Remember the Tasmanian potatoe farmers who took their tractors to canberra (good stunt, stuck in my mind)
    It is happening now. Globalisation is collapsing our structures of prosperity, not adding to it.

  15. There is a great deal of ignorance being demonstrated on this thread.

    Australia has a great excess of food. It also has sufficient oil for emergencies. It is potentially self-sufficient in terms of transport, and absolutely self-sufficient in terms of food supply.

    As for your ridiculous scenarios of OECD boycotts over Iraq — put the bong down.

    Oil — Australi exports light crude, which is less suitable for our needs, and imports heavy crude. But in a pinch, we could get by on light crude, or even on coal, natural gas or uranium. We have much more energy resources than we need, and are a net exporter of energy.

    The nonsense being expressed here is so ignorant and unrealistic, it’s no wonder that people like you get no say in serious politics, whether on the Labor or Liberal side.

  16. But back to the issues of war. If I am correct that modern warfare is all about economics, then our dependence on foreign trade exposes us to the international battlefield and will continue to demand our involvement in freaky wars like Afghanistan and Iraq and totally neglect the peace and security of our own region.
    In the discussion about West Papua I spoke of the possibilities of further unrest occuring in the pacific, I didnt think of the Solomons at the time and used other examples, but none the less – I told you so. We are in an unstable region, with a simple solution to peace and stability. – shared regional prosperity. If done equitably (not like the Sunrise carve-up) prosperity satisfies both Indonesian imperialism and local independence movements alike and provides the muscle to actually achieve human rights goals.

    Independence seems to have kept New Zealand out of trouble, despite much huffing and puffing about it. Why can’t we be a neutral independent country too? – politically, economicaly and militarily.

    In the old day’s the first rule of war was to capture the moral high ground and half the battle is won. this is still relevent and has evolved into embedded journalists producing propaganda.

    However in the modern global economic batlefield, you cannot defend your own territory if you are just a pawn. Your expendible existence is restricted to small moves and governed by the strategies of the more flexible, self suffucient pieces – the back row of the chess board. Without getting too rude, size doesn’t matter, it aint the meat it’s the motion. That analogy aside, our capacity to succeed on the economic chess board does not depend on our alliances with bigger pieces, it relies on our capacity to move where we like without restrictions and to be able to quickly move in our own self interest instead of being the buffer zone for the other pieces.

    If we play the economic game properly, as a pawn sized piece with the manouverability of a Queen and with the lateral capacities of a knight – then we will have far less needs for ancilliary military battles.

    If we cannot establish a viable role for ourselves as an economic power that can make up it’s own mind because it has a sustainable independent economy, then strategies to take the moral high ground are irrelevent because, like the pawn in the chess game, it will be the first to be knocked over just to initiate engagement when the real game begins.

  17. Evil pundit,
    I have no bong. But if you want to bring a smoke around some time we can discuss it. I can’t guarantee that I will inhale but I will be sociable and put it to my lips.

    You are allmost right in everything you say except for it is all hypothetical and potential. As I said before we are a resource rich country. It is a question of what we do with those resources. Despite our natural wealth, our agricultural sector has collapsed. All our best market gardens close to population centres have been taken over by suburban developments in the last 50 years. Many centralised agricultural areas such as the darling downs or the whole Murry river system are not surviving because of drought and environmental mismanagement of the water systems. If there was a global economic crisis of any sort we could not pass an act of parliament and say from now on our food stays in Australia for us. That would take a massive restructuring of the whole economy and take years, otherwise we would descend into chaos and unemployment. Realistically it will require a gradual change, but if that change doesn’t start now we will be stuffed when a crisis does hit, all the peak oil stuff suggests there is a big crisis on the way.

  18. p.s evil pundit

    my hypothetical example was OPEC, Not OECD. OPEC, the Arab Oil producers, while sewn up by the U.S.A. at present, that will change as the USA competes with China and India to buy oil. and as middle eastern allegiences change in the immediate future as Iran flexes it’s muscle, Russia is supporting the Palestinian government and the Iraqi occupation collapses. I don’t think an Arab oil boycott is so crazy a scenerio, specially with our tensions with Indonesia – biggest muslim country in the world with international energy deals including a massive market. – I reckon we are pretty vulnerable.

    Our oil, coal gas (and yes uranium) are all tied up in international deals. In many cases all we get is royalties for the multinatonals to take it away. Our oil and other energy exports will not belong to us in a crisis

  19. Evil, Australia does have an overabundance of food but the only reason they can afford to keep growing it is if someone overseas will buy it. If no-one will buy it we won’t grow it.

    I have seen times food cannot be sold where it is ploughed into the ground as waste.

    Far be it for the stupid Australians to give food to the starving instead of putting it into the soil where it helps no-one.

    In years the wheat was not sold they dumped it into the sea – they lost all the money but were still too mean to give it away to the starving.

    The moral of the story is that nothing has been learnt by selfish Australian’s.

  20. Until we meet again

    Lest we forget

    the Aboriginal warriors who died fighting for this country

    J.T.

    a bush poem (gumleaves, not Dubya)
    remembering the victims of war

    I rode beside the police one day
    eighteen fifty eight the year
    I followed them as they patrolled my land
    on the new Queensland frontier

    twelve men in uniform
    with horses, guns and packs
    one white officer in charge
    the rest conscripted blacks

    The one in charge, he said with a smirk
    It doesn’t matter waht the black man sees
    they are not allowed to give evidence in court
    the only witness is me

    I knew exactly just what he meant
    and what he wanted to do
    And he told me if I wanted to keep my land
    I’d have to keep my mouth shut too

    The police report said they were chased away
    but if I told you that I’d be a liar
    I know a whole camp was shot,
    their bodies piled up and set on fire

    I rode beside the police that day
    that stinking, haunting day
    I saved my land, I made my plans
    but lost my soul along the way

    Australians all let us rejoice
    For we are young and free
    In every stage
    let historiy’s page
    advance australia fair.

    John Tracey
    (except the last verse, can’t remember where I got that bit from)

  21. At least the Last Post (ha Ha) is vaguly related to this topic.

    Theers plenty of room on the open thread for things otehr than beating up on Jolanda

  22. The saddest thing is that it is starting to become obvious to me that there are alot of Australians that are bullies.

    Its not a good foundation for a Society.

  23. Australia may be an exporter of food at the moment, but it’s also turning into desert alarmingly fast.

    By the way:

    “In years the wheat was not sold they dumped it into the sea”

    At least that’s good for the greenhouse effect! (When people do it for environmental reasons, it’s called “carbon sequestering”.) I realise this is off the current topic, though.

    Jason

  24. I agree with Ken and JT .

    There are plenty of other posts m for you to carry on with your ideas.

    I would love to prove you wrong M but ot on this post.

    Lets We forget and thankyou Ken at least Geoff Ken have some basic respect.

    Andrew do not post comments that are not about Anzac day and our people who gave their lives for this country.

    Lets I forget

  25. r.e. Deb’s interesting thesis

    I have just read the intro and not read the whole thing
    however it would seem,

    this analysis misses the essential point of racism. My 10 cents worth on the thesis is that the R.S.L. was one of many racist institutions last century, properly representing a racist population.

    However, the discussion of racism in Australia, including the thesis, has been in the context of non- Anglo migrants. The white Australia policy, the shearer’s strike slogan of “Australia for the White Man” through to an international solidarity and multicultural perspective, right up to today and the whole refugee support movements, fighting racism has been about international solidarity. At the time of the great shearers strike, the birth of trade unions, the birth of the A.L.P. and the birth of federation, was the same time that Aboriginal people were being slaughtered in the bush or rounded up into missions and reserves.
    Walter Roth wrote the first Aboriginal protection laws, which were used in South Africa as well as othe Australian states, at Boulia, not far from Barcaldine and the tree of knowledge, about the same time as the shearers strike.

    At this time the Australian working class was strongest in the bush in the emerging agricultural sector, working the land that Aboriginal people were recently removed from, yet they said and did nothing about the murder, imprisonment and working conditions of Aboriginal people.
    The dialectical struggle between labour and capital in Australia has been over wealth that was stolen from Aboriginal people who are poor and sick today because of the theft. To identify racism as simply a tool of capital to control labour does not begin to come close to the reality of racism in the Australian working class that is a parallell racism to all stratas of Australian society. Hegemony? yes to an extent, but the illusion is that the interests of the working class are the same as Aboriginal people who have been categorised by the working class as equal fellow workers. Yet the real owners of capital are Aboriginal people and they want it back, not to just get a job from the thief.
    The working class are so blind with racism that labour history suffers the same terra nullius syndrome as captain cook, (another good working class man) and the “discovery” of Australia.

  26. John – Far to detaield an attempt to create a paradign for something that is inherhently and biologically programmed into all species on the planet. We have tried to give intolernace of differnnce and the need to perservie our own basis of difffernce a new expfression called “racism’ as if race has anything to do with it – and that it has some higher order cognitive basis for its meaning, truth is its simply an expression of the eteneral and everlasinting cross cultutlral stratification of species by diffenrence.

  27. ken
    who says?

    Firstly diversity is for sure a natural law but that is different to the notions of “otherness” that inform discussions about racism. Peter Kropotkin, the Russian Zoologist and anarchist claimed that Darwinian notions of evolution were half right but wrongly interpreted through the paradigms of hierarchical consciousness. Instead of survival of the fittest meaning the biggest, most aggressive, most territorial, Kropotkins theory was that the “fittest” evolutionary trait was co-operation, which has dominated the evolution of everything. He pointed to, amongxt otherthings, the collectivisation of ants, bees, termites etc, and the symbiotic relationships of these systems integrated with other systems as being the model for evolutionary success, and therefore “natural”.

    Yes racism is a bad word, like so many words in English it lacks precision and over time it’s meaning wanders from it’s literal or root meanings to very ambiguous usage.. Democracy is a similar word.

    In my calling the working class racist I mean.

    racism is about psychology and culture not genetics, It is about the interface of Aboriginality and cultural “whiteness”

    A movement, such as the trade union movement of this or last century, that claims to be about human rights, or even fair working conditions but ignores the brutal exploitation of some human beings right under their noses, is suffering a psychological blockage creating a deep internal hypocritical contradiction – which is allowed to lie undisturbed, and therefore unhealthy and dysfunctional.

    From a distance, many of us, who are old enough, asked how could the white South Africans tolerate such abuse of the black South African population? What makes them so blind to oppression and defensive of the racist status-quo? What made Germany turn a blind eye to genocide?

    It is this point where we see our own perspective as ultimate, and “other” perspectives lacking, that human love and indeed the whole natural evolutionary process collapses – just look at what Imperial society has done to the earth and all the social problems – dysfunctional but not inevitable.

    However if we were to return to our natural human inclinations and respect infinite diversity and the relationships and connectedness of difference as our social structure,rather than separation, it would co-incide with the natural laws and generate prosperity as it has for human beings for hundreds of thousands of years or more.

    Ken, the aggression you speak of is inherent in western European culture because we have been at war for over 10,000 years and our sociology as adapted accordingly. Other societies have not been at war (until the Europeans turned up at least) and have evolved other sociological traits.

  28. Andrew

    For an elected representative you made what I consider to be a terrible comment about ANZAC day being too nationalistic. Of course it is nationalistic. Our dead are remembered on this day.

    You ought to either retract that comment or explain yourself hoping that you don’t trip over on another rake.

  29. pc

    My actual quote was that I feel Remberance Day is “more effective as a recognition of the universal truth of the tragedy and loss of war, without being as coloured by the excessive nationalism that can occur with Anzac Day.”

    Perhaps you interpret the word “nationalism” differently to me. I am uneasy about any degree of nationalism, and self-evidently ‘excessive nationalism’ is not a good thing. To me, nationalism has overtones of a belief that one’s country and its people are superior to all others.

    Excessive nationalism makes wars easier to engage in, which makes it particularly undesirable on a day which is meant to be for remembering the people killed in wars and the suffering which that caused.

    Perhaps you are thinking of ‘patriotism’, which I simply see as pride or love of one’s country.

    There can be some overlap, but it should be possible to have pride in one’s country and remeber and respect for those who fought and died for it, without having to simultaneously elevate one’s country to a position of superiority above all others.

  30. Andrew

    That’s fine, then. I accept what you are saying and it’s good you clarified it.

    Thanks a lot.

  31. Sounded like paranoid pc drivel to me pcp.

    “To me, nationalism has overtones of a belief that one’s country and its people are superior to all others”

    You assume people think “superiority” because they favour their own nationality? huh?

    And even if they did that would be bad because?

    So you’re ok with multiculti which allows people to maintain their own culture. Hmm why do yo suppose they’d do that. Oh, you probably think they think theirs is superior. A tad hypocritical don’t you think.

    Just…. let’s not have Australians valuing their culture or national identity right!!!!!!?

    “I am uneasy about any degree of nationalism, and self-evidently ‘excessive nationalism’ is not a good thing. ”

    You colour any nationalism as “excessive”? huh?

    Yep sounds paranoid and delusional to me. Since when have Australians been too nationalistic or overly patriotic. Maybe you are confusing us with the US Andrew.

  32. If you are not paranoid you must be crazy

    I reckon fighting in someone elses war, e.g. ,Vietnam, Afghanistan, lraq, (lest we forget Gallipolli), is “too” nationalistic. Defending home turf is probably “just right” nationalistic. Ignoring David Hicks is not nationalistic enough.

  33. That’s the double standard of multiculturalism again.

    All cutltures are good and should be celebrated, ecxept for Australian culture which is evil and should be condemned.

    (For other countries’ versions, replace “Australian” with the country of residence.)

  34. Hey Geoff, I agree with you again. When I hear the word patriotism I think of the American flag and the patriot missile system.

    I’m a republican mate! (usually don’t think of Dubya when I use that word, only sometimes) Nuthin wrong with nashnalism. It is just what we are as a nation that is the problem.

  35. E.P.

    I don’t think the highest suicide rate in the world should be celebrated, nor should salinity, desertification the death of our river and bay systems, an escalating underclass, domestic violence, etc,etc.etc..

    All these things are the direct natural consequence of our culture. Not all cultures do this. Some have managed to sustain a social and ecological harmony for thousands of generations. I reckon that is better.

    I reckon cultures in need of healing, such as our own, have a lot to learn from what is left of the healthy sustainable cultures rather than imposing our own dysfunctions onto them to the point that they too, as a key part of the underclass, display similar tendencies to us regarding suicide, domestic violence etc.

    Part of the white superiority phenomenon is blindness to the truth, not just the truth of genocide and history, but the truth of our own contemporary reality. We are a sick society yet we claim there is no problem. Our modern, sophisticated global society does not mark the highpoint of human civilisation, as i believe many perceive it. We represent the lowpoint of it all, we have reached the point where our culture has not only become capable of ending our own species, but by many analyses we have indeed damaged things beyond a point where it can be repaired. We are our own greatest threat as a species, that has never before been the case. Our extinction rate on other species is massive and accellerating. This has never happened at such a rate before. Up until now new species have evolved in balance with old species becoming extinct, but now we are just wiping everything out including ourselves.

    Australians all let us rejoice.

  36. John, that is nonsense.

    There is no culture that has “managed to sustain a social and ecological harmony for thousands of generations”, especially not any of the Aboriginal ones.

    The current bunch of Aborigines replaced the bunch before them — probably in a violent manner. And they destroyed the then-existing ecology of forests and large mammals by introducing fire.

    You are full of silly mythology, which is why your comments cannot be taken seriously. Like your earlier claim that Australia can’t feed itself, your other claims are based on fantasy and propaganda.

  37. what is it really that our diggers have died for? Their country and culture? – or some fool’s political or economic schemes?

    Remeber that old ANZAC digger that passed away not too long ago, can’t remember his name. But he as made a national war hero simply because he was there as a very young man. The part of the story that was not so well publicised was his life long commitment to peace and union activism because of his absolute and psychological rejection of the war machine and his experiences in it.

  38. O.K. E.P.,
    If human culture did not sustain itself here for hundreds of thousands of years (at least 150,000 according to present dating technology), without a sustainable culture, why are there Aborigines here today? indeed how have humans survived anywhere without a sustainable culture? Sure that culture is different in different times and places but the commonality is a relationship with the earth – the source of all production systems.

    Now this theory that Aborigines genocided someone else before fascinates me. It keeps popping up in forums like this and I will give my stock answer first. Can you suggest an archeologist, preferably a web link that properly explains this theory? I haven’t been able to get a reference yet.

    then I will ask….
    Where did the Aborigines come from? they are genetically different to all neighboring “races” and very different to Africans, who it seems everyone else including us white folks, are descended from.

    As far as I can see, someone has found a very old short person somewhere and assumed he or she was a different race. I know of some very short Aborigines today, indeed it is a tribal feature in some areas. “Pygmies in Oz” – yes in the 21st century. So why does the discovery of a short person explain a genocide theory involving one group wiping out another? (I am not a pygmie but I am short and I do take this personally). Why can’t the weirdo archaeologists just accept that short people are normal, not freaks or another race or species? And us short folks can co-exist with tall people too. Apply that to your dug up short people and stick it where it fits, which is more places than a tall person would fit.

    Now this fire business. To cut a long story short, fire and human society, good or bad, has been in this continent for a long time. I heard somewhere a scientific theory that humans started using fire methodically in non campfire situations about 1000,000 years ago. I have heard a dreamtime story of a spirit giving a fire to a hunter, and the tools to make it, so there is a historical confluence – fire management occured at some point after there was a settled population. From that point on fire, people and the bush have evolved as one. Humans and fire are part of the nature of the natural environment.

    Now this mega-fauna extinction business. Firstly one person’s assumption (future eaters stuff, cant remember his name either) that this species dissappeared because of growing human populations is just that, one man’s assumptions and hypothesis. There are infinite other hypotheses. e.g. We have seen, with frogs in particular, a small climate change can make life unviable for some species. Just because humans can survive ice ages does not mean the mega-fauna beast (cant remember it’s name either) can survie them too.

    However, keep to the script. The future eaters theory is, that having learnt the lesson of killing off their own major food source, human beings on this continent evolved systems of resouce management and incorporated these systems into culture and education process developing the ecological sensibilities in Aboriginal culture today.
    There are dreamtime stories along similar lines explaining how he particular customary laws were made in the dreamtime. But nothing to do with mega fauna that I have heard. But there is a simple essence in many stories – so and so stuffed up, this is how they stuffed up, this is how the ancestors worked out how to avoid future stuff ups, stick to the program and you will be allright. That’s why old cultures have lasted so long.

  39. John, your own hypothesis is just one man’s hypothesis.

    The Aborigines came from the same place that all other humans did. Different human subgroups populated the Earth in waves.

    Aborigines and other tribes are no different from other humans. They were not some magical beings who live in mystical “harmony” with the environment. They were stone-age people who lived like any other stone-age people.

    This discussion has gone way off-topic.

  40. E.P. – which hypothesis of mine are you talking about?
    I wasn’t aware I was hypothesizing. As to theories of human evolution , my hypothesis is people came from outer space, but I haven’t hypothesised that one yet.

    The short people in Indonesia and recent dating of human populations in Australia have blown the out of Africa theory out of the water. This is not my hypothesis. I don’t read much but I have seen at east 3 docos on T.V. since all the media about the short person in Indonesia. It is considerably more than 1 man’s opinion.
    True, some people originate from Africa, but this does not explain the longevity of human occupation of Australia. My hypothesis is there were 2 spaceships – one in Africa and one here, either that or humans evolved when Africa an Australia were joined as one continent, but that would mean humans are much older than we presently believe.

    E.P. Put up or shut up I say, you look silly making such wild assertions if you cant expound upon them. Can you offer just one simple detail of this theory of yours? I could do better proving my spaceship theory than you are doing putting up an argument, which seems to be held by a few people so there must be some discussion of it somewhere. Where did you get this stupid idea of Aborigines killing out another race? Another version of the story goes – after killing the megafauna the Aborigines had to turn into canibals to get meat and ate out the weaker (and probably shorter) population. – All fantasy crap justifying a simple and common subconscious hatred of Aborigines. If there is any substance to it, share it. If not, look at yourself and honestly ask yourself why it is you are so determined to pedal this crap. I was recently checking out Bartlett forums before I started posting, you have been on this bandwagon for some time. Surely it is time by now for substance rather than unfounded one liners.

  41. john
    (I don’t read much but I have seen at east 3 docos on T.V. since all the media about the short person in Indonesia. It is considerably more than 1 man’s opinion.)
    you are very wise and articulate and obviously very well educated for person that dose not read much.!!!

  42. E.P. Don’t run away, I will listen to you. I read your link which includes a hypothesis that all human life comes from Aborigines as well as a passing mention of the genocide theory. Mungo man is one of the land marks of the disintegration of the out of Africa theory, he is 20,000 years too old to fit in to that theory. If there was an “essense” to your article it would be that the scientists haven’t got a clue but enjoy the arguement. I can understand that, pondering mysteries is fun.

    Incedently, the theory that modern humans genocided the neanderthals is crap too, I reckon. Apart from the fact that both species of human occupied the planet together for several hundred thousand years, there is no evidence at all what caused the neanderthal to dissappear.

    If you cant think of anything to back up what you say, then we can argue about space ships if you want. I can’t back that up either, so we are on a level playing field.

    and red crab, thanx. However I may be articulate, but I am neither wise nor well educated (I dropped out of uni 5 times). But I do look at things from a different perspective to many. That’s not the same as smart. Understanding does not come from an overload of information. The first point of understanding is to understand that you don’t understand. The rest is just obvious from that point on.

  43. well john you have done better than me .i never got to uni had the oppitunity in the 60s but no money to pay for it.
    i do agree with a lot of what you say.

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