Friday, January 25, 2013

So how do our politicians deal with national identity?

It's Australia Day. On the positive side, that means a lot of family get togethers around a BBQ. On the negative side, the papers are full of liberal politicians busily redefining Australia's national identity.

The Financial Review has offered us two politicians: Malcolm Turnbull and Kevin Rudd. In the interests of brevity I'll deal with Turnbull in this post and Rudd in the next one.

Malcolm Turnbull is on the left-wing of the Liberal Party, which is our right-liberal party. There are no surprises in his reflections on Australia's identity. He argues that Australia is special because it has a civic identity rather than a traditional ethnic one:
...unlike most other countries (the US being a notable exception), we do not regard national identity by reference to a common race, ethnicity, religion or cultural background.

Our national identity is defined by a common commitment to Australian civic values of democracy, the rule of law, respect for the rights of individual men and women, a healthy scepticism for authority and a deep intuitive sense of a fair go.
But what of the problems with a civic identity, in which it is a common commitment to liberal political institutions and values which is supposed to unite us?

One problem is that identity becomes indistinct. If being Australian means being committed to democracy and the rights of individual men and women, then how is that different to what it means to be American or Canadian or English or Swedish?

Turnbull tries to solve this issue in two ways. First, he pretends that the European nations still hold to a traditional ethnic nationalism and that Australia and the U.S. are somehow exceptional in being civic nations.

But that's Turnbull just making things up. All of the Western nations define themselves explicitly now in terms of a civic, rather than an ethnic, nationalism: the UK, Canada, New Zealand, France, Sweden - the list goes on.

Second, Turnbull admits that the components of a civic nationalism are the same everywhere, but he thinks that there are other distinguishing aspects of society that define us:
There is no individual component in our civic values unique to Australia. But the combination is distinctly Australian – for example, we are much less deferential than the British, more caring, with a stronger safety net than the Americans.
But that is an exceptionally thin foundation for a national identity. It's like Canadians thinking they're different because they have a national health insurance scheme. What if the Australian and American safety nets become more alike? Does that then mean we've lost our national identity?

The rest of Turnbull's column is, as you would expect from a right liberal, focused on the ideal of individuals being self-made in the market and the need for freedom from state regulation of the economy. (Right-liberals believe that you can regulate society best through the market rather than through state bureaucracy.)


  1. My identity and MY country is based on race and ethnicity.

    Any attack on that is an attack on the nation and on my identity.

    It is genocide and those destroying it need to be hauled out of their bunkers to account for it.

  2. What about the Aboriginals and their claim to the land that currently represents the nation of Australia?

  3. Anon,

    I'm not sure if you're replying to cecilhenry or querying how a Turnbull style civic nationalism is applied to Aborigines.

    I'll just point out that redefining the Australian identity is not being done for the benefit of Aborigines.

  4. "Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad"

    That's what our shameful hostile elite are, utterly mad, the power and greed will destroy them,and they ravel in the ignorance of it.

  5. Craig, if you think Turnbull is mad wait till I post on Rudd.

  6. Aborigines don't have a claim to the nation.
    Aborigines are also the only people that should be included in the nation.
    The PC definition is that anyone who even contemplates setting foot here from a far away land is a true blue Aussie.

    Its also very funny when Liberals say what about the Aborigines claiming to know what the Aborigines want. Well the Aborigines are also very keen at the moment in asking for non-white Australians to be deported. In fact they are more vocal than any group in the country right now about forced deportation and ending mass immigration.

    They realise they have been used to promote multiculturalism and multiculturalism equates to them being bullied by Islanders,blacks, Arabs and Asians.

    In a sane country the word Australians would be Ethnic Australians and Aborigines exclusively.

  7. For such a smart man, Turnball does say some very dumb things.

    All nations need an ethnocultural component to exist. Without one, there is no nation, merely a state.

    Australia has had an Anglo-Celtic ethnocultural core since its inception. Those values Turnball so adores - liberty, freedom, individualism - are a product of our Anglo-Celtic heritage.

    Yet Turnball seems to take perverse delight at the replacement of Anglo-Celtic Australians by Indians and Chinese.

  8. Mark, I followed your link and you're absolutely correct. At least with the fall, there is the slim chance of rebirth. Even if it starts out more localised.

  9. 13225Mark I thought you might like these Quadrant articles.

  10. Salter 2 Salter 3

    Those are very important articles.

    I hope that, against all odds, Australia survives, that is, I hope that the historic Australian people survive.

    I hope that in every country where it is possible (I am writing off Zimbabwe) white people survive.

    I hope that, against all odds, the hopes of the founders and builders of our nation are fulfilled. That is, I hope that Australia will continue in perpetuity as a great white nation, beautiful, good, wise and strong, in a world where other great white nations will also continue to exist, and where white people will have a secure future, with human, racial, ethnic and national rights as good as anyone else.

  11. A happy Australia Day play, from the cultural elite that hates us.

    When I say hooray for Australia and Australians and all who are our kin across the world, that doesn't mean the traitors and underminers. True patriotism for any nation means opposition to those who attack it.

  12. Has the 21st century gone in a collective time warp back to the Australian 1980s? Turnbull's screed reads very much like the sort of stuff about national identity I grew up on. I remember being taught about how Australia was egalitarian, we believed in a fair go, bla bla bla, at school - the kind of shallow Hawke-Labor inspired education in patriotism.

    National identity - particularly the sort of national identity that requires the endless reassertion of certain terms ('egalitarian', 'fair go', 'diverse', 'vibrant', and not much else) - isn't something I care much about at all. How is endless introspection about national identity different from endless introspection about self-identity? It sounds like civic narcissism.

    Is it just because we're under a Labor Government that we're hearing screeds like this?

  13. TimT: "Is it just because we're under a Labor Government that we're hearing screeds like this?"

    Malcolm Fraser was gung-ho for multiculturalism, to the point where it would have been an electoral millstone around his neck if Robert Hawke had attacked on that issue, instead of supporting Fraser's innovations and deliberately taking the issue off the table of electoral politics.

    John Howard was all for the multicultural cause too; he tried to write its assumptions into a preamble to the constitution, which the public soundly rejected in a referendum.

    Howard's 1999 preamble began like this:

    "With hope in God, the Commonwealth of Australia is constituted by the equal sovereignty of all its citizens.

    The Australian nation is woven together of people from many ancestries and arrivals."

    Already, there's a great misrepresentation. Australia was built by one race and a very narrow range of closely related cultures that blended quickly into one. White Australia was monocultural; that's why the multiculturalists were all about importing radical racial and cultural diversity. It wasn't already there.

    And the people who built the country with enormous effort did not build it so that it could be inherited by anybody from around the world, while their own descendants were dispossessed and ultimately genocided by mass immigration and forced integration and assimilation.

    What's happening is a total betrayal of the founders.

    The preamble added:

    "Australia’s democratic and federal system of government exists under law to preserve and protect all Australians in an equal dignity which may never be infringed by prejudice or fashion or ideology nor invoked against achievement."

    That would have been the sentence making anti-racism, which is code for anti-white-ism, constitutionally mandated.

    However bad the Labor Party is, the Liberal Party is also very guilty.

  14. I wasn't referring to multiculturalism at all Daybreaker. I don't sympathise with your view about white/non-white cultures - which I think is a simplistic and misleading way of looking at questions of nation and politics.

  15. simplistic and misleading way of looking at questions of nation and politics.

    How is it misleading?

  16. Also about simplicity pointing out the inherent evil in suppressing and erasing ethnic identity is simple the crime itself is not simplistic.
    The crime of erasing ethnicities has historic precedent and is firmly in the court of discussions about nations and politics.

    To say it is off limits. Well that sounds soviet.

    If you are waiting for academics to put a name to anti-white genocide you are going to be waiting a very long time.
    They are complicit in support of it.

    So people like Daybreaker have to give it a name.

  17. It's hard to talk about official national identity navel-gazing in white countries in the 21st century without talking about legally mandatory anti-racism, multiculturalism and so on.

    This is the biggest possible question for a nation: who gets to be part of that nation, and defines it, and who gets to be history, as in "swept into the ash-heap of".

    The views supported pervasively by white governments in this century are radically at odds with the interests of white populations, and they are often unpopular. The governments, supported by anti-white universities and media, go ahead anyway, which makes the rationales used to promote these radical, unpopular policies central to the (so far one-sided) national identity discussion.

    Calling attention to the realities that underlie political rhetoric is not misleading or simplistic, and trying to evade the massive loss of fitness, in a Darwinian sense, suffered by populations whose governments go in for genocidal levels of mass immigration and hostile cultural favoritism is not sophisticated or enlightened.

  18. Misleading anon because there certainly isn't such a thing as a 'white' race. It's a pretty useless general label too because the meaning of 'white' has shifted several times in the last few decades; as a recent example observe the coverage of the 2012 US Federal election. It was apparently a case of the 'white'-based Republicans losing out to the 'ethnic'-based Democrats. In fact the 'white' base of the Republican party including substantial numbers of people who, in previous generations, would have been considered 'ethnic' too - people from eastern European backgrounds, etc.

  19. Edit for comment above: not 'including' - 'included'.

    Personally I reckon the best way to defend your culture is not by worrying about multiculturalism, etc.The best way is by continuing to live your life, to engage with your culture, etc. Keep reading, writing, going to art galleries, seeing friends, etc. No-one can stop you after all.

  20. Misleading anon because there certainly isn't such a thing as a 'white' race.

    Well Government policy around the world specifically refers to "whites". Academia specifically refers to "whites". In every day language whites are referred to as "whites".
    I know who is "white" and who is not "white".

    TimT my friend how long do you think you would last publicly declaring there is no such thing as black race?
    More specifically how long would you last saying there is no "Aboriginal" race.

    I'd give you a few seconds before you are publicly tared and feathered.

    Those people I was referring to are complicit in white genocide. That includes you. I view you as an enemy on a very personal, political and spiritual level.

  21. Also
    Personally I reckon the best way to defend your culture is not by worrying about multiculturalism, etc.The best way is by continuing to live your life, to engage with your culture, etc. Keep reading, writing, going to art galleries, seeing friends
    I agree on you with that though I detect a hint of condescension people that discuss this have no social lives. How very liberal of you...

    No-one can stop you after all.

    This is wrong however. You just have not experienced it yet.

  22. There's a bunch of potentially valid defenses against a charge of genocide, but "I refuse to admit you people exist, and I'll micro-analyse differences between members of your group" isn't one of them.

    It's well established that if you bring about conditions calculated to end a people, in whole or part, you cannot successfully defend yourself by saying, "there are no such things as Tutsis / Hutus / Gypsies / Bosnian Muslims / whoever, really; look at all these cases where the ethnic lines are blurred, look at all the divisions within the target group" and so on.

    You don't get to say, "we could not be guilty of a genocide against Jews because there are no 'Jews', the definition of 'Jew' has changed over time, there are differences between Ashkenazis and Sephardic Jews and (add pointless distinctions and quibbles ad lib.). That doesn't fly, and it never has since the concept of 'genocide' was invented.

    The group is what it is. It's recognized by those targeting it. It's being demonized, disadvantaged legally, and deprived of its habitat on a massive scale.

    If governments were doing to a species like dingos what is being done to whites, it would be perfectly obvious that this is a series of actions calculated to end the breed: flooding its territory with competing animals, breeding interference (disruption of family life), handicapping it in competition for resources and so on. Some of these things might not be hostile in themselves, but the sum of them clearly is.

    What's happening is like integrated pest control, with whites being treated as a noxious species.

    If a group is clearly identifiable and possible to be targeted, and it is in fact being identified, demonized, disadvantaged, displaced and pushed out of existence, by measures that would be regarded as a threat to the breed without debate except that academia is on board with getting rid of this breed, then there is a genocide going on, and there is no excuse for it.