Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Australian history and fables of the fall

Australia is one of the most PC countries on the planet, and this is nowhere more evident than in the treatment of the British settlement. It is an unmissable opportunity for lyricism and eulogy (with regard to the aborigines) and for shame and self-loathing (that's for us white pigs).
Below is an example of the former (all the more attractive in that there is no way to confirm or deny this picture, rather like Adam and Eve).

"About three days in every week would be devoted to gathering your food," he says. "Hunting, collecting - a bit less in places of plenty, a bit more in the hard country. The rest of your time would be spent socialising, or in religious observances of different kinds." There is a "rich and complicated legal system" and the "children are more deeply loved than perhaps any children on earth".
Then, into this world comes the "white invader. Their first act is to say the land is terra nullius, that no one owns the land, that it is not used ... Thus begins the Australian Civil War."
From a History textbook for Australian High Schools

Janet Albrechtsen comments
This is ideology - inculcating a sense of shame in young students about Western civilisation.
There is no mention of British colonisation contributing anything much to Australia - no mention of civilised society or the rule of law. Instead, all the talk is of dark forces reaching Australian shores: forces that are individualistic and competitive and concerned with material gain. There are sneering references to Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and Charles Darwin - as examples of Europeans who believed in the "superiority" of Western civilisation, over, say the hunter-gatherer existence of local indigenous people. Reading the text is like learning about Darwin's evolutionary theory in reverse gear. Progress is rather nasty and a source of embarrassment to the authors.
The article from the Australian is here.

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