Otto von Bismarck said: “Only a fool learns from his own mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others.” Australia has benefited tremendously from learning lessons from overseas, helping avoid the errors of others. But this should not extend to copying everything from overseas, or thinking that circumstances that apply overseas always apply in a similar measure to the Australian context.
Australian progressives have cost the country untold amounts in time, treasure and social cohesion in the mistaken belief that other people’s problems are automatically replicated here. Progressives in this country seem not to recognise that, more often than not, they are surplus to requirements.
In the progressive worldview, the American historical experience in particular is taken as being normative and is universalised, particularly American history over the last few decades. Prior to the 1960s, for example, Jim Crow was not so much a phenomenon limited to the American South but rather a universal phenomenon. If there are any facts around the world that contradict this narrative, then these facts be damned. Everybody must be obliged to sing from the same song sheet, otherwise the progressive worldview loses its claim to universality. If Antipodeans, for example, start marching out of step, progressive drill instructors will rush to scream in their faces to get back in step!
It must be recognised that Germanic people are usually, to varying degrees, volkisch. The most volkisch have of course been the Germans/Austrians, the South Africans, and the Americans, particularly in the Deep South. Uppermost in the minds of volkisch people is the preservation of the purity of their blood, because this is what they base their sense of identity on, the colour of their blood. Accordingly, this racialist concern has historically been reflected in such legislative measures as the Nuremberg Laws, Apartheid, and Jim Crow.
But Australia and New Zealand are either not volkisch or are barely so. Volkisch people, for obvious reasons, are more comfortable with segregation over assimilation, whether de jure or de facto. But Australians and New Zealanders have shown themselves throughout their history to be more comfortable with assimilation over segregation. In the Antipodes, assimilation has been welcomed and greeted with a sense of relief, particularly by those on the right. But for volkisch people, the prospect of assimilation has traditionally been greeted with a sense of alarm, particularly by those on the right. It is important to acknowledge that assimilationists, by definition, cannot be racist. So Antipodeans are clearly different. They are Germanic, but not volkisch.
French sociologists Pierre Bourdieu and Loic Wacquant, in their paper entitled “On the Cunning of Imperialist Reason”, examined the phenomenon of the “‘globalization’ of American problems”, particularly the tendency of the US “to impose itself as a universal point of view, especially when it comes to issues, such as that of ‘race’, where the particularity of the American situation is particularly flagrant and particularly far from being exemplary.”
Australia and New Zealand, even though not being volkisch countries, are not exempt from being required to view matters to do with “race” through the American lense, and so must reinterpret things “correctly” in order to march in step with what Bourdieu and Wacquant describe as the “quasi-universalization of the US folk-concept of ‘race’ as a result of the worldwide export of US scholarly categories.”
As to why Antipodeans are Germanic without being volkisch, this is not clear. It may plausibly be argued, for example, that the reason Maori always enjoyed equal rights with Pakeha in New Zealand is because they were such redoubtable warriors that the British had no choice but to treat them with respect. But this does not explain why there are probably no full-blooded left Maori today, constituting 15 per cent of the population. Since miscegenation was not a requirement of the Treaty of Waitangi, we can only conclude that this happened because New Zealanders are more comfortable with assimilation over segregation. Obviously New Zealanders, by definition, cannot be racist. Alas, with no local version of Apartheid or Jim Crow to redress, the best New Zealand progressives can do is be pernickety about the Treaty of Waitangi, generating a grievance industry around it.
This pressure to conform to the acceptable narrative can also be seen in Australian Aboriginal history. Historian Keith Windschuttle showed, in his The Fabrication of Aboriginal History, that the accounts written by progressive historians suggesting frequent massacres by settlers of Aborigines, and even genocide, were not supported by an empirical examination of the very sources cited. Since Windschuttle’s argument was based on an objective examination of the facts, he could not be refuted. The question then arises as to why these progressive historians felt the need for such fabrication in the first place.
Volkisch thinking tends to get pretty ugly pretty quickly. Progressives derive a tremendous sense of moral justification and holy purpose in being able to loudly denounce such ugliness, offering to right these wrongs. Given progressivism’s universalism, and its attendant salvific pretensions, the same ills afflicting the referent society (the United States) obtain everywhere else in similar or equal measure, and so the same remedies proffered for these ills are universally applicable. So non-volkisch societies are forced to pretend to suffer from the same ills as volkish societies, therefore being in need of the same medicine.
While of course there are real volkisch or racist people in Australia, they are too insignificant in number to be worth worrying about. And while one or two of their number, in possession of a basic cunning, may have managed to inveigle their way into obtaining a prominent media platform, they can never make their white nationalism or dreams of creating a white volkstaat in Australia overt, being left to rely on disingenuousness. Which makes you wonder why they bother in the first place, makes you wonder where they think they are. This, after all, is Australia — not Austria.
Whatever one may think of Pauline Hanson, she clearly cannot be described as a racist. While she may be justifiably described as being xenophobic, she has always loudly advocated for assimilation over segregation, particularly in regard to Aboriginals. One will note that she makes little mention of Asians nowadays. Is that because there are less of them, or because they are assimilating quite nicely? As an assimilationist, Pauline Hanson cannot, by definition, be racist.
As the world sails into choppy waters, the need to discern what applies to Australia and what does not will assume greater importance. We need to focus on problems that concern us rather than wasting time pretending to be burdened with other people’s problems, just so that we can indulge progressives in their need for a sense of holy purpose.
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