According as there was intellect or no intellect in individuals, will the general conclusion they make-out embody itself as a world-healing Truth and Wisdom, or as a baseless fateful Hallucination.
Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)
Seeking relief from severe back pain, my spouse consulted a doctor who recommended a small back operation. A proposal that enraged my wife who does not believe there is such a thing as a SMALL back operation. Spinal surgery risks death, paralysis, permanent posture disfigurement and crippling pain. The disease was trivial compared to the proposed drastic cure, so my wife rejected the suggestion. A sensible stance, but the opposite to that being embraced by the nation. For trivial reasons Australians wish to embark upon the path of constitutional surgery and become a republic, a drastic operation fraught with danger.
Changing the constitution is tinkering with the foundations of law and order, and can easily explode out of control, plunging the nation into anarchy or tyranny. Any rational nation would need a compelling reason before embarking on such a perilous undertaking- we have none, however we do have several good reasons to defer such dangerous indulgence.
Immediately north of our spacious continent is a group of islands that are burgeoning with humanity. Our neighbours are very different to ourselves in race, creed and religion. Their booming economy is dominated by a military regime that grows stronger as the nation grows richer. Their actions over East Timor show a ruthless expansionist policy. Indonesia is a nation with a desperate shortage of space, which must regard our empty country with some envy. An attitude that poses a threat to the tenure of our lands, if not our lives, and makes questions of our choice of constitution both an irrelevant and a dangerous diversion.
Even if our place in the world was not threatened, our inability to manage our affairs is stagnating the economy. The national debt has now passed the $16 billion mark and shows no sign of reducing. Unemployment continues at the staggering official rate of 10%, slowly impoverishing our society . The recession is closing shops, offices and factories, pervading the whole community with despair. Fixing the constitution that does not need repair, while ignoring the economy that is in desperate need of a major overhaul, is clearly madness.
The desire to make Australia a republic springs not from the improvement offered by a new constitution, this is still unknown, but from a rejection of the old order. Citizens do not aspire to be republicans, rather they wish to discard a set of values and institutions they no longer accept. Australians are not interested in creating - only destroying; an ominous portent and one with many unpleasant precedents.
Over two hundred years ago the general populace of France were resentful and dissatisfied. They were not just unhappy with the king, but with the whole existing set of values and institutions that made up the regime; much as Australians are today. And then, as now, few aspiring republicans saw much danger in what they were doing- but they were wrong. A mistake many paid for with their lives. The obscure token committee of public safety started a murder campaign that made the world reel in horror. Its unremarkable bespectacled chairman was so affected by his new authority that he discovered a blood lust and started an era known as "The Terror"; thousands of ordinary citizens suddenly discovered they were enemies of the state and were publicly beheaded.
In hindsight the result should have been no surprise. Fiddling with the constitution eroded certainty over right and wrong, weakening restraints on social behaviour and allowing festering public resentment to explode into violence. The initial glee shown by those crowding round the guillotine reveal this butchery won popular acclaim. The mob were delighted to see previously privileged members of the community publicly murdered. Indeed this was the crux of the matter, this is what they really wanted. The popular French uprising of 1791 had little to do with Liberty, Fraternity and Equality, it had more to do with indulged children who discover they can defy parents. This was a revolt against authority, the populace would no longer give unquestioning obedience to any agency.
Mob rule and anarchy were only ended by the appearance of a more ruthless king than the one deposed. Napoleon seized power and became absolute ruler, but not as a king but an emperor. The community had gone full circle, but in the process it had lost something vital. Respect for authority, the quality discarded so violently and with such gusto is essential for society. The storming of the Bastille marked the slow disappearance of respect and obedience from the community, for if it could be denied the king, it could be denied any office- be it church, government, police or parent. A result now all too familiar with parents, teachers, police and government in Australia in 1990s. The community no longer accepts any authority without question, and is suffering the inevitable consequences - its eventual dissolution. Which is why professor Toynbee set the French Revolution as the start of the fall of western civilisation.
The French revolution was not unique, the Russian revolution was very similar. Despite the relative prosperity of Russia in the early 1900s, a malcontented populace resolved to discard the old order for the promised utopia of marxism. The country was plunged into civil war by comrades who intended to improve the community by discarding the monarchy. Social chaos was only ended with the appearance of an absolute monarch, Stalin. A monster who proceeded to imprison, starve and murder the populace to secure his position as ruler. Russia has still not recovered, it looks as though it never will.
The regime that Stalin created inspired a new word - Totalitarian- where the state invokes its full technological might to enslave its citizens. An action that frightened many observers and inspired some chilling novels- "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley, and "1984" by George Orwell. While both were futuristic, Orwell's novel was a barely disguised description of the 1948 soviet government. Unfortunately nature is imitating art and the work now appears a grim prophecy for Australia.
Newspeak was a term coined by the novel to describe Big Brother's manipulation of language. Words, being the foundations of thoughts, were perverted to control public understanding. If the words needed to think rebellious thoughts did not exist, then neither could rebels. This was one of the tactics of the totalitarian administration to quell any resistance to its authority. Newspeak has appeared in Australia, it is called Politically Correct speech.
Talking is no longer spontaneous verbalising of thoughts, but another mechanism is introduced. Before expression, sentences are laboriously checked for politically incorrect words. In this way the state censor is installed in every mind, ensuring thoughts match federal policy.
The anti-sex league is another invention of the novel that has come true. The imaginary fanatical group dedicated to eradicating the traditional concept of men and women, are contemporary feminists. Their attitudes receiving official sanction through sexual harassment legislation, making it illegal to socialise in the century's old fashion. Neither sex now knows how to approach each other; an overt sexual invitation may win coitus or it may win prison.
In Orwell's book the family unit was undermined by encouraging children to denounce parents who displayed illegal attitudes, much as Australia law enforcement encourages children to denounce parental abuse. This legal approach that currently makes controlling off-spring difficult, is soon to be amended to make it impossible. There is a group lobbying to make chastising children illegal - an absurdity - a quality that makes official adoption almost a certainty.
Continually being observed via a huge television screen in every room was one of the horrors of life under Big Brother. Presumably Orwell was alluding to Stalin's secret police who constantly watched all citizens. Such relentless scrutiny has not yet been implemented in Australia, there are now only radar speed cameras, red light cameras, random breath testing, random car fault checking and occasional official eaves-dropping. A worrying list, but there is no reason to believe that official spying will not be extended in quality and quantity.
An Australian Big Brother
It seems only a matter of time before radar cameras become endemic to all highways, with automatic penalising extended from speeding and crossing red lights to every driving offence. Undoubtedly random breath tests, state bugging and the racial vilification laws set the stage for random speech tests. Thought police, employing the latest in gadgetry, will be able to eavesdrop on private conversations at will, placing citizens at risk whenever they communicate. A trend that will see all possible offences brought under the baleful eye of the state's technology. Imagination seems the only limit to the future monitoring by an Australian Big Brother.
Dwelling only upon the realities of totalitarian life, the book never explained the official ideology of Big Brother. In reality authoritarian states have no beliefs except gaining then retaining absolute power. Their official dogma is merely the rationalisation of all state actions, and is only rhetorical. Thus the differences between the regimes of Stalin and Hitler were in name only, a similarity starkly illustrated by Igor Golomstock in his book "Totalitarianism And Art". This work makes it clear there was little to choose between the dictatorships of Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini or Mao, despite huge theoretical differences.
Having a dramatic new creed is an essential quality of these regimes, and arises directly from the way they are spawned. The process is not rigidly defined but the general pattern seems clear. First a society suffering from a deterioration in the character of its people, becomes impotent and stagnates. Its dissatisfied citizens ignore their own shortcomings and blame the existing order, its values and institutions. Inevitably growing public alienation creates a popular belief that some particular formula is the answer to their problems; one that will right all wrongs, but more importantly, overturn traditional values and eradicate existing privileged groups. Characterised by increasing hatred of the old order, anarchy increases and law and order disintegrate. This condition intensifies until events hand power to one person, who restores order through force carried out in the name of the much acclaimed new solution.
Regardless of the regime's pretensions, it is an absolute dictatorship ruled by a combination of propaganda and terror. This is advertised by the deaths of obvious agents of the old order and current rivals of the new ruler. Marxism became Stalin's excuse, National Socialism was Hitler's; neither creed was anything but public illusion.
The magical solution to all Australia's ills is obviously a multicultural republic, or so a growing number of citizens claim. The inane desire to become a republic is a akin to the feeling spoilt children have towards parental authority; the same public madness that persuaded the Chinese Red Guard to murder authority figures and serve them up in restaurants in 1969. Much as the Russians murdered their Tsar and his family, and the French republicans guillotined their King and Queen. Inspiration for the public clamour for change has nothing to do with reason but the opposite.
Australia's new ism - Multiculturalism - is a blind rejection of traditional values; choosing to adopt the opposite of previous views. Pommy, dago, wog, slope, poof are words coined by the old order, so in the name of multiculturalism legislation have been passed to make these expressions illegal; hence the anti-discrimination and anti-vilification laws.
Regardless of claims to the contrary, this stance is absurd. The, now illegal, words were inspired by communal experience, terms that evolved to quickly convey a wealth of meaning; they were not conjured up by the devil to upset delicate sensibilities. The owner who refused to rent a new home to an impoverished black lady with numerous children, was fined $18,000 in an Ingham court in May 1995. Undoubtedly the landlord could have been more polite, but to accept such a tenant would have been to deny a wealth of experience. Simple observation of similar cases displays such renters often ruin the property, upset the neighbourhood, and do not pay the rent. For the landlord to act otherwise would have been madness. The law attempting to compel financial suicide is the result of the perverse multicultural approach and is obviously crazy.
No society can be multicultured, different cultures have different values which make them incompatible; society either allows the state to execute criminals, or it does not; adulterers may be stoned to death or not; marriage either gives husbands free rein to treat their wives as they please, or it does not; the state may allow or proscribe abortion. Only one choice can be selected, and this must be supported by law, which effectively defines the culture of the country. Our society might have multiple foreign restaurants, citizenry that reflects a mixture of races, but it has only one legal code, and this is the single set of values that reflect our unique culture.
Naturally pretending we are something we are not and supporting this charade by legislation, demands laws that are not what they claim. The anti-discrimination act compels the very crime it is meant to suppress; blatant bias is now compulsory when choosing an applicant for a job. Unless selection reflects official prejudice an unsuccessful applicant can use the law to reverse it. This means that black must be chosen over white, female over male, cripples over healthy and sexually perverted over normal.
While in blatant contradiction of the non-discrimination policy is the enforced official racial discrimination known as Land Rights. Of all citizens, only aborigines may make land claims, thereby creating a privileged class of citizen based on race. Claiming one thing while doing the opposite confirms the insanity of the government, the law and the people who accept it.
To compel the pretence of one big happy multiculture and accelerate our descent into totalitarian madness, the racial vilification law is proposed. Such a statute can only be viewed as a symptom of public dementia, for it must kill freedom of speech while providing nothing of benefit. Giving increasingly nervous citizens a device to lash out easily at others when social conditions are deteriorating, can only have one result.
The satirical television cartoon comedy "The Simpsons" had an episode that graphically depicted what happens in such circumstances. To overcome constant bickering each Simpson family member was given the power to administer an electric shock to any other member of the family. Naturally the result was a chain reaction, after a slow start everyone was giving everyone else as many jolts as possible. That hilarious scene is about to be enacted by all Australians, only few will be laughing.
Our country used to be safe, boring and mediocre, much like pre-communist Russia, but all that has changed. The bronzed laconic tough Aussie has been replaced by a very different creature - its opposite. Loud, forward, strident, hysterical, arrogant, and ruthless; unrestrained by any sense of morality. The fanatics of the forthcoming tyranny are already apparent in Women's Rights, Gay Rights, Animal Liberationists, Ecologists and Anti-Smokers. These humourless self-appointed guardians of truth are the same mob that shouted Liberty, Fraternity and Equality as they raped, murdered and looted. The same criminals who sent millions to their death in Russian prison camps in the name of communism. The same lunatics who created the killing fields in Cambodia and the same murderers who created the death camps during the last world war.
Using the dreadful example of the Nazis as an excuse to enact radical legislation will not stop us repeating the crimes of the Third Reich. The lesson of the Holocaust is not that people have got to be restrained from hating Jews, but that nations go mad. The murder factories were not the work of a few evil men, but the inevitable result of a whole nation discarding reason. Hitler did not seduce the people, the people embraced Hitler because he said what they believed.
The declaration of the victorious allies at a post-war court that a few individuals were responsible for the attempt at genocide, was a blatant lie. Indeed, many of those condemned by this approach felt they had been made scapegoats. They knew their only crime was being obedient soldiers and dutiful citizens. They could not be held responsible for the nature of their orders, it was something completely outside their control. A view denied by the Nuremberg judges who claimed that orders did not absolve people from the guilt of their actions. The real guilty parties were not the officials who were merely doing their job, but the populace whose wishes they were fulfilling.
It is absurd to deny that unquestioning obedience of orders in wartime is essential. If these officers were guilty, then so were all the crews who manned the bombers that destroyed German cities, along with those who sent them. The list of guilty must include "Bomber" Harris, Churchill, Roosevelt and Eisenhower. The commandant of Auschwitz could be considered no more a criminal than the officer commanding Enola Gay, the plane that dropped the atom bombs on Japan. Both men had deliberately supervised the mass murder of non-combatants, both felt they were doing their duty, however unpleasant. By denying the reality of a direct order in war time, the allied judges were wrong and consequently they failed to identify the real crime, along with the real criminals. By adopting this stance the judgement at Nuremberg did not uncover but hid the insanity that induced National Socialism.
If the guilty were to be put to death then most Germans should have been executed. The killers were not just those left with the job, but the ordinary German who delighted in the Fuhrer' s speeches; who exalted in hearing how their poverty and frustration was a Jewish plot; who were thrilled to hear that Germans were the master race, whose destiny was world domination. Embracing such drivel as truth was the evil deed that inevitably resulted in appalling acts of mass murder.
The undeclared real crime was public acceptance of an irrational set of beliefs; the popular discarding of reason in favour of rhetoric. The horror of conveyor-belt murder was unleashed by ordinary citizens, millions of individuals each choosing to adopt nonsense and deny truth. The danger that threatens to engulf our nation, if not our civilisation, is this private failure; choosing to support fad instead of fact.
Australians are repeating the same tragedy by opting for the illusion of multiculturalism. The evidence of our plunge into totalitarianism is obvious to all who are not blinded by prejudice. While conditions have not yet become dangerous, they are certainly deteriorating. Radical new laws are being enacted, tensions are rising and the community is becoming polarised. When Von Papen attempted to improve his career by installing Adolph Hitler as Reich Chancellor in 1933, he unleashed a calamity that only ended with the deaths of millions and the invasion of his country. The mediocre Australian politician who instigates the Australian Republic, could well be doing the same thing.