Doing Battle with the Devil 2: denial, ignorance and the psychology of racism

There is currently a discussion thread on the “Online Opinion forum” called “Entitled to sympathy but not an apology”  http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=6079

This article contains insights suchs as

“The Dreamtime also exerted a powerful inhibition to experimentation.”

“By 1788, Indigenous Australians and Europeans had the same intellectual potential but their brains had some very different neural networking.”
“As this continent’s occupants were tribal, a tribe moved over a loosely defined range of land. In stark contrast, the colonists had a strong concept of an individual’s title to a measured allotment of land.”

“While acknowledging the inevitability of colonisation, the activists should also acknowledge that the Aborigines were fortunate that it was 18th century England which did the colonising. They would have been enslaved and worked to death if it had been 16th century Spain.”

I have contributed the following comments under the name “King Canute” to the discussion of the article.   http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?article=6079

1st comment…..
I am not at all surprised by the opinions expressed in the article and some of the comments. It accurately expresses an emotive hostility towards Aboriginal people that is very common. What I am surprised about is that the editors of this forum allowed it to go up, not because of its contraversial opinion but because of its total lack of academic or journalistic integrity. Every point made is a prejudiced adherence to one particular point of view in some hypothetical academic debates with no evidence at all one way or another connected to scientific anthropology or Aboriginal culture.

The word limit prevents a serious rebuttal, but in very broad terms, please consider.

pre-1788 Aboriginal society, whatever it was, existed for a long time in a sustainable way with plenty of non-work time for artistic and cultural pursuits.

Modern, “civilised” Australian society is a new phenomenon, as is industrialised society around the globe. This new society has systematicalyy polluted our air, water and soil and now we are cooking ourselves with greenhouse gasses. Everybody is working very hard and rarely gets time for anything except resting from work, and suffering cancers, heart diseases and mental health disorders. Sperm counts in the industrialised nations are plumetting.

Our civilisation is a dysfunctional devolution that of itself is the single greatest threat to our own survival as a species.

If we do not radically change the nature of our “civilisation” then we are all stuffed.

And secondly, in 1788, British society was largely illiterate, was just discovering a vaccination for smallpox, used leaches in medical practice and the city of London was a filthy stinking den of all kinds of infection because of lack of education and infrastructure about sanitation. Australian Aborigines were healthy and free. Joseph Banks comments on their health and athleticism in his journal of the endeavour voyage. Yet Banks, and the author of this article still persist in notions of cultural superiority.

2nd comment….
1788
Why is there so often a blanket dismissal of Aboriginal culture as a return to 1788? Why do people think Aboriginal culture has stopped there and not developed over 200 years like English culture has?
Contemporary culture in Arnhem land or Redfern is a reality right here right now, not in 1788 or in museums.

Nomads
I always get a chuckle when Aboriginal society is refered to as nomadic. For thousands of years people lived in in this continent within stable tribal estates, where generation after generation they were born and buried in the same place. Then along came these people from the other side of the world who move house every few years as their job changes and they call Aborigines nomadic? Most Australian’s extended families are scattered all over the globe as a result of our nomadic existance for the last several generations

The megafauna (mentioned in the article).
Tim Flannery, who came up with the idea that the big wombats were hunted into extinction, emphasised that he had no idea what really happened to the animals and he just had a hypothesis. The part of Flannery’s hypothisis that is always ignored is that thousands of years ago humans learnt from the mistake and instituted environmental protection laws including cull limits that explains the ecological sustainability of Aboriginal culture for so long.
But he, nor anyone else knows really.
Recently, with all the climate change research going on, it has been found that their was major climatic change occuring at the time of the megafauna’s dissapearence and that has now become the flavour of the month hypothesis discussed byt those experts who haven’t really got a clue.

Too many unproven theories by people who don’t really know are being used to cloak and justify an underlying psychological hostility to Aboriginality which has, unfortunately, been a big part of our national character.

post script

I have also just added this comment…………….

Firstly a couple of bizzarre quotes from the article which I challenge anybody to try and explain.

“The Dreamtime also exerted a powerful inhibition to experimentation.”

“By 1788, Indigenous Australians and Europeans had the same intellectual potential but their brains had some very different neural networking.”

Then some comments on some other quotes.

“As this continent’s occupants were tribal, a tribe moved over a loosely defined range of land. In stark contrast, the colonists had a strong concept of an individual’s title to a measured allotment of land.”

The following is a link to a map of Aboriginal tribal boundaries (you can even find the tribal area that you live in)http://www.samuseum.sa.gov.au/orig/tindale/boundaries_intro.htm

“While acknowledging the inevitability of colonisation, the activists should also acknowledge that the Aborigines were fortunate that it was 18th century England which did the colonising. They would have been enslaved and worked to death if it had been 16th century Spain.”

This link (PDF) is to the Queensland legislation that forced every Aboriginal person in Queensland either onto a reserve or onto a farm as an unpaid labourer (slave)
http://www.foundingdocs.gov.au/resources/transcripts/qld5_doc_1897.pdf

“Sea-faring canoes from Indonesia were touching the north coast maybe 1,000 years ago. These people saw no point in leaving their fertile islands for semi-arid land. Eventually people who had the technical capacity to come in from the south would be arriving – and when they did, they would be colonising the place.”

This link discusses the ancient trade with the Macassans.
http://aboriginalrights.suite101.com/article.cfm/macassancrew

Trade routes ran from Australia into Asia and beyond prior to Cook, for thousands of years without anyone trying to colonise anyone elses territory – just trade.

which brings us to the question of invasion.

The article states
“The January 26, 1788 is referred to by some as Invasion Day. That label is potentially divisive. There was no invasion. When Hitler’s armies crossed into Poland under orders to destroy every trace of the administrative infrastructure: that was an invasion.”

A war by any other name would smell the same.
https://paradigmoz.wordpress.com/australias-hidden-history/

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under australia, history

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s