Australian Socialism, Racisim and a tinge of Stalinism.
I have to admit that the motivation for writing this article comes from being censored on “LeftClick” – an Australian socialist blog connected to the Socialist Alliance and the “Green Left Weekly” – in a discussion about the relationship between non-Aboriginal activists and Aboriginal Australia. This is the “tinge of Stalinism” to which I refer. – see Left Click link here.
I should be concentrating on an article about the colonialism of the green movement which I have foreshadowed on an earlier post – “Censorship by the Wilderness Society, what next?”
But this is not too much of a distraction as the essential problems and solutions are the same. Both socialists and greenies operate within a white colonial paradigm and are ignorant of their own position in maintaining white supremacy while mouthing rhetoric of solidarity with Black Australia. Both socialists and greenies need to undergo a period of self education and open mindedness to consider the real implications for us of Aboriginal notions of country and society as well as immediate Aboriginal political agendas.
Here is one of my comments on “LeftClick” .
“However if us migrant folk create a movement that tries to incorporate Aboriginal agendas into the canon of “Left” agendas then illusions will be generated about Aboriginality in order to make it fit into the other sacred cows. “One struggle, one fight, women, workers, blacks unite” is a myth of the women and the workers about the blacks. When Kev Carmody released his first album “Pillars of Society” it was boycotted by the Brisbane feminist movement because of the song “White Bougoise Woman”, claiming it was mysogenist.
The highpoint of left support for Landrights was the Gurindji struggle where the CPA ran a successfull union campaign for equal wages for Aboriginal stockworkers. This resulted in the mass sacking of Aboriginal stockworkers resulting in their dispossession from their tribal lands – many ending up populating the Alice Springs town camps. Because the CPA missed the essential point of Land Rights – that the Gurindji own their land, and found a common denominator “Left” demand – equal wages, they created a lethal distraction from the main issue causing much suffering. The “Left” defined the Gurindji as “workers” – they created Aborigines in their own image.”
In Australia the working class has developed as a necessary component of the imposed industrial capitalist economy. There was no working class here until there was capitalism and the both grew together in a symbiotic, yet unfair, history.
Around the beginning of the twentieth century, the highpoint of European socialism, two significant historical events occurred in Australia. One was the development of trade unions and the other was the rounding up of the remnant Aboriginal population from rural areas and incarcerating them on Aboriginal reserves and missions. Up until then there had been over a hundred years of armed resistance to the expansion of white agriculture. The last decades of the nineteenth century saw the native police and their paramilitary commanders systematically massacre aborigines providing any resistance to the new farmlands.
The first trade unions and the first Aboriginal reserves in Australia were both created at the same time and the same place – North West Queensland. The Great Shearer’s Strike had no sympathy for the genocide and oppression of Aboriginal people, one of their slogans was “Australia for the white man”
The reserve system and Aboriginal protection laws mopped up the survivors of the war. Only now was it safe for pastoralists to propagate their sheep, cows, pigs, wheat, sugar etc. These developments lead to the necessity of a growing working class.
Today the struggle for control of the means of production is fought over between capital and labour over an economy that was stolen in the first place from Aboriginal people who are poor and unhealthy today as a direct consequence of the original theft. Imperialism and colonisation has always involved the transmigration of a working class as the primary occupation force in securing land from indigenous people. British and Scottish workers in Ireland, Indian workers in Fiji and south Africa, Australia’s white Australia policy, Indonesia’s transmigration programs.etc.
This link is to a longer essay on these issues which I have taken some of the above from “Neo-colonialism in Australia”
This link is to Dr. Gary Foley’s essay “Whiteness and Blackness in the Koori Struggle for Self-Determination”