My first post on Leftwrites is entitled “The Eurocentrism of Australian Socialism”
Here is my most recent comment on that discussion……
The point of real connection with Aboriginal Australia is spirituality, not ideology. It is about the heart not the head.
Anyone who has had any cross-cultural experience will realise there are differences in values and logic. It is human spirituality that provides the unity and universalism.
Despite the ignorance and cultural blinkers of, for example the old CPA, it is the fact that they could feel the pain of Aboriginal people and were motivated to action by it. The power of the recent Mulrunji protests was because of the pain of the situation was obvious.
If we have some ideational equation that Aboriginal people fit into as a factor of logic then we have a spiritless, objectified conception that is formed by the ideational equation with no inherent reality. This is the basis of ALP and conservative politics, Aboriginal suffering is reduced to a question of politics – if there is a mass movement such as occured in 1988 or in the backlash to the Palm Island killing then the politicians respond to the mass movement and its potential or threat in terms of the electoral agenda. There is not a spiritual connection that feels the pain, therefore inadequate options become acceptible, as long as the political agendas are satisfied.
What is lacking in both left and right politics as a result of existing in a dysfunctional hierarchical society is spirituality. I am not talking of the illusory Jesus, Bhudda, Mohamad or any other charachter of literature which manifests also as just an ideological equation and institutional framework. I am talking about individual and collective psychological frameworks.
Western society operates with intelect (the head) as the primary motor of human activity. Our spirituality (the heart) is repressed and forced to conform to the constructions of our head. This results in individual mental ill health as well as the collective political directionlessness that our governments and institutions lead us in.
The alternative is to listen to our hearts, individual and collective, and allow it to express itself unrestricted by notions of logic and rationality. Once the perspective of our heart is clear we then use our head to be as clever as it can in facilitating the agendas of the heart. A reversal of consciousness polarity.
Western society has evolved from thousands of years of war, disruption, colonisation, feudalism and capitalism. This is the historical circumstance into which our generation was born. We can see the cultural damage that this has done to Aboriginal people over 200 years yet we have been suffering this same dispossession and degeneration for 10,000 years or more and we have become used to it, accepting it as the normal or baseline condition. In a Pavlovian or behaviourist framework we, as a society, have developed a habitual consciousness to conform to out own alienation and repression.
If socialists, or anyone else fails to transcend the historical consciousness of war, colonisation and dislocation then all they can do is get ever more elaborate ideational equations and models which remain as simply opinion and do not manifest in real terms in history.
If we percieve Aboriginal people as oppressed “just like us” then we are listening to ourselves and not to them and cannot feel/see/hear their pain or their prescriptions for what will relieve that pain. We objectify their spirit and their suffering and appropriate it as logical factors or notions in our own “thinking” – the contained domain of the head.