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November 01st 2012 print

Frank Salter

The War Against Human Nature III

Part II: Race and the Nation in the Universities

In the October issue I reviewed elements of the quality media, mainly the Sydney Morning Herald and intermittently the ABC and SBS, for one year, from mid-September 2011 to August 2012. These media outlets represent the apogee of respectable, mainstream Left-liberal ideology in Australia, ostensibly the heart of sophisticated cosmopolitanism, what the elite read and watch. I found confused understandings of ethnic behaviour, numerous incidents of baiting and defamation of Anglo and white Australians, but no chauvinism directed at minority ethnic groups. The search was not exhaustive but the trend is unlikely to be altered by a few missed cases running in the opposite direction. Neither is the trend altered by articles that report unpleasant facts about minorities in a dispassionate manner. An example is a 2010 article by conservative columnist Andrew Bolt in the Melbourne Herald-Sun, a Murdoch-owned newspaper.[1] Bolt criticised the Victoria Police for suppressing information on the ethnicity of criminals and presented some statistics showing high rates of imprisonment for some immigrant groups. He did not use terms of abuse such as those directed at Anglos and whites in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Spread over twelve months, the hostility shown towards Anglo Australians occurred at a moderate frequency. Viewed in isolation it was not out of place. Some ethnic and ideological sniping is normal. Remarkable was the near total lack of similar abuse directed at minorities in the quality media and an absence of warmth towards Anglo Australians identified as such. Clearly the latter do not enjoy the immunity from defamation bestowed on migrant and indigenous communities. The review revealed a hierarchy of regard with Anglos and whites in the subordinate position.

In this instalment I examine the contribution of Australia’s universities to public culture regarding the national question. There was little evidence in the media I reviewed of academics stepping in to correct the anti-white bias and theoretical confusion. Could it be that the relevant knowledge is scarce in Australian universities, at least in the social sciences?

Indirect evidence that the ghost of Franz Boas still haunts the antipodean ivory tower comes from leading scholars of ethnicity and nationalism who I contacted. They could not name one Australian scholar who professes biosocial theory. This is in line with the survey reported in the first essay in this series in the June issue.[2] No political science or sociology department reported a scholar basing his or her research or teaching on behavioural biology. The skew towards Marxist and other environmental theories means that scholars of nationality do not know what to do with the wealth of findings drawn from evolutionary psychology, ethology, and sociobiology—except ignore them.

Further evidence comes from a recent student in a leading university studying nationalism, who reports that the approach was heavily Marxist. In the first year his course consisted of one week covering supposedly primordial theory and thirteen weeks of the usual fare. The core texts were Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities and Eric Hobsbawm’s Nations and Nationalism since 1780. I have also drawn on these texts as teaching material. But they need to be treated critically because both are radically constructionist. Both argue that ethnicities and nations are socially constructed, not based on realities of genetic and cultural similarity. The late Eric Hobsbawm was a Marxist at the London School of Economics who emphasised the recency of ethnic traditions and whose formulaic dismissal of behavioural biology allowed him to downplay primordial origins.

The interesting development among LSE ethnic theorists has come from the circle around Anthony D. Smith and Australian John Hutchinson and other scholars such as Walker Connor in the USA. Their comparative approach and theory of ethnosymbolism allows for behavioural and genetic factors to be introduced to the analysis. Unlike radical theorists they do not criticise Western societies as notably egregious. Smith’s seminal contribution has been to show that nation-states develop around ancient ethnic cores.[3] When clarified in biosocial perspective by theorists such as Walker Connor and J. Philippe Rushton[4] this finding contradicts the view that nations represent ideals or are secondary effects of class processes.

A Sydney Morning Herald editorial made this error in implying that the Australian Secret Intelligence Service’s mission is to stop the enemies of the open society. That would be a congenial outcome but is not its prime mission, which is to defend the Australian nation, whatever its present economic or social system. The great Enoch Powell made this point in discussion with Margaret Thatcher shortly before the Falklands War. The prime minister said that a strong defence force was needed to protect Western values.

Powell: No, we do not fight for values. I would fight for this country even if it had a communist government.

Thatcher: Nonsense, Enoch. If I send British troops abroad, it will be to defend our values.

Powell: No, Prime Minister, values exist in a transcendental realm, beyond space and time. They can neither be fought for, nor destroyed.

Mrs Thatcher looked utterly baffled. She had just been presented with the difference between Toryism and American Republicanism.[5]

Consistent with Powell’s distinction is the hierarchy of bonds. People are more likely to sacrifice for their nations than for abstract principles.[6] The nation is the largest secular entity able to elicit robust solidarity.

Implicit anti-white bias also contributes to the unbalanced analysis of the national question. A frequent approach is to treat Anglo ethnicity mainly as a risk factor for racism, but immigrant ethnicity as a legitimate and rich human value. Consider the immigration expert consulted by the Herald journalist who criticised the anti-Islamic activist cited in the first part of this article.[7] Professor Kevin Dunn is Head of School of Human Geography and Urban Studies at the University of Western Sydney (UWS). His reported comments were critical of anti-diversity and anti-Muslim views. Did the Herald journalist omit reporting comments sympathetic to Anglo concerns as normal in the circumstances? Professor Dunn’s publication list indicates not, and is a window into the world of academic multiculturalism.[8] His research is funded by the academic and multicultural establishments.[9]

Professor Dunn’s website lists forty-six publications and research projects, twenty dealing directly with racism and ethnic discrimination. Going by article titles and available abstracts, none study these phenomena among non-whites or Muslims. None study Anglo or white interests or victimhood. None indicate reliance on human universals or behavioural biology, while several claim a constructivist approach. Several do study Muslims’ and other immigrant groups’ experience of hostility, which is categorised as the product of a phobia among Anglos, implying groundless or excessive fear.[10] Several investigate Anglos’ denial of their own racism and privilege. Anglo racism and privilege, and immigrant victimhood, are treated as axiomatic. For example, the “new racism” is held to be a distinctively Anglo view of the nation as assimilationist, ethnocultural, or egalitarian, a narrow conception at odds with the civic nationalism on which multiculturalism is based.[11] Egalitarian images of Australia are a form of Anglo racism, it is argued, because they deny the supposed reality of Anglo privilege.[12] One paper published in 2011[13] reports survey data indicating that Australians of non-Anglo background were “significantly more likely than those from Anglo backgrounds and Australian-born respondents to deny that racial prejudice exists in Australia”. The paper interprets this as evidence of a pathology in Australian society in which subordinate ethnicities are discouraged from admitting that they suffer from racism. An alternative interpretation, that immigrants simply encounter low levels of discrimination, is apparently not considered.

Racial Discrimination Commissioner Helen Szoke’s hostile attitude towards Anglo Australia, discussed in the first part of this article, begins to look normal when compared with mainstream academic analysis. It is easy to find prominent academics whose writing on ethnicity promotes the transformation of Australia through immigration, shows a cold indifference to the Australian nation, and affords no place for human nature.

An example is a 2011 paper on Australia-Chinese relations and its implications for Australian politics, by Andrew Jakubowicz, Professor of Sociology at the University of Technology Sydney. Jakubowicz was foundation director of the Centre for Multicultural Studies at Wollongong University and collaborated with the Office of the Board of Studies of New South Wales to produce the award-winning website Making Multicultural Australia in the 21st Century aimed at school pupils. The paper[14] assembles important information about Chinese ethnic activism in Australia, beginning with the unseating of John Howard in the 2007 federal election, and the way their influence is based on strong representation in some professions and business sectors, on large targeted donations to political parties, and on international linkages mobilised by pan-Chinese nationalism. The Chinese community does not present a united front in advancing its interest, but Jakubowicz expects a front to develop because “a multicultural policy depends on well-organised ethnically-focused organisations able to both articulate interests of their groups, and engage in coalitions with similar groups to deliver broader policy outcomes that provide individual benefits to the groups, and to their constituencies” (p. 78).

The analysis then takes an ethnocentric turn. Instead of canvassing strategies Australia might adopt to protect its interests against a diaspora with ethnic ties to a nearby rising power, Jakubowicz constructs a brief for ethnic Chinese grievance against alleged white Australian racism. Citing Kevin Dunn among others, he states that the “Australian political system is still influenced by racist histories, while Asian immigrants still experience some forms of racism” (p. 79). He states that racism has been a defining characteristic of the Australian nation and has not dissipated. He mocks past concerns about Chinese invasion and declares the need to finally break down white racism in order to allow Chinese ethnics, in unspecified numbers, full participation in national identity and governance. Australia’s challenge, Jakubowicz argues, is finally to expunge its racialised state structure. The supposedly bitter legacy of Blainey and Howard must be buried and Chinese-Australian history made an integral part of the emerging Australian ethno-nationalist narrative (p. 81).

Jakubowicz commits some fallacies and emits some hostilities that resemble those found in the elite media. He simultaneously calls for minorities to organise ethnically to advance their corporate interests and condemns white Australians for any hint of doing the same. Evidence of white discrimination against Asians is not compared with data on Asian discrimination, for example the renowned success of cohesive Chinese middleman trading networks in dominating markets throughout South-East Asia.[15] In this view whites have no legitimate ethnic interests. Their only ethical option is complete acquiescence to minority demands, which represent bountiful legitimate group interests. Another consequence is that the call for Chinese-Australian participation in a reconstructed Australian nation is unrestrained by numbers. This is typical of multicultural ideology, that it allows for displacement of Western populations. The failure to discuss numbers also reflects a cavalier attitude towards Australian security in the light of Jakubowicz’s acknowledgment of the growth of pan-Han nationalism and its linkage to Chinese economic and military power. These potential threats will hinge on ethnic Chinese representation in Australian politics and business. A final fallacy is acceptance of Foucaultian constructionist theory unrestrained by human nature, which allows the fantasy that manipulation of Australia’s national historical narrative can produce something that has never existed, a diverse ethno-nation possessing the same benefits of social cohesion, social capital and allegiance that accrue to real nations. It is doubtful that Chinese-Australian interests would be served by allowing themselves to become allied with the grievance industry,[16] though this might advance Chinese regional hegemony.

Radical anti-Western analysis of race and nation is not new. Mistaken Identity: Multiculturalism and the Demise of Nationalism in Australia (1988),[17] by Stephen Castles and colleagues, assumes that Western societies have been inherently racist, including Australia, Western Europe and of course the United States. The racism concept is used promiscuously. Formally the book defines it as including affective links, and even criticises the “racism” of ethnic minorities who stick together. But “racism” is mainly used to convey the colloquial meaning of ethnic prejudice and hatred and is thus a term of opprobrium. This mixed meaning has helped make “racism” useful to social critics but next to worthless for serious analysis. On the one hand it is used reasonably to describe categorical hostility towards a racial group, but the same word is applied to liberal-democratic polities such as France and Germany in the 1970s. Australia is especially condemnable, the authors contend, because for much of the country’s history racism has been used in an attempt to increase social cohesion. Geoffrey Blainey’s 1984 criticism of high levels of Asian immigration on the ground that it threatened social stability is described as “an attempt to develop an embracing racist ideology”. One meaning not given to racism is defence of ethnic group interests or other adaptive functions. The concept is not floated. Overly liberal application of the racism concept obscures the distinction between ethnicity and race. Thus the authors claim that in 1992 Australia could not adopt the “racist” strategy of reaffirming its historical British identity because, in that year, only 75 per cent of the population were of British descent. But Britishness is an ethnic category, not a racial one. The white racial category in 1992 was much greater than 75 per cent of the Australian population.

In arguing for a socialist form of multiculturalism that eliminates group inequality, Mistaken Identity does not countenance ethnic differences in economic behaviour. In that countenance inequality can only be due to oppression or bad luck, which makes radical social engineering seem more appropriate. This leftist myth is still mainstream in the social sciences. For example, well into this century university courses in politics and sociology still do not cover group differences in IQ, a strong predictor of educational success and social mobility.[18] Greater weight is given to the mythical agency of white racism in producing inequality, setting the stage for Castles and his co-authors’ conclusion: “Above all, the history of white racism and genocide against the Aborigines must become a central theme of education and public debate, and an accommodation with the Aborigines must be achieved through payment of reparations and Land Rights legislation.” They add that Australia’s social organisation must be redefined to de-emphasise the nation-state because the national idea conflicts with the projects of abolishing white racism and maximising diversity.

Mistaken Identity suffers from the attempt to combine agitprop stirring and empirical analysis. Factors and analytically useful concepts that conflict with the policy agenda are simply omitted. Nevertheless, or perhaps consequently, the book has been remarkably influential. It has been issued in three editions (1988, 1990 and 1992), and many of its recommendations have been accomplished or are proposed, such as the present Labor government’s attempt to remove the last vestiges of Western history and Anglo identity from the national civics curriculum. The book has not hurt its authors’ careers. Consider the lead author. Stephen Castles has impeccable globalist credentials. He is a sociologist and political economist specialising in international migration and its transformatory effects. He has advised the British and Australian governments and has worked for the International Labour Organisation, the International Organisation for Migration, the European Union and other international organisations. He is presently Research Chair in Sociology at Sydney University. Earlier in his career, at Wollongong University, he was Director of the Centre for Asia Pacific Social Transformation Studies and, like Andrew Jakubowicz, Director of the Centre for Multicultural Studies (1986–1996).[19] The second author, Bill Cope, was also at the Centre (1984–1991) and was the Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (1995–96), when he was also Director of the Bureau of Immigration, Multicultural and Population Research in the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, and is presently Professor of Education Policy at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The third author, Mary Kalantzis, has also had a successful academic career and served as Commissioner of the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission and as Chair of the Queensland Ethnic Affairs Ministerial Advisory Committee. The radicals advocating the deconstruction of Western societies are not shouting in the streets at the establishment. By the 1990s they were in the establishment.

An extreme example of the politicisation of the field of ethnic studies is the school of “whiteness studies”. This began with a Marxist thesis developed in The Wages of Whiteness (1999) by American historian David Roediger. The thesis is that belonging to the white race brings unearned social and economic advantages. This is perhaps the theoretical basis for the claim that Anglo Australians are privileged. Australia has its own academic whiteness studies association, the Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association (ACRAWSA),[20] whose goal is to “[c]ritically investigate and challenge racial privilege and the construction and maintenance of race and whiteness”. A political agenda is evident in the failure to generalise the thesis. Do not members of other ethnicities and races benefit from group membership? Are there not wages of blackness or of Chineseness? Why are there only benefits for whites and disadvantages for non-whites? The school does not attempt to assess the costs of whiteness, such as affirmative action, at a time when the white man’s burden weighs heavily upon him. White societies around the world are in steep demographic and economic decline, a fact not easy to reconcile with the unchanging white hegemony alleged in whiteness studies. The sole emphasis on white privilege, in a diverse world in which that race is in headlong retreat, is difficult to distinguish from racial animus.

Another analytical flaw is the school’s dogma that race is a social construct, that it has no objective existence. The notion is found throughout the social sciences and humanities. Also absent from whiteness studies is the concept of ethnic interests, a recurring deficiency of contemporary ethnic studies.

Left radicalism does not monopolise academic ethnic studies in Australia. An example of moderate liberal analysis, though still lacking a biosocial dimension, is that of David Brown at Murdoch University. In Contemporary Nationalism (2000) Brown analyses multiculturalism as a form of corporatism that privileges minority communities. The effect, he argues, has been to withdraw state support from the majority and instead re-educate it in the “virtues and advantages of ethnic pluralism”.[21] Another invidious consequence has been that the majority are “portrayed as the ethnic community whose previous dominance must now be compensated for by their new subordination”.[22] Thus Australian multiculturalism has turned the state against the Anglo-Celtic majority, in contrast to the type of multiculturalism adopted in Singapore in which all ethnic groups, including the Chinese majority, receive corporate protection from the state.[23] Brown implies that what is being done to Anglo-Celtic Australians is unjust and also dangerous because states that exclude the majority from consideration are more likely “to face the … electorally destabilising wrath of the ethnic majority”.[24] He advocates individual-pluralist amelioration of ethnic diversity in which the state does not favour any side. The shortcoming of pluralism is that it pretends that all ethnicities are equal, putting the historical Anglo-Celtic nation on an equal footing with numerous immigrant groups. By not acknowledging and analysing ethnic group interests, pluralism would perpetuate the alienation of the state from the culture that established it.

The subjects of ethnicity and race are recurring weaknesses of social science stripped of behavioural biology. Academics and media commentators are frequently unsure of what these concepts mean and how they interact. This became evident in the controversy and court case concerning commentator Andrew Bolt. 

Bolt expressed scepticism about the genuineness of Aboriginal identity on the part of individuals who lack visible racial characteristics.[25] He was sued by nine individuals who objected that although they were light-skinned they identified with those ancestors who were indigenous and were hurt, humiliated and offended by Bolt’s remarks. In September 2011 the suit was upheld and Bolt was found to have contravened section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, though he had not been antagonistic to any race. His crime was not so much assuming that subjective identification necessary follows the weight of ancestry, but his application to self-declared Aborigines of a type of mockery that is usually reserved for white advocates: that their emphasis of ethnicity is extreme and divisive.

The guilty verdict was criticised by conservative commentators on the grounds that it impinged on freedom of speech. Bolt can also be defended on empirical grounds, though the evidence does not all go his way. It is true that indigenous identity can be felt by individuals who lack distinctive Aboriginal racial characteristics. But race can be a salient ethnic marker. Religion, language, dress and other cultural characteristics can mark ethnicity. But racial difference is important to external judgments of ethnicity because it is genetically caused and therefore persistent as an identity marker even after full cultural assimilation. And racial differences are visible at a distance. In mass anonymous societies appearance is the only information available about most people we encounter in public places. The language, religion, diet, personality and political views of those comprising a crowd might be invisible but their racial makeup is obvious.

Race is also a marker of descent, though it does not distinguish between populations of the same race. Difference of race signals at least some difference of ancestry, and at the heart of ethnic group feeling is the belief that the group shares ancestors. Surely it is significant that an individual of indigenous racial appearance is more likely to be perceived to be Aboriginal than one who looks white? A recurring theme in ethnic studies is someone “passing” for one ethnicity despite being descended from another, and the effect this has on status and social options.

Racial appearance can also complicate subjective identification. For a number of reasons individuals of mixed ancestry can identify with one set of ancestors more than another. As a result, hybridity does not remove race as a variable. A prominent example is Barack Obama, who has a black African father and a white mother. Despite being raised by his mother’s family and half his genetic inheritance being European, his ethnic identity tracked his African racial appearance. He devoted his post-Harvard career to advocating the interests of African Americans.

Another factor that connects race and ethnicity is genetic similarity, which at the population level is highest within racially marked ethnic groups. Similarity of ethnicity draws people together in marriages, friendships and networks, producing pockets of relative ethnic and racial homogeneity.[26] A result of this universal tendency to implicit ethnicity is that the overwhelming majority of ethnically and racially discriminatory acts are normal and morally neutral. The analytical challenge is to define the small subset that deserves condemnation, for example as “racism”. Criteria include contractual obligations and compassion but a useful definition cannot encompass universal adaptive choices. Ethnic solidarity can be adaptive because ethnic groups typically have different genetic interests, in the same way that families do but at a scale several orders of magnitude greater. A racial component to ethnic difference magnifies this effect. It seems that few if any in Australian social science departments understand that ethnic genetic kinship is real, has been measured and is substantial. I could find only one biosocial treatment of ethnicity or nationality in an Australian journal, and that was by me in 2008.[27]

The Left-multicultural approach to ethnic conflict dates to the early twentieth century in the United States and was a mature thread of the cosmopolitan critique of the West by the 1960s, for example in E. Digby Baltzell’s classic denunciation of Wasp ethnicity, The Protestant Establishment: Aristocracy and Caste in America (1964). Baltzell treated Anglos as possessing no legitimate interests that might be threatened by other ethnic groups and thus by mass immigration. He clinically examined Anglo-Americans, and only Anglo-Americans, for any sign of ethnic solidarity, inevitably finding symptoms which he promptly diagnosed as immoral. He treated immigrant communities very differently, as possessing legitimate interests that are often threatened by Anglo racism but which would be wholly benign if realised. In this perspective minorities harbour no competitive ethnic sentiments, a most improbable exception from human nature.

Biosocial analysis of the national question is less likely to get bogged down by ethnic or ideological loyalties because from the biological perspective all populations share the same interest in survival, status and resources. Science is not judgmental. There is much left to discover but the needed research orientation appears to be rare in Australian social science departments, the result of the West losing the cold war over human nature. Promising research topics include: the distinction between the strong force of group identification and the weak but ubiquitous force of similarity-attraction; how this distinction maps onto conscious and subconscious ethnicity; the development of ethnic consciousness from birth and how it sheds light on cultural, genetic and psychological influences; how the method of live brain scanning is contributing to this knowledge; sex differences in ethnic behaviour; the causes of socioeconomic stratification by ethnicity, including group differences in cognitive and personality traits; the evolution of behaviour bearing on ethnicity; group selection and aggregate kinship; slow versus fast life history strategies and ethnic differences; the nature of ethnic interests, proximate and ultimate; social technologies for stabilising ethnically stratified societies; and how all of this can affect political theory, in particular the design of adaptive political systems.

Scientific approaches are also valuable because they break taboos. In the case of ethnicity, one taboo is disloyalty on the part of minorities. This is considered unmentionable but is predictable from biosocial theory. The study of diasporas indicates that Australia’s diversity is likely to reduce its degree of consensus in foreign policy and cohesion in times and war. One subject of potential import is the potential risks posed by Australia’s growing population of immigrants whose ethnic homelands are in conflict with Australia. It is predictable that some will feel more moved by ethnic solidarity than attachment to Australia. At present this is true of the Islamic community, as expressed by the Sydney riot of September 15. An academic Muslim commented in the Herald (September 19[28]):

many Muslims in Australia do not simply give up their identity as belonging to a global community merely because they happen to live in Australia … when a Muslim woman is killed … in Afghanistan, these youth are angered at the fact that their sister was murdered. When a Muslim man is crushed to death in Palestine, they lament the loss of their brother.

A much greater potential threat comes from diasporas of regional powers. The risk is not sporadic violence but the diplomatic isolation of Australia. The United States is declining economically and its ethnic bond to Australia will weaken as the two countries’ populations become more diverse. At the same time Australia’s Asian population is entering the professions in large numbers, making their loyalty a relevant issue. Some fifth-column activity would be primed by the rise of nationalism in one or more diaspora homelands. Such activity could be initiated domestically or in regional homelands. Australia’s diversity is often praised for its vibrancy. It is also a potential asset to regional powers in attempts to separate Australia from its traditional ally.

Who else might the Herald journalist have contacted to provide a comment fair to Anglo Australians? Which social scientist would have explained that cultural pride does not somehow become “racial supremacism” when it is felt by white people, or that concern about sharia law’s potential threat to Western secular institutions is not incompatible with the values of modern society? Surely many have that knowledge but are not approached by the media.

The academic study of ethnicity is in line with the double standards, Anglophobia and irrationalism of the mainstream media’s reporting of ethnic affairs. This represents the victory of radical and anti-Western ideology first expressed by Franz Boas and his school. The deleterious effect on students can be seen in leaders ill-prepared to formulate adaptive policies on immigration and domestic race relations. The Left’s dogged advocacy of high immigration and multiculturalism, despite the overwhelming evidence of the anti-social and anti-equality effects of diversity,[29] raises questions about their collective state of mind. Have they taken leave of their senses?

At the minimum they have taken leave of their values by advocating the immigration of cultures that oppose gay rights and equality of women and are far more ethnocentric than Anglos or other Europeans. Bangladeshi-Australian psychiatrist Tanveer Ahmed observed in the Herald (July 26[30]) that Chinese and Indian immigrants are conservative and reject most of the social values of those who agitate for open borders. They are eager to vote for conservative parties—with the one caveat, Ahmed implies, that those parties pursue the unconservative policy of Asianisation. Ahmed makes clear that that caveat is not motivated by cosmopolitan sentiment. In Australia and America conservative parties that welcome Asian immigration gain the votes of ethnic Indians and Chinese. The priority given to Asian ethnic interests could not be clearer. From this perspective even John Howard was a positive influence, not because he defended religious schools and other conservative causes but because he favoured the ethnic interests of Asians, which includes Dr Ahmed’s own ethnicity. “[I]n spite of John Howard’s association with anti-Asian rhetoric, his Liberal government settled more immigrants than any before. It also did more to Asianise our country.”

Ahmed observes but does not explain the paradox of an Asianisation policy coming from a party that he thought “believe[d] in white Australia and a subservient immigrant class”. Nor does he explain the paradox of leftist leaders such as Hawke and Keating abandoning white Australia, with its weak ethnocentrism, and embracing the immigration of relatively intense ethnocentric cultures. A partial explanation comes from sociologist Katharine Betts, who observes that the greatest ideological distance between political leaders and followers is in the Labor, Greens and Democrats parties. She surmises that voters retain some national loyalty while elites have adopted international cosmopolitanism.[31] In effect the anti-Anglo Left, by having elements of its agenda embraced by the mainstream parties and the self-serving immigration industry, is succeeding in electing a new population which is far more tribal than the old. Something does not add up. Whatever it is that induces both sides of politics to suspend core values in situations where those values would benefit Anglo interests, it is not consistent with white hegemony or even white equality in multicultural Australia. Disinterested anti-racism would assume that the cause is hatred of Anglo Australia, which is consistent with the fealty to minority interests. A biosocial analysis—or a behaviourally-based sociological one—would search for more fundamental causes, such as competitive motives derived from conflicts of ethnic interests.[32]

The origins of Anglo and European intellectual self-hatred are obscure. George Orwell noted that sentiment in English leftist intellectuals in the 1930s. In an essay, “The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius”, published in 1941, he criticised most Left intellectuals for lack of patriotism. Orwell was critical of cosmopolitanism because it discounted the bonds of nation. He was a radical socialist but also loved his country and saw that it was threatened by Soviet and Nazi tyranny. He wrote the essay at a time shortly after Dunkirk when Britain was exposed to German bombing and invasion. The most moving section is titled “England Your England”. In it Orwell describes what the English identity meant to him and why national freedom was worth defending. He did not attempt to trace anti-English sentiment to its roots. Anti-Anglo cosmopolitanism was introduced to England as early as 1911, when Franz Boas presented his fresh “findings” about the plasticity of race at the Universal Races Congress held at the University of London.[33] The meeting was organised by the local branch of the Ethical Culture Society founded by Felix Adler, regarded by Eric Kaufmann as the first public intellectual to completely sever the ties of ethnicity to achieve a truly cosmopolitan consciousness.[34]

Another source of anti-Western sentiment was revolutionary Marxism, which conceptualised nationalism and ethnic sentiment as types of “false consciousness”. Anti-racism was at the heart of communism and was enacted by the Bolsheviks during their cosmopolitan phase up to the Second World War. Like Western multiculturalism, Soviet anti-racism was focused on protecting minorities. The regime directed the widespread killing of the Slavic majority, including the Ukrainian genocide of 1931–32 in which many millions were starved to death. In the 1920s the regime also considered the family to be a by-product of capitalism.[35] This was consistent with utopian socialist suspicion of parents discriminating in favour of their own children. Soviet meddling with the Russian family was as disastrous as any totalitarian utopian experiment and was withdrawn in the late 1920s. Its experiment with cosmopolitanism ended in 1941 when Stalin, desperate to put spine into the Red Army, called on Russians to fight the “Great Patriotic War”.

Though impractical, there is a certain logic to the rejection of nation and family, based on an analogy between national solidarity and nepotism. Both involve allegiance based on biological descent or tribe-like affiliation. And both take precedence over class solidarity. The analogy has proven scientifically fruitful in the form of a sociobiological theory that conceptualises ethnic solidarity as “ethnic nepotism”.[36] The utopian fallacy is to map an ethical argument onto the behavioural analogy, thus: If it is wrong to care more for a fellow ethnic than a randomly-chosen human, it must also be wrong to care for one’s own child more than a randomly chosen one. The argument is oddly premised and sequenced. A more realistic rendering goes something like this, setting caveats aside: If it’s acceptable or commendable to care especially for one’s child it must also be acceptable or commendable to care especially for members of one’s ethnic group or indeed any category for which one feels an attachment.

The weight of radical anti-national ideology in Australia is indicated by the pressure put on academics who contradict leftist ethnic policy. In 1984 Geoffrey Blainey was demonised when he identified the double standards of what he called the “immigration industry” in stereotyping Anglo Australia as racist while being routinely discriminatory against the white community and for immigrant communities:

Rarely in the history of the modern world has a nation given such preference to a tiny ethnic minority of its population as the Australian Government has done in the past few years, making that minority the favoured majority in its immigration policy.[37]

A more recent criticism of the Left-minority political establishment comes from Bob Birrell, reader in sociology at Monash University. Birrell has been subjected to name-calling from senior colleagues[38] because he is a rare social scientist whose analysis includes the costs of diversity and immigration to national cohesion. He argues that multiculturalism serves the interests of minorities, especially in keeping the immigration doors open to a continual flow of co-ethnics. He implies that minority solidarity has been marshalled by leftist politicians to bolster their electoral prospects. For one analysis he drew on the work of Patrick Buchanan in his book The Death of the West.[39] The end result, Buchanan argued, will be the subordination of white populations in their homelands. In February 2012 Buchanan was fired as a senior news analyst by CNBC for expressing similar views.

The most Stalinist example of academic intolerance was reserved for actual advocacy of Anglo ethnic interests. In 2005 Andrew Fraser, associate professor of public law at Macquarie University, criticised the immigration of black Africans on the ground that they commit crime at higher rates than do whites. Fraser was suspended from teaching duties and an article in which he documented his assertion was censored from the Deakin University law journal by the university’s vice-chancellor after it had passed peer review and been accepted by the editor.[40]



Anglo Australians are a subaltern ethnicity. They are second-class citizens, the only ethnic group subjected to gratuitous defamation and hostile interrogation in the quality media, academia and race-relations bureaucracy. The national question is obscured in political culture by fallout from a continuing culture war against the historical Australian nation. Many of the premises on which ethnic policy have been based since the 1970s are simply false, from the beneficence of diversity to the white monopoly of racism and the irrelevance of race. The elite media and strong elements of the professoriate assert that racial hatred in Australia is the product of Anglo-Celtic society. But in the same media and even in the Commission for Race Discrimination most ethnic disparagement is aimed at “homogenised white” people.

What would correct the situation? At the minimum, analysis based on human nature needs to be injected into the study of the national question. Behavioural biology is necessary but not sufficient for that project. The conservative intellectual heritage also needs to be revived and updated for modern times to breathe compassion and affection for Anglo Australia into ethnic studies. The philosophy of Edmund Burke regarding homeland and national cohesion—that a healthy society resembles a family with obligations to generations past, present and future—is supported and signified by the discovery of ethnic kinship, the benefits of relative homogeneity and the issues raised by the political arena’s expansion to the global stage.

Such reveries appear hopelessly academic when confronted with the intolerance of Left intellectuals and an immigration industry that exercises undue influence on the Australian state. Initiatives by isolated academics will be inadequate to counter entrenched politicisation. Dissent exists but not many have the tenure or the stomach to suffer isolation and contumely. Lone heroics are simply not a viable strategy for young scholars seeking to build careers studying the national question without teaching lies. It will be necessary to organise.

One or more Anglo councils are needed, non-governmental organisations along the lines of other ethnic councils but oriented more towards promoting the scientific study of ethnicity and nationalism. The council should also advocate for Anglo Australians, broadly defined. An Anglo council, and ultimately a federation of Anglo councils, would defend its constituents’ ethnic interests—against defamation, exploitation and demographic swamping. It would demand full representation in multicultural bodies and seek consultative access to government. It would lobby for schoolchildren to be taught the true history of the nation. It would affirm its attachment to the land of Australia. And it would insist that if any people is to be recognised in the Constitution, pride of place should be given to that which founded the nation and provided its infrastructure, political and legal systems, culture and language. Representing the core national identity and the majority of Australians, such a council should adopt a conciliatory role to smooth ethnic relations but in a manner compatible with defending its constituents’ rights and legitimate interests. The effect would be to democratise multiculturalism and the immigration industry by giving the majority of Australians representation in those spheres for the first time.

The handful of existing Anglo-Australian associations mostly promote culture and the English language, including the Britain-Australia Society and the English Speaking Union. The body that most closely approximates an ethnic agency is the British Australian Community, a small service organisation originally established to provide assistance to British immigrants.[41]

The rise of a powerful Anglo-Australian lobby would acknowledge the partial separation of nation and state. The latter would be treated as it is conceived in classical liberal theory—a Leviathan of incomparable power that can be hijacked by hostile forces. In a diverse world of self-serving elites, the state inevitably develops agendas that sometimes conflict with the national interest. That has happened in Australia since the 1960s. The case can be made that the nation needs its own institutions, a national lobby that represents its constituents’ ethnic interests. Such a national whip would defend Anglo-Australia’s interests against a political class that has been squandering those interests for decades. That is one, perhaps the only, way, to retain the benefits of the nation-state in an era of mass migration and self-serving elites.

Frank Salter (website socialtechnologies.com.au) is a political ethologist who consults on the management of conflict and diversity and is a visiting scholar at the University of Sydney. His first three articles on “The War against Human Nature” appeared in the June, July-August and October issues. Footnoted versions of these articles appear on Quadrant Online.

[1] Andrew Bolt (2010). Tell truth on ethnic crime. Herald-Sun, 19 March. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/tell-truth-on-ethnic-crime/story-e6frfhqf-1225842538542, accessed 26 Sept. 2012.

[2] Salter, F. K. (2012). “The war against human nature in the social sciences.” Quadrant 56(6 (487)): 49-57. http://quadrant.org.au/magazine/issue/2012/6/the-war-against-human-nature-in-the-social-sciences

[3] Smith, A. D. (1986). The ethnic origins of nations. Oxford, Basil Blackwell.

[4] Connor, W. (1993). "Beyond reason: The nature of the ethnonational bond." Ethnic and Racial Studies 16(3): 373-389.

Rushton, J. P. (2005). "Ethnic nationalism”.

[5] Casey, John, “The Revival of Tory Philosophy”, Spectator, 14 March 2007.

[6] Salter, F. K. (2002). “Ethnic nepotism as a two-edged sword: The risk-mitigating role of ethnicity among mafiosi, nationalist fighters, middlemen, and dissidents.” In Risky transactions. Kinship, ethnicity, and trust. F. K. Salter (ed.). Oxford and New York, Berghahn: 243-289.

[7] SMH, 21 Aug. 2012, p. 3.

[9] Nine of Kevin Dunn’s projects have received grants, mostly on racism and multicultural themes. Six were supported by the Australian Research Council (ARC), Australia’s peak research funding body. Two were funded by the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) in collaboration with similar bodies working at the state level. One was funded by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. One study, of “Intolerance and Discrimination towards Minority Cultural Groups in Victoria” was funded by the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, in 2006-7.

[10] E.g. See the abstract of Dunn et al. (2007). “Contemporary racism and Islamaphobia in Australia: Racialising religion”, Ethnicities, 7(4): 564-89. http://etn.sagepub.com/content/7/4/564.abstract, accessed 25 Sept. 2012.

[11] J. Forrest and K. Dunn, 2006, “Racism and intolerance in Eastern Australia: A geographic perspective”, Australian Geographer, 37(2): 167-86. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00049180600711082, accessed 25 Sept. 2012.

[12] K. Dunn et al. (2004). “Constructing racism in Australia”. The Australian Journal of Social Issues, 39(4). http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=937672105564037;res=IELHSS, accessed 25 Sept. 2012.

[14] Jakubowicz, A. (2011). “Empires of the Sun: Towards a post-multicultural Australian politics.” Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Journal 3(1): 65-85.

[15] Chua, A. (2003). World on fire: How exporting free market democracy breeds ethnic hatred and global instability. Doubleday.

Landa, J. (2002). Cognitive and classificatory foundations of trust and informal institutions: A new and expanded theory of ethnic trading networks. In Risky transactions. Kinship, ethnicity, and trust. F. K. Salter (ed.). Oxford and New York, Berghahn: 129-142.

[16] Keith Windschuttle, “Chronicle”, Quadrant, October 2011. http://quadrant.org.au/magazine/issue/2011/10/keith-windschuttle.

[17] Castles, S., B. Cope, M. Kalantzis, and M. Morrissey (1992). Mistaken identity: Multiculturalism and the demise of nationalism in Australia. Sydney, Pluto Press, pp. 139-48.

[18] Gottfredson, L. S. (1997). “Why g matters: The complexity of everyday life.” Intelligence 24(1): 79-132.

Lynn, R. and T. Vanhanen (2002). IQ and the wealth of nations. Westport, Conn., Praeger.

Lynn, R. and T. Vanhanen (2006). IQ and global inequality. Augusts, Georgia, Washington Summit Publishers.

[20] ACRAWSA’s website is at http://www.acrawsa.org.au/about/.

[21] David Brown (2000). Contemporary nationalism. Civic, ethnocultural and multicultural politics. London, Routledge, p. 139.

[22] Brown, p. 132.

[23] Brown, pp. 139-41.

[24] Brown, p. 141.

[25] Bolt, A. (2009). It’s so hip to be black. Herald-Sun. Melbourne, News Ltd.

[26] McPherson, M., L. Smith-Lovin, et al. (2001). Birds of a feather: Homophily in social networks. Annual Review of Sociology. K. S. Cook and J. Hagan. Palo Alto, California, Annual Review. 27: 415-444.

Rushton, J. P. (2005). "Ethnic nationalism, evolutionary psychology, and genetic similarity theory." Nations and Nationalism 11: 489-507.

[27] Salter, F. K. (2008). "Evolutionary analyses of ethnic solidarity: An overview." People and Place 16(2): 15-25.

[28] M. Tabbaa, “He’s my brother – why angry Muslim youth are protesting in Sydney”, SMH, 19 Sept. 2012, p. 11.

[29] Frank Salter. (2010). “The misguided advocates of open borders.” Quadrant 54(6). http://quadrant.org.au/magazine/issue/2010/6/the-misguided-advocates-of-open-borders.

[30] Tanveer Ahmed, SMH 26 July 2012, p. 11.

[31] Betts, K. (2004). "People and parliamentarians: The great divide." People and Place 12(2): 64-83, p. 79.

[32] Baker, D. G. (1978). “Race and power: Comparative approaches to the analysis of race relations.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 1(3): 316-335.

[33] Spiller, G., Ed. (1911). Papers on Inter-racial problems: A record of proceedings of the first Universal Races Congress held at the University of London July 26 to 29, 1911. London, King and Son.

[34] Kaufmann, E. (2004). The rise and fall of Anglo-America. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, Chapter 5.

[35] Heller, M. (1988). Cogs in the Soviet Wheel. The formation of Soviet Man. London, Collins Harvill, p. 200.

[36] van den Berghe, P. L. (1981). The ethnic phenomenon. New York, Elsevier.

Salter, F. K. (2007). Ethnic nepotism as heuristic: Risky transactions and public altruism. Handbook of evolutionary psychology. R. I. M. Dunbar and L. Barrett. Oxford, Oxford University Press: 541-551.

[37] Geoffrey Blainey, “Race and debate”, Bureau of Immigration and Population Bulletin 11: 34-7. http://www.multiculturalaustralia.edu.au/doc/blainey_1.pdf.

[38] Geoff Maslen, “The devil in the detail”, The Age, 8 Feb. 2011. http://www.theage.com.au/national/education/the-devil-in-the-detail-20110207-1ajz1.html, accessed 1 Sept. 2012.

[39] Buchanan, P. J. (2002). The death of the West. How dying populations and immigrant invasions imperil our country and civilization. New York, St. Martin’s Press.

[41] http://britishaustraliancommunity.com/, accessed 1 Sept. 2012. While the BAC still bears the expat stamp, it has broadened its mission to include fighting defamation and promoting awareness of the British contribution to Australia. The organisation is small, confined mainly to Melbourne and Adelaide, and is marginal to the multicultural industry. It does not have the ear of government.