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July 16th 2018 print

Paul Collits

Australia, It Vanished While We Slept

Like the concerned locals of Britain and, increasingly, of Europe, who every day must confront a new world not of their making, many Australians also feel something fundamental has changed. To put that sentiment in a few words,  'We have lost our country'

australia IITwo current must-reads are Douglas Murray’s The Strange Death of Europe and Sir Roger Scruton’s Where We Are: The state of Britain now. Each in its own way, and with a very British focus, speaks to the current malaise afflicting much of the West, and certainly Australia.

Setting aside muddled and weak leadership (with the now notable exception of the United States); universal cultural and moral decline; confusion over shared and, increasingly, disagreement over non-shared values; awful corporate behaviour, now revealed on a regular basis; gangs in suburbia; the disgrace that our national parliament has become; the bullying and non-platforming of opinions disagreeable to the elites; and fawning political correctness by the comfortable yet “woke” inner-city trendoids and their cheer squads – setting all this aside – there is something else at work that is creating a sense of deep and broad malaise among the so-called Deplorables and Dis-cons among us.

That something is the growing sense that “our country isn’t ours any more”.

The markers are there and all around us – the unease at China- linked companies buying land and key infrastructure assets (a concern shared, extraordinarily, by both Clive Hamilton and the National Civic Council); whole suburbs of our cities becoming ghettoes, often violent and unsafe; that feeling of walking into the public reception area at Sydney Airport and wondering, “Where am I?  Is this Australia?”; being forced by our politicians and cultural elites to bow and scrape before the religion and religion-related regulations, objectives and lifestyles of our recent Middle Eastern arrivals. And so on.

Douglas Murray speaks to this unease, as does Roger Scruton.  Murray hones in on the sudden and, for Britain, unprecedented mass migration that has occurred in the UK since the late 1990s, initially championed by Tony Blair’s Government and pursued in a bi-partisan way thereafter.  He also claims, in particular, that this sudden new policy was justified in very dubious ways, and was effected without the permission of the public.  The push-back, as seen in the Brexit vote, has been palpable.

Scruton has provided what will one day become the go-to conservative case against rampant globalisation, with its free movement of capital across borders and the mass movement of people around the globe.  These developments, were allowed, indeed encouraged and championed, by governments in the West, andc they took place largely without anyone’s explicit, democratic permission and subtly, piece by piece, without even the knowledge of most of the public.  Scruton refers in particular to the decision taken by the UK Government of the day to allow the ownership of land by foreigners as a critical development – but merely one – in a chain of events that has seen, ultimately, the dismembering of communities, regions, traditions and sub-cultures.

All this has been allowed in the interests of global financial, cultural and corporate elites who move ideas, people and capital around the world for fun and profit.  And it has been underpinned by a globalist philosophy which values unencumbered individual freedom and diversity (of course) above all else – including, specifically, community and nation. Notions of local culture and community are but the quaint affectations of now-ignored peoples.

Another writer, Stan Stalnaker, has described in detail the emergence of what he terms “hub culture”, where globally networked large cities have more in common with other “global cities” that with the rest of their own countries, especially the suburbs and regions populated by Deplorables.  The inhabitants of the urban islands of these global archipelagos tend to be highly connected knowledge workers, embedded in urban lifestyle cocoons and increasingly corporate in employment and woke in outlook.  These hipsters form an emergent class of the much travelled, highly networked, tech savvy, socially liberal, uber-tolerant, globally focused, diversity loving, mostly millennial inner-city crowd which routinely, perhaps even unconsciously, adopts a set of values increasingly at odds with those who live and must deal on a daily basis with the the mass migration so favoured by the elites.

For Scruton, the urban inhabitants of today are essentially “without place”, geographically unmoored occupiers of space rather than being rooted in community, and certainly not enamoured of those “durable institutions” treasured by more tradition-loving communities, including those much assimilated communities formed by earlier waves of migrants.  These urban ubermensch are doing the business of global business, while at the same time ushering in a self-regarding, self-satisfied, secular, utilitarian culture.

In the world observed by Murray and by Scruton, the few remaining old Londoners are a shrinking and uprooted minority who now must share their space with, on the one hand, well-heeled members of the globalist elite, corporates and their ilk, and on the other, with the new arrivals of what Melanie Phillips describes as “Londonistan”.  These arrivals are the fruits of the EU’s respective obsessions of mass migration and, most recently, of endless kindness to the displaced Muslim refugees shunted into Europe by Frau Merkel.

Australia, of course, has a very different history and a certain affection for orderly migration, what with all the early British and Irish migrants who made their way across the globe in order to start a new lives.  Their migrant successors after the Second World War, coming now largely from Italy, Greece, Christian Lebanon and other Mediterranean source countries, came with similar bravery and intent, and were, too, welcomed with open arms.  Right down to the much welcomed (by most, excluding dear old Saint Gough) Vietnamese boat people of the 1970s.

The deal, I believe, was that the intention of migrant arrivals to make their homes here and to embrace our way of life was repaid by much affection, except for the old grumble and a few jokes that would now be regarded as racist.  The White Australia policy was eased out without much objection half a century ago.  Even greater numbers were later admitted to the country, again, with relative ease and little furious objection.

But now it is different.  Very different.

Like the concerned locals of Britain and increasingly, of Europe, who confront a new world not of their making, Australians too feel that something fundamental has changed, and that “we have lost our country”.  Just observe the rightly annoyed commenters on articles related to these matters at The Australian, multiple Facebookers and the substantial support for the newly formed MAGA-style political organisations and other, not so recently formed parties with similar foci.

What explains the heightened concerns?

Partly it is the character of the migrants that has changed.  They often now seem to come for our welfare system, not for our lifestyle or values.  Their numbers are certainly up.  They bring their old problems and enmities with them.  They are far more prone to buy up whole suburbs.  They seemingly eschew assimilation.  Every now and then they kill one of two of us who were here when they arrived. Older migrants resent this as much as native Australians.

These might be, to some minds, overblown perceptions.  But they are the real nevertheless and strongly felt by many.

And while all this new and turbo-charged mass migration, often driven by economic and real refugees movements, has crept up on unsuspecting home Anglosphere populations, the operating culture of the West has also shifted beyond recognition, at first imperceptibly then with greater force and brazenness, to a creed of multiculturalism, nihilism, individual autonomy-without-ties for the woke, and, for many migrants and the home underclass, welfare dependency.

With all these powerful forces, “countries” are now merely real estate for global businesses.  We occupy spaces not communities.  Our network interactions occur mainly while we are staring at computer screens in our bedrooms and offices.  Many of our citizens are rootless, bound now merely by non-communitarian and non-traditional values and by global economic opportunity.  The Burkean platoons which drove our communities of yore are no longer embraced across cultures of origin.  Many of us live alone in urbanist towers, not in family homes.

We scurry about our various businesses and affairs, and we upload the important pieces of our lives to faceless machines which convey our doings and “likes” across cyberspace to global destinations.  Our host culture, the one which once upon a time welcomed most heartily those who came here to get to know us and to live with us and live like us, is now self-absorbed and immersed in its own autonomous pursuits.

The strangers come, and they remain strangers to us.  Unlike old fashioned incoming citizens, these twenty-first century arrivals are merely “based” in Australia. They carry Australian passports, but what else of their country’s heritage and culture is valued by them? Likewise our homegrown globalist millennials.  Yes, we have lost our country, just like the concerned Britons described by Murray, but to put it in such words is to tell only half a truth. Fact is, if we  have not ourselves given our country away, we have allowed our political and cultural masters to do so for us.

Now, as a consequence, we hear how people are “based” in Australia, rather than being Australian.

Comments [7]

  1. ianl says:

    > ” … if we have not ourselves given our country away, we have allowed our political and cultural masters to do so for us”

    and:

    > ” … this sudden new policy was justified in very dubious ways, and was effected without the permission of the public”

    The contradiction is glaring, obvious. Either we (the non-hipsters) allowed the political/bureaucratic/meeja segment to strip our culture – or it was done surreptitiously, without electoral permission or even awareness.

    Obviously it cannot be both, yet this contradiction is repeated frequently by people who mean well but who cannot bring themselves to face the truth. Of course this treason was done surreptitiously, piece by piece, without any public justification. It is now a “fait accompli”. The Aus electorate will not do anything except grumble loudly since voting is brickwalled by surreptitious bipartisanship – it is this electoral characteristic that makes Aus so easy to manipulate.

    It’s the people. Abuse of power is quite acceptable, it seems.

  2. Sert says:

    Had these same thoughts this morning. I live in a flat by myself looking out to a brick wall. I walk to the corporate office and have this one-and-a-half metre space to work in with my computer. I often think that if I had lived in Eastern Europe before the wall came down whether life would have been better. My boss is micro-managing and it is all about survival. There is no merit. There are no virtues. I feel I have been taken for a ride by working so hard when so many above me szmooze around on much higher wages and don’t seem to do much.Incompetence abounds along with widespread selfishness… as well as a silence because you dare not complain.

    I live in a horrible flat because I cannot afford a home with a garden. I will never be able to afford a home in Sydney (that most single people are unlikely to afford a home was confirmed by the Treasurer which in another time would have been howled down by conservatives as an admission that a single-income earner with a family also cannot afford a home).

    I live in a suburb where I often think there is no point in re-visiting Singapore where I used to live for a few years, because Singapore is here.

    But what disturbs me most is how different my lifestyle is compared to growing up and what I imagined my life would be. Never would I have thought that I would end up alone. And alone is alone. Flats, apartments are filled with people like me.

    When I grew up people seemed happier. Brighter. We went out more. We visited people’s homes. There were more families. Together families. Larger families. Now you would be lucky to see a large together family.

    • Mohsen says:

      Cheer up, Sert!

      Think of those who are not alone but wish they were. Look at it differently: Those who are not alone are in a state of continual toleration, compromise, adjustment, and being tolerated by those who have relieved them from aloneness; you’re free of all of them! That’s a lot of positivity.

      Adopt a dog or a cat or any other animal; pets, the beings that will give you love nonstop, being cute and sweet in their demands, harassing not your thought independence, threatening not any possible threats, and above all being completely free of all and any bad and nasty qualities and attributes that are and can only be assigned to humans!

      (I am not crying or feeling sorry for myself here!!!)
      :-D :-D

    • Robinoz says:

      Sert, our major cities are either stuffed or becoming stuffed – they are like so many others overseas. The solution for you is to get yourself a job in one of our numerous country towns (if you can) and go west, north, or somewhere where there is still a bit of Australia left.

      There are literally thousands of beautiful places across Australia. Find one that appeals to you by way of climate, population density and if you can get a job there, you’ll be much happier and have a better life. Go soon before they too are a distant memory.

    • ChrisPer says:

      Sert, go join a church. OK-to-wonderful people, good stuff to learn, strong community support.
      Take someone a casserole and take time to chat.

  3. Alistair says:

    For my money the real evidence of this “Lost your country” business is the treatment of Tommy Robinson by the British Police and legal system. The banning of Gert Wilders from visiting etc. The forces of law and order are no longer on “our” side – we are their enemy. Tommy Robinson is jailed to protect what in effect have become government endorsed rape gangs. Watching the Victorian Police and judicial system at work in particular I cant help feeling the same is happening here. The police appear to be running part of a protection racket for immigrant criminals.

  4. Julian says:

    This is (sadly) entirely accurate and brilliant. Keep it up.