The Trojan Doves of the Diversity Advocates

Perhaps the only consistent aspect of Australian political life is the relentless advocacy for programs of social “betterment”, and the ease with which they obtain access to the mass media and representation among its commentariat. Since conservatives have proven themselves to be the political tribe least capable of instantiating their worldview, it does not matter who occupies the highest executive or legislative offices; the rhetorical momentum seems always to move in one direction: towards the ideological utopianism of social engineers committed to the artificial “advancement” of Man and the synthetic rearrangement of the communities in which he lives. As the following example from the world of identity politics, multiculturalism and intersectionality illustrate, these progressive blueprints of collective “improvement” are little more than rationalisations for the exercise of a ruling power.

In “‘Anglo Club’ Runs Politics: Labor MP” (Sydney Morning Herald, 25 November 2021), Annika Smethurst noted the publication of an otherwise unremarkable article by the federal Member for Wills, Peter Khalil, for the student magazine of the University of New South Wales Law Society, Court of Conscience.[1] To summarise the key points in Khalil’s article, “How Systemic Racism Holds Australia Back: A Discussion of the Lack of Cultural Diversity Within Australian Politics and the Law”, the under-representation of “non-white ethnics who are non-Indigenous People of Colour” within the “highest levels of leadership in politics and the law, where the major decisions are made that impact all Australians and shape our place in the world” is ipso facto evidence of “insidious institutional and structural racism” in modern Australian society.[2] Smethurst additionally noted the example of Kristina Keneally’s “parachuting” into a federal parliamentary seat ahead of a local candidate of South-East Asian heritage as an example of an Anglocentric political culture within the Labor Party.[3] The intended irony is in the image of a political force resisting the progressive agenda which has been the basis of its own claims to “pro-active” multiculturalist legitimacy since at least the Whitlam years. This leads Khalil to ask, “Why do our legal and democratic institutions not accurately reflect the diversity of our society?”[4]

Both Khalil and Smethurst’s work is unremarkable insofar as their unified narrative has now assumed the status of political mantra. Despite its pretences to dissent or rebellion, there is no risk associated with its publication anywhere within the mainstream of politics, media or the academy. It is indigenous to the culture of both Labor as well as the Liberal and National parties. Its validity is rooted in repetition and the highly moralised language in which it is framed: only an oddball would question a truism, and only a bad person would reject something declared virtuous by seeming unanimity. However, despite these authors’ assumptions of their unimpeachable impartiality, on closer inspection it is the proponents of this narrative who tend to suffer an “unconscious bias” of their own.

Questioning the Evidence Base: I
Deconstructing Key Statistics

The key statistic relied upon is that 58 per cent of the Australian population is Anglo-Celtic, while the upper echelons of the political and corporate elite are overwhelmingly populated by members from this demographic. This is held to be prima facie evidence of embedded structural discrimination, or at least illustrative of the conditions for a culture in which minority groups are blocked from occupying positions among the decision-making class. The classical objection to this is that it ignores other factors that may lead to these strictly statistical “imbalances”. Groups cannot be expected to be neatly represented across classes in any organic system on some ethno-cultural pro rata basis, and the more complex the system, like a postmodern national community, the greater the variations can be expected to be. For various cultural, economic, political or historical reasons, cumulative trends within certain demographic subgroups may reasonably see their individual members favour involvement in particular spheres of public life while avoiding others. This, in and of itself, is not evidence of injustice; it is evidence of the natural variation that we find among individuals and the subcultures they comprise, whether they are categorised by race, sex, ethnicity or any other criterion. Being obvious, the inevitability of natural variations will not be the platform of the following critique. Instead, what follows will question the evidence base for Khalil’s proposition that these must be addressed through administrative and managerial programs such as the institution of quotas and “affirmative action”.

Tim Palmer, an ABC journalist of three decades standing, writes in an item on Michael West’s blog about the “junk data” that has been the basis of calls for the implementation of more aggressive diversification policies in media, business and politics (September 2, 2020).[5] In an echo of the manner in which statistical abuses have buttressed leftist moral panics in other areas of heated public debate,[6] the often cited figure of 58 per cent is far from an accurate representation of Australian demographic reality. In fact, its origin can be found in the nexus of corporate and quasi-governmental social activism, and it is subject to the errors routinely encountered in statistical analyses of this type. According to Palmer, Media Diversity Australia (which early popularised the figure) relied on a report of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Leading for Change 2018, which itself drew on data provided by the “Race and Cultural Identity Employee Resource Group” of the Reserve Bank of Australia.[7] Their calculations have subsequently been used to ground the claim that the Anglo-Celtic demographic was statistically overrepresented in positions of high-profile visibility: for example, constituting 79.1 per cent of parliamentarians.[8]

The argument holds that almost four-fifths of leadership positions are occupied by people representing less than two thirds of the population, and that this is indicative of some sort of social evil. As Palmer explains, the first mistake was to compartmentalise Australians into four categories based on the single criterion of “ancestry”. Indeed, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has since cautioned against using this data, distanced itself from the ancestry criterion for over a decade, and suggested that analyses should incorporate variables such as parental birthplace, language and religious affiliation. The second mistake was in the manner in which people with split ancestries were treated statistically, which significantly distorted results by counting those as non-European. Palmer quotes Glenn Capuano, former senior census officer at the ABS, that “the RBA must have classified me as non-Anglo-Celtic European” simply because part of his heritage was Italian, despite his self-identification as “99 per cent English”.[9]

Khalil’s underlying assumption is therefore that any differentiation is automatically to be perceived, if not as an outright injustice, then at least with suspicion. However, it is interesting to note that these statistical variations seem only to be a selective cause for alarm. Consider for example the governing body of the UNSW Law Society under which the Court of Conscience paper was published, where Anglo-Celtic representation is negligible (and that is to put it generously). This does not seem to be “problematic” in the eyes of the doctrinaire multiculturalists, will never be identified as anomalous by the bons hommes of inclusivity, and is not a concern for “social justice” journalism.

Questioning the Evidence Base: II
The Premise and its Sources

Khalil’s entire thesis is based on the non sequitur that an equitable, functioning democracy and ethno-culturally proportional representation are positively correlated, and that this should be an unquestioned maxim of the modern multicultural state. In a now famous (or infamous, depending on one’s perspective) interview with Der Spiegel, the founder of Singapore cautioned against such conceited hubris. According to Lee Kwan Yew, electors in such societies prioritise identitarian interests above the economic when exercising their democratic franchise.[10] At the risk of seeming presumptuous, the late President of the multicultural and multiracial city-state is probably a more reliable authority on how such societies function than a comparatively pampered Labor MHR from northern Melbourne, who counts a request to have his goatee removed[11] as emblematic of the “structural” oppression he has had to suffer in a career that led him to positions at the Department of Defence, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, and eventually to become the national security adviser to former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

Khalil’s career trajectory is not emblematic of a struggle against an oppressive “Anglo Club” in Australian politics. Lee Kwan Yew’s assessment of how an ethno-culturally diverse democracy operates in practice is incorrect only to the extent that it clearly doesn’t apply to the “Anglos” who populate this allegedly exclusionary “Club” in Australia. Consider the sheer absurdity of a Reserve Bank having something called a “Race and Cultural Identity Employee Resource Group” within its corporate structure; consider also human rights commissions and publicly funded entities dedicated to media diversity co-operating with it to promote multiculturalist agendas through advocacy for crypto-legislative and corporate regulatory means. In contrast to the incessantly slanderous rhetoric emanating from the “progressive” commentariat, Australian business and civil society appears to be firmly committed to the multiculturalist doctrines of diversity and inclusivity.

Moreover, the sources Khalil relies on for the proposition that there is a “pervasive systemic racism” in Australian public life are all predicated on the existence of this alleged epidemic of “hate”; it is the very raison d’être of the journals within which they are published.[12] If one’s research were to go beyond publications such as Ethnic and Racial Studies, Race & Class, A Journal of Racism, Empire and Globalisation, or Race and Justice: An International Journal—which form the intellectual bedrock of a large component of Khalil’s thesis—there appears to be some evidence to suggest that ethno-cultural minority groups may have attitudes incongruous to those presented by activist spokesmen in the mainstream press. This naturally raises the suspicion that the activist agenda does not lead to a more equitable politics or a better functioning liberal democracy. What follows will be a very brief exploration of a number of studies that contradict or challenge the progressive narrative; they are not an exhaustive list of authorities but appear here as a representative sample of research that is infrequently mentioned in public discourse on this subject of policy reform.

Questioning the Evidence Base: III
Does Multicultural Australia Want a Multicultural Parliament?

Summarising prior research by Dr Gianni Zappalà of Sydney University, a 2006 Briefing Paper of the New South Wales State Parliamentary Library by Karina Anthony found that ethnic electors are actually content to be represented by Anglo members of parliament, for a number of closely related reasons.[13] The first is the fear that ethnic representation may fuel expectations of nepotism and the consonant social pathologies that this may foster. Second, an elector from one ethnicity may feel inhibited about building a relationship with his representative, if that representative is from a historically hostile culture (and, presumably, this problem would be magnified in proportion to the size of the ethnic demographic in question, leading to social and perhaps even geographic balkanisation). Furthermore, an ethnic representative may himself feel inhibited in making representations due to either a self-perception of illegitimacy, or external perception of bias, when considering a public position regarding an ethnic or cultural issue. Finally, an Anglo representative is reported to engender trust among ethnic electors, and enjoys an inherent perception of impartiality due to his being removed from the matrix of conflicting subcultural politics altogether.

Karina Anthony further noted the “curiosity” of the ethnic respondents in Zappalà’s research reporting that they nevertheless still felt there were too few ethnic representatives in politics, despite their declared preference to be represented by an Anglo parliamentarian.[14] This apparent contradiction between their feeling and preference lends credence to their aforementioned concerns about the consequences of potential ethnic in-group biases, whether conscious or unconscious, which would harm—not enhance—the quality of democratic praxis. This is no baseless speculation. By referring to a statistical analysis of the number and nature of questions and speeches delivered to parliament, the Briefing Paper further notes that “ethnic interventions” which were specifically related to “homeland issues” (that is, foreign matters) were concentrated in ethnic electorates with ethnic parliamentary representation, and that those representatives would “transcend their geographic electorates, and often their party mandates”, effectively departing from a “constituency based role” in favour of one in which they became national advocates for pan-ethnic issues.[15] Khalil unintentionally hints that these issues risk being further aggravated with the passage of time when he writes that electorates in which ethnic subcultures already constitute a civic majority “create momentum for NIPOC [Non-Indigenous People of Colour] minority candidates”.[16]

Public sentiments may have shifted since the publication of the Briefing Paper. Nevertheless, is what is described above a blueprint for a healthy democratic parliamentary representative polis? Will this improve the quality of national and state politics? Will it help to alleviate the plague of identity anxiety and create a more functional public square? I am inclined to suggest that it would most likely only to exacerbate the social pathologies of the status quo. It is not a solution, it is part of the problem to be solved. Lee Kwan Yew understood this from his experience as the steward of a country coming of age in an ethno-politically tumultuous environment; sadly, our political elites (of whatever hue) seem to be ambivalent to these lessons of history.

Reports from some ethnic community organisations which echo these concerns, such as the British Australian Community, are drowned out and dismissed by a political establishment selectively enamoured to the multicultural paradigm.[17] The reader must be reminded (times being what they are) that the above is sourced from a publication of the public service at a state parliament house which relied on academic material from one of Australia’s most prestigious centres of learning, neither of which are exactly hothouses of “chauvinistic” “reaction”. Just as the affirmative-action programs of self-declared ethnic activists are based on a flawed interpretation of what the community actually desires, the multicultural paradigm has likewise not been immune to robust criticism from within the social sciences. Many of these criticisms have been published in mainstream academic journals and authored by professionals who are either Left-liberal in their tone, rhetoric and past pronouncements, or at the very least, politically ambiguous.

Questioning the Evidence Base: IV
Is Diversity Strength?

The best-known example is the work of Professor Robert Putnam, presently of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. His 2006 Johan Skytte Prize Lecture concluded that the immediate impact of multicultural diversification results in reduced inter-personal solidarity and a collapse in social capital, a reduction in altruistic behaviour and lower rates of community co-operation, as well as a contraction of friendship networks within the culturally diversified community.[18] His paper, “E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century”, published in Scandinavian Political Studies the following year, relied on data from the United States and ended on a relatively optimistic note despite its damning findings. Since its publication, those findings have been tested and refined by subsequent studies conducted within comparable multicultural communities in Europe, the United States and Australia; it is curious why they don’t attract more attention from policy analysts and public commentators.

Furthermore, Peter Thisted Dinesen, Merlin Schaeffer and Kim Mannemar Sønderskov have engaged in extensive research in this area of social inquiry, and obtained results that broadly echo Putnam’s conclusions. Their 2015 study for the American Sociological Review into inter-ethnic exposure and social trust in Denmark found that the negative effect of diversity is higher in the “micro-context”, such as in residential areas.[19] Five years later, in a meta-analysis of eighty-seven similar studies for the Annual Review of Political Science the authors found a “statistically significant” negative impact of diversity on social trust to be a consistent phenomenon.[20] These social trends are likewise reflected in our national experience despite the spirit of Australian exceptionalism, which holds that we have nothing to learn from other countries regarding immigration and related policy.

The findings of one 2014 Australian study published in the Journal of Urban Affairs also partly supported Putnam’s conclusions: the authors, Rebecca Wickers et al, unsurprisingly found that what Putnam broadly refers to as the “hunkering down” effect was more pronounced among the general population than existing immigrant groups.[21] One year later, the European Sociological Review echoed the findings of the Australian study in the first longitudinal test conducted in the United Kingdom in this area of research. Authors James Laurence and Lee Bentley most notably found that multiculturalism’s negative impact was greater among those who remained in the diversifying community.[22] Again, unambiguously negative trends resulting from social diversification were confirmed. However, here we have an additional injustice in that the most impacted is the native population which has to suffer the indignity of “internal migration” to escape their local home communities. That native populations find their neighbourhoods increasingly intolerable to live in is a rarely acknowledged problem; instead, political elites are more likely to demonise the victims and pathologise their complaints.

In the same year as the Wickers study, a discussion paper by Ruud Koopmans and Merlin Schaeffer for the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung, concerning research into the native perception of diversity in Germany, France and the Netherlands, found that statistical ethnic diversity had negative effects in five measures of social cohesion: trust, collective efficacy, connectedness, reported social problems and overall satisfaction with neighbourhood life.[23] The study also dispelled the theory that these negative impacts were a function of socio-economic inequality, since the presence of more materially wealthy and economically mobile persons was correlated with higher levels of neighbourhood trust and confidence. The authors recommend that these negative trends can be ameliorated by moderating the perception of diversity, and favoured an integrationist approach to citizenship (that is, not one that accentuates difference).

Other studies have likewise been conducted that broadly challenge the prevailing “progressive” orthodoxies. The relevant literature has been summarised by the Australian sociologist Dr Frank Salter, formally of the Munich-based Max Planck Research Centre for Human Ethology, in his entry for the Oxford Handbook of Evolution Biology and Society (2018).[24] Moreover, these trends are not limited to the civic environment. Dinesen, Sønderskov and Frederik Thuesen’s 2018 research on social trust in the workplace likewise found that negative trends were consistent with earlier studies into diversity and trust in the broader social setting.[25] Additionally, Guy Madison’s study into the effect of Swedish political affirmative-action programs, published the following year in Frontiers in Communication, found that they are effective only as a power-grabbing scheme for the favoured group—those programs’ implementation was found to harm the targeted organisation’s operational integrity.[26] Similar research in the private sector, such as Howard S. Schwartz’s Narcissistic Processes and Corporate Decay (1990)[27] and Society Against Itself: Political Correctness and Organizational Self-Destruction (2010)[28] has illustrated that the same issues are encountered in the corporate sphere when “politically correct” solutions to socially-constructed pseudo-crises and other non-problems are forced onto organisational structures for purely ideological reasons.[29]

Scientific debate in this field of social inquiry has become so highly politicised that these studies—which cannot be called “advocacy research”—are reluctantly if ever acknowledged in pseudo-academic publications like Khalil’s Court of Conscience paper, or quasi-journalistic boosters such as that of Annika Smethurst. Yet Khalil’s and Smethurst’s work exemplifies the character and tone of discourse in this area; neither of them attempted to so much as note the existence of alternative views and the data these are based on; instead, they are written in a tone of exasperated impatience, of obviousness and inevitability, where opposition is unthinkable so alternatives are not contemplated. If the social sciences are the “epistemic arms of political science”, as Joel Davis writes in Firstness Journal,[30] and if accurate perceptions of social trends are therefore the key to the implementation of good policy, then it defies the imagination how selective attention to those trends will lead to anything other than disappointment, followed by force. After all, if desired outcomes do not eventuate—and they won’t, since unflattering data is simply ignored—they must be made to, through a coercive managerial regime.

In other words, since no organic system will ever behave with the mathematical accuracy social reformers would be content with, interpreting statistical imbalances in demographic representation as “injustices” to be corrected will lead to demands for incessant legislative and managerial intervention. That intervention, being at war with the natural variations that occur in any organic system, will forever be at war with human nature, and lead to the very real injustices we have witnessed in the “scientific” regimes—both totalitarian and liberal—of the past century. Instead, constructive and critical self-reflection should be an automatic reflex for those who purport to shape social policy or comment upon it in the news media. Failure to do so leads to one-dimensional policy and a potentially fatal mismanagement of the organs of civil society.

Dangerous Ideological Basis of “Progressive” Reforms

The wilful blindness of utopian social engineers results in highly partisan programs that seek to correct perceived social or institutional defects through legislative and regulatory fiat. Richard Hanania, formerly of the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University and current President of the Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology, offers a brief illustration of the theoretical basis for this agenda and its consequences. Writing in the context of the United States, his “Woke Institutions is Just Civil Rights Law” (2021) describes how activists rationalise their push for socially-engineered change:

This firstly requires a belief that any evidence of disparity is automatically evidence of discrimination; secondly, that arguments against such a charge (presumably because they are deemed “hateful” and therefore illegitimate) must be prohibited to avoid a “hostile work environment”; furthermore, private bureaucracies are to be instituted to promote and enforce the above two views; finally, and perhaps most importantly, due to the inherently nebulous nature of the concepts involved and the unequal claims of right that competing individuals and groups can appeal to when prosecuting or defending their positions, enforcement inevitably becomes inconsistent on a case-by-case basis.[31]


This is the same rationalisation we witness among the “social justice” advocacy lobby in Australia. It applies to the public as well as the private sector, a distinction that is rapidly blurring as a result of the growth of the managerial therapeutic state, its public-private alliances where each party defers ultimate responsibility to the other whenever there are calls for accountability from those aggrieved as a consequence of “restitutive” deprivileging and disenfranchisement. The privileging of one group over another through the vehicle of identity politics is also the reason why many see it as a fundamental repudiation of the traditions of the common law, and therefore an offence against classical notions of individual liberty. Unfortunately, there has been little to no effective opposition to these programmes notwithstanding who and what political faction is elected to high office.

Observations, Consequences, Predictions

The example of Kristina Keneally’s imposition into the federal seat of Fowler has probably more to do with the incestuous and morally corrupt factional dealing in the Australian Labor Party—its hothouse of tribal intersectionality—than any attempt to block the locally preferred candidate simply due to her Vietnamese heritage. At least in this example, it appears that the “Emily’s List” cosa nostra trumped Labor’s branch-level ethnic political identitarianism. Khalil implicitly acknowledges the existence of the latter when he complains about the historical exploitation of minority communities for party branch-stacking purposes.[32] While he shows a keen interest in demographic and statistical comparisons to illustrate alleged representational imbalances in the world of business and politics, it would be interesting to apply the same analysis to the ethnic and cultural composition of the branches in his Federal Electoral Conference. Can we expect that environment to be representative of the broader Australian society? The reader can only speculate whether his criticism is sincere, or if it is only intended for the well-intentioned yet gullible public.

It is undeniable that the narrative of “systemic racism”, which is pushed by multiculturalists and Critical Race Theorists alike, has induced a toxic response among the intended beneficiaries of progressive emancipatory agendas. It has encouraged the targeting of individuals based on their perceived “privileged” status, and in a perverse reversal, systematically disenfranchised them in social discourse. In the January-February Quadrant, Harry Cummins refers to these activists as “racial avengers who seek supremacy while demanding an equality they already enjoy” and who accordingly “act as if they were the prosecuting counsel in a trial of their benefactor’s culture and history”.[33] Cummins writes about this dynamic in the context of international affairs. It is readily apparent that the same phenomenon appears in the domestic political agitation of the so-called “coalition of the fringes”, and its incessant agitprop against the cultural mainstream. He continues, “Our suicidal tendency to abase ourselves before any accuser not only ensures that cynical villains triumph, but it is often actually the catalyst for their worst behaviour.”[34] Those who object to this assessment need only be pointed to the explosion of racialist pulp recently authored by writers such as Richard Delgado, Jean Stefancic, Ibrahim X. Kendi, Shannon Sullivan and of course Robin DiAngelo.[35] What is needed is a complete repudiation of the politics of self-hate among whatever is left of mainstream elites, lest we foster a pathological and neurotic national community incapable of meeting the challenges the world presents. A full-throated defiance may in fact be the source of a revived sense of collegiality, camaraderie and community.[36]

Despite his historical experience, Khalil cannot today claim to be a member of a systemically disenfranchised identity category—a strong case could well be put for the contrary position. To suggest that a kind of arbitrary vilification of ethnic immigrant groups (or indigenous Australians, women, and religious and “sexual minorities”) still exists among the cultural and political mainstream is simply delusional. In contrast, for a member of Australia’s foundational population to express any kind of in-group preference today would be an instant career-killer and lead to his immediate social ostracism, “cancellation”, de-platforming and disqualification from polite company—unless of course the self-identification is “de-centred” and wrapped in the language of self-negation. Various social and economic as well as existential evils are routinely placed at the feet of his group—“whites”—while the group itself is denounced as “socially constructed”, non-existent, and his self-identification therefore illegitimate,[37] even though it is made according to the same criteria for which he (presented as a stereotype of his own identity) is routinely defamed and humiliated.

Despite this tactical nihilism systematically practised against him, human resources departments, appointment and preselection committees know exactly which group he is a member of when corporate or political quotas need to be filled; then he can expect to be seated at the back of the bus. This allegedly “privileged” demographic, to which Khalil counterposes himself, still nominally comprises a majority of the Australian population. It is difficult to image how his race-baiting and corrosive tropes aren’t more responsible for stifling economic growth or communal flourishing than the claims of alleged minority disenfranchisement pushed by him, his co-ideologues and political handlers. Khalil’s data establishes that “European” Australians (as distinct from “Anglo Celtic” Australians) are actually underrepresented among the elites,[38] yet the affirmative-action policies he proposes cannot, of course, be expected to include quotas for those who hail from the Old Continent; the very idea seems laughable, and that is quite revealing.

The concentration of people who are categorised according to ethno-racialist taxonomies among the elite (such as “NESB”, “CLAD” and “NIPOC”, all of which are referenced in Khalil’s Court of Conscience paper) is less revealing of what ideas dominate political discourse—and translate into government policy—than simple observations of what kind of rhetoric is currently publicly acceptable. To illustrate how his terminology and analysis are neither scientific nor in good faith, those same labels are absolutely prohibited to his ideological opponents if used in support of counter-arguments. This is the situation now, in the allegedly “oppressive” society that does not yet have the benefit of his social and legal re-engineering. What presently constitutes “taboo” is a far more accurate indicator of the character of the national discourse on controversial topics, than the proportion and distribution of whichever demographic constituency among the political and corporate elites. In this sense, Kristina Keneally’s North American-derived liberalism is even more militant in its oikophobia than Khalil’s Australian multiculturalist advocacy—it is arguably more effective as well—despite her “whiteness” and his non-Anglo cultural heritage.

Khalil’s demographic-representational analysis is therefore grossly misleading because it fixates on categories that rigidly treat inherently “fuzzy” concepts of identity—its varieties, distribution, concentration and the political ramifications thereof. He acknowledges that the implementation of affirmative-action programs for “NIPOC” is difficult (on account of overlapping identities and problems associated with individual versus aggregate category definitions) but this does not lead him to reflect on the efficacy or impact of his proposed solutions.[39] Palmer likewise states that such methods of recording demographic diversity have “a distinctly Apartheid-era South Africa feel to [them] and [they’re] not very scientific. But it’s hard to come up with an alternative method for collecting this data.”[40] One obvious way to avoid the impact of policies with such a distinct feel might be to simply not implement them. The only practical outcome of any of these proposed initiatives would necessarily involve the disenfranchisement of groups that fall outside of the “NIPOC” matrix on a seemingly arbitrary and therefore irrational basis. This might include members of immigrant groups that for some policy (that is, ideological) reason are not afforded membership in a protected class, in contrast to those who appear “Other” despite being born and raised in Australia, such as Khalil himself.

It does not take much effort to imagine that these “solutions” to alleged structural racism may, over a short period of time, lead to a de facto stratified socio-political caste system as a function of “progressive” policy translated directly into law and corporate regulation. Aggressive multiculturalists promise to heal the wounds of the world through such “woke” activism; however, the persistence of populist and reactionary politics throughout the Western world illustrates that old resentments will merely be replace by new antagonisms. As Michael Anton shows in an incendiary essay in the December 2021 issue of the New Criterion, the underlying ideological structure for this has already been laid by radical agitators operating in the political and cultural arena since the mid-twentieth century, and we are now experiencing the unprecedented levels of damage that they have wrought.[41]

Compare the legal and mass-media reactions to similar crimes that are infused with diametrically opposed ideological subtexts. This was the subject of a brief reflection by Pedro Gonzalez in the January 2022 issue of Chronicles, where he contrasted the incongruous prosecution of James Alex Fields to Darrell Brooks, and the commentariat’s grossly inconsistent appraisal of each case.[42] The media refusal to acknowledge any political motivation to Brooks’s attempted multiple homicide in Waukesha—despite copious evidence of anti-white racial animus found in his social media presence—betrays a general trend in reportage which enthusiastically fans the flames of Black Lives Matter outrage, while turning a blind eye to the consequence of its own mob-agitation.

None of this would be possible without the operation of programs and policies that split societies along tribal lines while slandering the core social group and pathologising its opposition to extreme-Left social engineering at the same time. Khalil may be correct in theory when he writes that a “leadership gap diminishes social cohesion”[43] as a result of the alleged otherisation of minority groups, but betrays no self-reflection on how his own position—taken to its logical conclusion—otherises the mainstream. His concluding statement that all should enjoy the “full unimpeded opportunity to participate in any area of society” irrespective of “ethnic, religious or cultural background”[44] is wholly inconsistent with the easily predicted mechanics of his proposed solution, or its underlying ideology: it is nothing more than disingenuous cant, a Trojan dove, and should be treated accordingly.


Krzysztof Karoń writes in Historia Antykultury [“The History of Anti-Culture”, 2019] that the character and direction of a culture are determined by its value system,[45] meaning the unspoken consensus among a people who share language and history and which determine behavioural norms. Law, whether legislative, common or customary, is a reflection of moral paradigms reflected into universally applied principles of justice. Assuming that a people are to live in a stable and cohesive community (not multiple, overlapping tribal interests endlessly vying over state resources) the law and legislative mechanisms are therefore necessarily monocultural. The alternative involves different standards and rules applied to different people living in the same polity, with disastrous consequences in the long term due to the erosion of public trust and social capital. Khalil’s apparent failure to understand this is odd, given he is a man of the Left and therefore presumably sensitive to communitarian interests.

Khalil’s historical experience of bigotry is not denied. It is distressing to be a target of chauvinism, and appalling to witness it. Certainly, newcomers to Australian shores do initially encounter obstacles in gaining entry to and participating in the public arena; linguistic and cultural barriers need first to be overcome before a meeting of minds can occur between the newcomer and the host. My family’s and my own experiences attest to this when we arrived in the early 1980s, with no English proficiency, and virtually no capital to establish a new life here. While I grant that it was probably easier for us to visually assimilate into mainstream society, Khalil had the advantage of being born here; he also had the same options available to us both when responding as an “ethnic” to nativist social pressures: either assume the politics of grievance (which can lead to institutionalised hostility to the host culture, and ultimately provoke Charlottesville-esque reactions) or pursue what I refer to as the Joseph Conrad Model. The latter is perhaps more readily apparent in the context of my own cultural heritage:

I share Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski’s ethno-cultural identity. As a young man, and after extensive travels through Africa and elsewhere, he established himself in England, learned the country’s language so well that he would eventually contribute to his new home’s literary heritage, and translated his name into a form more easily recognisable to the members of his adopted community.[46] This is an expression of respect, not personal humiliation. While he always remembered who he was, he never forgot where and among whom he lived. He would undoubtedly consider the notion of making claims based on his “minority” status to be absurd and personally insulting. It is questionable whether he would believe that the institution of policies that result in mainstream cultural destabilisation are a form of “enrichment”.

Khalil has made a different choice, and it is clear that the narratives he espouses only make the breaking of those cultural barriers more difficult by the promotion of ideologies that cynically form the basis of his political career: by accentuating and institutionalising ethnic differences and demeaning the local host culture through programs that seek to deprivilege it in its own institutions of civil society. While my publishing this article will likely come with a cost in the context of the present “woke” hysteria, Khalil sits in parliament, literally contributes to the drafting of Commonwealth legislation, and will likely have a significant input into the policy platform of the alternative government. Who and what exactly is being “held back” in contemporary Australia should be obvious.

Framing the normative as “problematic” only leads to the normalisation of the outrageous. What we have witnessed over past decades is the inversion of all values and systems of belief on which our national community not only functioned, but flourished. This act of cultural vandalism has been visited upon the community under the disingenuous banner of “social justice”. To complain that Australian politics is characterised by an “Anglo Club” reeks of a condescending ethnic chauvinism aimed at the nation’s cultural mainstream. That this emanates from those who have benefited from organised lobbies of their own illustrates that the complaint is little more than an act of psychological projection, and any claims of equity or equality on their part are mere pretences to fairness that veil a less than benevolent agenda. It is perfectly reasonable that one makes the rules in one’s own house. To snidely refer to this as a “Club”, implying illegitimacy or malicious exclusivity, is offensive to any Australian who wishes to contribute to, not deconstruct, the national polity.

Edwin Dyga has a background in legal practice and government relations, and is an adviser to the Hon. Mark Latham MLC and an occasional contributor to Quadrant and the New Oxford Review

[1] Annika Smethurst, “‘Anglo Club’ Runs Politics: Labor MP” Sydney Morning Herald (25 November 2021) p. 9.

[2] Peter Khalil, “How Systemic Racism Holds Australia Back: A Discussion of the Lack of Cultural Diversity Within Australian Politics and the Law” (2021) 15 UNSW Law Society Court of Conscience 73 at p. 73.

[3] Annika Smethurst op. cit.

[4] Peter Khalil, op. cit. at p. 74.

[5] Tim Palmer, “Junk Data Hurts Push for Ethnic Diversity in Nation’s Media and Business” Michael West (blog) (2 September 2020) <> (accessed, 25 November 2021).

[6] Notably, in recent years: Indigenous deaths in custody (and related matters such as those connected to the “BLM’ phenomenon in the United States) as well as the rates, trends and extent of domestic and gendered violence.

[7] Tim Palmer, op. cit. at ¶¶ 9-12.

[8] Peter Khalil, op. cit. at p. 73.

[9] Tim Palmer, op. cit. at ¶¶ 22-23.

[10] Lee Kwan Yew interviewed in “It’s Stupid to be Afraid” Der Spiegel International (online) (8 August 2005) <> (accessed 25 January 2022); Larry Diamond, The Spirit of Democracy: the Struggle to Build Free Societies Throughout the World (New York, USA: Times Books – Henry Holt, 2009) p. 380 n 2.

[11] Peter Khalil, op. cit. at p. 75. The statement is repeated by Smethurst op. cit.

[12] Peter Khalil, ibid. at p. 74 and n. 19.

[13] Karina Anthony, Political Representation of Racial and Ethnic Minorities, Briefing Paper 3/06, NSW State Parliamentary Library, Sydney (March 2006) at [3.5.1].

[14] Ibid. at p. 15 n. 40.

[15] Ibid. at [5.3.1]. Here, Karina Anthony relies on the work of Gianni Zappalà and Marian Sawer.

[16] Khalil, op. cit. at p. 74.

[17] “Senate Report into Nationhood, National Identity and Democracy Acknowledges BAC’s Submission” British Australian Community (online) (13 March 2021) <> (accessed: 18 December 2021).

[18] Robert D. Putnam, “E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century – the 2006 Johan Skytte Prize Lecture” Scandinavian Political Studies Vol. 30 Issue 2 (1 June 2007).

[19] Peter Thisted Dinesen, Kim Mannemar Sønderskov, “Ethnic Diversity and Social Trust: Evidence from the Micro-Context” American Sociological Review Vol. 80 Issue 3 (1 June 2015).

[20] Peter Thisted Dinesen, Merlin Schaeffer, Kim Mannemar Sønderskov, “Ethnic Diversity and Social Trust: a Narrative and Meta-Analytical Review” Annual Review of Political Science Vol. 23 (May 2020).

[21] Rebecca Wickers, Renee Zahnow, Gentry White, Lorraine Mazerolle, “Ethnic Diversity and its Impact on Community Social Cohesion and Neighbourly Exchange” Journal of Urban Affairs Vol. 36 Issue 1 (February 2014).

[22] James Laurence, Lee Bentley, “Does Ethnic Diversity Have a Negative Effect on Attitudes Towards the Community? A Longitudinal Analysis of the Causal Claims within the Ethnic Diversity and Social Cohesion Debate” European Sociological Review Vol. 32 Issue 1 (26 August 2015).

[23] Ruud Koopmans and Merlin Schaeffer, “Perceptions of Ethno-Cultural Diversity and Neighborhood Cohesion in Three European Countries” Discussion Paper for the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung SP VI 2014-103 (November 2014).

[24] Frank K. Salter, “The Biosocial Study of Ethnicity” The Oxford Handbook of Evolution Biology and Society Rosemary L. Hopcroft (ed.) (New York, USA: Oxford University Press, 2018) pp. 543-568.

[25] Peter Thisted Dinesen, Kim Mannemar Sønderskov, Frederik Thuesen, “Working Together? Ethnic Diversity in the Workplace and Social Trust” Conference Paper for the Workshop on Trust, Upsala Sweden (June 2018).

[26] Guy Madison, “Explicating Politicians’ Arguments for Sex Quotas in Sweden: Increasing Power and Influence Rather than Increasing Quality and Productivity” Frontiers in Communication Vol. 4 Issue 1 (February 2019).

[27] Howard S. Schwartz, Narcissistic Process and Corporate Decay: the Theory of the Organisational Ideal (New York, USA: New York University Press, 1990).

[28] Howard S. Schwartz, Society Against Itself: Political Correctness and Organizational Self-Destruction (London, England: Karnac, 2010).

[29] In recent years, polemical warnings from the right as well as eye witness accounts from otherwise politically liberal corporate executives have confirmed these trends. Vide, respectively: Theodore Beal (a.k.a. Vox Day) Corporate Cancer: How to Work Miracles and Save Millions by Curing Your Company (Kouvola, Finland: Castalia House, 2019) and Vivek Ramaswamy, Woke, Inc. (Church Lawford, England: Swift Press, 2021).

[30] Joel Davis, “War by Epistemic Means” Firstness Journal No. 3 (2021) at p. 9.

[31] Richard Hanania, “Woke Institutions is Just Civil Rights Law” Hanania Newsletter (blog) (1 June 2021) <> (accessed 12 November 2021) at ¶¶ 22-25, 28-29, 43, 46-48.

[32] Peter Khalil, op. cit. at p. 74 and n. 31. Khalil is more explicitly quoted to this effect by Smethurst op. cit.

[33] Harry Cummins, “The Common Cause of China and Islam” Quadrant Vol. 66 Issue 1-2 (No. 583) (January-February 2022) at p. 12.

[34] Ibid. at p. 16.

[35] Respectively: Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, Critical Race Theory: an Introduction (New York, USA: New York University Press, 2017); Ibrahim X. Kendi, How to be an Antiracist (London, England: Bodley Head – Vintage, 2019); Shannon Sullivan, White Privilege (Cambridge, England: Polity Press, 2019); Robin Diangelo, White Fragility: Why it’s so Hard for White People to Talk About Racism (London, England: Allen Lane – Penguin, 2019). All of these texts enjoy a privileged status among the academy and media.

[36] Jonathan van Maren, “How to be a Counter-Revolutionary” The European Conservative No. 21 (Winter 2021) pp. 20-21. Van Maren writes in the context of the pro-life movement, however his call applies equally to all struggles against anti-culture.

[37] Consider the example of Shannon Sullivan, who in the first footnote to the first page of her White Privilege (op. cit.) explicitly states that she will refuse to capitalise the collective proper noun “White” because people of Caucasian heritage have no identity “apart from white supremacy and white privilege”, in contrast to her use of capitalised “Black” simply to denote the “people of the African American diaspora”. This is a malicious act of targeted ethno-racial dehuminisation for which there is no price to be paid in contemporary elite circles.

[38] Peter Khalil, op. cit. at p. 73, and nn. 11, 13.

[39] Ibid. at p. 75.

[40] Tim Palmer, op. cit. at ¶ 36.

[41] Michael Anton, “Unprecedented” The New Criterion Vol 40 No. 4 (December 2021) pp. 7 ff. This is part IV of a series titled “Western Civilisation at the Crossroads”, published by The New Criterion for its 40th anniversary.

[42] Pedro Gonzalez, “Waukesha Massacre Undermined the Charlottesville Myth” Chronicles Vol. 46 No. 1 (January, 2022). For background information about this event, vide: Anne Wilson Smith, Charlottesville Untold: Inside Unite the Right (Columbia, South Carolina: Shotwell Press, 2021).

[43] Peter Khalil, op. cit. at p. 73.

[44] Ibid. at p. 76.

[45] Krzysztof Karoń, Historia Antykultury 1.0: Podstawy Wiedzy Społecznej (corrected ed.; Warsaw, Poland: self-published, 2019 [2018]) p. 187.

[46] Joseph Conrad was certainly not born into a “privileged’ status either. For the circumstances of his birth, as well as what his life and work can mean to the contemporary reader, vide: Kieron O’Hara, Joseph Conrad Today (Exeter, England: Societas Imprint Academic, 2007).

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