“…the attack on Anzac and the Digger legend is an elitist project explicitly dedicated to destroying the popular view of these traditions held by Australians, and is being led by a cadre of academics, media apparatchiks, and some disaffected ex-army officers overwhelmingly located in Canberra and ensconced in elite institutions, including the Australian Defense Force Academy, the Australian National University and the Australian War Memorial, where the Australian officer corps and bureaucratic elite receive their education.” — Mervyn F. Bendle, Quadrant Online
Next year will be the 100th anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli, so we have twelve months to prepare for the left’s onslaught of unrelenting hatred and denigration of Anzac Day. Why should we prepare? Because, like most of our pre-PC beliefs, traditions and institutions, Anzac Day is a threat to the “progressive” left. And like their other attacks on what the majority of Australians treasure as their traditions, history and character, these jihadist social engineers are busy as ever.
Winston Smith saw it coming in Orwell’s 1984:
“History had already been rewritten, but fragments of the literature of the past survived here and there, imperfectly censored, and as long as one retained one’s knowledge of Oldspeak it was possible to read them.”
From the above extract of Mervyn Bendle’s essay, the extent of Orwell’s prediction is as disquieting as ever. But now the reach of the left’s obsession with being “progressive” is entering a new phase, what Orwell described in the Newspeak word, doublethink.
I guess a good example of doublethink would be, as Bendle points out, some of those employed as academics and bureaucrats at the War Memorial and the Defense Academy who have set about undermining the very history and historical memory they are paid to protect and enhance. In Orwell’s 1984 they would be employed by The Ministry of Truth and full-time members of the Thought Police. So why are they there? If Orwell were about today he would possibly call it Newspeak-creep.
We are all aware of Newspeak-creep. Since the Seventies and Eighties the ideology of the left has slithered into just about every institution in Australia. Under the original, harmless sounding name of political correctness (Orwell’s Ministry of Truth), our schools, universities, government departments, media, and courts — indeed, most of our political and social debates — are manipulated and controlled by the proponents of political correctness.
That control is exercised in part by that most powerful weapon: ridicule. Any politically incorrect thought or spoken word, any unguarded writing or innocent action will be pounced upon, the unsuspecting victim branded a racist, misogynist, homophobe or whatever other-ist is fashionable at the time. In Orwell’s 1984 you would be dragged off to the Ministry of Love for a sound beating by government-approved thugs.
An early victim of Australia’s version of the Ministry of Love was the destruction of the nation’s most-learned and respected historian, Professor Geoffrey Blainey, whose reputation was mauled and academic career destroyed by fellow historian Stuart Macintyre and a group from the History Department of Melbourne University. Macintyre, a former communist party member in Britain and Australia, and his clique whipped themselves into a politically-correct frenzy when, in 1984, Professor Blainey said at a meeting of the Warrnambool Rotary Club, all places, that he did not
“…accept the view, widely held in the Federal Cabinet, that some kind of slow Asian takeover of Australia is inevitable. I do not believe that we are powerless. I do believe that we can with good will and good sense control our destiny…. As a people, we seem to move from extreme to extreme. In the past 30 years the government of Australia has moved from the extreme of wanting a white Australia to the extreme of saying that we will have an Asian Australia and that the quicker we move towards it the better”.
In a foretaste of the Andrew Bolt persecution and Section 18C, Blainey was pilloried for expressing an opinion; for comment upon government policy and crowned by the weapon of first resort— most favored by the self-righteous left—he was labeled a racist and forced to resign.
Ironically, the original letter of complaint against Blainey, who was at the time Ernest Scott Professor of History, was signed by Ian Robertson (chairman of the department) and 23 others. The letter finished with the following sentence:
“We do not wish to limit debate and discussion by Professor Blainey or anyone else on such issues of public concern. But to raise discussion of immigration in terms of race will inevitably draw in and encourage racist groups to come forward and claim legitimacy from what has been said.”
Sounds like the familiar cry of those who today want to restrict freedom of speech by retaining Section 18C.
In 2006 Prime Minister John Howard said of the Blainey affair:
“Nowhere, I suggest, have the fangs of the left so visibly been on display as they were in a campaign based on character assassination and intellectual dishonesty through their efforts to trash the name and reputation of that great Australian historian Geoffrey Blainey.”
Curiously, the year of Blainey’s thought crime? 1984.
One of the more memorable Orwellian Ministry of Truth diversions to hit the Australian psyche came via the rewriting of Australian colonial history, the hero of that experiment being Professor Henry Reynolds.
More than any other Australian historian, Reynolds, represents the iron fist inside a velvet glove, for it was he and his re-jigging of our past that unleashed the other favorite weapon of the righteous left: guilt.
Under Reynolds’ direction the whole focus of colonial history changed from the events of the past 200 years to the narrow corridor that represents the early conflict between European and Aboriginal societies. Reynolds developed a version of “original sin” or, more correctly, “ancestral sin”, whereby all (no, usually only white) Australians share a collective and enduring guilt for 18th and early 19th century frontier conflict which involved their great, great, great grandfathers. Fortunately Keith Windschuttle’s The Fabrication of Aboriginal History procided an Icarus-moment for Reynolds.
Unperturbed, Reynolds has co-edited another ‘let’s rubbish Australia’ book entitled “What’s Wrong with Anzac? The Militarisation of Australian History” (2010), together with another patriotic academic, Marilyn Lake. Reynolds has published around 13 books on colonial conflict and it is fair to say that Europeans never look good in his writings, not in his Nowhere People—How International Race Thinking Shaped Australia’s Identity nor in The Global Colour Line, also co-written with Lake.
The problem is not that Reynolds, Lake, Macintyre and their ilk publish these works — they should. We all should be able to read what they are up to and how they think. The problem is that they have control of, and are controlled by, the politically-correct industry. To these historians if the issue doesn’t deal with class, race or gender, it isn’t history. Humanity, unless seen in terms of class, race and gender, is of no interest.
An unfortunate viral network exists that controls and feeds history departments in universities, as well as media studies, journalism schools, teacher-training and, of course, media organisations like the ABC, SBS and Fairfax. Most writers today seem to under the spell of left-wing ideology. Political parties like the ALP and the Greens are in lock step. On-line, the righteous-left, always bleating on about human rights, are vicious and vile.
In his Appendix to 1984, George Orwell wrote an explanation of the elements that make up Newspeak:
“Pre-revolutionary literature could only be subjected ideological translation—that is, alteration in sense as well as language. Take for example the well-known passage from the Declaration of Independence:
‘We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
‘That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving these powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of those ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it and institute a new government.’
To render the above into Newspeak ( from the above Oldspeak) you would have to swallow the whole passage up into one word — crimethink.
Hope you had a good Anzac Day.