The return of the White Australia Policy

Australia now has a minister for population. This is simply cover for a policy of racist exclusion. That, of course, isn’t the official line – Australia has unsustainable population growth. That argument should be rejected with absolute contempt. Here is Kevin Rudd

Particularly its impact on urban congestion, its impact on the adequacy of infrastructure, its impact on the adequacy of housing supply, its impact on government services, its impact also on water and agriculture and on our regions.

Rudd believes that more planning is necessary.

Our challenge is to make sure that we get our future population levels as right as possible, and against that analysis make sure we’re planning properly

Here is Ludwig von Mises in Human Action addressing this and related points.

The natural scarcity of the means of sustenance forces every living being to look upon all other living beings as deadly foes in the struggle for survival, and generates pitiless biological competition. But with man these irreconcilable conflicts of interests disappear when, and as far as, the division of labor is substituted for economic autarky of individuals, families, tribes, and nations. Within the system of society there is no conflict of interests as long as the optimum size of population has not been reached. As long as the employment of additional hands results in a more than proportionate increase in the returns, harmony of interests is substituted for conflict People are no longer rivals in the struggle for the allocation of portions out of a strictly limited supply. They become cooperators in striving after ends common to all of them. An increase in population figures does not curtail, but rather augments, the average shares of the individuals.

If men were to strive only after nourishment and sexual satisfaction, population would tend to increase beyond the optimum size to the limits drawn by the sustenance available. However, men want more than merely to live and to copulate; they want to live humanly. An improvement in conditions usually results, it is true, in an increase in population figures; but this increase lags behind the increase in bare sustenance. If it were otherwise, men would have never succeeded in the establishment of social bonds and in the development of civilization. As with rats, mice, and microbes, every increase in sustenance would have made population figures rise to the limits of bare sustenance; nothing would have been left for the seeking of other ends. The fundamental error implied in the iron law of wages was precisely the fact that it looked upon men–or at least upon the wage earners–as beings exclusively driven by animal impulses. Its champions failed to realize that man differs from the beasts as far as he aims also at specifically human ends, which one may call higher or more sublime ends.
The Malthusian law of population is one of the great achievements of thought. Together with the principle of the division of labor it provided the foundations for modern biology and for the theory of evolution; the importance of these two fundamental theorems for the sciences of human action is second only to the discovery of the regularity in the intertwinement and sequence of market phenomena and their inevitable determination by the market data. The objections raised against the Malthusian law as well as against the law of returns are vain and trivial. Both laws are indisputable. But the role to be assigned to them within the body of the sciences of human action is different from that which Malthus attributed to them.
Nonhuman beings are entirely subject to the operation of the biological law described by Malthus. For them the statement that their numbers tend to encroach upon the means of subsistence and that the supernumerary specimens are weeded out by want of sustenance is valid without any exception. With reverence to the nonhuman animals the notion of minimum sustenance has an unequivocal, uniquely determined sense. But the case is different with man. Man integrates the satisfaction of the purely zoological impulses, common to all animals, into a scale of values, in which a place is also assigned to specifically human ends. Acting man also rationalizes the satisfaction of his sexual appetites. Their satisfaction is the outcome of a weighing of pros and cons. Man does not blindly submit to a sexual stimulation like a bull; he refrains from copulation if he deems the costs–the anticipated disadvantages–too high. In this sense we may, without any valuation or ethical connotation, apply the term moral restraint employed by Malthus.

Rationalization of sexual intercourse already involves the rationalization of proliferation. Then later further methods of rationalizing the increase of progeny were adopted which were independent of abstention from copulation. People resorted to the egregious and repulsive practices of exposing or killing infants and of abortion. Finally they learned to perform the sexual act in such a way that no pregnancy results. In the last hundred years the technique of contraceptive devices has been perfected and the frequency of their employment increased considerably. Yet the procedures had long been known and practiced.
The affluence that modern capitalism bestows upon the broad masses of the capitalist countries and the improvement in hygienic conditions and therapeutical and prophylactic methods brought about by capitalism have considerably reduced mortality, especially infant mortality, and prolonged the average duration of life. Today in these countries the restriction kin generating offspring can succeed only if it is more drastic than in earlier ages. The transition to capitalism–i.e., [p. 669] the removal of the obstacles which in former days had fettered the functioning of private initiative and enterprise–has consequently deeply influenced sexual customs. It is not the practice of birth control that is new, but merely the fact that it is more frequently resorted to. Especially new is the fact that the practice is no longer limited to the upper strata of the population, but is common to the whole population. For it is one of the most important social effects of capitalism that it deproletarianizes all strata of society. It raises the standard of living of the masses of the manual workers to such a height that they too turn into “bourgeois” and think and act like well-to-do burghers. Eager to preserve their standard of living for themselves and for their children, they embark upon birth control. With the spread and progress of capitalism, birth control becomes a universal practice. The transition to capitalism is thus accompanied by two phenomena: a decline both in fertility rates and in mortality rates. The average duration of life is prolonged.

In the days of Malthus it was not yet possible to observe these demographical characteristics of capitalism. Today it is no longer permissible to question them. But, blinded by romantic prepossessions, many describe them as phenomena of decline and degeneration peculiar only to the white-skinned peoples of Western civilization, grown old and decrepit. These romantics are seriously alarmed by the fact that the Asiatics do not practice birth control to the same extent to which it is practiced in Western Europe, North America, and Australia. As modern methods of fighting and preventing disease have brought about a drop in mortality rates with these oriental peoples too, their population figures grow more rapidly than those of the Western nations. Will not the indigenes of India, Malaya, China, and Japan, who themselves did not contribute to the technological and therapeutical achievements of the West, but received them as an unexpected present, in the end by the sheer superiority of their numbers squeeze out the peoples of European descent?
These fears are groundless. Historical experience shows that all Caucasian peoples reacted to the drop in mortality figures brought about by capitalism with a drop in the birth rate. Of course, from such historical experience no general law may be deduced. But praxeological reflection demonstrates that there exists between these two phenomena a necessary concatenation. An improvement in the external conditions of well-being makes possible a corresponding increase in population figures. However, if the additional quantity of the means of sustenance is completely absorbed by rearing an additional number of people, nothing is left for a further improvement in the standard of living. The march of civilization is arrested; mankind reaches a state of stagnation.
The case becomes still more obvious if we assume that a prophylactic invention is made by a lucky chance and that its practical application requires neither a considerable investment of capital nor considerable current expenditure. Of course, modern medical research and still more its utilization absorb huge amounts of capital and labor. They are products of capitalism. They would never have come into existence in a noncapitalist environment. But there were, in earlier days, instances of a different character. The practice of smallpox inoculation did not originate from expensive laboratory research and, in its original crude form, could be applied at trifling costs. Now, what would the results of smallpox inoculation have been if its practice had become general in a precapitalist country not committed to birth control? It would have increased population figures without increasing sustenance, it would have impaired the average standard of living. It would not have been a blessing, but a curse.

The purposive adjustment of the birth rate to the supply of the material potentialities of well-being is an indispensable condition of human life and action, of civilization, and of any improvement in wealth and welfare. Whether the only beneficial method of birth control is abstention from coitus is a question which must be decided from the point of view of bodily and mental hygiene. It is absurd to confuse the issue by referring to ethical precepts developed in ages which were faced with different conditions. However, praxeology is not interested in the theological aspects of the problem. It has merely to establish the fact that where there is no limitation of offspring there cannot be any question of civilization and improvement in the standard of living.
A socialist commonwealth would be under the necessity of regulating the fertility rate by authoritarian control. It would have to regiment the sexual life of its wards no less than all other spheres of their conduct. In the market economy every individual is spontaneously intent upon not begetting children whom he could not rear without considerably lowering his family’s standard of life. Thus the growth of population beyond the optimum size as determined by the supply of capital available and the state of technological knowledge is checked. The interests of each individual coincide with those of all other individuals.

Of course, that is only part of the story. Mises also deals with anti-immigration views.

The labor unions aim at a monopolistic position on the labor market. But once they have attained it, their policies are restrictive and not monopoly price policies. They are intent upon restricting the supply of labor in their field without bothering about the fate of those excluded. They have succeeded in every comparatively underpopulated country in erecting immigration barriers. Thus they preserve their comparatively high wage rates. The excluded foreign workers are forced to stay in their countries in which the marginal productivity of labor, and consequently wage rates, are lower. The tendency toward an equalization of wage rates which prevails under free mobility of labor from country to country is paralyzed.

We should see this policy for what it is, and we should condemn this policy without hesitation.

Update I: Stupidity is bipartisan.

Mr Morrison denied the Coalition was pushing a racist agenda by endeavouring to cut migration numbers.

“It has nothing to do with issues of race,” he said.

“We did not want to create an unpleasant debate. We were quite serious about having a debate that didn’t degenerate into political name-calling on issues of race.

“At the end of the day, we will obviously take a more conservative view about intake in the current climate.”

Update II: A commenter at Harry Clarke’s place has been talking to my wife and mother-in-law.

What annoys me about people like Davidson is not the fact that they subscribe to an ideology different to mine. It is the fact that they have no bloody common sense.

🙂

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213 Responses to The return of the White Australia Policy

  1. Boris

    Sinclair, Rudd has not really developed a policy. This task is being given to a new minister, who has to come up with a policy in a year.

    What is your view on the immigration policy and border protection for Australia today?

  2. THR

    In the Howard years, it was routine to demonise asylum seekers and pander to Australian’s xenophobia, whilst importing record numbers of migrants rather more discreetly.

    Is there any evidence that Rudd’s tactic here is any different? There seems to be some mass hysteria brewing about ‘big’ Australia, and both Rudd and Abbott have started playing the immigration card (Abbott in particular is trying to pretend that a few hundred boat people are some gigantic threat to our infrastructure).

    By all means, condemn the words, but watch carefully for the actions. Australia still has a skill shortage by all accounts, and has every economic incentive to maintain reasonably high migration. On the other hand, a campaign is gaining ground in which Chinese investors, boat people and pro-migrant pollies alike are blamed for Australia’s woes. The cynics from the major parties will try to benefit from this xenophobia, without necessarily cutting migration at any point.

  3. rog

    I dont see how it’s another version of WAP – unlike the coalition who continually harp on “border protection”

  4. daddy dave

    If we deregulate planning and infrastructure, we’ll have plenty of capacity for newcomers.

  5. THR

    If we deregulate planning and infrastructure, we’ll have plenty of capacity for newcomers.

    Wouldn’t that just to more of the NIMBYism we have currently? I think there’s room for central planning on issues like infrastructure, particularly with unaffordable housing, and urban sprawl which is mocing decades faster than the necessary infrastructure.

  6. Boris

    Sincair, I am sorry but this is very general. Obviously, you advocate much more liberal immigration policy than both major parties, but it is still not clear what your suggestion is. Is it total open borders? If it is not, then surely some sort of quotas must be in instituted by the government.

    I would also allude to von Mises and Friedman.

    von Mises mentions this majic ‘optimum size’. This would suggest that we ought to know what it is. There isn’t a nation on earth which does not regulate its immigration. I would probably agree we are far from that majic optimal limit in Australia, but I am not sure about places such as The Netherlands…

    The last von Mises paragraph above is true from humanitarian point of veiw. It may be quite fair from this point of view to allow, say, 300 million people from India into Australia at once. However I am not sure we know what the economic and social consequencies will be from such a move.

    Friedman’s argument is also quite strong. Many liberaly minded people don’t like welfare state (at least in the current form), but it is not going away any time soon. Allowing in many people with few skills applicable in an advanced economy may impose a huge burden on the taxpayer…

    BTW the Greens are hardly going to agree to dismantle the welfare state…

  7. badm0f0

    On what evidence do base your assertion that this is cover for a “racist policy of exclusion”? Both Rudd & the new Population Minister have been fairly explicit in backing or accepting a “big Australia” view of population/population growth. Nowhere have I seen anything that would suggest this sort of growth is to be somehow underpinned by some type of racial filter.

    If anything I would have thought this “population policy” approach is an attempt to shift the “immigration issue” away from superficial (&, for governments, risky) discussions of current ethnic/racial/religious composition and towards requirements/planning. Even if we accept the very narrow scope for government intervention you suggest, surely governments are actually permitted to plan for those areas in which it is able to act?

  8. Sinclair Davidson

    I have commented on the Friedman quote before; in his youth open borders being incompatible with the welfare would have been a feature and not a bug.

  9. “racist exclusion” ? I respect you Sinclair, but you’ve let the sugar hit from too many easter eggs get to you. There is absolutely no evidence Rudd is seeking a racist policy, and this latest step should be seen alongside his earlier views in favour of a Big Australia (aka one very open to immigration).

    Rudd’s clearly making some of this up on the run, but here we have a PM trying to assuage the fears of many in the community about over-population so as to allow him to continue his desire for a larger country of higher immigration.

    Ie what you are condemning as racist is actually a way to ensure a high intake of non-white migrants.

  10. Sinclair Davidson

    Andrew – the ALP have form in this area and I would be very happy to be wrong; but there is no history to suggest that I am and no comparative evidence either.

  11. badm0f0

    All major parties have “form in this area” but your dubious claim that “there is no history to suggest” that you are wrong does not support your assertion of racist intent.

  12. Sinclair Davidson

    Chapter 10 of Keith Windschuttle’s The White Australia Policy is very informative; although I do not agree with his conclusion that cultural aspects drove the final outcome and not racism. At page 291

    Most of the running on the issue, however, had been made by Labour politicians, who supported Federation primarily because it offered the opportunity to eliminate the importation of cheap coloured labour that could threaten the position of the trade unions…

    At page 298, the great Austalian liberal Bruce Smith is quoted in opposition to the White Australia Policy. He describes the logic and the intent of the policy

    They work too hard, and they are too provident, and they possess so many of those old-fashioned virtues that we Britishers cannot compete with them in our daily life.

    That is exactly the type of argument we are now hearing.

  13. TerjeP (say Tay-a)

    Why isn’t the populAtion minister also the immigration minister?

    I’ll just plug the LDP policy on immigration. More free immigration agreements as we have with New Zealand. An immigration tariff instead of and immigration quota. Tough rules for moving from being a permanent resident to being a citizen.

  14. daddy dave

    Wouldn’t that just to more of the NIMBYism we have currently?
    .
    With any development, there is a problem with the fact that existing landholders and residents might bear an invisible cost. If you live in a quaint country lane and then someone builds a factory next to you, there’s a cost to you. But excessive worry about this, and of course ‘the environment’, has led to a choke-hold on development. It’s impossible to build new dams, for instance, or a new airport for Sydney. NSW had to spend a billion dollars putting the Epping-Chatswood rail line deep underground to spare the sensitivities of a handful of north shore residents who live near Lane Cove national park. Despite painfully high house prices and an expanding population, several modest sized developments on the NSW central coast and Hunter Valley have met with fierce resistance.
    .
    Plus, we have lots of wonderful, fertile, arable, liveable land locked up in national parks.

  15. daddy dave

    More free immigration agreements as we have with New Zealand.
    .
    That’s the way to go. Open borders, but not “naive” open borders. Do it only with other places that we can trust not to turn the immigration fire hose on us.

  16. john malpas

    I bet you want the racial calm they have in the USA, the UK , and the enlightened countries of Africa.
    The UK have had a mass immigration that needs a police force to spend much of its time doing draconion ‘hate’ law enforcement.And the schools spending much time on ‘diversity’ training – but not much else.
    Why not be democratic – ask the people that live here right now?

  17. Sinclair Davidson

    Sorry John, I don’t see the link between UK immigration and the need for so-called hate crime legislation and diversity training. Similarly with immigration and the US. As best I can see the US has benefitted from immigration and more so when they had open(ish) borders.

  18. Sinclair – “Form in this area” ? You mean in the 1890-1940’s? On that logic you might as well claim the Coalition is preparing to implement high tariffs and repeal the Australia Act.

    I don’t want to make this a partisan debate, but while both the Coalition and ALP have shifted since the 1960’s to embrace higher immigration with no racial restrictions, it has consistently been the ALP leading the way.

    Surely you can see the significant domestic backlash in the community towards the idea of a big Australia? I support the idea of much more open movement of people, as you do. Therefore we liberals/libertarians need to find ways to change the views of the public to accept this, not be frightened of more people.

    Calling the PM a racist for giving someone this very job is not a good way to go about it. (Though TerjeP makes a good point why Chris Evans the immigration minister isn’t in charge, though perhaps we will see a reshuffle soon)

  19. Sinclair Davidson

    Andrew – I hear what you say, but don’t agree on tactics. Growing up in South Africa I have heard many, many arguments for racism in one form or another. I don’t doubt that there are people who support reduced immigration (and population) who are not racist or totalitarian in some way, but I’m very happy for the burden of proof to be on them. By treating people who make racist arguments as racists it reduces time, effort and transaction costs. The ALP have form and they have an ongoing incentive, I’m not convinced the Liberals have an incentive to re-introduce tariffs, but if and when they do, I’ll criticise them too.

  20. badm0f0

    “The ALP have form and they have an ongoing incentive, I’m not convinced the Liberals have an incentive to re-introduce tariffs, but if and when they do, I’ll criticise them too.”

    So in the second instance you’ll wait for actual evidence, while in the first you’re happy to sit with utterly baseless accusations for which you cannot produce any evidence? Nice going.

  21. Sinclair Davidson

    Badm0f0 – I’ve seen the evidence – Rudd appointed a ‘population minister’.

  22. Yes, as a deliberate way to calm domestic fears so he can proceed with his desire to increase immigration!

    Just look at Rudd’s press release on the new role: (http://www.pm.gov.au/node/6614)

    “In his new role, Minister Burke will consider the likely trajectory of population growth and the challenges and opportunities this will create. Minister Burke will also be tasked with developing the cross government frameworks that will be required to make the most of the opportunities, and minimise the risks, associated with population growth.

    Australia’s first Population Strategy will consider the social and economic infrastructure Australia will need to support a growing population, including the roads, housing and service delivery network.”

    Ie his job is to design infrastructure development in anticipation of a higher population (which answers why the immigration minister is not involved).

    Now that’s something libertarians may have an issue with, but there’s no evidence here Rudd is a racist.

  23. JC1

    Andy

    Has there ever been an occasion you haven’t worn the knee pads to this turgid little government?

  24. Michael Sutcliffe

    Sinclair, I don’t think too many people would see the UK situation as particularly good. The US over the last century or so was a different mix, with hard property rights, freedom of speech, minimal government welfare and an attitude of individual responsibility and entrepreneurism. What’s you’re take on the UK situation and do you think we should do anything to try to avoid it?

  25. Sinclair Davidson

    Michael – the UK situation has more to do with a soft on crime attitude amongst locals than it has about immigration. Peter Ryan has a great line in the latest Quadrant

    What was once, with all its faults, a firm and familiar Australian culture is now a jellyfish, drifting aimless on seas of rendy hedonism. It has been reduced to this limp state very largely by the assaults, ignorance and neglect of its own schoolteachers and “humanities” academics…

    Now while I wouldn’t put all, or even most, of the blame on schoolteachers and academics I do agree with the sentiment.

  26. Sinclair Davidson

    Andrew – I understand the logic; you’re arguing that Rudd has a cunning plan. But I don’t believe it. This is the same man who said ‘this reckless spending must stop’.

  27. Michael Sutcliffe

    Sinclair, I certainly agree some conservative values are good. But you need to go one way or the other: conservative values, tough on crime and individual responsibility plus open immigration – it’s a great recipe – or soft welfare state and managed borders. If you go soft-on-crime welfare state and high rates of immigration then you get the UK and, worse, what’s about to come for them.

    My problem is that Australians, by nature, will consistently want more handouts, more workplace regulation and seek to correct all their social problems with legislation. Combine that with a high and not particularly selective immigration policy and you get a shit quality of life and a mediocre nation.

    We are making some important decisions here. The worst part is that we don’t play to our strength – that we are a young nation who imported reasonable legal and social value systems. We can look to the rest of the world for an example of what will likely be the result of various decisions, but we totally ignore that and blindly make decisions on faith (and, of course, short term electoral outcomes!).

  28. Michael Sutcliffe

    This is the same man who said ‘this reckless spending must stop’.

    Yeah, that’s a funny one.

  29. Michael Sutcliffe

    There’s also another political reality here that needs to be managed in this debate. Immigration can be, and I’d say often is, a tool of the left. There’s even allegations that UK Labor had an underhand, informal policy to maximise immigration quickly to keep the Tories out of power – because new arrivals were likely to vote Labor (I’ll find some links if anyone wants the story). If you make no reforms, are non selective with your new arrivals, offer them welfare, you can get lots of them on the public teat quickly. In time I would argue that there is no doubt that they can form a weighty voting power on the left, and is detrimental politically to effective policy. This is totally in contrast to what we are trying to achieve with hard working immigrants building a better life for themselves and a better nation in the process.

  30. Boris

    In my view, the claim of WAP is purely rhetorical and not worth discussing. Rudd has not spelled his policy and it is not at all clear where he wants to go. But even if he wants to reduce/limit immigration, it is still not WAP, unless there is any indication that he has that secret racist agenda. I will categorically reject the notion that people who support limits on immigration (Bob Carr, Steve Edwards, Ron Paul) are racists… I’d say Sinclair has used this title to stir the pot, and I guess that’s ok.

    What is more important is that Sinclair did not explain what his favorable policy woudl be. LDP policy, as spelled out by Terje, sounds sensible to me. But I do not understand what Sinclair’s is. The two articles he links to are very clear on what he rejects but not on what he supports.

    BTW should Israel also have open border policy (to take an extreme example as an end member)?

  31. Boris

    “In time I would argue that there is no doubt that they can form a weighty voting power on the left…”

    That’s at best. At worst, they will have a weighty voting power to import a different system of government…

  32. The Dirty Digger

    Given Sinclair’s background, his sensitivities on matters of race are understandable. And anyone who has seen the official literature put out around the turn of the 20th century by the trade unions that formed the ALP (vile, virulent racist stuff) will understand where the White Australia policy comes from. And, if the Population Minister is a benign position under Rudd, who is to say that would always be the case.

    But it this case I think Rudd’s motive is more political butt-covering than racism. He has seen the hostile reaction in the electorate to his “big Australia” comment, which he has been running from ever since, and wants to neutralise the issue (See Glen Milne in The Australian today). This is a political tool. What policy – good, bad, racist or indfferent – will come from it remains to be seen. Nothing wrong with a bit of vigilance though.

  33. Peter Patton

    Andrew Carr

    While I completely reject Sinclair’s understanding of the WAP, the ALP’s historical relations with immigration, and especially the current policy, I even more reject your claim “it has consistently been the ALP leading the way.”

    In fact, the ALP and broader socialist/labour movement had been the leaders of Sinophobia from the 1890s up till at least the end of the Keating government. ALL the leading movements, ideas, and advocates for increased immigration and racially non-discriminatory immigration from the 1890s right through to Howard himself, have been ‘liberal’ from Free Traders to the Liberal Party.

    It was the Liberal Party who gradually removed racial barriers from the 1950s on. It was Malcolm Fraser who welcomed those Whitlam called “Vietnamese Balts,” and its was Keating and his left-wing Immigration Minister Gerry Hand who built the desert concentration camps explicitly to lock up and keep Asians out! So please, spare us this offensive revisionism about the ‘progressive’ ALP!

  34. I’m still waiting for an answer to Boris’s question on whether Sinclair believes in open borders and if not, what the annual quota should be or alternatively, what the optimum population of Australia should be?
    And if there is an optimum population, who far before it do we stop importing so as to allow the natural population of existing Australians to eventually reach that figure.

  35. And another thing:
    Sinclair has rightly presented us with some false arguments used in the past to limit immigration, but that in itself does not justify us expanding immigration today.
    He tells us that increased immigration will lead to a higher standard of living tomorrow. Bearing in mind economies of scale, that is probably true even accounting for the future higher land prices we all will have to put up with.
    But is that really enough justification?
    If I hire out the unused bedroom in the back of my house I will end up with a higher annual income; but is it worth the inconvenience of living in a more crowded area?
    Decades ago the mantra was “populate or perish” meaning that a more populous Australia was stronger to defend. Unless that is Sinclair’s motive today, I wonder why the extra annual income is worth the hassle(public transport congestion, roads congestion, housing shortage, public servant sensitivity training). We already are a first world country with enough bulk billing clinics, plasmas and I-phones to go around.

  36. JC1

    Philip:

    there is no “optimum population” unless you’re luddite like a lot of the Australian left.

    Population is a function of our technology, so unless you think the technological advance and accumulation is going to stop or should stop there really is no definable optimum.

  37. Boris

    Philip, are you saying Australia is crowded? You can’t be serious…

    JC, by the same token, would you extend the same argument to European countires, where hotel rooms are the size of your bathroom (to use your own quote)?

  38. JC1

    WRF has the size of a hotel room got to do with this argument, boris? That’s about the stupidest comment I’ve read for a while.

    Stop being a cheapskate, I’ve never stayed in a tiny hotel room in Europe.

  39. Sinclair – If its a “cunning plan” it’s a blatantly obvious one. And anyone whose been in sydney in the last few years would agree a bit of sensible planning in order to handle increasing migration levels is a necessary thing (Though far from the only change needed).

    Peter – Yes in the 1890’s the Trade unions/ALP had racist views, as did the protectionists and most of the free traders, as did your relatives and mine too. But the ALP has changed, and invoking federation era attitudes in a discussion about 21st century policies shows how weak your case is. The ALP was no bigger than the greens today at the time of Federation, so whilst it’s a history worth recording, to try and pin all responsibility on the ALP is laughably partisan and inaccurate.

    While the Liberals began making changes to the white australia policy in the 50’s, this was in response to a growing shift in the community, and seen clearly in the ALP membership & most MP’s even if Calwell was a throwback. Menzies echoed the views of his time, but generally didn’t pay much attention, allowing his more enlightened ministers like Percy-Spender to begin making changes (such as the Colombo Plan)

    However it wasn’t till 1973 that the white australia policy was formally and finally ended, with the 1975 racial discrimination act helping end the possibility.

    Whitlam may have once used a slur, but in 1975 he welcomed in over 1000 Vietnames refugees. The same number Fraser admitted in 1976. Neither man was a racist & Fraser deserves much of the credit for drying up the swamp of racial prejudice that had sat on the conservative side for so long.

    Your choice to highlight mandatory detention is odd, considering it came 5 years after John Howard suggested we should slow down asian migration, and 11 years before Howard implemented a policy of mandatory detention offshore so as to reduce the chance of entry. Yet John Howard is not a racist (Any fair assessment would forgive his 1987 comments), and mandatory detention is not a racist policy (maybe class based discrimination, are you a marxist peter?) Such selective use & abuse of history just shows you have no actual grasp of the subject.

    Neither of our major parties has racist views these days and we should be proud of that fact. The rise of Hanson in 98 however shows the appeal such ignorance can have, and we need good people to help keep them out of power (Beazley, Rudd, Downer & Costello, all publicly argued against her & Abbott assisted a court case to undermine her) Howard chose for political reasons to remain largely quiet, sensitive as he was given his own policy of increased migration.

    The ALP was once racist, but since the late 50’s has lead the way. Rudd only a few months ago embraced the idea of 35 million population, built on increased migration, this should be seen as part of that policy.

  40. JC1

    “Sensible planning”… LOl.

    So tell us what sensible planning is, Andy.

  41. daddy dave

    I don’t agree that Rudd has done anything that could be described as a new WAP.

  42. Abu Chowdah

    My position is:

    a) the Australian government should decide who gets to our shores FULL STOP – people shouldn’t jump the humanitarian queue.

    b) cultural dynamics need to be carefully managed so we don’t get ghettoization. No one who doesn’t embrace democracy, free speech and the rights of women should be allowed entry. In other words: no Salafis from Tripoli. The fabric of Australian society and culture is something I value – don’t fuck it up for my kids.

    c) and related to b)- the numbers of people from failed states needs to be very carefully managed where those people (mostly men who may have participated in brutality) may be so traumatised or culpable (an unable or unwilling to assimilate) that they will be too great a burden on Australian society and will create enclaves in their own evil image.

    Now you can call it racism if that’s the way you want to spin it. In fact, as Rice Miller said, you can call it your mammy if you want to. It’s not racism – it’s respect for my own society and culture and it’s pragmatic strategic thinking. Anyone who thinks wanting to preserve Australian (Western) culture and stability is racism can take a flying fuck at a rolling donut or go plait their poop. Take your choice.

    Lovely day, by the way. Too nice to be inside.

    Abu

  43. Sinclair Davidson

    Sydney has had 15 years of ALP government, starting with the anti-immigration Bob Carr – so let’s not look to Sydney when ‘planning for population’.

  44. Sincs, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that immigrants from certain places do much worse than immigrants from others. Just look at crime or earning statistics.

    For instance we get a lot more value out of immigrants from Malaysia and Singapore than we do out of immigrants from Sudan.

    It’s not racist to point this out, but a lot of people think it is.

  45. THR

    For instance we get a lot more value out of immigrants from Malaysia and Singapore than we do out of immigrants from Sudan.

    ‘Immigrants’ from Sudan are almost entirely refugees, which may have something to do with why they ‘do much worse’.

    cultural dynamics need to be carefully managed so we don’t get ghettoization. No one who doesn’t embrace democracy, free speech and the rights of women should be allowed entry.

    By this measure, there are entire towns and suburbs that are completely migrant-free, that ought to be deported

  46. Michael Sutcliffe

    By this measure, there are entire towns and suburbs that are completely migrant-free, that ought to be deported

    Where?

  47. THR

    I’d rather not single out specific towns and suburbs that are down on their luck, but there are plenty of Australian communities (in Vic, at least) entrenched in poverty, where child abuse, substance abuse and domestic violence are prevalent, where the population doesn’t give a toss about fine liberal sentiments, and where the offenders are entirely White Australians. What I’m suggesting is that ‘ghettoisation’ perhaps ought to be considered in socioeconomic (rather than ethno-religious) terms.

  48. Abu Chowdah

    Certainly agree, THR. But why allow the establishment of new ghettos where there is an additional factor of cultural dissonance, and lack of respect for the issues I mentioned, before you fix the ones you’re discussing? It seems self evident that while fixing the current ones is going to be a struggle, fixing the ones that would have those additional complications is going to be a Herculean task.

  49. Abu Chowdah

    “Certainly agree, THR.”

    Of course, I did not mean I agree with the deportation joke. Carry on.

  50. tal

    Did you get too much sun Abu 🙂

  51. Abu Chowdah

    I did indeed! Now trying to find a decent take away open nearby to save on cooking. Feel like some Penang-style Char Kway Teow…

  52. tal

    Too oily lah no good for health

  53. Sinclair Davidson

    Yobbo – I agree.

    Abu – what makes you think that Australian values are under threat from migrants?

  54. Boris

    “what makes you think that Australian values are under threat from migrants?”

    I don’t think they are. But they can be if immigration goes to tens of millions. If, say, 30 million Chinese come here within a few years, these values are likely to change.

    Some people don’t mind, some do, but I don’t think it can be denied.

  55. Sinclair Davidson

    Boris – sure. But nobody is talking about tens of millions. The number of migrants is low – especially of boat people. Last Sunday Marr said on Insiders that he had worked out that 30-odd thousand* boat people had come to Australia in 30 years. We are hardly being over-run.

    * can’t remember the exact number, but it was very low.

  56. ‘Immigrants’ from Sudan are almost entirely refugees, which may have something to do with why they ‘do much worse’.

    Not sure what difference that makes THR, to be honest.

    The point is that we should import more of the good, less of the bad. If that means taking less refugees and more economics students then that is what we should do.

  57. THR

    The number of migrants is low – especially of boat people. Last Sunday Marr said on Insiders that he had worked out that 30-odd thousand* boat people had come to Australia in 30 years. We are hardly being over-run.

    Yet this is precisely Abbott’s contention. He said:

    ”It’s very hard to have a sustainable population strategy if you can’t control our boat arrivals. You can’t have a population policy without having a border protection policy,” he said.

    http://www.theage.com.au/national/rudd-flips-on-big-australia-20100403-rkvo.html

    My guesstimate is that boat people would constitute less than 1% of arrivals in a given year, so Abbott is wildly off the mark/lying when he links ‘border protection’ with population. Secondly, it’s the opposition driving this stuff about a ‘tough’ policy on asylum seekers – criticism should be directed at them for completely derailing a population debate with xenophobic sentiments that were best left in 2001.

  58. Sinclair Davidson

    THR – why do we care about Abbott – he is the leader of the opposition, we should worry about what the government are up to.

  59. Myrddin Seren

    The Minister says:

    “Mr Burke said his new portfolio touched every area of service delivery, and he would consult widely as he developed the strategy over the coming 12 months.”

    We have a Federal election looming that every pundit says will occur with calendar 2010.

    If the Minister is going to take a year to develop a policy to take to Cabinet – then the policy the government will take to the election on this is:

    “My government is definitely thinking that it might maybe possibly could have a policy, but we are widely consulting, albeit the process of consultation has been disrupted by this whole voting/election campaign thing, which is so unsettling to the process of informed, progressive, consultative government. But I won’t make any apologies for that !”

    It’s a total furphy going nowhere, just another sop triggered by focus groups in the marginals. Save the angst for issues that the government might actually be moved to take something approaching real action on – whatever that might actually be.

  60. THR

    Not sure what difference that makes THR, to be honest.

    We take refugees not for economic reasons, but humanitarian ones. It makes no sense to compare them to the general immigrant population. Most who qualify as refugees have lost family members to conflict and have firt-hand experience of trauma, generally within a desperately poor third-world context. I’m not sure why you’d think that Malaysian economics students would set a standard that’s remotely reachable for some illiterate torture victim from Sudan or Iraq.

    THR – why do we care about Abbott – he is the leader of the opposition, we should worry about what the government are up to.

    It’s the opposition (and Bob Carr) who’ve framed the debate. The government aren’t actually doing anything, it should be said.

  61. Abu Chowdah

    “Abu – what makes you think that Australian values are under threat from migrants?”

    Do you know anything about Salafism, Sinkers? The shitbags languishing in gaol for terrorism are the extreme evidence of that virulent strain of Islam. I’m not saying it’s a monumental problem. Just saying, immigration should be controlled by the government. Inviting Salafis here is no different to inviting white supremacists from Europe: asking for trouble.

    And let’s define Australian values: I’m talking democracy, freedom of expression, pluralism and respect for the rights of women and children. Don’t imagine this is some jingoistic yen for a WASP society. (I’m an atheist). A lot of substantially different cultures have been absorbed into Australia very successfully, including some successful Muslim communities, such as the Turks.

    To sum up: people who hate a free society and want to impose totalitarianism should be excluded.

  62. Sinclair Davidson

    I don’t disagree with that – but many of the problems we face are from Australian born individuals. People who engage in anti-social behaviour should be sent to gaol; again and again if necessary.

  63. Abu Chowdah

    “Too oily lah no good for health”

    LOL. True, but if you have a coronary while eating them at this place, you will have died and gone to heaven:

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/restaurant-reviews/singapura-eating-house/2007/02/27/1172338606191.html

  64. Abu Chowdah

    “People who engage in anti-social behaviour should be sent to gaol; again and again if necessary.”

    Agree 1000%. But these are two different issues: solving existing problems (local shitbags) and creating problems (importing fascists) that you don’t need to.

  65. Sinclair Davidson

    True – but it’s not clear that we are importing ‘shit bags’.

  66. Abu Chowdah

    How about a few thousand Tamil Tigers?

  67. Sinclair Davidson

    The problem with Tamil Tigers is that, by definition, they are terrorists. But that is only because they lost their civil war. It is unlikely that they will be a threat to anyone in Australia. Of course, some may well be; then send them to gaol and deport them afterwards.

  68. Abu Chowdah

    Sinkers,

    You can’t deport them once they gain citizenship.

    And they aren’t terrorists because they lost their civil war. They are terrorists because for decades they have engaged in transnational acts of violence targeting innocents as well as military and political leadership targets (Gandhi), using those tactics to create a campaign of terror designed to influence and achieve a political objective. Textbook terrorism. They invented the suicide bomber.

    Now they’ve lost their war, many of those who are hunted by the Sri Lankan authorities (because of past crimes) will disperse. The smart ones will look for a soft, fat dumb idealistic Western welfare society where they can burrow in and rebuild their logistical capabilities and consider how to reshape their terror strategies to target Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan interests from different bases of operation.

    Now, I may be completely wrong. These people may walk into Australia, sniff the ‘you beaut pluralist breeze’ and go, “My God, what was I thinking? Time to beat the swords into plowshares and join Get Up! and vote for Rudd.” On the other hand, they may leech off Australia to continue violence elsewhere in the world, as many Islamic ideologues did in the UK for years leading up to 911 and the London bombings.

    What I am talking about is not without precedent, and those who fail to study history…

    Abu C

  69. Sinclair Davidson

    Abu – Sure, but they wouldn’t be a threat to Australia. They also wouldn’t be the first to use Australia as a base. See the East Timorese – what were they doing here all those years?

    Foreign born citizens can have their citizenship revoked and be deported for some crimes – the Howard government brought that in.

    Some migrants may also vote for Rudd – but that is hardly a hanging offense. To the extent that migrants don’t vote for the Coalition that is a positioning problem for the coalition. I would have thought that many migrants now coming to Australia would tend to be pro-small business social conservatives.

  70. Abu Chowdah

    “Sure, but they wouldn’t be a threat to Australia.”

    How about Australia’s international obligations? Would it be okay for Osama bin Laden to live here as long as he targeted other countries? Sinkers, Sinkers, Sinkers. Are you into your last bottle of wine before the holidays end?

    The Rudd comment was a joke. Let’s not debate it.

  71. Jason Soon

    Abu
    I agree with you about Salafists but don’t see how anyone associated with the Tamil Tigers are necessarily ‘shitbags’. Some of them are just dusky skinned versions of IRA supporters. We shouldn’t import radical Islamists because these people have a tendency to hate our civilisation and want to use coercive means to shape it towards their ends. I have less of a problem with secular nationalists who just happened to lose a civil war – yes I do believe that they are more likely than salafists to become assimilated to and enjoy the benefits of our society until their relative comfort moderates their aims. How were IRA fundraisers in Boston a danger to the US?

  72. Boris

    “But nobody is talking about tens of millions. ”

    If you open borders, you will get millions pretty quickly.

    If you do not advocate open borders, then WHAT is your suggested policy? Maybe it is not that different from Abu’s and mine (mine is similar to that of LDP).

  73. Sinclair Davidson

    Abu – Osama bin Laden is a special case. But basically what Jason said. In general, we shouldn’t involve ourselves in other peoples’ civil wars and, from time to time, the losers of such conflicts are going to come to live here and rebuild their lives. At the same time between 1975 and 1999 we had east Timorese activists living in Australia and in the 1970s and 1980s anti-Apartheid activists and so on. Many of these people are considered to be fine Australian citizens.

  74. Boris

    “We shouldn’t import radical Islamists …”

    How is this supposed to work in practice? Have asylum seekers or skilled migrants sit a test? Restrict immigration by country of origin?

    These are genuine, not rhetorical questions…

  75. Sinclair Davidson

    Boris – more than at present. I have no definite number in mind, but I don’t believe the ‘we’d be over-run hypothesis’.

  76. Sinclair Davidson

    Beat-ups like this don’t help either.

  77. Jason Soon

    The smart ones will look for a soft, fat dumb idealistic Western welfare society where they can burrow in and rebuild their logistical capabilities and consider how to reshape their terror strategies to target Sri Lanka

    See here, Abu, you’re using an analogy from Islamist terrorism wrongly. Never have I heard of any country where there is a Tamil underclass. They’re more likely to end up in IT than on welfare. Culture matters.

  78. Jason Soon

    Boris
    I don’t have an answer to your question. if I did we could solve our immigration problems immediately. All I’m saying is I agree with Abu’s wariness about open borders immigration and being selective with who we take but noting that we can distinguish between different dissident groups in terms of their social impact as migrants.

  79. Boris

    “more than at present” I have no problem with this. I think Australia should allow more skilled migrants AND more refugees. But we want a controlled process.

    Not sure about boat peoople. Current policy is inhumaine. But softening it will encourage people smuggling and loss of control. Somehow I don’t think that’s right.

  80. Boris

    “being selective with who we take but noting that we can distinguish between different dissident groups in terms of their social impact as migrants.”

    This is interesting. Broadly speaking, many people agree with this, but do not want to admit it for fear of being branded racist. Therefore this is done through a back door. Allow only highly educated people and you are unlikely to have many from Somalia or Sudan. Ever thought why we have many whites from South Africa but relatively few blacks from there?

  81. I have quite a bit of time, like Boris, for the LDP policy. I do think you are going to struggle to get people to agree to an increase in the refugee intake while we still have a large and generous welfare state in place. Remember, too, that this often involves wealth transfers such as free schooling, not just direct cash handouts.

    Yes, the attitude to immigration may change if we stripped away welfare entitlements, but that isn’t going to happen any time soon, which means that people — for better or for worse — are going to prefer Malaysian Chinese economics graduates who can walk straight into a job.

  82. Boris

    ” I have no definite number in mind”

    I am more interested in policy than numbers.

  83. Abu Chowdah

    “How were IRA fundraisers in Boston a danger to the US?”

    No danger, if you don’t care how the activities of a few people can impact on your bilateral relationship, including in regard to technology and intelligence sharing.

    But where are your principles? Where’s your self-respect? How can you turn a blind eye to fund raising in your country that is intended to kill innocent men, women and children? The IRA isn’t pseudo Irish pubs with quaint accents and nice beers, Jason. It’s a violent organisation that has committed human rights violations (as did the Provos).

    “In general, we shouldn’t involve ourselves in other peoples’ civil wars and, from time to time, the losers of such conflicts are going to come to live here and rebuild their lives.”

    Sinkers – Marvellous, in principle. But there are degrees. East Timor, yes all very well. But the LTTE are a whole different order of organised criminality and brutality. I don’t intend to pontificate further when you can educate yourself.

    All I’m saying is I agree with Abu’s wariness about open borders immigration and being selective with who we take but noting that we can distinguish between different dissident groups in terms of their social impact as migrants.

    Agree. Except I think you are being naive about the LTTE. (And I even think they had a legitimate grievance!)

    Time for a glass of white wine, methinks.

    Goodnight all.

  84. Boris

    I think we should not allow in people with violent past, nor should allow Australia to be used as a staging ground (or fund raising) for violent activity overseas. The former should be one of the criteria for entry. The latter is not directly related to immigration, and should be handled by law enforcement. Labelling organisations as terrorist is one way of doing it. Be it IRA or PKK or Hezbollah.

  85. THR

    the attitude to immigration may change if we stripped away welfare entitlements

    It wouldn’t make the slightest bit of difference. Large sections of the Australian public hate/fear/distrust migrants, and instead of looking at migrants or the welfare state for the explanation, you’d be better off looking at the haters thesmelves. If dole payments were abolished, immigrants would be derided as shiftless lumpens. If they got jobs, they’d be accused of stealing them from ‘real’ Australians.
    In short, beyond the realm of pure speculation, it’s politically impossible for either of the major parties to have anything like an open borders policy.

  86. Abu Chowdah

    THR, you focus too much on the perceived poor qualities of Australians, and not enough on the actual poor qualities of some migrants.

    Okay now I’m really out of here. Hoo-roo.

  87. Sinclair Davidson

    Sauv blanc, I hope. 🙂

  88. THR

    Abu, it’d be just as senseless to try and account for misogyny on the basis that some women really do have affairs, behave badly, or whatever. It’s a psychological point, really. Look at the subject, not the object.

  89. Abu Chowdah

    A Leo Buring Grosset, Sinkers!

  90. THR, there’s considerable empirical evidence refuting that view, and establishing that much of what manifests as racism, particularly among the white (and in the US, black) working class has economic origins. I’d recommend the work of George Borjas as a starting point, particularly Heaven’s Door.

  91. THR

    there’s considerable empirical evidence refuting that view

    Where’s the Australian evidence? Blaming racism on welfare is putting the cart before the horse. It’s like trying to explain some guy’s boot fetish with reference to the erotic properties of leather. There’s a whole range of basically bigoted arguments raised against immigration, of which welfare dependence is merely a subset – ‘stealing jobs’, failure to assimilate, crime, etc are among the other arguments.

  92. Michael Sutcliffe

    THR, really you offer nothing worthy of consideration. There are very real social issues with the failing to assimilate, there are very real economic issues with welfare dependence. Both of these aspects need to be managed from a pragmatic perspective. You are a true lefty in that you want the world to be a different place and your means of trying to make it so is wishing really hard. You don’t have a workable solution for any problem I’ve seen you debate. How can you not feel the same way? You really do live the fantasy, but it must be a depressing one.

  93. THR

    I think you miss my point, Sutcliffe, once again. What I’m suggesting is that racism, bigotry, xenophobia is independent of welfarism, ‘assimilation’ and all the rest. It’s irrational to think otherwise.
    I thought you were big on ‘personal responsibility’ – why are you letting people off the hook for their personal attitudes, and attributing them to some external locus of control?

    Whatever ‘very real social issues’ there may be are completely obscured by the mischevious use of ‘assimilationist’ discourses and the like, by rightist pundits and demagogues. For Australia, most waves of migrants have had a tough time of things for a generation or two, then integrated into the economy, social institutions, etc.

    My solution is entirely workable, I might add – continued immigration (but not open borders), and increased planning with a view to infrastructure and supporting a larger population (more cities, better planning of cities, etc). What’s your solution? Going Galt and shipping of with Lachlan and James to the Bahamas?

  94. Boris

    I partly agree with THR. Some of the racism is irrational. Or shall we say, it may be rooted in economic factors but has acquired life of its own.

    But actually, racism is not the same as opposition to immigration. Racism is about attitudes to people with different colour of skin, and by extension, of different ethnic origin, regardless where they live.

    I do not actually think Australians overall are racist. But, by and large, they don’t want their culture eroded by influx of people from much bigger neighbour nations – and rightly so. Some of this attitude is irrational. Not a big deal…

    Proponents of too much immigration should look at social problems it created in almost every European nation.

  95. Michael Sutcliffe

    My solution would be the LDP policy. I reckon your solution will look shit really quick and will fail to utilise the talents of the new arrivals. However, your solution is probably more likely to be part of Australia’s future, so well done.

    I do think ‘Going Galt’ is the way to go for people like myself, though. But you’ve got to remember what you’re describing is Rand’s illustration of how ‘Atlas Shrugs’. Going Galt is living to own benefit and ensuring the parasites don’t sap off you, so it doesn’t mean establishing a capitalist commune in the Rockies. So, for example, Going Galt would mean that rather than work a second job like I did in 2002/2003, I’d put the extra effort into tax minimisation. Another example – which is my goal for this year – is to cease donating to charities and direct all those funds to things like the CIS, IPA, LDP campaigns etc. That’s Going Galt, you should try it – we could build a better world together!!

  96. Sinclair Davidson

    Yes – I saw that. He’s being a bit rude to Stephen King. Of course Harry doesn’t care about people being excluded, he is a Tory afterall.

  97. jtfsoon

    Harry says he like ‘most people’ don’t want to live in a city with 8 million people and doesn’t want to live like “indians and Chinese in their vast polluted and congested cities”.

    Umm doesn’t New York City have a population of more than 8 million? Where’s the law that says you have to have the conditions of Bombay to have a city with a population of 8 million?

    Also isn’t Harry being a little inconsistent being a committed environmentalist on the one hand and yet wanting to waste all that space on the other? Ed Glaeser’s research suggests there are environmental benefits from high density.

    I for one am happy to live in a highly dense urban environment provided it was run well.

  98. Steve Edney

    I always find the argument that “most people” don’t like living in crowded cities ridiculous. Obviously they do other wise they wouldn’t be there. Even if they don’t enjoy the crowding they enjoy the other benefits more.

  99. Steve Edney

    But I should add I think that Sinclair branding this decision as racist is absolutely baseless and silly.

  100. daddy dave

    There’s something upside down about this reasoning. New York grew to the size it was because it was collossally successul. It’s not the other way around; it didn’t become successful because they decided to pile 8 million (or as high as 20 million if you include “greater NY”). Plus, the overcrowding is a problem created by success, but it’s still a problem that needs to be managed and dealt with.
    You don’t plan for big cities; you plan for successful cities. If you do it right, the city will grow naturally.

  101. Steve Edney

    Well yes precisely DD. Its not to say that overcrowding isn’t an issue, its a downside without a doubt. It might be nice to fanatize about a place with all the facilities and opportunities of a big city, and the ability to enjoy it without crowding but the two ultimately go hand in hand and the upsides outweight the downside for “most people”.

  102. daddy dave

    the upsides outweight the downside for “most people”.
    .
    Yes, as long as this is allowed to occur naturally, rather than government fiat, or state orders that the populace must create a vibrant metropolis at a location chosen by the government.
    .
    (A bureaucrat jams bony finger into a map on the table.)
    “We will have a cool, groovy cosmopolos HERE!”
    (then pointing nearby, a little more sadly).
    “We will have the bogan-filled cultural wasteland suburbs, over here. But they must live in high rise too, so that they can also learn to be cool.”

  103. Peter Patton

    THR

    Large sections of the Australian public hate/fear/distrust migrants, and instead of looking at migrants or the welfare state for the explanation, you’d be better off looking at the haters thesmelves.

    As I’ve noted before, while you live in the monocultural inner city, I live where the REAL multicultural Australia is; the suburbs! Now, I don’t know where you get your ideas about these supposed “large sections of the Australian public.” I would guess that you are less commenting on Australia than projecting your own ideological blinkers.

  104. Boris

    Overcrowding in Australia is a joke.

  105. JC1

    Let me guess. Harry wants a small population. The idiot is 60 and he’s worried about what’s going to happen in 2050.

    Do these idiots realize that we could have better living standards as a result of better technology?

  106. Peter Patton

    THR

    I hate to get all pomo here, but the way you use “racism” and “bigotry” they really are the ultimate in empty signifiers, so your arguments that rely on those words tend to be meaningless.

  107. Boris

    For those interested in recent history, this is how they used manage overcrowding in Moscow.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propiska

  108. Sinclair Davidson

    Much the same thing in South Africa.

  109. THR

    As I’ve noted before, while you live in the monocultural inner city, I live where the REAL multicultural Australia is; the suburbs! Now, I don’t know where you get your ideas about these supposed “large sections of the Australian public.” I would guess that you are less commenting on Australia than projecting your own ideological blinkers.

    You don’t actually know where I live, champ, so don’t get too presumptuous. I’m not saying here that all concerns about immigration are necessarily racist, however, I am suggesting that bigotry of one sort or another is one of the biggest barriers to an open immigration policy. It’d be political suicide to even suggest an open policy, which is why both major parties for the past decade have been playing down their multicultural credentials.

  110. Tim R

    I think this Objectivist article “Immigration and Individual Rights” is excellent for the basic theory on why there should ideally be no immigration quotas. http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues/2008-spring/immigration-individual-rights.asp

    I was pretty sure Rudd’s government already cut the immigration quota? Did I get that wrong?

  111. THR

    For those interested in recent history, this is how they used manage overcrowding in Moscow.

    Unlike Australian cities, Moscow had a genuine housing shortage, that pre-dated the Soviet era. Even now, Moscow real estate is just about the most expensive in the world. In Australia, I think NIMBYism is going to prevent similar solutions here – imagine the clutching of pearls if Soviet-style apartment blocks started going up in Double Bay or Brighton…

  112. jtfsoon

    from the Objectivist article that Tim R linked to – part of theuir 5 step programme for reforming immigration

    5.Declare war on Iran; eliminate its current regime; and announce to the world that, from now on, this is how America will deal with regimes that threaten our citizens, our immigrants, or our allies. Turn next to the Saudi regime. Repeat as necessary

    HAHAHAHAHA

    rinse and repeat

  113. Peter Patton

    THR

    You are stuck in the vacuum of circularity when you rely on the “racism” and “bigotry” of these unidentified “large sections of the Australian public.” And yes, in previous discussions, you have made it quite clear you do not live in the suburbs.

  114. THR

    And yes, in previous discussions, you have made it quite clear you do not live in the suburbs.

    Not the outer-suburbs, and not at the moment. Again, do not be so presumptuous.

    Secondly, there’s obviously resistance to more immigration. Some of this is motivated by legitimate concern, no doubt, but it’s disingenuous to pretend that racism has nothing to do with it.

    Finally, a bit of precision is called for here. If you’re going to fling ‘pomo’ about as an insult, at least use it properly. ‘Postmodernism’ was coined in the fifties, and came into prominence in the eighties. The term ‘signifier’ dates back to the Swiss linguist Saussure, who used it in his 1905 text. If I’m not mistaken, he inherited the concept from medieval schoolmen in any case.

  115. JC1

    i have to say that TimR’s objectivist link really does make a lot of sense to me.

  116. JC1

    In light of the immoral and illegitimate law they “broke” by moving to (or remaining in) America—and in light of the suffering they have endured by being labeled “illegal” (e.g., having to live in the shadows, not being able to market their goods or services openly, not being able to use banks or credit cards, etc.)—the solution to the problem of so-called “illegals” is to grant them unconditional amnesty and a presidential apology.

    Lol A presidential apology….in a sense it’s true.

  117. Peter Patton

    My intellectual history is still pretty sharp, but thanks for the chronology tip! But we are still stuck with your still unsubstantiated cliches about ‘racism’ and ‘bigotry’.

  118. Boris

    “Moscow had a genuine housing shortage, that pre-dated the Soviet era…”

    How do you define ‘housing shortage’? In a market economy without ridiculous land restrictions, you can build houses as long as there is demand. I have no idea what the housing situation was before Bolsheviks. But under the ‘Soviet era’, overcrowding increased enormously due largely to their policy of disproportionally supplying major cities and especially Moscow with food and other basic goods.

    Nowadays Moscow has grown further but for a different reason: as a centre of all power and money. All countries which are overly centralised will have similar problems. Centralised states do worse in this respect than decentralised (Germany vs France). Australia has good prospects in this respect.

  119. C.L.

    Probably the worst examples of genuine (as opposed to invented) race-based dog-whistling in recent years came from Kim Beazley who deliberately referred to “foreign workers” threatening Aussie Jobs in the Howard years. Then there was Carpenter in W.A. who asserted point blank that the “foreign workers” would cause more Bondi-style race riots. But this surprises nobody familiar with the Labor Party. Excepting the US Democrats, it has the most racist history of any political party outside of South Africa.

  120. Tim R

    Glad you liked the article JC1.

    My impression of late is that most Australians would be horrified at the idea of open immigration. That’s quite depressing to me because I’m for open immigration and because my entire family immigrated to various countries out of necessity.
    What gets me is the instances where I have seen immigrant Australians who are now arguing for reducing immigration quotas! Arrogance.

    Jtfsoon:
    Well, since you bring up that issue, and for the benefit of anyone interested, Objectivist Dr John Lewis explains his thoughts on war in this new book. “Nothing less than victory”
    http://www.amazon.com/Nothing-Less-than-Victory-Decisive/dp/0691135185/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1270532792&sr=8-1

    Also Elan Journo’s “Winning the Unwinnable War” http://www.amazon.com/Winning-Unwinnable-War-Self-Crippled-Totalitarianism/dp/0739135414/ref=pd_sim_b_3

    I haven’t read either and this issue is not a major area of interest to me although I have certainly found myself accepting the basic principles behind these arguments over time.

  121. jtfsoon

    I didn’t mean to be that dismissive TimR. The rest of the article made some very good points.

    However that stuff about sorting out rogue countries is a bit glib

    1) The US doesn’t even have the capacity to sort out the fricking Taliban at the moment
    2) Some invasions would be counterproductive. I think Iran would be one of these.
    3) I totally agree with the idea of ‘total war’ i.e. that if you go in, you go in hard and decisively and stay to win. But again refer back to 1 and 2.

  122. Infidel Tiger

    I’d say most Australians are pro-immigration. What they don’t want is any more muslim immigration. Since you apparently can’t have one without the other, best to curb the whole thing.

  123. Peter Patton

    CL

    I don’t think anything beats Keating/Hand’s locking up Asians in the desert so they can continue with Lebanese Muslim branchstacking in suburban Sydney. Er, I mean ‘humanitarian family reunion’ scheme. 😉

  124. Tim R

    I’d add Sudanese to that list Infidel Tiger.

    Yeah I can appreciate that point of view jtfsoon.

    Objectivist foreign policy ideas stem from the rational egoism in ethics. Therefore while many Objectivists are calling for military action in Iran based on self defense arguments, they are at the same time against most “interventionalist” military activities. I reckon certain Libertarians would probably disagree on what self defense actually entails.
    I think some Objectivists have even been incorrectly labelled as “isolationists” because of previous stances eg/ (from memory) contrary to the politicians of the day, Ayn Rand was initially against US involvement in WWII but changed her tune after Pearl Harbour. Objectivists believe the military should only be used in self defense and they are against military activity based on altruistic concerns eg/ foreign aid, cultural sensitivity training, public services building etc

    Objectivists have been critical of Islamic regimes for a long time. Ayn Rand spoke out against countries like Iran that nationalised their oil industries. She noted that the oil industry was only possible due to western technology and investment. I don’t know if she had any ideas on what the US government should have specifically done at the time, but she viewed the response as being ultimately one of appeasment.

  125. I am suggesting that bigotry of one sort or another is one of the biggest barriers to an open immigration policy.

    No, the biggest barrier to an open immigration policy is our welfare state. You can’t just open the doors and promise free money, too many people will take you up on it.

  126. JC1

    I agree with Jason on that which I should have elaborated on in my earlier support of the TImR link.

  127. THR

    No, the biggest barrier to an open immigration policy is our welfare state. You can’t just open the doors and promise free money, too many people will take you up on it.

    You’re correct in a back-handed way. Abolish the welfare state, and the country would turn into a shithole and no refugee would bother coming here. To say that the welfare state is the barrier to open immigration is completely false, however. During Howard’s reign, Temporary Protection Visas denied asylum seeks (bona fide refugees in almost every case) all of the benefits of our welfare state. This move dide nothing to quell what was then naked bigotry and paranoia. (I’m thinking of the histrionics that occurred circa 2001).

    Large sectors of the public oppose open immigration for reasons that are more or less racist. This nonsense about the welfare state is marely a logical fallacy. It has no more to do with suspicion of migrants than does the weather, or the price of fish in Footscray.

  128. THR

    Ayn Rand spoke out against countries like Iran that nationalised their oil industries. She noted that the oil industry was only possible due to western technology and investment.

    How repulsive. The Iranians, according to Rand, owe a permanent living to ‘the west’ because the latter supposedly did them a favour once. A retarded five-year old could rebut such arguments. And without reference to the dictatorships installed by those generous benefactors in ‘the west’.

  129. Boris

    THR you are entitled to your view. You may even go and enjoy a more refined welfare states like Cuba and North Korea. Yobbo is not even saying that welfare is bad. But it obviously is an obstacle to mass immigration, because if it is allowed, a lot of people will come, and significant portion will come for welfare. Maybe a minority, but there will be that portion.

    I am actually not against welfare for those in real need. But I think middle class welfare practiced in this country is very damaging to the society. About 50% of all Australians are its beneficiaries. I personally know people who can’t work or they will lose their housing. Crazy.

  130. Peter Patton

    THR

    See as long as you continue this Tourrette’s “racism, bigotry, racism, bigotry, racism, bigotry” you will remain Stuck On Stupid. White middle class far left people are going to have to start thinking about issues as they really are, rather than relying on ideas developed for the 1930s, not the 21st century.

  131. daddy dave

    Yobbo is exactly right.
    If you want a welfare system, fine and good (and I think we all agree that some level of welfare is necessary), but the logical consequence is that you cannot have open borders or unrestricted immigration.
    We do have welfare and we don’t have open borders. So that is how it should be.
    Let’s face it, if you’re in a third world shithole, why wouldn’t you move to a country with a generous welfare system, irrespective of the other merits or drawbacks of that country? Why would you care about the merits or drawbacks – the decision is a no-brainer. And I don’t say that to disparage anyone at all. i’d do exactly the same thing. Anyone would.

  132. Peter Patton

    dd

    Also, the notion that we can keep our welfare system except deny it to immigrants will never fly, and nor should it.

  133. jtfsoon

    it depends on which third world country you come from.

    I can say with confidence that in any SE Asian country highly influenced by Confucianism going on welfare is seen as a matter of the utmost shame and carries the heaviest stigma of the sort that used to be felt in Victorian England. No one of Chinese background would migrate to another country because of its welfare system.

    The main reason my parents came over here waa the boring old fashioned notion of rule of law. Basically my father thought that in Malaysia with its Bumiputera (Affirmative action for Malays) policy we’d be denied good educational and employment opportunities. That’s the reason you find a lot of Malaysian Chinese moving here.

  134. jtfsoon

    I would also add that migrants from a Confucian background would be instinctively socially and economically conservative. While somewhat culturally chauvinistic themselves, they do tend to be paranoid about any hint of a racial backlash but it’s not as if they’re pomo multicultists either. It’s more of a perception of safety thing than an ideological thing. After all it’s not as if East Asian migrants have any exotic customs like wearing a burqa that need recognition or discrimination in favour of. They mostly just want to be left alone.

    That the Libs can’t hold their vote is a testimony to their ineptness.

  135. daddy dave

    Jason, that’s a great reason to come, and it reminds me of an article I read recently that shame peforms important social regulatory functions, and we’ve stripped it from society to our detriment.
    I hope it’s clear I’m not against immigration, and I’m not against welfare. But when people start talking about unrestricted immigration – even as a thought experiment – we’ve got to look at the actual incentive structures in place.

  136. jtfsoon

    actually as per my previous comment there’s a good analogy with the Jews here.

    The Jews also tend to be excessively worried about ‘anti-semitism’ and for that reason tend to not vote for any politicians or political parties who have the slightest hint of xenophobia or anti-immigration sentiment even though in all other respects they’re the sort of demographic that should find low tax pro-family parties appealing. Same thing with the Chinese.

  137. Peter Patton

    jtfsoon

    You would be a good source to verify or reject my observation that no matter how ‘foreign’ or ‘Confucian’ Australia’s east Asian migrants, they integrate pretty damn quickly. While first generation parents might put their kids through hell, by the time their locally born children reach adulthood, they are all “gidday mate,” “shrimp on the barbie” as if they were Steve Irwin, and very likely to marry/partner non-Asians.

  138. jtfsoon

    I’d say that a good generalisation, peter.

  139. jtfsoon

    one of Harry’s conspiracist commenters

    http://www.harryrclarke.com/2010/04/05/crazies-on-migration-population-policy/comment-page-1/#comment-10768

    elements of the right wing however welcome unfettered immigration – specifically the folk who litter the Catallaxy posts and also greedily* suck on the tit of the mega-industrial benefactors who kick in to the Institute of Public Affairs.

  140. Wow! A stoush. It’s been so long. I’ll be back.

  141. Boris

    ” No one of Chinese background would migrate to another country because of its welfare system. ”

    Maybe that’s not the reason to migrate. But if people come from a vastly different economy, some percentage of them will find themselves on welfare without wanting it. But then, Chinese speaking countries are not that poor anyway…

  142. Boris

    But hold on, why did they embrace Msoism at some stage?

  143. dover_beach

    Jason makes some good points. The rub however is that any dispute as to the numbers of immigrants allowed and/ or in respect of the order in which they are supposed to arrive is made to insinuate the charge of xenophobia which I find hard to credit.

  144. jtfsoon

    why did they embrace Msoism at some stage?

    That’s a complicated issue, Boris. At that time the Nationalist government of Chiang Kai Shek was perceived as corrupt. Mao got the support of the peasants. There was also partly an issue of nationalism and cultural pride at play and his cause was identified as the strongest anti-imperialist force. And they were sick of the warlords.

    In Malaysia most of the Chinese support for the Communists came from the Chinese-educated small traders who would’ve balked at the idea of accepting welfare. You can’t really associate Communism with welfare statism, it was more like a collectivist movement with national pride overtones.

  145. THR

    White middle class far left people are going to have to start thinking about issues as they really are, rather than relying on ideas developed for the 1930s, not the 21st century.

    Peter, you can continue to put your fingers in your ears and yell ‘la la la’ but it won’t change the facts. In 1998, a million Australians voted One Nation. In 2001, xenophobia reached a zenith of sorts. All of these ugly sentiments belong to the vague realm that we might call ‘feelings’. Now, we have here on this thread some clowns and apologists whom, rather than understand xenophobia in terms of the xenophobe, try to attribute it the welfare state, the characteristics of immigrants, or the colour of the governor-general’s underwear. All of which is garbage. As I pointed out earlier, hostility to refugees hit a peak in 2001 for instance, when refugees weren’t entitled to a cracker from the government, and were treated with contempt. Today, 65$ of people in an Essential Research survey claim that we are ‘too soft’ on asylum seekers. These attitudes make open immigration politically impossible, and they have nothing to do with Medicare, public schools and dole payments.

  146. Rococo Liberal

    THR stop throwing the word xenophobe around and grow up.

    In 1998 several million people voted for the greens and democrats whose policies on all but immigration matters were pretty much identical to those of One Nation. So One Nation was right about one thing, whilst the greens and the other left wing shit heads were wrong on all counts. What sparked One Nation’s sudden leap into the spotlight was a strong belief that reverse discrimination was taking place and was not helping the left’s so-called victim class. For example, after years of ALP goody-two shoes whining about how wonderful they were with indigenous people, the plight of the aborigines was worse than it had been before 1967. Yet you fucking clowns of the left keep on acting as if you are the indigenous people’s saviour. Maybe you are, but only for the boring, politically active few.

  147. daddy dave

    THR, what have the Tampa and One Nation got to do with this thread? Also, why do you personally want to see “open immigration” politically possible? I take it you agree with Sinclair that immigration is desirable because it boosts GDP and economic growth?

  148. C.L.

    Pauline Hanson may have been an heir to Gough Whitlam’s and the ALP’s notorious hatred of refugees but there was a lot more happening with the Hanson demographic than concern about race. What she was good at doing was appealing to that natural old Labor constituency which felt shunned by Hawke and (especially) Keating Labor’s courtship of the latte set and contempt for the suburban and regional untermensch.

  149. JC1

    one of Harry’s conspiracist commenters

    Harold should be cross posting at LP these days. He’s no different to the Beta boys these days.

  150. Two things.
    .
    First it is human nature to be tribal. To ally one’s self with one’s kin. Our cities are growing and there is a surfeit of tribes with which the culture is struggling. It is not equipped to deal with the sudden cosmopolitan nature of Oz society. Our cities could do with a little infrastructure upgrade and some more high rise centres as well.
    .
    This is a political reality regardless of our ideals. When things are scarce and houses are – space is, and, for a certain unwashed segment of Oz society, jobs are! – when things are scarce it is natural to get tribal. And that leads to social tension. One of the arguments for the nefarious white Australia polcy is that it avoided race riots. I hate the policy but I can’t fault that part of it. It’s an unpleasant fact.

    Second: Malthus was right. He just didn’t forsee the verge of technological paradigm shift he lived on. We take that shift for granted and think it’ll continue to solve all problems. It won’t. The monkey doesn;t change that much.

    Just because the solutions to a problem are mostly illiberal doesn’t make the problem non-existent. Can we please put the head-in-the-sand days behind us?

  151. What she was good at doing was appealing to that natural old Labor constituency which felt shunned by Hawke and (especially) Keating Labor’s courtship of the latte set and contempt for the suburban and regional untermensch.
    .
    You mean she talks good bogan? 🙂

  152. Peter Patton

    Adrien

    Bogan? Please explain. 🙂

  153. Bogan mate? It’s what the yuppies call real Aussies mate? A yuppie is a bloke what washes more n’ once a week n’ drink wine n’ poufter shit bro?
    .
    Bogans r’ real Aussies mate? We know it’s just not right mate? This is ‘Straya n’ a white man has a right to his own house, his boat n’ a six pack in the morning and dinner-time too mate.
    .
    And all whilst on the dole.
    .
    Bloody Asians mate. We didn’t have to work or nothin’ before they got here. Now when we go da school we haveta fuckin’ learn da read mate. Used to be goin’ da school was fun. Smokes n’ roots n’ beatin’ the shit outta poufs mate. Chicko rolls mate. Oi oi oi!

  154. Peter Patton

    Actually Adrien, we are ALL bogans now. 😉

  155. Peter Patton

    Having once been an actual real live yuppie, trust me, I know.

  156. Peter Patton

    Adrien

    it’s clearly some time since you’ve taken a vacation among the bogans. Nowadays they are more likely to be called Tan or Ahmed, rather than Darren or Sharon. 😉

  157. dover_beach

    First it is human nature to be tribal. To ally one’s self with one’s kin. Our cities are growing and there is a surfeit of tribes with which the culture is struggling. It is not equipped to deal with the sudden cosmopolitan nature of Oz society.

    A major problem with this argument, Adrien, and there are other problems, it is that in any modern city there are no ‘tribes’ in anything but a metaphorical sense. Not even the people who are, like me, born in this country are in any significant sense, my kin. So I don’t really see the point of raising the so-called ‘tribal’ aspects of our society.

  158. Peter Patton

    db

    That is the precisely the point I have been trying to drum into THR. These people are hopeless. On the one hand they run around shrieking against unidentified “racists” that Australia is a multicultural society. But then they turn around and insist Australians are “xenophobes, racists, and bigots.” Following their own “logic”, they are accusing the multi-cultured Australian polity of hating multiple cultures.

    Que?

  159. C.L.

    Adrien, it’s clearly some time since you’ve taken a vacation among the bogans.

    I think you mean it’s been some time since Adrien graduated from Griffith University. 🙂

  160. daddy dave

    Peter, the thesis is this.
    Australia is a tolerant, enlightened, forward-looking multicultural society, except for suburban and rural white people, who are small minded xenophobes.

  161. Peter Patton

    dd

    But here’s the catch. I actually LIVE in the suburbs, and they are full of yellow, black, brown, red, and pink people with yellow dots! 😉

  162. daddy dave

    yeah I live in “the suburbs” too. They aint what they used to be!

  163. THR

    These people are hopeless. On the one hand they run around shrieking against unidentified “racists” that Australia is a multicultural society. But then they turn around and insist Australians are “xenophobes, racists, and bigots.”

    The facts are that there is widespread opposition to current (let alone increased) immigration levels, and widespread hysteria about ‘border protection’. I’m not suggesting this is unique to Australia, or even passing moral judgement on it. But this xenophobia is real. You and Yobbo would have us believe that the folks waving Australian flags, getting the Southern Cross tattooed on their arse, and planting ‘Fuck off we’re full’ stickers on their Holdens are doing so solely because they’re concerned about Australia’s fiscal rectitude. This is denial at it’s most blatant.

  164. Peter Patton

    THR

    Don’t give up your day job, as you have no hope of making it as a statistician, sociologist, psychologist, or historian.

  165. C.L.

    …folks waving Australian flags, getting the Southern Cross tattooed on their arse, and planting ‘Fuck off we’re full’ stickers on their Holdens…

    Change the tatt to Aquarius and the vehicle to a Prius and you’re describing the entire left wing of the Labor Party. Of course they frame their concern in terms of the nation’s “carrying capacity.”

  166. THR

    Shorter Peter Patton: Australia is not racist because some coloured folk live round the corner from me.

    Logic FAIL.

  167. Peter Patton

    THR

    I’m sorry, but you are just stupid and uneducated.

  168. DB – it is that in any modern city there are no ‘tribes’ in anything but a metaphorical sense…So I don’t really see the point of raising the so-called ‘tribal’ aspects of our society.
    .
    There are tribes everywhere DB. Get out of the car once in a while and look around. There are bio-ethnic tribes and there are sub-cultural tribes. And then there are the great beige bland.

  169. I think you mean it’s been some time since Adrien graduated from Griffith University.
    .
    No bogans at GU when there CL. At UQ there were bogans. Country Road bogans. The working class people at GU were all punk rock. The heroin was the best. Direct from the CIA! 🙂
    .
    PP – It’s clearly some time since you’ve taken a vacation among the bogans.
    .
    I’ve never taken a vacation amongst bogans. It’s Outtlaw Bikers for me. They look like bogans, they speak like bogans, they dress like bogans and listen to bogan tunes. But they ain’t bogans. Their canine teeth’re too long. I’ve worked with bogans. Don’t reccomend it.
    .
    Nowadays they are more likely to be called Tan or Ahmed, rather than Darren or Sharon.
    .
    Ain’t that a sad truth. Why does the human lowest cultural common denominator always go down? A least the food’s better. Sorta.

  170. dover_beach

    There are tribes everywhere DB. Get out of the car once in a while and look around. There are bio-ethnic tribes and there are sub-cultural tribes. And then there are the great beige bland.

    In other words, you’ll continue to use the word ‘tribe’ metaphorically and at your own convenience even though it adds nothing to a discussion. BTW, the idea that we can pick and choose our ‘tribe’ undercuts what tribal associations are all about.

  171. Peter Patton

    Sometimes I wonder if the bovine mantra of “racism, bigotry, xenophobia” of the white middle class far-left is like those men who years later admit that they used to bash poofters, so nobody would suspect that they were a poofter.

  172. Peter Patton

    The real story about bigotry and bogans in the suburbs is how such an incredible melting pot of races, ethnicities, and classes manages to go through life so peacefully and harmoniously.

  173. Peter Patton

    But for our tenured ‘Bigotry Brigade’ and their vanguards, every night is Kristallnacht in suburban Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Melbourne. What a bunch of know-nothing pond-life these whingeing chronic ‘White People’ are. 😉

  174. THR

    Sometimes I wonder if the bovine mantra of “racism, bigotry, xenophobia” of the white middle class far-left is like those men who years later admit that they used to bash poofters, so nobody would suspect that they were a poofter.

    Right. So the Cronulla riots were the fault of inner-city charddie-swillers. Or righteous Aussies worried about the welfare state. Keep trying.

  175. In other words, you’ll continue to use the word ‘tribe’ metaphorically and at your own convenience even though it adds nothing to a discussion.
    .
    What it adds to the discussion is this: there are groups of people with collective hostility to other groups of people. The basis for group membership is ethnic and political. Different races. Immigrants and locals.
    .
    BTW, the idea that we can pick and choose our ‘tribe’ undercuts what tribal associations are all about.
    .
    Mmmm maybe. Sub-cultural tribes by choice are immaterial to my point anyway.
    .
    I’m talking about the mentality that says it’s okay to beat up Indians. Or the mentality that makes all the regulars go quiet when ‘one of them’ walks into the place. There are places like that all over Melbourne. Some would surprise you.

  176. Sometimes I wonder if the bovine mantra of “racism, bigotry, xenophobia” of the white middle class far-left is like those men who years later admit that they used to bash poofters, so nobody would suspect that they were a poofter.
    .
    Yeah. I often suspect that the tension in latte left circles when ethnicity is broached as a subject is due to latent racism.

  177. Peter Patton

    Among that particular class/subculture of white social studies PhD types, festering at the fag end of the casual uni tutoring market, there is a strong element of unacknowledged (probably unrecognized) downwards envy also at play.

  178. Jason Soon

    Gee Peter, who on earth could you have in mind here? 🙂

  179. BirdLab

    Should I mention Eastern Suburbs dinner parties at some point?

  180. Peter Patton

    JS

    I’m being sincere when I say ‘no one in particular.’ I’ve run into a lot of this not only through uni tutorials back in the day, but also work, socially, and some adjunct work not so long ago. If you click around the blogosphere of course you run into a ton of them.

  181. Peter Patton

    JS

    There is a real bitterness: “How come I’m like really, really smart, have a PhD and stuff, but those bogans earn three times as much as I do, are happy, married, have children, own a house, and go on holidays”? That proves it. They MUST be racist xenophobic bigots!

  182. Frankie V.

    “So the Cronulla riots were the fault of inner-city charddie-swillers. Or righteous Aussies worried about the welfare state.”

    THR’s closed little mind can’t even conceive the possibility that there might be two sides to the story of Cronulla.

  183. THR

    THR’s closed little mind can’t even conceive the possibility that there might be two sides to the story of Cronulla.

    Yes, it’s entirely possible that the crowd of drooling retards smashing bottles, bashing, chanting slogans and bashing olive-skinned folk were acting in self-defence. Silly me.

  184. Frankie V.

    I obviously didn’t mean the events on the day, small dick.

  185. THR

    So what did you mean, Frankie? That under certain circumstances, racial pogroms are legitimate? Does your carer know you’re back on the internet again at this hour?

  186. Boris

    Guys, let’s be rational here. Do phenomena described by THR exist? I think they do. Is it widespread? Probably not? But probably more widespread than we would like.

    This is about the ugly extreme form of xenophobia (by Aus standard). But mild forms… they are just normal, I think. What Adrien calls triabalism. People a priori prefer to associate with people of similar background and are more ‘cautious’ with people of foreign background. Call them (us) racist if you like.

    I have observed immigration in a number of countries and it always causes some tension. In rich contries it is typical to think like this: we have built this great economy and whatever with our sweat and tears, and now these people are coming and taking our wealth (welfare) or our jobs or whatever… This does not have to do with different race or even different ethnicity or religion. I observed the same with Soviet Germans in Germany and Russian Jews in Israel… I have come to be understanding of this sentiment (if not taken to extreme forms)…

  187. Frankie V.

    “So what did you mean, Frankie? That under certain circumstances, racial pogroms are legitimate?”

    Well, if they start rounding up your ilk, I’m in! But I’ll let someone else explain it to you.

    “Does your carer know you’re back on the internet again at this hour?”

    Does your’s know you were waiting around for three hours just for someone to add another comment to this post.

  188. daddy dave

    there were two sides to Cronulla. They included on the one hand, mostly anglo-saxon young men from Cronulla and “the shire”, and mostly Lebanese muslim young men from Sydney’s south west. Both behaved appallingly.

  189. asf

    Imagine how hard it would be to find a decent feed and your drug of choice (legal and otherwise) without immigrants?

    However, I’m all in favour of removing barriers to integration put up in the name of political correctness. Things like women only nights at the local pool (to encourage Muslim women to swim) and not doing Christmas activities in schools so as not to offend are a bad idea as they discourage integration.

    It is up to immigrants to adapt to the Australian way of life, not the other way round

  190. Boris

    “Things like women only nights at the local pool (to encourage Muslim women to swim) ”

    I once objected to this but Jason told me that white women too prefer to swim without men watching.

    “It is up to immigrants to adapt to the Australian way of life, not the other way round”

    I suspect THR will find this attitude racist.

  191. dover_beach

    What it adds to the discussion is this: there are groups of people with collective hostility to other groups of people. The basis for group membership is ethnic and political. Different races. Immigrants and locals.

    Well, yes, there are groups of people who harbour nationalist hostilities towards other national groups but neither are tribes. The basis of group membership in these groups is political, not ethnic, since in any one of these nationalist groups, especially where they derive from Europe, have never belonged to any single tribe. They are in all cases the amalgamation, by choice or circumstance, not only of local tribes, but also of other tribal groups, through migration and/or conquest. In this conversation, you’ve moved between tribal, ethnic, and racial groups, without the slightest sensitivity to the differences they invoke.

    I’m talking about the mentality that says it’s okay to beat up Indians. Or the mentality that makes all the regulars go quiet when ‘one of them’ walks into the place. There are places like that all over Melbourne. Some would surprise you.

    The mentality you speak of has nothing to do with tribe. I’m sure a drag queen would receive the same reaction.

  192. pedro

    Do you think that the tribe might be a stage in the process of social development that starts with the small family group on the savannah? If so, the mentality involved does have something to do with tribes, but in the sense that the tribe is one of the products of the mentality. I think “tribal” does help convey the type of attitude.

    I can’t help thinking that there is nothing wrong with a desire to preserve your culture. You don’t have to hate Arabs, say, to not want enclaves of Arab culture in your country. After all, what is the point of a country, with all that the modern social democrat state involves, if you don’t see the border as a boundary between your social expectations and the rest of the world?

  193. dover_beach

    Do you think that the tribe might be a stage in the process of social development that starts with the small family group on the savannah? If so, the mentality involved does have something to do with tribes, but in the sense that the tribe is one of the products of the mentality. I think “tribal” does help convey the type of attitude.

    Tribal association is not a stage of a process, it is simply a mode of association that was once almost ubiquitous. However, the small family groups you’re thinking of weren’t tribes so much as bands. So far as the relationship of tribe to mentality is concerned, I think you have it backwards. If we are to associate a mentality to any mode of association, tribal, household, civil, or corporate, we should recognise that the mentality is learned as a result of our participation as members of these modes of association. This is the principal reason why I disagree with the notion of human nature.

    Pedro, so far as your second paragraph is concerned a more or less agree completely.

  194. Peter Patton

    THR

    Your “logic” here is all wrong.

    THR Major Premise: Australia is racist, xenophobic, and bigoted.

    Minor Premise: Cronulla is in Australia. Pauline Hanson is Australian.

    Conclusion: Therefore Australia is racist, xenophobic, and bigoted.

  195. Pedro

    Dover you’re being a pedant. I only meant process in the sense that you can see, in different places and at different times, a continum from kin-based groups to forms of tribe and on to more developed polities.

    I think it more likely that we evolved living in kinship groups rather than learned that they are beneficial. Thus I think we have a tendency to group identity, which is the “tribal” mentality I was referring to. But I suppose there is no point arguing with a stubborn mexican (or where ever it is you’re from). 😉

  196. Peter Patton

    Whether we call them ‘tribes,’ ‘sub-cultures,’ ‘groups,’ or ‘vanguards’ you will find that ‘race’ is not that active as the social glue.

    Proximity is more the thing. So things like school, profession, trade, workplace, sport, residential neighborhood, place of worship are more important. And given how multiracial/ethnic most schools, unis, workplaces, residential neighborhoods and so on are, social groups are MORE likely to be equally multiracial/ethnic.

    I suppose the one big exception here is those groups that form due to their having fewer options to exercise effective social choice. For example, recent immigrants (particularly refugees), foreign students, or kids growing up in racially-exclusive enclaves, such as many Aborigines.

  197. THR

    Your “logic” here is all wrong.

    THR Major Premise: Australia is racist, xenophobic, and bigoted.

    Bested in logic, you’re now arguing against fiction.

    The point I made, among others, was that one of the biggest barriers to a change in immigration policy was the attitudes of Australians. I don’t doubt the hardcore, organised racism is a fringe phenomenon, but milder, more banal xenophobia and resistance to new arrivals is widespread. This is borne out by current polls, by attitudes in 2001, 1998, etc. It’s the reason why neither major political party will put forward a more open policy. It’s the reason why the Opposition are calling for the Govt to get ‘tough’ on asylum seekers, and why Howard’s unprecedented levels of immigration were undertaken on the quiet, whilst publically, he was chest-beating about who comes to our shores.

    Your response to this argument has been a blanket, childish denial that racism or xenophobia exist at all in Australia. Your ‘evidence’ for this is that you live within 5km of a noodle shop, or something like that.

    The second nonsense argument raised by others acknowledges that many Australians are resistant to new arrivals, but attributes this to the welfare state. This is illogical, and something of an apologism. This familiar trope is merely the right-libertarian counterpart to leftwing racism (i.e. ‘The immigrants are stealing our jobs’).

    Finally, we have some apparent sympathisers of the Cronulla thugs. There are ‘two sides’ to the story apparently. No doubt there were two sides when Mussolini’s thugs smashed up Milanese newspaper publishers, or when Indonesians rampaged against ethnic Chinese. This line of argument is beneath a response.

    In short, does anybody think that a more open immigration policy is the least bit politically viable at the present time? If not, why shoot the messenger?

  198. dover_beach

    Dover you’re being a pedant. I only meant process in the sense that you can see, in different places and at different times, a continum from kin-based groups to forms of tribe and on to more developed polities.

    Not really, I’m just a little more attuned to these differences because I think they’re significant. But, again, the process you see is nothing like that. The only cultures that ever proceeded from tribal to civil modes of association where Western European, and these states, were indebted to the examples of Rome and Greece, and arguably, Catholicism.

    I think it more likely that we evolved living in kinship groups rather than learned that they are beneficial. Thus I think we have a tendency to group identity, which is the “tribal” mentality I was referring to. But I suppose there is no point arguing with a stubborn mexican (or where ever it is you’re from).

    I’m not arguing that we don’t have a tendency to identifying ourselves to a group, I’m simply arguing, firstly, that tribal identity is one amongst many modes of group identity; and secondly, that because it is one among many modes of group identity it cannot be innate but must be learned.

    BTW, I’m not Mexican; what ever would have made you think that?

  199. dover_beach

    Whether we call them ‘tribes,’ ’sub-cultures,’ ‘groups,’ or ‘vanguards’ you will find that ‘race’ is not that active as the social glue.

    Proximity is more the thing.

    That is an excellent point.

  200. daddy dave

    There are ‘two sides’ to the story apparently.
    .
    So you didn’t read about the revenge attacks, then. I guess it doesn’t fit the narrative of white people oppressing brown people.

  201. Peter Patton

    THR

    It’ pretty clear you have no idea what either ‘Cronulla’ or One Nation were about.

  202. Peter Patton

    Or your ‘2001’ bogeyman for that matter.

  203. THR

    It’ pretty clear you have no idea what either ‘Cronulla’ or One Nation were about

    So tell, Pete. What were they about? A measured protest against the welfare state, as suggested by Yobbo? Certainly they had nothing to do with xenophobia, because according to you, it doesn’t exist.

  204. DB – Well, yes, there are groups of people who harbour nationalist hostilities towards other national groups but neither are tribes. The basis of group membership in these groups is political, not ethnic,

    People who associate in a group the identity of which is widely thought of as ethnic despite being ordinary citizens are political? Okay I didn’t know that.
    .
    How would you describe the phenomena?

  205. dover_beach

    People who associate in a group the identity of which is widely thought of as ethnic despite being ordinary citizens are political? Okay I didn’t know that.

    Well, yes, the nations that emerged during the last two thousand years in Europe and elsewhere were and remain for the most part political communities. Ethnicity is arguable a manifold compound of distinct tribal communities that were amalgamated by choice or conquest in order to create or extend a new or existing political community. Ethnicity in this sense is a creature of politics; this is true of England, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, as it is of Australia.

  206. Ethnicity in this sense is a creature of politics; this is true of England, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, as it is of Australia.
    .
    Good point. Altho’ to blend in ethnically so it’s ‘normal’ takes time. I think Australia has faultlines along certain ethnic zones. There’s a difference between ‘wogs’, ‘white trash’, Sino-Australians blah blah blah. There are more primal differences within those groups but I reckon new faultlines occur depending on the cultural region of origin. Croations and Serbians here may group together if they’re collectively more shitty at the bogans than they are at each other for example.
    .
    Naturally the hatred of the Irish for the English takes primacy over all other hatreds. 🙂

  207. Peter Patton

    Adrien, I think the thrust of your point is correct. My only point here is that Australia has changed immensely over the past 30 years. It just seems that those white people who formed their views about Australia being all-white decades ago, have not kept up with those changes. The way that Australia looks in 2010 to someone who lives in the suburbs, or who is under 30 anywhere, is vastly different; and more accurate.

  208. Peter Patton

    THR

    I must say I have not as yet come across any of these “Fuck Off, We’re Full” people and their stickers/T=shirts, so I did some digging around over the last few days.

    I now think I understand where you are coming from. It seems that marxists/socialists/far leftists have rebranded themselves as “anti racists” and “anti fascists.” They now define their political program as this blog commenter does:

    Just came form anti-racist rally outside Flinders street station. 250-300 anti-racists denied the fascists their rally point and are still occupying it. 15-20 racists are gathered outside Young and Jackson’s and more are possibly drinking inside. They are photographing activists and attempting to jeer but are being totally drowned out.

    These poor deluded saps are clearly sick in the head.

    http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/04/08/population-policy-and-political-border-control/#comment-870665

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