PBW on being young and free

In 1942, the Special Services Division, Services of Supply, United States Army, published a booklet called Instructions for American Servicemen in Australia. The first section includes this:

The Australians have much in common with us – they’re a pioneer people; they believe in personal freedom; they love sports; and they’re out to lick the Axis all the way. But there are a lot of differences too – their ways of living and thinking on all sorts of things – like tea, central heating, the best way to spend Sunday, or saluting officers and such.

The second section, A Pioneer Land, starts out so:

Australia is one of the newest countries in the world – yet the continent is one of the oldest. A hundred and fifty years ago, it was an empty land about the size of the United States, inhabited by only a few hundred thousand natives – the Australians call them “Abos” (for Aborigines) – living about the same way they did in the Stone Age.

In a century and a half it had become a land of fine, modern cities, booming factories turning out war materials, and fighting men, famous everywhere. It’s a land of great plains, millions of sheep and cattle, of gold mines and deserts and funny animals. And it’s one of the world’s great democracies.

There are a few over-arching clichés, but this by-and-large is true of the country as of 1942. And this foreigner could see the most dramatic truth about us – 150 years from a virtually empty continent with scattered tribes, to one of the world’s great democracies. Both young and free. No more, and it is not just the ongoing bathos that is Scott Morrison. He’s just changed the wrong word, and drawn attention to just what a servile people we have become.

All of the achievement described here has been destroyed in less than 80 years. That in itself is a remarkable achievement.

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41 Responses to PBW on being young and free

  1. Bruce says:

    Australians all eat ostriches
    For we are young at three.

    Can’t remember the rest, but someone will!

    With a bit of bent phrasing, the song can be performed to “God Save the Queen”, if you are so inclined.

  2. stackja says:

    To me the problem was Gough.

  3. Damon says:

    The larrikin spirit has disappeared, perhaps forever. Pity.

  4. Roger says:

    I used to own a copy of that booklet. It pointed out to American servicemen that it was not a rising sun on the Australian army hat badge but a ring of bayonets!

  5. Forester says:

    I blame the nationalisation of education and subsequent capture by state teachers unions.

  6. Iain Russell says:

    Drive on the right not the left, naked, then park in a No Parking zone walk into a shop and take what you want without paying. Bring back the larrikin, I say!

  7. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha says:

    To me the problem was Gough.

    Gough began the work of turning a nation of lifters into a nation of leaners – Mal Fraser, elected in a landslide, and given a mandate to reverse Gough’s policies, always seemed too timid to exercise that mandate.

  8. Rex Anger says:

    I blame the nationalisation of education and subsequent capture by state teachers unions.

    Careful Forester- You’ll bring our resident Teechuh, former Teechuh Yewnyun-ist and Reluctant, Non-Consenting Conscript crashing in to cry about how it’s totally all the Racist Right’s fault and he should notnhave had to serve blah blah blah… 😉

  9. H B Bear says:

    I think I mentioned the war but I think I got away with it.

  10. Terry Andrews says:

    The left, having conquered education have produced 2 generations of servile conformists.

  11. Rex Anger says:

    What a terrible shame for a nation barely 121 years old…

    Pups we are, relatively speaking…

  12. Alex Davidson says:

    I blame democracy itself – at least the type we have here in Australia, where virtually anything goes as long as one has the numbers. Not dissimilar to communism.

    To have any hope of regaining individual freedom, at the very least we need some basic protections against the industrial-scale plunder and loss of ownership rights engaged in by government at all levels.

  13. John Dee says:

    True blue.
    Dinkum.
    Could spot a bullshit artist coming over the horizon.
    Mate – there’s a good one. What did it mean to be a mate?
    In peacetime you needed a hand because life was tough in the early days.
    If you asked a friend for a hand it was invariably given without question.
    You never asked a mate because you never had to – he seemed to sense the need before it even happened – and he just appeared.
    In wartime you needed a hand also – but more important was the assurance and insurance.
    It was a bloke that had your back even to the detriment of his own…and the positions were interchangeable.
    Officers were OK – they studied tactics and maps and sometimes ironed their bloody uniform.
    How do you become a mate?
    How do you know if someone is your mate?
    No idea – but if someone says for example: “Is …. a mate of yours”? you would not do an on the spot analysis.
    He would either be a mate – or not.
    But the above lines 1,2,and 3 would be a solid clue for you.
    But the question would be ridiculous because the answer invariably would be along the lines of:
    WTF?….that dickhead?
    This is very confusing to foreign visitors because that might actually mean YES.
    Probably.
    French is a lot easier than Aussie slang because the frogs have le and la.
    All you have to know is la is feminine which is always good.
    Unless you called a bloke feminine which in the early days was very risky.
    If he was your typical Australian wharfie back in the day it was the equivalent of “suicide by cop”.
    I only have a couple of mates – I have outlived all the others – and the current crop of vomit inducing wankers would/could never qualify.

  14. John Dee says:

    Clarification:
    I might have given the impression that I served in the Armed Forces.
    I did not – in any capacity.
    My uncle served and his discharge paper hangs on my wall.
    My number came up for Vietnam service but it never happened.

  15. John Bayley says:

    I blame democracy itself – at least the type we have here in Australia, where virtually anything goes as long as one has the numbers. Not dissimilar to communism.

    It’s not just the Australian version of democracy. It is the logical outcome of a ‘publicly owned government’, to paraphrase Hans-Hermann Hoppe.

    His book ‘Democracy, the God that Failed’ is well-argued and a must read for any liberty-minded person.

  16. FelixKruell says:

    All of the achievement described here has been destroyed in less than 80 years. That in itself is a remarkable achievement.

    All the achievements have been destroyed? But we still have modern cities, great plains, millions of sheep and cattle, of gold mines and deserts and funny animals. And one of the world’s great democracies.

    All we’ve lost are the factories, which we’ve replaced with relatively free trade.

  17. FelixKruell says:

    Pbw:

    Nice try, Felix.

    That’s all you got?

  18. covid ate my homework says:

    I blame it on the welfare state. Once adopted by U.K and U.S. it was just a matter of time. Plundering the national treasury was a fools errand and it didn’t take long before these advanced nations were bankrupt. The solution was Fiat money and soon every political promise could be met, the rest is modern history and modern misery.

  19. Arky says:

    All we’ve lost are the factories, which we’ve replaced with relatively free trade.

    ..
    All we’ve lost are the factories.
    Just the factories.
    Just the factories.
    Factories.
    It’s only the factories we have lost.
    Factories are just factories.
    And that’s all we’ve lost.
    There is nothing more to a factory than that it is a factory. Factories. They make stuff I use.
    That’s all I know about factories and the people who used to be around them.
    That’s all they are.
    That’s all we lost.
    Just the factories.
    My undies and air conditioners still show up in the shops.
    Factories.
    That’s all we lost.

  20. Arky says:

    IT ISN”T JUST THE FACTORIES THAT WE HAVE LOST.

  21. thefrollickingmole says:

    Come on man, you corn pop pony faced dog soldier!!

    All we lost was the ability to produce stuff.
    And China made plastic dog turds were way cheaper than the real thing.

  22. WX says:

    Have we been damaged from outsiders, or from within?

  23. Entropy says:

    Alex Davidson
    #3721448, posted on January 12, 2021 at 1:57 pm
    I blame democracy itself – at least the type we have here in Australia, where virtually anything goes as long as one has the numbers…..
    To have any hope of regaining individual freedom, at the very least we need some basic protections against the industrial-scale plunder and loss of ownership rights engaged in by government at all levels.

    If only we had some document we could refer to concerning property rights. To give it gravity we could give it a double barrelled fancy Latin name.

  24. Alex Davidson says:

    All we’ve lost are the factories, which we’ve replaced with relatively free trade.

    That is a ridiculous assertion. We have lost far more than just factories. Some clues can be found in the following events that have occurred during the last 8 decades:

    The socialisation of health services, now used as an excuse to both relieve us of wealth without consent, and impose all manner of unwanted and draconian restrictions upon us, from compulsory bike helmets to forcing us to wear nappies on our faces;

    The socialisation of education services, now used as a means to indoctrinate young, initially free minds with the virtues of collectivism and obedience to the state;

    Restrictions on the use of land and buildings, euphemistically called ‘planning’, now so severe that titleholders have lost the essence of ownership to government and their lapdogs;

    Restrictions upon employment, not only interfering with the freedom to contract, but leading to permanent unemployment, underemployment, and reduced prosperity;

    Untold thousands of pages of additional legislation, each full of restrictions upon personal freedom and designed to increase the power of the state;

    Perpetual reduction in the purchasing power of money, stealing the benefits of saving and greater productivity.

  25. Lee says:

    All we’ve lost are the factories, which we’ve replaced with relatively free trade.

    That is a ridiculous assertion.

    Well, it is Felix.

  26. FelixKruell says:

    Alex:

    That is a ridiculous assertion. We have lost far more than just factories. Some clues can be found in the following events that have occurred during the last 8 decades:

    From the list that pbw wrote, the factories is all we lost.

    As for your list, they are things pretty much every country has lost on the path to prosperity. Including the USA.

  27. JC says:

    As for your list, they are things pretty much every country has lost on the path to prosperity. Including the USA.

    Not when these industries are lost through government intervention such as making the price of energy very expensive. Frankly, the wealthy countries are not bastions of rational thought these days, you dishonest imbecile.

  28. FelixKruell says:

    Jc:

    Not when these industries are lost through government intervention such as making the price of energy very expensive.

    That’s been the case at the margins – we were losing our manufacturing even when energy prices were still low. Wages and volume were bigger issues.

  29. Albatross says:

    What a spastic lol.

  30. Glorious says:

    What a lot of bellyache. “I blame democracy itself”. What is this? A pile on of complaint and whataboutism.
    Australia is now very much as it has been for decades: a very comfortable, easy place to live. I’m here because I am conservative. I believe in values and standards. I do not need relativity on those issues, I have my own. What on earth are all of you complainers doing? This is or home and our community. Lazy critique is for fools.

  31. Fin. says:

    We were once 2/6. Now we’re 1/3.

  32. MatrixTransform says:

    that’s been the case at the margins

    another 2D fool

  33. JC says:

    That’s been the case at the margins – we were losing our manufacturing even when energy prices were still low. Wages and volume were bigger issues.

    Be very clear. “Wages” weren’t the issue. Government/Union mandated wages and labor market restrictions are the problem.

  34. PK says:

    Very perspicacious comments.

  35. FelixKruell says:

    JC:

    Be very clear. “Wages” weren’t the issue. Government/Union mandated wages and labor market restrictions are the problem.

    Largely, yes.

  36. Yosefu says:

    A hundred and fifty years ago, it was an empty land about the size of the United States, inhabited by only a few hundred thousand natives – the Australians call them “Abos” (for Aborigines) – living about the same way they did in the Stone Age.

    Fact Check: True

    Yet in our “free country” if you dared to publicly state this (even more delicately), you could expect to have your reputation destroyed. And if you aren’t independently employed or wealthy — you’ll probably lose your job too.

    Modern Australians love to LARP as tough, independent bush-living heroes to foreigners. In reality, the majority of us are effete suburbanites under heavier bureaucracy than the Ming Dynasty. I realised this in Japan when I noticed (despite having the opposite assumption), that they’re a lot freer relatively speaking. You can even get better (and cheaper) Aussie beef there.

  37. jupes says:

    Central heating?

  38. John Bayley says:

    As for your list, they are things pretty much every country has lost on the path to prosperity. Including the USA.

    Indeed, but the ‘prosperity’ you speak of is simply a testament to just how resilient the free market system is, that it has been able to improve living standards for most, despite the ever-more encroaching of socialism.

    Alas, every camel’s back can only carry that many straws before it breaks. And it is quite obvious that moment has been reached.

    Last but by no means least, it is also worth noting that the current ‘prosperity’ is by now mostly an illusion, funded by ever-increasing debt. So far, thanks to the unbacked fiat money system, it has worked.

    But the piper will have to be paid, the chickens will come home to roost, and hence the path from here has a name: ‘Project Zimbabwe’.

    Or maybe ‘Venezuela’. Same diff, really.

  39. Enyaw says:

    WX Both .

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