The Fight for Australian Culture - part four
Notes on Australia's Culture
1) THE DEPTH OF AUSTRALIA'S CIVILISATION
It has been said by some that Australia's civilisation and culture has only the experience, depth, and basis of just some 200 years. How wrong they are!
While the Australia-specific part of our culture and civilisation is just over 200 years old, the depth of our civilisation goes thousands of years beyond that.
Those that settled Australia did not "step off the boat" as some primitive form of Neanderthal Man, with just some sort of Stone Age civilisation; they arrived here bearing within them some thousands of years of European heritage and civilisation.
Australian culture was formed using British culture as its basis. Indeed, the formation of modern British culture itself has to a certain extent lent upon a Latin-Greek-French basis. The natural procession of cultural formations explains the mechanics and existence of Australian culture, but in no way negates the remaining fact: Australia processes a distinct and unique national culture of its own.
Australia is a part of wider European Civilisation and of the wider European Culture; in 1788 we diverged along a path that was different to those of the nations in Europe, but one that nonetheless carried with it the depth of all prior European Civilisation (especially that of Britain).
Australia's culture is unique, and its primary basis is that derived from its native-born heritage, history, and environment; however, its depth is that of the wider European Civilisation and Culture.
2) THE CONCEPT OF "AUSTRALIA" AND "AUSTRALIAN"
"Australia" is a European concept. The Aborigines knew the earth that they walked on simply as "the land" or "the world" - they had no concept of Australia as a geographic, or continental, entity. It would be more correct to say that the Aborigines belonged to the "Dreamtime", rather than to Australia.
The Aborigines certainly had no concept of Australia as a national entity (nationalism itself is a European concept, which arose in the eighteenth century, out of the ruins of the old Empires and feudal states); they themselves did not constitute a nation, or nations, as - just like the European peoples at a similar Stone Age level of development - they were simply a collection of tribes.
Modern rendering of tribes as "nations" is farcical, if not downright idiotic (or intellectually dishonest, as some writers have a vested interest - whether ideological or sociological - in seeing the status of some native tribes being lifted up to the status of "nations"); no matter whether such tribes referred to are American Indian, Australian Aborigine, European, or whatever.
Thus, the very concept of "Australia", and the vision, destiny, and identity of Australian Nationalism, belong solely to the new European people of the "sixth continent": the Australians.
Note 1: Aborigines are a part of Australia; they are "Australian" insofar as they are "Australian Aborigines"' but they are not "Australian" in the European, or National, sense of the word.
Note 2: The word "Australian" was used by some early explorers to describe the Aborigines. The term was used in a purely geographical sense (i.e. not in a National sense), and such use of "Australian" as a reference to the Aborigines soon passed.
Note 3: Asians (and Africans, Melanesians, Polynesians, etc.) in Australia may be considered by law to be legally "Australian", they may even be born in Australia, but they are not "Australians". Australia is a Nation; a Nation is a unified homogeneous people sharing a common country, culture, identity, language, and racial background; therefore, those Asians, etc., residing in our country are simply "Australian residents" - they are not, and never will be, part of the Australia nation. In the European, or National, sense of the word - in the true sense of the word - they are not "Australian".
The Fight for Australian Culture
Australian Nationalism Information Database - www.ausnatinfo.angelfire.com/~natinfo