The Demise of the White Australia Policy

The "Lost Generation"

Also, following the Second World War, came several changes to the ideological outlook among many of the younger generation. Near the end of the war, and especially after the use of two atomic bombs (in August 1945) to end the war against Japan, came the frosting of relations between the Western Allies (led by the USA) and the Eastern Bloc (led by the USSR), leading to the "Cold War" (1940s to 1960s). With the advent of the USSR developing its own supply of nuclear weapons (the USSR exploded its first nuclear warhead in August 1949)(11), and the resulting "Arms Race" between the USA and the USSR, came the widespread fears of a nuclear holocaust and an end to modern human civilisation. One result of such fears was that many young people began to "drop out" of the nuclear-age society; hence the "hippie" movement of the 1960s with its philosophical emphasis on "peace, love, and human brotherhood".

The hippie/peace movement, or sub-culture, was strengthened by the advent of the Vietnam War (1954-1975) and the linked issue of conscription; compounded by the organised campaigns against these policies, with many public demonstrations and acts of civil disobedience. Associated with all this was the resulting "anti-Establishment" radicalisation of many people (particularly university students) - a radicalisation fed upon, directed, and ideologically influenced by existing liberal-internationalists (especially in academia and "left-wing" groups). It has also been said that the "discovery" of marijuana and its subsequent widespread usage by the youth of the 1960s was another important factor in the growth of the hippie movement(12).

While the hippie/peace sub-culture was not joined by everyone, it - and the issues from which it had grown - certainly influenced much of the generation that was attaining adulthood in the 1960s/1970s. Also; those individuals and groups who already held a liberal-internationalist philosophy, prior to this time of upheaval, were not slow on seeding the new generation with their ideas and ideology.

Existing liberal-internationalists had two major power bases: 1) the churches (the majority, if not all of them), and 2) the universities (with their liberalistic bleeding-heart academics)(13). These two social sectors also had an influence on, and interacted with, the media - which had its own stable of liberal-internationalists. These sectors were to figure prominently in the machinations behind the demise of the White Australia Policy; especially in the creation of the psychological basis and "moral impulse" for change.

The Demise of the White Australia Policy