Defending our National Identity
The Development of the
Australian National Identity and Culture
Our national and cultural identity has developed through the years: From colonial beginnings (1788 to early 1800s), to the currency lads and lasses (1800s), to the wild gold rush days (1850s), to the nationalist blossoming (1880s to 1890s), to Federation (1901), to World War One (1914-1918), to the Depression (1930s), to World War Two (1939-1945) with its threat of invasion (1941-1942), to the prosperous Menzies era (1950s-1960s), and even to the internationalist era of today (1970s to the present).
This identity arose from among those Australians (especially the native-born) who saw this country as their home, loved it as their own, and drew their inspiration from it.
In many ways, the Australian identity grew in spite of, not because of, the various foreign cultures that threatened to swallow, or at least graft themselves onto, our native identity. We suffered the ever-present "British mind-set" (especially prevalent 1788 to 1950s, but still existing today) which thought of Britain as "home" or "the mother country", and which viewed anything British as being vastly superior to anything that was Australian or "colonial" (the "cultural cringe"); and which taught and promoted the concept that Australian culture was "British", thus stifling the development of our own national culture. That same sort of cultural threat continues today with the "multiculturalist mind-set" (1970s to the present) which, while sometimes paying lip-service to the ideal of Australian culture, believes that it needs to be "changed" or "enriched" (actually meaning "diluted", or "contaminated") by every possible culture from around the globe, and is doing so to such an extent that our Australian national culture and identity is actually being slowly but steadily destroyed; and which views almost anything foreign as being somehow superior to the way of the Australians (this prejudice may sometimes be hidden, but look closely - it is there: the new "cultural cringe").
The Australian nation had, as its origin, a group of British colonies, from whence we derived many of our institutions - and to which we owe due acknowledgment. Therefore, it would be fair to state that Australia owes much to Britain for its colonial beginnings and its language; as well as for providing the basis for the Australian legal system, political system, public administration, etc. (although many parts of these are far from perfect). However, even though we acknowledge these contributions, we should also recognise the past threat to our culture from the "British Brigade" (those of the "British mind-set").
Australians should not make any "cultural cringe" towards Britain, any other foreign nations, or especially towards the ideology of multiculturalism. We have a strong, vibrant, and living culture that serves us well, and is not in need of replacement or encroachment from foreign cultures, no matter how nicely such "cultural imperialism" may be dressed up.
British-Australianism is only transplanted British patriotism, and cannot be a substitute for the true Australian national identity. Whilst we should respect those aspects of our British heritage, we should be looking towards ourselves, rather than to the British Isles, for our social and cultural identity. We can acknowledge the British connections that form much of Australia's heritage, without that acknowledgement detracting from the existence of our own unique national identity.
On the other hand, however, it is a matter of amazement that some present-day multiculturalists would say that "Multiculturalism made Australia" when, in fact, it is the fraudulent ideology of multiculturalism, alongside government programmes of mass immigration, that have provided the biggest threat to our cultural and national identity in the whole history of modern Australia.
Multiculturalism is a political ideology which tries to encompass all cultures, with the logical result of creating a society without a firm basis, compared to stable homogeneous societies. More than anything else, Multiculturalism is likely to lead to a society without any decent distinguishing culture, creating instead a "culture" based upon crass commercialisation and consumerism. Multicultural-Australianism is a cosmopolitan-internationalist ideology which, in the words of one commentator, "may cause some citizens to develop a lump in the throat, but in reality this shallow patriotism is akin to choking on a Big Mac and Coke".
It is time for all true Australians to stand up and defend our nation's identity, to throw off the mental shacklings of multiculturalism and cultural imperialisms, and to proclaim that we are proudly Australian.
Defending our National Identity