Defending our National Identity

Patriots, Nationalists, and Nativists

Of our true-blue Australians, we can make three broad classifications:

  1. Patriots
  2. Nationalists
  3. Nativist-Nationalists


Patriotism is a style of thought, often expressed as "love of one's country". Such feelings are highly commendable, and often can act as a spur to higher - or heroic - achievement, whether in the area of international sport, on the field of battle, or in times of national crisis or civil emergency. Patriotism can bring forth many worthy human qualities, such as loyalty, integrity, self-sacrifice, and courage.

Patriotism, however, is usually regarded as being a "status quo" style of thought. Michael Walker (editor of The Scorpion, a British Nationalist journal) has articulated the problem of patriotism, as compared to Nationalism,

    Since patriotism is loyalty to the nation as state, the interpretation of the national interest is determined by the rulers of the state... a patriot may be a bad nationalist, for patriotism... often serves the interests of national government against the national community. Patriotism in more ways than one... is not enough.[1]

Thus, a well-meaning patriot may earnestly act, and bravely fight, "in the service of his country", even though this may be against the best interests of his Nation.

Therefore, we must recognise that patriotism is not always purely National. There may be dynastic patriotism, where the subjects of a ruling dynasty or monarchy will act on behalf of their monarch, even in cases where the Royal interest conflicts with the National interest. There may be empire patriotism, where the "loyal subjects" of the empire may act as "patriots", but in doing so may act against the National interest. Also, there may be non-Nationalist patriotism in favour of the patriot's country and its associated institutions.

During World War One, the lives of thousands of Australia's young men were thrown away on the shores of Gallipoli, on the sands of the Middle East, and in the mud of Western Europe. This was not done in the direct defence of Australia - that generation of Australian youth fought for Britain and the British Empire. It was the Australian "patriots" who promised that Australia would fight "to our last man and our last shilling"[2]; not for Australia, but for Britain and the British Empire. This was not Australia's fight; or should not have been, at any rate. Our entry into World War One was "patriotic", but it can be argued that it was against the interests of our Nation.

However, talk of World War One as being "not our fight" will be regarded as an anathema by many people, for two reasons: firstly, it is an important part of our history; and secondly, because the lives of so many families were tragically touched by it (therefore making it hard to consider that such sacrifice was not necessitated by the National interest).

We could therefore look at a more palatable situation: the Boer war of 1899-1902. Again, the "patriots" demanded that we send our troops to fight. Again, it was not in our National interest. This war upon the independent-minded whites of South Africa (the Boer people, mainly of Dutch descent) was conducted in the interests of Britain and British imperialism. In fact, such "patriotic" enthusiasm by many in the Australian colonies to be an active part in such imperialism later led to the coining of the phrase "colonial-imperialism"; very apt in the case of the then Australian colonies.

Support for other ventures, such as participation in the 1990-1991 Gulf War, may be considered as patriotism, but is certainly not Nationalism.

Such patriotism exists in many matters, not only regarding National conflict, but also regarding National culture. For years, at least up until the 1950s, the culture of Australia was touted as being "British", even though a distinct Australian identity was in existence from as early as the mid-1800s. Many "patriots" continued this "British mind-set", promoting and teaching a British-Australian identity rather than a truly Australian identity. This stifling of the Australian National identity was truly against Australia's National interest and against the development of Australia's National culture.

We can still see such "patriotism" at work today. There are those "patriots" who support the idea that Australia should owe allegiance to, and/or be "ruled" by (even if in name, or in symbolism, only), an English monarchy (and truly, it is an English - not a British - monarchy; despite what any legalists or monarchists may claim)[3*]. The notion that Australia should have a foreign monarch as its Head of State is in diametric opposition to the idea of an independent Australian Nation; and continues the current stifling of the Australian identity and culture.[4]

Associated with the monarchist mind-set are those patriots who demand the retention of the Commonwealth Flag, with its Union Jack in pride of place, even though this flag helps to perpetuate the influence of the British mind-set and the "British identity" brigade in Australia and is a symbolic negation of true Australian political independence. [5]

There are some people who consider themselves as "patriots" or "nationalists", but who support the Government's anti-Australian ideology of "multiculturalism" (probably the most anti-Australian ideology of all time, excepting that of Asianisation). It should be made clear that such people are neither patriots nor nationalists. Nationalists believe in, and seek to advance, their own nation, their own people; patriots believe in, and seek to advance, their own country and culture. It is truly incredible that any multiculturalists would actually call themselves patriots; but what is really amazing is that some of them, such as Al Grassby and Bill Hayden, have even dared to term themselves as "Nationalists" (presumably this is done on the basis that they are Republicans; obviously they have no understanding what real Nationalism is). Searching for a term to describe such people, we could term them as "false patriots" and "false nationalists".

Anyone who believes in the furthering of the Australian National Culture (something which is inseparable from the furthering of the Australian National Interest), will oppose the anti-Australian notions of multiculturalism and being symbolically ruled by a foreign monarchy.


"Nationalism" embodies the worthy qualities of Patriotism, but is made of a different character. Nationalism is a style of thought that promotes the interests of the Nation. In this way, Nationalists advocate political, legal, economic, and cultural independence for their Nation. The term "Nation" has been defined as "the insoluble bonding of a homogeneous people, sharing a common culture and language, resting on a basis of historical experiences, traditions, and National loyalty; within a geographic area". Following this definition, it should be realised that a true Nation must comprise a common culture and biology (race).

Nationalists oppose any form of political, legal, economic, or cultural control over their Nation. Thus, Australian Nationalists have always argued for independence from Great Britain, not because they are anti-British, but because they desire full independence for their own Nation. Thus, Nationalism (love of Nation) can be contrasted with patriotism (love of country), as the latter does not necessarily entail a desire for full National independence, and is compatible to the concept of being loyal to the status quo of the state, even if the state is under some form of foreign control.

Thus, true Australian Nationalism argues for political, legal, economic, and cultural independence; and therefore demands an Australian Republic, a truly National flag[6*], and the advancement of our National culture.


The Australian Nativist is, by necessity, an Australian Nationalist. In addition to the core beliefs of Australian Nationalism, Australian Nativists believe that the strength of the Australian culture springs mainly from native-born Australians (more especially, the second generation of native-born Australians, and their following native-born offspring).

To explain further, we may turn to the work of P.R. Stephensen, who once wrote about the different attitudes to Australia in relation to one's cultural background:[7]
1) How an Englishman looks at Australia in an English way.
2) How an Australian, with a English mind-set, looks at Australia in an English way.
3) How an Australian (i.e. a truly native-Australian) looks at Australia in an Australian way.[8*]

Stephensen further elaborated on the importance of true native-Australians to Australian culture:

    England is "home" to the first-generation English immigrants to Australia, and sometimes by legend to their children. But to their grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Australia is the only convincing homeland.

    The Irish element in Australia, comprising twenty-five per cent of the population, never loved England, nor had any reason to love England. They provided the basis, if not for an indigenous Australian culture, at least for the weakening of English influences here. ...Irishmen are a splendid fighting element in any country, but they suffer when in exile, no less than Englishmen, from an acute and sentimental nostalgia for their homeland. Irishmen of the first, and even of the second migrant generation, are more concerned with Erin than they need be when they become Australian citizens. But to be anti-English is not in itself enough to make one a good Australian.

    Hundreds of thousands of Englishmen and other Europeans have become good Australians within a very short while after landing on these shores. These notable exceptions do not destroy the general rule, which is that immigrants tend to take a different view of Australia from that taken by the Australian-born.

    Immigrants come to Australia with a preconceived idea, which they cannot easily lose. They look for those features in Australian life which will support their preconceived notion. The Australian-born, on the other hand, come into the country at least without preconceived ideas about it.

Many people, past and present, have not realised the importance of true native-Australians to Australian culture. Many people, such as Henry Lawson, for example, called for continued immigration:

    The outpost of the white man's race,
    Where next his flag shall be unfurled,
    Make clean the place! Make strong the place!
    Call white men in from all the world!

Such calls for immigration culminated in the post-war immigration programmes (taking place in an atmosphere of "populate or perish") championed by Arthur Calwell, who was certainly a patriot of White Australia, but who had no real conception of where his immigration policies were to lead.

It was these programmes of mass immigration that created self-perpetuating ethnic minorities within this country, that led to the implementation of the anti-Australian ideology of Multiculturalism, which itself led to the traitorous push for the Asianisation of Australia.

Politically speaking, it is of interest to note that it appears that many migrants to Australia, and even their native-born sons and daughters, often feel they can't oppose mass immigration as they are themselves immigrants, or sons and daughters of immigrants.

Also, many British immigrants, and often their native-born sons and daughters, support the retention of the monarchy and the Commonwealth Flag for Australia (this relates to their conception of Australia as "British"); this does not apply to all of them, but certainly to a larger proportion than of the native-Australians.

The lack of a widespread native-Australian national consciousness is due in no small part to the failure of the education system to teach our young generations about the worth of Australia's culture and history. In the past, the education system pushed British culture, and nowadays it pushes multiculturalism. In effect, this is dispossessing Australians from their heritage, culture, and national identity. This is being done deliberately, in line with the cosmopolitan-internationalist ideology that so pervades the Australian education system today.


[1] Michael Walker, "The Nationalist Enigma", The Scorpion, Issue No. 4, (Spring 1983), pages 3-5 (page 5).

[2] W. Fearn-Wannan (Bill Wannan), Australian Folklore: A Dictionary of Lore, Legends and Popular Allusions, Lansdowne, Melbourne, 1972, page 345.

[3] Although the current English monarchy is technically and legally the monarchy of the United Kingdom, in actual practice it is an English monarchy - for cultural reasons, as well as geographical reasons. It may try to be "British"; but even many British people perceive that it is an English, rather than British, monarchy. It could even be viewed as an Anglo-German monarchy, based as it is on German royal bloodlines.

[4] See: William Byrne, Republic Versus Monarchy, The Institute of Australian Culture, Watsonia, 1995.

[5] See: Gary Howell, Union Jacks and Southern Skies: The Australian Commonwealth Flag and the Need For a New National Flag, The Institute of Australian Culture, Watsonia, 1995.

[6] That is; a uniquely Australian national flag, instead of the current British colonial-style flag.

[7] P.R. Stephensen, "The Foundations of Culture in Australia: An Essay towards National Self-Respect", first published as the editorial in the July 1935 issue of the Australian Mercury; reprinted in The Writer in Australia: A Collection of Literary Documents, 1854 to 1964, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1969, (pages 204-244) page 214.

Stephensen subsequently expanded this essay, with two more installments. It has since been republished in its entirety: The Foundations of Culture in Australia: An Essay towards National Self Respect, Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 1986, ISBN 0-04-909029-1.

[8] Note: In days gone by, there had been confusion regarding the use of the word "native", as its prior common usage was as a term for "black natives". This confusion prompted Henry Lawson to write an explanatory note for his poem "The Southern Scout" (which had a sub-title of "The Natives of the Land"):

    "The writer wishes to state, for the benefit of the majority of the English people, that Australians born of Europeans have been called "natives" for many years. Also that Australians are not all black, or even brown, neither are they red. Likewise, that the progeny of Marster "Jarge" or "Willum" as went "abrad" and came to Australia, are not necessarily little savages, unless, indeed, the Marster Jarge or Willum aforesaid happens to live with a black gin."

    Henry Lawson, "The Southern Scout" (1892), A Camp-Fire Yarn: Henry Lawson, Complete Works, 1885-1900, Lansdowne, Sydney, 1984, page 227

[9] P.R. Stephensen, "The Foundations of Culture in Australia", op. cit. (1969), pages 215, 231-232, 237.

[10] Henry Lawson, "To Be Amused" (1906), A Fantasy of Man: Henry Lawson, Complete Works, 1901-1922, Lansdowne, Sydney, 1984, pages 269-270.

Defending our National Identity