Monday, November 06, 2006

GOVT Frustrated and not liking difference

"I expressed my frustration that the term is not often helpful because different people listen to it and give different meanings to it"- parliamentary secretary Andrew Robb on the subject of term multiculturalism(1), as he ponders whether or not to reinstate the council of multicultural Australia.

I don't know what else multiculturalism is meant to be? Multiculturalism is surely a challenge, but that doesn't mean we should shy away from it. The alternatives is assimilation, hidden under the slightly less offensive term of 'integration'. A bland, dry, homogenous Australia is what this Govt. wants, and others seem to want it too.

As Howard turns the screws, this country is experiencing a distinctly nationalist/fascist turn. In history, the right to one’s opinion and practices was one of the founding principles of western democratic thought. It was the ideal that we strove for. How strange that, in 2006 as we send soldiers overseas to “enforce” democracy, our govt would rather enforce homogeneity through governmental policy than help us learn how to be accepting and get along. It favours abandoning this ideal in favour of wiping out the concept, halting progress and retarding us backwards into a paranoid, suspicious mindset.

Of course things would be easier for governments if everybody was the same! Like semi intelligent robots with simple desires searching for simple pleasures, we would faithfully pay taxes so that the bureaucrats and generals can play lego with our society.

It’s time that somebody patted Howard on the back and took him back to the ward, where he'd be free to hallucinate for the rest of his days about a white Australian monoculture with shared values, tastes, names, pastimes and persuasions. Foreigners would be distrusted, their customs shunned and ever so gradually, no-one would have the right to practice any form of individuality. Anti-social bigots, drunk chauvinists, and agro footballers excepted! Pissed larrikens are a cultural ideal, especially at weddings, b'days and, well... all the times in between.

That's the fascist pipe dream: a country of governable minds, with no aspiration to govern themselves. Coupled with the idea of "free" enterprise, the govt. will have us doing everything for ourselves. Why then do we have a govt? I'm getting side tracked but when a govt. can no longer provide for its people, it becomes obsolete. When NGO's pick up the waste produced by this fascist economy which is both environmental and social, I think that they are in fact doing the job of an obsolete government.

Getting back to the point, we are already multicultural in so many ways. The food we eat, the music we listen to and so much more. I think it will be hard to just kick the habit, but they will try to make us forget we ever dared thinking of just getting along.

So we wait for the new replacement word and whatever policy decisions they might follow it with. Whether they retroactively replace 'multiculturalism' in everything, or they start enforcing the new meaning/word, I'm scared for the country I live in. I feel ashamed that such acid may is leaking into the public consciousness. I imagine a huge green monster sheepishly wiping the spittle from its mouth, beady eyes greedily wondering what to consume next.

(1) Andrew Rob in The Australian, article by Cath Hart, November 04, 2006 12:00am,,10117,20698659-421,00.html?from=public_rss