Letter to The Editor - The intense struggle between defenders and opponents of traditional Australia
To THE AUSTRALIAN The Life in Australia Historic Events Survey, as described by Darren Pennay (‘Bright side of the past leaves a big impression on us’, 24/1), does not itself seem to be very significant or authoritative in cultural terms. How many of the 2000 respondents knew enough about themselves and about the world they have lived in to be able to provide truly wise and insightful answers? It all looks like another example of ‘the blind leading the blind’. Pennay states that the survey shows us ‘who we are as a nation’ (but does not specify what that is) and warbles about our ‘rich, multicultural history’, which, however, looks meagre compared with those of Britain, China and India. Likewise his term ‘our global identity’ remains opaque.
The survey seems to have totally missed what is the most important event of all in our current history (perhaps because it is slow-moving): the intense struggle between defenders and opponents of traditional Australia, a war operating on many fronts and one very similar to that waged in Russia in the nineteenth century between authority and revolution as described by Turgenev and Dostoyevsky.
NJ, Belgrave, Vic