The people who comprise the bulk of the current Establishment in Australia are from that section of the population termed the "New Class" (generally referred to as "cosmopolitans"; and referred to by some nationalists as the "Traitor Class"). This New Class, simply put, is in essence the "Lost Generation" of the 1960s and 1970s, whereby much of that generation came under political and social influences that imbued them with a general ideology (or "world-view") of liberal-internationalism.
As can be generally observed, each rising generation slowly replaces the previous generation as the nation's "Establishment"; that is, people of the upcoming generation eventually come into positions of influence and power within political parties, the media, the education system, business, unions, the legal system, and the public service; in particular, we are discussing the highly educated elite of the upcoming generation (generally, they are university-educated), as it is the highly educated of the new generation that eventually rise into, and then come to dominate, the "Establishment" of the country. This is the natural progression of generations. However, it is unfortunate that certain historical, political, and social circumstances combined so as to produce a new elite that generally holds a liberal-internationalist viewpoint. Of course, in speaking of trends regarding changing generations, we must recognise that we are looking at general trends, and that there will always be large numbers of the specified social group that are not part of the overall trend of the new generation.
Padraic McGuinness (former editor of the Australian Financial Review) has discussed the concept of the New Class in The Age:
"As Marx once put it, every rising class identifies its own interests and morality as universal.
"Just as the bourgeois and subsequently the proletariat in the marxist analysis successively identified themselves as the last word in freedom and social morality, so does the new class which has come to power over the past 50 years, and which now attempts to express its interests as universal and morally good.
"...Essentially it points to the fact that any regime tends to come under the control of the educated political elites who govern in their own interest rather than in that of the working class or the people."(5)
It is clear that such a New Class exits, and carries with it a liberal- internationalist ideology that is very different to the ideology of the Australian Establishment of the 1900s to 1950s, which was characterised as generally patriotic, socially conservative, pro-White Australia, and pro-British.
The New Class grew out of the student generation of the 1960s and 1970s (university- based in particular) that opposed: 1) the White Australia Policy (we should recognise the influence of contact with Asian/Third World university students via the Colombo Plan, as well as with the university-based immigration reform groups), 2) the Vietnam War, and 3) conscription (the latter two, in particular, raised much debate, and resulted in student "crusades").
The New Class enabled its own further growth when it came to dominate the universities via 1) older students graduating into academic teaching positions, 2) the university recruitment of "New Class" academics from America, and 3) the oppressive "politically correct" atmosphere generated within the universities by New Class ideological-political-social-academic "thuggery" (the effective harassment and intimidation of those in the universities - academics in particular - who differed from, or opposed, the general liberal-internationalist viewpoint). This domination of the universities (as well as the primary and secondary education systems, which came to be dominated by the university-graduated New Class teachers of the 1960s and 1970s) led to the subtle indoctrination of the upcoming student generations by New Class teachers constantly espousing their liberal-internationalist views.
It is important to note that the longer students stay within the education system, the more likely they are to be subtly "brainwashed" by the continual and insidious effect of having their views moulded by liberal-internationalist teachers (whose teachings are affected and coloured by their beliefs and ideology). As these new students then themselves become teachers/academics, the New Class becomes a self- perpetuating circle. However, the New Class' ideological hold upon academia, media, and politics cannot be regarded as absolute, and may yet face another generation's "backlash".
Dr Katharine Betts (of Swinburne University) has noted the links between immigration, multiculturalism, and the New Class:
"People who use the economic definition claim that a properly constituted immigration program will boost Australia's national wealth. The label 'economic' does not indicate whether these people really believe their claims, or whether these claims have any merit. It just describes the language that they use when they talk of the intake in terms of skills, age distribution and entrepreneurship. This way of looking at immigration tends to find favour with employer groups and with economic rationalists arguing for closer links with Asia. In contrast, the altruistic cosmopolitans talk of family reunion, cultural pluralism, internationalism and humanitarianism... Groups that have supported immigration since the early 1950s because of their stake in a growing domestic market in land, housing and other goods (see Birrell and Birrell, 1987) have no inherent preference for the type of immigrant. But this traditional 'growth of the domestic market' lobby now tends to endorse the 'economic' definition. Though immigration is unpopular, an intake designed to bring in skilled people and entrepreneurs is not as unacceptable as one based on family reunion and refugees, and the type of immigrant recruited by an 'economic' program is likely to be less visible. Given this lobby's commitment to growth, a policy of recruiting the largest numbers of the least conspicuous immigrants is in its interests.
"Much of the public discourse about immigration in Australia is between the 'altruistic cosmopolitans' and those who use the language of economics. Neither group is critical of the fact of immigration, nor of the size of the intake, provided it is substantial; so both sets of interests support continued high immigration. And sometimes their specific arguments overlap. People who base their case on economics may claim that recruiting skilled people will also foster internationalism, and 'altruists' may argue that bringing in more brothers and sisters boosts economic growth. But they do in fact quarrel over the composition of the intake and it is this that creates the impression of controversy.
"...Altruistic cosmopolitans and people arguing that skilled immigrants promote economic growth often disagree strongly on the composition of the intake, with the latter taking particular exception to low-skilled entrants coming in under extended family reunion categories. But, for all this disagreement, both groups support a large program.
"...As with most areas of public policy, nearly all participants in debate about immigration who have any influence are tertiary-educated members of the new professional middle class. These are people Alvin Gouldner describes as the 'new class', a group whose claims to income and wealth are based on a lengthy education and professional expertise authenticated by credentials (1979: 19-27).
"...The explanation for the intelligentsia's attitudes to immigration does not lie with any sophisticated cost-benefit analysis by members of the new class of the effects of population growth. Many tend to be impatient of the 'economic' definition; its quibbles about age and skill seem narrow and self-interested. The perspective offered by altruists and cosmopolitans, with its themes of internationalism, cosmopolitanism, exotic foods and customs, and its imagery based on compassion for the world's poor, is more attractive, providing an intriguing blend of urbane sophistication and low-cost benevolence. The development of this way of looking at immigration has coincided with rapid growth in the numbers of new-class professionals. As the post-war generation of new recruits to the ranks of graduates and professionals worked hard to establish a special identity for themselves, they drew on the symbolism provided by the altruistic, cosmopolitan definition. They have used it to shape an identity based on a clear distinction between people of insight, discernment and cosmopolitan understanding, and the narrow parochialism of their parents' generation.
"As Gouldner describes it, the economic base of the new class rests on the cultural capital built up during their university education. But, like other social classes, they use symbols to differentiate their own particular social position. In Australia, being ideologically sound on immigration has become one such status symbol (see Betts 1988: 77-84, 97-119, 141-7, 160-8). Opposition to racism is a central new-class value and this symbolism draws much of its strength from the association of immigration with questions of race. The association between supporting immigration and opposing racism is often illogical, but it is the nobler side of the new-class badge of belonging. The reverse, scored with contempt for native Australian traditions, is less impressive. People wear the badge when they demonstrate that they 'know' that criticism of immigration is racist, and that multiculturalism is the best feature of an otherwise rather third-rate country, In displaying these values they send a clear signal that they are among those who have arrived. In contrast, people who openly doubt the worth of these convictions risk demonstrating that, whether they have formal educational qualifications or not, they are in fact really lower-middle-class parochials and not part of the chosen circle after all.
"The development of this symbolism did not happen by chance. There are historical reasons why attitudes to immigration, rather than to some other topic, became key markers of new-class status in Australia. The main elements here are the White Australia Policy, ardently contested by the student generation of the 1950s, and the Viet Nam War, resisted with even greater passion in the 1960s. Themes that link race, immigration and the fear of invasion hare a long history in Australia. The Viet Nam War served to consolidate these links.
"...'Multiculturalism' was originally a new-class creation; most of the ethnic organisations that affect our politics today did not exist when concerned welfare professionals discovered 'problem immigrants' in the late 1960s and offered cultural pluralism as a solution for their difficulties (Martin 1978: 208-9, 233-6, 247,254-5; Kovacs & Cropley 1975: 43-4,54-7,124-8). Once launched, multiculturalism struck an immediate chord with other professional people. Here, in one policy, was restitution for the wrongs that immigrants had suffered, a delightful new variety of cosmopolitan lifestyles to be sampled, and a standing reminder to the old Australian working class (and the Anglophile middle class) of the poverty of their own cultural practices. Opposition to the White Australia policy and protest against the Viet Nam War had been frustrating and bitter; multiculturalism was fun. And contempt for the past and enthusiasm for trendy new restaurants and exotic foreign films could establish one's superiority and alienate outsiders almost as effectively as radical politics. As one writer put it, premulticultural Australia was a 'wasteland. A nation of barbarians. A land without culture and interesting food... Above all a country of suffocating boredom' (Dale, in Good Weekend, 3 November 1990: 22). Or, in Phillip Adams' words, it was 'dull, self- satisfied and joylessly conformist... Not merely mindless, but lobotomised' (Age, 12 July 1980).
"...The force of the altruistic cosmopolitan definition in new-class imagery is illustrated by journalist Peter Hasting's claim that the Second World War was 'the best thing to happen to this country'. Pre- war Australia had been a byword for cultural wilderness and philistinism. This malaise lingered after the war; and Hastings and many of his contemporaries 'got the hell out of Australia and headed "abroad"'. But the aftermath of the war brought immigration and, with it, cultural enrichment. Now he could tolerate his country (Hastings 1988). Others write that 'one of the greatest creative forces in Australia continues to be our immigration program, pursued in a multicultural mode...' (Horne 1987) and rejoice that Australian history is being rewritten, 'unravelling the old myths and knitting together new ones that will help to create the mind-set of acceptable Asian citizens' (Johnson 1988).
"...it is difficult to question immigration in this country because of the new-class ideology that links such questions with racism and holds that racism, however defined, cannot be discussed. It can only be condemned. This is an ideology supported by advocates for the 'altruistic' and 'economic' definitions, and by most journalists working for the quality press. It means that discourse critical of immigration is quickly interpreted as 'racist' and not to be entertained, especially if concern about cultural cohesion is its point of departure."(6)
New Class liberal-internationalists self-righteously believe that only their general ideology and world-view is correct, and cannot conceive that any opposing viewpoint could be correct; and do not want to allow opposing viewpoints to express themselves, or - especially - to let them grow and gain wider support (as would normally happen in a democracy). Thus, anyone opposing immigration, multiculturalism, or Asianisation may become subject to social-political-legal- economic "thuggery" from the Establishment-New Class, whether it be social intimidation (see the antics of the media), political/legal oppression (see the various so-called racial vilification laws), or economic harassment (withdrawal of government contracts, economic boycotts, or deliberately damaging media attacks upon individuals, leading to the loss of jobs or business).
Mark Uhlmann, editor of The Record magazine, has written of such harassment as being
"...If the public was not properly informed it would not take a genuinely effective part in the democratic process.
""But the complementary techniques of secrecy, disinformation and news management are readily available to those in power to restrict and obfuscate the information which is available to the community as the basis for its conclusions."
"He warned there was a great penalty to be paid when all but the most courageous - or foolish - were forced to adopt the "superficially popular view or that promoted by the current elite in order to avoid personal condemnation".
"The result of such resignation, Mr Fitzgerald said, would be that "discussion is stifled; the exchange of ideas is inhibited; perspectives are narrowed. Many of those who could contribute are deterred from participating. And ordinary persons become confused and lose respect for authority and the political process.""(8)
"...Perhaps the best indication of the popular salience of the issue is the proportion of opinion survey respondents who are unable to express a view when asked a question about it by an interviewer. In surveys, immigration produces the lowest proportion of non-committal answers of any contemporary political issue, with the possible exception of capital punishment, about which many citizens also possess strong views.
"...The anomaly is that at the level of party politics, immigration policy is debated only infrequently and it has never been a major post- war election issue. In practice, party political elites have almost completely ignored it. Why? One explanation for this concerns the nature of party competition. Although the immigration issue opens up great electoral opportunities for political parties, not least the ability to mobilise large numbers of voters on a single policy, it contains major dangers. To ensure their own survival, parties must avoid issues that could jeopardise internal party unity or divide the social bases of support upon which they depend for electoral success. Political parties deal with this problem by restricting conflict along an economic dimension, usually arranged from left to right, which presents voters with two clear political choices - collectivism versus the free market. Immigration, along with other non-economic issues like abortion, capital punishment and illicit drugs, represents an issue which cross-cuts established patterns of party competition and has the potential to threaten party unity.
"...Liberal democracies base their legitimacy on the notion of accountability to their citizens. The operation of accountability takes place through political parties, who are either rewarded or punished by voters at elections for their actions while in government. But if party political elites avoid public debate on an aspect of policy and maintain a consensus on it, there can be no accountability to voters. This is effectively what has occurred with immigration in the post-war years.
"...When elite opinion and voter opinion are compared, some of the reasons for bipartisanship on immigration are evident: a majority of voters want to reduce the level of immigration, and almost one-third are strongly in support of that view. Faced with such a decisive popular view, the only way to maintain immigration is through bipartisanship, and by an informal agreement between the parties that it should not be placed on the political agenda. In the absence of party political debate, successive governments have been able to maintain what is effectively an unpopular policy.
"...Immigration policy is one of a small number of contemporary political issues about which many voters express strong opinions. But despite these intensely held popular opinions, the issue does not form part of the parties' political agendas and it has never been a post-war election issue. Voters' opinions on immigration also diverge markedly from those of their elected representatives, who are more likely to favour either the status quo or increased immigration. Immigration is one of a small group of issues that share five characteristics:
# they are often intensely held;
# they are largely non-economic in nature;
# they produce major divisions between mass and elite;
# they result in few partisan divisions at the popular level;
# they do not constitute part of the public debate between political elites.
"Other issues that fall into this category include capital punishment, abortion, the decriminalisation of marijuana, and Aboriginal land rights."(9)
ATTITUDES TO IMMIGRATION AMONG CANDIDATES AND VOTERS
AT THE 1990 FEDERAL ELECTION: (10)
Elite (all Mass major parties) (all voters) Gone much too far 8 29 Gone too far 28 29 About right 50 34 Not gone far enough 11 7 Not gone nearly far enough 3 2 Elite Mass (Labor) (Labor voters) Gone much too far 1 28 Gone too far 17 28 About right 68 34 Not gone far enough 9 7 Not gone nearly far enough 6 2 Elite Mass (Liberal (Liberal- -National) National voters) Gone much too far 8 31 Gone too far 34 30 About right 41 32 Not gone far enough 6 6 Not gone nearly far enough 4 1 Elite Mass (Democrat) (Democrat voters) Gone much too far 14 27 Gone too far 31 26 About right 43 38 Not gone far enough 8 8 Not gone nearly far enough 4 1
A later poll (published in the Herald Sun, 16 December 1996, page 8) confirmed these differences:
NUMBER OF MIGRANTS ALLOWED IN TO AUSTRALIA HAS:
Elite Mass (all parties) (all voters) Gone much too far 7 33 Gone too far 25 29 About right 54 30 Not gone far enough 11 6 No response 3 2
As stated earlier, the differences between the views of "our leaders" and that of most Australians extends to many other social questions, as evidenced by this poll (made at the same time as the above poll on immigration):
PRIDE IN AUSTRALIAN HISTORY: (12)
Elite Mass (all parties) (all voters) Very proud 22 37 Fairly proud 37 41 Little or no pride 38 18 No response 3 4
Such differences, between mass and elite on various issues of social contention, have been further noted by McAllister:
27 August 1984, The Age.
Poll by Irving Saulwick and Associates.
2000 people interviewed, nationwide, July 1984.
"Australia should accept as migrants:"
Response: General Tertiary population: graduates: % % Suitable migrants from any country 37 59 Those who have the skills we need 36 56 People who have relatives here 24 36 Refugees 18 39 People with money to invest here 15 22 Europeans only 6 3 Australia should not accept any migrants at the present time 34 17 Don't know/Not stated 2 1
Note 1: The "general population" result includes the "tertiary graduates" (New Class) group and therefore the real "general" result, if those of the New Class were not counted, would be even more markedly different to the result of the "tertiary graduates" as seen here.
Note 2: Of course, while the population basis of the New Class is, as has been noted earlier in this chapter, primarily the tertiary-educated white-collar middle class and professionals, obviously not everyone from that background will hold the ideology of the New Class. However, it must be emphasised, that the specified social group does provide the bulk of the ideological adherents of the New Class.
4 October 1996, The Australian, p. 4.
Poll by Newspoll.
1200 people, interviewed by telephone, nationwide, 27-29 September 1996.
"Thinking now about immigration. Do you personally think that the total number of migrants coming into Australia each year is too high, too low or about right? If too high - is that a lot too high or a little too high? If too low - is that a lot too low or a little too low?"
Response: Household income: Less than $30,000 $50,000 $30,000 $49,999 plus % % % A lot too high 59 48 38 A little too high 21 22 20 Total too high 80 70 58 A little too low * 1 3 A lot too low 1 1 1 Total too low 1 2 4 About right 14 22 31 Uncommitted 5 6 7
Note 1: * = less than 0.5%
Note 2: It has been theorised that as many individuals "climb up the social ladder", whether in business, politics, community organisations, etc, the further they climb, the more they are compromised by having to agree with the predominant New Class ideology within those circles. Especially in business, where so much trade in now being carried on with Asia; many may change their views as they become more Asia-orientated through business and personal wealth gain, a matter of "money first, Australia second".
Looking at the above polls on immigration, we can see the great differences between the views of the Establishment (New Class) and those of the general public. This is not a case of the country's elite "not being in touch with the views of the common people"; but instead it shows that those who "rule" Australia actually hold a different set of views (that is, they hold a different world-view or ideology) to the views of the general Australian population.
The current Establishment in Australia, comprising people of the New Class, generally believes in the world-view known as liberal-internationalism, and thus they are willing to continue on with programmes of mass immigration, multiculturalism, and Asianisation, no matter what the majority of the Australian people want. Therefore, it should be clearly understood that "our leaders" do not hold the interests of the Australian nation and the Australian people at heart.
Note: Sometimes "smart alec" liberal-internationalists ask "If this is the case, then how come these people of the New Class still represent the common people in parliament?" The fact is that whilst the common people hold views against Asian immigration, this is but one view they hold amongst many, so that the economic issues - which are, by necessity, so important to them - are generally catered for by the mainstream political parties, and therefore most of the common people feel no great or desperate need to begin a new political party. Of course, those who view immigration as the main concern facing Australia may try to begin a new political party in response to objecting to the current mainstream political party, but this is as easy as starting a new mainstream newspaper in response to objecting to the pro-multiculturalist and anti-Australian bias of the current mainstream newspapers - the points are the same: 1) voter/client trends are so well entrenched as to favour the existing mainstream bodies, 2) much money is needed, and 3) the media support, coverage, and validation (which is so very important) are just not available. Of course, Pauline Hanson (at the time of publication) is doing admirably in striving to create a new mainstream political party, but the original rush of support for her was generated by the simple media reporting of her activities (albeit negative reporting), whereas (at the time of publication) now the cosmopolitan- internationalists in the media have realised this and are instead continually carrying out deliberate media "hatchet jobs" (heavily and actively biased "reporting") upon Pauline Hanson and her new One Nation party so as to damage her support (a "clever" tactic which appears to be working, judging by a lessening of support for Ms Hanson as reported in subsequent public opinion polls).