Tag Archives: Settlement

Aboriginal society was not a pretty sight

The first arrivals in Botany Bay and Sydney Cove wrote their impressions of the Aboriginals they came across in small groups. Among other observations, they noticed that the Aboriginal women showed signs of constant bashing. Indeed, it was no different from the bashing and child abuse presently witnessed among Aboriginal groups in central Australia. The indefatigable promoters of Aboriginal separatism see the history of Aboriginal society differently, Now Aboriginal society pre-settlement cannot be gloried too much. In all respects, they assert, Aboriginal society was superior to the white racists who established the complex society we see around us today. And to point out what the real first Australians achieved, is to earn the title of ‘white supremacists’. The history of Aboriginal society is either being rewritten or reinvented. Occasionally, a real historian will break through the fantasy and propaganda to state the truth.

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Life and Death in Pre-Contact Aboriginal Australia

William D Rubinstein, Quadrant, 18 November 2020

When Europeans first settled in Australia in 1788, they encountered an Aboriginal society of almost incredible barbarism and violence. This was the reality of what they found. The reasons for the violence and barbarism of Aboriginal society derive entirely, or almost entirely, from one factor alone. All of the Aborigines of Australia were hunter-gatherers who had not domesticated livestock nor grown crops for food. As a result, the lives of the hundreds of small tribes that constituted Aboriginal society were engaged in a never-ending struggle to find what food they could from what little existed on this continent.

Directly because of this central fact, it was absolutely necessary to keep the size of each tribe small enough for its members to be kept alive by what food and other sustenance they could find. It was therefore absolutely necessary for them to avoid adding any excess mouths to feed to the limited numbers who could be kept alive by the methods of hunter-gatherers in the Dry Continent. They did this by systematically eliminating the excess mouths.

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