Tag Archives: Quadrant

Who will save us from these ideological crackpots?

The Killing of History

Keith Windschuttle, Quadrant, 13 May 2021

When little else in the world makes sense, history is the defining discipline. It carries extraordinarily important lessons for us and the future that we seek to shape. It can demolish prejudice. It is a reminder that there are hard decisions that have to be made, and the importance of making them and not shying away from them. And it can also inspire and point us to new horizons … We cannot, in facing our future, in the most consequential geopolitical realignment in our lifetimes, abandon what Arthur Schlesinger described as “historic purpose”. We have to be informed by a sense of not only who we are, but from where we have come.  
                     —Brendan Nelson, on launching A Liberal State: 1926–1966 by David Kemp

The audience at the launch in Sydney on April 29 of the fourth volume of David Kemp’s monumental history of Australian Liberalism nodded in agreement at Nelson’s comments on the centrality of history to understanding society. He described the book of his former ministerial colleague in the Howard government as a “towering masterpiece” which he wished he had read at the outset of his political career: “It brings so much understanding and enlightenment to who we are and where we are today.” (The book is reviewed in detail by William Poulos in our Books section in the upcoming June issue.)

On the night, those attending were obviously pleased with the impact both the book and its three companion volumes were likely to have on the future writing of political history in Australia and on the reputation of the single most influential character in Kemp’s latest narrative, Robert Gordon Menzies. The organiser of the book launch, the Menzies Research Centre’s Nick Cater, also announced that he had just signed a deal with the University of Melbourne to host the Robert Menzies Institute, a prime ministerial library and museum with Georgina Downer as executive director. Everyone hearing this felt things were looking up.

The next day, reality returned with a vengeance. The Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority released the new national school curriculum for history from Years Seven to Ten. None of its content bore any resemblance to that of David Kemp’s book. The curriculum has no analysis of the origins and history within Australia of liberalism or democracy. No appreciation of the degree of political, social and economic freedom enjoyed by all Australian citizens. Nothing to give any idea of how Australia became the prosperous, civilised country it has long been. No clue about why the great majority of Australians feel so lucky to live here.

The curriculum contains no mention of Robert Menzies or his political rivals John Curtin and Ben Chifley, or of any other of our prime ministers. No mention of other long-serving leaders such as Bob Hawke or John Howard. Yet there are plenty of names of other political identities that students will be required to study. Here is one list from the syllabus for Year Ten:

William Cooper, Jack Patten, Sir Douglas Nicholls, Lady Gladys Nicholls, Vincent Lingiari, Charles Perkins, Shirley Smith, Gladys Elphick, Essie Coffey, Joyce Clague, Roberta (Bobbi) Sykes, Gary Foley, Michael Anderson, Eddie Koiki Mabo, Lowitja O’Donoghue

There is no prize for guessing what they have in common. They are all Aboriginal political activists. These are the people the curriculum wants young Australians to regard as our most historically significant.

Read the rest here…

The Epicentre of Our History

By Keith Windschuttle, Quadrant 12 November 2019

Inventing and Manipulating History

When Julia Gillard was Minister for Education in the Rudd government in 2008 she appointed a committee to rewrite the national schools curriculum from primary school to year 10. When the curriculum’s compulsory Aboriginal content was published it became a controversial issue. The Coalition opposition under Tony Abbott called it “political correctness run riot” and a ”black armband” view of Australian history, saying it placed too much emphasis on indigenous perspectives and very little on the nation’s British and European political and cultural heritage.

Nonetheless, indigenous studies still remain a core concept within the national curriculum. The academics and bureaucrats responsible never gave up their objective to make it compulsory for all Australian schoolchildren. Today, much of the content set in place by Gillard is now being updated to accommodate the arrival of a new and far more radical set of ideas about traditional Aboriginal culture and society. This is largely the result of an acceptance within the education system of the book, Dark Emu, by the self-described indigenous author Bruce Pascoe.

Read on…

Total Control: The Ever-Predictable ABC

By Peter O’Brien, Quadrant 15 November 2019

Inventing Aboriginal History with the help of Australia’s government funded ABC

Propaganda is most persuasive when it is pervasive.  Right now we are being subject to a massive propaganda campaign designed to advance the Aboriginal sovereignty, agenda and it is being masterminded and largely paid for by Their ABC.

I have spent the best part of six months writing a review of Bruce Pascoe’s bestseller Dark Emu,  which postulates that Aborigines were not nomadic hunter-gatherers but a sophisticated, sedentary, agricultural society with a pan-continental system of government.  The ostensible aim of Dark Emu is to correct a purportedly mistaken view of Aborigines so that we can all move forward together.  But the real aim is to foment a sense of grievance among Aborigines, and a sense of guilt among whites, that will enhance the chances of a referendum to enshrine an Aboriginal advisory body into the Constitution.  If that happens it will pave the way for judicial activists to continue the work they commenced with the Mabo decision and grant some form of sovereignty to Aborigines.  As part of the propaganda campaign, Dark Emu, will become a two-part ABC documentary sometime next year I will speak more of my book Bitter Harvest in the December edition of Quadrant.

Read on…

Jackboots in rainbow hues

The same-sex marriage campaign rests on Marxist arguments and is led by a vanguard of Marxists. We can deconstruct the theory and the leaders of the Marxist vanguard to show just that. But however cogent our arguments and demonstration, the experiences of someone who has lived under a communist regime make the malignancy and tactics of Marxists more immediate. John Rigo lived through communism in Poland before escaping to Australia. He has a warning for Australians. 

Jackboots in Rainbow Hues

John Rigo
Quadrant, 23 September 2017

Confusing, distorting, reversing and destroying the meanings of words was a major characteristic of communism, as much as the constant threat of state terror.

I fled communist tyranny to breathe and speak freely, to live without the fear and obligatory debasement of paying lip service to evil. Don’t think me dramatic when I say the the Left in general and same-sex marriage bullies in particular have inspired a deeply unsettling sense of deja vu

gay hitlerThere are times in life when at last you can fully recognise a deadly, half-hidden danger. Reading an intensely perceptive analysis helps, and there is a relatively recent one by the Polish philosopher Ryszard Legutko, published in English as The Demon in Democracy: Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies (brief excerpts featured in Quadrant‘s April 2015 edition). Professor Legutko and I grew up in the same epoch and political environment in the communist tyrannies of Eastern Europe. I escaped and came to Australia as a refugee in 1981, while he became involved with Solidarity in Poland. Now he is a leading member of the European Parliament.  Read on…