Nationhood and the ‘Pure’ Race (part 3) – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Interest subsequently increased in using evolution theory for justification of a strong state in Australia. It is this racialist concern with a distinctively Australian type that undergirded the White Australia Policy, which was sanctioned by the adoption of the Immigration Restriction Bill in 1901. Pettman comments that the: Imperialist and racist ideology drew on generations of conquest, slavery and exploitation, and on a whole language of black inferiority and white superiority, bolstered in the nineteenth century by the new sciences. This ideology proved useful and flexible in rationalising the bloody violence, dispossession and incarceration of Aboriginal people, necessary to clear the way for the white nation (Pettman, 1988:2). Jan Pettman notes that the Darwinist explanations of evolution asserted that given equal competition, the fittest societies would survive and the inferior would die out, and links the attempted and hastened destruction of Aboriginal societies based on this theory. The British, being industrious and capital driven, accepted themselves as superior to the ‘improvident’ Aborigines and accepted that as racially doomed and undesirable were destined to

Source: Nationhood and the ‘Pure’ Race (part 3) – » The Australian Independent Media Network

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