Thursday, 31 March 2016

An Aussie Tycoon's Moment of Confusion.

I gather there’s something of a furore going on in Australia over the fact that the University of New South Wales is encouraging its students to take a less conservative view of Australia’s origins. Their argument has many angles, some of which might be seen as amounting to undue political correctness, but as I understand it the main thrust of their position is that the establishment of modern Australia should be seen as a process of invasion and colonisation, not discovery and settlement.

Unsurprisingly I suppose, one of Rupert Murdoch’s rags is taking umbrage, accusing the university academics of ‘trying to re-write history.’ This is clearly false logic, and I hope our Aussie pals will have the good sense to see that it is clearly false logic. The only way to re-write history is to seek to change the facts of history, and UNSW are not taking issue with historical fact, but with the interpretation of that fact. That isn’t re-writing history.

And I suppose I shouldn’t take sides since I’m not Australian, but I can’t avoid the sneaking feeling (if I might be permitted a sneaking feeling) that if you walk into a foreign land, declare ownership over it, then force the indigenous people under your control and subjugate them to your will and self-interest, it would seem entirely rational to interpret the process as one of invasion and colonisation.

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