Australia’s response to the threat of communism
Communism is a system of social organization in which all economic and social activity is controlled by a totalitarian state dominated by a single and self-perpetuating political party. In theory, under communism, all means of production are owned in common, rather than by individuals. In practice, a single authoritarian party controls both the political and economic systems. ‘During the Cold War period Australia responded in various ways to the external and internal threat of communism. The most potent weapon used was the use of visual media.’ The Australian Government responded to the threat of communism after World War 2 in a number of different ways. The most powerful way was the use of visual media, using a variety of methods including signing treaties such as ANZUS and SEATO, changing the constitution and committing troops to overseas battles.
Following World War 2, there was an increased fear of communism in Australia. As we see in source 1, it is a primary source because it was a liberal party poster created in 1950s; it’s an external threat bias against communism through the graphic shows the encroaching “red menace” coming southwards from China through South East Asia towards Australia. On the graphic, it’s written “It’s your choice: Where do you draw the line against communist aggression?” to caution the Australians to avoid communism come in to Australia. In 1949 the success of the Communist Part in winning control of China provoked an enormous reaction in the capitalist nations of the world. The capitalists’ worst fears of a communist world revolution seemed to be coming true. The Australian believed the ‘domino theory, which is that if one nation fell under communist domination, its neighbors would fall like a line of dominoes. It is not difficult to understand why Australia, a country traditionally beset by fears of invasion, viewed the developments on the international scene after the shock of...
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