“Australia’s descent into totalitarianism”
YEAR 11 MODERN HISTORY
SEMESTER 2 RESEARCH ASSIGNMENT
BY MICHAEL STUART
PRESENTED TO MR BUCKLAND
Being of a capitalist-libertarian viewpoint I am personally irked by the concepts of both communism and totalitarianism. Despite my strongly held (and what some would call radical) views on politics, welfare and firearm ownership I was reluctant to choose this topic. However, after much procrastination and apparently futile mind mapping I decided to continue with it. Once I had decided to persist with the topic, a hypothesis transpired quickly. “Under the right conditions and the wrong leader there is substantial evidence that Australia could have and can still fall into the mould of a totalitarian state.” Although my views were slightly altered during the research process; I found that my hypothetical statement was just as relevant towards the end of the task as at the beginning. While some, upon reading this will likely brand me as a conspiracy theorist; I believe that it is incredibly naïve to dismiss the notion that Australia (or any other Western nation for that matter) could become totalitarian. In the mid to late stages of my research I happened upon the work of Jewish, Russo-American philosopher and author, Ayn Rand. Rand was an advocate of objectivism, individualism and minarchism (very skeletal government). Her story corroborates effectively with the objective of my report as she lived through the Russian revolution and various famines, emerging as an individualist and supporter of the free market. The fact that Rand lived through communism for a number of years makes her story and work primary sources and incredibly useful to my research. These quotes of hers encompass totally the objective of this report, “Potentially, a government is the most dangerous threat to man's rights: it holds a legal monopoly on the use of physical force against legally disarmed victims.” And “Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual).” Rand was instrumental in the voicing of the theory that, “Just because most people want it doesn’t make it morally right.”(Paraphrased) She and I at very different stages of time both found that this was and is the major flaw of democracy. Did the fact that most Germans in 1939 wanted all Jews dead make it right? Equally, just because “most people wanted” a gun buyback and registration in Australia in 1996 does that make it morally acceptable? Of course not, and this is illustrated in the second quote. In hindsight it was a rather unwise decision to choose this topic as there was little academic an unbiased information concerning it. I would have been much better off choosing a clichéd topic such as, “Stalin was bad for Russia” but my argumentative nature as well as a strong concern for the nation of Australia and my rights as an individual prevented me from doing so. I presume that the reason that there is so little academic discussion surrounding this topic is due to its being “politically incorrect” and also the hereditary dominance of socialism within academic institutions and the education system. To conclude this rationale and to authenticate my argument I refer to two quotes from the well renowned Benjamin Franklin. “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” And, “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither safety nor liberty.”
1. What current and historical oppressive actions have been authorised by government? 2. How do the actions of contemporary Australian governments corroborate with those of Totalitarian socialist regimes? 3. How easy is it for a...
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