For the Adoration of Atheism.

Or: I was an Altar boy once.

“I was an altar boy once!”..I have a habit of dropping that statement into any conversation about religious beliefs that I am involved with. Of course, it is just a distraction, a sort of “blind-alley” comment that steers the talk down a different path, a (as that “smear of excrement” that was once our LNP, Prime Minister a few years ago called ) ;”… bbq. stopper”.

And I have done it again here, stealing the conversation away from “belief” to religion!

Of course, belief and believing has nothing at all to do with religion. I sometimes would follow up on my above comment with ;”The Catholic Church is not a ‘religion’ , but an institution!”….one does not need books, tracts and pamphlets to believe, one only needs to wake and feel the weather on one’s skin. One does not need images and icons. One only needs imagination. Does a child need to be taught fantasy, imagery, imagination?, but there are those who strongly, fiercely believe a child needs to be taught to believe in the unbelievable!

And I will state my opinion categorically, here and now, backed by every notion of accepted measure of sanity that ALL religion is a human construct..ALL a human invention..there is no supreme being, no omnipotent God…those descriptions alone betray a need, a hunger for an authority to command. “Human, all too human”. And I and any rational human being who has above capacity and dexterity to peel a boiled egg knows it and believes it…even if they do not practice it. If there is one bit of “wisdom” learned early, used universally and passed down with signalled dexterity through the eons of time, it is that the general MOB of humanity is best controlled and corralled with the dispersion and corruption of religo-politico adoration.

But hey…’d have to be a mug…

I recall when my own children came to the age of schooling and we were shopping around for what we considered the “best” school system for them. One such system, The Steiner System, seemed to offer a new approach, a gentler curriculum. I never liked the idea of forcing a child to “grow up” before they are ready. I was not ready for primary school at exactly the age of five years. So we attended a talk on the subject. The lady who gave the talk was very sensitive, very convincing with references to the gentle awakening of the child’s sensibilities and the action of guiding them through and down paths of least disturbance of their childhood years…opening one door and closing another as they made their way through the labyrinth of awakening to the world.…very gently explained, as if in a sort of trance…that and the fact that she grew up just down the road from where I grew up gave substance to the yarn(her brother was forever stealing our grapes!).

We took it…it worked out well for the primary years. Good result…”I believe”.
But!…Now, when I reflect on that talk, our perceptions, the lady’s demeanour, OUR DEMEANOUR…our ambition , the lady’s ambition…I wonder; was it really about the children, or about ourselves as adults?…..As I said above, a child doesn’t NEED belief, it has it in spades..but we adults presume the child REQUIRES indoctrination TOWARD a belief!……and that’s where the quip;”I was an altar boy once” comes in…after all, who, with a rational mind, would freely volunteer for such a position!?

The sad thing is that “belief and believing” is an adult concept that masks a deep insecurity within the human condition. So we strengthen ourselves with delusions of many and varied forms…call them “Beliefs”, call them “Religion”..after all, is it not the most craven individuals that arm themselves most aggressively? So we have institutions even in this day and age utilising schools to “groom” the children with their variation of “spiritual corruption”.

But I would promote the idea of a “worship” of atheism. Not substituting Godhead or Gaia or even rough “Mother Nature”, let them alone..they will float along without our assistance. I would emphasise the belief in casual observance of the world around oneself. Step out of a morning and feel the wash of sunrise pour its ambrosia over the body like a soothing balm..or stand transfixed at the noon of the day and hark to the frenzied activity of life at full throttle..then again sit or lay comfortably in the velvet cloak of evening and let slip from your grip those worries and concerns accumulated throughout the working day, let them fall into the miasma of shadows of the coming night..for night is the metaphor of life’s ending..and finally let morphia’d sleep cleanse the mind and wash with dreams away this impertinence of temporal existence.

Atheism is neither a “belief” , nor a “way of life”..I see it more as a shedding of clumsy armour, the relaxing of futile defence against a non-existing fear. For if there has ever been a power more condemning, more controlling and exacting of behaviour so that even natural human activity can draw cruel conviction, it is religious / canon law. There are ample and sensible civil laws legislated by sanity, put in place by unanimous consent and obeyed by the majority that do not require ecclesiastical condescension. So if we have laws to guide us, common sense to inform us and a wide world of wonder to both awe and amuse us, why waste time and temper on another useless chore like bowing and scraping to false Gods?

You know, whenever I see those photographs of the Earth taken from outer-space and they show this cool, beautiful, green/ blue/ sometimes cloudy orb suspended serenely in the silence of revitalises a belief within me that we are duty-bound and committed to extend ourselves to maintain and revitalise this luscious but lonely garden of delight! We can do no worse thing with indoctrinated discourse, than to deliberately lead the child (and the “child” within ourselves) from a world of innocent wonder, a world of curious discovery to a mendaciously manufactured shadow world of adult doubt and insecurity…. through a prism distorted…through a glass, darkly….

I have a home..have you?

I remember on my first tramp around Europe,back around 1980, standing on the foreshore at Brindisi, waiting for the ferry to take me across the Adriatic sea to Greece. I was getting somewhat jaded by this time of the sights and unfamiliar languages of Europe and starting to hunger for those familiar places and voices that anchor one to a time and place with neither thought of threat nor alienation. ..I was getting homesick.

I remember feeling this way whilst standing near a bobbing boat with the smell of the sea in my nostrils and looking along the shoreline to another figure a fair way away standing, much like myself, looking like how I suppose I looked in that oh-so-familiar back-packers garb ( though this was before the age of the backpacker..more like an amateur tourist) and he was turned, in kind, staring at me. And in that momentary hiatus of mute connection, I felt a melancholic wave of sadness sweep over me..a hunger for home..and I can’t help but think that the other fellow there on the Brindisi shore was experiencing exactly the same feeling as myself.

To so many of us, the comforting security of home is taken for granted. Even My mother, born and raised in the deepest, most poverty enriched days of the great depression, in makeshift tent after makeshift camp on the banks of the River Murray…up and down and into the mallee and out, from ruin to hut, many times sans shoes, sans education, sans town-friendships..through it all, she said she never felt like she had no feeling of a homeland or what we consider a home. She always felt she “belonged” with the other itinerants and the district of the Riverland.

Proverb : “What the eye doesn’t see,
The heart doesn’t grieve.”

Parable : ” I laugh now when I think of it”. The old lady chuckled, “But I was young then, about fourteen..or sixteen..but I was a ‘young’ sixteen….you know?..and I had gone to the millinery store in the town and bought a dress for the fair. The dress was pink floral with a blouse all in one and it had two pieces of material, like braces, with big buttons on the waistline and those two braces went over the shoulders down the back.”

“Ahh..I was young then….anyway at the fair there was the excitement of a merry-go-round and bucking horses and shearing contests and….and… know, that sort of thing and everybody from the district and from beyond the bend of the river..and they’re dressed up to the nines, oh dear,ha!…the big day of the year for us then, ha!”

“Well, there was this aboriginal girl there about the same age as me and she had on EXACTLY the same dress that I had..exactly!…and we ran up to each other and laughed and became great friends that day…she worked, like me, at another station on the Murray….cooking, cleaning, looking after the children that sort of thing…..anyway, we were great friends that day an’ we walked all around that fair together arm in arm, laughing and having great fun and we’d tell everyone we met that we were twins!..ha! ha!…TWINS!….you’d laugh now, but we didn’t even think of her being black and me white then..some people smiled or rolled their eyes and others threw their heads back and laughed and we just thought they were as happy as we were, ha!”

“Oh, a jolly good time we had that day…..I can’t even remember her name now….ha!….Ah well….twins..twins!”

Minister Dutton’s slighting of the status of those refugees as they were taken away to America, was a low act, a mongrel comment unworthy of an Australian citizen.. a despicable slander from one so comfortably well off (thank you ; people of Australia for endowing him with much wealth and the comfort of a home). But it is an all too familiar carp from many of the right-wing already basking in a wealth of contentment and a degree of luxury neither hard-earned, nor deserving..but at the same time casting aspersion and slander upon those less fortunate or driven by desperation to flee their own homes and try their fate to a cruel sea and unforgiving foreign countries.

What sort of people can gaze with cruel intent on those wracked and wrecked by responsibility for family while smashed on the rocks of a foreign land..How many of us as parents cringe in horror at sight or thought of our loved ones maimed or destroyed by events we cannot, through powerlessness or circumstance control? How many times have we turned our gaze from the television screen at news pictures of drowning refugees or that one little child washed up upon the beach in Turkey..I still shudder at the thought of the moment imagined of that child struggling alone in a tossing sea as he slowly lost hold on life….Ask not for whom the bell tolls…

But still..I am home..I am settled..I have carved out my “temple of seven pillars of comfort”. I have no threats upon my doorstep, no wild beasts howling at my fence-line, no marauding militants armed and dangerous seeking for opportunity to attack. No..I am safe (as can be expected), secure (as can be financially managed) and sound (as aged health will allow). I am one of the lucky people living in a fortunate land. But never, never am I so smugly insular and self-satisfied that I cannot feel the deepest sympathy for those who seek such a home…for those men, women and children in loose assembly drifting in a tide of callous disregard from this cruel and heartless right-wing demonic government.

Here is a piece by Richard Church, from the third volume of his biography…:


SOONER or later we all turn homeward. A man who dies on foreign soil is judged to have had a sad end. To escape the possibility of such a fate, every human being is possessed by an instinctive urge to hurry home. I noticed this when I was a boy, working in the laboratory in the Custom House, beside Billingsgate Market. I walked over London Bridge twice a day, morning and evening, wedged in the solid phalanx of humanity moving into London City, and out of it again.

I noticed how that tide of trousered or skirted legs was sluggish in the morning, as it trickled towards offices and ware-houses; how it rushed like the Severn Bore into London Bridge Station after the day’s work, blown by a gale of furious purpose, the desire to get home.

I felt the impulse in my own blood. What was this urge, this primitive anxiety ? Are men and women infected by some racial fear of the jungle, that drives them to seek the safety of the cave, even after several thousand years of the assurances of civilization ? I remember now, half a century since the routine of those years in the laboratory, more vividly than I remember all other moods and events, this eagerness to get home to my rooms on Denmark Hill. The urge often made me break into a jog-trot over London Bridge, risking my life by edging out of the crush from the pavement to the gutter. Sometimes, I even had the illusion of rising above the heads of the crowd, and gliding like a seagull, levitated by my own frenzy.

It was as though I were expecting a visitor, some fabulous person, a dream-spirit, or a lover…”

Home..indeed is where the heart is..Peace is also where a secure home is..and I would request us all and most particularly those in power of the desperate refugee, to acknowledge that the hunger of the heart for that elusive, secure “home” is a fire that burns fierce and undiminished in every human’s breast.

Towards Zero.

Toward the Bridge of San Luis Rey.

One can feel an ill-wind blowing these three Anglo-centric democracies toward some terrible climax. Like those unfortunate folk in the story of the “Bridge of San Luis Rey” by Thornton Wilder.. where individual circumstances bring these five people to meet their fate upon the collapsing bridge in Peru.
“This story centres on a (fictional) event that happened in Peru on the road between Lima and Cusco, at noon on Friday, July 20, 1714. A bridge woven by the Incas a century earlier collapsed at that particular moment, while five people were crossing it.”

It is an exploration of the interconnectedness of apparent strangers. A kind of; “six degrees of separation”. It could be used as a metaphor for the connected cultural links of our three Anglo-centric democracies – Britain – USA – Australia, where it is becoming quite weirdly apparent that even though we are unconnected specifically, there are similarities of behaviour, politics, bigotry and racism being acted out socially and politically at the same time, and with the same intensity by the same political players.

One can feel us being brought to the edge of a kind of precipice, squabbling and wrestling dangerously close to social disaster with whispers of civil war and military solutions in the air, or at least some threats of vicious reprisals.
One has to wonder on the reason these three Anglo democracies are experiencing similar tribulations at the same time. Could it be because all are in the grip of conservative / right-wing governments, while much of the more stable democracies have centralist governments?

If we look to Europe, while there is still a healthy degree of dissent, the governments , being centralist / centre-left do have stability, even dear old Italy, notorious for a habit of changing governments, has, for all its reputation, stable governance. The major superpowers of Asia have stable government..we may not approve of their choice, but they are stable…many Asian nations have domineering/ authoritarian but for the most, stable administrations..sure , there are a percentage of crazies in the mix, and we won’t even THINK about the middle-east!! but not really more than usual. So why are our three Anglo-centric democracies going off the rails?

In all three we have seen a pattern of domineering MSM. Control, with the ruling conservative parties feted by at least ONE major media player. That same media player has become notorious for outright bias toward the Right-wing…either through scurrilous scandal mongering, outright lying or bullying the Public Broadcasters through political interference. THAT is the one distinctive pattern at play. There are other connections. The lobbying of vested interest groups to swing government policy to speculative profiteering by certain donor companies. There is the corporate affiliations to many members of the conservative parties in The House, where corporate profit is directly beneficial to actual politicians framing policy for the pertinent corporations.

There is, of course that age old influence of white supremacy, played out with the racial / religious profiling of political decisions. This can be through preferred refugee selection and treatment, indigenous patronising or exploitation through faux concern for welfare direction..and , of course the divide and rule policy toward religious / atheist ideologue.

If we look to the Anglo / Euro influence, we can hear the faint echoes of an Enoch Powel speech, or the thundering rhetoric of Mussolini or Hitler , sure, tempered with a soft guilt, yet still displayed with a “I told youse so” vitriol. Especially in Aust’ or the USA. Both a long way from the up-close and in your face visuals of the 2nd WW. Where the public horror was less emphatic through photography and memory. At such a distance from the battlefront, the sense of smell is neither affronted nor lingering and connected to the memory to be brought suddenly and shockingly to the front by a flash-back moment.

But what can we expect, when conservative leadership along with a compliant MSM has been more concerned with using the tools of hatred, divide and rule and even the most blunt weapon of straight treason to create dissent, disorder and resentment within certain demographics of the community. It is not as if they have no example, we can see their instructors on any given media platform reproducing moments from the fascist states of the second world war. Sometimes almost word for word, if not deed for deed imitation. The shame, dishonour and disgrace of such actions seems to fall from their psyche like Autumn leaves to the ground, leaving these mummers of a theatre of horrors untouched nor unfazed by guilty conscience or accusation of social pariah.

Trump, May and the Turnbull/Abbott cabal in power in the three Anglo-centric democracies of the west, have a lot to answer for . The first is their use and encouragement of the Murdoch media in all three nations to heap slander upon lie and outrage to fan the flames of discontent and hatred less toward an outside threat, than from the citizens and guests resident within their own borders. The ultimate objective being to encourage a new kind of militant citizen group that could commit violent acts toward those most vulnerable or most susceptible to profitable propaganda.
Yes, there is a feeling of being drawn toward a moment of destiny, an approaching storm of vile confrontation with our troubling inner hatreds and seething resentments. We will have to address these resentments within the next one or two terms of governance. If Labor gain office the next election, they will have little choice but to put in place a rolling tribunal to look very closely at the interconnections between big corporations, big Media, white-supremacist groups and conservative politics.

There will HAVE to be an investigation into these things , because it is easy to see we are slowly and inexorably being tugged, as with a rope around our necks, tugged and pulled toward a very dangerous place…pulled unwillingly if not unwittingly toward zero.

Ode to Machiavelli’s Discourses.

Niccolo Machiavelli

Ode to Machiavelli’s Discourses of Titus Livy.

Y’know..I can sympathise with ol’ Machiavelli,
Seeing how things at this moment are not very
Agreeable..somewhat friable..if’n you’ll allow…
And HE did avow to explain with a lengthy refrain
The deeper meanings of one : Titus Livius..THE man.

I have picked over his “Discourses” as one does pick,
Thread-bits from a new coat..or the currants, thick
From granny’s fruit loaf..very nice..’til she thanks
You with a rap of the wooden spoon, you’ll soon
Learn to pay close attention to such indelible rune..

And wonder, like he, whether such honour indeed,
Bestowed upon those ancients, and their seed be
But an impersonation of admired esteem,
Less one’s smarts be seen as hollow sincerity, given as trope
To impertination so vain as to promenade that path again and again…and again?

Wisdom admired..but never imitated, even diluted, you may plea,
So that WE, who have gained this Earth and now lost our soul,
Given, on the whole, as fuel to the false god of intellectual flattery.
Assault and battery on lost integrity exchanged impressionably
For mutual back-slapping and the odd “gold echidna”.

I wouldn’t be kidding yer if I was to say, with an underbreath ; “Ole’”
That the measure of intellect today is, sadly, awry, Y,
‘Tis enough to make one cry..given what history has bequeathed
So each generation in turn could turn over a new leaf.
With so much, so ample that we have more than’s that simple.

“For our civil laws are but decisions by ancient Jurisconsults,
That teacheth our present Jurisconsults systems by which to judge…”
A drudge with nought to follow but example and re-assemble
Forebears preamble on things “socially medicinal”, as an endocrine?
Should work out fine ..if we but listen, not descend to vicious hissing.

The biggest mistake being; not understanding history,
But make mystery of what we WILL NOT see..Is it just me?
Or is it thee who takes more pleasure from the infinite variety
Of incidents in this or that society and such scandalous pleasure
As your measure of understanding, rather than demanding

We take heed to the answers to those deeds, as if these
Times have changed the behaviour of men and then of women too
It’s a shoo-in to see ; the Sun the Moon, the sea and thee
Have not changed their motions and power, hour on hour
From ancient times, I’d avower and from such error; allora!

I’d therefore call thee to hark to the wisdom of Titus Livy
And give time to study the erstwhile text of Machiavelli
Written in testament for us to understand such history
For ; Zanobi Buondelmonti and Cosimo Rucellai..
Which for this pleasure I now bequeath to thee…from me.

A Dystopian Reality.

Are you , like me when awaiting an authoritative decision to be handed down?..Like that  decision by the High Court on the Same-Sex marriage postal survey? I know I awaited the decision with mixed anticipation..One part of me was hoping for a positive outcome (for the High Court to block the Govt’) , while another instinct kept whispering in my ear that there was little chance that an authority with a vested interest in the same status and class as the very people and govt’ that desired a different outcome would disappoint their fellow travelers.

Of course, I had no reason to believe there would be any kind of collusion between the judiciary and the members of the Govt’..except a faint..nasty..nagging, instinctive premonition that we have been down this path so many times and the result seems..I say : “seems” to always end up favouring the conservative side of the ledger..and I just can’t shake that niggling feeling that there is a kind of ,if not actual collusion and back-slapping ;”We’ve got you covered on this one mate”, than a almost imperceptible nod and a wink of camaraderie to each other.

Like those several shocking decisions on refugees..: A Google header..: Government can detain asylum seekers brought to Australia for … – ABC…high-court/8492788
May 2, 2017 – Photo: The High Court ruled the detention of the mother and daughter was lawful. … Related Story: Pregnant asylum seeker on Nauru flown to Australia · Related Story: Manus Island refugee dies in Brisbane hospital … medical treatment, a decision by the Commonwealth Government to send them back to …

There would appear to be an in-step cabal to back each other on matters conservative and controversial. Like the ruling on the Same-sex Marriage survey, a lay-person who has followed the preceding events leading up to the High Court challenge could be excused for thinking that there has been a miscarriage of justice..after all, those barristers who advised for the challenge would have some degree (one would presume) of insight as to the probability of success BEFORE bringing the challenge to such an expensive advocacy.

Of course, the working-class radical in me immediately jumps to the accusation of “Class-privilege / Class collusion”. But then one has to be judicious on such an accusation less it start to sound more as a shrill whinge rather than accurate assessment. And it’s not to say that all judiciary emanated from the same class background, indeed some have quite humble heritage..But one has to concede both through example and personal experience, where one comes from is not always a certainty of how one will act when reaching a higher affluence lifestyle..

Consider Thorsten Veblen :

“As has already been indicated, the distinction between exploit and drudgery is an invidious (prejudicial) distinction between employments. Those employments which are to be classed as exploit are worthy, honourable, noble; other employments, which do not contain this element of exploit, and especially those which imply subservience or submission, are unworthy, debasing, ignoble. The concept of dignity, worth, or honour, as applied either to persons or conduct, is of first-rate consequence in the development of classes and of class distinctions, and it is therefore necessary to say something of its derivation and meaning. Its psychological ground may be indicated in outline as follows.
As a matter of selective necessity, man is an agent. He is, in his own apprehension, a centre of unfolding impulsive activity—”teleological” activity (Teleology is a reason or explanation for something in function of its end, purpose or goal..; ME.) . He is an agent seeking in every act the accomplishment of some concrete, objective, impersonal end. By force of his being such an agent he is possessed of a taste for effective work, and a distaste for futile effort. He has a sense of the merit of serviceability or efficiency and of the demerit of futility, waste, or incapacity. This aptitude or propensity may be called the instinct of workmanship. Wherever the circumstances or traditions of life lead to an habitual comparison of one person with another in point of efficiency, the instinct of workmanship works out in an emulative or invidious comparison of persons. The extent to which this result follows depends in some considerable degree on the temperament of the population. In any community where such an invidious comparison of persons is habitually made, visible success becomes an end sought for its own utility as a basis of esteem. Esteem is gained and dispraise is avoided by putting one’s efficiency in evidence. “ (Thorsten Veblen ; “Theory of the Leisure Class).

Armed with a certain prejudice against that class that appears to hold all the best cards of law and authority, one can be excused for harbouring a feeling of being “hard done by” in the realm of justice and equality, after all, it just appears logical that those who possess all that a society values in regard to position, wealth and power, would do their damn best to cultivate a favourable advantage to keep them…AND form a network of like-minded fellows in the various departments of social control to maintain that advantage.

The dystopian connection here is the feeling of disconnectedness between our nurtured sense of what constitutes social “fair play” and the “impartial rule of law”, where the latter seems to too frequently fall solidly over the other side of the fence of upper-middle class solidarity.

Perhaps it is just me, and I have spent more than a little time analysing my prejudices..but then I also have this instinctive faith, brought about by many years’ experience, in trusting my intuition on matters subjective..and , as you can read above, by falling back on past authors so much more wise and informed on such subjects than myself.

And on such a note, I will give another author well versed in the mechanics of class politics to have the last word on an “independent judiciary”…

“…From this incident there is to be noted that which was mentioned above, that it is useful and necessary for a Republic with its laws to provide a means of venting that ire which is generally conceived against a citizen, for if these ordinary means do not exist, they will have recourse to extraordinary ones, and without doubt these produce much worse effects that do the others. For ordinarily when a citizen is oppressed, even if he has received an injustice, little or no disorder ensues in the Republic, because its execution is done by neither private nor foreign forces which are those that ruin public liberty, but is done by public force and arrangement which have their own particular limits, and do not transcend to things that ruin the Republic…for the accusing of a powerful one before eight judges in a Republic is not enough; it is necessary that the judges be many because the few always judge in favour of the few.” (Niccolo Machiavelli : “The Discourses of Titus Livius”)

So you can ”judge” for yourselves.

Pax Romana, Pax Britannia, Pax Americana.

The Pax Romana (Roman Peace) was a period of relative peace and stability across the Roman Empire which lasted for over 200 years, beginning with the reign of Augustus (27 BCE – 14 CE).

“ Edward Gibbon, author of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is sometimes credited with the idea of the Pax Romana. He writes:

[Notwithstanding the propensity of mankind to exalt the past and to depreciate the present, the tranquil and prosperous state of the empire was warmly felt and honestly confessed by the provincials as well as Romans. ‘They acknowledged that the true principles of the social life, laws, agriculture, and science, which had been first invented by the wisdom of Athens, were now firmly established by the power of Rome, under whose auspicious influence the fiercest barbarians were united by an equal government and common language. They affirm that, with the improvement of arts, the human species was visibly multiplied. They celebrate the increasing splendor of the cities, the beautiful face of the country, cultivated and adorned like an immense garden; and the long festival of peace, which was enjoyed by so many nations, forgetful of their ancient animosities, and delivered from the apprehension of future danger].”

I think the above passage gives ample example of the delusion embraced by the historians of that era for what was believed to be “civilisation under rule of law”..strange as it is when a contradictory passage in “The Agricola” by that other great Roman historian : Tacitus has been roundly exampled as a salutary lesson of how NOT to rule a people : “Calgacus to his troops.”
(That speech could serve to explain both the below latter-day attempts at conquest, so I will not enlarge on this point lest the article become a discourse of great length).

Pax Britannica (Latin for “British Peace”, modelled after Pax Romana) was the period of relative peace in Europe (1815–1914) during which the British Empire became the global hegemonic power and adopted the role of a global police force.

Pax Americana (Latin for “American Peace”, modelled after Pax Romana and Pax Britannica ) is a term applied to the concept of relative peace in the Western Hemisphere and later the world as a result of the preponderance of power enjoyed by the United States beginning around the middle of the 20th century …

My reading of history informs me that the only moment when an imperial power declares for a “Pax” ..a Peace, is when it has either thoroughly conquered by arms the territory it wants to exploit, or having reached a situation where it becomes too expensive in either man-power or materially to continue with a conquest by arms, it sues for a peace which leaves it not only in charge of annexed territory, but in a favourable position to continue to exercise divide and rule of the peoples within those territories. But with the subtle trick of instituting a system of governance and laws most favourable to itself, it conjures the image of “civilised debate on the floor of the house”, where the imperial power still holds all the best cards of convenience and argument to obtain an end result that is most favourable for itself and /or its vested interests. Let us not deceive ourselves that the Parliament is anything more than a re-location of force-by-arms from the field to the floor of the House, and in an environment most suited to those who consider themselves “born to rule”.

So it was with the “Pax Romana”, when Caesar Augustus set about to withdraw from the high-cost of attack in far-flung lands and set up a defensive line of forts and borders , usually on the nearside of a large river or mountain range, that it could secure and control by regulated customs crossings both persons and taxable imports.

Likewise the “Pax Britannia”. As many of us baby-boomers who were indoctrinated with the imperial British histories in our school years would know. The “red parts” on the atlas denoted “rule by British law”..but in reality, those colonies of Sth. Africa, Canada, Australia/ NZ. and India (to name the major ones) were ruled with the iron fist of search out and destroy all opposition both real or imagined…using their own constructs of “rule of law” to justify the action and then plead that the local natives “never had it so good” under such a benign jurisdiction of “Pax”.

The more recent “Pax Americana” of post war years (both 1st & 2nd) gave opportunity to exploit to the maximum those countries not centrally governed or secure in that governance so that the American corporations could play the role of coloniser under the guise of “open for business” to the smaller nations of Sth. America and the Mexican peninsula, corrupting and if need be ; sending in the troops to “protect their business interests and to restore peace and order”…and other spurious excuses.

The indigenous peoples here in Australia are just these last few decades coming to terms with their most cruel suppression, after an attempt of total crushing of both the spirit and flesh of many generations since colonisation, disguised and lied about under the same old ideology of “Pax”..a kind of “Pax Australiana”, where the ruling class has taken the liberty, along with the land to exploit without redress the minerals, the natural environment and the indigenous peoples themselves.
The lie of a confected history was constructed and spoon-fed to many generations of white school-children, so that the line between “what was good for them” and “what they as a conquered race deserved” was blended together until it justified the “authorised” systematic White-washing of culture, class and history.

It failed.

Like the Romanization of Britain failed after 400 years of occupation. The only remaining certainty from THAT experience was an indelible hatred by the Brit’s of ever being conquered again..a force so powerful, it gave strength against the fury and onslaught of the war machine of Nazi Germany in the 2nd.WW.

The same sentiments were felt by the early American colonies about “taxation without representation” when the settlers in that Eastern American colony revolted against imperial rule, strangely though to evolve into a cruel coloniser and imperial power itself later over the native American Indians and the nations south of its own borders…The fruit never falls far from the tree.

The lessons learned from these histories ought to be more salubrious in this century, when all this information is available to any number of literate people, but sorrowfully, we again see a new age of “colonisation” taking place…a market driven colonisation not of territory, but of demographics..of entire suburbs, cities and regional centres, where a steady stream of Libertarian propaganda that reassures the citizens that they “ought to feel comfortable in their own skin”…and with such a banal slogan from such a rodent Prime Minister, one can hear an echo of self-perceived disadvantage from those MOST COMFORTABLE in their own community skin feeling threatened of having to fair-share that privilege with their neighbours or , heaven forbid, the indigenous peoples who owned the land in the first place…NOT that they would suffer any disadvantage in doing so, but would perhaps have to suffer a self-indulgent “indignity” of witnessing an oppressed people being delivered a long overdue justice that they do not believe was earned.

The histories of these lies, these “Pax Colonisation” actions that have delivered riches and privilege to the few and heart-breaking debt and dispossession to the many, need to be re-interpreted, re-written, the false doctrines sifted from the true-grit, the propaganda and lies from the struggles and declarations of injustice. It needs to be done so we can move as a nation joined rather than divided into a more balanced, equitable future for all.