Responding to Jonathon on Australia’s wars

Crali, Nose-dive on the city (1939)

Reader Jonathon Rutherford asked the following question regarding my Four Anzac Day Myths post:

Hi Peter,

Agree with everything but just wondering about point one. Many conservative historians (i.e John Hirst) argue that the insurance pact – and therefore Australians involvement in wars – is justified precisely because we believe we are ‘incapable of defending ourselves.’ What would you say in response?



I thought other readers might possibly be interested in my response:

Hi Jonathon,

thanks for the comment and question. I’d say a nation, like Australia, which considers itself incapable of defending itself should admit it, for a start, instead of militarising its culture and bullshitting on about its brave, heroic warriors defending freedom and democracy etc etc. (A position like Hirst’s would then have to come clean and actually TELL its soldiers that they were nothing but cannon fodder for an insurance policy).

A nation incapable of defending itself is an immature one, like a child. Then I’d ask people to democratically debate why it can’t defend itself. Then do something about it that does not entail sending its own people to kill other people in the Empire’s wars of aggression (the most serious war crime under international law).

From a libertarian perspective, I would argue against a military build-up and for an innovative combination of small scale, purely defensive military commandos (incapable of launching an attack on any country) combined with mass training of the general population in passive resistance and civil disobedience towards any potential external (or internal) aggressor. This would not only empower people but also save billions that could be invested in health, education and transitioning to sustainability.

Hope that helps answer your question.



~ by Peter Lach-Newinsky on April 27, 2012.

One Response to “Responding to Jonathon on Australia’s wars”

  1. Thanks very much Peter. Excellent response; very helpful.

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