Pulped fiction?

Talking of books, it’s been nearly a month since it was announced that Volume 3 of Keith Windschuttle’s fabrications would be released “next week”. Such vaporous promises are typical of KW, but I would have thought that if a book was promised for next week it would have already been printed. Could it be that, with his lead story about Rabbit Proof Fence totally demolished, Keith has decided to pulp the book and try again?

Update Commenter Charlie, who obviously has a stronger stomach than I do, visited the Quadrant website, and found an extract and cover art for the book, with publication details as follows: The Fabrication of Aboriginal History, Volume Three, The Stolen Generations 1881–2008, Macleay Press, $59.95, 656 pages, published in December 2009. But MacLeay Press itself has nothing.

Update While I’m on the topic, the latest outpouring from American Enterprise Institute Fellow Charles Murray as he complains about the number of black and brown faces on the streets of Paris has drawn attention to his past as a youthful cross-burner. In between his KKK wannabe youth and his current channelling of Pauline Hanson, Murray wrote a bunch of books, such as The Bell Curve and Losing Ground, which put a scholarly gloss on the same ugly stuff, and were therefore treated with more respect than they deserve.

Since he has already commented in defence of Windschuttle, I expect Jack Strocchi will have something to say here and I’m going to let him. However, that’s the end. From this post on, any comment from Strocchi touching on the issues of race, ethnicity, religion or immigration, directly or indirectly, will be deleted and repetition will be cause for an immediate and permanent ban. No correspondence will be entered into, and any attempt to dispute the policy in comments (here or elsewhere) will trigger the same ban. Strocchi is, however, welcome to continue commenting on other topics.

Further update The book has now appeared (11/1/09). I guess Windy was just trying to put some time between the Rabbit Proof Fence debacle and the release. Interestingly, he’s still promising Vol 2 and Vol 4.

44 thoughts on “Pulped fiction?

  1. @ Jack Strocchi

    Neville may have been a complex man tied to the mores of the day – however he saw nothing good in Aboriginal life and rather than deal with the issues with the people concerned he decided their future without any input from those affected. He seemed to have the idea that white upbringing was good and Aboriginal upbringing was bad. The children in the Rabbit Proof Fence show that this paternalism created a lot of heartache and desperate acts and Windschuttle’s claims that a letter from a white woman to Neville that one of the girls was running wild may or may not have been true but is certainly poor evidence as it doesn’t specify any incident nor does it chronicle the well known abuse of black women and girls by white men.

    However whether Neville can be considered as a “good” man will not be helped by Keith Windschuttle who seems to suffer from relevance deprivation syndrome judging by his bizarre behaviour. His cognitive dissonance is interesting and considering the claims he makes it is certainly worth the attention of Prof Q.

  2. gerard@#18 said:

    gerard’s venomous rant appears to have been generated by the same Left-wing spam bot which has plagued any rational discussion of the race issue over the past few decades. But I will treat it as if it came from a real person who has some mild anger management issues, perhaps giving it the respect it does not deserve.

    A personal note. I know the North quite well, its history, warts and all. The officials and clergymen who went bush to manage Aboriginal affairs were not crypto-Nazis. They mainly wanted to protect Aboriginals mainly from unscrupulous whites who dispossessed them of land, exploited their labour and prostituted their women in return for grog and the like. They also wanted to instill good habits of work, morality and personal hygiene. Hence the title “Aboriginal Protectors”. I know for fact that many Aboriginals in remote indigenous communities yearn for the good old days of missionary administration and the firm slap of government.

    Some sense of historical perspective is needed before twisting the moral outrage dial up to 11. In the old days almost everyone did it tough. Society was much less charitable to its finest sons, never mind anyone “outside the pale” such as half-castes and out-of-wedlock children. In the Great War the Commonwealth sent 100,000 of its best men to early graves or wheel chairs. Spewing malice over Australia’s “Dead White Males” is self-satisfying but does not advance knowledge of history, much less the interests of colored people.

    gerard said:

    If you want to defend Neville’s repulsive racist cruelty it can only be from the fact that he belonged to a monstrously racist age. But the rest of the world has moved on since the 30s, even if you haven’t.

    Neville was a racist alright, but not “repulsive[ly] cruel”. He was making the best of a bad job in an age when, as you note, everyone was “racist”. Including, and perhaps especially, progressives from the Labor movement and Left intellectuals. (In the UK the Left were behind eugenics.) Although Australian racists were not “monstrously” so – Curtin, Chiffley and Menzies do not really compare to Hitler on any scale.

    Neville’s main job was not to exterminate the Aboriginals or even to “breed out the color” (a quote endlessly mined for its Holocaust frisson by the black armbanders). It was to administer Aboriginal affairs according the constitution, which broadly meant ensuring some minimum standards were enforced in Aboriginal communities, particularly in their relations with Europeans.

    I have never “defended” the crude and cruel process of half-caste child removal based solely on the criteria of race. Its heavy-handed application, unaccountable process and racist disparities were unacceptable by any decent standards. (But not taking away such at-risk children also lead to damage. Damned if they did and damned if they didn’t.) So I have no need to “move on” from it. If you are trying to tie that one on me then please quote chapter and verse, rather “point and splutter”.

    gerard said:

    The policy was abhorrent not only because it was extremely cruel in its effects but because it was also explicitly racist, unlike the case of today’s child welfare agencies that you juxtapose it with in a pathetic attempt to pretend otherwise. The removal of children did not even pretend to be based on case-by-case instances of abuse and neglect but due to the colour of their skin.

    That a policy is “racist” does not necessarily make it “abhorrent”. S51 of the Constitution empowers the Commonwealth power to act only in a way that benefits a race, by implication Aboriginal. This kind of paternalism is benevolent racism, and describes much of Neville’s work. The Intervention is undoubtedly racist in this sense but not necessarily the worse for that.

    The half-caste removal program was undoubtedly racist but it was intended to help, not hurt, the removed children. By the standards of the time being brought up a half-caste in a black community put them in an “at-risk” category, made worse for them some due to risk of ostracism and prostitution.

    The treatment meted out to half-caste Aboriginals was somewhat worse than that endured by white wards of the state, although it would take a sharp man to spot the difference. The authorities had comparable programs of state warding for abused, neglected or at-risk white children which apparently caused much misery. Just the other day the Commonwealth made an apology for the cruelties and crudities of that process, although with out nearly as much fan-fare.

    And the process of making indigenous children wards of the state continues today, even intensifies, ever since nice culturally sensitive post-sixties people have taken over. No doubt the process is nowadays more accountable and humane but that does not mean that the underlying cause driving this policy (social pathologies attending culture shock) is all that different.

    gerard said:

    Apparently you regard Neville’s “satisfaction” as the only operative factor in determining the justice in what was done, the opinions of those subject to his “satisfaction” being of no importance to you. It was the “satisfaction” of a man devoted to the belief that biological absorption was the key to uplifting the Native race. Yes, it is better that they should be “biologically absorbed” by force than put into gas chambers, congratulations for pointing this out.

    I am prepared to take Neville at his word on some matters. My reading is that his word is a lot more reliable than the hatchet job done by Manne and the makers of Rabbit Proof Fence.

    Framing the half-caste child removal policy as a crypto-genocidal program is a grotesque distortion. The “breeding out the blacks” quote referred to assimilating the half-castes, not to extinguishing the black race as a whole. It is mendacious of Left-liberals make this false moral equivalence, not to mention chronic violation of Godwin’s Law.

    Neville’s task was to apply a form of anthropological triage accross the spectrum of races.

    At the “no hope” end of the spectrum it was assumed that full-blooded blacks would eventually die out naturally on Social Darwinist line. So not a great deal could be done for them apart from “smoothing the pillow for a dying race”.

    At the “no worries” end of the spectrum it also assumed that full-blooded whites could look after themselves with no help from the state, again on Social Darwininst lines.

    In between were the half-castes who the authorities thought would do better with the proper care and attention from the state. It was on these that Neville focused, although showing scant regard for their natural desire to maintain family bonds.

    If anything the half-caste removal policy acted to maintain the full-blooded Aboriginal gene pool, especially in the NT. Which is the exact opposite of the supposed intention of the authorities.

    Thats why the black feller mobs up North tend to look down on the “half-yellers” down South. Pretty much the whole indigenous “policy and research” community are issues of such unions. No one seems to be too upset about that outcome, at least.

  3. I take John Quiggin’s update to indicate that he would prefer a debate on the virtues of benevolently racist kidnapping (“anthropological triage”) to be moved to a more appropriate forum such as Andrew Bolt’s blog.

  4. Charles Murray and friends writings on race and intelligence are so incredible it is surprising that even they believe them. Some of their ‘estimated’ ‘average’ IQs for various parts of Africa are so low that these average Africians couldn’t possible survive in the extremely harsh environments they live in. You really have to wonder about bizarre people like Murray, Windschuttle, Plimer and so on.

  5. A small comment on Jack’s argument with respect to the race power under s51 of the Constitution. At the time when Neville was acting the law did not apply to aborigines. Moreover, the doctrine that the law could only be used for the benefit of a race and not to their detriment only dates from the Tasmanian Dams decision.

    As for supposed violations of Godwin’s law. It might be distasteful to us because of the allusions to the gas-chambers, but it is in no way inaccurate to describe the process of “anthropological triage” identified by Jack as a form of genocide. Genocide takes many different forms, and not all of them follow the example set by Hitler.

    One other point: in what way is it useful to dispute the term “stolen generations”? No one, from Keith Windschuttle to Andrew Bolt to Jack Strochii, disputes the pain and suffering that occurred. No one can argue that equal suffering was imposed on white children merely by virtue of their race. Bolt’s tactic is to argue that the removal practices were not, in the strict sense, theft. This is wrong for reasons I will not go into now. But even if he was right, what difference would it make if we said they were the “removed generation”, or the “separated for racial reasons but with good intent” generation? Suffering by any other name is still wretched. Suffering imposed under antiquated laws does not resemble the kind of child removal practices imposed today.

    My question for Jack is this: what exactly is your point?

    My question for Harry Clarke is this: given their views on climate change, what makes you think people like Bolt and Windschuttle are trustworthy sources on this issue? I’m willing to me persuaded, but I would prefer that I was offered someone other than the usual ideological hacks as authority.

  6. Robert, Why are you raising the issue of Bolt and Windy? And where did I suggest that these two were to be trusted on “this issue”? This is brainless tribalism at its worst.

    Moreover, if Bolt and Windy have stupid views on climate change why does this imply that their views on something entirely different are necessarily false?

    My point was only to offer some support for Jack. There is much hypocrisy and inaccuracy in the “guilt trip” the left promote in relation to the “Stolen Generations” issue.

  7. I am sure the cross burning by Charles Murray and chums was only a ‘youthful indiscretion’ and his participation was only a social thing. Burning the cross was probably just an expedient; done for the purpose of toasting marshmallows or some such, and having no larger import. It would be uncharitable to suggest otherwise.

  8. I thought I saw it in Abbey’s in Sydney when I was there over Christmas. I’m back in Hong Kong now, so I can hardly check, but perhaps someone else can. As I recollect it was in the new books section down on one of the lower shelves.

  9. Just to clarify: I, “robert” (lower-case r) am a different person from “Robert” (upper-case r). Might be as well for me to point this out since we’ve both made comments on this particular thread.

  10. Harry,

    I’m sorry if it seemed like brainless tribalism–I understand the problem with taking a sweeping ad-hominem approach to individual authors: Chomsky’s work on linguistics is groundbreaking, while his political commentary is vile. I swung harder than I meant to. I’m sorry. I would say this though: the only people I can find who would support the argument that the work done by say, Robert Manne, is inaccurate are Bolt and Windy. I am going to wait until there are other authors who would support their view.

    My other point still holds. What is hypocritical about recognising the immense harm that was suffered at the hands of what were, by Jack’s own admission, racist policies?

  11. Yes I thought as much. regurgitating the old cambodia smear spread by the likes of none other than Windschuttle. you’ve obviously never read any of his work (or even the whole of the wikipedia article you linked to, which contains Chomsky’s rebuttal of this smear) but simply repeat one fabrication you’ve been told – a fabrication on the same level as the rightwing lies about Rachel Carson or “climategate”. the work you refer to does not contain any “opinion on the Cambodian genocide”, it is simply a comparison of US media treatment of American and communist atrocities in southeast asia (particularly in the light of Cambodia being subject to a basically genocidal bombing campaign that precipitated the rise of the Khmer Rouge, about which precious few leading academics saw fit to raise a squeak), based on all the available scholarly resources of the time it was written, in support of the thesis that the media requires different standards of evidence for its outrage depending on the perpetrator. It amounts to about 0.001% of his staggeringly huge output of work, none of which you have any acquaintance with, but simply wish to tarnish with the same slanderous brush. What is particularly ironic is that the Khmer Rouge was supported by ever government outside the Soviet bloc between 1979 and 1991; including support by the likes of Jimmy Carter and Bob Hawke (not to mention Reagan and Thatcher). Yet it is one of the few public intellectuals that opposed this support for the Khmer Rouge that gets smeared as an apologist for them. If you ever feel like heaving your uncurious mind over the hump of its own lazy ignorance, you could actually read some of his work. You will get a sorely needed education, and if you still come away thinking that it’s “vile”, at least you’ll be able to say why, without resorting to Windschuttle-standard lies.

  12. @gerard

    There is also such a thing as getting it wrong. When the initial reports of the Khmer Rouge atrocities circulated it was possible to believe that they were simply propaganda. Anti-communist propaganda or propaganda against the current enemy is not unknown.
    After all, in the 1980s, due to the work of the CIA in planting stories, the western news media reported how the Iranians were gassing Iraqis but now we know who was gassing who. And we know where they got the technology from.

  13. You’re right Freelander. The Western media concocted some pretty ridiculous allegations of Vietnamese Communist atrocities while suppressing reports of the very obvious atrocities committed by the US. This is what the work in question was mostly about, it also touched on Cambodia, and raised the (perfectly reasonable) question of the same double standard being at work. C&H never claimed that the Khmer Rouge were innocent, they simply compared media coverage to the conflicting reports available at the time, they said “it may turn out that the worst reports are true”, but their main point was that the level of outrage was not applied with the same standard to American crimes about which the evidence was then unequivocal – everybody knew that the American bombing of Cambodia, probably the most intensive bombing campaign in human history, was killing hundreds of thousands of people (and still is, with the US refusing to pay for ordnance removal), destroying the fabric of society and ensuring only the most violent elements could possibly survive. The US media never touched upon these mass atrocities, although the KR atrocities were prominently covered (in an apparent retrospective effort to justify the Vietnam war, because “communists are communists”, even though it was the Vietnamese communists that got rid of the Khmer Rouge and the Western governments that continued to support them afterwards). At any rate it is only a deliberate slanderer that can twist the simple presentation of the US media’s double standard into a “defense of Pol Pot”. But a lie can get halfway around the world before the truth gets its pants on. Now this can be taken as a thread derail, but the fact that Keith Windschuttle himself was one of the main people pushing this particular smear makes it of some relevance, in that this smear is of the same quality as the rest of his work.

  14. Gerard,

    I’m back in my box. I’m sorry. I’ll go away and think for a while, perhaps try and read some more of Chomsky’s work before I comment again. Do you think Chomsky’s (alleged) sins regarding genocide in Bosnia have also been exaggerated?

  15. Yes. And there’s another famous smear of him being a holocaust denier and anti-Semite/self-hating Jew. All in a day’s work for the Rightwing slime factory.

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