Small nations need allies. Alliance based on affinity is not enough. Allegiance to a stronger partner, underpinned by affinities based on a shared culture, itself reflecting common origins and linked histories, will ensure protection militarily. The proof of the pudding is found in Australia’s history.
This nation was once British to its bootstraps, reflecting its origins. Until 1949, all Australians were British Subjects. The Australian Citizenship Act converted them to Australian citizens. Immigrants who were British Subjects (as I was) were exempt from the need to take an oath of allegiance to the British Crown when they were granted Australian citizenship. That was until I asked my boss why this was so.
Since I was then acting head of the Citizenship and Language Services Branch in the then Department of Immigration & Ethnic Affairs, I was asked to ‘look into it.’ My expert team and I (as policy chief) then recommended certain amendments to the Citizenship Act. One of these was that all immigrants should be treated alike. We proposed that, as citizenship represents a commitment to one’s nation, all immigrants granted citizenship should be required to offer allegiance to Australia. All this came to pass.
That worked well until the arrival of American CEOs of major local corporations; dual citizenship then became available. I wondered what happened to commitment to one’s nation; in fact, dual citizenship enabled Australian citizens to fight for their country of origin without being labelled mercenaries.
Australia had, of course, been beholden to the USA from the time an Australian Prime Minister placed his country, during World War Two, under the care of the USA. American investments had subsequently industrialised the nation which, hitherto, had ‘ridden on the sheep’s back’ through its reliance on its exports of wool and other rural products.
Australia’s compliance with everything sought or even hinted at by relevant American authorities is not worthy of public comment. That is what friends and satrapies do. Moving into the USA as its next member-state would not represent a big step. This would offer substantial benefits.
Australia would become a republic (which a majority of the population want), with voters having a say in the election of the head of state, the president (which about 85% of us want). It was the official denial of the latter right which scuttled the referendum on becoming a republic. Reliance on welfare should be diminished (reportedly 30% of the population is now on welfare lists), with personal enterprise encouraged, even necessary. Military protection would not be an issue.
The relics of colonialism would be dissolved. We also need not then pretend to be a ‘middle power.’ As well, we would continue to govern ourselves as we do now. We can continue to speak American and eat American.
Is there really any downside to this pragmatic proposal? Indeed, there is a benefit which had been pointed out to me: we need not pay for any armaments or ammunition in protecting the interests of the West.