Does not a permanently full belly hamper independent thought, especially about being subservient to the collective which provides the sustenance? This has implications for official policy at a national level.
The nation I adopted more than six decades ago is a well-fed, but somewhat anxious, polity. It is effectively a satrapy of the USA. Why should that be so? Because of a fear which percolated the national psyche right from the invasion of terra australis by Britain. The nature of this fear? Being surrounded by coloured people holding foreign faiths who were clearly not ‘us.’ Worse, these were the people then (and possibly now too) deemed inherently inferior by the colonisers of Europe. The Australian nation-to-be hung on to the apron strings of Mother Britain until the threat by the Japanese led to the Government placing itself voluntarily under the umbrella of step-father USA.
I would therefore prefer Australia to become the next state of the USA. Why so? It is better to be a fourth or fifth cousin than to be a menial, that’s why. Were this to happen, there would arise the following benefits: the republic/monarchy divide would be resolved to reflect the majority view of the Australian public; since about 85% of us wish to vote directly to elect our president, rather than have the government choose one for us, the US presidential election process would suit us immensely; since we are happy to fight in any war in which the US is involved, we will not have to pay for the weaponry from the US as we do now; and we will also become less welfare and less foreign capital-dependent and more enterprising in terms of economic viability.
Having loosened Mother Britain’s apron strings to obtain the hoped-for military protection of step-father USA, my nation now has its foreign policies determined by the USA. It is therefore quite appropriate for our Prime Ministers to pay their respects in person at the White House, and then to demonstrate our obeisance to our ‘emperor’ by conveying a message or two to designated foreign nations and institutions.
This subservience to our step-father has been strengthened by the increasing military power of China. Strangely, while the religio-cultural values and practices in the neighbourhood continue to bother conservative white Australians, especially of the Roman kind, we are not slow in preaching to some of our near neighbours about converting to our political structures. We continue with our chosen role of a superior cultural leader.
These are extracts from my book “Musings at death’s door: an ancient bicultural Asian-Australian ponders about Australian society”