The Political Uses of Australian Genocide

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Ray Gibbons (2015) Abstract: This is a summary document of a more detailed semantic typology of mass killing and its variant terms, as they applied to Australia. The investigative methodology makes extensive use of modelling. Massacre events are presented as a nested type instance of the relevant process. Intentionality is embedded in any process along an abstraction gradient of nested decompositions. A method is introduced that allows the simulation of Government policy rules as constraints on a genetic algorithm, revealing an evolutionary genocidal process as a complex dynamical system with a determinable behaviour. Aboriginal population statistics are set out retrospectively and prospectively, using time series functional analysis. Contents The Architecture of Power……………………………………………………………………………………………………….

3 British Imperium……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 7 The Question of Colonial Genocide………………………………………………………………………………………………. 14 The Australian Land War and Aboriginal Depopulation ………………………………………………………………….. 21 The partial case for intentional genocide: Tasmania………………………………………………………………………… 76 The partial case for intentional genocide: Queensland …………………………………………………………………… 111 Processes……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………134 Indigenocide………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 135 Lemkinian Genocide …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 137 Occupation Process………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 140 Process Overlaps………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 153 Actionable Process Components…………………………………………………………………………………………………. 156 Ecocide and its relationship with Indigenocide……………………………………………………………………………… 159 2 Rule based behaviour: the political uses of Australian genocide …………………………………………………………. 160 Government dispossession policy: constraint rules ……………………………………………………………………….. 163 Government extermination policy: constraint rule…………………………………………………………………………. 164 Goverment repression policy: constraint rules………………………………………………………………………………. 165 Genetic algorithm for Australian genocide – simplified logic diagram…………………………………………….. 167 Settler behavioural thresholds………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 169 Collective behaviour…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 170 Aboriginal depopulation waves ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 171 Wave dynamics of group behaviour – reprised ……………………………………………………………………………… 175 Murdering Creek Analytical Models ……………………………………………………………………………………..192 Type Occupation Process, showing Actionable Components……………………………………………………………… 193 Occupation Process: Case Instance Example ……………………………………………………………………………………. 195 A Modern Example of the Occupation Process…………………………………………………………………………………. 197 Simplified Model of the British Occupation Process…………………………………………………………………………. 199 Process Flow Model (Using Murdering Creek as an example)……………………………………………………………. 200 Murdering Creek Contextualised Type Process Flow………………………………………………………………………… 202 Murdering Creek Type Process Instantiation ……………………………………………………………………………………. 204 Modelling Society……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….206 The Shape of Australian History…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 212 Can a Nation be Dysfunctional?……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 217 Can History be Accountable?…………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 228 Can We Be Accountable? ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 230 3 The Architecture of Power How did the human tragedy arise in what became known as Australia, after it was first invaded and occupied? By the late eighteenth century, Britain – with a population over ten million – had developed the administrative, industrial and military machinery for worldwide imperial expansion.1 Britain Inc. was becoming more concerned with power and influence, economic gain, and achieving greater territorial reach to counter the spreading influence of other European states, particularly the French. Behind these concerns, but no less pressing, was the problem of a burgeoning prison population as the disadvantaged under-class became more vocal and fractious, and the emerging need for expanded emigration from an apparently overcrowded (or at least under-employed) Britain2 to the colonies that, in the case of Australia, was increasingly funded through the sale of Aboriginal land. The British Government’s intent was clear enough and for the recently claimed east coast of New Holland, Aboriginals were an easy sacrifice for Britain’s carceral and then commercial aspirations. Thus was laid out the eventual enticing prospect in the South Pacific of profitable bilateral mercantile trade, wool for clothing manufacture, and so on, but beginning with the exploitation of flax (for ship’s cordage) and Norfolk Pine timber (for ship’s masts). Power is the ability to control people or events. Most human social organisations still embody the primitive concept of hierarchical power: the desire, intent and ability to extend or control an organisation’s sphere of influence (or territorial boundary) for some often short-term advantage (military, financial, commercial, social or political) using the various means at 1 Imperialism: a policy of extending a country’s power and influence through establishing colonies or by military force. [Compact Oxford English Dictionary]. Such behaviour was often motivated by economics, by the desire to exploit cheap labour or raw materials or the opportunity to open new markets, perhaps through the use of superior power or other means of persuasion. However nationalism, racism and political influence are also implicated in the pursuit of a country’s naked competitive advantage. The sub-text of Britain’s opportunistic foray into what became Australia was further brushed by the compulsion to limit the Pacific reach of other European powers, especially the French, and to cauterize the possibility of a French style revolution by removing the disaffected section of the British population, those who were politically and economically dispossessed, as well as providing for emigration. See James Bellich, Replenishing the Earth The Settler Revolution and the Rise of the Anglo-World, 1783 – 1939, 2009; Barbara Tuchman, The March of Folly, 1984; Patrick Braitlinger, Rule of Darkness, British Literature and Imperialism, 1988; E.P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class, 1966; Mark Levene, Genocide in the Age of the Nation State, 2005; Niall Ferguson, Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World, 2008. 2 At this time, Britain’s population was not particularly high, but an industrialising economy meant fewer opportunities for traditional manual skills. The ‘enclosure of the commons’ by landed gentry had displaced many British farm workers. The Americas had been lost. France was threatening, with its revolution. People were migrating to cities, but the infrastructure was inadequate and jobs were few. Emigration seemed a solution, along with transportation for troublemakers. And containing the French influence in the South Pacific. 4 hand (armed force, legislation, contractual). The social cohesion architecture is primarily exploitative and generally imposes costs on future generations for short-term advantages that favour those in power. Figure 1. The evolution of power The evolution of vertically integrated power as an emergent property of social groups3 3 On this simplified scale, Imperial Britain was just rising from Stage II, where the global family of nations today is mostly a mix of Stages II and III. An important question is: can we determine our future or is it beyond our control? Can societies choose a path by popular consensus, or do Governments choose for us? We will examine self-organising structures later, in the context of the adaptive emergent properties of hierarchically organised complex systems (functionalism) within directed graph network structures (intentionalism). Societies can organise themselves (functionalism), but they are also shaped by policies, legislation, regulation and enforcement (intentionalism). That is, functionalism and intentionalism of civil society are co-determinate, within a parametric envelope largely defined by Government. They are not mutually exclusive. We can ask the question: what is the next stage? The evolution of human societies tends to be non-linear, punctuated by generally – but not always – unpredictable catastrophes and also newly stable states of being (equilibria). The next logical stage (Stage 4) is either a society that is technologically competent, equitable and sustainable, or a society that has failed. There is little in between. Our present society is neither equitable nor sustainable. The 1% contra-argument is gathering traction, but it is the 1% who also holds the political and financial power. The use of GDP as a measure of progress is still preeminent, although it means that we eventually may need many Earths to sustain us, as non-renewable resources are exhausted. Curiously, Aboriginal society met both criteria, only failing on technology competence. We may fail if disruptive stressors of our own making come into play, in particular global warming. It may become out of our hands to do anything, should the clathrate arctic deposits of methane be released into the atmosphere. Methane is a factor of 70 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas. This would likely be ‘game over’ for human civilisations, although the Earth would go on without us. Other writers have proposed alternative models for the evolution of human societies. For example, Quigley proposes a pessimistic process that entails rise and inevitable decay through: 1. Mixture; 2. Gestation; 3. Expansion; 4. Age of Conflict; 5. Universal Empire; 6. Decay; 7. Invasion. The Kardashev scale is more ambitious again, but posits our present stage of energy use as a lowly 0. Other writers forgo discussions on the stages of civilisation and only focus on the causes of failure, for example: Jared Diamond, Collapse How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. In this focus, Diamond falls squarely into intentionalism. 5 Britain’s global aspirations (intentions) were quite simple: to impose its power for the economic benefit of the few and the glory of Empire. In the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, the instrument for extending the reach of British power had a name, and it was maritime. Ships were the pathway to global range and dominance, supported by the military. Maritime power quickly became mercantile power. Britain could count upon the force of arms to gain a quick economic return, particularly for remote parts of the globe that had not been ‘claimed’ by other European states. Imperial Expansionism and Colonial Violence With Imperial reach came violence. There are many who claim that, in Australia, early frontier violence was usually aberrational and one-off, reacting to the circumstances of isolated and individual confrontations, but we shall see that violence was the midwife of British imperial policy, not just for Australia, but all Britain’s colonies. We have not escaped our history. As Hyam says,’ the interests that were the genesis of 19th century colonial policy still live as ghosts’.4 Australia continues to carry, as cultural heritage, the misdeeds of our past, a past many of us suggest we should ignore, as ‘the black armband view of history’. But we are who we were. From around 1820, British arrogance began to replace the principles of Enlightenment thinking.5 Hyam notes that ‘reared in a strongly hierarchical society, the British arranged the races of the world in a hierarchy too’. 6 James Mill’s History of British India (1817) was a utilitarian text, which was important in shaping social attitudes. It purported to show a scale of civilization for all races, with the British at the top. Other ethnographers extended Mill’s work on racial classification or racism. Darwin’s doctrine of the survival of the fittest, 4 Hyam, Ronald, Britain’s Imperial Century, 1815 – 1914: A Study of Empire and Expansion, Lanham, Barnes and Noble, 1993: 75 – 77. 5 With talk of the Enlightenment and revolution in the air, Britain Inc. was careful to stamp out social dissent and silence its spokespeople, writers such as Thomas Paine (1737 to 1809), whose works were subject to official censure, including the laws of blasphemy and sedition. Also see The Complete Writings of Thomas Paine, collected and edited by P.S. Foner, Citadel Press, New York, 1945. Paine’s influential works include The Rights of Man (1791) and The Age of Reason (1794). Paine argued that Government must be based on the consent of the governed, a concept which threatened the values of a class based society where inherited privilege was the raison d’être. His support for democratic government, and his vigorous attacks on moieties based on sovereign monarchies and an aristocracy, led the French and Americans to praise him as a noble defender of the struggle for freedom, but predictably caused his denunciation by the British ruling class. 6 Ibid: 75 – 77. 6 according to Hyam, ‘lent further pseudo-scientific authority to the notion of a racial hierarchy’. In 1837, following a British Select Committee of Enquiry7 into Aborigines in the various colonies, and the disastrous effect that land dispossession was having on the original inhabitants across the globe, Britain had the chance to step back from ethnic cleansing. However, Britain largely ignored the report, as ‘economic expansionist motivations overshadowed humanitarian ideology’.8 Racism, clothed in imperial expansionism, reared its head and showed its teeth through the settler Imperium. After all, if Britain wanted to extend its power and influence through colonisation and force, why would colonists not continue that imperative on the invasive frontier? An Alternative Expression of Power: Cooperation and Sustainability Cooperation and altruism across different biological systems, although common in balanced and sustainable ecosystems, in Nature itself, is often fraught, missing or diminished in this colonial socio-economic power imperative, which is equivalent to a ‘slash and burn’ behavioural disorder. Imperial Britain could have resiled more quickly from human slavery, from drug trafficking, from exploitation, from the imposition of armed force to achieve its ends, but it chose economic self-interest. It chose the argument ‘not just now, because the effects will be too disruptive’. And so it was with the consequences of the violent occupation of New Holland and other places, where British economic considerations override humanitarian concerns, and where an exploitative and aggressive culture confronted one that had lived relatively sustainably for millennia. The defences against an invasive pathogen must be learned by an immune system and do not always work when some new threat is encountered. The same applies to introduced feral species. Aboriginal society had no answer to the armed British invasion. In Australia, we are still to learn how to live sustainably. The argument remains: Not yet, because there are still resources we can exploit in the short term. But sustainability, the sustainable exercise of 7 We shall refer to this much neglected document in greater detail as we explore the reasons for ethnic cleansing. See Report of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Aboriginal Tribes, (British Settlements), 1837. 8 Ibid. 7 power for the common good – both human and ecological – is probably the only way that humanity has a non-cybernetic9 and less destructive future, something that Aboriginal society knew long ago as it managed its complex culture across the millennia, keeping a small footprint for the benefit of all. British Imperium The marbled 17th and 18th century certainties of the British Imperium, metamorphosed from the questionable right of Sovereign possession, resulted in careful and negotiated territorial expansionism as European maritime powers jostled to carve up the world as property. Imperial Britain was run like a centralised business, with a Head Office and local Branch Administrators. Intentionality was key. Businesses need plans. What we now call the ‘annual budget’ for Governments or ‘business plan’ for businesses – comprising strategy, administrative organisation, policies, procedures, budgets – was determined by Government and its functionaries. Ministries changed regularly, as alliances changed, but the plan for Britain’s global presence remained steady for a century or two. There were strong economic motives: slavery, maritime trade, and wealth for some powerful people in and near Government who could pull strings and exert influence. Imperial Plans and Processes The plan was all-important for Britain Inc., as it fundamentally determined the national objectives and shaped its course through history and geo-politics, navigating the rough waters of other European powers, addressing questions such as: Should Britain establish a colony in 9 The term cybernetics, or the science of automation, was first suggested by Norbert Wiener. In the sixties, computer automation was proposed as a way to give people more leisure and share the profits of increased productivity more equitably. In practice, people are now working longer hours than ever, and the financial rewards of greater automation are going to what is called the one-percent, admirably researched by Thomas Piketty in his extraordinary work, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, no doubt an allusion to Karl Marx’s document of the same name [Das Kapital]. A 2014 Oxfam study now estimates that by 2020, over 54% of the world’s wealth will go to one percent of the global population. In developed economies such as the United States or Australia, the projected skew of wealth distribution is equally alarming. With the rise of the machines, some are predicting that human labour may become less necessary in creating wealth, with a singularity point not far ahead, perhaps by 2045. [Ray Kurzweil, The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology]. What is more likely: exponential advances in artificial intelligence will allow an increasing concentration of wealth, creating a two class human society. We are beginning to see this emerging pattern already. In Australia, according to the ABS, the wealthiest 20% of Australian households, with an average net worth of A$2.2 million per household in 2011-12, accounted for 61% of total household net worth. [Peter Whiteford, Professor, Crawford School of Public Policy at Australian National University ] 8 New Holland? How quickly could the colony be made self-sufficient? Could nearby Norfolk Island be a source of timber (for masts) and flax (for rope)? Would the transportee destination deter rising crime and political dissent at home? Would the beachhead settlement deter French aspirations in the South Pacific and establish a strategic outpost? Who should be appointed to administer the colony: the Governor, Attorney General, head of marines, surveyors, and so on? What role should the Secretary of State and the Home Office play? The Government ‘plan’ was not written down as a single document, but arose out of numerous meetings, discussions in the two Houses of Parliament, deliberations, and Government orders by those in power. Because it was not written down and called ‘the plan’ is not evidence it did not exist. It existed across the Government administration of the day in a myriad of redundant and overlapping forms – letters, despatches, and meeting notes – with the threads pulled together by those with the responsibility to execute the agreed plan and issue the all-important orders on behalf of Government. Imperial Model and Intent A key part of the strategic British Imperial business model was economic: to provide goods and services from and to its colonies, and generate some economic benefit for Britain. Plans evolve and can go awry, but without plans, actions become undirected and chaotic. The model was executed by an autocratic and hierarchical chain of command, as Government plans were transformed into operational actions on the ground. We can model this planning structure as: Mission à Objectives à Strategy à Tactics. But national plans, to be effective, must be transformed into actions, where management of processes and people become vital: Plans à Policies à Legislation and Regulations à Procedures à Enforcement. Britain knew this from competitive experience with its neighbours, and the birth of the Anglo-World resulted.10 The structures would be familiar to any CEO or management consultant, as it enables Business Objectives to be transformed into operational plans that can be subject to metrics such as Key Performance Indicators or their colonial equivalent, allowing management (say the British Home Office) to monitor and adapt their strategies, within the overall ‘business’ objectives. Upon these feedback mechanisms are the all-important bonuses paid today, or 10 James Belich, Replenishing the Earth The Settler Revolution and the Rise of the Anglo-World, 1783 – 193: 49 – 78. 9 knighthoods, lordships and other bestowments of recognition for loyal service in the Imperial past. The British Imperium was an exercise (or model) in the basic and unapologetic imposition of raw power, the power of an asymmetric advantage, of gun against spear, or a heavily armed navy against a lightly armed opposition (such as the Chinese). Sometimes it worked, for as long as resistance was relatively weak. When we look at Imperial Britain, we can see the reach of armed influence amid a complex network of privilege and a chain of command centred on Government. The process complexity can overwhelm us.11 But the power structure is quite simple, little different from that of a slime mould, as it extends its biological influence, driven by a primitive imperative to survive and thrive, to which we can equate the British ruling class of the Imperium. Power structures or models survive for as long as they can adapt. What can suffer in a biological competition for survival are the species who may be supplanted, a process that Darwin called the ‘survival of the fittest’, assuming a hierarchy of species and sub-races, with Britain preeminent. In fact, it is the ‘super co-operators’ who ultimately survive; they survive through a mutually supportive pact, akin to symbiosis, or shared biological objectives. Consider bacteria in the animal gut; or any complex and interdependent ecosystem; or cooperation between plants and animals that allowed pollination and the the possibility of flowers and fruits; or mitochondria in the human cell, without which we (and they) could not live. Although Britain would not have explicitly modelled its power structure, nevertheless its intent was singular, simple and wholly transparent: to achieve global range and reach for the advantage of Empire and the privileged few who controlled it. We do not always need to understand a process in order to give it effect. After all, none of us understands how the miracle of life is created, abundantly and routinely before our eyes, but many of us are enthusiastic participants in procreation, a mindless thrusting resulting in a miracle beyond our comprehension. Britain was no different, as it followed its simple strategy for the selfenrichment of a minority, careless of the global consequences as other races were driven into 11 Analysis reduces complexity, with a little effort. For example, today most Banking systems are by any measure quite complex. Improving them can be challenging. The usual way they are improved is by first modelling them, breaking them down into discrete inter-operating elements and layers, and then logically rebuilding them in a form where planned enhancements can be automated. For Imperial Britain, their strategy was to plan something, do it, observe how it worked, and then introduce mechanisms such as policy refinement and targeted legislation that better achieved the desired outcomes, usually economic and territorial. 10 the ground.12 In this respect, using a biological trope, British ambitions were similar to a cancerous metastasis, for which we now reap the questionable results, a predatory legacy that still sees overwhelming Aboriginal disadvantage across a despoiled landscape. Sometimes geo-political power structures can fail. They certainly failed when Britain lost its American colony. Britain believed it had the authority to tax the colonies. America disagreed. Britain believed it could use force. War resulted and the global map was redrawn. Britain’s failure was that of hubris; it behaved as though the haughty imposition of power could replace cooperation and mutual development.13 Figure 2. The British Imperium and its colonising model. The model is hierarchical, with each level describing the contextual parameters for the lower level, and each lower level providing adaptive feedback to the higher level. The model was not specifically planned, but emerged from the need for the power structure to sustain itself through vertical imposition and control. With the loss of the Americas, Britain had to find a new destination for the bulk of its transportees, comprising in the main a disadvantaged under-class who might contribute to dissent and revolution at home. Thomas Paine was invoking the treasonous idea that the English working class had rights.14 Britain considered the options. New Holland seemed to 12 Eric Wolf, Europe and the People Without History. Wolf’s central thesis is that ‘the world of humankind constitutes a manifold, a totality of interconnected processes, and inquiries that disassemble this totality into bits and then fail to reassemble it falsify reality. Concepts like ‘nation’, ‘society’, and ‘culture’ name bits and threaten to turn names into things’. The British Empire fractured and dissolved because Britain failed to adapt to this fluid interconnectedness. Aboriginal genocide was one result. Perhaps Australia would be much different for Aboriginal society if the French had colonised New Holland. 13 Barbara Tuchman, The March of Folly: 115 – 134. 14 E.P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class: 86 – 103. 11 provide an answer. Britain might have learned from its experience in North America, that its sovereignty might not be absolute when it came to humane social policy. Instead, it sailed into New Holland with the mantra to ‘conciliate the affections’ of the natives’ by dispossessing them. Imperial Intent and Colonisation Historians often remind us that, under the Lemkinian Genocide Convention, intent is key; but then they tend to ignore intent when they examine the events of history, which are often set out as: ‘This happened, then this happened’, quoting various primary sources. Intent equates to ‘why’ something happened. The question ‘why’ is concerned with behavioural motivation, which many historians avoid as speculative. Yet ‘why’ is determinable. It is the response of an Involved Party to some stimulus, such as ‘What will we do to handle the increasing number of convicts on the Thames prison hulks. Can we send them anywhere, preferably far away from Britain, where they are unable to cause insurrection in the homeland? Perhaps they can be used as a form of cheap labour, to establish new colonies for the greater good of the British Empire.’ Yet the problem in a strange way is analogous to our preferred treatment of boat refugees today. The analogy is in an electrical circuit, where the undischarged potential of a number of refugees is ‘stored’ as capacitative energy in a detention centre, being slowly released as controlled Temporary Protection Visas, and diffuses into the rest of the circuit (or environment) as useful work energy. Nearly everything we see can be reduced to cause and effect, even if the interactive process is probabilistic, the result of emergent complexity. Plans follow intent and produce a potentially iterative refinement of actionable components, from policies to administrative responsibilities. For a time, Britain Inc. was successful, if only because of the administrative strength of its Colonial Office, with its farflung Branch Administrators (colonial Governors and Executive Councils), all reporting to the British Home Office (Company Head Office), and being managed accordingly, for the ‘greater good’ of Britain. If we encapsulate the unspoken but agreed British planning process for achieving Imperial hegemony, it becomes: 12 Figure 3. Encapsulated planning process with triggering conditions We can simplify this planning process conceptually: Figure 4. Conceptual British planning process Showing possible iterations between actionable components within the process, where a phase of planning is completed when objectives for that phase are reached. Imperial Planning Execution Britain Inc. was run like a business corporation, and required a comprehensive two way exchange of despatches with its colonial outposts to ensure that the overall Government intent and colonial objectives were not compromised and that the Imperial strategies were effective in meeting Britain’s national priorities for wealth and pre-eminence. Britain supported some of its colonies through mercantile trading entities such as the East India Company, established in 1600, which operated as an arm of Government. Britain saw New South Wales initially as a transportee destination, with the Governor having the assigned power to grant land to officers and ticket of leave ex-prisoners, with the early settlement expected to grow through immigration and further land grants. 13 However, power structures need functionaries, people with roles and responsibilities whom the organisational entity (in this case Britain Inc.) could properly manage according to its overall objectives. There is the appearance of lawfulness, when in fact the power structure is organised to further the objectives of those in power. The roles operate as a chain of command, to support the power structure. Plans were enforced through policies, which devolve to regulations and procedures. Until 1838, Britain enforced its chosen course of action for its Australian colonies through the military, after which – as a cost transference measure – enforcement was moved to colonial police. Figure 5. The self-reinforcing British administrative model, which enabled Lemkinian genocide. Until 1838,15 and indirectly thereafter until Australian states formed a Federation in 1910, Britain could choose to enforce certain policies, such as usufructuary land use. They could also have chosen to resile from other racist measures, such as discriminatory implementation of the rules of evidence and common law, the one-sided process of land alienation, and accelerated immigration. Britain did none of this. Therefore, their behaviour was intentionally genocidal, knowing that their actions wilfully caused extreme harm to a certain ethnic group. 15 After 1838, Britain continued to appoint colonial Governors and had considerable sway over each colony’s Executive Council, but its direct involvement gradually lessened as colonies became self-governing and up to Federation in 1901. However, Australia still considered itself beholden to the ‘mother country’ at least up to the 1960s. 14 Usufructuary land use was the nominal British policy that land could be shared in common between Aboriginal and pastoralist for overlapping purposes, one for grazing stock, the other for hunting and cultural enjoyment. The shared land policy was ineffective, and negated by actual practice, where settlers had the louder voice. The British Government ignored its own nominal land policy. Britain could also manipulate the criminal code concerning rules of evidence, which meant for example that the laws of culpable homicide were meaningless if an Aboriginal was murdered, because Aboriginal witness testimony was disallowed. The land alienation laws were merely an opportunity for Governments legally to dispossess Aboriginals, making them trespassers if they attempted to return to their homelands, able to be shot or removed on sight, without fear of prosecution. What happened in the bush, stayed in the bush. Witnesses were either mute, without a voice, or dead. There was further imposed legislation to make Aboriginal detention and incarceration lawful under the discriminatory rules of the oppressor. In this sense, the British laws were an extension of Imperial power, usually racist in their application. In Australia, they formed part of a Lemkinian genocidal process. When we have a crime scene, whom do we blame? Some of us inexcusably blame the victims. Rarely is Britain held to account, or its policies, or its intentional actions. The Question of Colonial Genocide The impact of British power on Aboriginals wascalibrated and ruthless, but we are now asked to question British ‘intent’, that there was no documented intention by Britain to commit genocide. This is a further example of ‘reframing’. Mass killing almost never has a written order. It is unlikely and highly self-incriminating, that a Government would issue instructions for carrying out deliberate murder. Nevertheless, ethnically targeted mass killing or racial destruction is usually the expected result of some official policy, or reactive social behaviour within a policy context. We are asked by some politicians and historians to absolve or reject Britain’s role in colonial genocide, because there is no evidence of written orders from the British Government that authorise mass killing. We are asked by some (such as Windschuttle and other denialists) to dismiss any allegations of mass killing because there is no body of legal evidence (that is, case histories) to support such a charge. Instead, we are exhorted to 15 consider violence against Aboriginals, if we accept it at all, as the aberrational excesses of a few settlers at the lawless frontier; or if we reluctantly accept that targeted racial violence and Aboriginal antipathy did occur, we are encouraged to play it down as ‘a black armband’ view of history that is unhelpful in the myths we prefer to create for ourselves. Or we are asked to consider violence against Aboriginals being caused by Aboriginals themselves, when they behaved ‘unlawfully’ by resisting their dispossession. Denialism is a slippery slope. Consider the massive Aboriginal depopulation in only 120 years, since the initial British invasion. The evidentiary fact of depopulation is difficult to ignore, far more difficult than denying or rejecting any number of individual skirmishes or ‘collisions’ or ‘dispersals’ or massacres that collectively make up the total genocidal effect, so we often see the nett percentage depopulation figure and causes challenged from different quarters through a range of questionable tactics and false logic Let us examine the small graduated steps that can lead us from black to white, from the self-condemnatory ‘black armband’ view of history to self-congratulatory settler supremacy and heroic triumphalism. It is a differential geometry of evil, a gradient with many small increments, for which the only practical visualisation is to stand back and examine the moral topology from an objective distance. We can reflect on the contours, note the valleys and the peaks, and better appraise the path integral that gets us to a preferred point. The optimal pathway is seen by the observer as a kind of ‘sum over history’ that relies on procedural intentionality to reveal purposes and outcomes, rather than the individual assessment of relatively miniscule separate functional events, which converge over time with the dimly perceived and broader intentionality envelope generally defined by Government. This moral calculus defines the slippery slope of Australian genocidal denialism: 1. First, to diminish the size of the genocidal problem, some of us argue that the percentage amount of depopulation was not very great, and even less due to British violence (this is the thesis of Geoffrey Blainey), whereas we now know the the precontact population catastrophically declined by over 90% from various avoidable causes between 1788 and 1911; 2. Or if we accept a certain percentage reduction in the targeted population, some argue that the actual numbers involved were not great, because there were relatively few 16 Aboriginals at first contact by the British in 1788 (this is the argument of Geoffrey Blainey and others): 3. Or if we agree on an Aboriginal precontact population band, which has been significantly revised upwards from about 300,000 in 1930, to somewhere between 750,000 and 1.2 million today), we make the evidence for extermination inaccessible (it is exceptionally difficult to locate the primary sources that provide evidence for the pattern of past wrongdoing and the details of the individual events, in part because there were so few prosecutions, and even fewer convictions, making the legal case history sparse, in part because the information is buried deeply within non-digitised microfilm repositories, and in part because some of the primary evidence held by Governments has been carefully destroyed, for example, the Queensland police records of ‘dispersals’); 4. Or if we argue the absence of evidence (Windschuttle), we tend to misunderstand that this does not mean the evidence of absence; 5. Or if the evidence is located, we deny its relevance and say it depends on the context; 6. Or if we accept the context, we argue that if the British had not invaded, some other European power would have done so, presumably with a similar result (this is the Geoffrey Blainey argument); 7. Or if we accept that depopulation did occur, we convince ourselves it was mostly due to introduced disease, or Acts of God, or changing climate (this is also Blainey’s contention, that the Aboriginal population was hand-to-mouth and varied greatly depending on droughts, or rising sea levels, or mini ice ages); 8. Or if we accept that some Aboriginal depopulation was due to British violence, it was only because the Aboriginals resisted the occupation process and were guilty of criminality that caused their own deaths (this is Windschuttle’s flawed argument); 9. Or if we agree that some Aboriginal deaths were caused by British homicidal behaviour, we argue that these perpetrators were a minority and their behaviour an aberration and did not reflect upon the humane values of settler society as a whole; 10. Or if we reluctantly accept that the British did cause Aboriginal deaths, the standards of behaviour were different then (this is the ‘standards of the time’ argument, that we cannot judge the past by our present standards, preferred by Inga Clendinnen and others); 17 11. Or if we concede that the targeted group was exterminated in an area through British policy and practice, it was not genocide because mixed race descendants still remain (this is Henry Reynold’s view with regard to Tasmania, but it misconstrues the formal meaning of genocide); 12. Or if we admit that perhaps colonial society did know that what they were doing was wrong (we have equivalent legal notions of mens rea today that still retains its original meaning), then we cannot be held to account for what our predecessors did (this is the John Howard argument, first introduced by Geoffrey Blainey, that we should reject the ‘black armband’ view of history); 13. Or if sexually transmitted diseases had a severe effect on viable Aboriginal procreation, it was not caused by sexual predation but by willing participation (when in fact STDs resulted from multiple causes, none of which would have arisen with a more compassionate Government policy that legally protected Aboriginal women from predation in all its forms, including sexual enslavement and female trafficking); 14. Or if there was catastrophic Aboriginal depopulation, we argue that much of it was due to Acts of God (meaning diseases such as smallpox, measles and so on), when in fact those diseases were introduced by the occupation process, and the destructive effects on indigenous groups – with the need for quarantining on land exclusively set aside for Indigenous use – were well understood by the British from their experience in other countries such as north America;16 15. Or if dispossessed Aboriginals, without a home, become malnourished and starving we teach them the love of God through missions; 16. Or if Aboriginals were incarcerated in detention centres (the Reserve system set up by Government), this was for humane Aboriginal ‘protection’ where they could be allowed to become extinct (many of the centres were under the control of an appointed Aboriginal Protector) but most Aboriginals regarded the excessive control over all aspects of their lives with great fear, because it caused the legal breaking up of families, the removal of paler skinned children, and the destruction of Aboriginal society and culture in a Lemkinian genocidal process; 17. Finally, we should deny, deny, deny and never say ‘sorry’ (the John Howard approach), because it may have implications for legal compensation, or because we 16 It is hard to escape the distinct possibility that some diseases were deliberately introduced: see FWAYAF Political Uses of Australian Genocide. 18 now believe that Aboriginals have been fully assimilated and should be treated like any other citizen or culture or ethnic group in a plural society, while arguing that the past is no longer relevant to our future, a demonstrably absurd thesis. Intentionality usually drives functional circumstance. But circumstance can bight back. Perhaps we now begin to see how easy it is for us to bind ourselves to a utilitarian argument (embraced by Imperial Britain) for the ‘greater good’, where we may have to make difficult momentary choices, with winners and losers. In utilitarianism, ‘bad’ can become ‘good’ through moral gradualism and the politics of denialism. Influential moral philosophers such as Peter Singer and J.S. Mill, favour Utilitarianism. They propone that an action is judged morally right, but only if it produces at least as much good or ‘utility’ or ‘happiness’ as the individual can achieve. With this ‘greater utility’ approach, we can convince ourselves that any desired or expected outcome is the result of many random events over which we have limited control, that life is a lottery, and that we must all compete against each other for raw survival, while striving for general ‘happiness’ and ‘good’. What is left unsaid: Whose ‘greater good’? The nation’s? For Imperial Britain, the nation’s ‘greater good’ equated to the good of a privileged few. And they intended to keep it. . This functional view of ‘utility’ tends to ignore collective intentionality, and its role in shaping expectations, that is, the role of the State in managing civil society. If utility is defined as the greatest general happiness, however that may be measured, it leads directly to conflict with individual and collective moral judgments. For example, the happiness of squatters was realised by selecting and securing land, subject to Government land alienation policy, which ignored the unhappiness it caused dispossessed Aboriginals, who in the early colonial period were the majority of the population. The ‘greater good’ of the British Empire was served through having a strategic outpost in the South Pacific, with the prospects of profitable bi-lateral mercantile trade using British ships. In this moral equation, the human rights of Aboriginal society were overlooked or rejected. Utilitarian philosophy was ultimately self-serving and one-sided, overtaken by an economic imperative. It led to racism and eventual Australian genocide. The principle of ‘utility’ also results in a common official strategem around managing any evidence of genocidal wrongdoing for the ‘greater good’, functionally equivalent to the good of those in power, summarised as: 19 a) Hide the evidence (in hard to access datastores and repositories); b) Destroy the evidence (as the Queensland Government did with its records of mounted police dispersal operations); c) Suppress the evidence (through reflexive arguments that deny their relevance); d) Or reject the evidence or its relevance, as shown by our slippery slope utilitarian gradient (supported by some historians and politicians). Alternatively, we can accept our culpability, on the evidence of the past human rights abuses and the clear lack of accountability, which has led us to post-Lemkinian genocide today (under Articles 2a and 2b), with many Aboriginals still suffering systemic physical, mental and cultural disadvantage. Expressed another way, any expected outcome such as racial oppression and cultural destruction arises from intention, and we can iterate around the planned actions until we come close to realising our expectation. Iterations occur within a different instance of the planned actions, which can be a process or sub-process. For example, the British intent to achieve maritime supremacy over other European powers and establish strategic colonial outposts is a planning process that iterates around actionable elements from strategy to tactics, policies, legislation, administrative procedures, and the use of organised force. It was an enforcement model that Britain had used many times in attempting to extend the reach of its sovereign power. Similarly, the intention to dispossess Aboriginals, using legislation and armed force, resulted in ethnically clearing large areas of land for the use of pastoralists, who were encouraged in greater numbers by Governments eager to increase the settled areas, for the increase in revenue and trade that it brought. So we can simplify the vertical models we saw earlier to: Figure 6. Lemkinian genocidal model, triggered by intentionality 20 The abstracted (or type) intention for the planned action(s) was to achieve Government and settler sovereignty for an area. It follows that the expected outcome at the different levels of intentionality was also to achieve settler sovereignty. If not, the process iterates around the planned action(s) for the hierarchy of contexts. For each beachhead settlement, the instantiated model continues to apply: dispossession is achieved area by area in an iterative process that involves the same triggered network of actionable components. Figure 7. Primary Lemkinian genocidal model for Australia As dispossession and extermination for an area is more or less completed, and the land is in the hands of pastoralists and settlers, the Lemkinian genocidal process moves to the next phase, subjugation, involving eugenics, ‘stolen children’, incarceration in detention centres (euphemistically called ‘reserves’), living under ‘The Act’ and its state variations. Finally, we come to where we are today, where Aboriginals are amongst the most disadvantaged on Earth, particularly in remote communities, with endemic despair and marginalisation. The model allows us to understand the pattern of British oppression, and reduce the complexity to a form where we can verify the process. Figure 8. Summary Lemkinian genocidal model, as it applies to Australia since first settlement 21 We can now begin to perceive that Lemkinian genocide was the intended consequence of Britain’s land and immigration policies. Aboriginal genocide was intended, as a result of forcibly removing them from their homelands, as a result of ‘legal’ dispossession, and using armed force against them if they resisted. Almost no settlers were ever prosecuted for Aboriginal homicide, and even fewer convicted. Aboriginal extermination was either justified ‘as a war of the races’ or ignored as being caused by ‘some mysterious agency’, invoking a mystical Darwinian process. The Australian genocidal process was not driven by formal Government orders (almost no genocide is), but in this case was the foreseeable and deliberate consequence of intentional British land and immigration policy, exacerbated by overt racism, and by a settler society that believed it was ‘superior’ to the Aboriginal race and could use force if necessary to ‘remove’ them, with the help of Government where necessary. The policy of ‘dispersal’ was evident across all the Australian colonies. Each state was aware of the others’ actions in handling the Aboriginal ‘problem’. All states were culpable of officially condoned mass killing on a massive, rolling scale. Imposed starvation and introduced diseases also played their part, along with despair and incarceration. Tasmania and Queensland were symptomatic of a continent wide urge to exploit those who were at a comparative disadvantage. It was the face of racism expressed through bloody violence and exploitation. 17 The Australian Land War and Aboriginal Depopulation18 In the early twentieth century, the Australian Bureau of Statistics published a series of diagrams that showed the rapid effect of Aboriginal depopulation caused by Government land and immigration policies, which advanced the cause of heavily armed pastoralists as they began the occupation of the continent. The occupation was supported by the non-accountable authority of marauding police, dancing to the orders of their political masters. Aboriginal deaths were seldom prosecuted, the perpetrators rarely charged and almost never convicted by an all white jury. It was a racist process, genocidal, from which we are still to recover as a nation. If the murderous process is mentioned at all, it is usually denigrated as a ‘black armband’ view of history. 17 See FWAYAF Recollections of a (Homicidal) Pastoral Frontier. 18 Year Book Australia, No. 23, 1930: 670 – 672 22 In 1999, the conservative Prime Minister, John Howard, made an oration to the Parliament that defended the slaughter. He declaimed: ‘I have frequently said, and I will say it again, that present generations of Australians cannot be held accountable, and we should not seek to hold them accountable for the errors and misdeeds of earlier generations’. Howard did not understand the deep Aboriginal hurt at his refusal to say ‘sorry’, an omission that was not corrected until Rudd’s ‘sorry’ speech on 13 February 2008, where weeping Aboriginals in the audience were able to feel for the first time that their deep sense of hurt and injustice over more than a century of violent and racist persecution was officially recognised by the Australian Government. It was not enough, but it was a start. Figure 9. Aboriginal population distribution in Australia, 178819 19 Ibid. 23 Figure 10. Distribution of population in Australia, 1930 Figure 11. Aboriginal population distribution in Australia, 193020 20 Ibid. 24 Can we formally understand the process of Aboriginal dispossession and depopulation? The process is revealed by examining the relevant population statistics, which post-Federation Government never sought to hide, perhaps believing that a problem solved (the Aboriginal problem) is a problem able to be forgotten. What we do know is that it was in the interest of Government to underestimate the 1788 Aboriginal population, as this diminished the carnage in proportion. However, through the efforts of many researchers, the true extent of depopulation is now becoming much clearer, highlighting the characteristics of a genocidal process. 1. Indigenous population statistics (various sources) a) ABS Year Book, 1994 Estimates of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population prior to the 1967 census. For some reason, the census year 1911 is excluded.21 Census Year Number 1901 93,000 1921 72,000 1933 81,000 1947 76,000 1954 75,000 1961 84,000 1966 102,000 Figure . ABS Year Book, 1994 (Ian Castles) Commonwealth 1911 census22 21 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Statistics on the Indigenous Peoples of Australia, Year Book Australia 1994, Ian Castles: 421 – 427$File/13010_199 4_bk76.pdf Source: The Aboriginal Population of Australia’, L, R. Smith, Australian National University Press, Canberra 22 There is a racist connotation in this census enumeration. After all, a census would not variously count the British invaders as Cockney or half-blood Celt or some other classification that derogates genetic heritage. However, the results do reveal the enormous Aboriginal depopulation since 1788, and the effect of sexual predation and miscegenation. 25 The 1911 full-blood indigenous population count was 37,789, making it the lowest across all censuses. Figure 12. ABS Year Book, 1911 From the 1911 population census, we can derive the percentage of the total Aboriginal full-blood population for each State. 1911 Population Census Full-Blood Population Percentage of Total New South Wales 11,507 30.5 Victoria 6,049 16.0 Queensland 11,336 30.0 South Australia 1,079 2.9 Western Australia 5,658 15.0 Tasmania 541 1.4 Northern Territory 1,612 4.3 Federal Capital Territory 7$File/1911%20C ensus%20-%20Volume%20II%20-%20Part%20VIII%20Non-European%20Races.pdf 26 Total 37,789 Table 1. Derived Aboriginal population data, based on 1911 Census b) Radcliffe Brown 1930 In 1930, the anthropologist Radcliffe Brown concluded: ‘available evidence points to the original population of Australia having been certainly over 250,000, and quite possibly, or even probably, over 300,000.’ 23 Figure 13. Radcliffe-Brown pre-contact Aboriginal population estimates c) Smith estimates24 Smith developed revised estimates, based on Radcliffe-Brown estimates State Population prior to British contact % of total population prior to British Lowest population/ year % of total lowest population % of lowest population compared with population prior to British 23 1301.0 – Year Book Australia, 1930: 687 – 696$File/13010_19 30%20section%2024.pdf 24 L.R. Smith, The Aboriginal Population of Australia, 1980 27 NSW 48,000 15.3 7,434 9.8 15.5 VIC 15,000 4.8 850 1.1 5.7 QLD 120,000 38.2 22,500 28.5 18.8 SA 15,000 4.8 4,598 5.8 30.7 WA 62,000 19.7 17,500 22.2 28.2 TAS 4,500 1.4 18 0.0 0.4 NT 50,000 15.9 15,386 19.5 30.8 Total 314,500 68,736 Figure 14. Smith population estimates (based on Radcliffe-Brown) Estimated Aboriginal population statistics prior to the British invasion, using figures developed by Smith in 1980, based on the Radcliffe-Brown estimates.25 The table underestimates population figures by state and overall, by a factor of at least 2 to 4. Within the table, the lowest population figure in any census year of 68,736 is interpolated as around 1923. The figure is arguably overstated by almost 80%.26 Based on census records, the lowest figure is around 37,789 in 1911, yet this figure may also be too high, based on Smith’s further analysis. d) Butlin estimates ‘Other researchers, particularly Butlin, argue that there were many more Aboriginals living in Australia at the time of European contact than had been previously estimated. Butlin considers that in 1788 the Aboriginal population may have been 1,250,000 – but that this was reduced to one-tenth within sixty years’. 27 25 Aboriginal population statistics, Commonwealth of Australia, Director of National Parks, 2007 26 The 1911 Commonwealth census shows a figure of 52,343 full-blood and half-caste combined. 27 The report estimate quotes the data source as: Noel Butlin, Our Original Aggression, 1983; Aboriginal population statistics, Commonwealth of Australia, Director of National Parks, 2007 28 e) Robert Orsted-Jensen estimates ‘Estimated original pre-contact population for Queensland of 250 000 – 300 000’ 28 f) ABS Year Book, 2008 ‘minimum pre-1788 population of 315,000 to over one million people. Recent archaeological evidence suggests that a population of 750,000 Indigenous peoples could have been sustained.’ 29 g) The Australian Bureau of Statistics Aboriginal population data. 30 The Commonwealth Government, post-federation, was complicit in the horror of Aboriginal depopulation, by carefully downplaying the extent of the humanitarian problem and through refusing to admit that a crime had been committed, by the ‘mother country’, or by vassal colonial states before or after federation. We will constantly see attempts by Governments, then and now, to reduce the size of the total Aboriginal pre-contact population, as this reduced proportional culpability. By ignoring or refuting the scope of the problem, Governments could continue with their genocidal policies, which continued well into the 20th century, and arguably continue today with systemic Aboriginal disadvantage. In fact, the correct source is Noel Butlin, Economics and the Dreamtime A hypothetical history, 1994. Butlin assessed that ‘Australian precontact Aboriginal populations might need to be thought of as in the order of five times the Radcliffe-Brown estimates, with population bands of 1 – 1 500 000 persons in 1788’ with ‘a population for New South Wales and Victoria alone at about the same level that Radcliffe-Brown had proposed for Australia as a whole.’ [Butlin; 1994: p. 99] 28 Ibid. Evans, Ørsted–Jensen 29 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Population, 1301.0 – Year Book Australia, 2008$File/13 010_2008.pdf 30 The Australian Bureau of Statistics provides valuable demographic data on a regular basis. You will find them by doing a search on ‘Year Book Australia No.‘ 29 As we read these Year Book reports on Aboriginal depopulation, we remind ourselves that, by the time of Federation, most of the peak killing had already been carried out, although police massacres continued up to at least 1928. Along with violent police sorties, the ABS data shows that Aboriginal depopulation was still continuing, largely driven by Government policies and racist neglect. In the second half of the 20th century, Australia’s racial discrimination was becoming an international embarrassment. In October 1960, Khrushchev31 in a speech to the 15th session of the UN General Assembly accused Australia of exterminating her Aboriginal population: ‘Everyone knows in what way the aboriginal population of Australia was exterminated’, something which Menzies vehemently denied as ‘fantastic accusations by a person and a State clearly on the defensive’. But to a considerable degree and notwithstanding his undoubted agenda, Khrushchev was correct. He was correct about extermination, as these pages make very clear. He was also indirectly correct. Extermination can involve more than mass killing. It can include cultural, physical and psychological destruction, causing death by malaise, by despair. Or death by sexual predation, the generational death of syphilis and gonorrhoea. Or trans-generational afflictions caused by the inheritance of environmentally acquired characteristics, such as epigenetic diseases and disorders. Or the slow death of an inadequate diet, or the eroding effect of poverty, or the disproportionate incidence of preventable diseases like trachoma and diabetes, or the death through obesity and drugs, or the loss of hope through family breakdown and excessive levels of incarceration. Or the loss of culture and language. Do you remember the time of the civil rights movement in the early sixties in the United States, which eventually convinced the US President, John Kennedy, that the federal administration had to intervene? Kennedy introduced a Civil Rights Bill in 1963 to make it illegal to discriminate against black 31 Nikita Khrushchev (1894 – 1971) was Premier of the Soviet Union from 1958 to 1964, when he oversaw the de-Stalinisation of his country, unwinding some of the worst excesses of that era, and paving the way for Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika. 30 people in employment and hotel accommodation and local schools. Yet Australia continued to deny what was obvious to the rest of the world. Kennedy’s actions highlighted that Australia had forgotten the plight of the Aboriginals, who could only aspire to the freedoms he introduced. The Commonwealth government largely left Aboriginal affairs to the states. They argued that the Constitution did not allow them to do more. Section 51 stated that Parliament had the power to make laws with respect to ‘the people of any race, other than the aboriginal race in any state’. Section 127 excluded Aboriginal people from the census. Aboriginal society still suffers today. ABS Year Book 191132 ‘It would appear that the aboriginal population of Australia was never large, and that the life led by them was, in many parts of the country, a most precarious one. With the continued advance of settlement the numbers have shrunk to such an extent that in the more densely populated States they are practically negligible. … As stated above, various guesses at the number of aboriginal natives at present in Australia have been made, and the general opinion appears to have prevailed that 150,000 might be taken as a rough approximation to the total.’ ABS Year Book 192433 Estimates of Number.—From time to time attempts have been made to ascertain the number of aboriginals in the various divisions of Australia, but the results have not been satisfactory, and the efforts in this direction of the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics, at the taking of the Census in 1911 and again in 1921, proved disappointing. On each occasion, considerable 32 Year Book Australia No. 2, 1911: 120 – 122$File/13010_19 01_1910%20section%204.pdf 33 Year Book Australia No. 17, 1924: 951 – 961$File/13010_19 24%20section%2024.pdf 31 numbers of aboriginals were enumerated, but in the case of those living in a wild or semi-wild state estimates only could be obtained. Nevertheless, all these attempts, of which detailed accounts are given hereinafter, are valuable—both from the point of view of ethnology and social economy, as well as from that of general history. They have made it possible to determine with a reasonable measure of certainty: a) the number of aboriginals in Australia, at the advent of the Europeans in 1788, viz., about 150,000 ; b) the rate of decline; and c) their present number. Aboriginals in New South Wales.— (i) Phillip’s Estimate. The earliest records in regard to the numbers of Australian aboriginals date back to the time of Captain Phillip at the end of the eighteenth century. In a report to Lord Sydney four months after his arrival, Phillip wrote that it was impossible, with any accuracy, to give the number of the natives, but he was of the opinion that around Botany Bay and Port Jackson and on the intermediate coast, they could not be less than 1,500. (ii) Numbers in 1826. In 1826, a return of the native population in the then settled districts of New South Wales gave the number as 3,019. Apparently the aboriginals in the vicinity of the young settlement had greatly diminished, for in the Parramatta district there were only 49 left. The opinion was held that many had migrated into country less accessible to the white man. iii) Estimates by Sadleir in 1826-7. In 1826, and the following year, Lieutenant Sadleir, of the Royal Navy, made an estimate of the numbers of the aboriginal tribes. Of 27 tribes mentioned in this list, he visited 24, and he gives the total number of natives in these tribes as 2,710. The Metigan tribe, he states, had been reduced to 10, and the Bathurst tribe to 30. 32 (iv) Census of 1871. Thenceforward no attempt was made to enumerate the natives until the Census of 1871. On that occasion, 983 aboriginals were included in the total population of the colony. These represented civilized aboriginals and those residing in districts settled by Europeans. The number of those belonging to wild and wandering tribes was estimated at 12,000. (v) Census of 1881. At the Census of 1881, the civilized aboriginals, or aboriginals living in communication with Europeans, numbered 1,643, while the number of wild and wandering aboriginals was estimated at 10.000. (vi) Census of 1891. In 1891 the first complete enumeration was made of aboriginals residing within the present boundaries of New South Wales. The total number of fullblood aboriginals was 5,097—2,896 being males and 2,201 females. (vii) Census of 1901. In 1901 the number of full-blood aboriginals was 3,778—2,192 males and 1,586 females. (viii) Census of 1911. In 1911 the full-bloods in New South Wales numbered 2,012—1,152 males and 860 females. (ix) Census of 1921. In 1921 the number was 1,597—923 males, 674 females. (x) Summary 1871 to 1921. A summary of the preceding figures— estimated and enumerated—is given hereunder :— ABORIGINALS IN NEW SOUTH WALES, 1871 TO 1921 Year 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 No. 12,983 11,643 5,097 3,778 2,012 1,597 Figure 15. Aboriginals in New South Wales, 1871 to 1921 These figures suggest that the numbers of those designated ” wild and wandering tribes ” were overestimated in 1871 and 1881, and also that the natives of New South Wales did not at any time exceed 20,000. Further in the decade 1891-1901 they decreased by 25.88 per cent., in the decade 1901-1911 33 there was a decline of 46.74 per cent., and in the decade 1911-1921 of 20.6 per cent. Aboriginals in Victoria.— (i) Early Estimates of Number. There are at least five different estimates of the number of aboriginals in Victoria when the first white settlers crossed Bass Strait and settled at Port Phillip. Sir Thomas Mitchell, judging by the small number he encountered on his exploration trips, put the figure as low as a thousand; Mr. Robinson, the first Protector, gave it as about 5,000; Brough-Smith author of ” The Aboriginals of Victoria,” made an estimate of 3,000; E. S. Parker, of 7.500 ; and W. Thomson, of 6,000. The mean of these estimates is about 5,400. As the number of white settlers increased, the number of natives declined. Thus, the tribe around Geelong numbered 173 when the first settler built his hut on the Barwon River, twenty years later there were only 34. Of 292 aboriginals around Melbourne in 1838, only 20 had survived at the beginning of the seventies. Brough-Smith says that in Gippsland there were originally more than 1,000, but 40 years later only 200 remained. (ii) Census of 1861. The first official report compiled by the ” Board for the Protection of Aborigines ” in 1861 gives the total number as 2,341. Of these 1,694 were enumerated at the Census of the same year. (iii) Census of 1871. At the Census of 1871, 1,330 were counted—784 males and 540 females. (iv) Census of 1881. In 1881 the number is given as 780—460 males and 320 females. (v) Census of 1891. Prior to the Census of 1891 no distinction was made between full-bloods and half-castes. In that year there were in Victoria 317 full-blood aboriginals, 192 being males and 125 females. (vi) Census of 1901. At the Census of 1901, full-bloods and half-castes were again grouped together, the number being 652, of whom 367 were males and 285 females. 34 (vii) Census of 1911. In 1911 the number of full-blood aboriginals was 196, of whom 103 were males and 93 females. (viii) Census of 1921. In 1921 there were 144—80 males and 64 females. (ix) Summary 1861 to 1921. The following figures summarize the results at the respective Censuses :— ABORIGINALS IN VICTORIA, 1861 TO 1921 Year Full-blood and Half-castes Full-blood 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 No. 2,384 1,330 780 317 250 (about) 196 144 Figure 16. Aboriginals in Victoria, 1861 to 1921 Aboriginals in Queensland.— (i) Estimate in 1881. In 1881 the number of aboriginals in Queensland was estimated by officers of the Police Department at 20,585. (ii) Census of 1901. The following statement has been extracted from the Queensland Census Report of 1901 :— ” In 1901 it was considered desirable to record the number of those aboriginals and half-castes who were living in conformity with the usages of civilization, and who had abandoned their nomadic habit of life; in other words, those who had become integral parts of the industrial population, or who, by attending school at some mission station, had actually entered upon civilized life. In this way, 5,137 full-blood aboriginals and 1,533 half-castes were included with the general population of Queensland. All those, whether full-blooded or half-caste, living in camps and leading the lives usual to aboriginals were excluded. It was estimated that about 20,000 persons were thus omitted.” (iii) Census of 1911. At the Census of 1911, 8,687 full-blood aboriginals were enumerated, of whom 5,145 were males and 3,542 females. No estimate was, on that occasion, given for those not enumerated. 35 (iv) Census of 1921. At the Census of 1921 the number of full-bloods in Queensland was estimated at 12,614. This total would probably exclude about 1,400 wild and wandering natives in the northern and western fringes of the State. Census slips were furnished for 7,527 natives, of whom 4,501 were males and 3,026 were females. Aboriginals in South Australia.— (i) Early Estimates of Numbers. The first attempt to estimate the aboriginal population in parts of South Australia was made in 1843, when Moorhouse concluded that there were about 1,600 distributed in the Adelaide district, Encounter Bay, Moorundi, Port Lincoln, and Hutt River in regular and irregular contact with Europeans. He estimated that there were about 3,000 scattered over a tract extending 160 miles north and 200 miles east of Adelaide. Eyre thought there must be about twice as many. J. D. Woods, on the basis of Eyre’s estimate, gave 12,000 as the probable number throughout South Australia. (ii) Decrease up to 1877. As in the other southern States, the aboriginals in South Australia soon commenced to decrease. In the districts where Moorhouse in 1843 estimated 1,600, there were only 24 at the beginning of the present century. The Port Lincoln tribe had been reduced to half a dozen. The Narrinyeri tribe, which in 1840 is believed to have numbered about 3,000, had by 1877 dwindled to 613, and it is doubtful if there is now a single survivor. Several of the other southern tribes have entirely disappeared. (iii) Census of 1881. Those living in the northern parts of the State naturally came less in contact with the whites, and at the Census of 1881 there were still 6,346 aboriginals in South Australia, 3,478 being males and 2,868 females. (iv) Number in 1908. In 1908, 3,386 were recorded, which was 316 less than in 1901. (v) Census of 1921. The estimated number in 1921 was 1,609, of which 958 were •enumerated, comprising 539 males and 419 females. 36 (vi) Summary, 1881 to 1921. A summary of the above particulars gives the following totals :— ABORIGINALS IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA, 1881 TO 1921 Year 1881 1908 1921 No. 6,346 3,386 1,609 Aboriginals in South Australia, 1881 to 1921 Aboriginals in Western Australia.— (i) Early Estimates of Numbers. Attempts made from time to time to estimate the native population in Western Australia have, until recently, proved unsatisfactory, and, as late as 1881, the figures were not even published. Prior to the Census of 1891 no distinction was made between full-blood and •half-caste aboriginals—” the latter were mostly brought up by and lived with the fullblooded.” (ii) Census of 1891. The number of full-blood aboriginals enumerated in 1891 totalled 5,670—3,223 males and 2,447 females. These figures included only those living in contact with Europeans. (iii) Census of 1901. At the Census of 1901 the number enumerated was 5,261, 2,933 being males and 2,328 females. On both occasions the half-castes were included with the white population. The Census report of 1901 contains the following remarks :— ” Taking into account the fact that at the Census of 1901 the area of settled country was very much greater that at that of 1891, it would appear that, if the two enumerations are equally reliable, the full-blood aboriginal population is gradually dying out before advancing civilization, while the halfcaste population is increasing, consequent on and in proportion to that advance.” (iv) Census of 1911. In 1911, 6,369 full-blood aboriginals were enumerated, of whom 3,433 were males and 2,936 were females. (v) Census of 1921. At the Census of 1921 the number of full-blood aboriginals more or less in touch with Europeans was estimated at 15,587. 37 Aboriginals in Tasmania.—It is estimated that on the arrival of the Europeans the blacks in Tasmania numbered approximately 2,000. In the year 1835, when the natives were transferred to Flinders Island, their number had dwindled to 203. In 1847, the survivors, to the number of 44, were moved to Oyster Cove, on the mainland. There the last man of the race died in 1869, and the last woman in 1876. Aboriginals in the Northern Territory.— (i) Conflicting Estimates of Numbers.— The number of aboriginals in the Northern Territory was, for a long time, estimated at 20,000 to 22,000. Professor Baldwin Spencer, who believed that these figures were too low, said :—” Judging by what I have seen and heard, I think it probable that a Census would show more nearly 50,000 than 20,000.” Staniforth-Smith, who in 1920 acted as Administrator of the Territory, took a middle course, and placed the number at 35,000. (ii) Census of 1921. The result of the last Census has shown that the old estimate was very close to the mark. The sum total of the estimates furnished by officers of the Police Department, who at the Census of 1921 acted as Census Collectors, and are in close contact with the aboriginals, gives the number as 17,349. Of these, 2,007 were enumerated—1,181 males and 826 females—and represented those in close contact with Europeans. There are, however, areas in the northwest, where, owing to the savage state of the natives, it is difficult to make a satisfactory estimate, and it is quite possible that with fuller knowledge the estimate of 1921 will need adjustment. Movement of the Decline in Numbers.—The foregoing extracts from statistical records show that the decline in the number of the Australian aboriginals, which commenced on the south-ealftern fringe of the continent some 130 years ago, has been moving steadily towards the Indian Ocean ever since, and that the number of full-blood aboriginals to-day is more likely to be under than over 60,000. 38 Protection of the Aboriginals.— (i) Early Difficulties. The meeting of the white man with the blacks when Captain Phillip and his party arrived at Botany Bay on the 18th January, 1788, was of a friendly character, and quite in harmony with the instructions which the Commander had received from His Majesty the King. These instructions read:— ” You are to endeavour by every possible means to open an intercourse with the natives, and to conciliate their affections, enjoining all our subjects to live in amity and kindness with them; and if any of our subjects should wantonly destroy them or give them any unnecessary interruption in the exercise of their several occupations, it is our will and pleasure that you do cause such offenders to be brought to punishment according to the degree of offence.” The instructions involved equal right of protection, and, considering the harsh spirit of the age, were singularly humane. They could not, however, be carried out in their entirety if Australia, or any part of it, was to be settled by the white race. The Australian aboriginals were nomadic hunters, and got nothing from the land, except such animals as they were able to hunt down and a few roots and herbs. They required the whole of the habitable country for their sustenance, as the continent could not sustain more than one inhabitant to every 20 square miles under their primitive mode of living. (ii) Conflicts with the Natives. The friendly relations between the whites and the blacks came to an end when the former commenced to move inland with their flocks of sheep and herds of cattle. The first white man was killed in 1788, and a punitive expedition was arranged, in the course of which a number of natives were slain. As years went by, provocations and retaliations were not wanting on either sido. The chief complaint of the settlers was that the natives killed their sheep and cattle, and that of the natives that the settlers encroached on their hunting grounds and interfered with their womenfolk. In 1797 there was a conflict between the soldiery and a strong party of natives, five 39 of the latter being killed. This feud between the two races went on for years, the zone of friction moving inland with the advance of the settlers. The Government occasionally took sides with the latter, but in most cases let it to the settlers and the aboriginals to fight matters out between themselves. ABS Year Book 192934 Race and Nationality.— (i) General. With regard to its racial characteristics the population of Australia may be divided into two main groups, one comprising the aboriginal natives, and the other consisting of the various immigrant races which have made the country their home. [It will of course be understood that full-blood aboriginals are not counted in the population.] The term ” immigrant races ” naturally covers not only those residents of Australia who were born in other countries, but includes their descendants who were born in Australia. (ii) Aboriginals (a) Early Estimates of Numbers. The number of aboriginals in Australia at the advent of the white race has been estimated by various observers at somewhere in the vicinity of 150,000, but this figure must be regarded as a very rough approximation only. (b) Various Estimates from 1826 to 1921. In 1826 the native black population in the settled districts of New South Wales numbered 3,019, this figure, however, offering little indication of the total for the whole State. In Victoria an enumeration of the aboriginals in the settled districts in 1861 gave a total of 341301.0 – Year Book Australia, 1930: 687 – 696$File/13010_19 30%20section%2024.pdf 40 2,384, while at the Census of 1871, 1,330 were enumerated. In New South Wales 983 were counted in 1871 who were more or less in contact with white settlers, and it was estimated that 12,000 others were living in a wild and wandering condition. At the Census of 1881 the aboriginals recorded in Victoria had dwindled to 780. In New South Wales the number enumerated was 1,643, while the unenumerated were estimated at 10,000. In South Australia (exclusive of the Northern Territory) the number counted and estimated was 6,346. In Queensland officers of the Police Department supplied an estimate of 20,585. At the Census of 1891 the number in Victoria had decreased to 317. In New South Wales, where the first complete enumeration of the blacks was made, the number was returned as 5,097. In Western Australia 5,670 were enumerated, this figure, however, excluding natives not in contact with white settlers. At the Census of 1911, 19,939 aboriginals were recorded for the whole of Australia, the figure again being exclusive of natives in unsettled areas. At the Census of 1921 special efforts were made to obtain a reliable indication of the number of aboriginals living in the various States, including wild and wandering natives, as well as those in contact with the whites. Great difficulty was experienced in gaining anything like a reliable estimate in regard to the numbers of those in a wild state in Western Australia, the Northern Territory, and Queensland. The estimates gave a total of 60,300, distributed as follows:—New South Wales, 1,597; Victoria, 144; Queensland, 14,014 ; South Australia, 1,609 ; Western Australia, 25,587 ; Northern Territory, 17,349. (It may be mentioned here that the last 41 representative of the Tasmanian aboriginals died in 1876.) (c) Census of Aboriginals in 1928. A census of the aboriginal population taken in 1928 gave the following results :— CENSUS OF ABORIGINALS, 30th JUNE, 192835 FULL-BLOODS NSW VIC QLD SA WA NT Totals M F M F M F M F M F M F M F 685 512 34 19 7,576 5,617 1,417 1,198 a.11,689 a.10,908 11,457 9,551 32,858 27,805 1,197 53 13,193 2,615 22,597 21,008 60,663 Figure 17. Census of Aboriginals, 30th June, 1928 The figures for 1928 show a small increase over the total for 1921, but, as stated above, they cannot be taken as reliable. Except in places where the blacks are under missionary influence, the numbers generally tend to decline, and the figures for New South Wales and Victoria, which are probably the most reliable, certainly evidence a rapid decline since the foundation of white settlement. (d) Decline in Numbers since 1891 NEW SOUTH WALES and VICTORIA FULL-BLOOD ABORIGINALS, 1891 to 1928 1891 1901 1911 1921 1928 NSW 5,097 3,778 2,012 1,597 1,197 VIC 317 250 196 144 53 Figure 18. Full-blood Aboriginals, New South Wales and Victoria, 35 The table is adapted from the original census results, which further broke down the numbers by category: nomadic (27,124), regular employment, supervised camps (9,315). The census counted Aboriginal children over twelve as adults. 42 1891 – 1928 ABS Year Book 193036 Aboriginals. At a Census of aboriginals taken on 30th June, 1929, 61,801 fullbloods were enumerated, of whom 37,023 were described as nomadic, 11,298 were in regular employment, and 9,561 were living in supervised camps. There were at the same date 16,629 half-castes. The aboriginals are scattered over the whole of the mainland, but the majority are concentrated chiefly in Western Australia, Queensland and North Australia.37 FORMER NUMBERS AND DISTRIBUTION OF THE AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINES.38. 1. General.—Since the white man first began to occupy the Australian continent, the aborigines have very rapidly decreased in numbers. It is, therefore, of some interest to endeavour to form as accurate an estimate as possible of the size of the original population. That is a task, however, that is beset with very great difficulties, for the data are scanty and for the most part unreliable. There have been published since 1788 many estimates of the native population of various parts of the continent. Very frequently, however, the area of country to which the estimate is supposed to apply is not clearly defined, and, generally, the basis on which the estimate is made is not -explained. 2. Variation in density.—It is quite evident that the density of the aboriginal population was different in different parts of the continent, and it seems to have varied fairly closely with the food supply. There is a large area of arid country including part of Western Australia, a large part of South Australia, Central Australia, and small portions of New South Wales and Queensland, which cannot maintain more than a very sparse population. Its area can be roughly estimated at 1,000,000 square miles, or about one-third of the whole continent. On the other hand, there are certain well-watered areas which are 36 Year Book Australia No. 23, 1930: 672, 687 – 696$File/13010_19 30%20section%2024.pdf 37 Ibid, p. 680 38 A. R. Radcliffe Brown, M.A., Professor of Anthropology, University of Sydney. 43 better than the rest of Australia in the food supply that they afford for such a hunting, fishing and collecting people as the Australian aborigines. The Murray River for a large part of its course provided one such specially favourable environment. The coastal districts of New South Wales and Queensland seem to have provided another. 2. Method of Estimation.— i. Division into Districts. Any systematic attempt to estimate the former native population of Australia must therefore proceed by dividing the continent into districts and considering each district separately. Further, the territorial areas to be considered must be those recognized by the natives themselves. ii. Aboriginal Territorial Areas, (a) Tribes. It would seem that all over the continent the aborigines had the same general territorial organization. We can distinguish three kinds of territorial groups, which will be denoted as ” tribe,” ” subtribe,” and ” horde.” A tribe consists of a number of persons who speak one language or dialects of one language and who practise the same customs. The name of the language may be used as the name of the tribe. (b) Sub-tribes. In some parts of the continent the tribe is subdivided into sub-tribes, which usually, if not always, have differences of dialect within the common language, (c) Hordes. Everywhere the tribe is divided into hordes. The horde is the land-owning group. Each horde consists of a small body of persons who own and occupy in common a territory of which the boundaries are known. Women enter the horde by marriage from other hordes, but sons belong to the horde of the father for life. iii. Factors to be Determined. Any accurate estimate of the numbers of aborigines in any district requires a knowledge of the extent (i.e., area occupied) and the volume (i.e., number of persons) of the horde and the number of hordes in the tribe. 44 4. Western Australia.— i. Area north of Gascoyne River. We may now proceed to consider in order a number of areas beginning at the Ninety Mile Beach, in Western Australia. The first area consists of the country lying north of the Gascoyne River and including the Ashburton, Fortescue, and De Grey Rivers. The total area is about 120,000 square miles or perhaps somewhat more. The area thus defined contains, or formerly contained, not less than 24 tribes, each with its own language. These are the the De Grey River, the Nyamal on the Coongau, a tributary of the De Grey, the Kariera and Ngaluma on the coast between the De Grey and the Fortescue, the Mardudhunera, Indjibandi, Pandjima, and Bailgu on the Fortescue River, the Noala, Talaindji, Burduna, Binigura, Tjuroro, Djiwali, Tenma, Ina-wonga, and Ngala-wonga on both sides of the Ashburton, and the Baiong, Maia, Targari, and Warienga north of the Gascoyne. There is another tribe on the Upper Gascoyne, and on the upper waters of the De Grey, Oakover, and Fortescue Rivers there are the Ibarga, Targudi, Ngadari and Wirdinya, the exact location of which is not known but whose territory falls wholly or in part within the area we are considering. Thus the average extent of a tribe in this district is under 5,000 square miles. Some of the smaller tribes have considerably less than this. The native population throughout this area is now very greatly diminished, so that the present number does not give us any indication of the former number. All these tribes are divided into hordes. There has been no complete survey of even one tribe, but collected data show that the average area of territory occupied by a horde was probably not more than 150 square miles. It is not easy to obtain accurate information as to the average number of persons in a horde in former times. Some hordes were larger than others. My own inquiries have led me to conclude that the normal or average horde in former times cannot have numbered less than 30 persons, men, women and children. 45 This would give a density of one person to 5 square miles, or a total population for the whole area of 24,000. The number of persons in a tribe, i.e., speaking one language, would vary from 500 for the smallest tribes up to something over 1,000. The region is by no means a favourable one. A large part of it is now occupied with sheep stations, but has only one sheep to every 45 acres. It is reckoned that a highly improved station can run one sheep to 10 acres, but this is possible only in the best areas and is quite exceptional. The region was not, therefore, as compared with the rest of Australia, one of dense population. Data that would afford a means of testing this estimate are unfortunately almost non-existent. Charles Harper in Curr (” The Australian Race,” I., 287) gives an account of the Ngerla tribe (there spelled Ngurla). The tribe is said to occupy an area of 40 miles by 20 and to have consisted in 1864 of several hundred souls. The tribe certainly occupied a much larger area than this, and Harper’s remarks therefore apparently apply to only part of it. A. K. Richardson (Curr, I., 296) estimates the population in 1865 of the Ngaluma tribe as consisting of from 250 to 300 persons. A considerable decrease took place in 1866 as the result of small-pox. The Ngaluma is a small tribe with not more than 2,500 square miles of country. One of Curr’s informants (Curr, I., 302) writes of what he calls the Kakarakala tribe as extending from North-west Cape to 30 miles south of the Gascoyne Eiver, and from 30 to 50 miles inland, and estimates the number in this area in 1877 at about 2,000. The area denned actually included four tribes: the Talaindji, Baiong, Blaia and Ingarda, and my own estimate would require a population of 2,500 to 3,000 for the four. It may be noted that the estimate was made by Curr’s informant about two years after the natives had suffered a very heavy mortality from small-pox. ii. South-Western Area. We may next consider the south-western portion of Western Australia now occupied as agricultural country. There is here about 50,000 square miles of comparatively well-watered country which provided a fairly favourable environment for the 46 aborigines. We have no information about the territorial divisions of the aborigines (tribes and hordes) that is of any value. In the early days of settlement, the population of the region of the Swan River settlement was estimated .by Sir James Stirling at one native to 2 square miles. Seven hundred and fifty were known to have visited Perth from the district surrounding it, about 40 miles each way. This is probably an over-estimate, but is about the only figure we have. I believe, however, that we shall be safe in allowing one person to 4 square miles for this region, giving a figure of 12,500. (iii) Murchison District and Eastern Goldfields Area. In addition to the two areas considered, there is an area of about 100,000 square miles, including the Murchison stern goldfields, that had a population that I propose to put down provisionally, at 5,000, or one person to 20 square miles. (iv) Total for Western District. Thus for the western part of Western Australia, an area of 270,000 square miles, I propose to assume that there was a native population of 41,500. Excluding about 100,000 square miles of the Kimberley District in the north, which will be treated separately, we are left with an area of 605,920 square mile of arid country almost entirely unoccupied by white settlement and partly unexplored. The whole of this vast region has or had an aboriginal population, but undoubtedly a very sparse one. There are no data whatever on which to base any estimate of their numbers. (v) The Kimberley District. Dr. A. P. Elkin has kindly given me an estimate of the former population of the Kimberley District, based on his recent ethnological investigations in that area. He puts the original population at about 9,700, divided into 26 or more tribes, varying from small tribes of 100 to large ones of 1,000. (vi) Total for State. I estimate, therefore, that Western Australia contained originally not less than 52,000 aborigines, and more probably 55,000, over an area of 975,920 square miles, much of which is desert. 47 5. South Australia.— (i) General. Passing to South Australia, a great deal of that State is arid and was very sparsely peopled, and the south-eastern part alone provided a favourable environment. Of the total area of 380,070 square miles, only a little over 60,000 square miles have a rainfall of over 10 inches. (ii) Estimates by Moorhouse and Eyre. Moorhouse in 1843 estimated that there were 1,600 aborigines in regular and irregular contact with the Europeans distributed in the Adelaide district, Encounter Bay, Moorundie, Port Lincoln and Hutt River. If the districts within 120 miles south, 160 miles north and 200 miles east of Adelaide were included, he estimated that the total would be about 3,000. Eyre thought this an under-estimate, and that if the Port Lincoln Peninsula were included the number would be 6,000. Both Moorhouse and Eyre had better opportunities than any one else to form an estimate of the aboriginal population. Nevertheless, I think it can be shown that even Eyre’s estimate is too small if we include that part of South Australia through which the Murray River flows. (iii) Murray River Area. The Murray River, from a point westward of the Darling Junction to the mouth, was occupied by two groups of tribes. One group had the word for ” man ” or ” blackfellow,” and included the Ngintaitj, Yuyu, Yirau, Nyauaitj, Ngaiyau, Nganguruku and Ngaraltu. The other group used the term ngarindjeri for ” man ” or ” blackfellow,” and hence are frequently referred to by the name Karrinyeri. This group included four or five tribes—the Portaulun, at the entrance of the Murray to Lake Alexandrina ; the Yaralde, on the south of Lake Alexandrina and on Lake Albert; the Tanganalun, on the Coorong; and either one or two tribes on the north side of Lake Alexandrina and at Encounter Bay. A small portion of the area occupied by the Meru tribes belongs to Victoria and New South Wales, but the greater part of it belongs to South Australia. These tribes had suffered a very heavy mortality from small-pox before the white man first came in contact with them. 48 It would take a good deal of space to discuss critically the evidence relating to these tribes. There is good evidence that the population was, for Australia, a dense one. In 1877 there were still living about 400 of the Yaralde tribe, the names being contained in a list written down by Taplin at that time. The tribe cannot have numbered originally less than 600 and was probably more than 800 before 1820. The tribe was divided into 22 or more large hordes which probably contained not less than 40 persons on the average. Taplin states that ” all the Narrinyeri on the southern sides of Lakes Alexandrina and Albert,” i.e., the two tribes of Yaralde and Tanganalun, ” could muster easily 800 warriors.” To provide 800 fighting men a population of 2,400 must be supposed e three counties mentioned had an area of about 3,000,000 acres, this would give one person to 6,000 acres. Westgarth in 1848 writes: ” The entire area of Australia Felix does not probably contain at present more than five thousand aborigines, or about one aboriginal inhabitant to each nineteen square miles. Of this scanty population about one thousand are in Gipps’ Land, two thousand 50 in the Western Port, Murray and Wimmera districts, and two thousand throughout the remainder of the territory.” By 1848 the aboriginal population had been considerably reduced as the result of small-pox, and of the white settlement. About 1845 an attempt was made by the Aborigines Committee of the Legislative Council of New South Wales to discover the number of the aborigines. Victoria then consisted of five districts. Gipps’ Land was estimated by Tyers to contain 1,000 aborigines, the Hurray district was estimated by Smyth to contain 200. Fyans estimated the population of the Portland Bay district 3,000, and Wilson gave 300 for Normanby county, which was part of that district. No numbers were obtained for the Wimmera district. For the Western Port district Powlett gave an estimate of 1,000, but within this district Addis gave 200 for Grant county. Thomas gave 165 for Yarra and Western Port, and Parker gave 302 for the Upper Goulburn and Campaspe Rivers, 200 for the Lower Goulburn, 350 and 670 for the country north and west of the River Loddon. These separate estimates would give considerably more than 1,000 for the whole Western Port district. We may consider these five subdivisions of Victoria separately. If we accept Howitt’s account, Gippsland formerly contained six tribes— Brataualung, Brayakaulung, Brabralung, Tatungalung, Krauatungalung and Bidweli. There were local subdivisions of the tribes, and of these Howitt enumerates twenty for the first five tribes mentioned above. If the total population of the five tribes was 1,000, this would give an average of only 200 per tribe and an average of 50 persons for each local subdivision of the tribe. The Rev. John Bulmer in 1878 thought that the aborigines in Gippsland could never have numbered more than 1,000 or at most 1,500. Curr (III., 543) estimated the original population at 1,500. This is probably nearer to the truth than 1,000. If we accept the low estimate of 1,000 for Gippsland this would give a density of only one person to 15 square miles. As the region is of heavy forest, it may well have been only sparsely populated except on the 51 coast. But the figure of 1,000 seems likely to be an under-estimate. We may accept it as the irreducible minimum. The Murray district was bounded on the north by the Murray, on the south-east by the Australian Alps and on the west by the Goulburn River. The estimate of 200 for the district by Smyth is certainly wrong. A. C. Wills, former Police Magistrate and Warden at Omeo, stated that in May, 1835, there were about 500 or 600 men, women and children resident during a few months of each year at the headquarters of the ” Gundanora ” tribe on the elevated plain of Omeo. In 1842 they frequently assembled in larger numbers. In 1862 H. B. Lane stated that ” the 40 blacks to whom rations, &c., are distributed at TangambaJlanga are the sole remnant of three or four once powerful tribes each of which, even within the memory of old settlers, numbered from 200 to 300 souls. These tribes inhabited the tract of country now very nearly described on the electoral map as comprising the Murray district of the Eastern Province, and comprising an area of about. 2.000 square miles.” He goes on to state that the country was one well suited for the blacks. For the tribes of some parts of the Murray district we have little information, but for those at the junction of the Goulburn and Murray Rivers we have the probably reliable observations of Edward Curr, who was a pioneer settler there in 1841. His account would show 1,200 aborigines in an area of 3.000 to 3,500 square miles, or one person to 2.5 or 3 square miles. Of these 1,200, 550 occupied a small area of about 1,200 square miles between the Goulburn and the Murray, and belong to the Murray district, the remainder belonging to New South Wales or to the Western Port district of Victoria. Scanty as these data are, they point very distinctly to the whole aboriginal population of the Murray district, i.e., the region between the Goulburn and Murray Rivers, as having been probably over 2,000. To be on the safe side and keep always to a minimum we may put 1,500. Turning now to what used to be called the Western Port district, this was occupied by a few large tribes, called by Parker ” petty nations.” These were the Bunwurung, Woewurung, Tagunwurung, Djadjawurung and 52 Wudjawurung. Each of these tribes was subdivided into local divisions, which we may regard as sub-tribes. Howitt enumerates five such for the Woewurung tribe. Parker gives seven for the Djadjawurung. The subtribe was further subdivided into groups which Howitt calls ” clans,” there being three or four such in the Wurunjeri sub-tribe of the Woewurung. According to Howitt the clans were again subdivided into lesser groups of people, and each had its own definite tract of country and food grounds. A. C. Le Souef, a good observer with exceptional opportunity, describes what are apparently four sub-tribes of the Tagunwurung tribe. He gives their names as Bootheraboolok, Natrakboolok, Nerboolok and Ngooraialum, and estimates the original numbers of the first two at 100 each and of the last two at 200 each;. On Curr’s map (III., 566) these groups occupy an area of about 4,500 square miles. Le Souef’s estimate therefore gives one person to 7.5 square miles. Parker describes the Djadjawnrung as subdivided into seven parts, which he calls “tribes,” and as having “at a remote period numbered abcut one thousand beings.” With a total of 1,000 the average number of a subtribe would have been less than 150. Seeing that each sub-tribe spoke a separate dialect and was divided into hordes, it will seem that we cannot possibly estimate the sub-tribe at less than 100 persons, and for the five tribes mentioned we cannot allow less than 3,000 persons. This figure receives some confirmation from the fact that in 1843 Parker was able to enumerate by name 1,100 individuals between the Goulburn and the Upper Wimmera. For the Portland Bay district we have Fyans’ estimate for 1845 at 3,000, and Wilson’s estimate of the same date of 300 for Normanby county. Dawson says that 21 ” tribes “ used to hold their great meetings at a marsh some miles west of Caramut. His estimate is that each ” tribe ” mustered 30 fighting men or 120 persons on the average, thus giving a total of 2,500 for the tribes referred to. The coast tribes are not included, as they did not attend these meetings. Dawson adds: “In the estimation of some of the earliest settlers, this calculation of the average strength of 53 each tribe is too low.” What Dawson calls ” tribes ” appear to be subtribes. The names of the tribes proper are not known. Tjapwurung seems to be one of them. Dawson writes that at the annual meetings ” where sometimes twenty tribes assembled there were usually four languages spoken, so distinct from one another that the young people speaking one of them could not understand a word of the other three.” It would seem therefore that there were at least four distinct tribes divided into twenty sub-tribes. Brough Smyth, on the information of H. B. Lane and Charles Gray, gives an account of the ” tribes ” of part cf the Portland district. These are really sub-tribes, and it would appear that 25 of them occupied an area of about 6,750 square miles, or on the average 270 square miles each. If we take Dawson’s estimate of 120 to the sub-tribe, we have a density of one person to 2 1/4 square miles. This would seem to be perhaps too high. Allowing, however, that Dawson’s statements refer to only part of the Portland Bay district, and allowing also for Wilson’s estimate of 300 in Normanby county in 1845, we must conclude that the figure of 3,000 given for this district in 1845 is not too high, and that the original population was probably considerably more than that figure. The Wimmera district falls into three parts. The southern part on the Upper Wimmera was probably well populated. The central portion around Lake Hindmarsh and to Lake Tyrrell had a sparser population. The region bordering the Murray River was inhabited by a number of small tribes, there being seven of them between the Loddon and the Darling junction. These river tribes were enormously reduced by smallpox in the thirties, but even then were numerous, and the evidence is that this was one of the most densely populated regions of the southern part of Australia. Probably this portion of the Murray from Echuca to the Darling junction, and including some part of the Murrumbidgee, originally supported a population of not less than 5,000 or 6,000 54 aborigines divided into ten or twelve tribes. We may reasonably allot 2,000 of them to Victoria. An estimate of 1,000 for the southern and central part of the Wimmera district would not be an over-estimate. (iii) Total for Victoria. We then reach the following estimate for Victoria as a whole:— District Number of Aboriginals Gippsland 1,000 Murray District 1,500 Western Port District 3,000 Portland Bay District 3,000 Wimmera District 3,000 11,500 Figure 19. Total number of Aboriginals for Victoria (precontact estimate) This estimate would still give a density of only one person to 7.65 square miles. This figure of 11,500 is considerably in excess of Parker’s figure of 7,500, and there is good reason for thinking that Parker’s was by far the most carefully made of the early estimates. It would seem (1) that Parker was not making allowance for the tribes on the Murray River, who count for 2,000 in my estimate. (2) Parker made no allowance for the very heavy mortality from smallpox for which we have good evidence in Victoria (except Gippsland) in the decade before the white settlement. (3) It will be noticed that very regularly estimates for a large area give a smaller proportionate population than those for smaller areas. We should allow, I think, a very great weight for estimates made for limited areas by reliable informants such as Curr and Le Souef, who had far better opportunities of getting exact information than Parker had. I have therefore relied on such statements in Victoria. 55 (4) The figure does not by any means seem excessive when we consider the great diversity of language and dialect in Victoria. If we allow only 500 persons for a tribe or language and only 100 to 120 for a dialect, the total estimate of 11,500 for the colony is not extreme, and would, indeed, seem to be too small. Taking all these things into consideration, my own impression is that 11,500 for the original population of Victoria before the small-pox is decidedly an under-rather than an over-estimate. 7. Queensland.— (i) General. As it is difficult to arrive at any estimate of the numbers in New South Wales, I propose to consider Queensland first. In dealing with this area it must be remembered that before the white settlement there had been already a mortality from small-pox which was probably very heavy and that there was, in many in the first two or three years of settlement, an enormous mortality, chiefly, though not entirely, amongst men, as the result of massacres by settlers and police. There is abundant evidence that many thousands of aborigines were shot in order that the white man might enjoy undisturbed their tribal lands. (ii) Estimates for Various Arms. The first area I propose to consider includes a small part of New South Wales. It extends frcm the Clarence River in the south to Broad Sound in the north, and is bounded by the watershed between the eastward and rivers. This area included a number of tribes. From the Clarence River to the Burnett River the chief tribes were the Yukurnbil, Yagara, Djandai, Waka, Kabi and Koreng. From Port Curtis to Broad Sound there seem to have been seven smaller tribes— Tarambara, Yetimarala, Kuinmurbara, Ningebal, Warabal, Tarumbal and TJrambal. Each of these tribes was subdivided into sub-tribes, and for the greater part of the area the sub-tribes have names which are formed by means of the suffix -bara. A probably incomplete list from W. H. Flowers enumerates seven such(Sub-tribes for the Kuinmurbara, five for the Ningebal, four for the Tarumbal, and four for the Warabal. For the Kabi tribe we have two lists, one giving sixteen and the other 23, but even by combining the two it is not possible to make a complete list. 56 Each tribe had its own language, and each sub-tribe spoke its own dialect of the tribal language. The sub-tribe was further divided into a number of hordes, each of which was a land-owning group. My own inquiries for this region have led me to conclude that each horde occupied, on the average, about 100 square miles or less, and may be taken as having on the average 30 members, men, women and children, or more. This will give us a density of population of three persons to 10 square miles. The part of the region that lies in Queensland may be estimated roughly at 50,000 square miles, and the population would therefore be 15,000. This would mean that in the northern part of the region the small tribes would contain about 450 individuals in an area of about 1,500 square miles, divided into sub-tribes of perhaps 100 persons, each subdivided into a few small hordes. The larger tribes, such as the Kabi, would number 2,500 persons or more divided into sub-tribes of about 100, and these subdivided into small hordes. That this estimate is very moderate is indicated by early statements. Thus, Hewitt’s informant (Flowers) states, with reference to the Kabi tribe, that ” about the year 1859 these blacks might have been counted by thousands.” In an account forwarded to Curr by the Chief Commissioner of Police, Brisbane, in 1879, with reference to Great Sandy or Fraser’s Island, which is a small part of the Kabi territory, it is stated that in 1849 the population of that island; which was split into nineteen ” tribes,” amounted to about 2,000 souls, of whom 300 or 400 still survived in.1879. J. D. Lang, in 1861, wrote : ” Frazer’s Island is rather of indifferent character, in point of soil and general capabilities, in the estimation of Europeans; but it is an excellent fishing station, and abounds in the requisites of aboriginal life. It is consequently very populous—the number of aborigines in the island being estimated at not fewer than 2,000.” This figure of 2,000 for the island seems excessive. It may well be that such a number might be found in the island at certain seasons when there were visitors from the mainland. We know that very large numbers of natives used to collect together in the Bunya Mountains from a wide radius to feast on the bunya nuts when they were in season. 57 Still, Lang’s statement indicates that the estimate I have made for the whole region is probably well below the true number. The basin of the Burdekin River and its tributaries, and the coastal districts from Mackay to Cairns give an area of something over 65,000 square miles of well-watered country. According to G. F. Bridgeman, there were four ” tribes ” within a radius of 50 miles or so of Port Mackay. The country was occupied about 1860, and during the eight or ten years which followed, about one-half of the aboriginal population was either shot down by the police or perished from disease. Numbers were carried off in 1876 by measles. In 1880 one of the tribes numbered about 100. This would seem to give us a figure for the original population of not less than one to 6 square miles. James Cassady states that the Halifax Bay tribe occupied a tract of country fronting the shores of the bay for about 50 miles and extending 15 miles inland. It was divided into seven sub-tribes. The population in 1865 is estimated to have amounted to about 500 persons. The numbers in 1880 were approximately 200, the decrease being said to be due mostly to massacres by settlers and native police. Even if we allow an area of 1,000 square miles for the tribe, this gives us a density of one person to 2 square miles, each sub-tribe numbering about 70 in an area of under 150 square miles. Lumholtz, who visited and who had good opportunity for making a reliable estimate, describes the natives as divided into what he calls “family tribes,” i.e., apparently hordes, each containing about 20 to 25 individuals, often less. His estimate of the extent of a tribe is about 40 miles by 30, and its volume at 200 to 250 persons. This gives a density of only two persons to 10 square miles. A comparison of the accounts given of the country around the Cape River indicates that the tribes here were divided into a few large subtribes, each with more than 400 persons and occupying about 1,600 square miles. This gives a density of not less than four persons to 10 square miles. Allowing for differences of population in different parts of the area, greater on the sea-coast but less in such a forest or scrub region as the 58 Herbert River, I think we are safe in allowing one person to 4 square miles for the whole area, or 16,250 in all. The area occupied by the Dawson, Comet and Mackenzie Rivers and other tributaries of the Fitzroy may be estimated at something over 45,000 square miles. A tribe in this region at the head of the Comet River is estimated to have numbered 500 in 10,000. If we compare the statements of Roth with those of Curr’s informants it would seem that the Boulia district contained fifteen or more small tribes numbering from 100 to 300 persons. Roth estimates the area at 10,000 square miles, but that is, I think, a gross under-estimate. The area in question is probably 30,000 square miles, and we can perhaps allow for it a density of one person to 10 square miles. (iii) Total for Queensland. It would take much space to discuss critically each part of Queensland. The conclusion I have reached after examining the available evidence, admittedly not, by any means, satisfactory, is that Queensland could not have contained more than this.39 8. New South Wales.—For New South Wales I will not examine in detail the scanty data available. In 1788, the first year of settlement of Port Jackson, Governor Phillip took the numbers of the aborigines of Port Jackson by causing inspectors to visit every cove or inlet at the same time. One hundred and thirty were counted, who had with them 67 boats or canoes, and many were known to be in the woods making these vessels. The Governor at that time estimated the population between Botany Bay and Broken Bay at 1,500. This population was practically extinct by 1845. A native of the tribe occupying the southern coast of Port Jackson stated that in his recollection, in the time of Governor Macquarie (1810-1821), there were about 400 individuals in the tribe. By 1845 he and three women were all that survived. 39 I may quote two out of many scattered statements which go to show that Queensland had a large aboriginal population. Thomas Hall, of Warwick, records how 200 to 300 men would take part in a wallaby drive in the Darling Downs region. A.L.P. Cameron wrote in 1884: “In 1868 I saw gatherings of from 800 to 1,000 in Western Queensland, about 150 miles north of New South Wales boundary line, and now I am told, on trustworthy authority, that the whole district could not produce a third of that number.” 59 The coastal region of New South Wales probably was fairly densely populated, perhaps more in the north than in the south. My estimate is that that part of the State contained about 25,000 aborigines, speaking more than twenty different languages, and that the rest of the State had about 20,000. To be on the safe side we may put the total for the whole State at 40,000. 9. The Northern Territory.—Ethnological researches in the Northern Territory now in progress will ultimately, it is hoped, help us to obtain a more accurate knowledge of the original population. Existing data suggest that the whole country probably contained 35,000 persons divided into more than 60 tribes, each with its own language. 10. Tasmania.—For Tasmania the available evidence is unsatisfactory. Early estimates of the population are from 6,000 to 8,000 (G. A. Robinson), 5,000 (Captain Kelly), not much, if at all, over 2,000 (Dr. Milligan), and between 700 and 1,000 (Backhouse). There seem to have been four tribes with four distinct languages, divided into sub-tribes with different dialects, and then again divided into hordes which rarely contained more than 30 or 40 individuals. The best estimate that can be made is that the original population was probably not less than 2,000 nor more than 3,000. 11. Total for Australia.—It has been impossible to discuss all the data on which these estimates have been based. As remarked in reference to Victoria, it is noticeable that estimates for small areas always give a greater density of population than those for larger areas in the same part of Australia. I believe that in general the estimates consider the reliability of each statement by judging as well as possible what opportunities the person had for making careful observations. Statements by persons who lived for some years in close contact with the natives before depopulation had begun or had proceeded very far have been given the most weight. Allowance has been made for differences in the food supply in different regions. Finally the estimates have been throughout considered in relation to the languages and dialects (tribes and subtribes) and land-owning groups (hordes). The following estimate, then, I regard as giving the minimum that we can reasonably estimate for each portion of Australia. 60 FORMER ABORIGINAL POPULATION OF AUSTRALIA District Estimated Number of Aborigines Area (square miles) Density (number of square miles per aboriginal) Western Australia 52,000 975,920 18.8 South Australia 10,000 380,070 38.0 Victoria 11,500 87,884 7.6 Queensland 100,000 670,500 6.7 New South Wales40 40,000 310,372 7.8 Northern Territory 35,000 523,620 15.0 Tasmania 2,500 26,215 10.5 Total 251,000 2,974,581 11.9 Figure 20. Total Aboriginal population for Australia (precontact estimate) This estimate gives the density of population for the whole continent as being one person to 12 square miles. There is good evidence that in some parts the density was much greater than this, and in considerable areas was at least as high as three persons to 10 square miles, while even in fairly arid regions there was a density of one person to 10 square miles. Omitting, therefore, about onethird of the continent as being desert and having a very sparse population, we ought to be able to reckon that the remaining 2,000,000 square miles would have had a density of population of one person to every 6.5 or 7.5 square miles. At the former figure we should have a population of a little more than 300,000, and with the latter over 260,000. It is not possible to give an exact count of the number of native languages, still less of the dialects into which they were subdivided. It seems fairly certain, however, that there were more than 500 distinct languages, so that our estimate would allow about 500 persons to a tribe or language on the average. What knowledge we have indicates that we cannot allow a smaller figure than this. In conclusion, therefore, I would say that the available evidence points to the original population of Australia having been certainly over 250,000, and quite possibly, or even probably, over 300,000. 40 Inclusive of Federal Capital Territory 61 h) L.R. Smith completed a substantial Aboriginal demographic study in 1980, using Commonwealth census data and analyses by other historians and demographers. Among his observations, Smith developed a population curve for the period from 1788 until 1970, showing an 88% population loss between 1788 and 1911 (from an estimated 350,000 to around 40,000 full-blood). The 1788 population estimate derives from Radcliffe-Brown in 1930. Researchers have since revised Radcliffe-Brown’s pre-contact population estimate upwards by a factor of two to four. This makes Smith’s steep population decline between 1788 and 1920 much greater, indicating a population loss over a period of some hundred and forty years of around 97% in the worst case (1.25 million down to around 40,000 excluding half-castes) or 95% in the best case (750,000 to around 40,000 excluding half-castes).41 41 L.R. Smith, The Aboriginal Population of Australia: 238 62 Figure 21. Aboriginal depopulation since 1788 Showing Aboriginal depopulation since 1788, based on Radcliffe-Brown and annual censuses. Smith’s data points include full-bloods and half-castes. i) In 2013, Boyd Hunter, a senior fellow at the Australian National University, revisited Aboriginal pre-contact population data.42 42 Boyd Hunter, Aborigines and the Economic History of Australia in the Early Colonial Period, Australian National University, presented to CAEPR Seminar Series, 27 March 2013 202013.pdf 63 Figure 22. Boyd-Hunter revised population estimates (precontact) j) Revised precontact Aboriginal population distribution by State. We will use the 1911 census data and Smith’s 1980 revisions to RadcliffeBrown’s 1930 estimates to derive the percentage Aboriginal population splits by State. We will apply these percentage apportionments by State against a currently accepted precontact Aboriginal population band, due to Butlin. Of these comparative proportions, New South Wales and Victoria are anomalous, and Queensland is skewed, as is the Northern Territory. The Tasmanian figures, although consistent, may be too high overall. To project the population bands by state, we will use the 1911 census breakdown, as this shows less apparent distortion. The Radcliffe-Brown estimate is ‘bottom-up’, whereas the census is ‘top-down’. Either approach will introduce noise: the census from the questionaire methodology; and Radcliffe-Brown from ethnographical assumptions. Evans writes ‘the guesstimate of 100 000 to 120 000, once widely quoted for the whole of Queensland, is no longer tenable. These were figures set between one-third and one-half of the 250 000 – 300 000 ‘irreducible minimum’ for the entire mainland and Tasmania in 1930, which cautiously doubled previous estimates… In 1983, however, this ‘gross undercount’ was again revised radically upwards by economic historian and demographer Noel Butlin to at least one million.’.. Thus, an adjustment of the pre-contact Aboriginal 64 populations of Queensland upwards to above 200 000 does not seem injudicious.’ 43 REVISED PRE-CONTACT ABORIGINAL POPULATION BY STATE % of Total (Smith,1980, revising Radcliffe Brown estimates, 1930) % of Total (1911 Census) Precontact Population Band 750,000 1,200,000 NSW 15.3 30.5 228,750 366,000 Victoria 4.8 16.0 120,000 192,000 Queensland 38.2 30.0 225,000 360,000 South Australia 4.8 2.9 21,750 34,800 Western Australia 19.7 15.0 112,500 180,000 Tasmania 1.4 1.4 10,500 16,800 Northern Territory 15.9 4.3 32,250 51,600 Federal Territory – – – – 750,750 1,201,200 Figure 23. Revised Aboriginal population estimates, by state (precontact) k) A new population curve for prehistoric Australia: Williams In 2013, using extensive archaeological data, Alan Williams developed a new population curve for pre-historic Australia, up to the catastrophic invasion and occupation by Britain. Based on the observed proto-historic populations, he determined that an initial founding population between 1000 and 2000, with an 43 Raymond Evans, A History of Queensland: 10,11. 65 accepted annual compound growth rate of 0.01%, and a starting point of 50ka, will produce a population high of approximately 1.2 million at approximately 0.5 ka. Data suggests an 8% decline at approximately 770 000 – 1.1 million at the time of European (British) contact, giving a figure consistent with ethnographic estimates and with historical observations. 44 Figure 24. Revised Aboriginal population estimates, Alan Williams (precontact) 44 Williams AN. 2013 A new population curve for prehistoric Australia. Proc R Soc B 280: 20130486 From 12 ka, the population curve shows a steady increase in the Terminal Pleistocene,’primarily driven from southeastern Australia, and demonstrates increasing spatial use of the landscape and diversification of economic activities, with greater divergence from rock shelters to a range of other sites types. By the Eary Holocene, there is evidence for increasing population – with activation of new sitws; dense occupation deposits and rock engravings; appearance of complex technology (e.g. fish traps) and food processing techniques.’ […] ‘It appears that climate instability may have had a significant influence over population change, with notable declines at LGM (approx. 18 ka), Antarctic Climate Reversal (approx. 14 ka), Mid-Holocene Climatic Optimum (approx. 8 – 5 ka) and the onset of the El Nino Southern Oscillation (approx. 4 – 2 ka). The greatest impact to populations appears to have been the LGM, where declines of up to 61 per cent are observed between 21 and 18 ka.’ 66 A plot of population estimates from 50 – 0 ka using uncorrected radicarbon data. Each graph was developed by implementing founding populations at 50ka and applying a compound interest equation to determine quantitave palaeo-populations. Numerical estimates of prehistoric population were derived by taking the ethnographic population of 750 000 – 1.2 million as an endpoint (in 1788) and fitting the time-series curve to this.45 The GR analysis of the uncorrected dataset indicates an average annual growth rate of 0.01 per cent over the last 50ka, with a range of between 0.07 and -0.03 per cent. 46 The GRAnn value was then integrated into a compound interest equation to determine quantitative values of palaeo-populations: Pfinal = Pinitial(1 + GRAnn) t , where Pfinal is the final population, Pinitial is initially the founding population followed by the P value from each preceding 200-year data bin, GRAnn is 1.01 and t is the number of years. 47 l) Projected Aboriginal population in 1911 We want to determine the Aboriginal population in 1911, if the British invasion had not occurred. We want to calculate the final population P over the period from 1788 to 1911, the time of lowest population, given the Commonwealth census evidence. We will use the start population points in 1788 of 750 000 and 1.2 million, which provide a pre-contact population band. Lower limit: Given an initial population of 750 000 in 1788 and where t = 123 years, the final projected population in 1911 is 750,000 x (1.01)123 or (750,000 x 3.4003918) or 2.55 million. Upper limit: Given an initial population of 1.2 million in 1788 and where t = 123 years, the final projected population is 1,200,000 x (1.01)123 or (1,200,000 x 3.4003918) or 4.08 million. 45 Williams, ibid., p. 3. 46 Williams , ibid., p.6. 47 Williams, ibid., p. 4. 67 Initial population in 1788: 750 000 Initial population in 1788: 1 200 000 Projected population at 1911 2.55 million 4.08 million Actual full blood population at 1911 census 37,789 37,789 Estimated population loss at 1911 due to British invasion 2,512,211 4,042,211 Figure 25. Projected Aboriginal population estimates at 1911, based on Williams/ Butlin precontact population band between 750,000 and 1.2 million That is, the 1788 British invasion and occupation resulted in a projected Aboriginal population loss at 1911 of somewhere between 2.5 million and 4 million people (or a percentage depopulation between 98.5% and 99.1%). The occupying British authorities and later Governments did not consider it necessary to keep detailed Aboriginal population statistics, or perhaps they should be called depopulation figures. The Australian Bureau of Statistics began to compile this quantitative demographic data a few years after Federation. Until the late 1960s, Aboriginals were citizens in name only: they could not vote, or drink in the front bar, or use public swimming pools, or own land. Aboriginal communities were razed to make way for mining developments.48 Australian segregation policy imposed apartheid on Aboriginals well before South Africa adopted the practice. 48 Ros Kidd, The Way We Civilize (1997): 201 – 227. For example, when bauxite was discovered on the Weipa/ Mapoon Aboriginal Reserve in 1902, it was only a matter of time before extractive mining began. In 1963, Patrick Killoran, the Queensland Director of Native Affairs, deployed heavily armed police to burn the settlement and forcibly move the inhabitants to another location, allowing Comalco to begin operations unimpeded. 68 The actual depopulation curve is non linear and exponentially decreasing, with a rapid early decline in absolute Aboriginal numbers from the impact of violent invasion, followed by continuing proportional decline from the subsequent genocidal phases.49 Figure 26. Actual depopulation caused by British invasion The population graph is shown as a simplified linear time series, originating from a precontact population band between 750,000 and 1.2 million, with a catastrophic actual population loss in 120 years of occupation of around 1 million. The projected Aboriginal population loss at 1911 is much greater again, between 2.5 million to 4 million people, making it commensurate with the genocide of European Jews. The key difference is that the Jewish people suffered extermination through the Nazi machine over a few terrible years, whereas Aboriginal extermination endured for more than a century in a sustained politically driven process, followed by later Lemkinian genocidal phases of predatory subjugation and societal destruction. 50 49 A more detailed analysis of the quantitative causes of Aboriginal depopulation, including mass killing, smallpox and sexually transmitted diseases, is set out in FWAYAF The Political Uses of Australian Genocide. 50 Population statistics are analysed in more detail in FWAYAF The Political Uses of Australian Genocide. 0 200,000 400,000 600,000 800,000 1,000,000 1,200,000 1,400,000 Precontact (1788) Census (1911) Population Depopulation – Actual Lower precontact population limit Upper precontact population limit 69 Figure 27. Projected population without British invasion, shown as a simplified exponential time series, originating from an Aboriginal precontact population band between 750,000 and 1.2 million. The graph represents what economists call a lost opportunity cost, but here it is measured in lost human capital rather than money. 1788 represents the pre-contact population. 1908 represents the approximate date of the 1911 Census. At the 1911 census, the actual Aboriginal population count was negligible, being about 37,000. m) Projected Aboriginal population in 2014 We now want to determine the Aboriginal population in 2014, if the British invasion had not occurred. We will use the originating population band in 1788 of between 750 000 and 1.2 million. Lower limit: Given an initial population of 750 000 in 1788 and where t = 236 years, the final projected population in 2014 is 750,000 x (1.01)236 or (750,000 x 10.46752996) or 7.85 million. Upper limit: Given an initial population of 1.2 million in 1788 and where t = 236 years, the final projected population is 1,200,000 x (1.01)236 or (1,200,000 x 10.46752996) or 12.56 million. Initial population in 1788: 750 000 Initial population in 1788: 1 200 000 Projected population at 2014 7.85 million 12.56 million Figure 28. Projected Aboriginal population estimates at 2014, 0 500,000 1,000,000 1,500,000 2,000,000 2,500,000 3,000,000 3,500,000 4,000,000 4,500,000 1788 . 1812 . 1836 . 1860 . 1884 . 1908 Projected Aboriginal population – without British invasion (1788 – 1908) Lower projected population (without British invasion) Upper projected population (without British invasion) 70 based on Williams/ Butlin precontact population band The projected Aboriginal population, within a lower and upper limit confidence band, is shown as exponentially increasing at a modest 0.01% per annum, using the Williams algorithm. The mid point of 1911 is chosen because it was the earliest census after 1788, and provides a calibration point to measure the projected population increase against an actual count. Coincidentally, 1911 is exactly midway between 1788 and 2014. Measured over a period of 226 years, from pre-contact until today, the true size of politically driven Australian genocide becomes quite clear, with the projected number of people lost as between 7.2 and 11.9 million. The Aboriginal population is only just beginning to recover, but suffers commensurately greater disadvantage than the normalised population, with poorer health and financial outcomes. Figure 29. Projected Aboriginal population as a simplified exponential time series, If the British invasion did not occur, originating from a precontact band between 750,000 and 1.2 million. At the 1911 census, the Aboriginal population was negligible, about 37,000. In 2012, the actual Aboriginal population was about 700,000. The continuing politically driven discriminatory process against Aboriginals, particularly those living in remote communities, has the characteristics of 0 2,000,000 4,000,000 6,000,000 8,000,000 10,000,000 12,000,000 14,000,000 1788 1812 1836 1860 1884 1908 1932 1956 1980 2004 Projected Aboriginal population – without British invasion (1788 – 2016) Lower projected population (without British invasion) Upper projected population (without British invasion) 71 Lemkinian genocide under articles 2b and 2c. Australian legislation still does not recognise genocide as a domestic crime. n) Current Indigenous Population51 Based on information from the 2011 Census, the ABS estimates that there were 698,583 Indigenous people living in Australia in 2013. NSW had the largest number of Indigenous people, and the NT had the highest percentage of Indigenous people. Indigenous people made up 3% of the total Australian population. For more details on the Indigenous population in each state and territory see the table below.52 State/territory Number of Indigenous people Proportion (%) of Indigenous population living in that state/territory NSW 216,612 31 Vic 49,715 7.1 Qld 198,206 28 WA 91,898 13 SA 38,981 5.6 Tas 25,269 3.6 ACT 6,517 0.9 NT 71,111 10 Australia 698,583 100 Figure 30. Current Indgenous population by State, 2014 51 This and other Aboriginal population discussions and statistics are taken from the relevant ABS year book reports at various times, and are quoted in full. 52 Source: ABS, 2014 Australian Bureau of Statistics (2014) Estimates and projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2001 to 2026. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics. 72 In 2011, around one-third of Indigenous people lived in major cities. 53 The number of Indigenous people counted in the 2011 Census was much higher than the number counted in the 2006 Census.54 This could be because: o the number of Indigenous people has increased o more Indigenous people were counted because of improvements in how the Census was conducted o more Indigenous people identified as Indigenous in their response. In 2011, 90% of Indigenous people identified as Aboriginal, 6% identified as Torres Strait Islanders, and 4% identified as both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. 55 The Indigenous population is much younger overall than the non-Indigenous population (see Figure). In 2011, more than one-third of Indigenous people were aged less than 15 years, compared with one-fifth of non-Indigenous people. 56 Almost 4% of Indigenous people were aged 65 years or over, compared with 14% of non-Indigenous people. The Figure (Figure 87) is a population pyramid; it shows a comparison of the age profiles of the Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations.57 The bars show the percentage of the total population that falls within each age group. 53 Australian Bureau of Statistics (2012) Census of population and housing – counts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2011. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics. 54 Biddle N (2012) CAEPR Indigenous population project 2011 census papers: population and age structure. Canberra: Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research. Biddle N (2013) CAEPR Indigenous population project 2011 census papers: population projections. Canberra: Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research. 55 Australian Bureau of Statistics (2012) Census of population and housing – counts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2011. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics. 56 Australian Bureau of Statistics (2010) Population characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2006 (reissue). Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2009) Experimental estimates and projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians 1991 to 2021. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistic. 57 Australian Bureau of Statistics (2012) Australian demographic statistics, March quarter 2012. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics 73 Figure 31. Population pyramid of Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations, 201158 The general shapes of the Indigenous and the non-Indigenous pyramids are different. The Indigenous pyramid is wide at the bottom (younger agegroups) and narrow at the top (older age-groups); this shape shows that the Indigenous population is a young population. Aboriginals do not live long, because of the harsh living conditions imposed upon many of them by Government. The non-Indigenous pyramid has a more even spread of ages through the population. o) Projected Aboriginal Population Loss at 2014 We can now determine the likely Aboriginal population loss at 2014 because of the violent and costly British invasion, based upon a specific 1788 population band. 58 Source: ABS, 2012 74 Initial population in 1788: 750 000 Initial population in 1788: 1 200 000 Projected population at 2014 7.85 million 12.56 million Actual Indigenous population at 2011 698,583 698,583 Estimated population loss at 2014 due to British invasion 7,151,417 11,861,417 Figure 32. Projected Aboriginal population loss at 2014, based on revised precontact population band (Williams et al) That is, the 1788 British invasion and occupation resulted in a projected Aboriginal population loss at 2014 of somewhere between 7.2 million and 11.9 million people. Aboriginal Depopulation Summary We may hear the argument ‘But Aboriginals were hunter gatherers, who needed great amounts of land to sustain them. The country would not have supported 7 to 12 million people living a nomadic existence.’ It is a false argument that wrongly assumes societies do not evolve and grow. What would Aboriginal society be today, if Britain had not invaded? We only have to look at societies in Southeast Asia, which emerged from the yoke of British, French, American and Dutch colonialism, countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia, or even New Guinea, and Fiji, to see that the contrived logic for Australia is unsound. These places in Southeast Asia were unattractive to British and other settlers. They were too small, or too hot, and Britain, for its part, limited their role to trading outposts or perhaps plantations. They escaped the mass killing and avoidable deaths carried out in Australia because of Government policy. They have now generally grown to be vibrant, prosperous and independent. They are now some of the most populous countries on Earth, although some have a very limited land area compared with Australia. This is what was stolen from Australian Aboriginals: Britain stole their future. After the process of exterminatory genocide, their numbers are still only about 700,000, which 75 includes all those people who claim an Aboriginal identity, whether it is mixed race or not. The Australian indigenous population number is now about the same as tiny Fiji, which has a mixed population of around 900,000. 2010 Population Indonesia 260 million Cambodia 15 million (post genocide) Malaysia 28 million Philippines 92 million Papua New Guinea 7.3 million (excluding West Papua, which was annexed by Indonesia) Singapore 5.5 million Thailand 65 million Vietnam 90 million (post war) Figure 33. Population of various Southeast Asian countries (2010) We conclude that Britain and later Australian Governments are responsible for a major crime against Aboriginal society but have never been found accountable or admitted liability. They and we are responsible for the projected loss of millions of indigenous lives in Australia, through racist land and immigration policies, unrestricted settlement, discriminatory legislation, uncontrolled racial warfare and other late phase genocidal actions that caused rapid Aboriginal depopulation from the time of the 1788 invasion until 1911. The long tail of Lemkinian genocide in Australia continues today, under UN articles: 2 (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; and 2 (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part. We may attempt to rewrite history, or ignore it, but until we accept that the past is not another country, until we acknowledge the genocidal process of invasive occupation, we must remain a nation without honour, building our most treasured myths on the military ineptitude of Gallipoli, or the conflated heroic triumphalism of a benign pastoral frontier. 76 The partial case for intentional genocide: Tasmania59 We now come to the implacable power of positive feedback and the way it amplifies the effect of certain behaviours over time. The British would not have known it by this name, but they did understand the principle of compounding, where a certain quantity or factor grows exponentially, like the demand for land increasing in proportion to accelerating immigration, a process Britain refused to curb. It was a deliberate choice. Britain understood what they were doing when they intentionally dispossessed Aboriginals of their land. They understood that such actions would leave Aboriginals homeless, with nowhere to go. They understood that, by encouraging British emigration, it would cause more demand for land, and further alienation of what was called ‘Crown’ land, or land previously owned by Aboriginals. They understood that if Aboriginals resisted their dispossession, the British would ‘legally’ be justified to use the military and police against them in calculated mass killing, preferably out of the public sight, and intentionally with few operational records. They understood the impact on Aboriginal society if Britain rejected any possibility of a treaty. They understood the inequity of British justice, which disallowed Aboriginal witness testimony to atrocities. They understood what would happen when they imposed martial law, where any Aboriginal could be shot on sight, without legal repercussions. They understood the policies of racial repression, where it was expected that the indigenous population should passively accept the authority of their masters, to become indentured labourers and committed Christians, forgetting the destruction of their society. Finally, they understood that their policies were intentionally genocidal, and observed the depopulation effects of their policies, while continuing their execution. Did Britain have a choice to avoid its genocidal policies? To have a choice about something, one must first recognise that a choice is required about some possible action. Having chosen, the action becomes intentional. But if the choice involves some tradeoff, can we then argue that we made a decision based upon ‘the greater good’ according to the ‘standards of the time’. Was the ‘greater good’ narrowly defined by Britain as the racist economic advantage of Imperial colonial expanionism and white settler entitlements, with subordinate choices following in a nested hierarchy: Where to request the best land? How to maximise my financial return? How to remove Aboriginal trespassers? 59 The complete analysis is in FWAYAF The Political Uses of Australian Genocide. We will use the name Tasmania to refer to Van Diemen’s Land. 77 Could Britain have chosen not to commit to genocide, in pursuit of its land policies? Or could the key British Government choice simply be a matter of how to achieve the most effective colonial administration in support of expansionist colonial policy? If someone is an effective administrator of Government policies, can we condone their worst behaviours, as though tabulating some moral balance sheet, where not all ‘citizens’ have an equal claim on Government? Britain could have chosen not to pursue its genocidal land policies in Tasmania and elsewhere. It chose genocide. George Arthur60 was Governor of Tasmania (Van Diemen’s Land) from 1824 until 1836. In this period, he oversaw the wholesale extermination of the Palawa and their culture.61 Arthur was a populist, who tried to maintain public order by not punishing those settlers who killed Aboriginals and by placing economic priorities above humanitarian concerns for Aboriginal rights and welfare. Arthur was also an authoritarian who had little time for press freedoms and was driven by his pursuit for personal wealth. The Australian Dictionary of Biography regarded him as ‘a distinguished public servant’. It depends upon how distinguishment is measured. Perhaps if we understand the decisions that were made by Arthur and the British Government, we can also understand how genocide was inevitable, not just in Tasmania, but across the continent. Perhaps the chain of decisions involving the genocidal process were not some unintended consequence of land policy, as some historians argue. Perhaps it was intentional British land policy that drove extermination through a calibrated Government process. We will see that this was indeed the case, through delineating some of the key policy events and understanding the effective way that Arthur sought the complicity of his superiors in their execution. Perhaps, in understanding the process of Tasmanian genocide, we can also see the pattern of invasive British occupation that was to repeat for all its other Australian colonies, and would cause cataclysmic Aboriginal depopulation over the next century. The peak extermination of Aboriginals in Tasmania probably happened in the mid1820s, when Arthur was alienating land at an accelerating rate and, as a result of his policies, 60 Sir George Arthur (1784 – 1854), colonial administrator. In 1838, a grateful Britain rewarded him with a baronetcy for his services in Tasnmania and promoted him to Major General. 61 Many mixed blood descendants of the original Palawa are now attempting to relearn some of their language and traditions from the writings of George Robinson, who was one of the few to attempt some partial ethnographic understanding. Arthur certainly saw no need, although he was careful to engage his superiors in his supposed attempts at ‘conciliation’. 78 immigrants were beginning to pour into the colony. In 1828, Arthur forbade any Aboriginal to enter the settled districts along their annual migration routes, and later that year declared martial law, which remained in place until 1832. With the declaration of martial law, the value of any Aboriginal life became forfeit, and murder of Aboriginals became decriminalised. In 1830 Arthur attempted to drive all Aboriginals into the Tasman Peninsula, using 5,000 men. Only two Aboriginals were caught. From 1829 to 1834, he employed George Robinson to induce remnant Aboriginal groups to relocate to some island, which eventually became Flinder’s Island. Arthur wrote about the destructive effects of his policies in despatches to the Home Office, but would not resile. These despatches appear more about managing the expectations of his superiors than any serious attempt to balance his land and immigration policies with establishing a treaty or setting aside land for exclusive Aboriginal use. Indeed, with his success in Aboriginal depopulation, there was no need to make any concessions to Aboriginal humanitarian and territorial rights. His successful strategy for managing the Aboriginal problem after they had been rendered homeless was widely adopted across other Australian colonies. For example, he pioneered the use of Aboriginal ‘protectors’. He also pioneered Aboriginal segregation in geographically isolated detention centres, which proved to be a perfect solution for managing remnant homeless populations. Arthur’s despatches show him to be duplicitous, on the one hand attempting to make his superiors complicit in his egregious policies, on the other, taking no action to stop the deliberate genocide, believing that economic growth was more important. Some historians invoke the ‘standards of the time’ argument that he was an efficient administrator in a period when the killing of indigenous people was widespread, because they were an impediment to possessing the land. But his writings and despatches reveal a guilty mind or mens rea, that he knew what he was doing was wrong, but chose to do it anyway. Importantly, the British administration also understood they were guilty of intentional genocide, in the sense of extirpation. 62 Let us further remind ourselves that genocide is not limited to mass killing of a targeted population, although the British administration generally viewed it in those restricted terms, with introduced disease, sexual predation and malnutrition being considered secondary effects of invasive occupation. Britain saw genocide (as they 62See FWAYAF Recollections From a (Homicidal) Pastoral Frontier. George Murray, Secretary of State Despatch, 5th November, 1830. papers on Van Diemen’s land, 1831, No. 259, p. 56. 79 understood it) taking place as early as 1830 in Tasmania,63 but washed their hands of responsibility for their own policies and rewarded George Arthur with a baronetcy for his supposedly excellent service. Arthur returned to Britain in 1836 with a healthy £50,000 sum,64 the proceeds of land speculation, of land that he had acquired at the expense of Aboriginals, of blood money. In 1838, Britain appointed him as colonial governor of Canada. The role of the British administration in Tasmanian genocide The British Government responsibility for the colony of Tasmania rested with the secretary of state for war and the colonies, a cabinet level position, supported by an administrative Under-Secretary. Between 1824 and 1836, the period of Arthur’s term in Tasmania, there was a succession of incumbent political figures to whom Arthur reported. During this time, there was one colonial affairs administrator who had a relatively constant role: James Stephen was under-secretary from 1834 to 1847. Secretary of State From To Ministry Henry Bathurst (3rd Earl Bathurst) 11 June 1812 30 April 1827 The Earl of Liverpool The Viscount Goderich 30 April 1827 3 September 1827 George Canning William Huskisson 3 September 1827 30 May 1828 Viscount Goderich Sir George Murray 30 May 1828 22 November 1830 Duke of Wellington The Viscount Goderich 22 November 1830 3 April 1833 Earl Grey Hon. Edward Stanley (14th Earl of Derby) 3 April 1833 5 June 1834 Earl Grey Thomas Spring Rice (1st Baron) 5 June 1834 14 November 1834 Viscount Melbourne The Duke of Wellington 17 November 1834 9 December 1834 Duke of Wellington 63 Murray to Arthur, ibid. We will use the name Tasmania when we refer to Van Diemen’s Land. 64 See for Arthur’s biographical details. The relative value of £50,000 in 1836 is tens of millions today. Using an average earnings comparison, it is equivalent to £36.5 million, but considerably more if the share of GDP is used – about £139 million. 80 The Earl of Aberdeen 20 December 1834 8 April 1835 Sir Robert Peel The Lord Glenelg 18 April 1835 20 February 1839 Viscount Melbourne Figure 34. Secretaries of State for War and the colonies (1824 – 1839) Not Stephen (the under secretary), or Murray (the British Secretary of State) 65, or the Wellington Government, or Arthur (the colonial Governor) or Goderich66 or Glenelg67 did anything to prevent the terrible human carnage in Tasmania, overwhelmingly caused by Britain’s intentional (and economically driven) land and immigration policies that allowed accelerated allocation of pastoral land – at first by grants and then, during Arthur’s term, by sale – as subsidised immigration increased, leaving Aboriginals to fight or take flight. But fight how? The numbers and firearms weighed against them made eventual defeat certain. The law did not protect them. And if they fled, where were they to go on an island? The conditions of life became almost impossible for them. Even when they moved to the mountain areas, they were pursued like vermin and hunted down. Settlers knew the Tasmanian Government was unlikely to punish them for mass killings. An Aboriginal life was officially rendered worthless. Governor Arthur’s declaration of martial law between 1828 and 1832, fully supported by the British Home Office, allowed killing without consequence. Massacres became legal, a blood sport. With nowhere for them to live, with all the best pastoral land occupied, with armed gangs harrying them, they became desperate refugees in their own land. Britain pursued this extirpation policy in Tasmania to the end, knowing it was in process, knowing the eventual outcome, but refusing to change their land and settlement policies, and refusing to uphold the law for all its nominal ‘citizens’. It was therefore inevitable that what happened in Tasmania was soon to repeat for other Australian colonies and following much the same process. The bloodshed became systemic. Aboriginal depopulation was extreme. The later phases of forced subjugation and segregation completed the bloody occupation process. 65 Sir George Murray (1772 – 1846) was secretary of state for the colonies from 30 May 1828 to 22 November 1830. 66 Viscount Goderich (1782 – 1859) held a succession of cabinet posts from 1809 to 1833. In 1831 he introduced the ‘Ripon regulations’ which replaced land grants with auction sales at a minimum of 5s. an acre, a change made possible by ten preceding years of intensive surveys and valuations ordered by Tory governments. [ ] Indigenous land rights were not considered. 67 Baron Glenelg (1778 – 1866): Charles grant was secretary of state for war and the colonies under Melbourne from 1835 to 1839. 81 Sharon Morgan described the process of dispossession in Tasmania very well: Wherever Europeans settled, the native population faced a brutal onslaught.68 They were driven even further into the interior, as the white men and their animals took up the land. In island colonies, such as Van Diemen’s Land and the Canary Islands, this process was critical because there was so much less space to push the aborigines into. Thus matters came to a head with alarming speed. But invasion had a catastrophic effect wherever it occurred, largely because the invaders were unwilling to share their spoils. In the Canaries some natives were ‘racially integrated’, and they were allowed tracts of inferior land. In Africa power was taken from the natives and they were at times transformed into servants of the white man. In America and Australia they were slaughtered. Many of the problems which afflicted Van Diemen’d Land in this period were familiar to the settlers of other colonies, but were exacerbated by the smallness of the island colony. By 1830 much of the useable land in Tasmania had been placed in European hands, and the economy did not continue to flourish quite as it had promised in the first thirty years of settlement. 69 Many historians have been kind to Arthur, sometimes laudatory, saying he was an efficient administrator. Then, so was Adolf Eichmann, who was responsible for carrying out antiSemitic policy during WWII. And Heinrich Himmler, with his industrial scale extermination camps, able to murder millions with the minimum use of resources, who saw mass killing as 68 This may be an allusion to Charles Darwin’s observation, when he took a horse journey in early 1836 to the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney: Wherever the European has trod, death seems to pursue the aboriginal. Darwin put the cause down to a ‘mysterious agency’, unrelated to forcible and violent dispossession. [Voyage of the Beagle: 435] 69 Sharon Morgan, Land Settlement in Early Tasmania Creating an Antipodean England: 163 – 164. Appendix 1 (ibid) contains the extent and number of grants made in each year, from 1804 to 1823. Where Sharon says ‘European’, I would change the reference to ‘British’. To say otherwise is to obfuscate and becomes another example of reframing. Sharon limits her analysis to the effects of Aboriginal dispossession, without examining the British Government’s accountability. Perhaps the genocidal implications were a bridge too far. 82 the ‘unwritten and never-to-be-written page of glory in our history’. 70 The difference is that Germany lost the particular war; Britain won theirs. Victors tend to make their own rules, even when genocide is concerned. If Germany had won WWII, Eichmann and Himmler may well have been praised and rewarded, like Arthur in the 19th century. Arthur, Stephen, Murray and Glenelg are therefore guilty of practising and supporting intentional genocide. Each has been allowed to escape accountability, by referring to their apparent concern for Aboriginal welfare after British policies had encouraged their dispossession and extermination by the military and settlers. All went on to illustrious careers, having done their duty for the British Government. The judgmental problem of Tasmanian genocide arises from reframing, from deliberately displacing and narrowing the focus on which a determinative judgment is made. This may lead us to accord economic priorities as having greater importance than humanitarian concerns. The question frequently asked is: Can we judge? After all, most selfinterested settlers would have approved Arthur’s administration, perhaps with the exception of a few keen-sighted critics such as Arthur’s trenchant nemesis, Henry Melville.71 The better question to ask is: Would the Tasmanian Aboriginals have approved Arthur’s brutal mistreatment of them? Those who deny the relevance of this question expose their racist credentials by arguing that Tasmanian Aboriginals were no better than criminals, who were disobeying British law by resisting the occupation of their ancient homeland. This is the reprehensible Windschuttle argument, where he blames the victim and vigorously disputes the number of Aboriginal deaths, citing the lack of evidentiary court cases. We can judge the past, if only to echo the judgments of the actors themselves, many of whom clearly recognized the wrongfulness of their actions, including Arthur, Stephen and Murray, but generally saw Aboriginals as an obstacle to economic gain. Arthur certainly did. The role of land grants in Tasmanian genocide British land policies were genocidal in intent and execution: they sought the removal and destruction of the indigenous population. The policies succeeded, as they would across Australia. 70 H. Himmler, Speech to the S.S. (Nazi security forces), Poznan, Poland, October 1943. 71 See FWAYAF Recollections…]. 83 From 1804, free settlers72 were granted title by the Government over prime Tasmanian pastoral land, the size of the allocation increasingly depending upon their wealth and influence as the colony grew. They were assigned unpaid convict labour to help them realize a quick financial return. Displaced Aboriginals who would not submit to Britain’s authority were unwelcome in this cosy arrangement. They were a people without rights, nominal citizens, an alienated underclass, suddenly without a land to call home. As Aboriginal resistance escalated, a clasping Arthur, concerned for his career and the possible collapse of public order, belatedly invoked martial law. Armed convicts were brought into the conflict. Aboriginal numbers plummeted. Victors tend to write history, and Arthur was no exception in attempting to excuse his crime. During Arthur’s term, he allowed much of the best grazing areas in the Island to be ceded to pastoralists, over a million acres,73 and when the Aboriginals sustained a very effective war of resistance to their dispossession, Arthur ordered a process of direct military operations and paramilitary ‘roving parties’ against them. He ignored all Aboriginal killings by land owners, none of whom he ever prosecuted, although he did hang four Aboriginals and sentenced others to incarceration. In 1830 he went further, requesting (and receiving) Home Office permission to use armed convicts against the Aboriginals.74 Arthur acknowledged that British land policies left Aboriginals with nowhere to live. Britain did not ask the question ‘What will happen to the Aboriginals, now that we have taken their land? Can we offer them their own land?’ Instead, Britain decided on a policy of extermination, wherever Aboriginals resisted their occupation. During the end stage of George Arthur’s term as VDL Governor, his administrative superior in the British Home Office was Sir James Stephen (1789 – 1859). Stephen was appointed assistant under-secretary in 1834 and permanent under-secretary from 1836 until he retired in 1847, when he was knighted for his services. The under-secretary played a key tole in colonial administration. The Australian Dictionary of Biography asserts that Stephen 72 Grants were also offered to marines after three years’ satisfactory service, and to male convicts after their sentences were completed. Quitrents existed in principle, but were rarely enforced. 73 For the amounts of land alienated by year, see: John West, The History of Tasmania, ed. A.G.L. Shaw, Melbourne, 1981, p. 585; Sharon Morgan, Land Settlement in Early Tasmania, 1992; Leonie Mickleborough, William Sorell in Van Diemen’s Land, Lieutenant Governor, 1817 – 24, A Golden Age, 2004; Henry Melville, The History of Van Diemen’s Land From the Year 1824 to 1835, inclusive During the Administration of Lieutenant Governor George Arthur, 1836. 74 HRA 3/9, Arthur to Sir George Murray, Despatch 19, 15th April 1830: 164 – 236. 84 was ‘one of the greatest civil servants of the nineteenth century’. 75 The ADB neglects to point out that Stephen also oversaw Tasmanian genocide. Stephen, who was deeply religious, encouraged colonial governors to have discretionary freedom with their administration. He also favoured colonial self-government. Stephen supported most of Arthur’s excesses and those of other colonial governors, and must be judged with Gipps, the New South Wales Governor, and Arthur for the destruction of Tasmanian Aboriginal society. In 1839, Stephen was clearly aware of Aboriginal extermination caused by British policies. He wrote on a correspondence from Gipps: The tendency of these collisions with the Blacks is unhappily too clear for doubt. There will ere long cease to be numbered amongst the Races of the Earth. I can imagine no law effective enough to avoid this result… All this is most deplorable but I fear it is also inevitable. The only chance of saving them from annihilation would consist in teaching them the art of war and supplying them with weapons and munitions.. an act of suicidal generosity which of course cannot be practised.76 Stephen was exercising hyperbole about supplying Aboriginals with weapons by setting up an illogical strawman, which he could then bat away. His conclusion should have been: Britain must recognise that its land policies were genocidal, and immediately modify them, perhaps through treaty arrangements. Stephen had no such intention; nor did Arthur. Governor Bourke, in 1835, had already rejected such a policy, and was supported by the British Government. For his part, Arthur remained duplicitous, on the one hand continuing his land policies and Aboriginal extermination, on the other, wringing his hands that genocide could have been avoided by offering a treaty in the future. Henry Reynolds identifies Stephen as the key cause of Australian genocide, because he saw what was happening and chose to do nothing. Reynolds writes: What Stephen said over and over again was that frontier settlers were in the process of exterminating the Aborigines; they were guilty of what, since the 1940s, has been 75 J.E. Egerton, ‘Stephen, Sir James (1789 – 1859)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2, Melbourne University Press, 1967: 474 – 476 76 James Stephen, memo on Gipps to Glenelg, 9 April 1841, CO/ 201/ 309, quoted in Henry Reynolds, An Indelible Stain: 89. 85 called genocide and that the government was powerless to stop them. This was an extraordinarily frank admission to come from the permanent head of the Colonial Office and has to carry considerable weight in any historical assessment of the question. Stephen clearly believed that the settlers had the psychological and emotional drive – the dolus specialis to carry out genocide. He believed that his government was in the position of a powerless bystander – the situation described by the Venezulean delegate to the Ad Hoc Committee on the Genocide Convention, Sr Perez Perezo, who referred to a ‘weak Government unable to prevent the extermination of a group occupying a distant region’. If governments are the main agents of genocide – either by intent or inability to prevent it happening – then James Stephen provided us with a form of confession. He clearly felt, however, that the moral responsibility lay with the ‘squatters of bad character’, over whom the law had little power, rather than with the imperial government that had set the whole process of colonisation in motion.77 Reynolds further writes: The question of intent is never far away in discussion of genocide. Was the killing of indigenous people done with the specific intention of destroying the particular groups, or did it happen as a consequence of action that had other motives, such as the taking of land, the imposing of a new order or the pacification of a violent frontier? 78 Both Stephen and Reynolds are wrong. Stephen is wrong for deflecting the blame for extermination away from his Government upon squatters of ‘bad character’ and choosing to take no action because he professed Britain to be powerless. Reynolds is wrong for denying that British land policy was genocidal and for suggesting that Aboriginal depopulation was an unintended consequence of Britain’s economic priorities and frontier pacification. The evidentiary fact is that Britain’s carefully executed land policies caused and were intended to cause Australian genocide through extermination and forced relocation, all of which had a political use, and any other argument to the contrary is obfuscation, blame shifting and reframing. Consequential actions form part of a process, and any process has an 77 Henry Reynolds, An Indelible Stain, p. 91. 78 Ibid, p. 27. 86 intentional originating trigger, and all the actionable components that result are determined by the primary trigger and the hierarchy of nested triggers that follow, including the violent alienation of land through legislation, racist Governmental decisions, declarations of martial law, ‘dispersal’, subjugation and cultural repression. If I take your home and land and treat you as a trespasser if you return, and am legally able to shoot you because ‘I felt threatened’, or because there are no witnesses, it suggests that the British legal principles of property and trespass override any notions of what is right, and that the process of land alienation subverted natural justice and was the intended and expected cause of Lemkinian genocide in Australia. The reflexive argument is given further force by Sharon Morgan: It is important, however, that all history be written within the context of its period. Although it should be plain to anyone in the late twentieth century that the men and women who came to Van Diemen’s Land in the late nineteenth century were mercenary, racist and exploitative, their society’s view of them was far more kind. They called themselves settlers and believed that they had a holy mission to tame the land and render it productive. On the very rare occasion that a more enlightened contemporary pointed out they were indeed invaders, they were aghast.79 Well, no. Even Governor Arthur saw the catastrophic results of his land alienation policies, the primary driver of British economic priorities, but he would not pull back, not until he had resolved the humanitarian problem by a final solution, for which he was later rewarded by the British Government. And not before he had also rewarded himself handsomely through his land dealings before his departure. In Van Diemen’s Land, by 1824, at the end of Governor Sorell’s term, around 524,000 acres had been granted. Arthur then followed with a further 979,000 acres between 1824 and 1831. By year, these grants were 43,000 acres in 1824, 112,000 acres in 1825, 60,000 acres in 1826, 77,000 acres in 1827, 165,000 acres in 1828, 208,000 acres in 1829, 108,000 acres in 1830, and 206,000 acres in 1831. 79 Sharon Morgan, Land Settlement in Early Tasmania Creating an antipodean England: 4. 87 These grants did not include those made to private companies such as the Van Diemen’s Land Company, which had the direct backing of the British Government. Nor did Britain consider the rights of Aboriginals when making these grants. The VDL Company was formed in 1824 to provide wool to Britain. The Company wanted 500,000 acres, but was initially only granted half this amount. Sorell suggested an area in the northwest, near Cape Grim. By 1827, the company’s grant comprised 100,000 acres at Cape Grim, 26,725 acres on nearby islands, 20,000 acres at Circular Head, 150,000 acres at Surrey Hills, 10,000 acres at Hampshire Hills, 10,000 acres at Middlesex Plains and 50,000 acres along Emu Bay Road or nearly 367,000 acres. 80 Aboriginal trespass was unwelcome. 80,au/library/companion_to_tasmanian_history/V/VDL%20Co.htm 88 Figure 35. Location of land grants to 1823 81 Arthur was to triple this area by 1831, until all the best pastoral land was taken. In the pattern of increasing land allocation by Arthur, we see a small dip in 1830, but it then recovered the following year. The only citizens that Arthur did not allow to own land were the Aboriginals. This would also be the pattern across Australia. It was the primary trigger for genocide. We can go further, that genocide had a political use: to remove the Aboriginal encumbrance on ‘Crown’ land and private property; and to improve the value of property. As Governments became increasingly dependant on revenue from land to grow their economies, Aboriginals were in the way. Figure 36. VDL Acreage granted by year, from 1824 to 1831, excluding VDL Co. grants of 367,000 acres and grants to other companies such as Cressy Between 1824 and 1831, the rate of Tasmanian land alienation directly correlates with the rate of population increase, as we would expect. In this critical period for the future of the Palawa, the cumulative acreage allocated to pastoralists (excluding British grants to private 81 Source: Sharon Morgan, Land Settlement in Early Tasmania (1992): 21 43,000 112,000 60,000 77,000 165,000 208,000 108,000 206,000 0 50,000 100,000 150,000 200,000 250,000 1824 1825 1826 1827 1828 1829 1830 1831 Acreage granted by year 89 companies) almost tripled from 567,000 to 1.5 million acres. In the same period, the number of free settlers grew from 6,029 to 15,067 people. In 1829, Arthur wrote that ‘the finest portion of the Island has already been granted away’: The number of persons who have emigrated to the Colony during the Year 1828, was not very considerable compared with former years, and the quantity of land granted was but little more than 200,000 Acres. Of this quantity upwards of 50,000 Acres have been sold at an average of 58d ¾ per acre, and a considerable proportion has been given as Grants, in extension, subject to immediate Quit Rent. The finest portion of the Island has been already granted away, and the lands, remaining at the disposal of the Crown, are of course much less valuable from their remoteness from the Principal Towns. 82 To prevent Aboriginals from returning to their homelands, Arthur then embarked upon his ‘final solution’, where Aboriginals could legally be shot on sight under martial law, a proclamation that remained in force from 1828 to 1832. By 1829, most of the accessible fertile midlands and the east and northwest coastal strips were in the hands of pastoralists. By 1831, the cumulative land grants amounted to nearly 2 million acres, including the direct grants made by the British Government to the Van Diemen’s Land Company. To put this cumulative figure into perspective, in 2015, after around two hundred more years of land clearing since first settlement, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that Tasmania has about 24% of its total area given to agriculture, amounting to 1.7 million hectares or 4.2 million acres.83 The rest is mostly rugged terrain unsuitable for agriculture. 82 HRA 3/8, Arthur to Murray, 3 April 1829, Despatch No. 21: 304, and notes 235, 255, 317. The ‘land question’ is also exposed by Henry Melville, The History of Van Diemen’s Land From the Year 1824 to 1835; 116 – 137. 83 7123.6.55.001 – Agricultural State Profile, Tasmania, 2006-07 (last accessed 10 March 2015) 90 Figure 37. Cumulative VDL acreage granted by year, excluding VDL Co. direct grants of 367,000 acres, with exponential trendline overlaid. Arthur attempts to shift the blame for his genocidal land policies In January 1828, Arthur wrote to Viscount Goderich:84 On my succeeding to the Government, I found the quarrel of the Natives with the Europeans, occasioned by an unfortunate step of the officer in command of the Garrison, on the first founding of the Settlement, was daily aggravated by every kind of injury committed against the defenceless natives, by the Stockkeepers and Sealers; with whom it was a constant practice to fire upon them whenever they approached, and to deprive them of their women whenever the opportunity offered. I considered it my duty therefore to declare by Proclamation, that every individual found to have committed any criminal act of aggression upon the Aborigines, should be prosecuted before the Supreme Court. At the same time I enjoined the Magistrates and 84 Arthur to Goderich, 10 January 1828 [Despatch No. 2], HRA 3/7: 26 – 29. 567,000 679,000 739,000 816,000 981,000 1,189,000 1,297,000 1,503,000 0 200,000 400,000 600,000 800,000 1,000,000 1,200,000 1,400,000 1,600,000 1824 1825 1826 1827 1828 1829 1830 1831 Cumulative acreage granted by year 91 respectable Settlers to use every means to conciliate and protect them. The Proclamation I have reason to believe, was not without effect, and I endeavoured still further to cultivate a friendly intercourse, and at least make this attempt to civilize this abased race, on the occasion of the unexpected appearance of a Tribe at Hobart Town, by alluring them with the promise of food and clothing to repeat their visit. And I had formed the plan of establishing an institution, to which they might resort, in the hope that some might be persuaded to adopt the habits of civilized life. After stopping a few days, however, in the neighbourhood of Hobart Town, the Tribe went back to their haunts, and have not again returned: though to all appearances they were highly satisfied with the treatment they received; and made it understood that they looked upon the Governor as their protector. It is not a matter of surprise that the injuries, real and supposed, inflicted upon the blacks, have been revenged upon the Whites, whenever an occasion presented itself:and I regret to say that the Natives, led by a Sydney Black, and by two Aborigines of this Island – men partially civilized, (a circumstance which augers ill for any endeavour to instruct these abject beings) having committed many murders upon the shepherds and herdsmen in remote situations. And they have latterly assumed so formidable an appearance, and perpetrated suchrepeated outrages within the settled districts, that I have been pressingly called upon, by the Settlers in several Petitions, to adopt some measure which should effectually free them from these troublesome assailants – and from the nuisance of their dogs, which, originally purloined from the settlers, have increased to such a number, as to threaten to become a lasting pest to the Country. But it is much easier to complain, than to find a cure for the evil, which none of the Petitioners have ventured to suggest: and I have not thought proper to do more than afford the protection of some additional parties of police and military, and to point out by Government Notices, how far the Settlers could be justified by law, in making use of arms to drive off te Natives, who should present a hostile front. The necessity of taking some decisive step, however, becomes every day more apparent, as the Settlers advance on the favourite haunts of the natives, but I confess I find the subject exceedingly perplexing. The only remedy which I have heard proposed is to collect the Natives and remove themto some island in the Straits, wherethere is no lack of their accustome food, and where by teaching them the art of 92 cultivating the soil, (in the mean time supplying them with bread) they might provide their own sustenance; and, from the necessity which such a situation would impose, of becoming stationary, a better chance would be afforded of success, to any effort for their civikization. Not to mention the extreme difficulty of the scheme, nothing short of the last necessity could tolerate such an aggravation of their injuries, as they would unquestionably consider removing them from their Native tracts. They already complain that the white people have taken possession of their country, encroached upon their hunting grounds yed their Natural food – the Kangaroo: and they doubtless would be exasperated to the last degree, to be banished altogether from their favourite haunts – and as they would be ill disposed to receive instruction from their oppressors any attempt to civilize them, under such circumstances, must consequently fail. The measure which I would rather incline to attempt, is to settle the aborigines in some remote quarter of the island – which should strictly be reserved for them – and to supply them with food and clothing, and afford them protection from injuries by the stockkeepers, on condition of their confining themselves peaceably to certain limits, beyond which if they pass, they should be made to understand, they will cease to be protected. With this view I caused a letter to be addressed to the Commissioners of Lands, directing them to point out some eligible distrct, in which the trial may be made. The Commissioners have recommended the Nortnh East Coast “as being the most advantageous sitation for such a proposal”, conceiving “that food can be conveyed by water to that part with the least possible difficulty, and that the natives themselves, (if they can be induce to remain quiet) would prefer it to any other part, frequenting it as they continually do for shell fish, and also on account of its being the best sheltered part of the island”, and “remote from the settled districts”. What are we to make of Arthur’s self-serving attempt to manage the expectations of his superior? First, he attempted to shift the blame for poor relations on an incident almost twenty five years earlier. Then he further blamed stockkeepers and sealers for the violence. He did not hold himself to account, nor the process of land alienation, nor settlers’conduct. He failed to mention that some magistrates were guilty of violence against Aboriginals, for example, Curr, the manager of the VDL Company in the northeast. He advised Goderich of 93 his noble plans, but failed to carry most of them through. Finally, he neglected to inform Goderich that no settler was ever prosecuted for Aboriginal murder or mistreatment. Arthur viewed Aboriginal resistance as an ‘outrage’, for which he hanged four Aboriginal resistance leaders as exemplary punishment, causing huge Aboriginal resentment.85 Arthur referred to Aboriginals as ‘abject’, ‘abased’, ‘hostile’ and ‘evil’, when Baudin in 1802 had found them to be healthy and generally friendly. Arthur blamed everyone but himself. During his term, the violence escalated because of his land policies and Aboriginal extermination reached a peak. Smallpox did not reach Tasmania, so the excuse of an ‘Act of God’ in the form of this particular introduced disease cannot be used. There was another path that Arthur might have chosen: to stop the spread of settlement; and to uphold the rule of British Law, by prosecuting any British settler guilty of racial violence. He did neither. To have done so would have almost certainly caused a settler backlash that might have terminated his career. Nor did Arthur go through with his relocation plan for northeastern Tasmania, where he proposed to remove Aboriginals away from the settled areas. Instead, a few months later, he declared Martial law, where any Aboriginal could be shot on sight, with a bounty offered. Arthur settled on a policy of extermination. The stragglers were swept up by Robinson, who offered them various inducements on behalf of Arthur, including a ‘treaty’ arrangement and the possibility of returning to their homelands, if they would accept relocation to Flinders Island. Thus began the final extinction process of the full blood Palawa. The role of immigration in Tasmanian genocide While recognising the effect of his land policies on Aboriginal survivability, Arthur accelerated the rate of immigration and land alienation, supported by Britain. 85 From 1824 there was an escalation of Aboriginal resistance to invasive British occupation. The Aboriginal attacks on settlers were usually targeted, as reprisal for some injury. In 1825, Arthur hanged ‘Musquito’ and ‘Black Jack’, who were Aboriginal resistance fighters, followed by’ Jack’ and ‘Dick’ in 1826. [See NJB Plomley, Weep in Silence A history of the Flinder’s Island Aboriginal establishment (1987): 1 – 12; Henry Melville, The History of Van Diemen’s Land, 37-39, 55-59. Melville notes: but not one single individual was ever brought to a Court of Justice, for offences committed against these harmless creatures]. 94 Figure 38. Total Van Diemen’s Populaton (1824 – 1832), showing almost a tripling over 9 years together with an exponential trendline Between 1824 and 1832, the total Tasmanian population almost tripled, with the overall male to female ratio about 3 to 1. The Aboriginal population counts in this originating table were showing as negligible. There are a small number of military personnel and their families that are counted separately within the total.86 As the immigrant population increased, so did the demand for land, showing an almost exact correlation. 86 Robert Montgomery Martin, Statistics of the Colonies of the British Empire, 1839: 443. (last accessed March 2015) 0 5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000 25,000 30,000 35,000 Van Diemen’s Land Population (1824 – 1832) Total Population Total Free Total Convicts Expon. (Total Population) 95 Figure 39. Van Diemen’s land population from 180487 The role of armed oppression and ‘conciliation’ in genocide First, Aboriginal land was taken, then their lives, and finally their freedom. Between 1829 and 1834, Arthur sought ‘conciliation’ with the Tasmanian tribes through George Robinson.88 During this time, the killings continued, mainly against Aboriginals. Arthur was aware of many of the white perpetrators, and Robinson named them in his journals, but Arthur took no action to prosecute a single person during his long term of office, because it might upset the social order of settler society. Moreover, because he had imposed martial law from 1828 to 1832, Aboriginals had a bounty on their heads and could be shot on sight. However, he did threaten to hang some of the Aboriginal resistors as an ‘example’, until he was dissuaded, on the threat of public exposure of his racially and judicially biased administration. Nevertheless Arthur did proceed with the earlier hanging four Aboriginal men as exemplary punishment, to deter other resistors.89 No white person was ever punished for 87 Robert Martin, ibid, p. 434 88 Robinson’s ‘conciliatory’ gambits on behalf of Arthur to relocate Aboriginals involved a certain amount of trickery (what Robinson called ruse de guerre) and verbal inducements that he did not honour. Aboriginals reached agreement on a notional handshake. For the British, a handshake was not worth the paper it was written on. Also see James Boyce, Van Diemen’s Land (2008): 295 – 317. 89 During martial law, Arthur proposed to hang a captured Aboriginal chief called Eumarrah, but was dissuaded by Gilbert Robertson, the Chief Constable of Richmond, who had a much better understanding of ‘conciliation’ than Arthur or the Chief Justice (Pedder). During an exchange before the Executive, the Chief Justice said sharply ‘Mr. Robertson, do you consider that those men who were tried and executed here were murdered?’ Mr. Robertson ‘I do, indeed, your Honour.’See Henry Melville, The History of Van Diemen’s Land: 79-81. 96 killing an Aboriginal, probably because Arthur did not want to excite public resentment, and also because the British rules of evidence disallowed Aboriginal witness testimony. Between 1829 and 1834, George Robinson carried out a conciliatory ’friendly mission’ that induced about 300 exhausted and harried Aboriginals to surrender themselves progressively to his protection and eventual relocation, away from the settler death squads. Only 112 remained in 1835 (although a further number were brought in by Robinson, lifting the total to about 200). Arthur removed them to open imprisonment on Flinders’ Island, where they began to die out from the harsh conditions,90 hoping that Arthur would honour his promise for a treaty. It never came, not even when they made their request again, and this time directly to the British Government as a petition they wrote in 1846 and forwarded to the Secretary of State, Earl Grey in 1847. Nor did the British honour Robinson’s promise on behalf of Arthur that the Aboriginal detainees would be allowed during each summer to visit their homelands on the main island. Soon after receiving the petition, George Grey (concerned about the political fallout if more people became aware of the petition) instructed Governor Denison to repatriate the remaining handful of forty seven detainees from Wybalenna to Oyster Cove, south of Hobart.91 By this time, Grey probably believed that a treaty was no longer necessary, there being so few Aboriginals remaining. The last full blood of this unique race, Fannie Cochrane Smith, died in 1905. Was Wybalenna a place of exile or a place of imprisonment? 90 Wybalenna may have been relatively well equipped for the time, [Henry Reynolds, The Fate of a Free People: 176, 177], but it was completely unsuited to Aboriginal welfare, as Major Ryan urged, when he wrote to Arthur: If it is the wish of the Government to propagate the species it is our bounden duty to provide all the means that are in our possession for the accomplishment of so desirable an end – if not, I tremble for the consequences, the race of Tasmania, like the last of the Mohicans will pine away and be extinct in a quarter of a century. [They live in] an artificial society where most of their traditional food resources have been hunted out, and living in damp, poorly ventilated huts with impure water and inadequate provisions. [Lyndall Ryan, Tasmanian Aborigines: 228, citing ‘Report of Major Thomas Ryan’, March 1836, SLNSW ML A7063, vol. 24] Major Ryan was proved correct. 91 Some of this Grey/ Denison/ Darling/ Wilmot correspondence is held by the Tasmanian Archives, Governor to Secretary of State (draft despatch), 2 December 1847 (CSO 24/8/101), and for such a significant historical event, should really be more widely known, as it marked the end of a bloody period of ethnic cleansing. See FWAYAF Documents That Shaped Our Nation for a facsimile copy. 97 Some historians argue that Wybalenna on Flinder’s Island was a place of exile92, not detention, ignoring that the remaining Aboriginals were under the control of a military contingent and – for many years – a cruel Government appointed commandant, Dr. Jeanneret,93 who regarded them as prisoners with few rights. He watched them beginning to die from preventable diseases and did little to improve their conditions. Nor did the Tasmanian Government, of whom the Chief Justice firmly believed that the Aboriginals were being imprisoned as part of their ‘conciliation’ by Arthur and Robinson. The Executive Council Minutes for 23rd February 1831 reads, in part: The Colonial Secretary and Lieutenant-Colonel Logan were also of opinion that it would be advisable for Mr. Robinson to renew his mission to the Native tribes, and that other persons of respectability, and properly qualified for the undertaking, should be employed in the same manner, with a view to conciliate others of the hostile Natives, and try to induce them to go voluntarily to the establishment in the Straits, and place themselves there under the protection and care of the Government. The Chief Justice94 concurred with the other Members of the Council in advising the removal of the Natives from Swan Island to Gun-Carriage or any other of the adjacent islands which may be found adapted for their reception, and he advised the removal thither of such other of the Natives as may hereafter be captured during any hostile incursion made by them, and that they should be detained there until some satisfactory negociation could be concluded with the tribes to which they belong; but he could not recommend the adoption of measures tending to induce the Natives, in tribes, to consent to expatriation and imprisonment, until the absolute necessity of such measures was clearly manifested; for, notwithstanding Mr. Robinson’s opinion to the contrary, that, however carefully these people might be 92 See for example, Henry Reynolds, The Fate of a Free People: 10, 32, 154 93 Dr. Henry Jeanneret was commandant of the Wybalenna detention facility on Flinder’s Island between June 1842 and early 1844, when he was dismissed and then reinstated in early 1846, prompting the Aboriginal detainees to write a letter of petition to Queen Victoria, objecting to their living conditions, to Jeanneret’s treatment of them, and requesting that verbal fiduciary promises made to them on behalf of the Government be honoured. 94 Sir John Pedder (1793 – 1859): First Chief Justice of Tasmania, 1824-1854 98 supplied with food, they would soon begin to pine away when they found their situation one of hopeless imprisonment, within bounds so narrow as necessary to deprive them of those habits and customs which are the charms of their savage lfe; he meant their known love of change of place, their periodical distant migrations, their expeditions in search of game, and that unbounded liberty of which they have hitherto been in the enjoyment. Until Mr. Robinson had gone upon his mission, scarcely any hope had been entertained of opening an amicable intercourse with these people, but Mr. Robinson’s success justified a hope that was more attainable, and before his Honour could concur in the advice of the rest of the Council, he wished it to be ascertained whether some treaty could not be made with these people, by which their chiefs should engage for their tribes not to pass certain lines of demarcation which might be agreed upon, and that it should be proposed to them to allow an European agent to reside with them or accompany each tribe. He thought such agents would most materially contribute to maintain any amicable engagement of this sort which might be concluded. Up to the present moment, when aggressions had been made upon the Natives, they have not known to whom to complain, nor, had they known, could their evidence have been used to bring the offenders to justice: such agents would serve the double purpose of protecting the Natives on the one hand, and of checking any disposition towards hostility on their part on the other; and they would be constantly and usefully employed in endeavouring to reclaim the Natives from their savage state.95 Pedder correctly identified the island detention of Aboriginals as imprisonment, not exile. He was also probably the first to raise the possibility of a treaty. He was overruled by Arthur. The role of sexual predation, miscegenation and forced relocation in end stage genocide Some historians contend that no genocide was committed in Tasmania because mixed blood Aboriginals still exist, but this argument misunderstands the meaning of genocide as we know it today, under Article 2 of the Convention, which clearly defines genocide as more than mass killing. Arthur may have warmed to an offshore island as a place of Aboriginal 95 Extract of the minutes of the Executive Council, 23rd February 1831, Van Diemen’s Land copies of all correspondence: 82. 99 detention from his experience in managing carceral populations on Sarah Island and Maria Island, where escapes were few. Certainly, a similar stratagem was later used by other states as they sought secure places to hold remnant populations of Aboriginals who had managed to survive the rolling massacres. Often, Governments did not even bother with the pretext that island detention, such as the centre at Palm Island off the coast of North Queensland, was merely a ‘reserve’ under police control, set aside for their ‘protection’. Until well into the 20th century, such ‘reserves’ had a nightly curfew, solitary confinement for those who offered any small disobedience (such as singing when not allowed), and a poor diet of sugar, flour, lard and corned beef that caused malnutrition and preventable disease. These detention centres were a source of cheap domestic labour by some of the outlying stations. Any small wage was paid to a Protector, usually a policeman. It was rare that an Aboriginal saw their money. Few records were kept. Sometimes gaols were used as detention centres. Consider the use of Rottnest Island gaol in Western Australia, where Aboriginals (mostly from the violent north around Derby and the Kimberley) were shipped in the late 19th and early 20th centuries – often to die – for the smallest offences, but mostly because they were trespassing on what had been their land before it was taken over by pastoralists, or because they objected to the sexual predation on their womenfolk. Today, West Australian gaols are filled to capacity, with Aboriginals overly represented for ‘crimes’ as trivial as not paying traffic fines. Wybalenna 1835 – 1847 In 1835, Lieut. Governor Arthur removed the pitiful last 112 Aboriginals from the so-called ‘settled areas’ a mere thirty years after first settlement, and placed them in isolated captivity at Wybalenna on Flinders’ Island. 96 A further number of stragglers were rounded up and removed to Wybalenna shortly after, making a total of about 200. Compare this with the estimated original population of between 6,000 and 10,000 in 1803. At Wybalenna, the conditions were harshly unsuitable for the Palawa lifestyle. They began to die out under the extreme conditions, their food inadequate, their plight monitored by a Commandant, before the British Home Office belatedly intervened in 1847, perhaps realizing that a great wrong had been committed for which they might be judged. 96 Lyndall Ryan, Tasmanian Aborigines: 219 97 Ibid, p. 14, citing various sources, including: Jones, Tasmanian Tribes, 324-7; Plomley, Friendly Mission: 1006-13, although some modern estimates place the pre-contact population band between 8,000 and 15,000 100 Arthur did make representations to the British Government that, in future colonisation across Australia, some form of token treaty should be offered. Reynolds writes ‘While reflecting on what had gone wrong in Tasmania, Arthur urged the Colonial Office’s officials to negotiate treaties and arrange for the purchase of indigenous land in all future colonizing ventures. He pushed this policy in 1832, 1835 and 1837.’ 98 But this was after he had successfully dispossessed the Tasmanian Aboriginals, an example of ‘do as I say, not as I do’. The British Home Office rejected the treaty policy in Australia, as it did the humanitarian policy to set aside lands for Aboriginal use, if it ever gave them more than momentary consideration. Britain believed such policies were only needed if the indigenous people could not easily be overcome by force. Although the Tasmanian Aboriginals understood they had been offered a treaty by the Brtish Government’s representatives as an inducement to relocate, it never eventuated. Arthur did not see the need after he had secured what he wanted. Nor did the British Government. Such a treaty would go some way towards healing relationships, even today. Did Britain know their policies were genocidal? In evaluating Britain’s carefully crafted policies of dispossession in Tasmania, we must ignore the pious and hand wringing words from Arthur and his superiors. Instead, we must look at the British Government’s actions and their consequences. With Britain’s policies, words counted for little if they involved attempts at self-exoneration. Murray is saying he deplores the Aboriginal genocide, but he did nothing to prevent it, although it was in his power to do so. Arthur says that a treaty should be offered, and land set aside for exclusive Aboriginal use, but not by him. Racists would argue that the Tasmanian Aboriginals deserved to be exterminated, because they were the weaker race, but on this, they themselves must be judged. In 1831, George Murray99 wrote: The great decrease which has of late years taken place in the amount of the aboriginal population, render it not unreasonable to apprehend that the whole race of 98 Henry Reynolds, Fate of a Free People A Radical Re-examination of the Tasmanian Wars: 122- 124 99 Sir George Murray (1772 – 1846) was secretary of state for the colonies in Wellington’s administration from May 1828 to November 1830. Western Australia was founded during his term. Between January 1828 and 4 April 1831, Arthur’s correspondent in the Home Office was Sir George Murray. Arthur was unaware that Murray had been replaced by Lord Goderich on 22 November 1830. 101 these people may, at no distant period, become extinct. But with whatever feelings such an event may be looked forward to by those of the settlers who have been sufferers by the collisions which have taken place, it is impossible not to contemplate such a result of our occupation of the island as one very difficult to be reconciled with feelings of humanity, or even with principles of justice and sound policy; and the adoption of any line of conduct, having for its avowed or secret object the extinction of the native race, could not fail to leave an indelible stain upon the British government.100 But was it genocide? Did the cataclysmic Palawa depopulation and cultural destruction amount to genocide? By now the evidence for genocidal British land policies should be very clear. The Tasmanian Aboriginals were driven from their country and, when they resisted, were exterminated by various means, the few survivors being rounded up and held in detention. The trapped boundaries of a small island offered them no escape from their persecutors, although they fought for as long as possible. Other colonised areas took longer to achieve a similar result, because indigenous people had wider areas in which to move, but ultimately Aboriginals were no match for heavily armed mounted police101 and pastoralists who wanted nothing less than exclusive use of the land. Some will no doubt protest that there is disagreement on the size of the original Palawa population, which they believe may minimise the evidence for genocide. After all, the argument goes, if there were only a few hundred or even a few thousand in 1803, they might simply have died off from ‘natural causes’ because they were an inferior race,102 and if the numbers involved were not that great, then how can it be genocide? This is to misunderstand the Lemkinian meaning of genocide, as we know it now, but for the British Imperium was 100 See FWAYAF Recollections From a (Homicidal) Pastoral Frontier. George Murray, Secretary of State Despatch, 5th November, 1830. papers on Van Diemen’s land, 1831, No. 259, p. 56. 101 Mounted police and military were not used in Tasmania, otherwise the Palawa destruction might have happened more quickly. 102 This is the ‘doomed species’ theory, which became prevalent with flawed Darwinian thinking. 102 simply called extirpation or removal. It is also a logical fallacy, where absolute precontact numbers are less important than proportional depopulation numbers. If a race is destroyed by some intentional process, it hardly matters how many members there were originally, although perhaps it may invoke a question of relative culpability, if any is admitted. It is correct that the British kept few records of Tasmanian Aboriginal numbers. But there were discrete counts at particular events, such as the 1834/5 removal of remnant individuals to Wybalenna; or the subsequent population count in 1847, when the few survivors from Wybalenna were relocated to Oyster Cove, south of Hobart; or the final corroborated death records of the last two full blood Palawa: Trugernanner (Truganini) in 1876 and Fannie Cochrane Smith in 1905. 1803 1835 1847 1875 Originating population Population count 1835 % Reduction from 1803 Population count 1847 % Reduction from 1803 Population count 1874 % Reduction from 1803 3,000 200 93.3 47 98.4 2 >99.9 5,000 200 96.0 47 99.1 2 >99.9 6,000 200 96.7 47 99.2 2 >99.9 8,000 200 97.5 47 99.4 2 >99.9 15,000 200 98.7 47 99.7 2 >99.9 Figure 40. Percentage reduction in Palawa population Precontact estimates at 1803 vary widely. Estimates are between 3,000 and 5,000 (Rhys Jones),1034,000 (A.R. Radcliffe-Brown),104 9,000 (N.G. Butlin),105 4,000 to 6,000 103 Rhys Jones, Tasmanian Tribes: 325 – 330, contained in Appendix to Norman B. Tindale, Aboriginal Tribes of Australia: Their Terrain, Environmental Controls, Distribution, Limits and Proper Names (1974) 104 This is the minimum figure estimated by Radcliffe-Brown for the Official Year Book of the Commonwealth of Australia, 23 (1930): 672, 687 – 696. Radcliffe-Brown’s total population count for Australia was 300,000, but this figure is now known to be far too low, a more realistic band being within 750,000 to 1.2 million. This means that the Tasmanian figure would also increase by two to three. Based on Robert Orsted-Jensen’s 1788 pre-contact percentage population distributions [Frontier History Revisited (2011):10], Tasmania held about 1.4% of the total Aboriginal population. It is difficult to extrapolate from this difficult to verify base, given that the Tasmanian population barely survived through a few mixed blood individuals, the result mostly of sealer miscegenation, but 1.4% of 1,000,000 is 14,000. However Orsted-Jensen’s 1788 figure of 1.4% may derive from Radcliffe-Brown’s later 1930 estimate. Nevertheless a Tasmanian proportion of 1/50th the Australian 103 (NJB Plomley),106 5,000 to 7,000 (Henry Reynolds), 7,000 (Munro Hull),107 12,000 (Colin Pardoe),108 15,000 (David Davies). However, the powerful effect of proportional depopulation shows a cataclysmic reduction of 93.3% to 98.7% by 1835, and 98.4% to 99.7% by 1847, across an originating 1803 population between 3,000 and 15,000. These depopulation figures are consistent with genocide if they resulted from invasive and violent British occupation. They were such a result, as the British Government confirmed. A common counter argument is that disease and inter tribal conflict caused most of the depopulation,109 but the most lethal of introduced diseases, smallpox, did not make an appearance in Tasmania; and whatever conflict there was had been a constant for millennia, possibly from 40,000BC,110 during which time the population had been slowly increasing from an initial small group who made their way across the land bridge from the main continent during the ice age.111 What would the projected Palawa population be today, without invasive occupation by the British? From an originating 1803 population between 3,000 and 15,000, with a conservative population increase of .01% per annum from 1803 to 2014, the expected population may be about right, based on what we know of paleo demographics and relative land carrying capacity, but is subject to further verification. Also see HRA 3/8, note 472: 924 – 926. 105 Noel G. Butlin, Our Original Aggression (1983): 119 – 164. Tasmanian figures are interpolated from Butlin’s revised figures for Victoria; Economics and the Dreamtime (1993): 133-134. 106 NJB (Brian) Plomley, The Tasmanian Aborigines (1993 ): 27 107 Hugh Munro Hull, Statistical Account of Van Diemen’s land or Tasmania, from the date of its occupation by the British nation in 1804 to the end of the year 1823 (1856). 108 Colin Pardoe, Population Genetics and Population Size in Prehistoric Tasmania; Isolation and Evolution in Tasmania, Current Anthropology, Volume 32, Number 1, 1991: 1-22 109 For example, see Geoffrey Blainey, A Land Half Won: 75. 110 In 2009, an Aboriginal site called the Jordan River Levee was accidentally discovered north west of Hobart, while the area was being excavated for a road bypass. It has been dated to 40,000BC, making it possibly the oldest known site in Tasmania. 111 It may be possible (and has been argued by some) that an Easter Island phenomenon occurred for an indigenous population trapped on a small island, and that there may have been an escalation of inter-tribal conflict causing many deaths before the arrival of the British, but this is speculation, contradicting the recent evidentiary support provided by archaeological evidence for a growing population. [see for example Geoffrey Blainey, The Story of Australia’s People, Volume 1: The Rise and Fall of Ancient Australia (2015) who consistently contends that inter-tribal warfare and violence before British arrival were significant factors in keeping the Aboriginal population low, rejecting Noel Butlin’s assessment that the Aboriginal precontact population was much higher than Radcliffe-Brown’s 1930 estimate]. The fact is that the current population of Tasmania is over 510,000 and the island is still considered sparsely populated. , w 104 projected 2014 population is between 27,600 and 138,000, which is the nett projected Tasmanian Aboriginal population loss over 220 years. In a few tens of years, within a single generation, Britain had achieved the ethnic cleansing of an entire race. 112 Britain has never been called to task. There was never a formal enquiry.113 The key actors are now remembered for their titles and honours and wealth. Many applauded the extermination, including Charles Darwin, 114 who commented on the commercial value of not having an Aboriginal presence. Over the next century, Governments carried out a similar cleansing process for the rest of the continent, wreaking destruction on individual tribes in an extended land war that became intended genocide as the settler tsunami advanced, first abetted by the military, then with mounted police and other Government personnel at the vanguard, and always with heavily armed paramilitary pastoralists ready to contribute, their actions over and above the law, giving Aboriginals little redress when British justice disallowed their witness testimony. As to accountability for Aboriginal extermination in Tasmania, no one held themselves responsible, no one was punished, not Arthur, not British Governments, the Home Secretaries, the Secretaries of State, or the Colonial Governors. Perhaps they believed, like Darwin, Trollope and others,115 that it was best to exterminate the Aboriginals as quickly as possible, in one continuous violent assault, in order to take absolute possession of the land for the ‘greater good’. Perhaps they believed that the entire continent could be subdued in a Tasmanian like blitzkrieg, with detention for the survivors. It turned out to take much longer, and was far messier. Tasmanian ecocide, genocide, and collective behavioural dysfunction The connection between genocide and ecocide is too strong to ignore, and will be partially addressed in the Appendix. While it may be true that correlation is not causation, 112 See FWAYAF The Political Uses of Australian Genocide for a semantic typology and the way in which ethnic cleansing overlaps genocide. 113 HRA 3/9, Sir George Murray to Lieutenant-Governor Arthur, Despatch No. 43, dated 5 November 1830: 572 – 576; ‘[…] and the adoption of any line of conduct having for its avowed or for its secret object, the extinction of the Native race, could not fail to leave an indelible stain upon the Character of the British Government.’ 114 ‘All the aborigines have been removed to an island in Bass’s Straits, so that Van Diemen’s Land enjoys the great advantage of being free from a native population’; Charles Darwin, Voyage of the Beagle: 446-8. Also see the chapter 1836 Australia: Charles Darwin’s View of Aboriginals 115 See FWAYAF Recollections From a (Homicidal) Pastoral Frontier. 105 dysfunctional behaviour certainly can be. What the British brought to Tasmania was patterned purpose, of exploitation and of practised destruction. It began in 1803 with a British carceral population and unregulated sealers operating along the Tasmanian coastline. By the mid 19th century, it ended with uncontrolled Government land alienation, a flood of British immigrants, and the destruction of Palawa society. After the French explorer Nicolas Baudin made a remarkably accurate survey of the eastern coast of Tasmania in 1802, as part of an exceptionally productive scientific expedition, he wrote to Governor King in New South Wales: To my way of thinking. I have never been able to conceive that there was any justice or equity on the part of Europeans, in seizing, in the name of their governments, a land for the first time, when it is inhabited by men who have not always deserved the title of savages, or cannibals, which has been given to them, while they were but children of nature, and just as little savages as are actually your Scotch Highlanders or our peasants of Brittany, who, if they do not eat their fellowmen, are nevertheless just as objectionable. From this it appears to me that it would be infinitely more glorious for your nation, as for mine, to mould for society the inhabitants of the respective countries over whom they have rights, instead of wishing to dispossess those who are so far removed by immediately seizing the soil which they own and which has given them birth. These remarks are no doubt impolitic, but at least reasonable from the facts; and had this principle been generally adopted you would not have been obliged to form a colony by means of men branded by the law, and who have become criminals through the fault of the Government which has neglected and abandoned them to themselves. It follows, therefore, that not only have you to reproach yourselves with an injustice in seizing their lands, but also in transporting on a soil where the crimes and the diseases of Europeans were unknown, all that could retard the progress of civilisation, but which has served as a pretext to your Government. I have no knowledge of the claims which the French Government may 106 have upon Van Diemen’s Land, nor of its designs; but I think that its title will not be any better grounded than yours.” 116 Baudin’s enlightened views were unusual for his time, reflecting social revolutionary fervour and the general ‘rights of man’ rather than the ideology of imperial expansionism, and clearly, Britain did not agree with them. We can only imagine what Australia might now be like, or even Tasmania, if it had been colonised by the French. The British became alarmed at the French interest, and in September 1803, Governor King urgently despatched a contingent under the twenty three year old Lieutenant Bowen to establish a colony in the south of the island at Risdon Cove on the Derwent River, near present day Hobart. Britain then authorised the newly appointed Lieutenant-Governor David Collins to take over from Bowen. Collins arrived at Hobart in February 1804. The arrival of the British on the island was at first welcomed by the Aboriginals, but in May 1804 an Aboriginal party hunting kangaroo near Risdon Cove was fired upon by heavily armed Marines under the command of Lieutenant William Moore, with an unknown number (some reports up to 50) killed and wounded. No one was charged or held to account. The Aboriginal deaths were swept aside. Relations never recovered and would set the pattern for what was to follow across Australia, with genocidal dispossession and extermination shaping the pastoral frontier advance. In October 1804, King instructed Lieutenant-Colonel Paterson to establish a further outpost at Port Dalrymple in the north of Tasmania on the Tamar River estuary. In Tasmania, after the 1804 Risdon Cove massacre, there began an immediate period of racial and ecological destruction, an intended consequence of misguided British carceral policy and the compulsive desire for immigrant self-enrichment, where the land was deemed to have no owner, leaving the ‘Crown’ to claim sovereignty. By 1830, most of the Palawa had been destroyed and ecological destruction was well advanced. It is the same story over and over, the same behavioural pattern. The British ignored indigenous rights, whether human or other species, and exploited a resource to depletion and population collapse. They were often driven by money, and lucrative short-term advantage, not sustainability. It will be of no surprise that most of the Tasmanian Aboriginals (Palawa) 116 Nicolas Baudin in response to a letter from Governor King, 1802: Ernest Scott, Terre Napoleon, A History of French Explorations and Projects in Australia For some reason, the authoratitive Historical Records of New South Wales, Volume 4, Hunter and King 1800 – 1802, edited by F.M. Bladen, 1896 does not include this important letter. 107 were exterminated so quickly within the trapped confines of a relatively small island, in the mere span of thirty years, although there remain many who still claim no genocide was involved. But it was genocide, and it was driven initially by pastoralism, as it would be in time for the rest of the continent. For pastoralism provided the commercial impetus that pushed invasive expansion in a way that building gaols could never achieve. Pastoralism in Tasmania played a role in indigenous extermination more generally, extending beyond native Aboriginal populations to native species. Consider examples of ecocide caused by the early British occupation of Tasmania, a process whose effects continue today. We should begin to see a malignant pattern, where there is a common behavioural dysfunction for genocide and ecocide: Tasmanian Thylacine (Thylacinus cynacephalus) By 1936, the marsupial Tasmanian thylacine (or the misnamed Tasmanian Tiger or sometimes ‘hyaena’) had been driven to extinction. The Government placed successive bounties on its head, under pressure from pastoralists who falsely claimed the thylacine killed sheep. In fact, escaped domestic dogs were usually the culprits. The analogy goes further. In 1803, the numbers of indigenous humans and thylacines were roughly similar, being an estimated 5,000 for the thylacine, and perhaps 6,000 to 10,000 for the Aboriginals (although this figure has recently been revised upwards to a band between 8,000 and 15,000). Both Aboriginal and thylacine were exterminated because they competed with pastoralists for access to the land. Sheep farmers demanded nothing less than exclusive use of their ‘property’. Extermination was the answer. And for that answer Britain must be judged. A list of the early Tasmanian landowners would be conducive to understanding those who were complicit in Aboriginal ethnic cleansing and thylacine extermination. Similar pastoral behaviours drove both types of dysfunction.117 117 Edward Lord was a major but notoriously inefficient Tasmanian landowner, who was one of the first to press the Goverment for a thylacine bounty, along with Edward Curr, the manager of the Van Diemen’s Land Company in the northwest, who was also a magistrate and perpetrator of Aboriginal killings. In fact, most of the sheep killings were due to feral dogs. [See John West, The History of Tasmania; Sharon Morgan, Land Settlement in Early Tasmania]. In 1830, Curr placed a private bounty of five shillings for every ‘hyaena’ killed. Curr was attempting to deflect blame for his poor profitability, and used the thylacine as a scapegoat for his mismanagement. In 1888, the Tasmanian Government placed a bounty of £1 each for scalps of adults and ten shillings each for juveniles (where £2 was considered a good weekly wage). The last authenticated killing of a wild thylacine was in the Mawbanna district of northeastern Tasmania in 1930. The Tasmanian Government, belatedly realising its policy failure, gave the thylacine full legal protection in July 1936, but it was after the extermination was almost complete. The last thylacine died two months later, alone and pacing distractedly about, in a pitifully small pen at a private Beaumaris zoo in 1936. [ ] 108 Angasi oyster The Aboriginals of the Great Oyster Bay tribe (Paredarerme) had lived semipermanently and sustainably in the area of Oyster Bay on the East coast for tens of millennia, where there was a ready supply of food. When the British fishermen moved into the area, they wasted no time in harvesting the native Angasi oyster as Tasmania’s first shellfish export industry. Between 1860 and 1870, the British shucked, pickled and shipped back to England over 90,000 tons and 22 million of the indigenous oysters, and the supply quickly collapsed through over exploitation in a mere decade, the oyster beds stripped bare. The oyster shells also provided lime for mortar. While Britain saw natural resources with covetous eyes, the Aboriginals saw an enlightened coexistence with Nature, where time was measured in millennia, not a person’s lifetime. Only one view was sustainable, and that view was prosecuted through the use of weaponry. Sustainability was measured in the proclivity to violence, in how to make opposition succumb through force. For as long as Nature was reduced to a form of property, we live with the results today.118 Black swans (Cygnus atratus) had used the important breeding ground at Moulting Lagoon near Oyster Bay since time immemorial, with Aboriginals making sustainable use of their eggs and meat. With the arrival of British pastoralists from the early 1800s, the swan population was almost wiped out, with eggs and meat being sent to the colony in Hobart. Fortunately, they are now a protected species and numbers are slowly recovering in the sanctuary of the Lagoon. Southern Right whales (Eubalaena australis) can weigh between 47 and 80 tonnes, making them just ‘right’ for shore based whalers. Between 1828 and 1838, Tasmanian whalers killed around 3,000 southern right baleen whales, without any regard to sustainability. The once pristine waters of toponymic Wine Glass Bay, a perfect arc of white sand near Cape Tourville on the Freycinet Peninsula, were blood red. The whale population collapsed but is beginning to recover slowly, with its estimated total population in 2008 about 10,000. Tasmanian fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus) are mostly located on the islands of Bass Strait, where they were hunted by sealers from the late 1790s. The sealers also predated on 118 The Parliamentary Report on Fisheries of Tasmania, Report of the Royal Commission (Fisheries of Tasmania 1882); Shellfish Reefs at Risk, p. 16 Risk-06.18.09-Pages.pdf 109 Aboriginal women,119 and it is from this descendant population that many mixed-race Tasmanian Aboriginals now originate, the unique Palawa full blood race having been forced into extinction by 1905. Tasmanian Devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) has been ravaged by Tasmanian Devil facial tumour disease (DFTD), an infective (allograft) transmissible non-viral cancer that was first identified in 1996 and may have been caused in a single individual by mutagenic chemicals used by Tasmanan Forestry in its pine plantations at Mount William in the northeast (the epicentre of the disease). Tasmanian Forestry has also been implicated in degraded water quality and human lesions at St. Helens, a pretty fishing village on the east coast, for which Mt. William is the catchment area. In 2008, high levels of potentially carcinogenic flame retardant chemicals were found in northeastern Tasmanian devils. Preliminary results of tests of fat tissue revealed high levels of hexabromobiphenyl (BB153) and “reasonably high” levels of decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE209). Today, Tasmania is a quiet retreat from its bloody past, but it still struggles to resist Government environmental vandalism, including the flooding of magnificent Lake Peddar in 1972 for a barely needed hydroelectric development at Lake St. Clair;120 or the onging demand by commercial loggers to clearfell areas for wood. 121 Or the wiping out of two thousand year old Huon pines (Lagarostrobos franklinii) of which genus it is the sole species, and had the misfortune to be very light and extremely resistant to rot, making it ideal for ship building. Or the moonscape desolation of the environment on the way from Devonport to the magnificent protected wilderness of the Cradle Mountain National Park; or the Gunn’s pulp mill approved in 2007 by the Commonwealth Government (Malcolm Turnbull, Environment Minister) for the unspoilt upper Tamar valley, but which ultimately failed for the lack of 119 Some Palawa descendants try to reclaim their history by asserting that their women were deliberately offered to sealers in trade, to preserve the blood line, because they saw no future for themselves as a race, being shot at by graziers if they used their own hunting grounds. However, most of the evidence supports sexual predation by whites as the major reason for mixed progeny. 120 My friend, Olegas Truchanas, a photographer and tireless environmental campaigner, lost his life while trying to take pictures of Lake Peddar befor it was inundated forever. 121 Images of clear felling in Tasmania’s Styx valley. t 7&bih=714&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=VP30VIGBDaHUmgX44IAw&ved=0CBwQsAQ&dpr =0.9 110 investment capital. Or the close escape of the upper Gordon and Lower Franklin Rivers from yet another unnecessary hydro-electric scheme, first proposed in 1978, then violently pushed by the State Government against huge public protests, approved by the Malcolm Fraser Federal Government, and fortunately overturned in 1983 by the Hawke Government, without whose intervention we would not now have a magnificent World Heritage area. More recently, as at 2015, the unspoilt Tarkine on the west coast is potentially at risk from commercial development and the Abbott Government wants to withdraw World Heritage protection for some areas such as the Styx Valley because they have previously been ‘degraded’ by logging. And if we listen carefully, we can still hear the dying cries of Aboriginals in the vandiemonian wind. We begin to see a persistent pattern. We know that not all cultures have the same behavioural characteristics or phenotypes. We have the example of Aboriginal society, which managed the Australian continent like sculptured gardens, and sustained the environment for millennia as a natural park.122 British culture was different. The same acquired behaviours that drove the extermination of full blood Tasmanian Aboriginals continue to drive ecocide. Tasmania is not alone in this affliction. It is a trans-generational normative behavioural disorder, probably epigenetic in origin,123 which places self-interest ahead of tightly defined group interest, and then the interest of the group beyond, an ‘us and them’ ideology, where ‘we’ once considered the indigenous population as ‘them’, a wholly racist dogma. This normative behavioural pathology has now moved us to oppose another group: it is ‘us’ against the environment and all its dependant species, the urge to exploit without end becoming an overriding priority on the fragile lifeboat we call Earth. The great Australian land war is over, but the war endures. We are now ‘them’. Unsustainable exploitation has become self-destruction. The enemy is now ‘us’. 122 See Bill Gammage, The Biggest Estate on Earth How Aborigines made Australia 123The research field of behavioural epigenetics is rapidly expanding. For a cross section, see, for example, Shannon Sullvan, Inheriting Racist Disparities in Health: Epigenetics and the Transgenerational Effects of White Racism ; Jason Antrosio, Epigenetics on the Edge of Human Nature Goodbye to all that and J. Stephen Pearson, Journal of American Ethnic History Vol. 31, No. 4 (Summer 2012): 127-129, Published by: University of Illinois Press Article Stable URL: 7883 111 The partial case for intentional genocide: Queensland124 The newly formed Government of Queensland could have chosen a different path that recognised Aboriginal rights. With economic priorities in mind, it coldly and carefully chose not to. Aboriginals were treated as trespassers on their homelands. If they resisted the invasive occupation, they were pursued and shot. The Queensland land war In July 2014, Raymond Evans and Robert Ørsted–Jensen produced a paper for the Australian History Association conference, which was widely reported in newspapers: ‘I Cannot Say the Numbers that Were Killed’: Assessing Violent Mortality on the Queensland Frontier. The paper was insightful and deeply sobering. The Brisbane Times reported ‘the estimated death toll was at least on a par with Australian casualties during World War I’. 125 Using aggregated datasets of police operations and extensive primary details of ‘collisions’, the paper revised upwards, by a factor of at least three, the numbers of Aboriginals killed in the Queensland land war, which was a fractal part of what happened across Australia as the British violently occupied the land. This is a summary of their findings, including the timeframe for samples and arising statistics: 126 Numbers killed in Queensland Land War 1850s to 1897 1860 to 1897 Upper limit (indigenous) Lower limit (indigenous) Lower limit (indigenous) Total (indigenous plus nonindigenous) indigenous Nonindigenous Total (indigenous plus nonindigenous) 124 The complete analysis is in FWAYAF The Political Uses of Australian Genocide 125 Brisbane Times, 17 July 2014; 126 Raymond Evans, Robert Ørsted–Jensen, ‘I Cannot Say the Numbers that Were Killed’: Assessing Violent Mortality on the Queensland Frontier, The Australian Historical Association, ‘Conflict in history’, July 2014 Also see John Harris, Hiding the bodies: the myth of the humane colonisation of Aboriginal Australia, 2001 112 115,000 66,680 65,180 1,500 61,680 Figure 41. Number of Queensland Aboriginals killed (Orsted-Jensen, Evans estimates) This histogram of the numbers killed by decade is a first order approximation of the dataset developed by Orsted-Jensen and others, based on their painstaking review of the primary sources. The dataset has not yet been cleaned or filtered. Nor has the dataset yet been submitted to a probability density functional analysis. Most of the police operational reports of the killing events have been purged from the public record as part of Government ‘data retention’ policy, so the Orsted-Jensen figures are likely to be under stated by a significant amount. Figure 42. Number of Aboriginals killed in Queensland by decade The statistical table shows that the average number of those killed per ‘dispersal’ gradually increased by decade, a likely result of increasingly lethal and more efficient weaponry in the hands of police and patoralists. The killing began to level off in the 1880s, almost certainly because the Aboriginal resistance had largely been broken across the state and end stage Lemkinian genocidal phases were about to begin, involving cultural destruction and forced relocation. The numbers of those Aboriginals killed is also broken down by locality and decade, showing the direct correlation with Seymour’s police deployment spreadsheets for an area and period. The median of 10 deaths for most decades is an artefact of the estimating assumption that the likely minimum number of those killed in any one dispersal is 10. 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 20s 30s 40s 50s 60s 70s 80s 90s Number killed by decade (Queensland) Number killed 113 Statistics for Aboriginals killed in Queensland: per collision and per decade Decade Number of collisions Average number of Aboriginals killed per collision (or ‘dispersal’) Median number of killings across all collisions Total number of Aboriginals killed for the decade 20s 4 1 1 4 30s 4 12.3 7 49 40s 15 141 10 1410 50s 36 27.9 10 1004 60s 148 15.8 10 2331 70s 49 18.7 10 917 80s 9 39.4 50 355 90s 3 6.3 8 19 Totals 268 6,089 Figure 43. Statistics for Aboriginals killed in Queensland127 As the Queensland pastoral frontier grew, so did the violence, where mounted police and paramilitary pastoralists were judge and jury. The consequence of Aboriginal resistance was summary justice. Few body counts were kept. Corpses were burnt, to destroy the evidence, or left to rot, if the area was remote. What we have left is a massive depopulation effect, greater than 90% within a century, which has previously been explained disingenuously as ‘a mysterious process’ where the Aboriginals died because they were ‘unfit to survive’. Queensland population statistics128 Government land and immigration policies, supported by armed force, drove Aboriginal depopulation. Queensland immigration was heavily subsidised from 1861. As the size of the white population grew, the Aboriginal population diminished in proportion. Aboriginal society was removed or marginalised, with little consideration for their human rights or ongoing welfare. Aboriginals were not permitted to own land. If they trespassed on their homelands, their existence was often forfeit. Remnant survivors were removed to detention centres from the late 19th century, their lives heavily controlled by racist legislation. 127 Source: Orsted-Jensen dataset (Excel) unpublished 128 Queensland Past and Present: 100 years of statistics, 1896 – 1996, Chapter 3 Demography Section 1: 63 – 68 114 Year Qld (,000) % of Australia 1896 453 12.7 1900 494 13.1 1905 531 13.2 1910 599 13.5 1915 685 13.8 Figure 44. Queensland population counts: 1896 – 1915 (excludes Aboriginals)129 The precontact Aboriginal population for Queensland is estimated at between 34.2% and 38.2%130 of a total Aboriginal population between 750,000 and 1.2 million, making the Queensland 1788 population band between 255,000 and 458,400. Large scale Aboriginal killings conducted by the Queensland Government began to taper off towards the end of the 19th century. Assuming a modest 0.01% per annum population growth over 111 years from 1900 until 2011, the originating population in 1901 was about 51,632.131 That is, the Queensland Aboriginal depopulation from precontact until 1900 in the limiting case is between 203,368 and 406,368 people, assuming no population replacement.132 Conversely, if we project the Queensland Aboriginal precontact population (between 255,000 and 458,000) with a continuous increase of .01% per annum from 1788 to 2011, the expected projected 2011 population is between 2.35 and 4.21 million, which is a nett projected Queensland Aboriginal population loss between 2.2 and 4.1 million.133 This is the true scale of Queensland Government genocidal policies. Queensland was not alone. All 129 Source: ABS, Year Book, Australia, various years; ABS, Australian Demographic Trends, 1986, Cat. no. 3102.0; ABS, Australian Demographic Statistics, March Quarter 1997, Cat. no. 3101.0; ABS, unpublished data. 130 Robert Prsted-Jensen, Frontier History Revisited, Colonial Queensland history and the ‘history war’ (2011): 10, 11. 131 The calculated 1901 Queensland indigenous population, p = 155,825 / (1.01111) = (155,825 / 3.018) = 51,632. This figure includes Torres Strait Islanders. The figure does not reconcile with the enumerated ABS indigenous population count for 1911 for all of Australia of about 31,000, but is roughly consistent, within an order of magnitude. The difference may be accounted for if the population growth was greater than 0.01% per annum. The demographic difficulty further arises because Governments at the pre-federation state level did not see the need to include Aboriginals as part of the irregular population count. Aboriginals were not seen to be human beings or citizens. They were not enfranchised until 1967. 132 This was the popular ‘dying race’ theory. 133 (2,350,000 – 155,825) = 2.2 million; (4,210,000 – 155,825) = 4.1 million. 115 states made their contribution towards massive Aboriginal depopulation from the time of first British settlement. In 2011, the Australian Bureau of Statistics conducted a national census that included Aboriginals. Queensland recorded 155,825 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, or 28.4% of the national indigenous total of 548,370.134 The role of land policy in Queensland genocide We are interested in the contextual history of the Murdering Creek event, which leads us to focus on the early period of Herbert’s Government from 1860 to 1863, a time when economic priorities were foremost and Aboriginals were an encumbrance, a feral pest to be exterminated. The first Government statistical register for 1862 is revealing. Nowhere is Aboriginal welfare or the setting aside of Aboriginal land mentioned. Herbert’s priorities were to grow the revenue and the population. 135 In 1862, almost a third of the total area of Queensland had been occupied (194,000 square miles136 out of a total of 678,000 square miles), with 10,975 white males counted. By the turn of the century, almost all the available land was occupied in some manner, and the white population had grown fifty-fold.137 Aboriginal society was simply broken and pushed aside. It still struggles today, much of it existing at the margins, on reserves or in remote areas, out of the public mind. 134 135Statistical register for 1861, Registrar-General’s Office, Brisbane, 14th July 1862, addressed to Robert Herbert, Colonial Secretary and premier 136 Land sales up to 1863 amounted to 213,123 acres, a small part of what was occupied. There are 640 acres in a square mile, so 194,000 square miles is 124.2 million acres. Therefore only 17% of the land was accounted for through alienation in fee. 137 116 Figure 45. Occupied area of Queensland (1862)138 In the Registrar-General’s report for 1863, he writes that land sales were £135,615, although only £40,007 was received, the balance of £95,608 being received in land orders for immigrants.139 In 1862, land revenue was £192,585, increasing to £223,436 in 1863.140 With no place to call home, Aboriginals became homeless. Destitution soon followed. Figure 46. Land alienated for sale (1859 – 1863)141 138 Ibid, statistical register: 2 139 Registrar-General’s Statistical Register 1863 for Herbert (colonial secretary and premier), p. 13. The detailed report is notable for the absence of any reference to Aboriginals, except as an expenditure cost for the native police, which is set out on pp. 33, 34. 140 Ibid, p. 13. These statistics do not always reconcile with each other. For example, s ee the summary statistics, p. 15. He writes that in 1862 the amount realised from land sales was £106,619, increasing to £108,828 in 1863. 141 Ibid: 9, 15 0 50000 100000 150000 200000 250000 1859 1860 1861 1862 1863 Cumulative land sales (acres) Cumulative land sales (acres) 117 118 119 Figure 47. Government land transactions, 1863 (1 of 3), ibid, p. 61 120 121 Figure 48. Government land transactions, 1863 (2 of 3), ibid, p. 62 122 123 Figure 49. Government land transactions (1863), (3 of 3), ibid, p. 63 124 The Registrar –General’s report for 1863 on Government land transactions show just how far invasive occupation had spread across the newly formed Queensland state within a few years. It was a land rush. For Aboriginal society it was a blitzkrieg. We see Government land returns for Moreton, Darling Downs, Port Curtis (near Gladstone), Wide Bay and Burnett, Kenedy, Leichhardt and Maranoa. Only the far north and northwest were untouched. Over the ensuing thirty years, all of Queensland would be turned into property of some form or other. Towards the end of the century, the far north into Cape York would become the new battleground, as the war of possession continued. Queensland would achieve a reputation for bloody violence. The role of immigration policy in Queensland genocide The Electoral Roll for the March 1861 revision shows the spread of settlement across the various Queensland electorates, a process that would rapidly expand before the end of the century. Figure 50. Comparative returns of electors on the Roll: 1860, 1861 and 1862142 One of Herbert’s first pieces of legislation, after land alienation, was to put funds aside for accelerated immigration, and force Aboriginal dispossession through the expanded use of heavily armed mounted police.143 142 Ibid, statistical register: 4 143 25th Victoria, No. 3: to raise through loans an amount of £123,800 for immigration and £33,478 in 1862 for all police (including the native police). 125 Figure 51. Queensland budget allocation, 1862144 Comparative census results of total population (excluding Aboriginals) April 1861 Census December 1862 (estimated) December 1863 (estimated) January 1864 Census 30,059 45,077145 59,712146 61,640147 Figure 52. Comparative Queensland census and estimated results (1861 – 1864) 148 The gender imbalance of about 3:2 in the white population created a shortage of white women, leading to sexual predation on Aboriginal women. 144 Ibid, statistical register: 5 145 Ibid, p. 2. For 1862, the Registrar-General calculated that immigration accounted for 11,727 people. For the total population, the breakdown is : males 27,186, females 17,891. The proportion was about 1.5 : 1, creating a shortage of women. 146 Ibid, p. 2. For 1863, the population gender breakdown is: males 37,579, females 24,061. The relative proportion has increased to about 1.6 : 1. 147 Ibid, p. 2. For 1864, the gender breakdown is: males 37,579, females 24,061. The relative proportion remains at about 1.6 : 1. 148 Queensland statistical register 1863, Registrar-General, p. 2 126 Figure 53. Queensland population growth (1859 – 1863)149 During Herbert’s term, from 1859 to 1863, his Government’s immigration policies saw the white population increase from 25,146 to 61,640, with a corresponding increase in land alienation and sales. During this period, land sales (land alienated in fee by the Crown) grew from 23,587 acres to 62,948 acres with a cumulative total of 213,123 acres; cattle from 432,890 to 880,392; and sheep from 3,166,802 to 5,672,400. Figure 54. Growth in livestock (1859 – 1863)150 149 Ibid, p. 15. 0 10,000 20,000 30,000 40,000 50,000 60,000 70,000 1859 1860 1861 1862 1863 Queensland population growth (1859 – 1863) Males Females Total 0 1000000 2000000 3000000 4000000 5000000 6000000 1859 1860 1861 1862 1863 Live stock growth (1859 – 1863) Cattle Sheep 127 Figure 55. Queensland statistics (1859 – 1863) inclusive151 An Aboriginal life was worth less than that of a head of livestock. The regularised punishment for cattle spearing or sheep killing was death. Poisoning was preferred because it allowed plausible deniability. But vigilante death squads were frequently invoked, if the 150 Ibid, p. 15 151 Ibid, p. 15 128 circumstances allowed a justifiable reprisal, say the killing of a stock keeper. In the event, no white was convicted of killing an Aboriginal until well into the 20th century. The political uses of Queensland genocide The process of genocide in Queensland was legislated and intentional, as it would be for the other states, and as it had been for Tasmania. The period of Herbert’s first term established the pattern of what was to follow, as Aboriginal society was destroyed and catastrophic depopulation with it. While Britain progressively granted self-government to its Australian colonies, it continued to support genocide by the sale of armaments. It maintained an amused detachment as it saw the violence play out and rarely interfered, except perhaps on one occasion, when it refused to allow Queensland to annex New Guinea, being rightly fearful that there would be a blood bath of the kind they had already seen in that state.152 This would have been a step too far, even for Britain. In 1883, the British High Commissioner Sir Arthur Gordon wrote to the British Prime Minister Gladstone: The habit of regarding natives as vermin, to be cleared off the face of the earth, has given to the average Queenslander a tone of brutality and cruelty in dealing with the ‘blacks’ which it is very difficult for anyone who does not know it, as I do, to realize I have heard men of culture and refinement, of the greatest humanity and kindness to 152 Peter Overlack, Queensland’s Annexation of Papua: a background to Anglo-German friction In 1883, the Queensland Premier, Sir Thomas McIlwraith, unilaterally attempted to annex that part of New Guinea not claimed by the Dutch, which was the area controlled by the Germans. McIlwraith was supported by the Queensland Governor, Sir Arthur Kennedy. The British Colonial Office under Lord Derby repudiated McIlwraith’s action, more for geo-political reasons than anything else. In 1884, the territory became a British protectorate, with Germany keeping control of the North (Papua New Guinea), and the Dutch retaining the rest. Britain’s options were limited when there were competing territorial interests from other European powers, particularly the Germans. At the time, Britain needed German support, and was further driven by anxiety that Germany might align itself with France. Nevertheless, in 1888, Papua New Guinea was annexed as a British Crown Colony. Queensland’s interests in the area were motivated by the prospects of resource exploitation and the lure of wealth, although it denied that it was also interested in cheap labour for sugar plantations. Who can imagine the fearful depopulation that may have occurred, if Queensland under McIlwraith had secured its intentions for annexation? McIlwraith continued to rail against Britain’s decision, which was informed more by the territorial ambitions of other European powers than any humanitarian concerns. McIlwraith repeatedly argued in Parliament that New Guinea should be a ‘portion of Queensland’, but at the time, Britain could over-rule colonial Governments, and could continue so, until Federation in 1901. 129 their fellow whites, and who when you meet them at home you would pronounce to be incapable of such deeds, talk, not only of the wholesale butchery (for the iniquity of that may sometimes be disguised from themselves) but of the individual murder of natives, exactly as they would talk of a day’s sport, or of having to kill some troublesome animal.153 For the newly separated state of Queensland, the priority was to find money and manage the land expectations for newly arriving settlers, who saw their opportunity to make rapid wealth. But Aboriginals were in the way. Legislation was a priority. First, the Queensland Government repealed the bunya reserve in 1860, set aside for Aboriginals in 1842. Then there was the need to alienate more ‘Crown’ land, also in 1860. But the influx of settlers had to be protected from Aboriginals who might object to their dispossession. So the Government also held an 1861 enquiry into police methods, ostensibly because some pastoralists objected to the wanton Aboriginal slaughter by roving mounted police. In fact, the Government wanted to make the police killings more efficient, and because of the enquiry, ordered that the latest weaponry be acquired from Britain, to facilitate the ‘dispersal’ policy. The process of Aboriginal depopulation in Queensland grew quicker. Immigration was accelerated, creating a greater demand for land, in turn requiring more practiced roving police methods to put down the inevitable Aboriginal resistance, as the frontier inexorably advanced. Thousands of Aboriginals were to be massacred in Queensland over the next thirty years, as the pastoral frontier pushed north. It would not slow down until the pastoralists had won and the process of dispossession and depopulation was more or less complete. Genocide then moved to the next phase of subjugation and repression, with stolen children, stolen wages and stolen hopes. 153 British High Commissioner Arthur Hamilton Gordon to Prime Minister Gladstone, private letter, April 1883, quoted in P. Kaplund, Sir Arthur Gordon on the New Guinea Question 1883, Historical Studies, Volume VII, 1955-7: 330-1. I am indebted to Ray Evans for this quote from: Evans, Saunders, Cronin, Race Relations in Colonial Queensland A history of exclusion, exploitation and extermination, p. 78. At the time, Queensland was pressing the British Government to allow the annexation of Papua New Guinea as a Queensland territory. To their credit, Britain refused the request, although it had done almost nothing about the carnage in Queensland and the other states for the previous 100 years. Britain’s decision may have prevented considerable further slaughter, if Australia’s unique brand of ‘civilising the blacks’ had been allowed to spread north. 153 Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions 130 Was the continuing Government Aboriginal policy racist? The 1967 Aborigines Referendum154 The Constitution: The original Australian Constitution made two references to Australia’s Indigenous persons in Sections 51 (xxvi) and 127: 51. The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to: – (xxvi.) The people of any race, other than the aboriginal people in any State, for whom it is deemed necessary to make special laws 127. In reckoning the numbers of the people of the Commonwealth, or of a State or other part of the Commonwealth, aboriginal natives shall not be counted. The reasons for these provisions were threefold. On a practical level there was a concern that to include Aboriginal people in a census might distort the number of House of Representatives seats to be allocated to the different states. A second factor was the widelyheld belief that Aboriginal people were ‘dying out’ and, hence, would soon cease to be a factor in questions of representation. Finally, many believed that indigenous people were not intellectually worthy of a place in the political system. Shortly after the new Constitution came in to force, the general view in the new national Parliament was that expressed by a Western Australian Senator who stated that there was a need to ‘take some steps to prevent any aboriginal … from acquiring the vote’. A Tasmanian Member of Parliament (MP) 154 This article was contributed by Scott Bennett of the Information and Research Services section of the Parliamentary Library, Canberra. From 1965 to 1998 Mr Bennett lectured in Political Science at the University of NSW, the Royal Military College and the Australian National University. He has published extensively in the area of Australian politics and political history. 131 dismissed the need to include indigenous people in a national census: ‘There is no scientific evidence that he is a human being at all’. 155 Figure 56. Murdering Creek massacre process flow diagram in the context of Queensland Government policy (1860 – 1865)156 Murdering Creek became a relatively small mass killing, one of many, that was induced by Government land and Aboriginal policies, and a general ethos of virulent racism. It is a fractal example of Lemkinian genocide, where thousands of other similar massacres also took place, driven by Government policy. No one was ever charged for Murdering Creek. No one really cared. After all, the Government endorsed Aboriginal ‘dispersal’ by police and pastoralists.157 It was a form of ethnic cleansing, which improved the economic value of land. This secretive course of action, although well known by pastoralists, was disclosed inadvertently as Government policy by the 1861 Queensland enquiry into police methods, chaired by R.R. Mackenzie, a Government minister. The Government was unwilling to reveal 155 Senator Matheson, Commonwealth Parliamentary Debates (S), 1902, p. 11467; Mr O’Malley, Commonwealth Parliamentary Debates (HR), 1902, p. 11930. 156 For a more complete list of the racist Queensland legislation for the early 1860s, see this document: The Political Uses of ‘Dispersal’ in Early Queensland (Post Separation) 157 The full extent of the ‘dispersal’ process is revealed in FWAYAF Recollections From a (Homicidal) Pastoral Frontier 1788 – 1928. 132 the true nature of this practice, knowing that it was illegal.158 The newly formed and squatter dominated Herbert Government hove to the task of dispersal and dispossession with enthusiasm. At the time of the Murdering Creek massacre, the Queensland Government continued to alienate ‘Crown’ land for the benefit of an increasing settler population, leaving remnant Aboriginal populations further marginalised and destitute. Queensland political accountability From 1860 to 1864, in South East Queensland near Murdering Creek, we can ascribe accountability for Government Lemkinian genocide to Herbert (the ‘father’ of Queensland), Mackenzie, Wheeler and assorted pastoralists, including Chippindall, Goggs, Costello and many other land speculators. The genocidal process was to repeat, area by area, as the pastoral frontier moved north in a rolling wave of extermination, of ethnocide. Scattered Aboriginal survivors were scooped up by the Government in end stage Lemkinian genocide, where the right to the enjoyment of life was a privilege, at the mercy of the oppressors. This stage persisted until the 1970s,159and continues in some form today. In 1864, just after the Murdering Creek event in 1863/4, the Government appointed David Seymour as the Police Commissioner. For the next thirty years, Seymour dutifully executed the Government’s ‘dispersal’ policy, deliberately keeping few operational records, or destroying those that were evidence of culpable Government wrongdoing. We know Seymour’s actions through what he achieved. Seymour became the architect of Lemkinian genocide across the state, as he reviewed his police spreadsheets and redeployed mounted police personnel to maximum effect through ‘flying detachments’ into the ‘trouble spots’, as pastoralists advanced their takeover of Aboriginal land. When Aboriginals (apart from native 158 The most recent example of ‘dispersal’ was in 1928 at Coniston in the Northern Territory, where a police party led by Constable George Murray conducted a mass killing of between 31 and 70 men, women and children over some period. The Government reluctantly charged Murray, but he was exonerated. Even today, police are generally above the law. When Senior Constable Chris Hurley murdered Cameron Doomadgee on Palm Island in 2004, the Queensland Police Union and the Police Commissioner defended Hurley’s actions. Hurley was cleared of wrongdoing, given substantial financial compensation for his ‘suffering’ and promoted. The only person convicted over the incident was an Aboriginal relative of Doomadgee’s, who had rioted in protest. Doomadgee’s son committed suicide soon after his father’s murder. See Chloe Hooper, The Tall Man, and FWAYAF Recollections…. 159 Across Australia until the 1970s, apartheid was rampant and Aboriginals were disenfranchised. In Queensland, Pat Killoran was exercising his racist and discriminatory influence as Director of Native Affairs from 1964 to 1989. Successive Queensland Governments have fought to exclude or deny evidence of wrong doing in cases brought by Aboriginals before the Courts. {See Rosalind Kidd, The Way We Civilise]. 133 police) were not allowed firearms, or the right to own land, or the right to enjoy their culture free from oppression, there could only be one result. 134 Processes160 A process is a pattern of connected event types, of patterned purpose across a network of actionable components. Within our analytical framework, a process is a defined and repeatable series of actionable components, forming a directed graph161 with a specified (intentional) originating trigger and sharing a planned or expected outcome. Therefore, if we are to understand the Lamkinian genocidal process, we should work from the pattern, rather than examine individual events, where it can be difficult to see the overarching regular order of things, the cause and effect chain. Put another way, it is difficult to establish evidence of genocide from an event; it is easier to find evidence of genocide if an event is verified as an instance of the genocidal process. Of particular interest in our study are the processes of Indigenocide, Lemkinian genocide, ethnic cleansing, invasive occupation, colonisation, settler sovereignty and mass killing (along with its variant terms). The extent to which these processes overlap is determined by their shared or common actionable components. 162 You will not find these processes detailed in any Government procedure manual or set of formal administrative instructions. They have emerged as a pattern of behaviour for any Government that attempts to exercise its authority, or its aspirations for regional power, within or outside its claimed sovereign borders or area of influence. Oppressive collective behaviour almost always follows ordered purpose and repeats often enough for it to be identified by the International Criminal Court and the United Nations. Sadly, retroactive accountability is as difficult to achieve as it has ever been, often because of the reluctance of nation states to cooperate or introduce relevant domestic legislation or the inability of the world community to take effective preventative action. Australia is included in this recalcitrance, so far as it is unwilling to expose its domestic policies (both past and present) to international scrutiny, and its refusal to recognise genocide in the Australian criminal code. 160 See FWAYAF Political Uses of Australia Genocide for a more complete semantic typology and analysis of the processes involved in Aboriginal dispossession. 161 A directed graph is a network of nodes within some process, or across a set of processes, each node representing an actionable component. There can be many paths through the network, depending on the conditional trigger for any node. However, any graph has a consistent and uniquely identified input and output condition, which together define intent for the process. 162 See FWAYAF The Political Uses of Australian genocide. 135 In these domestic Australian policies, we include apartheid163 (until the 1960s) and Lemkinian genocide, which still continues today, with many Aboriginals living in third world conditions made worse by Government imposed disadvantage, causing excessive incarceration and suicide rates, systemic alienation, and chronic despair with many of the characteristics of trans-generational collective post traumatic stress disorder,164 particularly for remote communities. Indigenocide165 Dirk Moses of Sydney University sets out a five element linear process for indigenous genocide, which we can clearly identify within the Australian experience, beginning with the British invasion and continuing through to the generalised destruction of Aboriginal society. This Moses textual model has both intentional (planned) and structural (systemic) elements. Strictly speaking, this is a function model with process flow characteristics, where functions are identified by noun descriptors. In contrast, a process model generally names process steps in the form: [triggering condition]; [verb] [action]. Triggering conditions are associated with intentionality or a plan, or an expected action, where an agent or participant or involved party chooses or is directed or coerced or influenced to do something within an overall agreed objective based on some precipitating condition or event (general form is: if x occurs then do y). Process models may be further decomposed (mapped) into different levels of subprocesses, through to workflow models (or operational procedures), which show how individuals or work groups participate and cooperate in the overall process in order to achieve some desired outcome (for example, that of a policy or strategy, such as Enact legislation to alienate all ‘Crown’ land so it can be sold or leased to generate Government revenue). I have graphically expanded on the textual Moses model to delineate and instantiate Indigenocide sub-process descriptions. We will encounter many instances of these examples 163 The practices of apartheid overlap Lemkinian genocide, as we investigate in FWAYAF Political Uses of Australian genocide. 164 The population effect may be epigenetic, but the epidemiological studies have not been carried out. 165 Genocide and Settler Society, Ed. Dirk Moses, Genocide and Settler Society in Australian History, p. 27. The textual Moses model is remapped to a flow diagram, to allow further analysis. A function model is decomposable into a hierarchy of subordinate component functions. A process (flow) model can also be decomposed (expanded) into multiple layers, one mapping to the other with increasing detail, along an abstraction gradient. The term indigenocide was first introduced by the historians Raymond Evans and Bill Thorpe. Both process and function models are examples of a system model, which is an ordered collection of things (sub-components) that share some common purpose. 136 (shown in italics) throughout the following pages166 of first hand experiences and despatches, sufficiently often that they show the pattern of systematic and contrived oppression. Figure 57. Indigenocide model (adapted from Dirk Moses and others) 1 Intentional Invasion (Colonisation). Example: If New Holland is ‘uninhabited’ (that is, if indigenous people do not cultivate the land or live in fixed dwellings) then ‘claim it in the name of the Sovereign’. 2 Conquest of Indigenous People (Indiscriminate killing of indigenous people). Examples: If indigenous people resist their occupation then kill them and claim selfprotection, because their witness statement is disallowed under British law. If indigenous people try to come back to their land, then ‘remove’ them to improve land value. When you kill them, make sure there are no white witnesses who will testify. 3 Extermination (Indigenous people can barely reproduce themselves and come close to extinction). Example: When indigenous people are conquered, then encourage sexual predation to breed out Aboriginality, remove any coloured children from their families, and move remnant Aboriginals to detention centres where they can become extinct. If you have to report that any Aboriginals were killed, downplay the number, claim they were shot while trying to excape from ‘lawful arrest’ or ‘lawful custody’ or you were acting in ‘self-defence’, because their witness evidence is disallowed and can never be used against you. In order to effect their subjugation, introduce them to alcohol, tobacco and other drugs; deliberately infect them with STDs, even children. Do not inoculate them for smallpox, let them die out. When they are starving, offer them poor quality food such as flour, sugar amd offal so their health is affected and they will die out more quickly. Use ‘gifts’ of poisoned flour, because this gives you plausible deniability. 4 Derogation (Invaders classify indigenous people as vermin). Examples: They are a sub-species and aren’t fit to survive. They are ‘black crows’ and ‘vermin’. They 166 Refers to FWAYAF Recollections of a (Homicidal) Frontier, for which this is merely a brief introduction. 137 should be exterminated. When they are reduced to begging in order to survive, mock them for their plight. 5 Cultural Destruction (Invaders attempt destruction of indigenous culture). Examples: When carrying out ‘dispersal’ operations, burn their hunting equipment, shoot their dogs, and destroy their totems and bora. Do not pay them wages, but instead offer low cost food with poor nutritional value; if you do offer them wages, those wages must be paid to a ‘protector’ (usually a local policeman) who will keep most of the money for himself, or transfer it to a Government account, where it can become’ lost’ with no proper records of ownership. Lemkinian Genocide167 Strictly speaking, under the Lemkin 1948 UN Genocide Convention, the term ‘genocide’ is the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or majority part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group, and carries a moral and legal obligation for the UN to take preventative action under international law, which means that if the United Nations determines that genocide has occurred, it cannot legally be ignored. However, preventative or retrospective action is rare. The Rwandan genocide was carried out in full view of the UN and no intervention was taken. The Lemkin Convention was watered down to remove any reference to the state, at the insistence of the UN Security Council. Nations with the right of veto – nations such as China, Britain, France, Russia or the US – consistently refuse to recognize any specific occurrence of genocide which may implicate a state, because they themselves may be culpable in certain instances. Consequently the Convention focuses on an individual’s accountability, which can be problematic if there is a dearth of incriminating evidence showing the individual’s involvement, often the case in the confusion of war or a generalized breakdown of the rule of law, when many genocides tend to happen. But individual accountability is also addressed by international legislation for War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity, although it is rarely prosecuted, even when there is clear and compelling evidence, usually because of the unwillingness of the nation state’s ruling class to participate. Under the UN 1948 Act, genocide is further defined as 167 1948 United Nations Genocide Convention (Lemkin). 138 … any of the following acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group, such as: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. [Article 2] Clearly, under this UN definition, the Aboriginals were the victims of genocide at the hands of Britain and its settlers. But under the Convention, Britain (as a nation state) is absolved and the individual perpetrators are long dead. Consider generally recognized instances of genocide in Rwanda (against the Tutsis), Bosnia (against the Muslim minority), Iraq (against the Kurds), Turkey (against the Armenians), Germany (against the Jews), Cambodia (against its own people), the Dafur region of Sudan (against the native Africans), America (against the native Indians), Australia (against the Aboriginals) – almost nothing was done to prevent each genocide until the political and economic aims had been achieved, and any punishment was usually selective, discretionary, and after the event, if it occurred at all. Individuals involved in the Australian genocidal process were almost never charged and if charged they were rarely convicted, apart from the isolated exceptions of the Myall Creek miscreants and one or two other accused who were found guilty over a period of around one hundred and fifty years. In sharp contrast, many Aboriginals were hanged for their resistance activities. 139 Figure 58. Simplified Lemkinian genocide model. Each of these actionable components can be reduced to detailed sub-processes and repeatable activities. The United Nations definition of genocide (genocidal process) means any of the following acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group. In Australia, all these Lemkinian defined acts were carried out by both Government and settler society, and all were both intentional (planned) and systemic (structural): Killing members of the group: declarations of martial law; settlers openly spoke of extermination and a ‘war of the races’; systemic massacres; policy of ‘dispersal’; indiscriminate homicides; poisoning, imposed starvation. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group: sexual predation; stealing children; introduction of drugs and disease; destruction of hunting equipment, dogs, totems and sacred sites; destruction of water holes and hunting grounds. ‘Dispersal’ was Government policy. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical and mental destruction: As Government policy, children were removed from their families, and remnant Aboriginal populations were forcibly moved to 140 detention centres where they were expected to become extinct; derogation as ‘vermin’. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group: Australian Governments carried out a policy of eugenics towards the end of 19th century, in an attempt to ‘breed out the recessive Aboriginal traits’; sexual predation was condoned; repressive legislation meant that Aboriginals had to seek permission just to marry and all aspects of their lives were Government controlled. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group: This was Government policy, enacted in legislation, what we now know as the ‘stolen generation’, also a characteristic of the eugenics policy, which was intended to encourage the extinction of full-bloods. The policy was preceded by the common practice of child abduction by pastoralists and settlers and police, usually for child labour. Occupation Process The process of invasive British occupation carries a primary affective aetiology, similar to the primitive survival strategy of a slime mould or a cancerous growth. Colonial occupation necessarily carries many of the characteristics of other violent and disruptive state sponsored processes, including invasion, mass killing, dispersal, genocide and ethnic cleansing. Invasion and occupation are mutual co-requisites. Occupation is an enabling pre-requisite for colonisation and eventual settler sovereignty. The commercial and political objectives of occupation demanded that indigenous resistance must be suppressed or removed entirely, if the presumed rights of conquest and the ancillary usurping laws of property were to prevail. The only successful counter strategy to invasive occupation is to strengthen indigenous resistance to the prospective occupier or to form a mutually beneficial alliance with the occupier. The British briefly considered a treaty with the Aboriginals, but it was as quickly rejected when Britain believed it had the upper hand against Aboriginal opposition to the occupation of their land. It was not always so. For a considerable period, Britain was threatened by the superior numbers of Aboriginals, but as their numbers plummeted through British violence, sexual predation and introduced disease, Britain instead adopted a divide and conquer tactic which they had found effective in their other colonies, and did not require an expanded military, which was expensive. In Australia’s case, it was through the use of mounted Native Police, where Native was pitted against 141 Native. The strategy was sharpened by racist land and criminal laws and legislated Aboriginal disenfranchisement.168 The invasion and occupation processes substantially overlap,169 and share a common triggering event, being the British decision to invade Australia and claim a certain initial geographic area for the Crown using armed force (or protection), followed by a period when the territorial gains were fluidly consolidated through repression, subjugation and closer settlement. The process was then replicated for other areas and depended upon mass killing and ethnic cleansing for its efficient operation. Occupation can mean: the act of taking or holding possession of a country, district, etc by military force; the act of occupying or state of being occupied. 170 We will use a biological trope to elicit the actionable steps involved in the repeatable and patterned process of occupation, area by area, like the metastatic spread of a cancerous growth.171 1. Invade and occupy the country held by other inhabitants. Seize their territory. This is likened to an opportunistic invasion of a host by a pathogen made possible through a weakened immune system or physical trauma or compromised genome. 2. When occupying numbers are weak, solicit the help of the original inhabitants in locating food and water and obtaining directions. Subvert the cellular process to assist with pathogenic metabolisation and replication. 3. Establish beach head settlements and protect them with armed force. Consolidate the invasive beach head. Grow the lesion. Disarm or weaken the defensive auto immune system protocols. Position for infective replication to other areas (Step 1). 4. Replicate the settlements through metastasization. Spread out from each settlement, protect and hold. Metastasize the infection to other locations, using available transport systems and pathways. 168 The British rules of evidence prevented Aboriginal witness testimony for most of the colonisation period, which meant that Aboriginals could be slaughtered without any real possibility of punishment for the perpetrators. Aboriginals were not allowed to vote until well into the 20th century. Government land legislation progressively made Aboriginals trespassers on their own land. 169 Ray Gibbons, For We Are Young and Free, Political Uses of Australian Genocide, 2014 170 OED. 171 Although the occupation process described here is set out in an Australian socio-political context, it equally applies (as a template or meta-pattern) to other forms of invasive occupation, including certain disease trajectories and the generalised vectorial morphology of environmental destruction. 142 5. Impose repressive measures against the original inhabitants. Evict or crowd out the original inhabitants, without their consent. Obstruct their chances of an economic future. Occasion cellular morbidity and death. 6. Coerce collaboration with the original inhabitants. Divide them and use one against the other. This is similar to step 2, with a level of refinement.172 7. Impose the rule of one sided laws. Introduce land and property legislation to legitimise ownership. Overcome host resistance by overwhelming its defensive capabilities. Progressively increase the host debilitation. 8. Gather up and repress remnant populations and forcibly move them to detention centres. This elaborates on step 7. 9. Continue the process until the entire country is occupied and turned into property. This elaborates on step 7 and repeats from step 1. 10. Subjugate the indigenous inhabitants. Use them as forced labour. Use the women for sexual purposes. Remove or exterminate any who resist. This elaborates on steps 2, 6 and 7. Step 2 is repeated as an opportunity presents for the invasive pathogen. Although the processes are generalised (as meta-patterns) we will assume an Australian contextual typology for which specific instantiations will apply, based on actual events. The occupation process diagram shows a number of sub-processes: initial occupation, protection, consolidation, repression, and subjugation. Different processes can and do share subprocesses and their actionable components. The occupation process proceeded area by area, where it repeated itself each time, driving the processes of colonisation and settler sovereignty, each potentially enabled by ethnic cleansing and the sharp instrument of genocide. It is possible to iterate173 forward or back between processes, sub-processes and their actionable components, depending on specific triggering events, in themselves statistically predictable within the political and economic objectives of the nation state. For 172 For example, in 2014 Israeli soldiers resigned en masse because they objected ‘to continue serving as tools in deepening the military control over the Occupied Territories’. They claimed that the military created divisions within Palestinian society by ‘recruiting collaborators and driving parts of Palestinian society against itself.’ [The Australian, World 13, September 13-14, 2014]. The British used a similar strategy against Aboriginals, but with a more lethal intent, involving extra-judicial or quasi-legal mass killing and terror with roving mounted police, charged with protecting the rights of squatters over the land and removing the indigenous inhabitants. The policy was euphemistically called ‘dispersal’. 173 Processes by their nature cannot go back in time. When we talk about iteration, we mean that a process can iterate through a separate (and later) instance of the model. For simplicity, we make no distinction between process flow and function flow. In general, a function (or sub-function) is represented by a noun; a process (or sub-process by a verb. 143 example, iteration A can repeat from step 3 (closer settlement) to step 1 (further exploration) as the frontier expands, and there are many other variations; the iteration B example is from step 5 (excessive incarceration) to step 2 (dispersal), which proceeded as one area was subjugated and another was opened up for pastoral occupation. In many cases of iteration, there can be a negative or positive feedback mechanism in play, which has the effect of amplifying or tempering the effect of some particular actionable component. In the political landscape of early Australia, Government policies usually accelerated dysfunctional behaviour through positive feedback. For example, land alienation and accelerated immigration policies caused more squatting and land sales, which then caused demand for more land alienation, resulting in ethnic cleansing. Government chose not to modify this iterative process, fully aware that it was causing great harm to the indigenous population. Another example: Government policies (dispersal, military campaigns) further drove Aboriginal dispossession and, if Aboriginals resisted the occupation process, they were met with further repression and dispersal, with squatters joining in the ethnic cleansing process (extermination) when the realised that the Government would not hold them legally accountable for any mass killings (unequal justice). If negative feedback had been part of Government policy, Australia might now be very different: Britain might have resiled from its most damaging policies, enforced usufructuary land use, and have imposed strict accountability for any instances of wilful murder. But this policy of amending behaviour (based on learned experience) was never likely, when Britain itself was using one sided laws and the use of armed power to enforce ethnic cleansing. Detailed Modelling Detailed modelling can expose the specific referents associated with a particular instantiation of this and other processes. I am not aware that anyone has carried out such work to date. These prescriptive events (trigger, action, and outcome) are a matter of actual history and can therefore be verified, modelled and managed with discrete effort. Case management (that is, actively maintaining a library of the instantiation of actionable process components, or cases) is usually through a database of some kind, one that allows us to order and navigate large numbers of cases through ICT174 and interrogatory software. Case management and process flow management are quite different from say a massacre database, which might simply hold a sequential un-normalised record of massacres 174 ICT: Information and Communication Technology. 144 with dates, details, numbers killed and those involved. Case management highlights the essential patterned reusability and repeatability of the discrete elements (process steps) in the larger overlapping patterns of colonisation, ethnic cleaning and so on, where a massacre data base might be a useful persistent data store to support individual cases (process instantiations) as they play out across multiple actors (or Involved Parties). Feedback in complex systems Feedback is an important concept in systems theory, and it plays a key part in the occupation process. Norbert Wiener, the father of cybernetics, first proposed the power of negative feedback in adapting the behaviour of any system (either biological or electronic) to achieve greater quality and longevity of the system output, based on the evidence of measured experience. It is a simple but powerful idea. It is the basis for almost all self-regulating control systems. For any society, accountability is a primary negative feedback mechanism. Accountability allows us to learn from our mistakes and modify our behaviour. Most human feedback at the Government level is intentional and measured. Official policy determines system feedback, which can be positive or negative. For colonial society, system feedback amplified dysfunctional behaviour by encouraging squatter and frontier violence. Government land and dispersal polices resulted in ethnic cleansing at an accelerating rate. The process was planned and calibrated. Positive feedback as an instrument of colonial genocidal policy For post-colonial society, feedback can also be both positive and negative. Much of postcolonial feedback is expressed, not in accountability (which is good), but in positive (or obstructive) legal terms, and includes concepts of ‘without legal standing’ or ‘out of time’ (the doctrine of laches), or the ‘standards of the time’, or more usually, unable to pay the legal costs of achieving justice. The legal process often sets up barriers or gating factors to healthy adaptation. Without effective regulatory mechanisms, the legal process can become a form of positive reinforcement of harmful behaviour, particularly Government, white collar and corporate, which can lead to runaway breakdown in social systems and greater inequality. It makes accountability in the form of reparations, or admitting responsibility, or a change of societal behaviour, or even as a simple ‘sorry’, quite difficult. The result can be denialism and rampant dysfunctional behaviour, where we exploit or obstruct without end until there is 145 some system breakdown. Our overall socio-political impact becomes destructive. It certainly was for Aboriginal society. We continue to use the legal process as a tool to prevent our historical accountability and properly make amends. Figure 59. Biological negative and positive feedback cycles . (a) Biological negative feedback cycle for behavioural adaptation (b) Biological positive feedback cycle for behavioural dysfunction Negative social system feedback can improve the likelihood of appropriate adaptive behaviour. An example is to make our political decisions accountable for their outcomes, to make intentionality answer for its planned and expected consequences. Could the great Australian war for land have been avoided? Could the catastrophic Aboriginal depopulation (over 90% between 1788 and 1911) ever be justified? Could the genocidal process be ignored? Government policies are shaped by ideologies, but there is usually some degree of choice at the margins. For colonial society, a humane Government policy with embedded checks and balances would have meant any or all of: a) Britain withdrawing from the invasion of New Holland. This was never contemplated by the British Government. Aboriginals were an impediment, denied land ownership, made homeless, subjugated, and exterminated through: i. British Government declaration that all land belonged to the Crown; Successive Government alienation of ‘Crown Land’ for sale and lease. ii. Government declarations of Martial Law and punitive expeditions (Phillip, Arthur, Macquarie, Brisbane, Stirling, et al) iii. Uncontrolled killing by squatters, military, police, land commissioners, sealers, stockmen, shepherds, timbermen, and bushrangers, without fear of prosecution. 146 iv. Introduced disease, much of it avoidable if there had been effective quarantining and punishment (for example STDs from infected whites caused transgenerational depopulation, and the provenance of other diseases such as smallpox seems quite troubling, requiring further investigation). v. Introduced drugs (alcohol, tobacco, opium). Sometimes paid in lieu of wages, or for access to Aboriginal women. vi. Imposed subjugation, causing malnutrition, systemic disadvantage, diabetes, trachoma, liver disease, exacerbated family violence, and mental disorders, which still continue today. vii. The occupation of traditional lands along the most fertile valleys, plains and waterways, restricting the availability of Aboriginal food, treating Aboriginals as trespassers. This was Lemkinian genocide made raw. Targetted killings followed. Aboriginals were not wanted in their own land. viii. Sexual predation, enslavement, trafficking and miscegenation. Government never sought to prevent or ameliorate this. It was openly tolerated. But if pastoralists were accused, they reacted indignantly (Gribble), even when mixed race children were evident on pastoral stations. Aboriginal women were treated as commodities. ix. Cultural and societal destruction. Many languages have been lost along with ancient traditions. Some mixed race descendants are now trying to reclaim their Aborigiinal culture from historical records. x. Eugenics (theft of children, breaking up family groups). This is defended as ‘the standards of the time’ argument, effectively that Government was acting for the ‘greater good’ and that standards were different then. xi. Excessive incarceration (gaols) and detention (Reserves). Today, Aboriginals still have a much higher rate of incarceration than the general public, often for trivial offences such as overdue traffic fines. Reserves continue with excessive policing (for example, Palm Island, near Townsville, where Constable Hurley killed Doomadgee in 2004). If we can imagine it, 19th century British behaviours were much bloodier. Aboriginals could be chained 147 together and walked long distances before they were transported and gaoled. Deaths in custody were high. An Aboriginal life had little value. b) Not introducing racist and discriminatory legislation and regulations From 1788 until well into the 20th century, first Britain, then successive colonial Governments, and finally the Commonwealth Government, introduced laws and regulations intended to discriminate against Aborignal society and in some cases cause their extermination or extirpation (Lemkinian genocide). c) Limiting the amount of land available to squatters. From 1788, Britain claimed all land for the Crown. Governors were permitted to make land grants to certain people, excluding Aboriginals. With an expanding market for meat and wool, there was an increased demand for land. Squatting, that is, taking land without legal title, became rampant. From 1824, after Bigge delivered his report to Lord Bathurst, New South Wales attempted to restrict the squatting area through acts and regulations. From 1826, New South Wales further introduced the ‘limits of location’ regulations, also known as the Nineteen Counties. Land could not be squatted upon, subdivided or sold. This was more to do with the expense of providing Government services than any concern for Aboriginal welfare. Despite the new regulations, heavily armed squatters – often from the wealthiest sections of colonial society – began invading the land far beyond the official limits, taking their protection upon themselves rather than the military and police. From 1833 Commissioners of Crown Lands were appointed under the Encroachment Act to manage squatting. 175 The genie was out of the bottle, if in fact it was ever contained. Once Britain declared all land as belonging to the Crown, the genocidal result was both intentional and unavoidable. d) Setting aside swathes of land exclusively for Aboriginal use. Some Governors attempted this in a limited way. For example, in 1842 the New South Wales Governor, Sir George Gipps, set aside a large bunya terriritory in what became southeast Queensland, at the advice of Tom Petrie, but the decision was quickly 175 An Act to restrain the unauthorized occupation of Crown Lands, 1836 An Act to continue and amend an Act intituled ‘An Act to restrain the unauthorized occupation of Crown Lands’, 1838 148 overturned by Premier Herbert, when Britain allowed Queensland to separate from New South Wales in 1859. e) Discouraging and regulating the squatting process. After the failure of (a), Government allowed squatters to spread into the interior without restriction, determined to make money from the process. f) Prosecuting any squatter or policeman or soldier who was responsible for Aboriginal massacres. Only a handful of whites were ever convicted for killing an Aboriginal, but a large number of Aboriginals were hanged or incarcerated or shot for killing a white. g) Allowing Aboriginal witness testimony. The British system of jurisprudence required an oath to be sworn on a bible. Aboriginals were deemed incapable of such an oath, even those who were ‘Christianised’, so their testimony was not allowed. There were some limited exceptions, for example: 1832, Rex v Boatman and Bulleyes.176 There were almost no convictions against whites. Aboriginal ‘protectors’ such as George Robinson made extensive journal entries on Aboriginal killings, even naming the white perpetrators, but Government took no action, in order to protect the white social order and cohesion. h) Regulating usufructuary land use. Although this was nominal British Government policy, in practice it was ignored. When many squatters refused to allow Aboriginals back onto their homelands, often treating them as trespassers to be shot or poisoned indiscriminately, the Government either turned a blind eye or encouraged armed self-protection. After the Bigge report to Lord Bathurst in 1822, with recommendations on how the New South Wales colony could be made self-sufficient through the sale of ‘Crown’ land and other measures, usufructuary use was largely abandoned. i) ‘Conciliating the affections of the natives’. This was the nominal British policy that began with instructions to Arthur Phillip, but quickly degenerated into antagonism, when Aboriginals realised they were being invaded and dispossessed. It was replaced with Christian teaching, through Missions, 176 d_bulleye/ 149 especially after the 1837 British report, chaired by Buxton, on the appalling mistreatment of Aboriginal tribes in British settlements. With the inescapable evidence for Aboriginal extermination, the British Government decided that the intentional dispossession and genocide should continue for the greater good, no treaties would be offered, and that homeless Aboriginals should be assimilated through Christian teaching, possibly to become indentured labour for their white masters. j) Actively protecting Aboriginal groups from assaults. Government made some attempt to use Aboriginal ‘protectors’ to minimise conflict with pastoralists, at first by travelling with Aboriginal groups, and later by controlling Aboriginal lives in Government Reserves or detention centres. One of the first adopters of this policy was Governor George Arthur, who employed George Augustus Robinson to induce remnant Aboriginal groups to relocate to Flinders Island. Promises were made that they could return to their homelands, or that the Government would offer a form of treaty, but the promises were never kept. The Buxton report noted: The natives of Van Diemen’s Land, first, it appears, provoked by the British colonists, whose early atrocities, and whose robberies of their wives and children, excited a spirit of indiscriminate vengeance, became so dangerous, though diminished to a very small number, that their remaining in their own country was deemed incompatible with the safety of the settlement.177 k) Actively discouraging the extermination of Aboriginals, and rigorously prosecuting the perpetrators. Government also used roving mounted police to ‘disperse’ Aboriginals, which meant to exterminate them, and also encouraged pastoralists to do the same. There were no prosecutions in 120 years. British Government emigration policy accelerated the demand for land, creating a blitzkrieg of occupation against the Aboriginals. l) Offering a treaty, as for Waitangi in New Zealand. 177 Report of the Parliamentary Committee on Aboriginal Tribes (British Settlements), 1837, p. 13, referring to the George Arthur commissioned Report of the Aborigines Committee, Van Diemen’s Land, 1830, Parliamentary Papers, No. 259, p. 36. 150 In 1832, 1835 and 1837, Governor Arthur wrote to the Colonial Department that treaties should be offered in any future negotiations.178 The Aboriginals who were detained by Arthur at Wybalenna believed that Britain promised them a treaty. For its part, Britain rejected all possibilities of any treaty, believing that they could occupy the continent with no concessions. We see that almost none of these nominal policies were carried out. Actual Government practice was against it. Policy was ruled by intent, but also overruled by intent. There was a massive policy failure, or if we accept that British policy on the ground was nothing if not pragmatic, it was a significant policy success. The official and over-riding intent was to dispossess Aboriginals, irrespective of bland pronouncements to ‘conciliation’, and the decision resulted in intentional ethnic cleansing through official means that often crossed over into what we now call official genocide, but at the time was simply known as extermination. It formed the bedrock of the political landscape at the time of the Murdering Creek massacre. The faiure of British ‘conciliation’ as Aboriginal policy In 1832, 1835 and 1837, Governor Arthur continued to recommend the policy to his superiors of coming to a treaty arrangement with Tasmanian Aboriginals, but only after most of the Palawa population had been destroyed or removed through various means by his policies. In 1835, he wrote to the Colonial Office that it was a “…great oversight that a treaty was not, at that time, made with the natives and such compensation given to the chiefs as they would have deemed a fair equivalent for what they had surrendered …” 179 A treaty in its modern form is a type of negotiated agreement between two or more parties that is legally enforceable. In June 1835, Batman arranged a treaty with the Wurundjeri for the rental of 600,000 acres of land at Port Phillip, but it was overturned in August 1835 by the Governor of New 178Ian McFarlane (2002), Aboriginal Society in North West Tasmania; Dispossession and Genocide, PhD Thesis, p. 189 quoting Arthur to Hay, 24 September 1832, AOT CO 280135; R. W. Hay was an Under Secretary of State in the British Colonial Department; Reynolds, Henry. Fate of a Free People. p. 122; also Arthur to Spring Rice, 27 January 1835, Select Committee on Aborigines Report, Appendix, 1837, no. 425, vol. Vii, p. 121. 179Ibid, note 549. Arthur expressed a similar sentiment to Spring Rice again in 1835: ‘that a treaty be made with the natives, that feeling of injustice, which I am persuaded they have always entertained, would then have had no existed…’, also quoted by A.G.L. Shaw, Van Diemen’s land, Copies of all correspondence between Lieutenant Governor Arthur and His Majesty’s secretary of state for the colonies, on the subject of military operations lately carried on against theAboriginal inhabitants of Van Diemen’s Land, 1971: ii. 151 South Wales, Richard Bourke, who declared that, because all land belonged to the Crown, Aboriginals had no legal standing to make such treaties. Thenceforth, that re-declaration of British sovereign possession over all Australian land, not owned or leased by settlers, remained the British Government position. Aboriginal dispossession and continuing genocide was the intended result, avoidable with different British mindset. Homeless Aboriginals became a security matter, to be handled by colonial Governments, police and armed settlers. In 1846, the few remaining Aboriginals detained by the Tasmanian Government at Wybalenna on Flinders Island drew up a petition for Queen Victoria, which read in part: ‘ That we are your free children that we were not taken prisoners but freely gave up our country to Colonel Arthur then the governor after defending ourselves. Your petitioners humbly state to your Majesty that Mr. Robinson made for us with Colonel Arthur an agreement which we have not lost from our minds since and we have made our part of it good.’ 180 The original petition, presented to the British Government in 1847, has been lost. While not denying any fiduciary promise by Arthur,181 in 1847 George Grey ordered Denison to relocate the handful of Aboriginal survivors from Wybalenna to Oyster Cove, in Tasmania.182 The last full-blood Aboriginal died in 1905. In 2013, the Palawa descendants, mostly from sealers in Bass Strait, made a request through Michael Mansell to the British 180 Norman Plomley, Weep in Silence, p. 148, quoting the facsimile petition, 17 February 1846, CSO 11/26/378: 13 – 15. 181 The Palawa clearly believed they had been offered some type of fiduciary agreement by Robinson, presumably on behalf of Arthur, as an inducement for them to move to an island. It may have been a simple ruse or deception, of which there is another example. On 28th June 1832, Robinson wrote in his journal of his attempts to round up the north western tribes near Cape Grim: ‘Set forward on my journey to Cape Grim, taking with me all the natives, except Mannalargenna and his wife. Gave orders for Mr Cottrell and one of the white men to follow after me the day following, and Mr George,, Sharpe and old Sam to remain. My son behaved in an exceedingly undutiful manner. I had arranged for him to remain and take charge of the stores at Mount Cameron until my return. My son said he would sooner be in gaol than remain at such a place. This conduct gave me much annoyance. My motive for proceeding to Cape Grim was only a ruse de guerre to inspire the natives with confidence, when I purposed again returning with them and then to proceed to West Point and Sandy Cape to endeavour to effect a communication with those natives and by means of my new acquaintances to induce the rest to return, when I should endeavour to remove them to Hunter Island.’ [NJB Plomley, Friendly Mission The Tasmanian papers and journals and papers of George Augustus Robinson, 2008: 657 – 658]. Beyond this ‘ruse’, meant to encourage trust, Robinson does not specifically say in his journals what promises may have been made, or what the relocated Aboriginals believed to be his verbal undertaking to them. 182 Ibid, Grey/ Denison/ Darling/ Wilmot correspondence is held by the Tasmanian Archives, Governor to Secretary of State (draft despatch), 2 December 1847 (CSO 24/8/101). 152 Government that Britain should honour the Arthur and Robinson promise that Aboriginal lands would be returned to them. The request was passed aside. Positive social feedback can increase the likelihood of behavioural dysfunction. It amplifies racism and Aboriginal disadvantage. As we have seen, examples are for colonial Governments to accelerate the rate of land alienation, accelerate immigration, encourage squatters to take the law into their own hands, conduct military campaigns in ‘cleanup’ operations, adopt a Government policy of ‘dispersal’ against Aboriginal opposition, use racially discriminatory laws to punish Aboriginal resistance, disallow Aboriginal witness testimony, disallow Aboriginals to vote, impose punitive legislation that allowed ‘stolen children’ (and regulated every aspect of Aboriginal lives, including segregation or ‘apartheid’), and disallow Aboriginals to own land. This is what Britain did, and selfgoverning colonies enthusiastically adopted the practice. More sexual predation, subjugation, incarceration and repression quickly followed. The practice continues today, with systemic Aboriginal ill health, suicide and alienation the consequence. What emerged was colonial genocide. Britain has never been called to account. Accountability Accountability is the important brake or negative feedback mechanism on intent, particularly exploitative intent. Accountability clearly requires us to be self-conscious. To be selfconscious is to be aware of our actions. Self awareness reflects the fundamental juridical concept of mens rea. If we do not recognise the profound consequences of our actions, and refuse to adapt our behaviour appropriately, we are not very astute or insightful. Or perhaps, as seems more likely, the British colonial process was simply and coldly purposeful as it pursued Imperial self-interest, a trait picked up by its fledgling colonies as they followed an intentional path of Aboriginal dispossession, often accompanied by lethal violence, simply because the risk of prosecution or being found culpable was close to zero. Those who enforce the law, including the settlers’ ‘law of the bush’, are usually considered to be above the law. What is ‘legal’ becomes the prerogative of those in power. The ongoing subjugation of our Aboriginal population, the First people, is a case in point. But unconstrained subjugation of the biosphere is ultimately suicidal. Without accountability, Nature cannot learn from its mistakes. Nor can we. Without accountability, biological organisms such as humanity become yet another failed experiment of Nature, to become cast aside as a further 153 unsuccessful attempt to achieve sustainability. Our accountability to Aboriginals begins with recognition of what we did wrong, which we then follow with reparation.183 We are as far from this as we have ever been. Process Overlaps Human history is the sum of the effect of past processes, each comprised of events and the behaviours that drove them. It can be likened to the emergent property of a wave moving across the ocean, its shape and pattern conforming to the collective effect of larger forces, where the individual particles of water move up and down in response to the forward wave motion, as for circumscribed events. Each process of interest in this study (and the related document)184 is definable, reenterable and repeatable at different times and under different circumstances, but we also know them by their patterns of directed sub-processes and activity strings, by the prescriptive nature of their actionable components, the directive instantiation of those patterns being set, in the main, by Government as it charts a course into the future through policies and supporting legislation. For Imperial Britain, colonisation was a business, and the processes of colonisation were well practised. These processes can overlap, which means that there are certain parts of a given process which may be shared with other processes. For example, the patterned activities involved in mass killing can be shared with genocide and ethnic cleansing. However not all mass killing is genocide or ethnic cleansing. Some mass killing is unique and opportunistic. By its nature mass killing can presume some level of planning and intentional commitment, say a police or military disperal operation, but although it may involve destruction of property, it may not generally extend to systemic cultural destruction or enslavement, unless each mass killing is connected in some way through Government policy or pernicious laws or a breakdown of civil society or a morbid confluence of degraded values between invasive settler society and the emerging nation state, which is often the case with genocide and ethnic cleansing. 183 Reparation is always contentious. If there is financial compensation, for example, should it go to a land council, or to the ‘big men’ who control it. But then, the money can end up in paying for mistresses or cars or a lavish life style or helicopter grog flights or child abuse. Such things have happened before. No, reparations should go towards healing a community, through adequate housing, health services and better education. Nothing else is likely to break the trans-generational cycle of alienation, harsh policing, excessive government regulation, welfare dependency and despair. 184 FWAYAF Political Uses of Australian Genocide. 154 Figure 60. Venn diagram showing process overlaps. The area of overlap identifies the shared actionable components, comprising activity strings and activities. This model is called a Venn diagram and shows how different sets, each set defined by its own related data points or categorial statements or actionable components, can be represented by overlapping shapes, each shape conforming to the boundary of a specific set. In our study, a process type, such as massacre or genocide or war, is a particular set of definable and reusable activity strings, which can also be called sub-processes or actionable components. The area of overlap between different process types (each connoting homicide in its variant and all too familiar forms) determines the shared actionable components, and is the analytical basis for a semantic typology, where the meanings of certain process types collide. and a hierarchy emerges. The diagram further shows how all possible combinations of the relevant properties of each set can be seen as distinct areas of the diagram, where the shapes overlap or do not overlap. Each process type can be instantiated with specific contextual referents. For 155 example, the process type of genocide – the persistent and purposeful pattern of violent oppression by one group against a target group – can be played out again and again (reinstantiated or reiterated) across different areas and with different people, following a rolling invasion front. And in Australia, indeed it was, area by area, state by state, the actionable process steps enabled by official Government policy (structural), at first by the British Government, then successive state Governments who had been carefully tutored in the black art of violent dispossession, when the genocidal process became systemic, painted with the bloody colours and sharp contours of state self-interest and societal dysfunction, the abnormal becoming normative and self-sustaining. We can also see from the diagram, in greater visual and analytical detail, where certain defined processes can overlap. It has been stretched vertically, to better show these overlaps. For example: sector A shows that certain sub processes or repeatable activity strings can be common to all six processes and we will identify and analyse these activities in the next section; B tells us that there are activities shared between colonisation, occupation, genocide and ethnic cleansing but are excluded from settler sovereignty and mass killing; C highlights those activities that involve mass killing but are not involved in any of the other five processes. Sector D means that some occupation activities may not be included with colonisation or settler sovereignty, for example if an area of land is initially unoccupied or is declared ‘uninhabited’. The same analysis can be used to identify each sector and populate it with related actionable components (reusable activities or activity strings). An important result for our study is that the diagram shows genocide is not solely comprised of mass killing. What is potentially more interesting is that the actionable components can also appear in much other human invasive and colonising activity, both individual and collective. Take Indigenocide: the same sub-processes are seen in ecocide, and with similar triggering conditions. If history can be quantised, if the behavioural quanta can be closely identified, along with the event conditions that bring them into play (and it seems they can, for repeatable activity strings are indistinct from certain patterned behaviour), perhaps we can better understand and manage them. In this sense, in the relative absence of humanitarian policies or the will to pursue them, a Bill of Rights clearly has a normative role in providing a negative 156 feedabck brake on unacceptable societal behaviour, considered as a single complex dynamical system. 185 Actionable Process Components Hannah Arrendt, the Polish political theorist, wrote about the ‘banality of evil’. She did not mean to be ironic. She wanted to highlight the frequent ordinariness of evil. She had Eichmann in mind who spoke of ‘carrying out his duty’ in the service of the Fatherland. Eichmann is a conundrum. He was not insane. But he was clearly evil. He was evil because of the acts which he carried out that caused unspeakable human harm, acts which he believed were for the greater good. Settler society was also hard working in its pursuit of nation building and personal profit, raised through sweat and diligence, bought at the cost of those invisible Aboriginal people who would not go away for as long as their blood indelibly stained the British character. Individual acts, when they are repeated, become habits. And habits can quickly become learned behaviours implanted in our hippocampus, perhaps even our epigenome186 as a trans-generational disorder, or if not epigenetically then as a persistent cultural artefact. When certain destructive acts are repeatedly carried out by entire populations, and are encouraged by the nation state through policies and legislation, and are enforced through the various instruments of state power, then we have a much darker issue, the kind that spawned Eichmann, or gave rise to Australian ethnic cleansing. And environmental destruction. A collectively normative dysfunction or psychosocial disorder, where the abnormal becomes normal, where massacres become normalised, where the oppressed become vermin. But the individual and collective acts of members of a civil society can also be directed and moulded by the policies and stratagems of the nation state, reinforcing certain preferred behaviours in the target population. An obvious example is the imposed discipline of Nazi Germany on its citizens which encouraged them to behave in a certain way that eventually for many became habitual, with non-compliance inviting severe punishment. In a 185 The semantic typology of mass killing and its variant terms is set out in FWAYAF The Political Uses of Australian Genocide. The typology is based on the Venn diagram, which is a graphical abstraction of a hierarchy of actionable components.. 186 Op. Cit., Mark Rothstein, Yu Cai, Gary Marchant, The Ghost in our Genes, Legal and Ethical implications of Epigenetics, 2009 Epigenetics is sometimes called phenotype plasticity and refers to the way in which gene expression (or the phenotype) can be determined by environmental factors, such as diet, within a single generation, and these effects can be trans-generational. Others have called this neo-Lamarckism. This plasticity seems far more important to short term heritable variation in the phenotype than the possibilities of evolutionary theory, which is argued to cause chance mutations to the genome over millions of years. 157 similar way, Australian settler society was shaped by British Imperialism into believing that it had sovereignty over the land and therefore had the associated rights of assumed property ownership and legitimate self-protection against ‘trespass’, a belief that was encouraged by Government policy and later enacted in legislation. As for José Saramago’s187 Blindness, the state directed dysfunctional behaviours (or behavioural pathology) became normative for the colonising population, particularly the population at the pastoral frontier as it violently pushed its way forward. Any few dissenters who objected to Aboriginal mis-treatment and mass killing were vociferously ostracised and traduced by public opinion, generally led by the squattocracy and land owning government members, who could only acknowledge Aboriginal rights if they accepted their own failings. We will see this pathology on constant evidence through these pages.188 Unlike Saramago’s hapless subjects, Britain and its settler society were – in the main – unable to recognize or unwilling to confront their affliction, which they wore comfortably and with considerable defiant pride. It was the pride of landed prosperity, where Aboriginals were expected to become invisible. And if they were too visible, they were erased, made to go away, disappear. Thus the actionable and repeatable process components of colonisation and ethnic cleansing became defined through state and individual motivation which converged around commonly shared objectives, to claim the land from its original owners, driven by the possibility of financial reward, both personal and national. Greed and racism cemented the resolve. In identifying the actionable building blocks, the behavioural architecture of settler society comprising the repeated actions that defined their collective psychosocial disorder, we are confronted with two dilemmas: to what extent did British Imperial policy shape dysfunctional behaviour to the point that it was unquestioned and normative; and further, was 187 Saramago’s tour de force, Blindness, examines a society for which, through an unnamed disease, blindness becomes normal. Saramago won the 1998 Nobel prize for literature. Although blindness was normative for a certain population he defined, yet they recognised they had been afflicted, and that the condition of blindness, although normative, was not ‘normal’. In the same way, settler society believed that Aboriginal extermination was for ‘the common good’, although they recognised that it was ultimately wrong, both morally and legally, on the evidence of their private letters and memoirs. Yet we confront the problem that the law does not need to be ‘just’, only legal within a narrow band of self-interest for a nominally civil society; where police can be exonerated for Aboriginal murder in the course of their ‘lawful’ duty [see FWAYAF Recollections..]; and that morality may often simply be utilitarian in a practical sense, although we still seem to recognise Plato’s archetypes, embodied in an outside and overarching measure of what is good. We all seem innately to recognise that killing is bad, even while we may inherit a predisposition towards violence and racism, fundamental behavioural disorders that, when society wide, become afflictions of the first rank. For if we believe that some races are superior to others, it is a small additional step to believe that some species are superior to others, and that ecosystems can be exploited without end for short term commercial advantage, using any one-sided means that may be at our disposal, such as armed force or legislation or the legal system or the exercise of asymmetric power, or pernicious self-interest. 188 More generally, this refers to FWAYAF Recollections of a (Homicidal) Pastoral Frontier. 158 ethnic cleansing also a primary result of settler greed and the normalisation of racist violence. If the behaviours were learned (or acquired), then we may have a problem. We may have inherited them, either culturally or (far more troubling) epigenetically and they may have to be treated by a similar process. That their collective racist behaviours were systemic is unquestioned, and reflect the racist Government policies and legislation, with the use of police and military authority to achieve the ordinary purposes of pastoral and economic supremacy for settler society. Those same dysfunctional behaviours may be perpetuated beyond ethnic cleansing. We are now confronted with eco-cleansing (or ecocide, the root cause of which is specism), unsustainable exploitation and the pursuit of short term self interest, of individuals, of societies, of countries. If we cannot unlearn our shared destructive behaviours, it may be too late for us. Alternatively, if the destructive behaviours were to be imposed by the rabid aspirations of a future rogue Australian nation state, then we cannot say that systemic mass murder and state sponsored environmental vandalism may not happen again in the name of national interest, and repeatedly, until we can come to some global agreement on how to identify and treat the psychoses of entire societies and countries that does not involve crippling sanctions and measured violence. Specism is the belief that some species are superior to others, that species exist in some sort of hierarchy, with humans at the top. The concept allies with racism, and of devised hierarchies within hierarchies generally, for species, races, nation states, even stratified societies, where all people are nominally equal, but some are more equal than others, brought to sharp relief by George Orwell in Animal Farm, perhaps with Britain’s obsessively class based culture in mind. There are no biological or social hierarchies except those we invent, when we seek to impose some comprehensible order on what we see or we encourage competitive economic processes that cause financial and social inequality. Behavioural epigenetics is the emergent study of inherited behaviours, an acquired behavioural phenotype (genotype expression) that may predispose us to violent self-interest, reinforced by environmental factors, or the inheritance of acquired characteristics, for so long disputed by evolutionary biologists, because of its Lamarckian implications. Evolutionary Darwinian theory is sometimes preached as a matter of religious faith, while the objective scientific evidence now begins to tell us otherwise, that the epigenome is probably of much greater importance over smaller timeframes, evolution and selected genetic mutations only 159 having an effect over millions of years, if they are not overtaken by punctuated equilibria, with regular catastrophies such as asteroid strikes or volcanism or climate change, where the ‘fittest’ may become extinct very quickly in geological time. Major extincton events like the Cambrian or Jurassic paid little heed to Darwinian ‘fitness’. What is left? We now know that many of our behaviours are inherited from the experiences of our ancestors. Racism may be a heritable behavioural disorder. We are what we were. We can be shaped by our experiences and pass our epigenome to our children. We can also change, if we choose. Ecocide and its relationship with Indigenocide189 The actionable behaviours that drive genocide are also embedded in most societal dysfunction: exploitation, self-interest (greed), racism (the belief that one race or species is superior to another, also involving derogation, vilification, and denigration), and lack of empathy for other parties (cultures, races, species, ecologies). When those behaviours are accompanied by violence and discriminatory repression, the result can be multicidal.190 But there is a difference between individual behaviours which can be statistically diagnosed within some margin of imprecision, and being able to diagnose the behaviours of an entire society and give that diagnosis a collective and determinable measure. Collective behaviours tend to find their fuel and impetus not just from the sum of individual behaviours, for example, the relatively spontaneous and emergent ‘flocking’ principle,191 but also from two additional dynamic vectors: political and economic. 189 In March 2014, the IPCC issued its strongest climate report yet, which provided conclusive evidence of anthropogenic climate change. [ 30th March 2014]. Prime Minister Abbott responded simplistically and without understanding the science that ‘Of course, we all know that climate changes. Australia has always been a land of drought and flooding rain.’ Future generations of Australians should react with great sadness that Abbott led anti-scientific denialist sentiment. Just as squatter dominated 19th century governments encouraged ethnic cleansing behaviour as normative and for the overall benefit of land owners and speculators, so denialism encourages further carbon pollution and ecocide. Abbott was elected on a slogan to ‘Axe the tax’, that is, to cancel market driven emissions trading, which is the only effective regulatory instrument we have for controlling our carbon footprint. 190 Multicide is an invented term to describe the many forms of directed killing, from homicide to ecocide to genocide. 191 Also see Couzin, Krause, James, Ruxton, Franks, Collective Memory and Spatial Sorting in Animal Groups, J. Theor. Biol. (2002) 218, 1-11 l%20Sorting%20in%20Animal%20Groups.pdf Felipe Cucker, Steve Smale, Emergent Behaviour in Flocks, G. Flierl, D. Grunbaum, S. Levin,D. Olsen From Individuals to Aggregations: the interplay between behaviour and physics J. Theor. Biol., 196: 397 – 454, 1999; T. Vicsek, A. Czirok, E. Ben-Jacob, O. Shochet. Novel type of phase transition in a system of self-driven particles. Phys. Rev. Letters, 75: 1226 – 1229, 1995; D. J. T. Sumpter, The principles of collective animal behaviour, 2005 160 Rule based behaviour: the political uses of Australian genocide Genetic or evolutionary rule based algorithms help us find structure in messy datasets. They resolve ‘fitness for purpose’ or ‘best fit’ through an iterative process. If we define ‘purpose’ as the depopulation and destruction of Aboriginal society, the genetic algorithm shows how the purpose was achieved through a political process that amplified the dysfunction of settler society, cataclysmically reduced Aboriginal numbers in 120 years by over 90%, and transformed the Australian continent into white property through Lemkinian genocide. Genetic algorithms allow us to model how the behaviour of a dynamical system evolves or shows emergent behaviour. A dynamical system is a system that maps from some abstract space into itself, as for an iterative process flow nested decomposition that we saw earlier. An abstract space is the set of potential system states. The mapping can repeat iteratively over discrete or continuous time. An attractor is the characteristic behaviour of a system, which may discretely map a series of stable states or patterns as it transforms from one pattern to the next, like phase transitions with H2O, or the set of phases in Lemkinian genocide. 192 For Ausralian genocide, it is almost irrelevant what the initial conditions prescribe, as the dynamical rules (or Government policies) will ensure that the stages of Lemkinian genocide or characteristic behavioural states will follow. The Australian genocidal process or collective behavioural pattern corresponds to a deterministic dynamical system (intentional) with some co-variant stochastic (or probabilistic functional ) characteristics. By externalising the governing dynamical rules in an evolutionary algorithm, we can determine the emergent behavioural properties of a complex system without the need to use real time workflow models and persistent data stores, which show intentionality as an abstraction gradient along a hierarchical nested process decomposition.193 192 MIKHEIL KAPANADZE and GIA SIRBILADZE, Genetic Algorithm Approach for the Identification Problem of the Discrete Possibilistic Dynamic System; Ben Goertzel, From Complexity to Creativity Computational Models of Evolutionary, Autopoietic and Cognitive Dynamics, 1997; Kirsty Kitto, Modelling and Generating Complex Emergent Behaviour, PhD Thesis, QUT, 2006; Bernard Chazelle The Convergence of Bird Flocking, 2009 ; Felipe Cucker and Steve Smale Emergent Behavior in Flocks, 2007 193 Previously, we have presented an instance of this dynamic process behaviour in the form of static contextual referents or case instances of a type process. Although these diagrams are valuable, they carry a lot of information and can be difficult to read. Genetic algorithms provide an overview of the system behaviour and help us understand how genocide evolved through the political process. 161 We can model groups of individuals to behave as a collective organism or entity, according to simple rules expressed in a genetic algorithm. Flocking behaviour in birds has been extensively studied, and seems relevant without exception to all species, including humans. We have the equivalent shoaling behaviour of fish, or swarming by insects, or the herding instinct by land animals. The basic algorithmic rules for ‘flocking’ behaviour in its variant forms are expressed by a deceptively simple rule set: Rule 1: Separation. Avoid crowding neighbours. Rule 2: Alignment. Steer towards average heading of neighbours. Rule 3: Cohesion. Steer towards average position of neighbours. Table 2. Genetic rules for flocking behaviour in dynamical systems The algorithm gives rise to emergent structures, where individuals, acting according to certain rules within a given environment, form collective behaviours (or identifiable and patterned ways of acting) as a group. The model originates from the idea first proposed by Viczek et al that bird i adjusts its velocity towards the average of its neighbors’ velocities and the distance between birds remains bounded for both continuous and discrete time. The mathematical model shows continuous aggregate behaviour by the group. From Viczek, let IR2 be replaced by Euclidean space IE3 and let the heading θ be replaced by the velocity v. The genetic model that contains the ‘flocking’ rule set is: xi (t + 1) = xi(t) + vi(t) (1) vi(t + 1) = (1/ ni(t)) Σ j∈Ni(t) vj (t) where xi, vi ∈ IE3 for i = 1,…,k and time t = 0, 1, 2 …. Here Ni(t) = {j ≤ k | || xi(t) − xj (t) || ≤ r} and ni(t) = # Ni(t) for some r > 0. [Viczek, Cucker] If we now apply the same genetic algorithm (Rules 1, 2 and 3) to squatters, functionally spreading out along the pastoral frontier to select new land, we arrive at an 162 exactly similar result, where squatters show convergent ‘flocking’ behaviour, acting as an organic group. These ‘flocking’ rules define the pastoralists’ invasion front and the corresponding rise of settler supremacy. The flocking behaviour for invasive occupation resulted in a violent competition for the land and an extended land war, ultimately won by the superior force of weaponry and one-sided legislation. We can reinforce this herding squatter behaviour if we add overriding conditional rules introduced by Government194 for dispossession, extermination and calibrated repression. It is possible to model these policy driven rules in an executable genetic programme. The policies resulted in significant Aboriginal depopulation. We may consider them as constraint rules, which manage pastoralists’ land rush behaviour in an orthogonal space. The constraint rules define the political and societal parameters set by Government for invasive occupation, like the House rules in a game of cards, within which the players are intent on maximising their stake in a competitive process.195 In effect, these Government ‘constraints’ specify the rules for genocide in a positive feedback process, where the dysfunctional collective behaviours are deliberately amplified and normalised by formal Government actions. The observed pastoral society behaviour followed these Government bestowed genocidal rules (intentionalism) and was further driven by untempered settler selfinterest (functionalism).196 The question then is: if the Government had modified its ‘constraint’ rules, and been more disposed to humanitarian concerns for Aboriginal welfare, would the resuling collective behaviour have been different? For example, if the Government had limited and managed the 194 The term ‘government’ is used in the general sense, beginning with successive British Governments from 1788 until the various Australian colonies were granted self-government, and then State Governments until Federation in 1901, and finally including the Commonwealth Government from 1901. 195 The role of collective constraints on innate individual behaviours within some system is consistent with the principles of strong emergent system properties. The stability of the system suggests a set of constraints of some kind on the collective properties of the system, which the parts must obey if they are perturbed from their original states. [Yaneer Bar-Yam, A mathematical theory of strong emergence using multi-scale variety, 2004] 196 Individuals produce collective patterns through their behaviour. The central limit theorem is fundamental to probability theory and states that if each of a large number of independent individuals contributes a small randomly distributed quantity to some total output, then that total output is distributed according to a Normal distribution. Moreover, the standard deviation of total output increases in proportion to the square root of the number of individuals. For settler society, we can ascribe output to the aggregate number of acres selected by each settler or land speculator, as the pastoral frontier continued its rapid advance across the continent. Some speculators consolidated their land holdings to areas over a million acres. The central limit theorem is a probabilistic density function measure of some subject of interest by a given large population. . 163 availability of Aboriginal land for white pastoralism, would genocide have been less likely? I think the answer is an unqualified ‘yes’. Government dispossession policy: constraint rules Rule A: Dispossession. Government policy does not allow Aboriginals to own land. Government land policy over an extended period of around 150 years was the direct cause of massive Aboriginal depopulation (> 90%). Corollary: Genocide was the intent and outcome of Government land policy. Indicators: a) There were no Aboriginal landowners until late in the 20th century. b) Having been dispossessed of their land, Aboriginals became trespassers, able to be removed or shot by police and pastoralists without fear of prosecution. Accountability: Negative feedback constraints on Aboriginal human rights abuses were almost non-existent. Prosecutions were rare and convictions rarer still. Rule B: Dispossession. Government alienates ‘Crown’ land for allocation to squatters. Indicators: Government land grants and later legislation excluded Aboriginals. Accountability: Negative feedback constraints on human rights abuses were almost non-existent. Rule C: Immigration. Government accelerates immigration through subsidisation arrangements, which increases the demand for more land. Indicators: Immigration legislation (pre-Federation) encouraged Aboriginal dispossession. Accountability: Negative feedback constraints on human rights abuses were almost non-existent. Rule D: Disenfranchisment. Aboriginals were not allowed to testify in court as witnesses, nor were they allowed to vote until a referendum in 1967, when they were finally granted citizenship. Their basic human right were 164 denied over the peak killing and depopulation period, until the mid 20th century. Indicators: a) Rules of evidence were racist and discriminatory. b) Australian Constitution Act 1901 (Cth) discriminated against Aboriginals. c) State based legislation allowed Government to control the lives of Aboriginals in detention centres. d) Aboriginals were not allowed to vote until the 1967 referendum. Accountability: Negative feedback constraints on human rights abuses were almost non-existent. Government extermination policy: constraint rule Rule E: Depopulation. If Aboriginals trespass on their land, or kill stock, or resist their dispossession, squatters or the police are permitted to exterminate them without punishment. ‘Nigger hunts’ are common, as is poisoning. Indicators: a) Compared with precontact population, severe full-blood population loss by 1911 (>90% overall), 197 with associated largescale destructon of Aboriginal society and culture. b) In 120 years, there are very few prosecutions of white perpetrators, and almost no convictions, apart from those involved in the 1838 Myall Creek massacre. c) Aboriginal malnutrition and starvation become increasingly evident through the 19th and early 20th centuries, although Governments deny their policies are the cause, and many deny the evidence altogether. 197 Among many others, John Harris reminds us: ‘The awful but surely undeniable fact of Aboriginal history, the one fact that transcends all other facts and all other estimates, reconstructions, analyses, guesses, misrepresentations, truths, half-truths and lies, is the fact of the immense and appalling reduction in the Aboriginal population during the first 150 years of European settlement. This must be the starting point of any morally responsible discussion of the past treatment of Aboriginal people and therefore must precede any discussion of death by violence.’ [Hiding the Bodies: the myth of the humane colonisation of Aboriginal Australia, Aboriginal History, 2003, Vol. 27, p. 81]. I agree, but would note that the word ‘European’ should be replaced by ‘British’. To state otherwise is to diminish the direct responsibility of Imperial Britain in the intentional and calibrated process of Aboriginal genocide and cataclysmic depopulation. 165 d) Alcoholism and family violence increase, symptoms of despair and generalised post-traumatic stress. Accountability: Negative feedback constraints on human rights abuses were almost non-existent. Prosecution of whites was extremely rare. Considered together, these constraint rules (A to E) also specify Government ethnic cleansing policy in the first (primary) wave of depopulation (it was followed by a secondary wave of subjugation, whose effects we still observe today). The collective effect of these Government constraint rules operating on an acquisitive, racist and land-obsessed society was a strongly emergent but normatively dysfunctional social system behaviour that equates to politically driven Lemkinian genocide. To complete the rule set for the primary socio-political-economic behavioural wave, further repressive Government policies caused heavy additional depopulation through restrictions on marriage, the breaking up of families, sexual predation, poor nutrition, forced detention and excessive levels of incarceration. Goverment repression policy: constraint rules Rule F: Encourage sexual dispossession. Because white women are scarce, allow and encourage sexual predation and miscegenation. Attempt to breed out the Aboriginal trait through eugenics. Do not punish the sexual offenders. Indicators: a) A large half-breed population. Sexual predation was rampant, but often denied [Gribble]. b) Misuse of Aboriginal women was not illegal, so there were no prosecutions to discourage the practice, which was rife at the frontier in particular. c) Severe full-blood population loss by 1911 (>90% overall), with associated large-scale destructon of Aboriginal society and culture. d) Sexual predation was accompanied by sexually transmitted diseases, which further reduced the reproductive viability of the Aboriginal population. 166 Accountability: Negative feedback constraints on human rights abuses were almost non-existent. Rule G: Introduce disease. Do nothing to protect the Aboriginal population from diseases against which Aboriginals had no natural immunity: syphilis, gonorrhoea, measles, influenza, smallpox, and diphtheria among others. Indicators: a) No Aboriginal was ever inoculated against smallpox. Deliberately introduced venereal disease had a severe transgenerational depopulation effect. b) Severe full-blood population loss by 1911 (>90% overall) with associated large-scale destructon of Aboriginal society and culture. c) Infected white males were not officially discouraged from sexual predation, confirming that Government and pastoral society regarded the welfare and wellbeing of an Aboriginal woman as of little concern. Accountability: Negative feedback constraints on human rights abuses were almost non-existent. The collective herd behaviour, further emphasized by the Government constraint rules (A to G), is characterised as racist and intentionally genocidal, within the Lemkin definition. 167 Genetic algorithm for Australian genocide – simplified logic diagram Figure 61. Simplified flowchart of genetic algorithm for Australian genocide (Lemkinian) The algorithm includes the process of Aboriginal depopulation for the primary phase of dispossession, and excludes the ongong destruction of Aboriginal society and culture through Government repression and subjugation, a Lemkinian process that is still evident today. The flowchart forms the basis for an executable genetic algorithm that simulates the politically driven Australian genocial process. 168 169 Settler behavioural thresholds For 19th century society, Governments had a huge amount of Aboriginal land to expropriate and allocate piece by piece, and an economy to grow. Politics provided the discriminatory land legislation and the armed muscle to enforce its implementation; economics provided the revenue from land sales and encouraged the growth of a pastoral economy with accelerated immigration. In this rapacious climate, it only required individualism or the frenzy for an increasing army of individuals (including politicians) who were acting in a collective behavioural pattern to become wealthy as quickly as possible, through the acquisition and sale of land. The collective pattern drew on shared self-interest to create an emergent group behaviour that saw Aboriginals as an impediment to economic progress. This collective behaviour encouraged Aboriginals to be killed or removed according to a supposed law of nature, where only the superior race can survive, all the while trumpeting from the mid-19th century the pseudo-science of Social Darwinism. It was wrong-headed of course, and selfserving, but it induced a group behavioural disorder that resulted in ethnic cleansing. That is, settler society reached and passed an equilibrium or threshold point, 198 which we might simply denote as ‘us against them’, for which there was an inevitable outcome. For settler society, this threshold point can be seen to exist at the point when certain behaviours became normative, that is, shared by the majority of the population. This normative or group behaviour resulted from political, economic, and social processes, all of which converged around a rush for land. We have identified examples of such normative behaviour as racism, mass killing, and unsustainable exploitation, all of which characterised colonial society for a considerable period – from the 1788 invasion to the last major massacre in 1928. These behaviours overlap indigenocide and now extend them into ecocide. The group behaviours are expressed over time, and, like any wave (or wave like) dynamic, are subject to peaks; but the effect can also be persistent, resulting in a trans-generational characteristic. Persistency correlates with process repeatability, where certain actionable process components are repeatedly triggered by common event conditions, reinforcing the behavioural wave dynamic. There is still lingering evidence of these destructive behaviours in our society today, in particular racism, ongoing Aboriginal mistreatment and a peculiar 198 For example, see Granovetter, Threshold Models of Collective Behaviour, JSTOR: American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 83, No. 6 (May 1978): 1420-1443 170 lack of concern for the environment. Our short-term economic interests tend to over-ride our empathy and altruism. Along with certain shared behaviours, the architectural dynamics of indigenocide are also evident with ecocide As pastoralism spread across the continent, it displaced not only the original human inhabitants, but other species as well. Settler society was bound as one, like slaughtermen in an abattoir, all sharing a common purpose. There was little or no will from Governments or settlers to change course. The economics of exploitation were too compelling. Plants and animals could not speak out against the invasion. They still cannot. Without political and economic motivation to effect some particular beneficial change, if indeed the benefit can even be agreed upon, individuals can feel powerless unless they act – or are able to act – in concert against social strictures that they must otherwise passively accept, like the impulse of any autocratic state which seeks to impose its particular ideology in some form of social engineering, or the impulse of a certain society which coheres through shared values, where the strictures are welcomed as opportunities, like group self-interest. Collective behaviour The term collective behaviour was first introduced in 1921 by Robert Park and refers to the social processes and events which emerge in a ‘spontaneous’ or emergent manner from particular collocated human crowds. As originally defined, this ‘spontaneity’ did not reflect existing social structure such as the system of laws, conventions, and institutions. However, collective behaviours like racism do have a structural dependency on a society’s laws, conventions and economic motivations and cannot be separated from them in any meaningful way because of their mutual dependency. Therefore, I have extended the early and original meaning of collective or group behaviour to include systemic and structural elements. I have also relaxed the constraint that crowds must be physically collocated. The crowds we will meet here are societies where the participating individuals can be geographically and temporally separate; the only thing binding them are political structures, and their systems of commerce, laws and culture; the ethos which emerges is what will be called collective behaviour. We will see this overall societal behaviour on clear display, and repeatedly, in these first hand recollections of Aboriginal dispossession.199 199 FWAYAF: Recollections from a (Homicidal) Pastoral Frontier. 171 There are as many ways for a different characterful society to emerge as for siblings and genetically identical twins to differ within a shared environment, the phenotype plasticity being moulded by context. It is an epigenetic effect, shaped by the environment. Some characteristics will inevitably dominate and persist, either individually or collectively. And defining characteristics for some specified population can fall within a normal distribution, from typical (however that is specifically described, usually as a stochastic density function), to less so. Within typifying characteristics, the normative can in some cases be dysfunctional, as it clearly was for 19th century Australia, if we define ‘dysfunctional’ as intentionally causing harm to some other thing or party; unable to deal normally with other parties in a manner that respects their integrity. British pastoral society, which for many years was little better than a foraging economy, was intent on Aboriginal destruction for white economic gain. It largely succeeded. Aboriginal depopulation waves During the 19th century, the first wave of Aboriginal depopulation spread across the continent, from settlement beachheads that provided loci for the pastoral expansion. By the early twentieth century, the British occupation process had turned most of Australia into property of one form or another. Raymond Evans estimates that, during the 1860’s, the Queensland pastoral frontier was advancing at the rate of about 200 kms a year. If we continue the wave analogy, it was a tsunami, a primary wave of Aboriginal dispossession that Government was unwilling to control. Quite the contrary: it was Government policy. If settler society did not exterminate Aboriginals by shooting, then introduced diseases such as smallpox or venereal afflictions killed them off. Government did not inoculate Aboriginals against white man’s diseases, nor were Aboriginals permitted to own land. Free enterprise businesses run by Aboriginals were discouraged or, if they were successful, closed down. As the primary wave completed its purpose, a secondary wave of subjugation took its place from about the 1890s to the 1950s, which collected remnant Aboriginal populations into reserves or detention centres, where Aboriginal lives were strictly controlled. If Aboriginals were fortunate, they might find work on pastoral stations or as domestic servants, but rarely saw their wages, which were kept in ‘trust’ and usually misappropriated by complicit authorities. We are now well into the third wave, where Aboriginals, particularly those in remote communities, are among the most disadvantaged on Earth. It is a Lemkinian genocidal 172 process, as measured by Articles 2 ((b) and (c), where cultural and psychological destruction continues, suicide rates are disproportunately high, domestic violence is systemic, alcohol abuse is wide spread, and life expectancy is low, with third world diseases such as trachoma and diabetes unacceptably prevalent, the rate of diabetic amputations in some communities being so common as to resemble a war zone. When Aboriginals were pushed aside by a general ’wave’ of British occupation, it was driven by a frenzy for land that consumed settlers and Governments alike. Officialdom gave little thought to the Aboriginals who were displaced by their policies, and even less effort was expended on where they were to go. The political idea of incarcerating remnant groups within a number of detention centres began to receive the common support of all Governments, perhaps originating with Governor Arthur’s Wybalenna solution on Flinder’s Island in the 1830s, which successfully managed a process of controlled extermination. Ethnic cleansing was inevitable in this particular British occupation process, because it allowed the Aboriginals very few rights; Britain could simply remove Aboriginals from their land, or kill or subjugate them, purely because of their race. The wave of dispossession had political, economic and social dimensions. Politically, grants of land were first authorised at the favour of the Governor, but from the 1820s, Britain replaced the system of grants with land sales, and began to enact legislation to alienate what the Home Office unilaterally assumed to be Crown land. The myth of terra nullius200 was born. Economically, Britain used the sale of land to underpin the revenue of the expanding colony and to fund accelerated emigration from the ‘mother’ country. Settler society could not have spread across the continent in a ‘land rush’ without such economic and political support. The ‘wave of occupation’ is a metaphor, but it is apt. Like any wave, it had an architecture, and it is this dynamical architecture which we will now examine. 200 Terra nullius or ‘empty land’ is a myth in many ways. It has been a subject of recent fractured debate, where the term is assumed to be historically correct in Britain’s justification for invasive occupation, when Australia was claimed by Cook in the name of the Sovereign. However, its first popular reference seems to originate with Henry Reynolds, in his Law of the Land (1988). I have not been able to verify that this particular phrase was ever used by Britain in the 19th century or before. It does not appear in any of the official despatches documented in the voluminous Historical Records of Australia, nor any other historical British source that I can discover, in relation to the occupation of Australia. That is not to say that the term is not retrospectively apt in the convoluted legal sense identified by Blackstone in his influential Commentary on the Laws of England, although he did not use the latin term either. It just does not seem to have been specifically used by Britain in its unilateral and increasingly violent usurpation of the continent, which quickly drew Britain into Lemkinian genocide as we know it now, but then was simply called extirpation. Therefore, we can conclude that the term is confected in the context of Australia’s occupation. 173 Settler behavioural wave structure and dynamics Individual behaviour is the sum of innate and acquired characteristics. So is collective behaviour. To the extent that behaviours are acquired, we can assign dynamic vectors (dependent variables) of behaviour – political, social, economic – that can become more equally potentiated (that is, allowed to more equally and strongly respond to an event or related set of events) across a critical mass of individuals, given appropriate political conditions. As Semelin notes, mass killing often has a political use, and can be politically encouraged for some perceived benefit, usually political but sometimes economic, occasionally social. All these key behavioural factors have a multi-variate co-dependency. Through equivalent potentiation, the aggregated behavioural vectors resolve themselves to become increasingly synchronous across a defined population, and the emergent properties of the system develop a pattern like a normalising wave, a modality, with shape and forward momentum. Figure 62. Emergent dynamically behaviour of colonial society expressed through the mechanics of wave like propagation resulting from process driven events initiated by Government policies. Strictly speaking, the classical wave equation is a hyperbolic partial differential equation. It typically concerns a time variable t, one or more spatial variables x1, x2, …, xn, and a scalar function u = u (x1, x2, …, xn; t), whose values can model the displacement of a wave. The wave equation for u is 174 where ∇2 is the (spatial) Laplacian and where c is a fixed constant, in our case, the velocity of the propagated behavioural wave. In Cartesian coordinates, the Laplacian is represented by the rate of change of position for each dimensional element, as described by We have simplified ∆⨍ to operate as a vector coordinate ƒà = (⨍x, ⨍y, ⨍z), where the quantities are numerical coefficients, rather than second order multi-dimensional partial differentials. We can also write ⨍à= ⨍xi + ⨍yj + ⨍zk. In our example (see figure), this means that the magnitude of |DVà | is simplified as √ (DVx 2 + DVy 2 + DVz 2 ) . . Therefore, if the vectors are of equal value (equally potentiated), then |DVà| = DVx√3 = 1.7 DVx. That is, there is an aggregate multiplier effect. This is the limiting case, which defines the dynamical envelope or amplitude of the behavioural wave front. Expressed in terms of the behavioural wave vectors, |DVà| = √(DV2 political + DV2 economic + DV2 social); it is a first order approximation of the dynamical behavioural model. This multi-dimensional system model of a behavioural wave is a potential theoretical extension of the Gini index,201 which measures wealth inequality relative to different groups within some bounded population. The multi-dimensional model would need to measure the dynamical behavioural wave dimensional properties as probabilistic density functions within the Laplacian, for which the statistical Gini coefficient partially represents one dimension, DVeconomic. The behavioural wave tends to structure the associated society with collective and unique attributes or a collective and normally distributed behavioural phenotype. It is the effect of the environment on acquired societal behaviour, as triggered by the aggregate effect of 201 There is an accepted measure of wealth inequality in any given society. It is the Gini coefficient, developed by the Italian statistician and sociologist, Corrado Gini, in a 1912 paper ‘Variability and Mutability’. The coefficient can have a value between 1 (maximum inequality) and zero (where everyone receives the same income). For Australia, the Treasury office reports that the Gini coefficient has been steadily rising over the last thirty years: from 0.28 (1982) to 0.32 (2011-12). In comparison, Sweden is about 0.23 and the United States about 0.45. 175 certain originating events, and in certain circumstances, the effect can be trans-generational or epigenetically heritable. Suppose Dynamic Vector 1 (DV1) is the aggregate economy, DV2 is the political process (involving a system of laws and regulations), and DV3 is collective individuation (or societal self-interest). The scale does not really matter in this thought experiment. If each vector is fully potentiated, the statistically significant group behaviour or wave dynamic or vector space can appear like a unique biometric, that identifies the emergent characteristics of its present and future history. The behavioural vectors are co-variant, any one of which can affect the others. There are ready colloquial examples, such as: there was a wave of popular support (or revulsion or sentiment or anger or some other quality) for (something); or the tide of public opinion turned on (something); or the blacks are a sub species and must be removed in the face of expanding civilisation, because they are an impediment to social and economic progress; and so on. We respond to these aphorisms because they seem to reflect natural systems, what we know of the world. So how would we physically describe a dynamic behavioural wave? Above all, to be persistent, it must have collectively shared (normative) and stable characteristics; therefore, it should be equivalently potentiated across each dynamic vector. It is difficult for politicians to achieve certain social or economic change without popular support. Social cohesion demanded it. Such was the case for settler society and its wave of invasive occupation. Wave dynamics of group behaviour – reprised Colonial society overwhelmingly shared a common purpose: the pursuit of landed wealth. Politicians and pastoralists generally all agreed on what was required, following a time-old procedure. The occupation process followed a repeatable pattern of actionable steps. Government enacted legislation to legalise the resolve, with armed force not far behind. The economy and prosperity depended on it. So did Britain. And subsidised immigration. Aboriginal welfare was barely a factor. The wave dynamics of group behaviour were determined from this mutually shared objective. The purpose of settler society was to push Aboriginals aside as part of the natural order, where the weak must give way to the strong. Or was this purpose more realistically expressed as economically driven ethnic cleansing, with settler society marching in ranks to the rousing tunes of racism and self-interest, led by baton waving Governments? 176 Conversely, without racist land legislation hastily rushed into effect by squatter dominated Governments, and without a racist criminal code and armed Government enforcement, that is, if the determining behavioural vectors – DVpolitical , DVeconomic , and DVsocial – had opposing or counter cyclic values (particularly DVpolitical),202 it would have been more unlikely that the colonial land rush would have been so pronounced and prolonged; the economic motive would have been much less, as would the drive for speculative self-enrichment. Suppose we assign a scale for DVpolitical in a range of 1 to 10, where 1 is least racist (compassionate) and 10 is most racist (as ascribed by discriminatory legislation). Suppose we develop similar scales for the other potentiating behavioural vectors, say a scale from sustainable to exploitative for DVeconomic ; and altruistic (empathetic) to highly self interested for DVsocial ; it is easy to how an overall behavioural dynamic can emerge for a defined group, within a normal distribution. However, none of these index measurements yet exist. We still have no objective method that allows us to pass a calibrated multi-dimensional scale across any society or social group. For as long as we cannot measure, we must passively succumb to ‘larger unknown forces’, like invoking the ‘evil spirits’ or ‘noxious smells’ of yesterday to explain disease. Perhaps it helps us understand, but not condone, why colonial society was normatively responsible for ethnic cleansing and actively participated in mass killing because of the economic benefits, all enabled by overwhelmingly dysfunctional but normative political resolve. It may also help explain why contemporaneous Aboriginal society remains among the most disadvantaged on Earth, in terms of financial and physical health, which is not a statistic of which Australia should be proud. It suggests that there is scope for much better investigation and measurement of epigenetic effects that are moulded by environmental factors that are still very poorly understood. Indeed, the psychological suffering still evident in many Aboriginal communities has aspects of acquired collective trans-generational Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Tony Broe observes that long term neural plasticity seems to correlate with better early education, and conversely, the disproportionately high Aboriginal Alzheimer dementia 202 In our example, counter cyclic political values correspond with political driven negative feedback constraints on the occupation process, such as limiting the spread of the pastoral frontier until the rights of Aboriginals were properly protected, and enforcing the law for all people, not just the whites. Most collective colonial behaviour was subject to positive feedback, where dysfunctional behaviour was amplified and normalised through Government policies exercised over a considerable period of more than a century. 177 statistics are probably related to poor cardiovascular health (for example, the pathogenesis of free radical oxidative stress caused by prolonged poor nutrition, where hypoxia may be a trigger) and under developed early brain function (caused by inadequate paediatric educational stimulation), rather than the popular misconception of alcohol dependency,203 which is merely a risk factor in some future but as yet untasked longitudinal study that focuses on relevant epidemiology in any sub-population. Normative societal behavioural characteristics Societies can acquire normative behavioural characteristics, like a statistical identikit, which are often politically induced, or are a response to some major societal stressor, but then become self-defining in a mutually supportive dance of the key behavioural drivers; the patterned dance of a particular society for as long as the originating triggers are sustained. There is a set of societal characteristics, or aggregate phenotype, which determine a collective behavioural profile or a cultural identity. The characteristics are subject to the guiding evolutionary forces of the found environment and socio-political-economic drivers204 on a particular culture. There are as many variant and persistent cultural possibilities as there are unique species, but they all depend on niche construction, where societies adapt to – or modify – a particular contextual landscape. The group characteristics are often heritable or acquired through cultural learning and assimilation. A society can normatively be ordered and mannered, respectful of authority, eager to obey, conformist; or fearful and distrusting, callously indifferent to racial persecution, autocratic, militaristic; or nomadic, nonexploitative, totemic, sustaining; or aspirational, motivated by money and materialism, intolerant, unequal. The cultural boundary around group behaviours, or cultural identity, can lead to competition, cooperation and sometimes collision with other cultures. Cultures can show convergent evolution, if the formative conditions or found environments are similar. 203 Professor Tony Broe AM is a specialist in geriatric health, dementia and brain ageing. He is the Program Head of the Koori Growing Old Well Study in the Aboriginal Health & Ageing Research Program at NeuRA, Neuroscience Research Australia, an independent not for profit research institute based in Sydney. The majority of Broe’s work now is on Aboriginal health and ageing. He was interviewed by Margaret Throsby on this subject on ABCFM Wednesday 11 March 2015. 204 The recent field of socionomics analyses the ‘wave’ principle of social behaviour, but does not yet have a strong mathematical foundation. 178 The British clash with Aboriginal society was fundamentally political and economic, although white social antipathy was not far behind, all driven by quite divergent and culturally anchored concepts of property. For the Aboriginals, ‘things’ were to be shared; for the British, ‘things’ were to be owned. The resulting cultural clash could only be resolved in a contest of weaponry, too often the case, with inevitable winners and losers. Such a contest usually precludes cultural absorption in the first instance: antagonism does not make for good cultural friendship. Poor cultural acceptance and assimilation exacerbated the racial divide. We can hypothesize that, for Australian 19th century colonial society, where at first the Aboriginal population greatly exceeded that of the British, the wealth inequality or income dispersion across the entire set of residents would have been extreme, which means that the Gini coefficient would have been much greater than today. Of course, when Australia was first occupied, the Aboriginal population were effectively non-people, so were excluded from propery ownership and other indicators of relative wealth. The Gini index is a statistical economic measure, which takes the wealth distribution as a density function for a given population and ascribes a value between 0 and 1 (or sometimes between 1 and 100). Therefore the Gini index measures one dimension – economic – of a society’s behavioural identity, along a normal distribution. We can deduce that the higher the Gini index, particularly when compared to other societies, the greater the collective dysfunction. It follows that, for DVeconomic as measured by a Gini index in the 19th century, societal dysfunction was also extreme. Finally, we know that wealth inequality tends to fracture socio-political cohesion, because the behavioural dimensions of any society are co-determinate. Such detailed multi-dimensional modelling has not yet been carried out, but may be an important contribution to measuring the overall ‘health index’ (not just wealth) of any population group, and Australia in particular, both past and present. For now, we are tied to inefficient indices like Gross Domestic Product, which takes no account of any indigenous or environmental cost; or the slightly better Gini Index that measures relative wealth inequality; or the democratic vote ‘index’, which can perpetuate certain overly divisive political structures, driven by increasingly partisan ideologies that can cement in place any economic dysfunctionality, the competition for wealth driving the accelerating divide between rich and poor, the divide between free enterprise and social equality. 179 In 1948, George Kennan, a US strategic planner and career diplomat, is widely misquoted as writing about the need to maintain wealth disparity, in order to maintain the United States’ standard of living. This is the inaccurate quote used by John Pilger, but he is not alone: We have 50 percent of the world’s wealth but only 6.3 percent of its population. In this situation, our real job in the coming period… is to maintain this position of disparity. To do so, we have to dispense with all sentimentality… we should cease thinking about human roghts, the raising of living standards and democratisation.205 The misuse of the purported quote does not diminish its relevance to a contemporaneous sentiment about the 1% doctrine, most recently articulated by Joseph Stiglitz (winner of the 2001 Nobel prize for economics) and the magnificent research by Thomas Picketty, that neoliberal and laissez-faire ideologies can only deepen wealth inequality within and between countries.206 But the quote does remind us of the dangers of textual excision and selective quoting, so favoured by many narrative histories. The actual Kennan quote is instructive. Although it was expressed just after a disastrous Second World War and during the uncertainties of the Cold War, it reveals that some of the exclusionary economic thinking persists, as shown by the increasing wealth difference between a small percentage of any given population and the rest. The probabilistic wealth distribution for most societies is becoming more skewed, the collective behavioural dysfunction within a smaller controlling group becoming further entrenched. My main impression with regard to the position of this Government with regard to the Far East is that we are greatly over-extended in our whole thinking about what we can accomplish, and should try to accomplish, in that area. This applies, unfortunately, to the people in our country as well as to the Government. It is urgently necessary that we recognize our own limitations as a moral and ideological force among the Asiatic peoples. Our political philosophy and our patterns for living have very little applicability to masses of people in Asia. They may be all right for us, with our highly 205 John Pilger, The New Rulers of the World, p. 98; quote is taken from FRUS 1948 Vol. 1. p.524. 206 Joseph Stiglitz, The Price of Inequality; Thomas Picketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century. 180 developed political traditions running back into the centuries and with our peculiarly favorable geographic position; but they are simply not practical or helpful, today, for most of the people in Asia. This being the case, we must be very careful when we speak of exercising “leadership” in Asia. We are deceiving ourselves and others when we pretend to have the answers to the problems which agitate many of these Asiatic peoples. Furthermore, we have about 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3% of its population. This disparity is particularly great as between ourselves and the peoples of Asia. In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and daydreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world-benefaction. For these reasons, we must observe great restraint in our attitude toward the Far Eastern areas. The peoples of Asia and of the Pacific area are going to go ahead, whatever we do, with the development of their political forms and mutual interrelationships in their own way. This process cannot be a liberal or peaceful one. The greatest of the Asiatic peoples-the Chinese and the Indians-have not yet even made a beginning at the solution of the basic demographic problem involved in the relationship between their food supply and their birth rate. Until they find some solution to this problem, further hunger, distress, and violence are inevitable. All of the Asiatic peoples are faced with the necessity for evolving new forms of life to conform to the impact of modern technology. This process of adaptation will also be long and violent. It is not only possible, but probable, that in the course of this process many peoples will fall, for varying periods, under the influence of Moscow, whose ideology has a greater lure for such peoples, and probably greater reality, than anything we could oppose to it. All this, too, is probably unavoidable; and we could not hope to combat it without the diversion of a far greater portion of our national effort than our people would ever willingly concede to such a purpose. In the face of this situation we would be better off to dispense now with a number of the concepts which have underlined our thinking with regard to the Far 181 East. We should dispense with the aspiration to “be liked” or to be regarded as the repository of a high-minded international altruism. We should stop putting ourselves in the position of being our brothers’ keeper and refrain from offering moral and ideological advice. We should cease to talk about vague and — for the Far East — unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better. We should recognize that our influence in the Far Eastern area in the coming period is going to be primarily military and economic. We should make a careful study to see what parts of the Pacific and Far Eastern world are absolutely vital to our security, and we should concentrate our policy on seeing to it that those areas remain in hands which we can control or rely on. It is my own guess, on the basis of such study as we have given the problem so far, that Japan and the Philippines will be found to be the corner-stones of such a Pacific security system and if we can contrive to retain effective control over these areas there can be no serious threat to our security from the East within our time. Only when we have assured this first objective, can we allow ourselves the luxury of going farther afield in our thinking and our planning. If these basic concepts are accepted, then our objectives for the immediate coming period should be: (a) to liquidate as rapidly as possible our unsound commitments in China and to recover, vis-à-vis that country, a position of detachment and freedom of action; (b) to devise policies with respect to Japan which assure the security of those islands from communist penetration and domination as well as from Soviet military attack, and which will permit the economic potential of that country to become again an important force in the Far East, responsive to the interests of peace and stability in the Pacific area; and (c) to shape our relationship to the Philippines in such a way as to permit the Philippine Government a continued independence in all internal affairs but to preserve the archipelago as a bulwark of U.S. security in that area Of these three objectives, the one relating to Japan is the one where there is the greatest need for immediate attention on the part of our Government and the greatest 182 possibility for immediate action. It should therefore be made the focal point of our policy for the Far East in the coming period.207 Although Kennan wrote for a different time, the thrust of his comments could apply equally well to Colonial Australian Governments, in their policies of Aboriginal exclusion and intentionally imposed disadvantage through homelessness and extirpation for those who had been dispossessed. It could also apply today, where the wealth and health inequality between Aboriginals and mainstream society is extreme. Equitability, fairness and sustainability in colonial Australia Unequal societies are social and political constructs; they are generally made not born, the product of the environment more than genetics. Nevertheless, such societies can be selfsustaining for a time, until they begin to fracture and erode through systemic weaknesses caused by inequality. In Australia, over the last decade, the richest 1% now attracts over 20% of all income gains.208 The disparity is increasing, but is defended by right wing neo-liberal conservatives, who argue that free enterprise alone creates wealth, ignoring the rapid rise of communist and state controlled China. While trying to remain impartial, it is difficult to avoid other contemporary political examples. Among them, Abbott’s attempts at social engineering in his 2014 budget would have meant that income inequality increased. Trusts, negative gearing, generous superannuation tax breaks, transfer pricing, no capital gains tax, and offshore accounts are predictably untouched and an ideological conservative budget policy will contribute to more class warfare. Support for renewable energy, scientific research, and carbon reduction through emissions trading is either cut or removed, but consumer electricity prices are trending up, although per capita energy consumption is going down! 209 Aboriginal 207 Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS), 1948 208 In June 2014 a report on increasing wealth equality was released: Advance Australia Fair? What to do about growing inequality in Australia. It goes on to state that wages growth has been concentrated at the top end of income bands, and that the richest 10% have received almost 50% of the growth in incomes in the last decade. The report was produced by the Australian National University among others. 209 This may seem paradoxical, that with falling electricity demand, prices are increased, leading to more falling demand. It was a result of electricity industry deregulation. Electricity retail prices have roughly doubled since 2007, well before the GFC for that to be a factor. The reason is that some parts of the electricity supply chain are monopolies, whose prices are regulated to increase by fixing the maximum rate of return the businesses can earn on the capital they have invested. This means that these businesses are encouraged to ‘gold plate’ their investment, in the main poles and wires, with over capacity, and takes no account of falling demand in the regulated price. The regulated increases are then passed through the supply chain, leading to more falling demand, and so on. 183 programme funding is drastically reduced. The poor will further subsidise the rich. It is an anti-scientific budget prepared by the scientifically ill informed, with little regard for evidence-based policy. Social fairness is exposed, along with the dogma driven liberal right wing politics of unregulated markets, an unshakable belief in private enterprise and relaxed safety nets. The problem of inequality compounds when the rate of return from capital is greater than the percentage economic growth, which is happening in all developed economies including Australia. Those on fixed incomes are left further behind. It seems to be the result of a deregulated market that inequality increases, driven by the natural forces of free enterprise. We are fortunate that, with Federation, the Constitution provided for a minimum liveable wage (unlike America), a happy accident that many liberal politicians still regret. What of 19th and 20th century settler society? As a normative group, we see from the primary sources and witness accounts that it was unequal, avaricious, and murderous; it sought individual wealth through exploitation; it was overwhelmingly racist; it used the legislature to suit its own purposes. There was no minimum wage, there were no safety nets. Aboriginal land was expropriated for the ‘Crown’. Enfranchisement was restricted to male landowners or lessees. Aboriginal trespassers on their own land could be shot. Sexual predation against Aboriginal women was condoned. Aboriginal wages could be stolen, along with part Aboriginal children. Aboriginal witness testimony against the homicidal violence was disallowed. Introduced disease in the Aboriginal population was an ‘Act of God’. Aboriginals could be incarcerated or detained in the interests of public order. Aboriginal extermination was ‘the law of the fittest’. Eugenics was Government policy in an attempt to breed out the ‘Aboriginal trait’. This was the toxic soup that fomented collective behavioural dysfunction. Catastrophic Aboriginal depopulaton was the result. Aboriginal extermination as public policy Aboriginals were targeted for intentional destruction, imposed by settler and Government alike. With the loss of their hunting grounds, they also lost their livelihood. 19th century settler society in particular, driven by the pursuit of landed wealth, was (with few exceptions) coldly immune to Aboriginal suffering. Aboriginals were persistently rationalised as subhuman. And of course, so the reasoning went, it is okay to kill animals; therefore such Aboriginal killing is not a crime. 184 But the rationalisation was wrong, and still is. Aboriginal extermination was murder. Aboriginal labour was a form of slavery. Aboriginals on negligible or no income could not count on the return from their labour, or the wealth generated by their lands. Aboriginals were simply forgotten by white society as irrelevant to social progress, unless their efforts were exploited for minimal wages, or basic rations and modest shelter, in an extended period of enslavement, although the term is rarely used now because of its provocative connotations. Sexual predation was accepted as a further form of exploitation, where Aboriginal women were mere commodities, to be used and cast aside, the mixed race children an embarrassment but not a reproachment. Theft of white-looking children from their Aboriginal families became the new political doctrine, in the guise of assimilation. Full-bloods were expected (and encouraged) to die out, often while incarcerated or in detention. Some Aboriginals tried to play by white rules, and established their own cooperative businesses, an agricultural enterprise at Coranderrk in Victoria with the help of John Green,210 and a fishing cooperative at Bribie island with the help of Tom Petrie,211 and others elsewhere, but they were too successful, and whites complained. The enterprises were closed down by Government.212 The Aboriginal communities that depended on these enterprises were dispersed. Originating behaviour in Australian settler society You may ask ‘what causes the behavioural ‘wave’ (more correctly, a collective behavioural pattern with wave-like properties) to arise in the first place?’ The answer is that there must be some originating event or series of related events, as described by some directed process, which can trigger and give shape to innate dispositions. The occupation process in Australia is an example. We have seen that it comprises a set of determinable and actionable process steps and began (or was triggered by) the intent to invade some particular area. As the armed occupation of land took hold, it largely displaced the original inhabitants from the area. When 210 The Central Board for the Protection of Aborigines promised that the profits from the Coranderrk hop plantation would make the Aboriginals self-sufficient, and the profits would be used to build a much needed hospital, among other improvements. But the Board diverted all the profit to the Government. The plantation operated between 1863 and the 1880s, before it was vindictively closed down. [First Australians, ed. Rachel Perkins, Marcia Langton: 139 – 169]. 211 The fishing cooperative and Aboriginal reserve was established by the Douglas Ministry on Bribie Island in 1877, and immediately became successful, but was closed by the McIlwraith Government in 1879, a victim of its success and white resentment, and the Aboriginal community was dispersed. 212 The Bribie Island fishing cooperative was closed down by the McIlwraith Government in 1879; the reason: Aboriginals were selling their fish at Brisbane, at a time when they were not permitted to enter the city. But the real reason appears to be that other white fishermen objected to the competition, especially from ‘blacks’. 185 there was no more land to occupy in that area, secondary waves of occupation advanced from the occupied frontier or leap frogged ( metastasized) to other locations to begin the occupation process anew, and caused `a further wave of Aboriginal dispossession in those secondary areas, spreading and ‘purifying’ as it progressed. In this way, the process of occupation caused the dispossession and ethnic cleansing of Aboriginals across the continent. There was nothing random about it; nor was it a ‘mysterious’ act of God. The invasive occupation process was in most cases both intentional and encouraged, with Government largesse at first allowing large tracts of land to be granted to fortunate citizens. Later, as the system of beneficent grants became unwieldy, it caused legislation for ‘Crown’ land to be alienated for sale. If legislation and supply were lagging the demand for land, Governments turned a ‘blind eye’ to squatting outside the ‘limits of occupation’ or beyond the limits of harried Government surveyors. As prime grazing land became scarce within the settled areas, more legislation was hurriedly being brought into play to allow the further sub division (or portioning) of certain tracts, when closer settlement was being encouraged for agriculture and other purposes; with the occupying process then being repeated for each invasion point. The sale of land did not necessarily confer full title for the occupier, so further legislation was enacted progressively through the 19th century to give increasing security of land tenure, culminating with Torrens title in the 1850s. If there was ever any uncertainty about British rights to stolen Aboriginal land, by this time in the mid 19th century the uncertainty was finally erased. The doctrine of terra nullius found full force, not to be challenged until the Mabo decision by the High Court in 1992. 213 To continue the classical wave function analogy, the velocity and amplitude (or overall strength) of each displacing wave of occupation was in proportion to the perceived socio-political-economic benefit for the invading settlers and pastoralists, with Government providing the necessary legislative and policing support for their individual and collective behaviour. The benefits were considerable, creating great wealth for some, and economic growth for many. There was a major constituency which was not considered by any Government in this process of land hand-outs and beneficence. Aboriginals were excluded. For settler society, Aboriginals did not effectively exist, and had no rights of ownership to property or anything else of worth for that matter, unless they objected to their dispossession, when they became 213 Mabo and others v Queensland (No 2) (1992). The legal decision was made by the High Court on 3 June 1992. 186 ‘civilian’ criminals, subject to punishment by legislature and imposed laws whose inhumanity and lack of fairness they could not be expected to understand or reasonably accept. Figure 63. Feedback with positive reinforcement. There is an important distinction with our ‘wave-like’ analogy. Although the dynamical behavioural wave was triggered by an actionable component in the occupation process, it also fed back into that process causing the process to be self-modifying, and the output (or outcome) became amplified through positive reinforcement. An example will suffice. With the occupation process, there began a land rush. As the supply of land in an area started to run out, prospective settlers and pastoralists pressed their Government for the release of more land, which was then legislated into effect. Or they pressed their Government for greater punitive actions against Aboriginals, which led to accelerated extermination by all parties. That is, the wave of occupation caused a positive feedback into the occupation process, triggering more waves (or a continuing wave) of occupation. The process fed on itself, until the entire continent became property in some form or other. Another contemporary example of positive feedback is the ‘wave of popular sentiment’ or resentment against boatpeople: During the 2013 Federal election, Tony Abbott stirred up a dormant ‘wave’ of racist hysteria about the arrival of refugees on boats, which fed back into further inflammatory political comments, eventually culminating in discriminatory legislation against refugees, once Abbott had attained office. The behavioural determinism and procedural inevitability of indigenocide is also evident in ecocide, causing waves of species extinction and by a very similar process. First, there is the primary invasive wave, which having occupied or swept an area, leaves few means for the original species to survive. Occasionally there are pockets of habitat remaining, but without corridors between habitats, they may be insufficient to sustain the lives of the remnant species, which perish in a secondary wave of extinctions. When the rights of the original inhabitants are ignored or suppressed by an invasive, powerful and determined 187 occupier, no matter what the affected race or species or ecosystem, dispossession is almost certain. It is just a matter of time. Group behavioural implications for Australian society today Racist policies or a racist societal backlash can always override humanitarian concerns. We have the example today with refugees. Success itself can be penalised, if it causes social resentment by one section of society. When even low paid Aboriginal labour was no longer required, as larger cattle stations became automated and domestic servitude became an anachronism, it was then a small step for many Aboriginals to become further marginalised, and then alienated in a slow death by unknowable grief, the grief we can all appreciate but may struggle to accept. There is the grief of unbearable and overwhelming loss, the loss of land, of culture, of identity, of purpose. We can liken the affliction to a collective post-traumatic stress disorder caused by past events, by the killing times, by being dispossessed, by living under repressive Acts, by having families coldly broken apart and children stolen, by racial segregation, by targeted policing and excessive gaoling. With such sustained mistreatment, resilience falters. The result: petrol sniffing; suicide; drug and alcohol addiction; domestic violence; poor health; purposelessness. In truth, for many Aboriginals, it is also reliving a collective and recurrent nightmare, suffering a shared trauma that refuses to heal, like a cancerous lesion. For our society as a whole, it is a deep shame that we have yet to acknowledge properly. This is our legacy. It has shaped us as a nation. We are yet to emerge from that dark stain on our character, from that collective shadow of intentional and patterned ethnic violence that traumatised an entire race. Conversely, societies that are more equal almost always do better, if only because the needs of the majority are better met.214 We can choose to share the fruits of our different individual abilities, or not. However, if we choose not to share, society usually falters and fails over time. Structural inequality can unsettle and destabilise a society. As inequality rises, so do societal stressors: crime, mental illness, educational failure, malnutrition, ill health, systemic poverty, and social alienation. This is nowhere more evident than in imposed Aboriginal disadvantage, where genetic differences pall in comparison to the economic triumphalism of the dominant social demography. Empathy is more important than naked 214 Richard Wilkinson, Kate Pickett, The Spirit Level; Thomas Picketty, Capital in the Twenty First Century; Joseph Stiglitz, The Price of Inequality; Karl Marx, Capital. 188 competition, when survival of the biosphere is at stake. However, some level of selfishness (or self-interest) is also required. It is always a matter of balance, and is something we have yet to achieve. In Australia, we do not seem to have learned from the past. It places the future of us all at risk, for as long as we each strive to achieve some small, personal, fleeting advantage at some other deferrable or displaceable cost, a zero sum game that we convince ourselves is winnable, but for which time is – and will always be – the only judge. We have seen that ecocide follows the same behavioural pattern and process as genocide (Moses indiginocide, Lemkinian and Levenian genocide, Semelin mass killing et al). It is as illogical to assert that ethnic cleansing is motivated by compassion as to claim that selfinterest will lead to empathy and a more equal and democratic society through a ‘trickle down’ philosophy favoured by liberal neo-conservatives. People do not usually become rich by giving money away. Perhaps another societal alternative is for a sovereign wealth fund to be established, that deposits a relatively modest amount, say $1 million, into the account of each new born, to be used for education and housing for the life of the person, each amount attracting the usual interest and any franked dividends. This is not so far different from the Nordic states, which manage the wealth of North Sea oil and gas for the benefit of all. The Nordic model promotes empathy and equality, not self-interest. It works. But we are as far from this as allowing many children to grow like weeds, with opportunities determined by the lottery of birth. In fact, natural resources should belong to all, and not the Gina’s and Twiggy’s.215 Such a fund would have an initial value somewhat less than $30 trillion, growing at a compound rate of between 5 and 10% a year. As Einstein once remarked, compounding is the magic formula for wealth accumulation. The interest alone would cover the amount for the annual birth outlay. It is out of reach for as long as self-interest motivates us and our society, which may yet be overtaken by the consequences of unsustainable individual greed. Such an egalitarian society is more akin to early Aboriginal than our own. For Aboriginals, sharing was more valued than the personal accumulation of possessions and property, and where land and culture were the trans-generational legacy for the millennia, a precious inheritance with value beyond measure before the British took it away, the moiety 215 In this example, without wishing to be unfair to individuals, it should be noted that Gina Rinehart is a follower of the extreme right wing free enterprise economics of Ayn Rand, and makes enthusiastic use of 457 visas to bring in low paid workers, arguing that she cannot find the skills in Australia. Therefore, the argument that free enterprise generates employment opportunities may carry an important caveat, when employer economic self-interest is concerned. 189 and polity erased with the landscape, theft and murder the endowment, Aboriginal society trashed, the resultant Aboriginal depopulation extreme. Racism and genocide have become our collective legacy. It will continue for as long as the smallest Aboriginal disadvantage remains. When a number of people are acting in self-interest, their individual behaviour converges on a similar pattern, which is not necessarily the same as acting in the group’s interest, although it does identify dominant group behaviour. Nor is the ‘flocking principle’ the same as empathy. However, the result of the collective and normative self-interested behaviour is that it may help protect the group through emergent common interest, although it will not always protect parties outside the group, which remain open to predation. In our society, we applaud exploitation if it leads to personal wealth, and inherited privilege admired. When we find disadvantage, we walk quickly by, as though its nearness might infect us. But why? Are we so challenged by other people’s misfortune? How should we react to the destruction of entire ecosystems and the species within? Do we accept such destruction as an unavoidable part of economic progress, should we choose to measure it? Exploiting an ecosystem is an extreme form of subjugation. It follows the all too familiar process: invasion, conquest, extermination, and repression. The damage to the ecosystem, if it is determined at all, we discount to zero cost. Unfortunately, the environment cannot speak or vote; nor could Aboriginals before that. There is a tendency in some people to exploit an asymmetric power advantage – that is, to take advantage of someone’s vulnerability for their own gain – and there are few protections available. After all, who can speak for something or someone that has no rights in law, when law provides the only vocabulary to express any defence? As civilians, Aboriginals could be punished for resisting their occupation. As enemy combatants, they could be slaughtered. Without advocacy for their rights, they had no rights. Indigenocide carried no cost, nor ecocide. Without real disadvantage to the perpetrator, where was the social harm? Ecocide is still not a crime, although there may be minor penalties issued by Environmental Protection agencies. Regulations may or may not exist, but if there is no one to enforce the regulations, or too few, then the effect is to have no regulations, which often works to Government advantage and that of the transgressors. The appearance of lawfulness is often more important in framing public opinion and support than its actual practice. If ‘fracking’ damages an aquifer, including the Great Artesian 190 Basin, there is no contingent insurance fund (or one big enough) to pay for its remediation. Moreover, companies can simply liquidate to avoid their obligations and then arise again as a phoenix company. Our legal system allows it. When a loophole of any kind presents itself, our rational economic self-interest requires us to take advantage of the opportunity, and our society makes faint objection, with off shore accounts and trust funds abounding. Just as dummy bidding was a favoured stratagem for land speculators in the 19th century, or Aboriginal wages could legally be made to disappear into the pockets of intermediaries and Government fiduciary funds. Or Aboriginals could be shot because the shooters ‘feared for their safety’, if an excuse was required at all. Or land could be stripped bare and allowed to erode, before the pastoralist moved his herd to the next pasture and water source. The opportunity costs were minimal, the potential rewards considerable. Politicians are fond of reframing contentious questions in terms that suit their argument, and then providing an answer on narrow ideological grounds. It is the misdirection of the conjurer’s trick, getting us to see what the magician wants us to see. Take ecocide. For example, Abbott argues (wrongly) that Tasmanian forests are not ‘pristine’ because some of the United Nations listed world heritage area has been partially logged in previous timber getting operations; therefore, more commercial logging is justified: but the amount of logging in the prescribed UN heritage listed area is actually less than 1%. We can imagine Abbott (or perhaps some other politician) using a similar specious argument to rescind UN protection for the Great Barrier Reef because some of it is being degraded by port developments at Abbot Point216 or elsewhere. We now learn that Gladstone port development authorities admit (after years of denial) that turbidity caused by dredging around Curtis Island217 has, in fact, caused dugong and other fish lesions (with associated destruction of seagrass on which many forms of sea life depend), and was not the result of flood water runoff from upstream agriculture as previously claimed. The Government argument depended on the notion that ‘runoff’ was an ‘act of God’ and therefore not preventable. We would be shocked by a catalogue of disused mine sites, vacant quarries, clear felled forests, and tailing dumps across Australia. Many of 216 Abbot Point is the most northerly deepwater coal port of Australia, 25 kilometres north of Bowen in Queensland. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority announced in 2014 it will allow three million cubic metres of dredge waste from the Abbot Point port redevelopment to be dumped within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park boundaries, now listed as a World Heritage Area, because the impact would be negligible. 217 Curtis Island is the second largest island on the east coast of Queensland (after Fraser Island) and the largest island within the boundaries of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. 191 them have restricted or prohibited access, to hide our shame. The tactic is that if it cannot be seen, then arguably it does not exist. Perhaps we should have a pictorial encyclopaedia of our continent wide vandalism. There is not always a legal requirement to repair the land after it has been exploited. It is a similar situation with Aboriginal society, which has been left broken and derelict across remote areas, out of public sight, slowly deteriorating away, bereft and forgotten. It could have been very different. It should be different. It must be different, if we are all to have a sustainable future that respects the rights of other peoples and species. And time is against us. It is unclear that we will ever want to change while we can still extract some momentary advantage for ourselves. Our collective behaviour – political, social, economic – seems set on a destructive course. Without proper accountability, it is our children who will suffer. And Aboriginal society. And the Earth. 192 Murdering Creek Analytical Models These are the key analytical models used to deconstruct the ‘myth’ of Murdering Creek. Along with fact-based analysis, they can be used as templates or tools to investigate any and all such myths or massacre events. a) Type Occupation Process, showing Actionable Components b) Occupation Process: Case Instance example c) A Modern Example of the Occupation Process d) Simplified Model of the British Occupation Process e) Process Flow Model (Using Murdering Creek as an example) f) Murdering Creek Contextualised Type Process Flow g) Murdering Creek Type Process Instantiation 193 Type Occupation Process, showing Actionable Components 194 195 Occupation Process: Case Instance Example Here is a modelling example of an actual mass killing event in Queensland, which procedurally iterates from closer settlement to dispersal through a specific instantiation, of which there are many thousands to invoke as scripts. The iteration could equally have happened as part of the ethnic cleansing or genocide or colonisation or occupation or settler sovereignty processes, because all these processes share to some degree the actionable components (repeatable activity strings) and their precise overlap determines the typology or the taxonomic hierarchy. Such sharing or reuse is expected, because behavioural determinants are a factor in triggering certain actions; and shared behaviours, usually politically and economically motivated, are the foundation of any society. The particular event condition determines the behavioural context and consequent process type. Another document gives a full account of this massacre and its aftermath.218 Briefly, in 1861, a mounted police party massacred a number of Aboriginals on a property in the Mary Valley. The property owner was so incensed, that he wrote an open letter to the local newspaper. The Government complained that he should have taken the matter up privately, to avoid scrutiny of Government policy. The Government hastily organised a committee of enquiry, under R.R. McKenzie, to investigate. Their terms of reference were not to prosecute those police who were responsible for mass Aboriginal killings, but to determine how to make the police more murderously efficient in the ‘dispersal’ process, as pastoral occupation moved northwards across Queensland. On Case 1861, Queensland, Mortimer property, Manumbar, mass killing by police. Process Occupation Sub-Process Consolidation Component Closer Settlement Event condition 1860 Crown Lands Alienation Act (Qld); 1861, police killings on the Mortimer property Instantiation In 1861 pastoralists almost completely occupied the area around Manumbar in the Mary Valley north of Brisbane, leaving the local Kabi Aboriginals with nowhere to go. Police maintained a semi permanent camp at Little Yabba Creek, near Murgon. 218 Ibid. 196 Involved Parties Queensland Government, police, Mortimer Outcome Event Trigger The police conducted dispersal raids to remove Aboriginals who were ‘trespassing’ in accordance with Government policy. The dispersal policy included indiscriminate shooting and killing. Component Iteration Dispersal Data Stores Massacres, Actors, Legislation, Locations, Primary Sources, Events, Place Names, Tribes, Scripts Primary Sources Mortimer advertisement, refer separate document [FWAYAF:2014. End case. On Case 1861, Queensland Government Enquiry into police mass killings on Mortimer property, and elsewhere. Process Occupation Sub-Process Protection Component Dispersal Event condition 1861: Mortimer, a local land owner, came across several dead Aboriginals, including a harmless old man whom Mortimer had known well. Instantiation Mortimer knew it would be almost useless to complain directly to the police or the Government, so he took out an advertisement in the local paper. The Government was caught off guard; they asked why they were not contacted before the advertisement was published. Involved Parties Queensland Government, Enquiry Chairman Mackenzie, Mortimer, 2nd Lieut. Morisset, 219 Manumbar police detachment, others. Outcome Event Trigger As a result of some public concern in Brisbane about Mortimer’s advocacy, the Government held an enquiry with tailored terms of reference. The enquiry was not into police dispersal operations and Aboriginal killings, of which Manumbar was only one instance, but into how police operations could be made more efficient in controlling Aboriginals, particularly for the north of Queensland which was the new pastoral frontier, and would remain so until the end of the century. 219 Morisset, Rudolph (1838 – 1887) was the second lieutenant responsible for the Manumbar massacre in 1861. He was never charged. He was promoted to first lieutenant in 1862, inspector in 1864 and police magistrate at Hill End in 1881. [Jonathon Richards, The Secret War, p. 249, Appendix 2, biographies of Queensland Native Police] 197 Neither the Government nor the enquiry found any one responsible for the mass killings. The Government offered plausible excuses: police training was insufficient, the police were carrying out lawful operations, or were fearful for their safety, or as was often the case, there were no white witnesses willing to testify. No police were ever charged. The reason? The Queensland Government, newly formed after separation from New South Wales, wanted to clamp an iron fist of mounted police protection on pastoral expansion into the north and wanted to enhance brutal methods of Aboriginal repression under Police Commissioner Seymour. Component Iteration Legislation, Dispersal Data Stores Massacres, Actors, Legislation, Locations, Primary Sources, Events, Place Names, Tribes, Scripts Primary Sources Queensland Select Committee of Enquiry 1861, refer separate document [FYAYAF, 2014]. End case. A Modern Example of the Occupation Process A modern example of ‘occupation’ and its predictably actionable process steps is that carried out by Israel on the Palestinian West Bank. Israel is by no means alone in such patterned behaviour. There are an unfortunate multiplicity of examples, involving all the major powers and many of the less major. But it is illustrative. The counter argument that ‘everyone was doing it in the past’, or the ‘standards of the time’ defense, seems to require that a transnational collective behavioural dysfunction is ‘normal’ and therefore justified in the pursuit of some shared goal. The Israeli occupation process began defensively, with Israel’s desire to protect its citizens when opposing Palestinian forces challenged Israel’s right to exist, a posture reciprocated by the Likud party’s Netanyahu with regard to the proposed state of Palestine. Importantly, the Israeli occupation process does not overlap the actionable components involved in deliberate massacres or mass killing that were evident in Australia, but is instructive because it shows the basic metastatic characteristics that define the generalised type occupation process. The Israeli generic occupation process instantiation goes thus. Many Jews believe that God promised the land of Palestine to them, and therefore they have the right of Sovereignty 198 to occupy the contested space. Israel builds a settlement on disputed territory and protects it by armed force. The Palestinians have their homes and land ‘legally’ dispossessed, according to the occupier’s system of laws. Occupying authorities restrict Palestinian movements. Israel moves in settlers to crowd out the original inhabitants. Israel replicates the illegal settlement. Encroaching settlements progressively push aside the original inhabitants. If Palestinians resist, Israel can legally imprison or shoot them. Slowly the occupation process transforms the entire territory into an Israeli possession. Israel traduces the Palestinians as the aggressors and that Israel is rightfully defending itself against any resistance, which Israeli law deems illegal. Israel continues to claim sovereignty over Palestine, the land promised to them by God., with a two state solution being rejected.220 The socio-political conundrum is in how Israel can create an expanded and more secure state without causing a humanitarian problem for the displaced Palestinians. More importantly, how can two societies live together with minimal conflict? This dilemma has challenged human groups for millennia. It is often resolved by the use of violent asymmetric power, targeted relocation of the unwanted group, ongoing legalised repression, or forced assimilation. The common factor is the use of force. Deliberate relocation of a subject group by the occupying power is a frequent attribute of genocide, for example the armed removal of Armenians from their homelands by Turkey around the time of WWII, beyween 1914 and 1922, where a disputed number of perhaps one million Armenians lost their lives in forced marches, disease and starvation. Britain used a similar occupation process against the Aboriginals and for similar reasons: Britain presumed territorial Sovereignty, the right of occupation and the right to 220 In very late 2014, in a U.N. Security Council resolution, there were two votes in particular that supported Israeli occupation of Palestine, one of them Australia’s. The right wing Abbott Government supported the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, contrary to the wishes of a majority of the Australian people, because it supported America, which is beholden to the powerful domestic Jewish lobby. The resolution to support the Israeli occupation, because of the abstentions, was carried 9 to 8. Sometimes what is right is hostage to national interests, particular ideologies, and lobby groups. But if Israel is not supported internationally, how can it properly defend itself? On the other hand, how can the global community protect the rights of Palestinians and ignore acts of violence against Israeli citizens? It is hard to argue against the necessity for a supertype mechanism, such as a supranational Bill of Rights, which protects the overriding needs of all involved parties to safety, security and basic freedoms, with enforceable obligations to ensure compliance. It can be done. Consider the right to clean air, water and food. Between 1850 and 1950, as people began to live together more closely, as very large cities emerged and unexplained deaths increased, we needed a revolution in city infrastructure – waste disposal, sewers, garbage collection (managed outputs); water treatment and management, air quality regulation (managed inputs) – to provide clean air, streets and drinking water. Now we need a revolution in ‘clean habitats’, and the management of territorial boundaries, where the rights to a ‘healthy’ (or clean, safe, and secure) ecospace are preserved for every individual and every species, including the right not to be dispossessed and the right not to be blown up by a suicide bomber or not to be clear felled. The fallback alternative is that the strong will continue to exploit the weak by logical and physical means for as long as they do not self-destruct. 199 impose British law. All land was claimed for the Crown, leaving Aboriginal society homeless. Invasive occupation included official and unofficial (but condoned) mass killing, imposed malnutrition and disease, sexual predation, intentional relocation, eugenics and forced assimilation. The occupation process presents a pattern that is universal in its application; it is often successful, which is probably why it is frequently used. For a start, it is clearly intentional and by its state-sponsored procedural nature, it is deterministic with a defined outcome or strategic objective, usually to achieve political and economic hegemony over a certain geographical area. Without supra-national restraints, there is little to stop the aggressive violation of human (and other) rights by one powerful belligerent against another less powerful party. Compassion does not normally carry a ‘gun’ (that is, some kind of coercive force such as the use of weapons or counter-repressive legislation), but greed and self-interest often do. After the ‘occupation’ process is completed, it is very difficult to roll back, because other consolidating processes have begun which tighten the invader’s control, including legislation around the laws of property and what constitutes a crime within ‘civil society’. Today’s Nation states can often avoid intervention and limit the threat of sanctions by claiming it is an internal matter or by splitting the UN Security Council vote. Appeals to Human Rights rarely work. The only effective counter measure – in the absence of legally enforceable undertakings – is the use of superior force, as was the case against the Nazi occupation of Europe by the Allies. Simplified Model of the British Occupation Process This is a simplified model for the British occupation process, showing the Involved Parties and their roles, as settler sovereignty tightened its grip, from de facto to de jure. The process repeats, area by area, like a wave, as it sweeps the Aboriginal population away. The North Maroochy area and Murdering Creek were no exceptions. 200 Figure 64. Simplified model of the Australian occupation process, showing the role of Involved Parties. Process Flow Model (Using Murdering Creek as an example) The process flow model expands on the simplified process model by referencing and then instantiating the Occupation Process, and clearly shows interactions between event flow and the involved parties. The multiple levels of abstraction for the Occupation Process Flow Model provide a contextual landscape for the Murdering Creek event in the Sunshine Coast area. It shows a substantial overlap with the ethnic cleansing process, for which a formal policy of genocide was the sharp instrument.221 Sovereignty over the land quickly moved through a British juridical process, from de facto (where it was simply assumed at the point of a gun), to de jure (where it was legislated into effect). The use of armed force over an extended period of around one hundred and thirty years created a firestorm of massacres, large and small. Introduced disease, opium, alcohol, sexual predation, malnutrition, eugenics, detention, cultural destruction and the forced break up of families continued the ethnic cleansing process. Aboriginal marginalisation, high levels 221 Gibbons, Ray (2014), For We Are Young and Free, Political Uses of Australian Genocide.. 201 of incarceration and poor health persist today in a prolonged subjugation phase, the result of failed or (more worryingly) racially targeted Government policy. 202 Murdering Creek Contextualised Type Process Flow 203 204 Murdering Creek Type Process Instantiation 205 206 Modelling Society Social theorists endlessly debate their various alternative and generally incompatible models of social interaction and behaviour, from structuralism (society exists separately from its individual members as a collectively defined set of behaviours or social facts) to actionism (society is the sum of social actions or individual events, each with a cause and effect ); from realism (there is a real world for which we have imperfect knowledge and therefore imprecise theories) to relativism (we cannot be objective while we are a part of what we observe, so all points of view are valid, including those of different cultures). Post structuralists such as Michel Foucault say, yes, but any society is defined by its exceptions, madness, criminality, and how we handle them. He has a point. Consider that most civil societies have a ramshackle collection of structured laws, but the implementation of those laws can be manipulated selectively by those entities or groups with the greatest social power: corporations, institutions, statutory authorities (governments and police), and special interest groups (property owners, miners, gun lobbies, and the like). Deviance is predominantly a social construct, often arising when there is a lack of proper (equitable) social justice. Can the divide between morality, law and justice ever be bridged? What is the role of a social contract in normative ethics when it is culturally or geo-politically constrained? Postmodern social theorists have no answer to these fundamental problems of mapping a social reality: they generally argue there are no ‘truths’, that all points of view are valid and equally fallible, and there are no objective measurements that might determine a preferred value proposition through logical positivism (general laws that are testable through direct experience or what I will call fact based analysis). This has obvious consequences for a normative social contract template such as a Bill of Rights: once in place, how can it be enforced generally and not selectively ignored? Consider that there are laws in place for corporate misconduct but white collar and corporate crime have few prosecutions,222 many large corporations can act as though they are above the law, justice is available at some considerable price, and that criminality and discrimination most affects those that are already socially marginalised: today those classified with a mental disorder or economic disadvantage who are disproportionately represented in our gaols; in 222 For example, see Corporate Crime in Australia, No. 5, Australian Institute of Criminology, June 1987. These statistics are out of date with no official incentive to investigate the matter further. Conversely, Index crimes receive a relatively large amount of attention; see for example No. 39, Estimates of the Cost of Crime in Australia, John Walker, Australian Institute of Criminology, trends & issues in crime and criminal justice, August 1992. 207 British Imperialism those who had been alienated by British industrialisation or dislocated from public land or those who might object to becoming disadvantaged and dispossessed (including Aboriginals). Consider also that evolving British Imperial Law extended – in principle – to all its subjects equally, but some were more equal than others; those most marginalised were usually the least protected, under the Law; Aboriginals in practice had few rights from the time of first occupation, and they remain the most disadvantaged group within our society, subject to the arbitrary discrimination of the law and social policy. In considering why this might be so, it seems that corporate and government crime is normative whereas petty theft is deviant; government and corporations are involved in the administration of corporate laws; individual crimes against person and property are entirely subject to criminal law; corporate crime is usually directed to the laudable accumulation of capital; individual petty crime poses a threat to the notion of property; that is, the interests of capital subvert those of democracy, both now and in times past. The small number of corporate prosecutions seem to support the need for a social order where the rights of a civil society (including corporations and the state) are being equally protected among its individual members, when the reality is that the real cost of corporate crime (fraud, embezzlement, Ponzi schemes, starting up $2 companies then winding them up at the cost of suppliers and investors, loan sharking and pay-day lending, bribery, insider trading, excessive commissions and salaries, ubiquitous illegal squatting, manipulation of the rules of evidence, conflict of interest, failed duty of care, failure to keep proper accounting records, misusing assets for personal gain, failure to honour contractual obligations, price collusion, breach of contract, false advertising, knowingly selling faulty products, fee gouging, taking money under false pretences and so on) far exceeds the cost of index crimes tracked by police authorities (burglary, theft, assaults, driving infringements and the like).223 The ongoing failure of corporate watchdogs such as the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to effectively control and prosecute crime is probably 223 Reliable statistics on corporate crime are not readily available in Australia, but we would expect to have similar figures as the United States. From the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement, 1976, Pearce quotes: There is no knowing how much embezzlement, fraud, loan sharking, and other forms of thievery from individuals or commercial institutions there is, or how much price-rigging, tax evasion, bribery, graft, and other forms of thievery from the public at large there is. The Commission’s studies indicate that the economic losses those crimes cause are far greater than those caused by the three Index Crimes against property. [Pearce, Frank, Corporate Crime and American Society.Crimes of the Powerful Part 2, Pluto, London, 1776, p. 78; also cited by Azevedo, Jane, Mapping Reality, p 26]. We, we now have further significant evidence of the terrible financial damage in the trillions of dollars caused to the rest of the world by the excesses of corporate America in the global financial crisis. There have been few prosecutions; in fact some of the key American banking institutions and home-lenders have been offered bail-out funds by the U.S. Government. 208 because corporate investigations are often resource intensive and enforcement staff are too few to cope with the large number of corporate offences. But there is also a lack of will. And our laws can often be imprecise, one sided and discriminatory, which means that the quasi religion of law needs its high priests (lawyers and judges) to interpret any meaning, leaving justice exposed and vulnerable, open to corruption and the highest bidder.224 As Rawls points out225, the law is not about justice or morality. Its focus is primarily on notions of property, which generally leads to social inequality; his solution; unless there is a distribution that makes all parties better off, an equal distribution is to be preferred. But in the United States, inequality has accelerated from the days of de Tocqueville226. Whereas in the 1820s he observed that Americans were among the most egalitarian on Earth, in 2002 5% of the population held 80% of the wealth, with the disparity increasing since. Australia is following suit. If we were to lift the average consumption of the Earth’s population to that of the average Australian, we would effectively multiply that global consumption by eleven, requiring the resources of many Earths to satisfy. It seems inequality must persist or we must lower our level of consumption. Neither appears likely. While corporations have an imperative to grow their bottom line, unsustainable development can only continue and public accountability can only be followed in the breach. When was an entity, corporation (or government), last sent to prison for misusing or misappropriating large amounts of money or assets?227 The answer is that our legal system 224 In New South Wales, the secretive Crime Commission has recently been criticized by the Police Integrity Commission for doing deals with alleged criminals, whereby they and the criminal can split the proceeds of crime and no charge is recorded. Supposedly this serves the interests of justice, because a costly court case leading to a criminal conviction is by no means certain, subject as it is to the burden of proof in criminal case law. Better to take the money and run. Plea bargains are another example to reduce the cost of ‘justice’. See 225 John Rawls, Justice as Fairness, 2003 226 Alexis de Tocquvile ((1805 – 1859) published his influential political study of America De la Démocratie en Amerique in 1835. 227 Australia does not attempt to measure the cost of corporate crime with any rigor. To do so might embarrass the supposed impartiality of Justice. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has the power to prosecute corporate crime but rarely does so unless it is ‘in the public interest’ as a test case. Police generally treat corporate crime as a civil matter outside their bailiwick. Court appointed liquidators have the power under the Corporations Act to advise the court of criminal breaches but rarely act unless they are funded by shareholders. A civilian is disallowed by the Corporations Act of bringing matters for most breaches before the Court. Catch 22. Is it any surprise that corporate malfeasance is rife, when perpetrators know there is little likelihood of any penalty, except where there is a blatant violation? For example, Hardie’s directors were absolved of any criminal wrongdoing for all deaths due to asbestosis and mesothelioma. It is estimated about 30,000 Australians will die of asbesros related disease by mid-century. Just as 19th century Law failed the Aboriginals, so our laws today fail civilians to the advantage of corporations. Democratic values are in thrall to the power of capital. Our social structures are skewed as a result. 209 precludes it. Nor does Australia’s Corporations Act allow individuals to prosecute corporations for certain misbehaviour; that privilege is limited by law to Court approved liquidators, subject to funding, and ASIC, if they have the interest. If food safety and environmental protection laws are in place but there are few prosecutions because of limited compliance checking, why would any government feel it in their interest to spend money on preventing violations to a Bill of Rights? If corporate crime receives few prosecutions because they are against the interests of those who administer the law, then why could a Bill of Rights not be similarly ignored? How can social order be maintained equitably if the administration of order can be compromised by those with the social power, such as Imperial Britain and its hereditary upper class before, and elected governments and corporations today? If ethnic cleansing was a normative value in time past, and unsustainable exploitation and simple greed remain normative values today, what actions can be taken by an inclusive society (comprising both the state and its civilians) to correct collective deviant behaviour, where deviance is the norm? How do we define an ideal norm, free of cultural and political artefacts, against which any normative values and behaviours can be calibrated and assessed? How do we reliably map our social interactions for the normative values of a common good, including the easily dismissed rights of the biosphere, without resorting to autocracy and authoritarianism? To some extent, the dilemma of social theorists is not that their discipline is a ‘prescience’, lacking verifiable (and falsifiable) theories, but is in how to map social reality. Should it map processes and events (actionism); or facts, functions and data (structuralism)? But these models of reality are not mutually exclusive, nor should they be. A criticism of facts as a basis for knowledge of the real world is that they can be coloured by subjective values. At least, that is the position of some sociologists and historians, those practitioners of the soft sciences, where reflexivity has almost become an article of faith, that we cannot judge the past, that everything is relative, that there are no answers, only questions, and that in a post-modern world truth is a myth or at least a probability assessment, and that there are only points of view. But it need not be so. The problem is mostly self-contrived. I can set out a putative fact as an assertion which can be verified as true or untrue. ‘There is a bora ring near Yandina Creek’, in the general form ‘subject/verb/object’ or ‘there exists x’ are unambiguous, verifiable and free of any value judgment. We live in an information based society. Information around some subject area derives from a set of facts, each fact comprising data (nouns), operations or actions (verbs) 210 and constraints: ‘in the 1870s, stockmen at Yandina homestead shot at Aboriginals as they made their way to the bora near Yandina Creek’. Such proffered facts can be verified or discounted when they comprise testable assertions, based on locations or events or dates. Fact based analysis therefore becomes a useful tool in examining any narrative history, which can otherwise too easily be dismissed. We will use this tool when we come to our investigation of Aboriginal massacres in later volumes. But such modelling has largely been ignored by historians and social theorists, who are still struggling with analytical methodology, their techniques falling behind those of the hard sciences, their confusion all too apparent in their haste to ignore narrative history as contextual or reflexive, or their inability to develop coherent social models. For any information system, data and functions (taking certain action against data, such as ‘form shooting parties at Yandina homestead’) can be mapped structurally into a hierarchy, against which there are many possible and consistent logical views; processes (‘shoot Aboriginals’ , or ‘destroy evidence’ or ‘distribute poisoned flour’) each in the form ‘do this, then this’, for example: ‘aim, fire, reload’ or ‘burn bodies’) can be ordered by generic organisational structures and responsibilities (‘remove Aboriginals from their land)’; processes and their underlying workflows and events intersect functions and data in specific methods and services (‘establish flying detachments of mounted police’). However, I do not believe historians or social theorists have attempted this precursor modelling because of disputes over methodology and analytical complexity. My examples were meant with some licence, but the merits of testing narrative assertions for verifiable facts seem clear enough. Fact based analysis is a very straightforward first step for separating confirmable events from embellishment and hyperbole, particularly when anecdotal and narrative history assumes a larger importance against official and usually sanitised Government despatches and where there is a relative absence of case law. The analytical framework allows us to determine the evidence for whether an event happened or didn’t happen, and if it happened (was there a Yandina Station? Was there a bora at Yandina Creek?), when, who was involved (the chain of command), how and where. Such unofficial history is often a more truthful reflection of collective behavioural psychology, usually apparent in 19th century letters or biographies, in building up a consistent historical picture of an event or events, particularly where there is no independently witnessed or recorded case history, the evidence often being circumstantial, such as the mysterious disappearance of entire groups of Aboriginal people from an area they had 211 occupied for thousands of years and their sudden replacement over twenty or so years by settlers and squatters, a complicit pas de deux.. The kernals of testable assertions in narrative history are often discounted or ignored on the basis of adjectival ‘noise’ and racist twitter as unsupportable (though generalised and endemic) hearsay, when they should be a rich mine of historical data and meta-data. Information system modellers have already confronted and partially addressed the well known (in computing terms) problem of melding alternative views of a modelled reality through physical and logical models, but we still have much to learn; structural (systemic) objects are modelled with various behaviours according to different events, any of which can affect (modify) the underlying data repository (persistent data), and all of which are mediated by agreed (negotiated) services through specific transaction requests (methods) and event handlers. Increasingly, such information system modelling is based upon what we know of biological behaviour, incorporating both ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ views, or what is sometimes described as analysis versus synthesis, or holism versus reductionism. But the dilemma is more apparent than real. There are entirely consistent, alternative and compatible ways to model information and reality, through multiple levels of abstraction and alternative perspectives, each equally valid, all combining to a certain level of understanding of what we may see and know, perhaps imperfect, maybe incomplete, but comprehensible and testable. Yet there remain gaps in our understanding of the way things are. Our models are still developing. The emergent properties of Nature, such as wetness, or hardness, or malleability, or super conductivity, are examples of behaviours that cannot always be predicted from an analytical decomposition of the component parts and are becoming an exciting area of ground breaking scientific research. Analysis can be thought of as precursor modelling for complex systems which ultimately must be examined in toto. We know such systems exist. We see them around us everyday. Even a humble seed pod, discarded on the ground, is far beyond our abilities at nano-engineering, what I call the simple miracles of Nature, a miracle being something we see, barely understand and are completely unable to duplicate. Yet. Understanding follows from mimicry. Nature has already formulated – through evolution over millennia – workable rules for complex systems interaction. At the molecular level, as we tease apart the extraordinarily sensitive bio-dance, we begin to comprehend how little we know of the ‘real’ world that obviously exists, and that our understanding of reality remains imperfect at best and substantially incomplete at worst, with a consequent likelihood of causing irreparable 212 harm through our clumsy instruments of intervention. Nevertheless our information system models do work; they can be automated; they produce consistent and accurate results. The same cannot be said for social models. That is to say, we should at least try to better understand ourselves systemically, our behaviours, perhaps through a bell curve of values from normative to deviant, from mostly accepting to strongly rejecting or promoting, if we are to make some logical and objective sense of where we are and where we’re going to, like a business plan for Homo sapiens, where our core values are open to positive change. Social theorists have an important role and not just as passive observers where they tend to assume without reasonable evidence that ethical values are mostly relative and contextual and that, without measurable referents, all points of view are equally valid, the malaise of postmodernity. The Shape of Australian History There is an argument that we cannot and ought not reflexively judge the actions of our forbears: that values change and respond to particular contexts, that the writing of history must therefore be subjective at best, and determines that we should exercise a weary postmodern tolerance where there are only perplexed questions, no real answers, philosophical relativism only allowing us to legitimize (or not) the facts of history through the nuanced filter of a particular culture at a certain time. Our bloody history becomes subsumed in bland ‘race relations’, the preferred approach by some Australian teaching institutions. Appositely there is also a popular style of historical reporting which, by its approach, induces subjectivity, when it seeks to engage the reader with quotes and carefully excised references from primary and other source material and weave the collected fragments into a narrative that ‘tells a story’. With this approach, there are many such stories, many possible layers that can patiently and forensically be excavated, and many corresponding points of view, any of which can predictably mire the reader in subjectivity. Therefore can we judge our past? Yes, it is the judgment of history within a statement of historical accountability defined by specific events conveyed to us in the first voice, where many of those voices, we will find, were clearly and defiantly aware of their egregious wrongdoing. As we listen to those plangent voices, we can weigh, verify, assess, find and conclude. Based on this primary evidence, we will see there seems to be no possible exculpation. The British were culpable of crimes against humanity. So are we for as long as we tolerate the past mistakes and continue with Aboriginal disadvantage today. 213 History is not as relative as we may believe. Nor are values so subjective. For example, if I know that stealing your ‘property’ is wrong, but steal it anyway, does that make my crime more reprehensible, even though such theft may be commonly accepted by our society, a consequence of social inequality and asymmetric power, or perhaps a contested and self-serving concept of ‘property’, perhaps further imbued with administrative legality by an unconscionably flawed Government process. Yes we all know the nature of right and wrong. We did then. We do now. But sometimes we tend to ignore our sense of morality, if it serves our purpose or we think we can get away with some self-serving act, because the party to whom we cause harm is voiceless, in the case of the environment, or derogated as sub-human vermin, fully worthy of our disapprobation or exploitation. Does the shape and momentum of our post-contact history derive from an accumulated set of flexion points – undisputed key events – which are far from arbitrary? It is hard to argue otherwise. Historicity allows us to separate myth (what we may choose to believe) from actual key decisions and their generally predictable consequences or expected outcomes, which allow us to see the effect of deliberately planned and executed processes – colonisation, occupation, ethnic cleansing – resulting from invasive, predatory and exclusionary behaviour on the part of Britain. If the events of history are unquestioned then perhaps we must be diligent in our interpretation of those events which may have happened in a context rather different from our own, although the structural dynamics may have changed little. For example, we and they would probably both agree on what constitutes a homicide, but we may disagree on whether the homicide is justifiable. This is the subjective and possibly contextually dependant dimension of historical analysis. It also includes the prospective effect of observer bias. If we recognise this distorting interpretive curtain around the factual kernels, we may be able to allow for it, like adding a corrective algorithmic lens to the Hubble telescope, allowing it to provide us with magnificent undistorted images. What is historical subjectivity and how does it relate to reflexivity? Strictly speaking, reflexivity in social theory refers to our need to reflect on the subjective influences or personal predilections and values on a study, and the extent to which the parameters of a study may be set with a particular and possibly biased outcome in mind. That is, our values today may not be the same as those of an earlier time, and therefore we should not judge, as it may lead to a self-fulfilling outcome, reflecting our common prejudices. I do not entirely 214 agree for the same reasons as I do not wholly accept moral relativism, as it leads us towards the slippery slope of utilitarianism or the ‘greater good’ argument. The term reflexivity is more generally used in the social sciences to highlight that the act of observing can perturb the object under study and can thereby affect how the data points are created. This was a criticism levelled at the anthropologist Margaret Mead’s important 1928 study of sexuality among Samoans (Coming of Age in Samoa), where she was accused of coaxing her respondents into giving the answers she wanted, thereby tainting her subsequent questions and resulting in a flawed study. In a sense, this was also the argument used by the historian Geoffrey Blainey, when he deplored the ‘black armband’ view of history. Essentially he asserted that we cannot be accountable for past events such as wars, or massacres, for bad things can happen, often outside our control, and therefore we should not judge. The argument was picked up more forcefully and (it must be said) disingenuously by Windschuttle, who argued that the Aboriginals were responsible for most of the frontier violence and that settlers were merely defending themselves from unwarranted aggression. This debate gave way to the so called ‘history wars’ that settlers’ and Governments’ actions were benign, they were acting according to ‘the standards of the time’, there was little evidence of massacres (intentional or not) and that Aboriginals were not entitled to any form of land rights or other reparation for past wrongs. But history is not necessarily a set of random events; it is often the result of carefully crafted choices within a procedural imperative, usually driven by the measured policy or strategy of some authoritative entity, where the outcomes are generally predictable beyond immediate perturbations or consequences. Take for example the recent ‘Global Financial Crisis’, which resulted from certain financial institutions carefully packaging up ‘sub prime’ debt instruments, where the risks were not fully disclosed to buyers, the motivation being simple greed. The inevitable consequence? America – with the enthusiastic support of UK financial institutions – infected and damaged the world more severely than the collective acts of Muslim reprisals for any number of perceived wrongs, from invasion of Afghanistan to the use of drone warfare against civilians, and with a reflexive escalation of Muslim radicalisation. The risk/ benefit decision could be adumbrated as: Does my short term gain outweigh the long term costs, especially if those costs can be transferred to other parties? This observation is sometimes described as privatising the profits and socialising the costs, if those 215 costs are recognised at all. The balance sheet of Britain Inc. had zero acquisition costs for expropriating Aboriginal land. Longer term, it was more cost effective to exterminate displaced Aboriginals than provide for their ongoing welfare. It was not expected that Aboriginals would survive, but they have, although considerably disadvantaged as a demographic group, compared with the general population. Nor is history like a theoretical unregulated market, supposedly comprised of random events, where Adam Smith talked hopefully about the ‘invisible hand’ of equilibrium theory. In reality, if a share trader believes that prices will fall, they can sell, thus potentially driving down prices, and causing a run on the market. Prices do affect fundamentals, which in turn can change market expectations, leading to dis-equilibrium (non-linear system dynamics) and sometimes ‘boom and bust’ cycles. In the same way historical events, many of them caused quite deliberately, can affect other events like ripples spreading outward from the entry point of a series of rocks intentionally thrown into a pool, like the effect from some originating and systemic socio-political process. Usually the larger the rock (or event) the greater the impact,228 although sometimes small perturbations, like the modest height of a wave borne disturbance out to sea, can generate large effects onshore, like a tsunami, such as the failure of Britain to prosecute those who murdered or attempted to murder Aboriginals, for how could there be acts of murder when the military and police were involved, all obedient to Government policy; or Government failure to set aside land for Aboriginals to own, once the official process of occupation and Aboriginal displacement began. Although the outcome of any particular event cannot always be predicted, the cumulative effect of a planned process (being a prescribed set of events, or a sequence of intended actions with their associated triggering conditions) can always be known with a degree of certainty. For example, if I take your house and land, tear apart your family, and leave you without the means to sustain life, I can be fairly certain that you may struggle to survive. And if I deliberately repeat the process many times over, at the instructions of my Government, and following the legalised dictates of my British concept of ‘property’, it becomes genocidal. 228 For example, financial institutions routinely use behavioural modelling when they mine huge data bases to construct value propositions for their customers or prospects, based on likely buying propensities. They know that significant life events (like buying a home or a car or starting a family) can be associated with other meta data (age, income, marital disposition, and so on) and can set in train a string of associated and statistically predictable activities, such as obtaining a loan or insurance or superannuation agreement, which generally have a long and profitable ‘tail’ of trailing interest and commissions. 216 Britain carried out an elaborate process of intentional acts of Aboriginal dispossession that defined the emergent pattern of practised ethnic cleansing, starting with Cook’s arrival and his dutiful declaration of sovereign possession, followed by repeated declarations of martial law and other legislated acts that discriminated against Aboriginal society by invoking measures that are consistent with Lemkinian genocide or its close variant, ethnic cleansing. Ethnic cleansing can be achieved by various methods, including mass expulsion, and genocide. Methods can overlap, for example, genocide can involve forced removal. A method is a simplified form of process, usually reduced to a series of actionable steps without the complexities of different event triggering conditions, of the general form: If [condition X], then [do A], else [do B]. 229 The colonisation process was framed by British Government policy decisions, for which the Colonial Office despatches provide an important window into the inner workings of the British Home Office. Overlaying colonisation were the objectives involved in ethnic cleansing, subjugating and removing the Indigenous population to make way for pastoralism. Specific events (or triggered actions) dictated how the process unfolded. The dispossession events were certainly not random. They were carefully planned and executed, to the degree they were part of calibrated intent at the highest levels of the British Government. They set in train an administrative process that was triggered and further reshaped by Government policies. Each physical event or event grouping was the expression of some Government policy, say alienating more ‘Crown’ land, or moving from the granting of land to its sale, or tasking mounted police with the responsibility of Aboriginal ‘dispersal’, or denying Aboriginals justice because the British rules of evidence carefully precluded their witness testimony, or proclamations of martial law, or preventing Aboriginals from owning land, or removing remnant Aboriginal groups to detention centres, or removing children from their families, each had a predictable outcome that directed the execution of the ongoing process type, now characterised as Lemkinian genocide, with multiple levels of physical refinement,230 for example, from Britain’s strategic objectives in the South Pacific, to subsidised pastoral expansion, then the detailed steps involved in closer settlement. 229 This is the procedural form. An object form may decompose to a set of event handlers that provide certain services or actions when so requested. The result of both is similar. 230 Each type class can exist in a class taxonomy (or typology), for example, the types and hierarchy of directed behaviours includes the type class ‘strategic planning’. A particular type class can have levels of abstraction or mapping (each with an instantiation or class instance) which we may call, for convenience, the conceptual, logical and physical levels, although 217 Most processes of any type have the characteristic that they follow a repeatable pattern of actions, although the individual path through the actions may be different for each process instantiation, depending on the particular triggering events; this is no less true with a genocidal process and its political uses in Australia. As each new area of the Colony was opened by the first settlers, a firestorm fell on the Aboriginals and they quickly ‘disappeared’.231 The destruction of Aboriginal society exactly followed the growth of the pastoral frontier, as cattle and sheep farmers sought to exploit the virgin grasslands along the rivers and waterways for a quick profit. But pastoralism was simply responding to British policy, which danced to more strategic objectives. Can a Nation be Dysfunctional? “At the heart of this new field [of epigenetics] is a simple but contentious idea — that genes have a ‘memory.’ That the lives of your grandparents — the air they breathed, the food they ate, even the things they saw — can directly affect you, decades later, despite your never experiencing these things yourself.” BBC, The Ghost in Your Genes.232 For the British to declare Aboriginals as sub-human was more a reflection of the prevailing class based culture of privileged entitlement and a sense of racial superiority than anything meaningful in an ethnographic or evolutionary sense. Therefore, says the white man, in his superiority of strength and knowledge, away with them, disperse them, shoot and poison them, until there be none remaining; we other consistent representational schema are possible. The abstract class denoted as ‘Imperial strategy’ can be defined conceptually as ‘a plan to achieve some overall Imperial objective’. This conceptual class object can be logically instantiated with ‘achieving British Imperial hegemony through Government agreed protocols and policies’. One of many actual or physical instantiations of this strategy is ‘countering the influence of other European powers in the South Pacific by establishing a settlement in New Holland’, which of course has a number of associated logistical steps requiring careful and deliberate Government administration. The physical strategy (physical instance of the type class called ‘strategy’) can have different layers of detail (or refinement) including, by way of example: claiming sovereignty in the name of the Crown, alienating ‘Crown’ land, and subsidising emigration for closer settlement. Each class type instance, importantly the physical, can be expanded into a set of specific triggers and actions, which can be represented in a repeatable process model, comprising the series of steps to achieve some outcome. Such was the particular skill of Britain Inc. as it managed an empire for its self enrichment through administrative protocols, policies and practices. An Empire could not have been managed without it. A privileged sense of entitlement demanded it. The theory of classes was unknown to 19th Century Britain, but the mechanics of ethnic dispossession and the politics of subjugation were very well known through practised repetition. 231 Charles Darwin, Voyage of the Beagle, pp. 431-6; […] there appears to be some more mysterious agency generally at work. Wherever the European has trod, death seems to pursue the aboriginal.[1836] Darwin appears to be arguing that Aboriginal extinction was a ‘law of nature’ rather than the result of British violence. 232 BBC Horizon programme, The Ghost in Your Genes, 2005, is an excellent overview of epigenetics. Transcript is at 218 will utterly destroy them, their wives and their little ones, and all that they have, and we will go in and possess the land.233 The British Government was certainly aware of the brutal extermination being carried out at the Australian frontier in the name of civilisation, but economic interests generally outweighed humanitarian concerns. The habit of regarding natives as vermin, to be cleared off the face of the earth, has given to the average Queenslander a tone of brutality and cruelty in dealing with the ‘blacks’ which it is very difficult for anyone who does not know it, as I do, to realize. I have heard men of culture and refinement, of the greatest humanity and kindness to their fellow whites, and who when you meet them at home you would pronounce to be incapable of such deeds, talk, not only of the wholesale butchery (for the iniquity of that may sometimes be disguised from themselves) but of the individual murder of natives, exactly as they would talk of a day’s sport, or of having to kill some troublesome animal.234 However the attempt to understand human social behaviour (in particular) from a biological perspective was first examined by Charles Darwin, who argued that social behaviour, as for species, is the result of natural selection, what became known as Social Darwinism with the advocacy of its later exponent Herbert Spencer (1820 – 1903) an evolutionary philosopher.235 Spencer introduced the term ‘survival of the fittest’in relation to Darwin’s theory of natural selection, and Darwin adopted the term in his later writings. Some of Darwin’s social influences and further experiences while on the Beagle led him to racism, that some races are superior to others, and that certain less competitive races were therefore 233 G. Carrington, Colonial Adventures and Experiences, 1871, p. 143. 234 British High Commissioner Arthur Hamilton Gordon to Prime Minister Gladstone, private letter, April 1883, quoted in P. Kaplund, Sir Arthur Gordon on the New Guinea Question 1883, Historical Studies, Volume VII, 1955-7, pp. 330-1. I’m indebted to Ray Evans for this quote from: Evans, Saunders, Cronin, Race Relations in Colonial Queensland A history of exclusion, exploitation and extermination, p. 78. At the time, Queensland was pressing the British Government to allow the annexation of Papua New Guinea as a Queensland territory. To their credit, Britain refused the request, although it had done almost nothing about the carnage in Queensland and the other states for the previous 100 years. Britain’s decision may have prevented considerable further slaughter, if Australia’s unique brand of ‘civilising the blacks’ had been allowed to spread north. 235 Today it is known as social biology or social determinism – the understanding of human behaviour from a biological or social perspective – but will undoubtedly be reinvented again as the normative implications of behavioural epigenetics are better understood for entire populations. 219 ‘doomed’ to extinction,236 through a process he sought to identify in Origin of the Species, belatedly published in 1859 to a surge of public interest. In 1836, Darwin approvingly wrote: All the aborigines have been removed to an island in Bass’s Straits, so that Van Diemen’s Land enjoys the great advantage of being free from a native population.237 Darwin thought that his theory of Natural Selection could explain species’ origination and extinction. But we now know he was incorrect. In the case of species extinction, most are caused not by ‘survival of the fittest’ (or weeding out the less ‘fit’) through sexual selection and very slow and random evolutionary changes over millions of years but by catastrophic events (punctuated equilibria) such as a large asteroid strike, or sudden widespread volcanisation, or more recently by human activity, each event with a unique fingerprint. We still do not have a satisfactory theory for how new species emerge. It must be said that many palaeontologists and evolutionary biologists have tended to resist the importance of ‘sudden’ change on the evolution of biological and geological systems. Generally, ‘uniformitarian’ change (or ‘gradualism’) over millions of years is a preferred ‘ideology’. People can tend to force disruptive information into a familiar framework or ignore data that does not fit accepted models, making the data set conform to belief rather than objective science.238 For many years, palaeontologists and biologists decried the Alvarezes’ theory that an asteroid impact had caused a cretaceous tertiary extinction about 65 million years ago, for which the evidence is now overwhelming. At times of catastrophe, concepts of adaptation and ‘fitness’ lose their meaning, when it is not the fittest who survive, say dinosaurs or ammonites, but the luckiest. Before 65 ma saurans were pre-eminent, among them the ptserosaur (‘winged lizard’), all supremely adapted. But it was not enough. With the arrival of the ten kilometre wide asteroid at Chicxulub on the Yucatan Peninsula, survival of the fittest through sexual selection was impotent and the Jurassic period ended from an impact with the force of an estimated million or more of the most powerful hydrogen bombs ever tested (equivalent to 100,000,000 megatons of TNT). The earth’s history is defined by catastrophes, against which slow evolutionary change had to bow. Darwin was aware of catastrophes, but argued against their evolutionary importance over long periods. 236 Charles Darwin, Voyage of the Beagle: 434 237 Ibid: 446-8 238 Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions 220 Darwin also considered then rejected Lamarckian inheritance and adaptation but he was incorrect here also. Many evolutionary biologists still find it hard to accept the evidence for epigenetics or neo Lamarckism, that is, rapid, disruptive, and directed non-Darwinian evolution. Epigenetics is the fast growing study of heritable changes in gene expression (or cellular phenotype) caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence. For example, cell differentiation (from a stem cell) is an epigenetic process. What is less well known: there is now surprising DNA evidence that H. sapiens, Neanderthals and Denisovans could interbreed, the main differences in their physical characteristics being due to their respective epigenome (or how individual genes are switched on or off). The multiplicity of evidence is rapidly accumulating, for example, that some forms of lifestyle disorders such as obesity or certain pathologies can be acquired and subsequently inherited through the epigenome. Most evolutionary biologists still look askance at the possibility of directed evolution, preferring to believe in random change to the genome over hundreds of thousands of years and longer. But there is increasing evidence that changes to the phenotype can affect not just the expression of the genome but the genome itself, and within a generation. Of greater significance, the epigenome may be more important to evolution in the short term than the genome. There is now a well established concept that culture has affected our genes and also the way they are expressed. One example, simple and succinct, is the switch to farming about 10,000 years ago, which triggered the evolution of extra genes used to produce an enzyme used in starch digestion, and other epigenetic changes that allowed us to digest milk as adults. In Australia, up to 5% of Caucasians are lactose intolerant, compared with up to 75% of nonCaucasians (including Aboriginals). There is the more general example of adaptive niche construction, where the environment is caused to adapt to the organism and not the reverse, like a beaver dam or human societies. But Darwin’s somewhat tautological conclusion, the species and races that survive are those which successfully procreate, the theory of slow evolutionary change based on sexual selection, derived from a flawed observational premise that there was a hierarchy of species and races, and this premise led directly to another particularly repugnant theory that perceived lower races, having been dubiously categorised as sub-races or sub-species, could therefore legitimately be exterminated (or allowed to mysteriously become extinct) as a ‘law of nature’ and not through moral failure on the part of the oppressor. 221 Nor at the time, although he was a very keen observer, did Darwin appreciate that some behavioural characteristics conferred by the environment as specific adaptations could be genetically propagated. Such a mechanism was entirely rejected as Lamarckism, but which we have now reclaimed as behavioural epigenetics. Neuroepigenetics Neuroepigenetics 239 or behavioural epigenetics is the newly emerging study of heritable changes in gene activity, not those due to changes in DNA sequences, which can shape human behaviour. These epigenetic changes may be caused by silencing a gene or group of genes through certain methylation mechanisms, still being researched, rather than through blind chance, genetic mutation and sexual selection as evolutionary biology theorises. That is, we are beginning to understand that the environment can shape the expression of our DNA (the phenotype), and that nurture can shape nature, and those changes can be inherited. Behavioral epigenetics investigates how epigenetic changes can affect neuronal structure and function, which in turn influence an organism’s behaviour. Some behaviours, like racism, can be collectively shared as a normative cultural adaptation. Whether they are epigenetic is more complex. ‘Normal’ as used here is simply a standard deviation within some distribution function for an assigned population variable, say height (physical) or aggressive racial intolerance (behavioural). An important area of research that logically follows from the individual inheritance of acquired behaviours is that if any such maladaptive behaviour occurs across a large population, then group normative behaviours can similarly be influenced by social and environmental factors. In this way, certain deviant behaviours, as measured against some ideal state, can become normative, for example collectively shared racial antipathy (racism) or other destructive behaviours such as lack of psychosocial empathy (impulsivity) or obsessively unsustainable exploitation for short term selfenrichment (greed). These social markers or defining behavioural attributes have not yet been longitudinally modelled by social theorists, or behavioural epigeneticists or behavioural psychologists; but they are a reasonable baseline for measuring and managing collective behavioural change through (for example) a social contract. 239 Tabitha Powledge, Behavioural Epigenetics: How Nurture Shapes Nature, BioScience, Volume 61, Issue 8, 588 – 592, ; Stephen Hall, Behaviour and Biology: The accidental epigenetist, 2013, ; 222 Darwin failed to recognise, either empirically or a priori, that we are all equally human, preferring to postulate a hierarchy of human races without sufficient supportable evidence, and this racist failure further encouraged Imperial ethnic cleansing around the globe and justified methodical indigenous subjugation while rewarding compulsive greed. In this sense, Britain’s Darwin is akin to Germany’s Nietzsche, both concerned with the ‘overman’ of racial superiority disguised as pseudoscience, the views of both contributing to violent racism and ethnic extermination. A reasonable question to then ask: is there a physiological basis for a collective behavioural disorder? Based on emerging epigenetic research evidence, we are led to the real possibility that British intergenerational racism, collectively expressed during the rise of Imperialism, could be characterised as a persistent normative cultural dysfunction, an acquired and perhaps heritable behaviour through a neuroepigenetic physiological mechanism we are just beginning to understand, a mechanism which appears to have far more importance in the short term than genetics because it encodes for environmental and cultural influences. Social Darwinism or Spencerian evolution Social Darwinism, as it was known from the 1870s, was first proposed by Herbert Spencer (1820 – 1903) in the 1850s, before Darwin’s theory on the evolutionary adaptation of species through random mutations and natural selection became de riguer in the form of Darwinian ‘survival of the fittest’.240 However Darwin’s thinking, when it was published, provided further pseudo scientific support for the evolution of social groups. As a social theory, Social Darwinism was almost purely racist, as it gave further voice to Aboriginal extermination being diligently pursued on the basis of their supposed racial inferiority, their unfitness to survive, where the process of extermination was simply executing Nature’s will, a willing British servant blindly and murderously obedient to supposed greater laws than those of simple commercial gain, and the chance to find fortune with stolen Aboriginal land. Because Social Darwinism, like any racist ideology, dehumanised the victim group, it became increasingly natural for pastoralists and police to refer to Aboriginals as ‘black crows’ and ‘vermin’, and other pejorative terms, for which extermination became both logical (based on pseudo science) and necessary (to clear the way for a superior race). When 240 Neo-Darwinism is a reformulation of Darwin’s theory, which attempts to set out the genetic mechanism for variation within a species. However it is now known that the environment can affect the expression of the genome, what might be called Neo-Lamarckism, that is, the inheritance of certain acquired characteristics. The process is hugely complex and still being explored, with significant research progress in only the last ten years. 223 accompanied by the newly developed semi automatic rifle such as the large bore Snider, the killing accelerated, and an Aboriginal carrying a few spears was unable to compete in what became an entirely unequal struggle for the land. More strictly, Social Darwinism was a branch of sociology which believed that societies could adapt and evolve, as well as species. Spencer’s ideas slightly predated Darwin’s theory of evolution, for which his seminal work On the Origin of the Species was published in 1859, but the racist dimensions of Darwinian theory were quickly incorporated into Spencerian supremacist ideology. The associated Eugenics movement (Francis Galton, a relative of Darwin’s, 1822 – 1911) further argued that Western society had developed because of the superior abilities of whites over other races. Both movements originated in Britain, and both borrowed heavily from the ideas of Darwin, such as the apparent ‘variation on domestication’, based on his by no means unique animal breeding observations. In Darwin’s later 1882 work The Descent of Man, he wrote: Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly anyone is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.241 Eugenics Eugenics simply postulated that the certain races were superior through better selective breeding. Eugenics was actively practised by Australian Governments from 1915, notably by Auber Neville (1875 – 1954), who was the Western Australian Aboriginal Protector from 1915 to 1936, and Commissioner for Native Affairs from 1936 to 1940. Neville directed that half-cast Aboriginals of lighter colour should be removed from their families, and that full blood Aboriginals should be segregated from the community and allowed to become extinct. That is, Governments’ stated intent was to breed out Aboriginality. However, belief in the ‘superiority’ of certain races was widespread from the early 19th century, and perhaps before. It gave justification, not just to a hierarchy of races, but also a hierarchy of classes within a race. The British class based social system is an example, but these social theories developed 241 Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, 1871, Vol I, p. 168, regarding ‘Natural Selection as affecting Civilised Nations’. 224 after the British class structure was in place, and their effect may have been to justify retrospectively the ideas of noblesse oblige, hereditary entitlement and sovereign right, but given further support by Darwinism. Contradicting Darwin’s belief (and those of his supporters) in a hierarchy of cultures and races based on relative ‘fitness’, Lévi-Strauss242, the father of modern social anthropology, was the first to identify the structural idea that all cultures share similarities underlying their myths and patterns of behaviour,243 an integrative idea at odds with Darwin’s ill conceived and ultimately contemptible thesis that Aboriginals represented a sub-species of humanity. Yet Lévi-Strauss’ idea is not so bizarre, although for many British brought up on the belief of their innate racial superiority it remains confronting. Aboriginals and British share more in common than their differences and genetically there is no distinction. Sociobiology Britain’s 19th century class based culture of inherited privilege calls forth a discussion of sociobiology. The term sociobiology and its related field of investigation – the biological basis for social behaviour, the deep structures of human nature, or that all behaviour is based on ecological adaptations – was largely re-invented in 1975 through the book Sociobiology: The New Synthesis by E.O. Wilson (1929 – ), a renowned Harvard biologist, entomologist and the world’s pre-eminent authority on ants and their social behaviour, including territorial aggression and countless conflicts, much like humanity. While Wilson’s ideas on sociobiology are heavily weighted towards the role of heredity and nature in the nature/ nurture debate, perhaps understandable with social insects such as ants, he denies humanity any free will and contends that all behaviour is predetermined, shaped primarily by genetic rules according to the laws of evolution. For example, he cites altruism and religion as genetically influenced adaptive behaviours: 242 Claude Lévi-Strauss (1908 – 2009) was a French anthropologist and ethnologist who has been called the ‘father of modern anthropology’. He never accepted the Darwinian position that Western civilization was unique and privileged. Instead he identified the idea that human characteristics are the same everywhere, what he called structuralism, or ‘the search for the underlying patterns of thought in all forms of human activity’. His ideas and insights are now widely accepted and present a far more involving and testable picture of humanity than Darwin’s frequently sterile and non-falsifiable approach, an approach that justified reductive extermination. 243 Lévi-Strauss, Claude, Les structures élémentaires de la parenté (Elementary structures of kinship), 1949 225 Religious practices that consistently enhance survival and procreation of the practitioners will propagate the physiological controls that favour acquisition of the practices during single lifetimes.244 In this sense Wilson is more closely aligned with the discredited behaviourist theories of B.F. Skinner (1904 – 1990) in the mid-20th century and Francis Galton’s eugenics in the late 19th century. Wilson’s most recent work, the part-autobiographical Anthill, draws parallels between ant and human society and how our species, which is not all that unique, is on a path to self-destruction. Wilson’s views are a call to action for humanity, a call to be aware of our nature and behaviour. Whether we can do anything about it is our challenge. Neuroepigenetics and sociobiology There is a compelling argument to enlarge the concept of sociobiology in its modern variant of neuroepigenetics to include the cultural, geopolitical and economic influences – nurture – that led to a collective psychosocial behavioural disorder in 19th century imperial Britain and its colonies, one that seems to have a lingering inherited impact on the general Australian descendant population in the form of racial antipathy, otherwise known as racism, and also a type of material secularism that continues to encourage social inequality, driven by the pursuit of short term exploitative advantage. The gene, the DNA sequence, is not the only heritable determinant of behaviour across generations. Other heritable traits can occur that do not involve changes to the underlying gene sequence, but instead affect how the expression of individual genes or sets of related genes are turned on or off. For example, racism and specism seem to have persisted in our society as a cultural ‘meme’, although not in the traditional and unverifiable (nonfalsifiable) sense proposed by Dawkins but as inherited (replicable) cultural behaviour that may have become epigenetically hard-wired into the expression of our genome and can therefore only continue without normative epigenetic constraints as might be imposed over time across a large population by a Bill of Rights – a directed form of cultural adaptation. Early research already indicates that stress disorders can be inherited, even though the original stressor no longer exists. We still have much to learn about the collective transmission of psychosocial disorder in large populations and even more on how to treat it; 244 E. O. Wilson, On Human Nature, 1979, Harvard University Press, p. 177. 226 but we can make some non-invasive and rational first steps while indifference is no longer an option.245 It is now an area of active research that culturally and environmentally acquired characteristics may be encoded genetically through somatic selection and that the presumed Weismann barrier between the soma (body cell) and the germ line (reproductive cell) does not exist, although it was an accepted ideology until very recently. That is, epigenetic factors – those inherited changes in the phenotype (appearance) or gene expression caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence – can also effect the expression of the gene through ecological and cultural adaptation. It is a concept that is still actively resisted by evolutionary biologists such as Richard Dawkins 246 for whom random mutations of the genome over many thousands of years, some mutations of which might confer a competitive advantage, are propagated sexually and are the sole basis for evolution. For such biologists, the evidence for directed evolution is anathema, where organisms may be able to order up new mutations exactly when they need them, triggered by switching genes on and off to adapt to new environments. But there are many examples of niche selection. Take the beaver, which constructs a preferred environment (a dammed river) rather than adapts. Humans are similar: they change an environment to suit themselves. It seems that learning, not random genetic mutations, may be the greatest driving force in animal evolution. What would have happened if the first finches to reach the Galapagos Islands had lacked the behavioural ability to try new foods? Darwin would have had to look elsewhere for evidence of evolution. Or consider Aboriginals, who are well adapted to their environment, to the extent that many lack an enzyme to metabolise lactose, an epigenetic change that occurred about 10,000 years ago in Europe with the introduction of cattle farming. A pervasive Aboriginal intolerance of alcohol247 may be a similar effect, 245 Places to start exploring the emerging neuroepigenetic literature include the Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute (BSI) website at and the website for the highly respected professional scientific magazine Nature at ; and for shorter discussions see and and 246 R. Dawkins, The Selfish Gene. 247 Different ethnic groups show varying levels of genetically based tolerance to alcohol. Difference in tolerance levels are also affected by social disadvantage including poor diet. Alcohol dehydrogenases (ADHn) are a group of enzymes that help the metabolisation of alcohol. Researchers have identified a small number of genes that may be associated with alcoholism, because they encode for slower metabolising forms of ADH2 and ADH3. Aboriginal genetic studies have not been undertaken to determine the extent, if any, of a genetic (or epigenetic) basis for alcohol intolerance, although the link seems likely given the disproportionate dysfunction caused by alcohol on Aboriginal communities compared with the general 227 although the epigenetic studies have not yet been completed. More compelling among many emerging examples, we now know that what a mother eats can affect gene expression in the developing embryo, that obesity can be an inherited disorder, and that some diseases such as schizophrenia may not always be inherited after all, but can be an acquired disorder, a fact confirmed by studies of genetically identical twins. Darwin’s somewhat tautological observation that the fittest survive appeared quite logical when the complexities of DNA and epigenetic programming were to be a future discovery, but we are still at the very beginning of understanding how life adapts. It is a sad reflection on our social history that Darwinian dogma – an assumed scientific law – was widely used to justify Aboriginal ethnic cleansing, a law that is now beginning to unravel as we achieve a better understanding of the testable biological evolutionary processes involved, not just in very slow natural selection as posited by Darwin’s careful observations, but more generally in the rapidly trans-generative role of acquired characteristics conferred by cultural learning, behavioural adaptation248, and niche creation. A further distinctive example of human epigenetic changes is the recent discovery by molecular biologists that embryonic stem cells can be replaced by ordinary stem cells which can be made pluripotent, able to become a fully differentiated cell of any type such as muscle or epithelium, something that may have significant implications for the future treatment of disease.249 Of more interest to what Foucault might call the archaeology of our behaviour:250 population. Alcohol ravaged Aboriginal society from the earliest time of occupation by the British; it continues to do so today. [ , , ,] 248 Behaviours can be learned. But they can also be directed or deliberately chosen. In many cases, they can be inherited. Can learned behaviour be inherited? Quite possibly yes, although we don’t know when and how. There is the dance of bees, for example, or nest building, or carefully engineered termite mounds, or beaver dams, or any number of other behavioural examples, including the use of tools in some birds and primates. The mechanism for behavioural epigenetics is still being teased apart. Where evolutionary biologists tend to draw the line is in the possibility that evolution can be directed, either by us or by some other agency, because they believe this leads to the anathema of intelligent design. 249 Cellular pluripotency exists from the very first fertilised cell. All cells are genetically identical. But cells differentiate into their different types – skin, muscle, eye, brain – through an epigenetic process we are just beginning to understand: different genes are turned on or off by some process across a shared genome, resulting in different cell types, or phenotypes. 250 Michel Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge, is a reconstruction of epistemology. There is a similar need to deconstruct and rebuild human behaviour into a representational typology based on the epigenome, a behavioural taxonomy that allows type instantiation and relational dependencies between classes. The computer analogy seems apt, when we are talking about a hugely complex epigenetic programme which we still barely understand, not even at the simplest level of the codon (a triplet of base pairs, each pair being derived from a combination of one of four amino acids) which would equate to a byte (usually a combination of 8 binary digits) in Information Technology. A codon can have 4096 ‘letters’ (16³), considerably more complex than our computer based alphabet of 256 (2^8) values, based on an agreed binary code. But if we were to print out a string of 0’s and 1’s from a computer programme, we would still be a long way from understanding the operation of the programme itself, in terms of a control language or more complex again, the overall operating system. We are at a similar disadvantage in deciphering our biological programme, which looms more mysterious and challenging 228 there is considerable current research into epigenetic factors on brain function and related behaviours, disorders and disease, the field of neuroepigenetics or behavioural epigenetics, a discipline within molecular biology. I have extended Wilson’s definition of sociobiology to include epigenetics, which goes well beyond genetic inheritance and ecological adaptation. Can History be Accountable? We can think of accountability as a measure of negative feedback on some human behavioural process that tempers our dysfunctional excesses. In business management, it is called governance. In criminal proceedings, it is the effect of judicial penalties that may, or may not, mute unacceptable conduct, where recidivism can be a form of learned compulsion. History, the sum of all we have done, can only be accountable to the extent that its actors are responsible for the consequences of their actions. The practice and prospect of accountability may cause us to modify our actions in order to limit or shape the expected consequences. There is no evidence that Britain ever felt it necessary to consider the consequences of its actions as it forced Aboriginals from their homelands. To the contrary, the consequences were quite intentionally amplified through a positive feedback process, by increasing the rate of occupation through accelerated immigration and expanded land allocation, with a ready propensity to violently quash any resistance. Aboriginal society was tens of thousands of years old before Australia was claimed ‘in the name of the Sovereign’ by the British Government251 and then rapidly colonised, at first by a selective carceral population252 and their appointed minders, hastily followed by pastoralists, settlers and others looking for a quick financial return from a concerted rush for land that belonged to ‘no one’. And Aboriginals, the first people, would no doubt laugh mirthlessly at the assertion that colonisation – and its boat people – ever brought them freedom. However, these are the words from our national anthem. For we are young and free. They are patriotic and inspiring words that can swell our chests, words of place and country. than that of the fundamental problem of physics, where we can’t account for (and don’t know the nature of) what makes up a staggering 96% of our universe, the missing amount being what we haplessly call dark matter and dark energy. 251 James Cook was the first authorised representative of the British Government, when on 22nd August 1770 ‘At 6 posession was taken of this country in his majesty’s name and under his coulours…’, followed by Arther Phillip, with his draft instructions of 25th April 1787 (the original is lost), which formalised possession ‘With these Our Instructions you will receive Our Commission under Our Great seal constituting and appointing you to be Our Captain General and Governor in Chief of Our Territory called New South Wales ..’. The boundaries of this ‘possession’ or ‘territory’ were to change regularly, as political arrangements consolidated between Britain and other European powers, and settler sovereignty flexed its muscles. 252 This was the term favoured by Robert Hughes in his remarkable book, The Fatal Shore, when he was referring to the unfortunate transportees. 229 Of such also are the Aboriginal dreamtime stories, where land is life and identity,253 and through more recent imaginings, have we recast the history of colonial settlement in Australia, an often contrived history of what we may choose to believe and remember, of supposed pioneering heroism and pastoral triumphalism, forgetting the role of the gun and violent dispossession and sexual predation and military campaigns and cruelly projected police authority and marauding settler death squads and formal Government ethnic cleansing policy and racist legislation and discriminatory juridical process in reshaping the land and its myths anew, the myths of settler sovereignty and mateship, the myths of economic development no matter the cost. Nowhere was the pastoral frontier immune from blood; the land could not have been won without it. But is the past so different? Is it inoculated from our judgment? Can our history be made accountable for what it did or did not do? Some countries do allow judicial inquiries into past behaviours. The United States courts have not been restricted by Government in how far back they may investigate. The New Zealand Waitangi Tribunal reaches back to cases in the 1840s, when the country was first occupied by the British. The legal principle embodied in the Doctrine of Laches (‘out of time’) does not have to apply to crimes against humanity. Although the successful 1992 Mabo case opened the possibility for Land Rights claims, the legal conditions are quite constraining. There seems to be no compelling reason (other than the political desire to rule out compensation or restitution for past misdeeds) for Australian Courts to be hobbled by Government unless to protect the past from proper scrutiny and the problems it may reveal. Australia still has a racist element, particularly in the north, but it generally wears the clothes of right wing conservatism, economic rationalism and political pragmatism, if it wears clothes at all. Do we really believe we can rewrite history? Or ignore it? Are there many possible histories and many corresponding ‘truths’? As we turn the pages of history, can we learn from the past? With history at our elbow, have our behaviours changed so much since first British occupation, when colonial civilization was little more than a foraging economy, competing for water and game against the indigenous owners? Should Britain be held 253 The fundamental Aboriginal connection between land and identity reflects Spengler’s central thesis that a race has roots, like a plant, and is connected to a particular landscape. ‘If, in that home, the race cannot be found, this means the race has ceased to exist. A race does not migrate. Men migrate, and their successive generations are born in ever-changing landscapes; but the landscape exercises a secret force upon the extinction of the old and the appearance of the new one.’ For Spengler, race is tribal and cultural, rather than biological. [Oswald Spengler (1880 – 1936), The Decline of the West (two volumes), 1918 – 23, Vol 2, chapter 2]. It follows that displacing Aboriginals from their home was an act of racial and cultural genocide, something attested to by Aboriginals themselves. We have yet to properly acknowledge our accountability and their loss. 230 accountable for its policy of aggressive colonisation through expanded emigration and land grants (which became sales after 1830), when they were clearly aware that it drove ethnic cleansing?254 Britain continued to claim that they could not hold back the process of colonisation, when at the same time it persisted in a rapid expansion of settlement through accelerated emigration and land allocation, driven by insatiable pastoralism and an expanding landed economy. From this, it is clear that Britain’s frequently expressed exhortation to its colonial representatives ‘to conciliate the affections of the natives’ had no real meaning. Land could not be expropriated compassionately from the original inhabitants if it left them with nowhere to live, hardly an act of ‘conciliation’ that would gain their ‘affections’. Britain did not ask the question: ‘Where were the dispossessed Aboriginals to go’; it was not a consideration in their policy of colonisation. The lack of a humane policy – or perhaps more accurately the success of genocidal policy – led directly to Aboriginal extermination and rapid depopulation. There can only be one conclusion: that the process of British colonisation, driven by formal British Government land and emigration policy, drove Aboriginal ethnic cleansing and was its primary cause. The corollary is: without Britain’s policy drive by armed force to remove Aboriginals from their land, there would not have been ethnic cleansing; ethnic cleansing means ethnic removal, usually through a Lemkinian genocidal process, as was demonstrably the case in Australia.. Policies can be changed. Britain was obdurate: Britain would not change its ethnic cleansing policy, and they would wear their ‘indelible stain’ hoping that history might forgive their actions, or that later generations might forget the consequences of those actions, if in fact we now care at all, as we enjoy colonial Britain’s legacy: a prosperous Australia without the encumbrance of a dominant land-owning Indigenous population. Can We Be Accountable? If we re-examine history, so much should we rewrite the revisionists, the hagiographers,255 including those remunerated shire history writers who have largely and collectively drawn an 254 Oxley’s 1810 remarks on the country and settlements formed in Van Diemen’s Land, HRA 3/1: 575-576. Sorell, Hobart Town Gazette, 13 March 1819; Arthur to Murray, Despatch No. 19, 15th April 1830, Enclosure No. 1, HRA 3/9: 169-172; Ibid, Enclosure No. 2: 202-236. These documents are also transcribed in the following chapter: 1830 Tasmania: Aborigines’ Report. 255 Hagiography is not restricted to remunerated shire history writers. I do not wish to pick on any particular publications, but you will see the pervasive extent of excessively rosaceous historical bias even in the reputable The Oxford Companion to Australian History (OCAH) edited by Graeme Davison, John Hirst and Stuart Macintyre, Oxford University Press, 1999. If our only reference for Australian history was OCAH, we would get little insight into our longest war, a war for land. The pastoralists wanted land. When the Aboriginal owners resisted, they were exterminated or removed. Consider these two 231 opaque and rosaceous film over our past, turning the condemnable into the benign, and regaling us with a generally contrived story of heroic accomplishment against the adversities of Nature and the first inhabitants. We can only do this by embedding events in verifiable circumstances, actions and results, case instances, by pointing our future to the moral certitudes, by avoiding the post-modern pitfalls of reflexivity, by recognizing the innate sense we all have of right or wrong, by identifying the patterns of history and the events which give them shape, dispassionately separating myth from verifiable memory as the ‘wounded surgeon plies the steel that questions the distempered part.’256 Hyam, a well regarded British historian, cynically portrays British Imperial history as ‘rum and buggary’257 without consequence, a pleasant game of imperialism in the tradition of Cambridge, with winners and losers, a game of global domination. It is now time to accept responsibility for moral ineptitude (some would say extending to turpitude), the pattern of aberrant behaviour that drove and continues to drive dispossession in all its forms, behaviour that has placed the world at risk. It is no longer a game. random OCAH examples, each of which will be adumbrated in For We are Young and Free: Recollections from a (Homicidal) Pastpral Frontier. Sir John Forrest (1847 – 1918) was premier of Western Australia from 1890 until federation in 1901 (true). [ibid, p. xx] The OCAH fails to mention that Forrest (made a KCMG by the British Government in 1891) presided while premier over a peak period of Aboriginal extermination in the Kimberley. More precisely, the police orders were to ‘disperse the natives’, a euphemism for slaughter of men, women and children, a euphemism used across Australia from the 1840s; before that it was called by a variety of official terms, including ‘pacification’ and ‘clearing’ [for example, Governor Macquarie 1824 and his edict for the military to clear the Cumberland Plains east of Sydney of Aboriginals]. In 1894, Forrest ordered the police (under Police Commissioner Colonel Phillips and with a number of police shooting parties led by Inspector Lawrence, SubInspector Drewry, Constable Cadden and Constable Plimer) to conduct random murder (or ‘dispersal’) of the Bunuba people along the Fitzroy River and anywhere else east of Derby to the King Leopold Ranges as violent reprisal for the killing of stock and to put down the rebellion by Jandamarra against the slaughter of his people and the unilateral annexation of Aboriginal land by pastoralists, with leases up to 1 million acres, denying the Bunuba any right to their homelands. Among the stations along the Fitzroy were Blythe and Collins. After Jandamarra was shot in 1897, Pilmer decapitated him and the head was sent to a British gun manufacturer as a trophy. Any remaining Bunuba were rounded up and walked in chains to Derby where many were transported to Rotnest Island; for hundreds, this was their last destination before they died in captivity. [Also see and Howard Pedersen, Banjo Woorunmurra, Jandamarra and the Bunuba Resistance, Broome, Western Australia, Magabala Books, 1995] The process authorized by Forrest was ethnic cleansing, and involved all the key elements of ethnic cleansing: government complicity, physical removal, incarceration and extermination. Absent from the process was the rule of law. Police and pastoralists were above the law until the Aboriginal problem – the vexed problem of who owned the land – was resolved. The same process was repeated area by area across Australia. Bunuba is one of about 44 language groups for the Kimberley area. Most of these peoples suffered violent depredations from the late 19th century until 1930 The Henty family, according to OCAH, are celebrated as Victoria’s first settlers (true). The Hentys illegally occupied large tracts of land in the Portland district of south-western Victoria from 1834, well outside the prescribed ‘settled districts’ of New South Wales (true). The OCAH does not reveal that, when the local Aboriginals resisted the incursion, the Hentys responded with massacres, but were never charged. [ibid, p. xx] 256 TS Eliot, Four Quartets, East Coker. Eliot continues the verse with a comment on ‘the sharp compassion of the healer’s art’; an affective behaviour too readily dismissed but never more needed while biodiversity is imperilled through human activity and climate change threatens us all. 257 ‘The Royal Navy’, Churchill once declared to Hyam’s approval, ‘has for long been founded upon Nelson, rum, buggery and the lash; and so founded it shall continue’. [Ronald Hyam, Britain’s Imperial Century, 1815 – 1914, A Study of Empire and Expansion, p. 17]. 232 The proposition that we are now increasingly responsible for our own destiny and that of the Earth is relatively unquestioned, but can be tested against a small set of simple hypotheses, which we will further examine in the series For We are Young and Free, and either prove or disprove: • That we must look at the global patterns of British racist imperial behaviour to understand the inevitable consequence of ethnic cleansing across its colonies, including those in Australia; • That the very behaviours which drove ethnic cleansing – rac’ism or racial antipathy on the back of simple commercial greed – are now driving the destruction of the biosphere, ecocide258, and the destruction of other species, what I call spec’ism or the denial or refusal to recognize that other species have the inviolable and ineluctable right to exist, to retain their habitat and livelihood, species antipathy; • That common and statutory law and Parliamentary democracy have comprehensively failed to stop ethnic cleansing in the past and have accelerated species and ecological destruction today through omission or commission. • Therefore that a Bill of Rights (not just human rights) must be introduced to our civil society to reinforce our normative values, what some people would describe as enforceable standards of acceptable moral behaviour, equitable and non-destructive, sustainable for the millennia, something well understood by Aboriginal society before it was destroyed by British occupation, without apology or adequate recompense. For without positive and legislated intervention, it seems racist and exploitative values will persist, there is no commensurate cost for not doing so, where for example a drunken Aboriginal can be cited (or wrongly adduced) as evidence for an inferior Aboriginal society, 258 Ecocide entered the English language in about 1969. It means: the destruction of large areas of the natural environment especially as a result of deliberate human action [Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary]. There is a huge difference between a species and an ecosystem, much like the difference between a chromosome and a cell. An ecosystem, or some part of a natural environment, is vastly more complex biologically and systemically than a single species (just as a cell is far more complex than a chromosome) and its destruction correspondingly more damaging across multiple species, although specism, being selectively , say for elephants, may carry a more visible and immediate effect on the popular conscience. 233 vilifying the race from a single derogatory instance, a process of flawed induction; where present gain is given more weight than future cost; and where the degradation of the biosphere, tree by tree, or habitat by habitat, or ocean by ocean, will not be constrained unless its protection is constitutionally legislated259, the right of any species to their natural environment, not to be forced into extinction or not to be dispossessed, as Aboriginals were dispossessed in our recent history. Self-regulation is rarely as effective as positively directed governance, preferentially exercised as we will argue through the normative provisions of a Bill of Rights. We now have little time and perhaps even less inclination to intervene positively for the good of the biosphere; we still seem to demand momentary advantage from our fellow passengers as the Titanic slips slowly into the sea. Our journey is discursive, not necessarily digressive, as it seeks to explore the overarching supranational and national themes that connect past with present and inevitably form our destiny, where the potential states of future history are past-entangled, a superposition, only resolved as we make some irrevocable decision, the possibilities immediately decohering into a stark certainty for which we are forever morally accountable, if not always required with our present laws. Because all species and races are equally valuable; none is expendable, except to our common loss. Our national Balance Sheets must reflect more than Gross Domestic Product and Surpluses/ Deficits. The lives and habitat of other races and species do not have zero acquisition costs. As for the challenges of meta-history and meta-science, it is climate science that alerted us to the significant peril of global warming,260 when social ‘science’ should have sounded the alarm for the consequences of unrestrained exploitation. It is the economist who 259 There is currently a proposal before the United Nations to accept ‘ecocide’ as a fifth ‘crime against peace, alongside genocide and crimes against humanity, which could be tried at the International Criminal Court. The proposal would have ‘a profound effect on industries blamed for widespread damage to the environment such as fossil fuels, mining, agriculture and forestry’. It could also be used to prosecute ‘climate change deniers’. The proposal recognizes that ecocide leads to resource depletion and an increase in regional conflicts. The premise for the proposal is ‘how do we create a duty of care to the planet, and a pre-emptive obligation not to harm the planet’. [Guardian, April, London reported in The Sydney Morning Herald, 12 April 2010, p. 8]. 260 In Australia, 2013 was the hottest year on record, also with the hottest day, hottest month and hottest season, all this in a non El Nino year, when temperatures are expected to be less. Our temperature charts have had to be redefined upwards to include maximum temperatures of 50 to 54 degrees. [Sydney Morning Herald, News Review, December 21-22 2013, pp. 4 – 5]. In 2012, the Abbott conservative Government announced it was opting out of a market driven greenhouse gas emission trading scheme to reduce environmental carbon pollution. It has also approved massive extensions to developments at Abbott Point and Curtis Island, both on the Barrier Reef, and will allow dredging waste to be dumped near the Reef, claiming it will have negligible effect on coral or water quality. Coastal marine traffic will increase significantly, for coal export. A United Nations panel is likely to declare in 2014 that the Reef ‘at risk’, due to excessive industrialisation. But if the Reef is to die anyway, from global warming and ocean acidification, then an economically rational Government may be tempted to accept the fact and focus on the financial rewards from an accelerated coal and gas export market, by investing in massive port loading developments. 234 told us how the global financial crisis happened (being unable to predict it, although the effects of poor regulation by the Federal Reserve and packaging of toxic debt instruments by financial institutions for sale around the world were scarcely indicative of low risk), but social ‘science’ should have cried out a warning of certain collective behavioural disorders, including unregulated greed and dishonest concealment of risk. It is case law and the work of historians that set out the individual circumstances of ethnic cleansing, but where were the social scientists in determining the aetiology of collective psychosocial disorders, structural, functional and systemic? It is the molecular biologist that experimentally verified how culturally and environmentally acquired disorders can be inherited epigenetically, but social science should have developed the social interaction models in advance, free of ideology. In between squabbling over various methodologies, where are the social theorists in determining equitable evidence based social policy, independent of special interest groups? If social science is to make a contribution to our future, it cannot remain focussed on the immediate health and welfare (sanitary) aspects of the socially disadvantaged; it must set out a coherent value model for a normative civil society better able to adapt to a sustainable set of priorities for the millennia to come. As the saying goes, ‘prediction is very difficult, especially about the future’,261 but prediction becomes easier with stable, normative and non-destructive societal values. Social change, for example the introduction of a Bill of Rights, requires political change. If we want to change the short term mind of politicians, we must first change the mindset of voters. Some politicians, faced with evidence of global warming, argue that we should ignore such evidence because it may be used to incriminate us; with such an argument was 19th century Aboriginal witness testimony disallowed because it might cause the conviction of the perpetrators of Aboriginal murder. Indifference and denial are no longer rational options, but they remain easy so long as they require inaction. Yet the cost of not doing something is increasing the longer we delay, like the cost of ignoring the effects of anthropogenic climate change, unsustainable exploitation and inequity. These costs are symptoms of pervasive and ongoing moral crises involving racism, secular materialism, and unrestrained greed, a failure to understand that certain resources are neither free (like Aboriginal land in the 19th century and beyond) nor inexhaustible, a failure of our values as a society. 261 This quote was first attributed to the physicist, Niels Bohr, but others including Yogi Berra, later developed their own versions. 235 Towards a Value based Society As a learning society, we are interested in much more than some dry list of massacre events, any of which can be disputed or discounted as contextual or reflexive aberrations, 262 each event having the investigative markers as we might associate with a crime scene: what, when, where, and who. Although the events are important – indeed they are the stuff of history – our over-riding concern is with meta-history, why, the overarching patterns set by motivation, capability and opportunity, and the inherited values of our society which drove the patterns and events of history. We will also examine values such as ‘goodness’, what it means for our society to be ‘good’, whether for example the qualities of ‘goodness’ are innate and genetically predetermined; whether they can emerge naturally from our society; whether such values are the blind adaptive product of competitive selection; whether they depend on a cultural, religious or political set of beliefs; or whether they can be imposed or encouraged as a form of directed evolution, through a form of social contract, or a transformational myth. Are social values bound up with concepts of morality or can they be independent of morality, solely concerned with secular risk/ reward behaviours within the structure of a particular form of society? This is undoubtedly the most challenging and perplexing problem for our time, understanding and managing collective psychosocial behaviours and categorisable disorders, deciding if such values and their corresponding behaviours are normative within a certain society or if they can translate across cultural and geo-political boundaries, a challenge we can only ignore to our ongoing cost, and a cost that potentially embraces our future survival. For competition can drive selective pressure against ourselves for diminishing resources, but 262 It is not possible to study history (or astronomy, evolutionary biology, palaeontology, economics or sociology) through manipulative controlled experiments. Many historians resort to an accumulation of single case examples or devote their attention to one small geographic area or a small period of time. Many historians see themselves as storytellers rather than as scientists. There was an attempt by quantitative historians in the 70s and 80s – cliometrics – but it failed to draw out verifiable patterns and meaningful conclusions. Yet it is possible to establish investigative meta-studies of a natural environment involving multi-variable analysis, although the technique is rarely used by historians. Jared Diamond and James A. Robinson [Natural Experiments of History, 2010] propose just such a method to study large scale phenomena, from the cause of epidemics to the origins of poverty. For example, with Haiti in the recent news, why does the western side of Hispaniola (Haiti) diverge so markedly in its standard of living (about 1/6th the average income) from the eastern side of the island (Dominican Republic). Why did Haiti struggle to respond to the devastation of the recent earthquake? The answer proposed by Diamond and Robinson is instructive. In the 18th century, France claimed the west and Spain the east. France was richer than Spain and transported many Africans to work as slaves. Spain did not. The French experiment caused deforestation and soil erosion as slave ships returned to Europe with timber. In 1804, a Haitian slave revolt led to a republic, mostly ostracized by American and European powers. Haiti fell into the hands of successive dictators. The Dominican Republic became increasingly democratic. Less exploitation and greater institutional reforms made the difference between the neighbours. Other researchers have adopted similar techniques to study social inequality and why more equal societies generally do better, a subject we will examine later in this volume as a recurring theme. 236 it reaches a point where the adaptation becomes increasingly destructive and monopolistic without appropriate normative values. Take, for example, Australia’s banking system, a transactional instrument of group social behaviour, deregulated since the eighties, which through mergers and acquisitions has now been reduced to a mere four large deposit taking institutions, allowing them to operate in lockstep, almost as a cartel on loan rates, fees and charges. Why? Competition unchecked inevitably results in effective monopolies. Or consider that Humanity, the races of humans, in effect has been reduced to a handful of quasi races or blocs of various persuasions and interests, a set of virtual monopolies, with few checks and balances on aberrant collective behaviours, if the ‘collection’ is large and strong enough, for instance the US banking system that infected the world with a financial crisis far greater in its impact than the effect of any terrorist group, or the Coalition of the Willing’s recent invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan on a contrived pretext, or China’s push for territorial domination and economic influence, or British 19th century Imperialism that led to a frenzy of colonisation (a global land and resources grab that rapidly displaced indigenous populations and led directly to ethnic cleansing), or the current compulsive destruction of the biosphere – no interest group including Australia prepared to stop the exploitation of the environment until all others stop (a modern variation of the Prisoners’ Dilemma).263 Are the collectively shared behaviours that drove ethnic cleansing still with us, an acquired and perhaps inherited trans-generational disorder, a collective epigenetic effect like some familial and societal obesity, an urge to use and pollute beyond sustainability for our shortterm (and short-sighted) advantage? It would be naïve to imagine otherwise, but it may be prudent for us to better understand the clinical motivations that drive us, if we are not to continuously re-enact an ancient social compulsion towards ‘us and them’ and the desire to exploit without end. If simple humanity, not self-obsessed greed, had guided key past decisions, would Australia now be quite different? Will future generations be asking the same of us? 263 The Prisoners’ Dilemma: a problem in game theory and also in rational choice generally. Two prisoners are separately offered the same deal. If one of them (A) confesses and the other (B) does not, then A is given immunity from prosecution and B will get a long prison sentence. If both confess, each will get a moderate prison sentence. If both remain silent, each will get a light sentence. There are four possible choices: (1) A confesses and B is silent. (2) Both are silent (3) Both confess and (4) A is silent and B confesses. The problem is that the best outcome for one is hard to achieve without self-sacrifice from the other. So the rational choice is for both to confess. In this case, a normative value of altruism or self-sacrifice does not allow the best possible outcome for one of the prisoners, because they are not allowed to collude. Many kinds of social interactions have the same logical structure. 237 Can the descendants of those early pastoralists be held accountable? After all, many of them still have a financial interest in those ancestral leases and properties. And many of the first pastoral companies still exist. Can we be held accountable for as long as we ignore the past? Do we now have a more enlightened view of right and wrong? Or are we so forgetful that we must blindly repeat earlier mistakes as for some mental disorder, perhaps irrationally hoping the next time for a different outcome. Perhaps we must conclude that, to some measurable degree, we are who we were: diggers, mates, exploiters; and as we shall see, once homicidal racists who fought to clear the land of its original inhabitants, the process fomented and directed by an acquisitive British Government and the colonial Governments which followed. The prize of course was land, and Aboriginals were in the way. They were declared to be ‘non-inhabitants’ without any claim to the land in British law. So it was taken from them. Yet with a new form of dispossession now apace and gathering momentum, the dispossession of the environment, we are running out of time, with our ‘take now pay later’ resolve to knowingly postpone the consequences of our misguided actions for a future age and other generations of Australia and lifeboat Earth, just as Britain and its early pastoralists and settlers left for us the horrifying consequences of what they did and were prepared to do for material advancement, a past that some of us still stridently reject as a ‘black armband’ view of history. Both forms of dispossession are driven by the same behaviours: a compulsion to acquire wealth, with an inability to consider the rights of indigenous (native) populations and species, which carried a zero valuation of sunk cost. Environmental dispossession is further characterised by habitat destruction, excessive land clearing, soil degradation, agricultural run-off, human caused species extinction, swamp draining, ocean and atmospheric pollution, and over exploitation of resources. Such environmental impacts do not generally carry a collateral cost in the Gross Domestic Product, unless productivity and profitability are affected. Similarly, there was a negligible acquisition cost for stolen Aboriginal land. The balance sheet of Britain Inc. ignored the cost of land loss to Aboriginal society. How will we be remembered in 200 years time? Very poorly, I suspect. Patriotism often demands a certain kind of amnesia. Exploitation and appropriation knows itself through an apparently insatiable need for self-enrichment or, more simply, greed. Our received culture persists to mould us; our genetic memory continues to shape our behaviour. Australian history does a poor job at recording those people responsible for ethnic cleansing. 238 They have been allowed to disappear unchallenged, or are otherwise recorded for their heroic contributions. We shall meet some of them in these later pages.264 In the same way, it is likely that future generations will not know the roll call of names that left them with a desolate world, climate change deniers, politicians, industry leaders. But the past and present actors in dispossession – of Aboriginals, of the environment – can, and should, be held to account.265 That is, if we are to learn anything at all from the worst aspects of our behaviours. With a possible 4 to 6 degrees Celsius rise in average global temperatures by the end of the century, we are all likely to become cockroaches. We can continue to believe in evolution through random mutations and blind chance, or we can direct our evolution and our future. We must move from a time when noblesse oblige defined the moral order, to accepting that ’doing no harm’ (Primum non nocere) must guide all that we do. It may be too late. 264 For We Are Young and Free: Recollections from a (homicidal) pastoral frontier. 265 Prime Minister Abbott argued in 2014 that Tasmanian heritage protected forests should again be opened up for logging because they are no longer ‘pristine’, meaning that previous logging activity has degraded some of their value. The same argument could be used to support mining the Great Barrier Reef, because it has been damaged by fertiliser run-off and port developments. Most wildernesses are exploitatively eroded by ‘the death of a thousand cuts’ in be opened up for logging because they are no longer ‘pristine’, meaning that previous logging activity has degraded some of their value. The same argument could be used to support mining the Great Barrier Reef, because it has been damaged by fertiliser run-off and port developments. Most wildernesses are exploitatively eroded by ‘the death of a thousand cuts’ with no one ultimately held responsible.

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Aboriginal Australians co-existed with the megafauna for at least 17,000 years

Authors Michael Westaway Senior Research Fellow, Research Centre for Human Evolution, Griffith University Jon Olley Professor of Water Science, Griffith University Rainer Grun Professor of Archaeogeochemistry, Griffith University Disclosure statement Michael Westaway receives funding from the Australian Research Council. This research was supported by the Three Tribal Groups of the […]

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