- Dec 23, 2002
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- North Melbourne
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Land rights isn't a sprint, it is a marathon. Being first anywhere is irrelevant, it all comes down to can you stop someone else taking it from you or not. Malaysia and the Philippines are learning this lesson as China plunders their protected economic zones and China says, "what are you going to do about it?"Some pretty dramatic rewriting of economic history in the West going on here.
Australian and US prosperity literally built on the ongoing genocide of the people who were on this land first.
British imperial greatness built off the deaths of tens of millions of Indians alone.
The great Bengal Famine (one of many that went right into the 20th century) of the late 1700s was directly caused by the EIC funneling billions back to England, it killed millions.
If we want to compare body counts of post 1949 China against the Anglophone capitalist imperium, the Chinese come off far better.
It was an inevitability that the indigenous people would lose this land, it came down to who was going to take it and how brutal they would be to the indigenous population. That can be pretty harsh to say, but the reality is the foreign powers who held onto foreign land pretty much did a number on the indigenous population. The Turks rounded up all the Greeks and Armenians in or around Constantinople who could trace their ancestry back to the original settlers and dumped them in the middle of a desert where most died trying to make it back to civilisation, most that made it back were sent to concentration camps. This was between 1915 and 1917. Turkey to this day claims this wasn't a wrongful act. But then again this is the same people trying to exterminate the Kurds like they are a plague of rats.
My ancestors first colonised half of europe, there is nobody lining up to give that land over. Constantinople was given back to the Greeks after WWI but the reality is they couldn't hold on to it, what land rights they once had are forfeited by conquest. Once you get your arse handed to you in a conflict, that is it, you have nothing and nobody owes you anything. That is the reality everyone of us face if some foreign powers tries to come here like the Japanese did during WW2. If we lost we would have had the Kokoda treatment and no amount of teary eyed lamentation would have done squat to change it.
The reality is that nothing we do here will ever be enough, that is the message a lot of indigenous are projecting. The reality is going to be eventually, the population will stop trying to appease, because it is a futile endeavour to try and appease. What you want or think you are owed will never come to be, the reality is what little has been given back will at some point in the future be abolished eventually when the vast majority of people will be genetically indistinguishable due to cross breeding and it is not going to take a lot of generations for that to happen.
I wish things were different and I wish the indigenous had their own country and they didn't get brutalised. But, life goes on. I think when you compare what was done hundreds of years ago to what is being done now I think is trying on some level to trivialise what is an abhorrent lack of humanity in a time period where there is no need to squabble over resources. Japan has more or less zero natural resources and is one of the richest nations in the world, they have just modernised and become rich from manufacturing and reaching an excellence in terms of technology. China doesn't need to rape and pillage in this day and age. Russia doesn't need to be setting off cold and hot wars. USA doesn't need to be destabilizing regions. There is a lot of abhorrent sh*t going on now for the sake of greed and power. We weren't as enlightened in the past.
I think how people are behaving now is more critical than how people got by in the past. Our government also needs to stop manufacturing consent by just going along with every nefarious USA plot. We have numerous politicians who are guilty of war crimes and human rights abuse, they might not be held to account now or during their lifetime but history will not be kind to them. There will be a reckoning and they are going to condemn their future generations of bearing that burden.