Australian Intellectuals and academics so hostile to contemporary Australian
Why do they so often hold disparaging views of their fellow
This was not always the case. In the nineteenth century
Australians of an intellectual disposition sought to work with their fellow
Australians to build a better and freer country.
But from the end of the nineteenth century, beginning with
the Bulletin an intellectual culture emerged which was adversarial in nature
and increasingly hostile to the aspirations of ordinary Australians.
This culture of intellectuals became embedded in key institutions,
including the universities, the world of the arts and the ABC. It became a
subculture isolated from mainstream Australia in intellectual ghettos. It is a
world which bristles with hostility, negativity and nihilism.
been a favoured domain for Australian intellectuals and they heartedly condemn
the Australian past and the Australian people. The only problem is that the
more they blacken the past the more they turn off students from studying
history. The result is a real crisis in the study of the Australian past.
The only way forward is a much more sober and sensible approach by
intellectuals, especially in terms of appreciating our Western heritage.
About the Author:
Gregory Melleuish is an
associate professor at the University of Wollongong where he teaches Ancient
History, World history and political theory. He has published widely,
especially in Australian intellectual history including Cultural Liberalism in Australia and
The Power of Ideas.