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18 June 1993. Thought for the Week: "What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet."
LESSONS FROM SOUTH AFRICA
by Eric D. Butler
The student of the Marxist-Leninist movement recalls how from the beginning Karl Marx and Frederick Engels regarded the terms, Communism and Socialism, as almost synonymous. They originally considered calling the famous "Communist Manifesto", "The Socialist Manifesto". Former dedicated Communists throughout the former Soviet Empire, now describe themselves as Socialists. But as the editors of the Russian Independent paper, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, have warned, the Communist philosophy has not completely gone in Russia and that while like a cancer, it may be in remission, it has by no means been completely eliminated, and may return in a new and more dangerous form.
South African Communists have not only transformed themselves into Socialists, but are being presented as Christians by South African Christian leaders. South African anti-Communist Christians were shocked when the two leading Communist strategists in South Africa, Mr. Chris Hani, who had been General Secretary of the South African Communist Party, and Mr. Oliver Tambo, the Communist who for many years had been the driving force behind the African National Congress, were hailed as Christians and given high-profile Christian burials. Many churches held memorial services. Oliver Tambo's body lay in state in St. Mary's Anglican Cathedral, Johannesburg, for two days following the requiem mass in his honour.
On prime TV news on the evening of Hani' s death,
another top Communist, Joe Slova, a Lithuanian Jew, appealed for Hani
to be mentioned in all church services on the following day. Here was
a lifelong Communist, a professing atheist, calling on Christians to
honour his fellow Communist and atheists on Easter Sunday, one of the
most sacred days in the Christian calendar.
At the funeral of Oliver Tambo, the Rev. Frank Chikane, General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches, compared Tambo with Moses. Nelson Mandela said, "While the ANC lives, Oliver Tambo cannot die ... Oliver Tambo cannot die while his allies in the South African Communist Party and Congress of South African Trade Unions remain loyal to the common purpose.
Christian leaders in South Africa, as elsewhere, have played a major role in betraying the South African people to growing violence and bloodshed. They will be the first in calling for the United Nations to send a "peacekeeping force", one which will prove even more futile than what is being attempted in Yugoslavia, where at long last it is being increasingly admitted that the only hope for peace in the Balkans is for the major ethnic groups to be assured of self determination in separate areas. This is the type of policy which was attempted in South Africa, but vilified by the swear word, "apartheid".
How ironic that the UN may be forced to attempt policing a policy of apartheid'' - separate development - in Yugoslavia while eventually being called upon to try policing the bloody results of destruction of this policy in South Africa! But any attempt to use the UN in South Africa must end in a major disaster, one with profound international effects.
HOW MABO ESTABLISHES AUSTRALIAN APARTHEID
The wild, ideologically driven claims to more
huge areas of land for Aborigines as a result of the Mabo case, and
the political posturing attending the attempts to resolve the implications
of Mabo, make a mockery of the Prime Minister's ham-fisted attempts
at reconciliation between Aborigines and other Australians. The Court's
establishment of a form of native title previously unknown in this country
has further encouraged the revolutionary forces that have long used
the interests of the Aborigines to shatter Australia into two separate
Observing that the granting of too much land to Aborigines will be extremely divisive, Blainey says that it is no longer true that Aborigines are "landless in their own land". Blainey writes: "The part of the nation now in the hands of Aboriginal groups and trusts is extensive. It probably covers about 15% of the continent. Aboriginal lands form almost a continuous corridor from the Aratura Sea to the Southern Ocean, with only tiny breaks in the continuity. One Aboriginal block is about as large as Portugal, another as large as the Netherlands. Most of the land in Aboriginal hands is arid, but some is rich in natural resources. One large Aboriginal area has the rainfall and general capacity to support a nation of many millions at East Asian standards ... The average Aborigine has about 12 times as much land as the average non-Aborigine ... we could well end up with two permanent systems of land tenures and the genesis of two systems of government." (The Age, 12/6/93)
WHO MAKES THE RULES?
Throughout last week's conflict with the State premiers, Mr. Keating held to his position, summarised when he said "It's no point the premiers telling me their States don't accept the (Mabo) decision - it's a matter of law". It certainly is a matter of law - this much is correct, but who should decide what is the law? The press has muddied the waters by making similar assertions to Mr. Keating's, one journalist writing disparagingly of the premiers "blindly refusing to acknowledge the fact that the activist High Court had made a new form of Aboriginal land title a legal reality which Parliaments cannot alter".
At least the Premier of Western Australia, Mr. Richard Court, does not accept this position. Court argues, "It is the elected members of Parliament who make laws in this country and I can't believe that they continue to say that the High Court can make the laws and we must accept them ..." The constitutional position supports Mr. Court.
Of the few journalists who have even taken the trouble to read the High Court judgment, Alan Jones makes sense. In an article last weekend (Sunday Telegraph, 13/6/93), Jones quotes from the decision which establishes that while Mabo's people should enjoy title to their land, this is "subject to the power of the Parliament of Queensland and the power of the Governor-in-Council of Queensland to extinguish that title by valid exercise of their respective powers...". Jones notes, "Federal Parliament has no power to legislate in relation to land title. That is a State Parliament prerogative. So it is the States which must legislate to extinguish native title...."
THE "EXTERNAL AFFAIRS" POWER
While it is certainly true that each State can
resolve the Mabo problem by legislating the Commonwealth still holds
the "ace in the pack" - the Racial Discrimination Act of 1975. Any legislation,
which may be construed to discriminate against Aborigines, either in
extinguishing native title, or compensating "inadequately" for doing
so, could be disallowed under the Racial Discrimination Act.
THE NEW INCREDIBLE LAND CLAIMS
Once again, the interests of the genuine Aborigines are being submerged in the ideological claims of the radicals. Claims for huge areas of land that not even the Mabo decision can justify, further aggravate potential conflicts. For example, Mr. Michael Mansell, Secretary of his Aboriginal Provisional Government, is claiming 20% of Tasmania for Aborigines. For many years European Australians have been accused of the genocide of Tasmanian Aborigines to the point of extinction. How amazing that so many of these unfortunate people can now be found to sustain a claim to unbroken habitation of parts of Tasmania!
The only long-term solution to the Mabo problem is to re-state the constitutional powers of the States, and their relationship to the Commonwealth. This involves challenging the High Court's revolutionary decision in the Tasmanian Dams case, that the "external affairs" power can be used as an excuse by the Commonwealth to override the States on any issue.
Keating is quite incorrect when he claims that the Mabo decision can never be changed. He could pave the way himself by agreeing to modify the Racial Discrimination Act to accommodate new State laws to deal with Mabo fairly. But he will never do so, as this acknowledges State powers that he and his colleagues have worked hard to eliminate. Keating's concern for the Aborigines is not genuine; his real concern is for power. As has been the case for the last 20 years, the genuine interest of the real Aborigines are submerged by the power mongers.
ESSENTIAL READING: Land Rights Birthrights by Peter 13. English. $12.00, or $14.50 posted
LOCAL MANUFACTUFATERS MUST BE PROTECTED
from The Australian, June 7th
"However, over the same period, and contrary to economic forecasts, our deficit on manufacturing trade (i.e. the excess of manufactured imports over manufactured exports) actually deteriorated by over 1000%, from $1.4 billion to $16.3 billion. "Further, the penetration of our domestic sales structure has grown alarmingly, with the imports-to-sales ratio rising from below 10% to the present all-time high of 22%. "And this during a time of relatively slack economic activity when import growth is not meant to be strong.
"Our recent round of balance of payment figures are now taking us back to the 'horror' days of the banana republic period of 1986, and just as we faced the spectre of a credit-rating downgrade at that time, the same possibility is now becoming a real likelihood in the not too distant future. "As long as we continue to depend on commodity based exports and lock ourselves into having to import both consumer and capital manufactured goods we will be exposed to the economic roller-coaster of commodity prices and to the relentless growth of our foreign debt.
"Only last week the OECD has revised downwards (yet again) its forecast for world growth, and this augurs poorly for commodity prices and countries like Australia whose economic health rests on such prices. "It is now crystal clear that tariff and other protection cuts, and the floating dollar, have not reduced our commodity dependence and have indeed increased our reliance on manufactured imports. "It is also plainly obvious to all but the ideologically committed that reductions in protection are causing significant job losses.
"We need to recognise these facts at a policy level and take active measures to develop a strong, diversified manufacturing base that will compete with imports, produce for export and create Australian jobs. "This must be a deliberate aim of policy, and will necessarily involve strategic government incentives and, as has been done throughout Asia, the judicious use of import protection.
"The potential devaluation by 30% in the Chinese yuan in coming weeks will mean that the world markets will soon be flooded with Chinese goods. "Do we want to be part of that deluge to the detriment of local industry and jobs, or do we want a strong, diversified economy that doesn't collapse every time commodity prices weaken? "The choice is very simple - actively develop local manufacturing or sit and wait for the international debt collectors." (Derek Sicklen, Director, Australian Economic Analysis P/L)
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