Normally you’d open Tharunka and read this article expecting some analysis of the current US electoral cycle and US politics, the republican nomination and the rest but, honestly, not much has happened in the past few weeks so I’ve decided to drift off onto another topic.
One thing a lot of people don’t really know about me is that I’m a huge Conspiracy Theory buff. From the Moon landings being faked, to the Grassy Knoll, from 9/11, to WMDs in Iraq to HAARP and earthquake machines I devour this shit. I absolutely love it, because it is a brilliant caricature of how humans respond to situations they don’t agree with.
I could spend years writing a book on the intellectual blinders of those involved in any number of these theories, from numerology or alt-med cranks to alien abductees and 9/11 troofers, but someone beat me to it. If you have a chance, do yourself a favour and pick up a copy of the excellent book Voodoo Histories by David Aaronovitch, it’s an incredibly compelling read and it’ll give you a fantastic and in-depth overview of the minds of those that engage and entertain these theories.
The thing is with a lot of these conspiracy theories there is a fair amount of overlap. I attended an “Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth” seminar in the city a few months ago with some friends and found a packed lecture theatre full of people ready to watch a movie about how the ‘government line’ on 9/11 was an absolute fraud.
What followed was an hour and a half of interviews of ‘engineers and architects’ talking about how one building, Building 7, could not have been demolished in that way and as such there were thermite bombs or beam weapons from the moon or anything else.
The sinister undertone however was that there was a shadowy elite of people wholly undermining the progress of this movement, or people who had infiltrated it to discredit it. You see this theme popping up again and again and again in conspiracy theories. From Islamic preachers who believe that the natural victors of the planet, those who are Islamic, have been beaten down by a collusive plot between shadowy individuals and the west. For those alt-health shills, who believe vaccines cause autism and big pharma wants to annihilate the population at the behest of a shadowy cabal. To those in the horseshoe theory of the far-left and the far-right who believe, again, there is a secret force behind politics pulling the strings and levers of power.
I’m talking of course, about the kind of persistent and consistent strand of virulent anti-semitism that bares its face behind almost every conspiracy theory. There are notable exceptions, David Icke (again a man I saw present on this very UNSW campus), says they’re actually shapeshifting reptilians from the house of rothschild and not actually Jews, so you know, I think given the cray cray in that situation we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.
He also believes the moon and uranus are not real and are projections by an advanced alien race, or the CIA, or something. It was an 8 hour lecture and I was pretty drunk about 3 hours in.
However if you’re going to talk about a group that engages in full-throated anti-semitism, you can’t get past the white supremacists. They are the platinum standard of anti-semitism in a quite competitive field. They range from your usual bogan redneck hicks who think black people are stealing their jobs and their welfare, to those enamoured of the policies of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, to those who feel they are doing their scientific duty to expose a world-wide conspiracy and cover up of the inherent scientific differences between the races.
The last group of these people are possibly the most difficult to deal with, as the Onion newspaper outlined in their article “Educated Bigot that much more terrifying”
After arguing with a well-read, articulate racist Wednesday, area man Daniel Truett described the experience as “bone-chilling,” telling reporters it was far scarier than any encounter with an ignorant bigot ever could have been. “I’ve met some intolerant assholes in my time, but never one who could quote passages from Booker T. Washington’s Up From Slavery to make his point,” said Truett, who raised objections to the man’s racial prejudices, but found his opponent was able to anticipate each of his arguments and counter them point by point. “And the most terrifying part of all is that he’s obviously intelligent enough to know he’s a hateful, bigoted person, which means he must actually be okay with that fact.”
The overarching theme of this is that the Jews have put forward policies of multiculturalism in societies to ‘dilute’ the ‘proud white race’ and ‘mongrelize’ them for whatever end. There’s no real focus on the end other than there won’t be any white people anymore, or something. Somehow the Jews benefit from this, again, the way in which they benefit isn’t stated, but if you repeat a point vociferously enough, people tend to just accept it as an axiom rather than a statement that requires qualification.
The reason to bring this all up in a student newspaper? Well, there was a buzz going around the media fairly recently about a student organisation called the “Nationalist Alternative”, or “NatAlt” for short.
They’re pretty open and honest about being a pro-white, anti-immigration group but try to bury a lot of it in social-justice terms of ‘put local students first, education before profits’ and ‘protect student welfare’, the kind of rhetoric that is vague enough to get broad support. Like the vast majority of white-supremacism in greater Sydney, they hail from the Shire, and tend to spend more time paying attention to the UoW’s campus than ours.
Why is it important to pay attention to this? Well, primarily because UNSW is a fairly multi-cultural campus, and I don’t think many people would be arguing that it isn’t a net benefit.
Yes, there have been some quite significant downsides in how the University has handled the increase in student population, but it would be difficult for us to say that we haven’t all benefited significantly from the influx of people, perspectives, cultures, ideas and most importantly, money.
Education is an incredibly important industry to this country, and as we can see, those who want to pay to send their children here to learn are incredibly attuned to any form of anti-international student racism. You can see a microcosm of that in the Indian media’s reaction to the attacks on Indian students in Melbourne. There is no doubt that that was racially motivated.
It’s of great value to be informed about the true motives of those purporting to want to protect your student welfare. These people know that they can’t get student support of their crackpot conspiracy theory ideas, so they try to get respect in other ways.
When you see people handing out flyers or talking about ‘increasing centrelink’, ‘take care of student welfare’ and ‘local students first’, pay close attention. Australia as a nation has done a lot to fight the idea that we’re a racist country, and there’s a great deal of baggage we need to get past before we can declare ourselves free and clear. Hell, the 7th bill passed in our newly formed Parliament in 1901 was the Immigration Restriction act of 1901 (Also known as the White Australia policy).
Pay attention to the motives of the groups putting forward these ideas and make sure you get the big picture. Education as an export can be one of the greater prides of this country, and maintaining our respect and support for a pluralistic society, is one of the great ways we can show we’re shrugging off the baggage of homogeneity and racism this country used to be known for.