The historical detail for my claim that Australia did not exist before the 26th of January 1788 is in chapter 1 ‘Foundations of a New Nation’ of my book Prison Hulk to Redemption. The key issue is the concept of nation. I use the text (below) from my book for my two-part youtube presentation. I include helpful illustrations in the videos.
(699) Australia did not exist before 26 January 1788 – Part 1: The Voyage Out – YouTube
(699) Australia did not exist before 26 January 1788 – Part 2: Establishing the settlement. – YouTube
The philosophical arguments about what it means to be a people or nation are in my presentation ‘Edmund Burke on what it means to be a people’. Both should be read or heard in combination to appreciate the full argument.
Foundations of a new nation
ON 28 APRIL 1770, Lieutenant James Cook steered his ship, the Endeavour, into a broad open bay and dropped anchor at its southern shore. He named it Stingray Bay because of the abundance of stingrays in its waters on which his crew gorged. He later crossed out Stingray Bay in the ship’s logs and entered Botany Bay in tribute to Botanist Joseph Banks, the ship’s eager scientist. Banks had put together an impressive collection of specimens of unknown plants and animals after trekking around the land bordering the bay’s shores.
Cook and the Endeavour were on their way back to England after carrying out the official task of observing the transit of Venus from the island of Tahiti. There were also unofficial tasks, one of which was to investigate the existence of the South Land, whose ancient mythology promised great riches. From Roman times, it had been called Terra Australis Incognita—Unknown South Land. The search for the mysterious land of the south had occupied the Portuguese, the Dutch, the Spanish, and later Englishman William Dampier (1688 and 1689). Dampier added little to the findings of the Dutch seamen.
Until Cook’s voyage, the most successful effort to map whatever was south of present-day Indonesia and New Guinea was Dutchman Abel Tasman’s voyage in 1642 and 1643. The Governor of Batavia had ordered Tasman to find the unknown South Land. On his eight-month voyage, Tasman sailed west from Batavia (today’s Jakarta). Keeping the Indonesian islands to the north, he eventually turned and sailed far to the south before turning east. After navigating a great distance, he hit landfall. He followed the shoreline south, mapping it as he went, turned east, then north, but left the coast to head east again. He named this bushy landmass Anthoni Van Diemens Landt after Batavia’s governor. After some days, he made landfall again. Thinking he had sailed as far as Tierra Del Fuego in South America, he noted Staten Landt in his logbook. Staten Landt was the Dutch for the Spanish name of Argentine’s Isla de Los Estados. But Tasman was well short of Staten Landt
Continue reading Australia did not exist before 26 January 1788
Gerard Charles Wilson
This essay should be read with the post, Australia did not exist before 26 January 1788, to appreciate the full argument.
When Edmund Burke claimed in An Appeal from the New to the Old Whigs that the French Revolution ‘was a wild attempt to methodise anarchy; to perpetuate and fix disorder … that it was a foul, impious, monstrous thing, wholly out of the course of moral nature,’ he was targeting a particular theory of political organisation now known as ‘social contract theory’. It is essential to understand that in Burke’s understanding, social contract theory not only determines the form of political organisation of a particular people but the accompanying social organisation as well.
The early theorists of social contract were Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), John Locke (1632-1704) and Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778). Hobbes is considered the first to introduce the idea. Burke was clearly familiar with the writings of these political philosophers. There are recognisable references to Hobbes (Leviathan) and Locke (The Second Treatise of Government) in his speeches and writings, although he does not name them. He was scathing about Rousseau, reducing his entire philosophy (including the Social Contract) to one of vanity, claiming that ‘with this vice he was possessed to a degree little short of madness,’ and that ‘it is plain that the present rebellion [in France] was its legitimate offspring.’  In other words, he attributed the ‘wild attempt to methodise anarchy [and] to perpetuate and fix disorder’ in France to Rousseau as a major influence.
In his writings on the influence of social contract theory in Britain, however, he had several contemporaries foremost in mind, notably Joseph Priestly (1733-1804), Dr Richard Price (1723-1791) and Thomas Paine (1737-1809). He did not name Priestley or Paine but openly attacked Price in the Reflections on the Revolution in France, precisely on his understanding of the social contract.
Social contract theory deals with how society originates and how political authority over the individuals forming society can be legitimate. The contract is between a ‘people’ made up of individuals in the ‘state of nature’ and an authority they have elected and appointed. The people allow their elected authority to curtail their natural rights, rights arising from the state of nature, in return for protection and other benefits they could not have as individuals.
Continue reading Edmund Burke on what it means to be people
From IPA’s Dr Bella d’Abrera;
Australians do love Australia day. It turns out we do want to celebrate Australia day on the 26th of January because Australians love being free! Australia day is a chance for us to come together and celebrate. Leave a comment below about why you love Australia Day. See the video HERE.
On Australia Day, celebrate don’t hate.
With Nyunggai Warren Mundine and Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, the Aboriginal community have at last some enlightened leadership. Instead of spouting the postmodernist/identity rhetoric that only achieves enmity, Warren and Jacinta are facing the concrete issues of their people while building bridges with the rest of Australia most of whom want to see Aboriginals flourish in the land Australia has become since 1788. They offer an antidote to the poison of radical European philosophy that pretends to describe the circumstances of Aboriginals and prescribe the steps for their salvation. Below is Jacinta’s Price’s moving account of her terrible suffering while growing up and of her accusations against the hypocrites who abandoned her in their self-indulgence. What she suffered is unimaginable for most of us. Despite the suffering, she saw the good in people and in her country. She saw the road to the inheritance her country built and offers to its people. She wants to take her community along this road.
Jacinta Nampijinpa Price Australia Day January 26, 2019
” Not once! Not one time have I seen The
Greens or labor speak out, not once have I seen you Indigenous cohorts speak
out! Not once! You have never spoken out about stopping the violence, stopping
the alcoholism, stopping the child abuse and sexual assault, no, you just want
to talk about how “White man” has some how oppressed you. Oppressed you? Excuse
you! Most of you leading the pack are well educated, had opportunities some of
us only dare dreamed about, you manipulate the mobs, especially the ones less
educated or fortunate for your own selfish white hating reasons! Shame on you!
Shame shame shame!
Continue reading Jacinta nampijinpa price – celebrate, don’t hate
One of the strange things about politics today is the attempt by Left-wing activists to demonise ‘nationalism’.
For normal people, loving one’s country is a natural feeling. It gives them a sense of belonging, the comfort of having a clear national identity.
Most Australians are proud of our country’s achievements. For many decades, this was the unifying purpose of Australia Day: celebrating the greatness of our nation and the Western civilisation that arrived here on 26 January 1788.
We know Australia is a wonderful place because so many people from overseas want to come here (often by any means possible).
But in recent years, the Green-Left has tried to turn Australia Day into a day of division. They want to ‘change the date’ or even abandon the celebrations altogether.
The Australia-haters have come from within. They want to make us feel guilty about our love of country and ashamed of our national day. Read on…