The History Wars Matter

Jeremy Sammut
08 November 2017 | OP159
The History Wars Matter

Despite what the post-modern theorists claim, the nation remains the ultimate political reality. The power of the national story to inspire our collective beliefs about ourselves as Australians, and for those beliefs to inspire the direction of our national life, is the reason the history wars matter.

The history wars — the on-going debate about the practice and teaching of Australian history — and about vitally important and potentially divisive subjects such as the history of Australian racism — remain a critically important battle of ideas.  Understanding the true meaning of Australian history, and debunking the perennial claims routinely made about the role our supposedly perpetual history of ‘racism’ allegedly continues to play in Australian society, is increasingly in the national interest today.

In the current age of grievance-mongering identity politics, the use, abuse and distortion of the Australian history lies behind the politicisation of racial issues by organisations such as Australian Human Rights Commission. Getting the history of Australian racism right has therefore never mattered more than now to counteract the threat identity politics poses to the social harmony that has become the hallmark of modern multi-racial Australia.

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