Australia, the Recreational Society

Australia, the Recreational Society

Australia, the Recreational Society

Australia, the Recreational Society

Synopsis

From its very inception Australia has been a derivative society: First as part of the British Empire and then, soon after World War II, what Mosler considers the American Empire and the new end-of-century Americanized global culture. This has meant that Australia has struggled to attain its own identity. Mosler explores that struggle for national independence, a struggle that seems to be doomed to failure.

Excerpt

I have lived in Australia for thirty years and worked that entire time in the higher education sector. My three children went to school and university in Australia and I hold both Australian and U.S. citizenship. I now believe it is time that I tried to make some historical sense out of my adopted nation—a nation that seems to reveal itself only slowly and reluctantly to newcomers.

John Hatch, my colleague in the Department of Economics at the University of Adelaide, suggested to me a few years ago, when we were discussing the transcendent historical tendency for Australians to resist national assertiveness and independence, that this was what one would expect from “a recreational society.” I was struck by the term so much so that I decided to pursue the topic further and this book is the result. Because I intend to continue to live here until my “final days,” I would strongly desire that Australia should be a vibrant and independent nation. The book, therefore, is written in the hope that Australia will soon embrace full nationhood and fulfill its enormous potential as a society. The time has come to accept finally that Australia is no longer English/British or the recreational society created by the British Empire. As Robert Hughes commented at the end of his recent television series on Australia entitled Beyond “The Fatal Shore” (2000), I believe it is well beyond time for Australia to be fully Australian.

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