Globalisation in parallel to the influence of modernity has persistently since colonial times diluted the true meaning of what is to be an Australian; Urbanisation and popular culture imported from overseas has led to our capital cities being inhabited principally by people who feel very little affinity for their Australian birth and usually their Australian heritage.
This article is called “Australian Cossacks” for the reason that I wish for us to engage in a discussion, as part of planning out the ‘road-map’ of what the ANA should be and should promote; we can reflect on some examples from overseas about the experiences of particular ethnic groups living in alien/pluralist and sometimes hostile circumstances.
I’m no expert on Cossack history or that of Russia and do not claim to be; but one can look at the overall picture of that ethnic group and from it draw some valuable lessons: In the modern context the Cossacks are a clearly defined ethnic group; with almost universally agreed-upon ways of life and practice: their religion, genealogy, connection to the land and cultural norms are all reasonably well defined. They are on the national psyche of Russia; they are agreed to be the embodiment of traditional Russian people. When one thinks of a Russian they have reasonable odds to be thinking of some manifestation of what could be called Cossack culture; the patriarch of family life, the faithful leader of the home for God and his country – a rural agrarian culture with funny looking uniforms.
The Cossacks as an ethnic group have endured the oppressive forces of the Soviet Union, with their practices effectively banned and suppressed; following the end of communist reign however: the Cossacks made available to Russia a clear picture of what it means to be a true Russian; no doubt could be in the minds of the people ( whom were seeking a new sense of identity and purpose after the collapse ) ; where exactly they came from as a people.
If you were to accept my overwhelmingly simple reflection on the Cossacks here; you may see the direction I am pointing. Among the chief aims of the ANA is the upholding and propagation of Australian culture; that is culture born of this land by its genuine people – rooted in our heritage and circumstance. Particular important to our cause is narrative control ; that is the ability to be able to declare in a neatly defined manner what is an Australian; what does it truly mean to be a member of this ethnic group – what does the expression of Australian life and culture look like? What do Australians believe? What is the crux of their identity.
Establishing unchallenged control over the Australian Identity would be an invaluable asset to the survival of a genuine heritage. The bastardisation of our identity through civic nationalism (where your ethnic group is defined by what
piece of paper passport you hold) will continue to spiral on as the financial elite continues to try and construct its vision of a mongrelised, individualist, capital-consumer society. The membership and supporters of the ANA must therefore assert themselves as Australians and strive every day to discover what that truly means, and to embody those principles and practices which espouse an Australian way of living.
We wish to reach the point where the average person could think of an Australian and in their mind; picture the kinds of lives being lead by ANA members, dedicated to hard work, the development of their family clan, connection to soil and place, endless resolve and firm character: carrying the torch and the heritage left to us by our forebears.
True Australians living amongst the horde of urbanites, foreigners & xenophiles must do our due dilligence to ensure that we maintain control over the meaning of what it is to be an Australian and to put that policy into practice in our own lives, building up that community of people who are unmistakably the Australians our ancestors would recognise.
This clearly defined ethnic group will soon become set squarely in stone, any future oppressive forces conferred upon us by Government or capital will be ineffective at neutralising the vision splendid of what Australia is, and who Australians truly are.