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CLIVE HAMILTON’S Book “SILENT INVASION” Is “Yellow Peril” And Sinophobia To The Extreme

I must admit, Australia is entering a very volatile time in terms of how it perceives Mainland China and subsequently how they treat Chinese Australians or any Asian who remotely looks Chinese. The air of sinophobia has been sniffing around and now it seems that targeting and discriminating anyone Chinese in Australia is becoming a norm. The worst part is, there is a certain level of acceptability by mainstream Australia for this sinophobia to occur. I will even go a level further and say that they are enabling this environment of hate and false racial accusations to occur.

Now one must remember that “yellow peril” in Australia is not a new thing. Really, it has just morphed and returned in a different form. During the 1800s Gold Rush period, the Chinese gold miners were physically attacked, arrested, racially vilified, killed and humiliated for being Chinese. There were many posters and propaganda put up by the Australian Government and media at the time to fear monger about the Chinese.

Back then China was a very poor and a weak nation, and is a reason why so many Chinese (particularly men) left their families to travel abroad (Australia being one of the destinations) to forge a better life for themselves and their family. Now it is 2018, and over the last few years we have seen the creeping up of the “yellow peril” in Australia.

The difference between the “yellow peril” of back then to the one of now is that China is rich and powerful and the Western mainstream or in this case Australian mainstream is unable to dominate this growth and rise. So they do what they do best and that is to make any Mainland Chinese and Chinese Australians into racial collateral.

Found in the toilets of the international student area at University of Sydney in 2017

The reason I am writing about this is because over the past few months, this “yellow peril” has just become worse than it has been exacerbated with accusations and allegations being thrown around that Australia has been subject to spying operations coming from the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Chinese international students have been the subject of the mainstream media’s interest and they have been accused of acting as spies for the Chinese Government. Of course we can’t deny that there maybe some who are spies, but let’s face it every country spies on each other. American student groups also have spies, so do the British, German, Canadian etc. Why are the Chinese being sidelined? This has really got out of hand.

Of late, an academic from Australia’s Charles Sturt University – Clive Hamilton, professor of public ethics, wrote a 350 page book titled:  Silent Invasion: How China Is Turning Australia into a Puppet State.

Here is the premise of the book via (ABC News):

In it, he alleges that a systematic Chinese government campaign of espionage and influence peddling is leading to “the erosion of Australian sovereignty”.
That erosion is caused, in part, by a recent wave of Chinese migration to Australia including “billionaires with shady histories and tight links to the [Chinese Communist] party, media owners creating Beijing mouthpieces, ‘patriotic’ students brainwashed from birth, and professionals marshalled into pro-Beijing associations set up by the Chinese embassy,” Professor Hamilton writes.
It also alleges that Chinese international student groups are complicit in this “spying”. 

Now Hamilton’s book was refused for publishing by 2 well known publishers, and you can imagine when a privileged man doesn’t get his way, how he would behave. To cut a long story short, his book has been published, but the damage is done, and the noise he and many others in Australia has made with regards to the Chinese Government’s intervention in this situation has caused so much angst and hate within Australian society. I have read the book, and it makes a lot of unsubstantiated claims backed by weak facts, and I conclude that it will perpetuate sinophobia and hate in Australia.

I am not denying that what Hamilton highlights is a legitimate concern, but my major issue with it is how these allegations will impact on the Chinese in Australia and more broadly how it will impact on the wider Chinese diaspora in Australia. Those Australians who have intellect will read it and take it as it is without being racist or prejudice. But we got to face the facts and realise that the majority of Australians are not intellectual in this way and will conflate their fear of the Chinese Government and its influence and hating on ALL Chinese people. This is where the racism and sinophobia occurs.

Image via Sydney Morning Herald

One must remember that no one has issues if you are opposed to a regime or a Government but the anger and hate needs to stop there. Alt right and white supremacist groups in Australia have embraced Hamilton’s book as an opportunity to go racist and tell all Chinese Australians to leave this country. It has literally been a field day for racists in Australia. Secondly, Hamilton will never understand the racial collateral he has created, nor will he ever face this racism and hate. I get he wrote this out of his own genuine concerns but he and others who support this book have failed to understand the impacts it has on the Chinese Australian community.

Another point, I wish to highlight is that these impacts are mostly felt among Chinese international students. I have spoken to many across Australia and they are feeling the fear and they are feeling targeted. This is felt the most among those who are studying at Universities in regional areas, where racism is a daily thing. My concern is about their safety and about the racism and targeting they will receive and experience. Where is their protection and where is their agency? A sad part of all this is that there are some Chinese who have a desire to be accepted by the mainstream Australian society who also behave in this manner. They will conflate their hate towards the PRC and support those who want to end Chinese migration into Australia. They are so consumed by their own political agendas to even be reasoned with when discussing the broader impacts. I get it, and I get their concerns about the Government, particularly those who have had negative experiences. But they need to learn how to articulate their opposition and stop siding with the white racists/supremacist groups who are using this as an opportunity to spread hate and sinophobia.

So back to Clive Hamilton – how has he been complicit in perpetuating racism and sinophobia? Well it is all the reasons mentioned above, but it is extremely ironic that an esteemed academic such as himself who upholds progressive and left wing views is also trying to oppress and silence those of us Chinese Australians who are critics of his book. As a privileged, Caucasian man he will never know how it feels to be discriminated and belittled by the mainstream society who really sees you as different and will get “yellow peril” alerts in their heads every time they see you. This is because Australia like all countries in the West are still majority Caucasian and when you belong to the majority you don’t ever need to be scared or fearful about being racially attacked and discriminated.  I have been avidly calling him out and seeking that he addresses the sinophobia coming out from his book. Instead of acting like an esteemed Professor ( who is very left wing thinking) he goes on the defensive and is very reactionary. Among others, I have been accused of being a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) mouthpiece by him and his supporters all because I am expressing my concerns over the racism Chinese Australians will face from his book as well as how he has made Chinese international students in Australia a target for racially motivated attacks.

But I am a peon. And he still attempted to silence me, when the point of his book was to talk about why the censoring by the Chinese Government in Australia is dangerous. He has also attacked Australia’s Race Discrimination Commissioner – Dr Tim Soutphommasane who is of Laotian Australian background about his criticisms of the book. Do you see a pattern here? Yes he is basically trying to oppress and silence fellow Asian Australians who call out why his book does not help the cause of eradicating racism. Here is Hamilton publicly accusing me of being a Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece:

Tweet link: https://twitter.com/CliveCHamilton/status/974815072420704256

Hamilton wrote an opinion piece for the Sydney Morning Herald recently claiming victimhood against Dr Tim Soutphommasane as well, here is an excerpt of what he said:

In this light, Soutphommasane’s knee-jerk accusation that my book “smacks of the Yellow Peril revisited” is offensive to all of those whose views and professional judgments are reflected in the book.

His smearing of the book (the most cynical exercise in cherry-picking I have ever seen) aimed to poison the minds of his readers without engaging with the book’s arguments or the 100,000 words of accumulated fact.

Tweet source: https://twitter.com/CliveCHamilton/status/975482765532569600

In addition he has written a letter to NSW Greens representative David Shoebridge MLC expressing his disappointment in Shoebridge pulling out of hosting the launch of his book at NSW Parliament House a week before it was scheduled to happen. Shoebridge showed a lot of integrity in pulling out after I made a Facebook post expressing my concerns about racism and sinophobia and that this is not something I would ever expect the Greens to support. Both Asian and non Asian Australians who are members of the Greens alerted Shoebridge who listened to this feedback and confirmed the launch will no longer proceed for March 14. Unfortunately, His Parliamentary colleague Justin Field MLC decided to pick this up and host the launch with the support of former Greens leader Christine Milne. Here is the letter which Hamilton sent to Shoebridge.

It is sad that the debate on foreign influence has become one which has divided the Australian community. One must remember not to conflate hating a regime with being racist towards Chinese people and more specifically Chinese Australians. We know that unfortunately many people in the mainstream will conflate the two, and with an extremely biased book like “Silent Invasion”, there is no end to the racism and sinophobia that the Chinese in Australia will face. Hamilton needs to stand up and address these concerns, but for now in my eyes and in the eyes of many Asian Australians he is just tone deaf.


44 comments

  1. New England Cocky

    The business leaders of Australia are only concerned with “selling off the farm” rather than developing the natural resources and social resources of our communities. This applies especially to the LNP misgovernments at all levels; local, state and Federal.

  2. Kaye Lee

    Erin,

    I understand what you are saying. If my appearance made me get blamed for what my government does, I would be really angry too. I don’t think Clive understands how, what he considers commentary on political machinations, gets lapped up and used by the white supremacists and xenophobes in our society.

  3. Joseph Carli

    Interesting study in both irony and absurdity in that the colonists who colonised with the gun and poison are trying to stop a perception of themselves being colonised by the intellectual Chinese….and so they fall back onto the reliable “poison”!

  4. diannaart

    Breaking News:

    Male is defensive when critiqued by female.

    Nothing to see here, happens everyday. However, more specifically, white Australian male is defensive when critiqued by Asian female, now things are getting a bit more complicated.

    Clive Hamilton is a successful, respected author, whereas Erin is just a woman.

    Erin is correct in pointing out the Chinese Government is not the Chinese people – damn straight, I have been ashamed of my Australian government since Tampa and would be offended if I was to be linked to, say, Peter Dutton.

    Clive Hamilton is correct in pointing out there are problems ahead for Australia, particularly given the elevation and permanency of Xi Jinping as president forever.

    Now, I haven’t read Clive’s book, nor am I Chinese, so I am not sure whether Clive has been sensitive to both Australian Chinese and Chinese people studying or visiting.

    However, I am prepared to take Erin’s word – why else stick her head above the parapet? Why does anyone risk condemnation, bullying, castigating by a more powerful entity? Because there is more than one point of view.

    And Erin Chew has every right to express her concerns. Particularly when considering the shellacking Muslims receive in in Australia just for being Muslim.

    Meanwhile, as Kaye Lee noted, the bigots celebrate.

  5. jimhaz

    Have a whinge will you. You are an activist so of course some of your views will be rejected. Do you expect hands off just because you are Chinese.

    Stop crawling to this group, whom are likely to support you as they have a fundamentalist equality agenda.

    The Chinese are a danger to Australia, not just through the buying of assets, but also the effects of the wealth of the middle and upper classes.

    Books like this are needed to lessen the political influence through politicians and to GET AUSTRALIANS TO REJECT asset purchases. They should also reject unis being used as a path to immigration.

    [Of course we can’t deny that there maybe some who are spies, but let’s face it every country spies on each other. American student groups also have spies, so do the British, German, Canadian etc. Why are the Chinese being sidelined? This has really got out of hand.]

    Get real. There is no comparison. China is a communist led country with the worlds biggest population and now biggest GDP.

    [I have read the book, and it makes a lot of unsubstantiated claims backed by weak facts, and I conclude that it will perpetuate sinophobia and hate in Australia]

    Well why do you not express some of those instead of the standard appeal to emotion that both the far left and far right use as a tool.

    Tim Soutphommasane is an idiot. I pay him no attention whatsoever – he is so predictable. One trick pony which is to maximise immigration.

  6. Kaye Lee

    Interesting that you accuse Erin of “having a whinge” when she has articulated her concerns and given reasons for them.

    Your sentence could have read “Have a whinge will you. You are an author so of course some of your views will be rejected. Do you expect hands off just because you are white”.

    “The Chinese are a danger to Australia, not just through the buying of assets, but also the effects of the wealth of the middle and upper classes.”

    Oh so we whinge about the migrants languishing on welfare, who are taking our jobs, who pose a threat because they buy the things we want to sell and have too much money. Which is it? Too lazy, too industrious, too poor, too rich, too dumb, too smart? Or is it because they look different?

    So our spies are ok but theirs aren’t? Our surveillance is ok but theirs isn’t? our interference in the politics of other countries is ok but their commercial approach is not? We beg for their investment money and then vilify them for buying what we offer for sale? Just like our pollution is ok but theirs isn’t because there’s lots of them?

  7. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, it’s easy for a bigot like jimhaz to spew such bile because he’s never had the misfortune to walk in the shoes of a person who is often the victim of racist slurs.

    jimhaz, your comment was repulsive and insulting to the author. We don’t tolerate that here.

  8. jimhaz

    @ Kaye

    What are you talking about? Give me something I can respond to not this mishmash of mostly Hanson or LNP tripe.

    For example, I’ve never complained anywhere about Asians on welfare – middle eastern folks probably, but no other migrant group that I can remember.

    [We beg for their investment money and then vilify them for buying what we offer for sale?]

    This is the LNP, not me. I don’t actually want any overseas investment from any source.

    [So our spies are ok but theirs aren’t? Our surveillance is ok but theirs isn’t?]

    Ohh come on how many spies would we have? How many hackers would they have compared to ours.

    [Just like our pollution is ok but theirs isn’t because there’s lots of them?]

    Actually I’ve been pleased about Chinas view on renewables. Of course they know they must have renewables and their pollution is ultra bad, but still they are being more responsible than the US.

  9. jimhaz

    [jimhaz, your comment was repulsive and insulting to the author]

    Well I’m sure she can stand on her own two feet. No need to patronise her.

  10. Michael Taylor

    I wasn’t patronising her.

    PS: you are a pig.

  11. Kaye Lee

    jimhaz,

    Sorry, I was putting together some of the complaints I have heard you make about migrants of various different ethnic groups. Talk about whinge! You have a special whinge for every race, every religion, every gender…ok I might be getting carried away but I hope you get what I mean. You generalise and don’t recognise we are all people who would like to bring up our children in a safe place where we can offer them the opportunity to thrive.

    You ascribe the sins of others to whole races, whole religions, all women…..

    You don’t suggest proactive means to help anyone just circle the wagons and protect what you’ve got.

    What spying do we do?

    Oh I dunno….just off the top of my head….

    We bugged the parliamentary offcies of Timor l’Este

    We tapped the phones of the Indonesian President and his wife and several other high ranking officials.

    We are part of the Five Eyes intelligence surveillance system

    Our current foreign minister said Australia’s security agencies engage in passport forgery

    Sam Dastyari had to resign for warning a businessman that his phone was likely bugged.

    Why are we ordering long range subs?

    And don’t tell anyone but Pine Gap isn’t a “space research facility”.

  12. jimhaz

    @ Kaye

    [You generalise and don’t recognise we are all people who would like to bring up our children in a safe place where we can offer them the opportunity to thrive]

    That is because history proves people and groups cannot be trusted. The world may have changed but the underlying personalities of people has not. It is still a world in which a Mao or Lenin or Hitler can arise and can arise from both sides of the political arena or viewpoint. Look what happened under the “good” equality intentions of Marxism.

    If you want a safe place then you have to assume negative intentions until proven otherwise. Most of all though you have to talk about these issues to determine what boundaries and limitations are necessary.

    The cause of my reaction was all about the standard far left fascist attempt to belittle opinion that goes against what they seek. It is a form of book burning. I feel it is quite honourable to react accordingly and react the same way against the far right, when they are bigots about PCism.

    [Sorry, I was putting together some of the complaints I have heard you make about migrants of various different ethnic groups. Talk about whinge! You have a special whinge for every race, every religion, every gender…ok I might be getting carried away but I hope you get what I mean]

    Our minds work by pattern matching and its usefulness comes from predicting based on these patterns. I make no apology for generalising as I always assume people have enough intelligence to see a generalisation as just that – not a rule, merely a guide.

    Really though my world is mostly involved in people from other countries. 90% of those I deal with most directly at work for the last decade were born overseas or are not white. My neighbours and local shopkeepers are mostly Asian. The last two women I’d been really fond of were a Filipino and a Lebanese. Those on the train seem to consist of 50% Asians, 30% others and 20% white.

    If I was as racist as people think I am, don’t you think I’d have moved to some more traditional place by now.

    Of course I am going to pick up clues as to potential generalised behaviour and make loosely use of that information to avoid negative outcomes.

    [You ascribe the sins of others to whole races, whole religions, all women…..]

    Well partly that is because I only tend to comment on what I disagree with. I don’t want to add to the equality-without-regard-to-long-term-costs cheer squad and my personality favours that of devil’s advocate (though I don’t say things I don’t believe for this purpose).

    [You don’t suggest proactive means to help anyone just circle the wagons and protect what you’ve got]

    That is because I feel it is time to regroup. Have a look at this Ross Gittin article (if not paywalled for you) – plenty of decent people have the same view.

    https://www.smh.com.au/business/immigration-the-cheap-and-nasty-way-to-grow-the-economy-20180318-h0xmf0.html

    [What spying do we do?]

    I did not ask that, I said in comparison. And we do not know what to compare the activities you mention to on the Chinese side do we. Why that is I do not wonder.

  13. Jon Chesterson

    NOTHING SHORT OF ELITIST IGNORANCE AND PREJUDICE – Good call Erin Chew…

    Quite frankly it is utterly hypocritical of Clive Hamilton, not just hypocritical, darn right political, antisocial and malicious where clearly the intent to harm is even written in the title, ‘Silent Invasion’ as if his cranky reference to ‘yellow peril’ isn’t racial insult enough.

    Clive Hamilton ignores all countries have some level of spying and deviance, but this smacks of the same stuff as Islamophobia, claiming equal limelight. Australia has a pregnant intolerance for race and religion (other than its own hobby horse) despite its democratic constitution; and it is slammed heavy in its history starting with the real invasion in 1788… Do we turn a blind eye to this when we are using this word, ‘invasion’ in the contemporaneous sense, does it have another meaning? How shameful has Australia’s attitude toward Chinese migrants, indeed all migrants, including caucasians from Mediterranean Europe been. And right now we have Dutton showing his positive discrimination for white South Africans while illegally detaining and abusing refugees. So there is considerable dissonance and irrational paranoia in the Australian psyche, which Clive Hamilton seeks to tap just like Dutton, in their own ways.

    Do we ignore Australia’s irrational joining at the hip with USA and Trump? Perhaps the greatest threat to international stability, collaboration, reason, humanity and harmony notwithstanding its ‘Make America Great’ again which wreaks of jingoism, border control, separatism, world domination and modern day colonialism, not to mention holding the rest of the world in a holding pattern on climate change, arms race, humanitarian will, economic exploitation, and obscene maldistribution of wealth and world resources. Do we ignore Australia’s very own political suppression of East Timor, PNG, Nauru and other ASEAN states in our region, our neighbourhood to whom we should be holding out the hand of friendship? Is this not the height of national hypocrisy?

    ‘I N V A S I O N’… is what Clive hamilton gives us, the power of language, deliberate and unapologetic. This is what a so called ‘leading’ Australian academic force feeds us; an academic in the position of professor of public ethics! I’d love to hear Clive Hamilton’s theoretical and obtuse reasoning on social and public ethics, even Kohlberg would be turning in his grave and Gilligan’s blood boiling. On second thoughts, may be not, I think I would throw up in the lecture theatre.

    Shame on Clive Hamilton, yes you are racist and you use your academic position and authority to tap and draw from an Australian psyche which is descending again into the gutter, thanks for the nudge closer. Shame on Charles Sturt University, who should have questioned this book, instead they have permitted and thus promoted it. I wonder how your Chinese students feel in the fervent halls of rural academia, your NSW Campuses. Does Charles Sturt University really think this is the action of a reasoned mind, jurisprudence and ethical morality or are our universities forever acquiescing to the corporate business model, shock and horror tactic so clearly adopted in our neoliberal parliament, on the mantra to survive and do harm (hardly fittest) is better than to fold to the natural flow, evolution or perish.

    I for one, having been to China on a number of occasions and recognise many challenges such a large and diverse country and population face and I recognise its flaws. But the China I know and the people I know do not fit in this book, and I suggest this book is more embedded in the dysfunctional political psyche and abnormal psychology of Australian ego, elitism and ignorance. And for the record I am white caucasian and have no political ties or partisan affiliation in Australia or overseas other than the loathsome stench of arrogance, racism, sexism and human – social exploitation. I am certainly no spy!

  14. paul walter

    Haven’t read the book so shouldn’t comment but on form and from what I’ve read of this, Hamilton has mangled complexity as surely as “Macbeth hath murdered sleep”.

    For the rest, am avoiding this because of the polarisation and temper throughout, particularly from after the Diannaart comment, goes pear shaped.

  15. jimhaz

    So Jon can read all that into a book he has not read (and neither have I). Wow what a guy. This is how the far left always argues – throwing in all sorts of stuff not related to the topic so as to boost ummm an argument. Ridiculous. Foolish. Immature.

  16. Adrianne Haddow

    I read this article with some interest, having previously read articles on the ABC news site and the smh news site regarding the criticism in Beijing, and some of the Chinese newspapers, of this book.
    I have also studied and obtained a tertiary qualification in Asian Studies, and have maintained an interest in Asian politics.

    I abhor our Australian xenophobia, I abhor racism in all its forms. I abhor the notion of white supremacy.

    I also abhor the attempt to stifle free speech and academic freedom, particularly at the instigation of a foreign government with the money to buy political influence, vast tracts of agricultural land, mining operations, sea ports, real estate and businesses in our country.

    The following link discusses why the original publishers, Allen and Unwin, pulled the book just as it was about to go into publication.

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/free-speech-fears-after-book-critical-of-china-is-pulled-from-publication-20171112-gzjiyr.html

  17. Jon Chesterson

    Wow jimhaz, the power of assumption and resorting to insult and ridicule. ‘Far left’… exactly what is that and how does it relate to what I’ve said. Ridicule the person instead when all you really want to do is lash out, clearly. My commentary had no bearing or direction on yours and bang in you go anyway. The foolish and immature will always attack the person and usually without reason. Feel free go ahead have another rant, but I will not be responding to your brand of arrogance and foolishness, so you are more than wlecome to have the last word. Go for it Jim you know you want to, you haven’t read the book!

  18. JohnI

    The first few pages of this book are available on Google Books. Follow the ‘Selected pages’ link. https://books.google.com.au/books/about/Silent_Invasion.html?id=hoxMDwAAQBAJ&redir_esc=y&hl=en

    From what I’ve read, it’s the Chinese Communist Party and its actions that Hamilton is criticising. Not Chinese people or China more generally.

    If we reject this book because racist arseholes like Jim Saleam’s Australia First Party have latched on to it for their own slimy reasons… That’s a textbook example of throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

  19. Michael Taylor

    jimhaz is in a foul mood by the sounds of it, Jon. Rather disappointing that he has to bring his bad mood here.

  20. helvityni

    Let’s all here read the book first before we start shouting: He, the writer bad, she, the critic good…

    I don’t know anything much about Clive, after only seen him once at a book discussion at Glebe bookshop years ago, I know even less about Erin…

    Do we always have to turn to this tired old cliché: men bad, women good…

    Read the book first….

  21. Kronomex

    Jimhaz, historically speaking fascism springs from the right wing of politics. Here’s a easy explanation that even you should be able to understand –

    https://www.quora.com/How-do-you-explain-facism-and-nazism-in-simple-terms-to-a-teenager

    THe LNP is on the cusp (or over the line depending on your viewpoint) of being fascist. We look forward with bated breath to see what your next comments are going to be in reply.

    I’m going to wait until my local library gets a copy of Hamilton’s books then borrow it and make my own decisions as to its veracity. I’m saving my money for Neal Asher’s next book.

  22. diannaart

    Thank you Kronomex…

    … for clarifying fascism and its origins for Jimhaz. I must admit my reading of the this thread ground to a halt with Jimhaz’ “far left fascism” where I began to ponder just what Jimhaz even means by his constant references to “far-right” and “far-left” and just where he considers himself to be on such a broad spectrum. I am prepared to bet he thinks he is moderate. 😛

    As for Erin Chew’s article, given that 2 publishers refused Hamilton’s book – and Clive Hamilton being an already successful author, does give pause for thought.

    Nor is it necessary to read this tome, to understand why Erin is concerned at backlash from the more bigoted among Australians.

    Erin reasonably states:

    As a privileged, Caucasian man he (Clive Hamilton) will never know how it feels to be discriminated and belittled by the mainstream society who really sees you as different and will get “yellow peril” alerts in their heads every time they see you.

    Finally, Clive Hamilton claims Australia is a puppet – he is right, he just picked the wrong puppeteer which remains as it has always been, the USA.

  23. Ricardo29

    Wow a fascinating exchange of views, or in some cases, bigotries. I haven’t read the book, but have read enough about the Chines Government, and its many fingered sallies into every aspect of Australian life to be able to understand its thrust. However Erin’s point is well made, that the individuals are not the government (apart from those who are doing the spying/ manipulating) and thus don’t deserve the hate coming their way.
    As with the islamaphobia, we don’t need the bigots.

    As someone said, Ithink, I would not like to be held responsible for my government’s actions in a range of areas

  24. Andrew Smith

    Hamilton, like many others, uses a ‘thin academic veneer’ to help inform ‘public debates’ which may create antipathy towards ‘others’ by sounding ‘liberal and environmental’; utterances from ‘Limits to Growth’ etc. pivoting round the Club of Rome focusing on immigration ‘sustainable population’ etc., junk science supported by good PR.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Limits_to_Growth

  25. jimhaz

    @ Kronomex

    [Jimhaz, historically speaking fascism springs from the right wing of politics. Here’s a easy explanation that even you should be able to understand]

    In other words I’m dumb.

    But less technically, the word tends to be used a lot more loosely in recent years, so I feel none of the dumbness as intended by your phrasing.

    18 months ago I didn’t view the far left as having much untoward in the way of fascist tendencies, but discussions about Trump elsewhere led me to pay more attention. Too much censoring and forms of identity based affirmative action gone tyrannical. Too much offence taking as an exercise of power.

    When I see it here, via too much one-sidedness I become anti-left.

    If you can tolerate the AGGRESSIVE EXCESSIVE SWEARING have a listen to this. Then look at diannaart’s post above.

    Why I Left The Left (Rebuttal of Dave Rubin)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UD19ub5RYDI

    “Fascism generally also disallows any form of political opposition – that is, you can’t form another party and there can’t be discussion about a political system other than fascism. Tyranny means rule by force, and fascism is generally a tyrannical form of government”

    Forums have a kind of government. The above can apply to this situation. So can a word like apartheid – if you don’t think the same way as the dominant group, then get out.

    [The LNP is on the cusp (or over the line depending on your viewpoint) of being fascist]

    I agree. The LNP has been doing many things that are low to mid level fascist. Lets put it this way – as much as they can get away with.

    Excessively harsh treatment of refugees. Although I agree with the underlying policies where they cross with the ALP’s, the LNP as been excessive. Things like forcing the silence of doctors and other support workers for example.

    Blatant stacking of boards such as Tim Wilson appointment

    Attacks on the ABC and Gillian Triggs.

    Legislation harming donations to public interest organisations.

  26. strobedriver

    A very articulate article. Succinct , to the point and more importantly stressing the homogeneity of Asians that is at play when aging White, privileged, educated males seek to extend their views (according to this report, although I have not read the book) and give additional ammunition to groups which will cherry-pick sentences etc to gain political momentum. One would think that Australians see all Asians as the ‘same’ and moreover, it would not be too much of a stretch to think it is a a flow-on of Howard’s political strategy.
    (And for Jimhaz, I am sending an article to Michael Taylor that I recently got published in the Taipei Times and in the hope that it might offer a reason of why China is a danger to Australia and level the playing field a bit)

  27. diannaart

    @Jimhaz

    “Authoritarianism”

    Not affiliated to the left or the right, but applies to any control freak, bullying behaviour by individuals through to organisations.

    You are welcome.

    @strobedriver

    I have no doubt Australia is imperilled by the governments of China, Russia, the USA, other nations, individuals, errant asteroids, climate change and look forward to reading your article.

  28. OzFenric

    I haven’t read the book (yet). However, I have a high degree of respect for Clive Hamilton as a researcher and author based on his previous work, and I doubt he’s dog-whistling here. I’ve been following the travails of this work for some time and have been looking forward to its release.

    Two publishers did not “refuse” Hamilton’s book: Allen & Unwin had it slated to publish, then they decided not to. They didn’t refuse to publish on the basis of poor quality writing, inaccurate or false statements or bad research. Rather, they cited “potential threats to the book and the company from possible action by Beijing” despite it being “an extremely significant book”. (See the article linked by Adrianne, above.) The possibility of providing special protection to see this book published was canvassed by the Parliament (https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/controversial-china-book-may-get-parliamentary-protection-20180205-p4yzfy.html). These discussions were shelved when a new publisher came forward, willing to carry the risk of publishing this book. It’s clear that publishers, academics, national security operatives and Australia’s politicians all consider this book to be important and relevant.

    I don’t know Erin Chew or her work. As she does not provide examples or evidence of “unsubstantiated claims backed by weak facts”, we have only her word for it, but she starts from a position of weakness, not having Hamilton’s academic and publishing record, nor being supported by the National Security Committee. It is possible that claims in Hamilton’s book will contribute to sinophobia – but if Hamilton’s claims are based on quality research and analysis, as various reviews indicate that they are, then this does not constitute a reason to suppress the work. Rather, it just makes it more important that it should be published, and read. By all means challenge the contents of the book – any work of this type must stand on its own merits. Erin Chew does not appear to be challenging the contents of the book, but rather the fact that it was published at all.

    In any case, who would normally be the target market for a book like this? Those who already believe China is an existential threat to our sovereignty? Academics? Politicians in a position to enact policy in relevant areas? The froth and bother over the publication of this work is what will lead to a conflation of “fear of the Chinese Government and its influence and hating on ALL Chinese people”. I suspect that the vast majority of sinophobia arising from this book will come about due to reporting about it, not from the book itself.

  29. ace Jones

    China wishes to rule the world, Xi jinping is the confirmed megalomaniac leader who will take China to complete world domination in every sense of the word, just give him time

  30. Jack Straw

    It will be a friendly Corporate takeover of Australia by the Chinese.Ever so friendly.

  31. diannaart

    Maybe Clive Hamilton, an experienced journalist, could’ve (more thoughtfully) kept the name of his book, “China’s Influence in Australia” without the dog whistle to racists of “Silent Invasion” – just a thought.

    No one is denying the Chinese government is a concern, not just for Australia, and we do need to be alert just not hysterical.

  32. Adrianne Haddow

    Hi diaanart. Perhaps you have the wrong Clive Hamilton. He is an academic and an author, not a journalist.

    His biography, from his website, states

    Clive Hamilton is an Australian author and public intellectual. Since 2008 he has been Professor of Public Ethics at Charles Sturt University in Canberra.
    For 14 years, until February 2008, he was the Executive Director of The Australia Institute, a progressive think tank he founded. He holds an arts degree from the Australian National University and an economics degree from the University of Sydney. He completed a doctorate in the economics of development at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex.

    Clive has held visiting academic positions at Yale University, the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, University College London and Sciences Po in Paris.
    In 2009 Clive was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his contribution to public debate and public policy. Later that year he was the Greens candidate in the by-election for the federal seat of Higgins. In 2012 he was appointed by the Federal Government to the Climate Change Authority.

    Erin Chew, from what I can find on the net, claims to be a freelance writer from 2016 on two websites
    Perhaps the challenge of trying to take down a well-known author and public figure by accusing him of racism and old white male prejudice may be an attempt to make a name for herself as edgy and relevant.

    The ‘Silent Invasion’ title is a reference to the manner in which China now conducts its expansionist policy as opposed to the old military invasions of its past. It is not dog whistling to write about the political machinations of the Chinese Communist Party, with regard to its goal of global economic supremacy.

    The book is well referenced (footnotes as well) and, therefore, cannot be described as making unsubstantiated claims or weak arguments unless the views of other academics in this field, and Chinese Australians, are discounted.

    If you are interested in the topic, I recommend reading the book.

  33. diannaart

    Adrianne Haddow

    I was aware of Clive Hamilton from the many articles he has written, most specifically regarding climate change. I humbly request your forgiveness I thought he was a journalist and author.

    In which case, I correct my comment to read:

    an experienced journalist author, could’ve (more thoughtfully) kept the name of his book, “China’s Influence in Australia” without the dog whistle to racists of “Silent Invasion”*

    Perhaps Erin Chew, young, inexperienced and enthusiastic has a right to start somewhere on her career. That she has the temerity to criticise an established author of Clive Hamilton’s mighty standing says a great deal about her courage and conviction.

    That Mr Hamilton, easily defensive in the light of Ms Chew’s opinions, well that says a lot about him, also.

  34. Adrianne Haddow

    Dianaart, given the politics and propaganda regarding the attempt by Ms Chew to misconstrue the main theme of this text, and the Chinese government’s propaganda arm to stifle publication of this book, I think Dr Hamilton has good reason to feel defensive.
    As for Ms Chew’s enthusiasm and her right to criticise an established author, I have no argument with that.
    On this site we question and criticise the opinions of writers such as Miranda Devine, Andrew Bolt and many others in the newscorp stable, what makes Ms Chew’s offerings any different?

  35. diannaart

    I have yet to see ANY indication that Erin Chew sits on the same level as Bolt, Devine, Albrechetsen and other clones of the far Right.

    Until then I say, Erin, I defend your right to speak…

  36. Adrianne Haddow

    As I defend Clive Hamilton’s right to speak and write and be published ….. and yours.

  37. diannaart

    I am not vetoing Clive Hamilton’s right to speak. Did I do that?

  38. paul walter

    Yes. Two wongs dont make a white.

  39. diannaart

    Paul

    🙂

  40. ozfenric

    Erin Chew makes claims that Hamilton’s book will promote sinophobia, even to the extent that she implies this is deliberate. She includes an “excerpt” from the book, but fails to mention that this excerpt appears in the very first pages of the book and describes “the Australian public becom[ing] agitated by perceptions of some negative aspects of our relationship with China.” Hamilton is describing an attitude, not making value judgements. To the charge of being ignorant of the use some alt-right elements might make of the book, he writes the following on the very same page as the excerpt: “There is, nevertheless, a genuine concern that bigots will use this book to vilify all Chinese-Australians. When I expressed this anxiety to a Chinese-Australian friend she told me that we need to confront the ugliness of what the CCP is doing here. ‘We want you to publish this book. We’re in the same boat.’”

    Hamilton’s book is not racist in any form. He writes in an open letter that “its purpose is to defend Chinese-Australians whose democratic rights are being taken away by an authoritarian power. I consistently argue throughout the book that we in Australia should be doing more to protect Australian citizens of Chinese heritage.” http://clivehamilton.com/open-letter-to-david-shoebridge-mlc/

    Chew appears not to contest the book’s content; rather, she laments that it was published at all. If the book is at all factual (and it certainly appears to be, on the weight of reviews and an initial reading) then its publication is justified. If its content causes some people concern, this just makes it important. You don’t suppress publication of a factual work because it might worry or offend. I’m not sure what Erin Chew wants from Hamilton. Apparently she was instrumental in interfering with the book’s launch event, an event which went ahead with a significant Chinese Australian attendance in support. The book is now published, and people should read it to make up their own minds. I have not seen any content of this book that could be construed as racist (disclaimer: I haven’t finished reading the book yet). Any claims of racist content will only result from relying on hearsay from groups or individuals misusing the book. So far, it appears to me, Erin Chew is amongst them.

  41. paul walter

    Hi, gorgeous!

  42. Andrew Smith

    Hamilton like many others in academia and public commentary are generally ambiguous enough to be taken anyway you want… enough to create doubts and antipathy towards general targets, in politics, media and the electorate’s minds.

    Whatever his private sentiments are, many similar of his generation in the US (& UK) have been very careful when highlighting identity, race, religion, immigration, population growth, etc. not to go off piste and tarnish their reputation while wanting to appear ‘liberal and environmental’.

    Relevant example in Oz is ‘Australia’s best demographer’ (according to Bob Carr) who does ‘academic research’ with neutral or unclear outcomes on immigration and population (wink wink Asian, Moslem etc.), then it goes to a ‘journalist’ or similar for a column and/or opinion e.g. Bolt, then below the line comments can go ‘off piste’ and share or spread their opinions further; of course word of mouth is the most powerful influence (advertising, PR and opinion pieces are ways to insert messages).

    Related, without knowing Hamilton’s sentiments or motives, the US based SPLC explained well how the nativist movement in the US has leveraged academia for decades now to become mainstream using their authority and reputation (referring to the architect of the anti-immigration networks, also an admirer of the white Australia policy, in the US and their ‘academic journal’) :

    ‘The Social Contract Press (TSCP) routinely publishes race-baiting articles penned by white nationalists. The press is a program of U.S. Inc, the foundation created by John Tanton (ZPG with Paul ‘Population Bomb’ Ehrlich), the racist founder and principal ideologue of the modern nativist movement. TSCP puts an academic veneer of legitimacy over what are essentially racist arguments about the inferiority of today’s immigrants.’

    https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/social-contract-press

    Exemplified by calls for immigration restrictions, limits to growth (e.g. zero or low growth), sustainable population etc. under the guise of environmental care, border security and protecting WASP identity; one has observed and experienced personally in academic environments.

    Of course several Australian academics have contributed to TSCP while others have had their names redacted; the home page gives you an idea and the following article could be contemporary, ‘Immigration and Population Growth (Rockefeller Comm. Report)’ 1972 round time of the Club of Rome http://www.thesocialcontract.com/pdf/two-four/Chap13.pdf (by ‘coincidence the US Oz VC of ANU echoed similar views in a speech on ABC RN Big Ideas)

    Basically trying to preserve the old WASP class system and power of oligarchs…. and we are seeing outcomes still emerging now…..

  43. diannaart

    Andrew Smith

    Yes … yes! … yes!

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