Saturday, 31 May 2014

UnAmerican & unAustralian

Today is the anniversary of the day Arthur Miller was convicted of "contempt" of Congress for refusing to 'name names' of supposed Communists
A story from the BBC is here
He was brought (as were many others) before a select Committee called the House unAmerican Activities Committee  (HUAC)because, like many others on both sides of the Atlantic, and indeed in Australia he came to the conclusion that the only way to prevent the re-emergence of Fascism and to defeat social inequality was through Communism. History  proved them wrong in many (but not all) ways.
But the McCarthy witchhunts, so devastatingly allegorised in Miller's play "The Crucible", have passed into perpetuity as one of the least edifying periods of American history. Superceded only in Anglo-Centric societies by the history of slavery and racial discrimination in both the United Kingdom, the Us and Australia
One of the things that I find interesting is the use of the term unAmerican, because we live in a country where the term unAustralian is bandied around.
It is the sort of term that is used when ever people are losing their argument. You then claim that your opponent is unAustralian!
There can be no rational response to this since there is no clarity about what being "Australian" means either.
Most of those who use such terminology would resile from the idea that "being Australian" means that in the first you place you need to be indigenous!
What is perhaps interesting about the BBC article is that HUAC was not formerly disbanded until 1975!

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