|Andrish St Clair:
The Indonesian model would not have progressed according to reformist Javanese Islam. If
anything, it would have proceeded according to the Macassan Islam already introduced along
the north coast of the continent from the 17th century onwards. This Islam was not purist
and fundamentalist in the modern sense, but a more mixed bag along lines of sufic
practices of the time, which sought to integrate existing cuklture and spiritual notions
found in the host culture. The original influences still have remnants in some ceremony
although the rest of it was overlayed by missionary teachings. The Islam which might have
emerged would perhaps have been 'hard-line' to some extent, as it's just as likely have
been understood on the basis of laws and ritual as much as of faith, but whatever stripe,
it would have been most likely integrated into Aboriginal cosmology over time, rather than
stay being Islam if there was no invasion to accompny the religious import.
..until such time as the unfettered expansion of the American-dominated
global market in the late twentieth century initiates a rapid process of forced economic
deregulation - through the powerful and oddly respected global institutions of the IMF and
the World Bank - under the guise of maintaining economic equilibrium and social stability
in the region. Things get hairy, the powerful families are investigated for corruption
charges, and the West claims, rightly, that they are undemocratic. Then, with the
implementation of even less democratic legal documents as the Multilateral Agreement on
Investment (MAI), designed to aid the effortless flow of transnational capital across
national borders, the hybrid cultural nationalism that resisted the European presence is
steadily eroded. All this is made possible by developments in a digital finance and
communications network dominated by an elite class of citizens.
No court in the world would have protected Australia from European colonialism in the
great age of conquest and colonization. Only societies which were both relatively powerful
and able to play the European state-centred game on European terms (China, Japan,
Thailand, Afghanistan, Persia, Ethiopia) were able to survive. The only possibility for
Australia would have been colonization by another European power.
If the British had stayed out, French settlement seems pretty likely, but i don't know
enough about French intentions to discuss this. The other likely option is incorporation
from the North, via the Netherlands Indies (Indonesia). It is possible to imagine a rather
greater spread of Indonesian influence in northern Australia via the Makassar trepang
fishers. This would have generated a more hierarchical society amongst North Australian
Aborigines and very likely the spread of Islam.
Java, with its Hindu background, is not a likely model for northern Australia; rather, the
region would have resembled eastern Indonesia, with a multitude of small communities in
which Islam was partly mixed with older customs, partly a vehicle for those who wanted to
promote social change. These communities would have been in quasi-tributary relationship
to the larger Indonesian powers and would thus have been drawn into the Netherlands
Indies. New Holland could thus have become a part of the Dutch empire.
There are two options then. First is a marginal existence on the fringes of the Dutch
colonial empire, much as West New Guinea had. 'South Irian' might have escaped the
Japanese occupation and encouraged the Dutch in their efforts to bring 'less civilized'
peoples to an independence separate from Indonesia. This effort failed in West New Guinea
and would probably have failed in South Irian.
The second option is expanded Dutch and other European settlement in the southern regions.
Because of administrative integration with the Netherlands Indies, the Zuidland
(Southland) would have been racially mixed and racially stratified, perhaps more like
Brazil, perhaps more like Argentina. In either case, there is no particular reason to
suppose that Aborigines would have been better off.
Ahhh, if only..........
I like this option. Apart from being hampered (as usual) by lack of background knowledge,
the strong images that this scenario throws up almost demand to be set as a story or
so..... (the contrast between the coastal based tribes with contact against the central
tribes who continue, as they have done for millennia, in the old, traditional ways..... the
sale of one's life to the dream machines.... the machiavellian manipulation of dream
machine images and the resultant effect on a segment of society..... the new blacks, and
the disdain with which they are treated by tribal members as they try to shuck off their
western or eastern origins and 'become one with the earth and sky'..... and many more)
Andrish St Clair:
This notion seems even sillier and more irrelevant than the others, however, traditional
cultures with their arrays of graded and restricted information with potent
"passwords" etc seem to be admirably suited to the information age. The usual
speculations in this area are concerned with social developmental models, ie: formation of
hierarchies Vs Aboriginal tendencies to develop lateral rather than vertical systems of
organisation. If you're looking for real fun though, you could play round with mapping
some of the traditional solutions to the eternal social and psychological problems of
having to live together. The moiety system, for example, formed along the classical
tendencies for humans to fall into sides, such as progressive and conservative, would be
interesting to explore, especially if it is tied to complex marriage laws. Raving lefty
loonies having to marry right wing red-neck racists by law! Even the idea of enshrining a
place for extended family in the new constitution would be revolutionary after our long
sojourn in the industrial age and the nuclear family. With government support services
disappearing faster than the Amazon rain forests, it could be quite avant guard to look at
where our social support is to come from.
Cook's change of heart
Arnold T. Magy:
Continuing along progression established by Sharon Peoples--
the aborignal people of Australia recognize computer technology as the key to unlocking
the dreamworld for all. By developing surgically implanted cybersymcom interfaces with
selected griyats, they are able to establish the first realtime dreamworld experience. In
so doing, the aborigines release into the material world the successful treatment of
disease by true homeostasis. Australia takes the lead in world class health industry.
Australian economy leaps of the charts.
One of the implanted griyats is also a molecular biogeneticist. With minor modification
in his own implanted cybersymcom interface and some ad hoc tinkering to create a biosync
for his mate, a child is conceived without the benefit of coitus. (The act was consumated
but futile since the griyat was sterile.)
Now the Australian Aboriginal Authority suspects the next step would be eugenics and
social purification. The implication of eradicating the very people whose ills led to this
technological breakthrough cast a pall over the progress of cybersymcom development.
It is not until the Intra-Australian Molecular Autonomy Pact Eschewing Non-natural
Issue Subjugation (IAMAPENIS) is ratified that further development continues without fear
of creating a slave race or worse a super-race subjugating an natural race.
It was amazing to read this option because I came across this webpage researching for an online documentary project that seeks to investigate the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians from historical and cultural perspectives.
My own dream is that we can take the "best from both worlds" and lead the healing of the big world. A spiritualised clever country inspired by a love of the land and a great respect. The light and space noticed by the white artists can inspire the next renaissance - one that heals the planet and the world. If the USA is Judas Iscariot, Australia could be Jesus Christ!
This scenario would be the most realistic if the British hadn't colonised
the continent. Aboriginals were a very trusting people before the white
man came and made them wary. The exploitation of them is not that
different to that which is happening in real life except that the country
is not a harbour for the crims of the world. What would this country have
been without the British settlement? No-one knows and we can even begin to
imagine the possibilities and intricacies.
Andrish St Clair:
Probably a cheap shot and a common reply, but your worldly option is not that different
from the status quo.
Archaeologists are fond of speculating what might have happened if
observed trends towards intensification and population growth had been
allowed to continue unchecked by European invasion. Would Aboriginal
society have evolved into one based on food production, with cities,
governments, armies etc?
I once put this scenario to a Wik elder, inviting his comments.
He thought for a while and said: 'Well, boy, I don't like that idea. That
means we'd be just like whitefella!'
Most probable scenario , No- one colonises Australia
Aborigines continue much the same as they have done for millennia
The rest of Mankind develops Modern Science ,computing ,communication goes
to the Moon . The Aborigines are left behind still not having invented
even the Wheel
Without the benefit of colonisation by the British, Aborigines are regarded
as hopelessly backward and unfit for the modern world. Having missed the
boat into the future.
with the rest of Mankind the Aborigines are invaded by a hostile Asian
power and wiped out. This Asian power takes over the Australian Continent.
Proud Aboriginal Women :)
Obviously the 'Bunnaroo' has had little education!
I have a PHD in Archaeology and Politics and guess what... I am an Australian Aboriginal.
My people did not need to invent no wheel. We had legs, we walked. This was a bonus to our health and well being. It
wasn't in our nature to invade other countries naturally because we were the richest country in the world. We have Australia.
Before European invasion, Australian Aboriginals had a very highly developed social organisation that it is rather a little to hard for Non-Indigenous people to understand! But
that's OK because often indigenous people do not understand the relevance of Nuclear weapons or Genocide, or the reasoning behind thousands of other exterminations of species who share the same planet.
This makes me wonder what will be the scientific explanations when archaeologists and anthropologists start to examine your social organisation.
That's if we still have a planet left with a sufficient supply of clean oxygen
within our atmosphere.
Do you research and don't underestimate Indigenous cultures.
Proud Aboriginal Women :)