Now it should be pretty obvious from what we said in Part One, that appealing to empathy as our guiding principle makes it clear what NOT to do as far as our policy towards those who seek asylum in our country. But what would empathy mean in terms of a positive policy? The amazing quality of empathy is that possessing it enables one to look at not just one side of the story (the one that affects YOU the most) but to be able to look at an issue from all sides. We are concerned with the fairest, most just solution for all rather than just looking after the interests of a few. In this realm, merely materialistic and economic considerations are not the dominant force. There is much more to life than money.
Our Plan for Positive Asylum and our Policy towards Immigration Generally
On a broader scheme of our views on immigration, I will first compare and contrast what I see as essentially three perspectives that could be taken.
- Firstly, we receive immigrants into our country and allow them to be freely enrolled in our welfare system, at the expense of our citizens;
- Secondly, reacting to such a concept, we build up a wall, preventing immigration;
- Thirdly, what we dub “Positive Asylum,” which I will explain lastly.
If our Movement were to one day gain power in the shaping our nation’s immigration policies, this would be one defining point in our movement’s programme.
In a welfare-dominated state, it is easy to look to our capacity to financially bear the burden of needy asylum seekers as our primary concern. Where does the Government get the money to support the welfare system? It taxes its citizens, of course. So then it would only seem right that the interests of its citizens would be an important factor in deciding to increase this monetary burden, right?
Of course, expecting the citizens of our nation to bear an increasing burden involuntarily through their taxes is unreasonable. So, do we side with those who assume that protecting our economy and culture requires that we oppose further immigration? Would we even consider deporting people “back to where they’re from”? No, we do and would not.
Well, now consider for a moment a whole shift in our paradigm (especially if based upon a radical reform of how our whole economic system works in its entirety). Rather than being forced to gauge our Nation’s capacity for immigration on our welfare capacity, instead we are set free to look to our labour capacity. In no way do we advocate that asylum seekers (or immigrants in general, for that matter) would assume the right to welfare. (Neither would we assume this for citizens either). Instead, we would give state support to immigrants and asylum seekers to finding their own employment in the private sector. For those unable to find such employment, we will establish a sufficient schedule of compulsory state-organized labour which would more than offset their living expenses (as well as contributing positively to the continued development and maintenance of our nation’s infrastructure). This would not only make it fair for our citizens, but it provides an avenue for immigrants to gain respectability for themselves as contributing members of society (and hence, eventually worthy of citizenship). Towards such hard-working immigrants, contributing their strength and energy to our nation, any negativity would be indefensible. It is amazing the capacity shown by grateful immigrants to find employment (a lesson could be learned by some supposed “citizens”). Thus we express our empathy both for those who seek to immigrate to Australia (especially in the case of asylum seekers) and at the same time for our citizens – positive asylum.
Grass-Roots” Initiatives for Immigrants and Citizens
In the meantime, there are many positive ways that both immigrants and citizens can pave the way for greater understanding on both sides to improve social harmony.
First of all, here is our advice for immigrants:
- You should voluntarily renounce your former citizenship, even though it is not legally required to obtain citizenship here in Australia. You should also discard all national flags and other national symbols of your former country.
- You should make an effort to become fluent in English as quickly as possible. If you speak only English in public, it shows respect to our nation. Also, whenever possible, speak English at home. Decide to make English, not the language of the country from which you emigrated, the first language of your offspring.
- If you are ever subjected to violence or intimidation, do not relocate. Such tactics are aimed at pressuring you to move from your home; by moving, you indicate to the Rightists that their tactics are effective and thus encourage them to use the same tactics on others. Stay put, be trained and equipped to defend yourself and seek support from fair-minded people in your community.
Here’s our advice to Citizens:
- Do not assume that anyone is an immigrant based on appearance. Criticize others who make such unfounded assumptions. Do not patronize anyone with special treatment, either favourable or unfavourable, on the basis that they are immigrants.
- Openly counter all attempts to incite hostility against immigrants. Expose their technique of manipulation through fear. Emphasize that whatever one’s opinion may be about handling of immigration issues, it does not entitle one to harass immigrants themselves. Instil the mentality that hostility against immigrants who are part of a local community is hostility against the local community as a whole.
Now most importantly, here is what needs to happen on both sides:
- Make an effort to socialize across denominational lines. Identify foremost with your locality. Use the pronoun “we”/”us”/”our” to refer to this locality. Be a regular customer of local small businesses. Donate to and volunteer at local charities. Be prepared to physically defend fellow members of your local community against violence by Rightist gangs, ideally by forming neighbourhood patrols (which can also do peaceful community work).
- Remind others that these times of economic hardship are ultimately a test of character, in which the cowardly will increasingly preach division while the heroic will insist on goodwill in spite of all. Those who fail this test will be those who allow the hardship to defeat them, that they choose the coward’s road. Those who triumph will be those who pull together and compensate with spiritual rapport what we lack in material security.
An Empathetically-Governed State
Ultimately this same governing principle would affect our entire social welfare system. We would certainly want to have empathy for those who are suffering, or for whatever reason, lack the capacity for employment. But we don’t want to produce a patronizing system that causes people to become permanent dependents on the State. Instead, we would create a way for them to gain self-esteem as contributing members of society. Our society does not have to have a systemic unemployment problem.
Looking to the ensign of our movement, we see the words of our national anthem almost prophetic of our great hope, pointing towards our movement’s goal:
Beneath our radiant Southern Cross
We’ll toil with hearts and hands;
To make this commonwealth of ours
Renowned of all the lands;
For those who’ve come across the seas
We’ve boundless plains to share;
With courage let us all combine
To Advance Australia Fair.