Here is the link to my kindle author’s page – Christopher Michaels
We don’t need nuclear powered submarines, though they might be handy if there was any real or practical chance of an invasion. But there is no practical chance of Australia being invaded. We live in the shadow of the last 200+ years of the European invasion. Terrified someone will do to us what we did to the first nations thus the attitudes to boat people (since that is how my ancestors arrived, refugees forced here by a draconian regime – that is England in 1700s & 1800s and most of the rest of those who came in the last century.)
A pragmatic look at economics and politics says there is zero-to-none chance of anyone invading Australia, since the European invasion was completed a few decades ago. The militaries of anyone who might be interested – Indonesia, China and the rest – are organized around controlling their own populations and paranoid defenses against being invaded as the Europeans were doing until 100 years ago. The USA is the only military with the world-wide organizational structure that could invade other countries, and we’ve seen how that’s worked out for them. They fail because their heart isn’t in it. Their power elite, what ever reason they want to invade somewhere, are stuck with the hypocrisy that means to sell war to the USA public they have to pretend it is a moral action to free the oppressed.
The Romans and the European empires never had to worry about morally justifying invasions (except for the spreading Christianity but then no one was watching the hideous shit they did in the name of Christ).
As far as Australia is concerned, why go to war with us when anyone can simply buy what they want. Capitalism is great system of power (until we find a better one). It is based on seducing people with their dreams and desires and they will give you much more than they would if you bully and intimidate them to get it. Knowing this we should be neutral, be the Switzerland of the south, following New Zealand. Basically forget bullshit moral justifications for interfering with other countries’ politics (following the USA’s hypocritical bull) and go with the money. It is actually more ethical (since it’s honest). Build a practical self-defence force (to further discourage invasion) that builds on the geographical realities.
We don’t need powerful friends by participating in the “hard power” version by sucking up to the USA and has-been empires like the UK and Europe. Like Switzerland we need to use “soft power” that is encourage the world power elites that doing business with us is by far more profitable for them than invasion or blockades. If the cool war between the world powers gets frigid again we need to be like the capitalist in World War II, make money from all sides.
I know there are people who live in that aristocratic world where mercantilism is immoral (I’ve been there and still find this idea a little uncomfortable). But the truth is that the first responsibility of any society and nation is to feed their people, next to have them feel safe and finally create a social atmosphere that allows them to thrive. Not all of this is measurable with money but it is good starting point. Money doesn’t measure inequality which allows some people to thrive, some to just survive and others to die.
In the last century since the end of the hard power empires of Europe have retreated and their soft power has come to the fore in the form of democratic capitalism poverty has dropped to a lower level than at any other time of history. Even the hypocrisy of the USA is based on confusion about where their power truly comes from. It is the Euro-USA soft power that is why it has the position is has, since it has failed every time it has tried using hard power to spread its influence.
The truth is soft power always beats hard power in to end. The Greek and Roman (in the West) hard power (that is military power) empires died 1500 years ago but their soft power is still alive in the Christian church, democracy, academia and in fact that politics and culture still uses that era as (flawed) models.
Our politicians, especially the so-called right, keep focusing on how small we are here in Australia. But if you look through history there are plenty of examples of apparently small helpless places with few resources that ended up having major effects on history – city state republics, like Venice, Florence, Rome and in the modern era Singapore, or even Japan. Their wealth and power came from and comes from the skills, education and the cooperation of their people rather than natural resources. In the past they used hard power to control their populations and to expand their influence to create empires.
Hard power is wasteful. It kills people and destroys property and divides people against you. Soft power operates by consent and seduction so that people join your cause because they want to, because you demonstrate your worth to them and as a result everyone benefits – the rich get richer by making the poor richer.
We, in Australia, have the benefit of the city states of old (since 90% of us live in cities & towns) and natural resources. We have a desert to protect us rather than the swamps and mountains that protected London, Venice and many other great cities of Europe. Our soft power is amazing, just look at how popular we were for education, for doing business, with tourists and immigrants desperate to come here (even from China). Then we tried riding on the coattails of the USA’s failed attempts at hard power and now we are investing unnecessary hard power weapons.
Atm we invest about 2% of GDP in the military, with 59,000 of 250,000 or about 0.2% of the population. The USA invests 4% of GDP with 1,340,000 of 335,000,000 or 0.4% of the population distributed in somewhere between 40 and 50 countries. (according to the CIA world fact book).