Most young people would flee rather than stay and fight if Australia was in the same situation as Ukraine, disturbing new polling shows.
Most young people would flee rather than stay and fight if Australia was in the same situation as Ukraine, new polling shows.
One veteran says the troubling finding shows a lack of “higher purpose” holding the country together.
“I think this shows that our younger generations don’t feel emotionally invested enough in our country — in our plan for the future and their part of that plan,” retired Army officer Heston Russell told news.com.au.
“Military planning 101, involve as many people in the planning process so they establish an emotional connection to the plan, take ownership of it and are willing to fight for it.”
The survey of 1000 Australians, commissioned by conservative think tank the Institute of Public Affairs and undertaken by research firm Dynata late last month, asked respondents, “If Australia was in the same position as Ukraine is now, would you stay and fight, or leave the country?”
Overall 46 per cent said they would stay and fight and 28 per cent said they would leave the country, but younger respondents were more likely to say they would leave.
Only 32 per cent of those aged 18-24 said they would stay and 40 per cent said they would leave, and 35 per cent of those aged 25-34 said they would stay while 38 per cent said they would leave.
“As a result of years of relentless attack on our values by the cultural and media elites, young Australians are now so ashamed of themselves and their country that they would rather flee Australia than stay and fight if the need arose,” IPA research director Daniel Wild said in a statement.
“The negative, self-hate view of Australian history and culture being forced onto students at schools and universities means that now barely one-third of young Australians believe Australia is even worth fighting for.”
Mr Russell, 36, who is running for parliament under his Australian Values Party, said there had been a “huge cultural shift” over the past two decades and that younger people were no longer receiving “that national inspiration”.
He said Australia had strong national unity after World War II and major focal points like the 2000 Sydney Olympics, but “unfortunately the Australian culture where we used to celebrate those who would go off to fight our wars” or sporting icons like the Wallabies had been eroded.
“In my time in the military, when there’s no war outside the wire the battle comes within,” he said.
“When there’s no purpose to unite people together, we too often turn on each other. The last two years we’ve had states separating families, everyone attacking each other based on superficialities.”
The former November Platoon commander, who last month won an apology from the ABC over reporting alleging his unit was involved in war crimes in Afghanistan, added that the Australian military had been “pretty much desecrated through the media”.
“One, we’re lacking leaders, but two our culture (has turned to) cutting people down – we’re not there motivating each other and raising each other up,” he said.
The IPA survey also asked whether, “given conflict in Ukraine and growing rivalry between countries in our region, the federal government should do more to teach schoolchildren to be proud of Australia’s history”.
Sixty-three per cent agreed, while just 12 per cent disagreed.
“Mainstream Australians understand their nation is a force of good in the world and the results show they want future generations to be proud of our achievements, rather than constantly be berated and shamed by the noisy minority of elites,” Mr Wild said.
“The deceit which forms the basis of the national education curriculum must be replaced with the truth that Australia is one the most tolerant, free, and democratic nations on earth – and that this is worth fighting for. Young Australians don’t want to fight for Australia because the cultural elites in schools, universities, and the media have convinced them that there is nothing worth fighting for.”
Australian Catholic University senior research fellow Kevin Donnelly told Sky News on Thursday that events in Ukraine and China showed a need to “talk about nation-building” in the Australian education curriculum.
“The reality is in Australia, we like to believe we’re prosperous, we’re safe,” he told Sky News Australia.
“If you add Russia, if you add what’s happening overseas, really it is time to actually, in the curriculum, talk about nation-building, and about having a sense of ownership and pride in what we are as a nation.”
Original article: here
Re-published: 8 May 2022
David James Connolly