I do believe the result of the poll (that ‘49% of Australians support banning Muslims immigrating to Australia’) is accurate – it was taken twice to confirm the result. One of the pollsters said the number was too big to say that it is unrepresentative.
I have heard the poll discussed in the middle-class media and no-one (as much as they would like to) has claimed that the result is in any way ‘false’.
If you step back and look at the ‘big picture’: there is a rising anti-refugee sentiment across the US, Europe and Australia. Fascism and fascist parties play an increasing part in this – discussions in the Australian middle-class media about the possibility of a Trump presidency have included mention of fascism in the US.
What is fascism? Capitalism in extremis. When the GFC hit the fan, a lot of tax-payers’ money was thrown at it. That money has now gone but the GFC hasn’t. The capitalists ponder – ‘What to do?’
Blame someone, ramp up protectionism, wage war and make force and the threat of force internally more prominent.
All of this, with regard to Australia, feeds into a pre-existing cultural ‘mind’ set.
Not only has racism always been deeply ingrained in Australia (the ‘White Australia policy’ was only finally dropped in 1973) – recent instances of anti-Chinese xenophobia yet again exemplify this – this racism is representative of a broader problem in Australia – the fear of difference.
Aussies on their island continent at the arse-end of the earth (to quote a former Prime Minister) cannot comprehend difference and its necessity, wrapped otherwise than in conformist ‘decency’ (hence the comparative welcoming of the Vietnamese refugees after the defeat of the US and Australia in their war on Vietnam).
Again, what is particularly repulsive about the behaviour of the white-dominated nations (including Australia – one of the richest nations in the world) towards the present great tide of refugees is that those people are fleeing from destruction initiated either directly by capitalist nations or as a consequence of their previous behaviour – led by the number 1 capitalist power, the US.
The West fears ‘Islamic terrorism’? Think of the treachery and terrorism that the West has dished out over and again to the Islamic people, particularly in the last 100 years.
As capitalism goes deeper into crisis, within capitalist nations, the rich get richer, the poor poorer and the middle class diminishes while beyond those nations, their militaries continue to wreak the destruction and suffering that puts further pressure on capitalism.
This is dialectics in action.