The basic approach by the Australian populace when faced with human rights abuses is apathy. It’s actually something that is quite disturbing. There are still people alive who remember a time when a war was (supposedly) fought against fascism and saw the introduction of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Regardless of whether you think that World War 2 was really fought as an epic battle of Good versus Evil, the protection of human rights and the improvements in freedom and democracy are something good that has required a lot of work.

But when it comes to protesters being arrested, the typical Aussie reaction is to say: “they were annoying anyway, blocking our roads”. In response to Assange‘s ongoing issues, including the refusal of the Australian Government to help in any way: “oh, what, is that still happening? I’m bored of this now”. Refugees: “THEY DON’T DESERVE ANY RIGHTS ANYWAY”. Indigenous people: “THEY HAVE EXTRA RIGHTS AND THEY JUST DRINK”. Indian people getting stabbed on public transport: “Indians are whingers, it’s totally not racially motivated!”. Having the internet spied on by the government “WHATEVER, I’M BORED NOW CHANGE THE CHANNEL”. Having News Limited publications/televised news character assassinate someone for having the temerity to criticise them: “WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD”.

I don’t understand why a country with high levels of literacy and a functioning democracy is so complacent, so passive in the face of threats to freedom and democracy. I certainly don’t understand why they in fact support the threats to freedom and democracy.

Is this similar to the passivity that people in Melbourne have when faced with crimes happening around them?

Certainly I think it’s horribly selfish and these apathetic people are very short-sighted if they think that this doesn’t affect them in any way.