Saturday, November 8, 2014

And Now For Something New...Or Old...

I know how hard it can be trying to study full time, work full time, and fulfill all your family commitments simultaneously.  One of the hardest parts of all of this for me is trying to find time to do my assignments.  The research just always takes forever, is scattered around everywhere, or I find something that's useful and there's no reference to where it came from, so I can't trust it.
Now, I know I'm not the only person out there that's going through this or feeling this way, so I thought I might start this little blog here to try to help people out.  I'm going to post up all of my papers that did for my Bachelor's degree, which I completed and graduated with a few years ago.  It's a degree in Ancient History with a minor in Philosophy.

I want to make it absolutely clear here, though, that I am in no way condoning or encouraging plagiarism.  I am simply providing the papers that I did, in the spirit of knowledge sharing, and in a desire to try to help someone that's struggling to find some information out with a direction to look in..  Please be aware that most of these papers went through a digital submission process, and as such, will be easy to identify as being copied if you so choose to do so. 

With that unpleasantness out of the way, please enjoy my papers, and I hope that they can be of some use to someone out there, even if it is just for a quick read.

Dustin Hulsey

The national image of Australia from 1945 to 1965 as depicted by Robert Menzies’ speech on The Forgotten People and Sir Frederic Eggleston’s The Australian Way of Life.

At the end of World War 2 and into the mid 1960’s, Australia was undergoing a national identity change and concurrently developing different images.  This essay will discuss two of the different new images of Australia by analysing two documents from that time period: Robert Menzies’ speech on ‘The Forgotten People’ and Sir Frederic Eggleston’s ‘The Australian Way of Life’.  The national images of a consumerist/middle-class nation as shown by Menzies and of a threatened nation talked about by Eggleston shall be discussed in the context of these and other supporting documents.  Events both current to and in the recent past of this time will be mentioned to give further context, relevance and support to the discussion.

The first image of Australia that will be discussed is that of a consumer and ‘middle-class’ nation.  The global economy was recovering from the depression of the 1930’s as well as the drain that the Second World War had put on the nations.  Due to the fact that most of the men went to fight in the war, more women started entering the workforce, and the result was a new sense of pride and of financial independence for them.  According to Macintyre, (as cited in Study Guide AUS 11, 2009, p. 26), between 1947 and 1961 the number of married women in the workforce increased fourfold.  The newfound income that the women had did not go unnoticed by businesses.  Women were placed squarely in the “role of housewives and mothers and consumers of domestic labour-saving devices” (Study Guide AUS 11, 2009, p. 26).  This is part of the consumerism and middle-class Australia image that was being formed through politicians, journalists, and advertising companies.  The bush legend of the turn of the century was being replaced by a view that suburbanization, being a ‘home-maker’, and household possessions were a necessary part of the Australian way of life. 

Robert Menzies talked in 1942 about ‘The Forgotten People’, or the middle class of Australia.  Regarding the middle class citizens and in relation to consumerism, he said “The material home represents the concrete expression of the habits of frugality and saving for a home of our own” (MacLeod in Documents AUS 11, 2009, p. 139).   Further to this, Menzies said that the middle class of Australia is the country’s backbone.  This stems from a comment that he made earlier in his speech; “I do not believe that the real life of this nation is to be found either in great luxury hotels… or in the officialdom of organized masses.  It is to be found in the homes of people who are nameless and unadvertised… The home is the foundation of sanity and sobriety… its health determines the health of society as a whole…” (MacLeod in Documents AUS 11, 2009, p. 138-139).  The question of why Menzies makes this statement in talking about middle class Australia becomes apparent in the next two statements that he made in his speech: “Your advanced socialist may rage against private property even while he acquires it…” and “National patriotism, in other words, inevitably springs from the instinct to defend and preserve our own homes.” (MacLeod in Documents AUS 11, 2009, p. 139).  With these two statements, Menzies both makes it clear that middle class Australia is prospering and developing a protective sense of the suburban homes that it only a few decades earlier shunned with the bush legend, and that Australia is also a nation that is under threat and needs to defend itself.

The nation under threat is the next image that is prevalent during this time in Australia.  Sir Frederic Eggleston stated that “Australians firmly believe that their way of life is unique, and they are fanatically determined to protect it.” (Heinemann in Documents AUS 11, 2009, p. 14).  This is not just a threat of invasion or war, as was the case with the Asian Peril, but of loss of identity through immigration of non-whites and non-Europeans and the influence of Communism.  White cited W. V. Aughterson’s Taking Stock when discussing the defence of the Australian way of life; “our way of life in Australia is a miracle for this kind of world, and … the danger lies in thinking of it as ‘natural’ and likely to endure without a passionate determination on our part to preserve and defend it.” (Readings AUS 11, 2009, p. 159). 

The end of World War II saw the onset of the Cold War and a shift in the way that the West viewed the Communist Bloc and racial purity.  “In that Cold War context, Australia was becoming an important bulwark of ‘freedom’.  Australia’s racial identity became less important than its alliance with the United States in the Cold War.” (White in Readings AUS 11, 2009, p. 158-159).  With the Cold War outlook on communism and the Nazi regime fresh in the world’s mind, Australia’s already existent racism towards non-whites and non-Europeans, in the form of The White Australia Policy and the scheme initiated by Minister Arthur Calwell to bring British ex-service personnel and their families to Australia (Study Guide AUS 11, 2009, p. 27), had to be altered, albeit only slightly.  According to the Study Guide, as it became increasingly clear that attracting sufficient British migrants was simply not possible, the definition of who would be suitable and adaptable to an Australian lifestyle was necessarily broadened to include southern, eastern and central Europeans (Study Guide AUS11, 2009, p. 27).  As Sir Eggleston put it, “…[Australians] are therefore determined to prevent these norms from being broken down by the admission in large numbers of unassimilable elements.”  (Heinemann in Documents AUS 11, 2009, p. 14). 

Even though those migrants that were allowed to enter Australia had met the approval of the strict immigration policies, not everyone was happy with them.  The newly admitted immigrants were expected to assimilate into Australian culture and bring nothing of their own with them (Study Guide AUS11, 2009, p. 27-28).  In 1957 John O’Grady wrote to immigrants in his novel saying, “There are far too many New Australians in this country who are still mentally living in their homelands, who mix with people of their own nationality, and try to retain their own language and customs… cut it out.  There is no better way of life in the world than that of the Australian.”  (White in Readings AUS 11, 2009, p. 160). 

In conclusion, these two newly formed images of Australia, while different to each other, are both accurate and valid perceptions of the Australian identity at the time.  The image of a consumerist middle-class Australia was reinforced by the advertising agencies of the time by linking consumption to being a good wife or mother or home-maker, and thus a good Australian; because Australia wanted to be seen as modern, prosperous and stable (Study Guide AUS11, 2009, p. 30).  At the same time, the defensive, almost paranoid view that the Australian way of life and culture was in jeopardy by migrants and communism was in full force.  “…[T]he notion of ‘the Australian way of life’ served the interests of conservative political and social forces… it ‘not only denied the possibility that the cultural traditions of migrants might enrich Australian life, but also denied the existence of different “ways of life” among Australians themselves’” (Study Guide AUS11, 2009, p. 29).  These two images of Australia combined helped make Australia the country that it is today.

Reference List

Documents AUS 11 2009, ‘Australian Studies: Images of Australia 1A’, School of Humanities, Griffith University, Brisbane.

Readings AUS 11 2009, ‘Australian Studies: Images of Australia 1A’, School of Humanities, Griffith University, Brisbane

Study Guide AUS 11 2009, ‘Australian Studies: Images of Australia 1A’, School of Humanities, Griffith University, Brisbane.

Should Cannabis Be Legalised In Australia?

Cannabis has been a staple of humanity throughout history.  Ancient cultures used the cannabis plant to make clothing and tools from the hemp stalk as well as use its properties in religious events and ceremonies[1].  The early days of the United States has cannabis literally woven into its foundation.  Starting in 1619 in Virginia, America’s first law regarding marijuana was a requisite on the farmers that they had to grow and produce hemp to be used in sails, rigging, caulking, food and fuel[2].  The state of Maryland used hemp as legal tender, Betsy Ross sewed the first American flag out of hemp fabrics, and it is most likely that Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence on hemp paper[3].  Indeed, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson all grew hemp as a cash crop on their lands and used it for medicinal purposes.  Further, from 1850 to 1942 in the United States Pharmacopoeia, marijuana was on America’s official list of accepted drugs, as well as small packs of marijuana were sold in pharmacies for migraines, insomnia and other maladies[4].  

Then in the early 1900’s, there was an influx of migrants to America from the Mexican Revolution as well as from the West Indies.  These groups used cannabis regularly, and due to intolerant racist views towards these and other minority groups, a hatred towards the cannabis they used and sold was developed, and by the 1920’s law enforcement was focusing on foreigners, minority races, sex workers, and social miscreants as the main users of marijuana[5].  It is during this time that the stigma against cannabis began, with reports that the drug caused the immigrating Mexicans to develop blood lust, a penchant for violence and violent crime, and superhuman strength.  At the same time a conflicting report from the government stated that cannabis caused “reefer madness”, and still others said that it cause amotivational syndrome, or the lack of motivation[6].  It is here that the debate on the legalisation of cannabis should look; the negative societal views towards the drug stemmed not from a medical reason or background, but from that of an intolerant racial one, which then spread out to other Westernised nations.

Even with the negative stigma associated with cannabis use and the legal repercussions that go with it, there is still a high usage rate for the drug.  In Australia, the statistics for 2004 were that one in every four young people had used marijuana in the pervious twelve month period[7].  In Europe this statistic increases to one of every two young people that have used marijuana.  With such a large proportion of the populace using cannabis, why then is there still laws making it illegal?
Most people when arguing for or against the decriminalization or legalisation of cannabis use comparisons with other commonly accepted drugs such as alcohol and tobacco.  Again using statistical analysis from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, in 1998 there were estimated 19,000 deaths from tobacco use, which made up eighty percent of all drug and alcohol related deaths.  Further, there were 2000 deaths attributed to alcohol, and 1000 deaths due to illicit drugs[8].  Making up the illicit drug category are all other drugs that are not alcohol or tobacco.  These include substances such as methamphetamines, cocaine, barbiturates, LSD, and cannabis.  It is possible to derive from these statistics then that illicit drugs make up the smallest category of the drug related fatalities, and of that small percentage, marijuana is only a small percentage again, thus making it many times safer and overall healthier than the widely used and legal tobacco and alcohol.  This opinion can be substantiated by the findings of the UK Police Foundation in 2000 which stated that when cannabis is systematically compared with other drugs against the main criteria of harm, namely mortality, morbidity, toxicity, addictiveness and relation to crime, it is less harmful to the individual and society than any of the other illicit drugs or than alcohol or tobacco[9].  This would appear to be a strong piece of evidence from very reliable sources for the advocation of the legalisation of marijuana. 

Opponents to the legalisation of cannabis have argued that there are many problems with the drug on the other hand.  Some of these arguments are sound and genuine, such as concerns for the health of the lungs and brain, some are held-over social misinformation such as marijuana causes homicidal tendencies, while others are just strange such as using marijuana causes the growth of male breasts[10].  The theory that marijuana is a ‘gateway’ drug that leads to the use of other more dangerous and harder drugs is also put forward by opponents to its legalisation.  Fergusson and Horwood stated that it is possible that when a cannabis user discovers that cannabis is pleasurable and non-harmful, they may think that it is okay to experiment with other drugs[11].  They go on to say that this possible experimentation with other drugs could be due to the social surroundings of the individual user and where they have to source their cannabis from. 

This stance in opposition to legalising marijuana could also lend itself very easily to being a reason for legalization.  The concern and view that the reason that a cannabis user will try other harder drugs due to where they have to source the cannabis from, such as irreputable dealers and unclean or unsafe sources, could be addressed easily with the legalization of marijuana.  This would provide authorised dealers to the public that would have to meet standards in the quality of their product, (thus eliminating “dirty” or laced marijuana) and the user then would not be confronted with a social setting that potentially had dangerous or illicit drugs around them and be able to curb that eventuality from happening. 

Currently, no Australian states have legalised the personal use of cannabis, however South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory, and the Northern Territory have all decriminalised the possession and cultivation of cannabis for personal use by replacing penal sanctions with standard fines up to $250[12].  Compare this to the high cost in resources, paid by the taxpayers (which as mentioned previously one in four use cannabis) to police cannabis estimated at a cost of $329 million in 1991-92 in Australia, and there would appear to be a large gap between outgoing expenditures and incoming capitol generated from the fines[13].  Further, in those states which have not legislated to reduce criminal penalties…it is estimated that there are up to 476 people serving up to 15 months in prison with a simple personal cannabis offence as their most serious offence[14].  This is also a drain on the taxpayers that are paying for someone to be imprisoned for doing something that had no impact or caused harm on anyone but themselves.

A solution to the monetary problems generated by the policing and regulation of cannabis resides in the legalisation of it as well.  In 1988, it was estimated that the monetary turnover for the cannabis crop in Australia alone was a surplus of $1.09 billion[15].  Given the global financial crisis and the fact that every nation in the world, including Australia, is searching for ways to bolster their coffers, legalising cannabis and using it as a cash crop would be an economical boon to the country. 

Another argument against the legalisation of cannabis is that it is harmful to a person’s health.  There have been reports made on the negative side effects of marijuana use, and list the side effects as: a possibility to make you see and hear things that are not there, feel separated from reality, and in the long term increase the risk of getting bronchitis and other diseases of the respiratory system, a decrease in motivation, decrease in concentration and ability to learn new things, and a lowered libido[16].  The counter-side to this argument is the highly successful use of cannabis in the medical profession for the treatment of many different maladies.  Examples of this include Jacki Rickert of Wisconsin, who in March of 2000 police raided her home.  She was forty-nine years old, ninety pounds (40.9kg) and wheelchair-bound.  Rickert had Ehlers-Danlos syndrome which had her in constant pain and made eating very difficult.  She smoked marijuana to manage her pain and increase her appetite.  Rickert was one of eight patients in the Investigative New Drug Program who was allowed therapeutic distribution of 300 prerolled marijuana cigarettes per month.  When the police found a small amount of marijuana in her home, they pressed charges against her, even though she only used it to gain some quality of life from her illness[17].  Another case is that of Deborah Lynn Quinn of Arizona.  She was thirty-nine years old and born without legs or arms and sentenced to eighteen months in prison for illegally using marijuana to manage her physical pain.  The State Corrections director Terry Stewart who is known for his hard stance on drugs stated “I simply cannot understand how a judge can sentence a disabled woman to prison who presents absolutely no escape risk, no physical danger to the public, and who will be an extremely difficult and expensive person to care for at $345[US] per day, without exploring any alternative sentence measures…”[18]. 

In conclusion, the legalisation or decriminalisation of cannabis would be beneficial to Australia in the areas of finance, freeing up of police resources, medical treatments, and prison population decreases.  This would show a marked benefit in the populace at large as it would decrease black market drug trafficking, and stop being a problem for the youth trying to hide from over-regulation.  As Dr. Lester Grinspoon of the Harvard Medical School stated, “While marijuana is, in fact, remarkably free of toxicity, the consequences of annually arresting 300,000 mostly young people is not”[19]. 


Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.  (2004). (Accessed 27 Oct 2011).

Cohen, P.  (2009).  ANTH106 Cannabis Background – powerpoint presentation.  Macquarie University 

Dennis, M. and White, W.  (1999).  "The Marijuana legalization debate: Is there a middle ground?" in The Drug Legalization Debate , Inciardi, James A.  pp. 75-100

Dubner, S.  (2007).  On The Legalization – or not – of Marijuana. (Accessed 27 Oct 2011).

Fergusson, D. and  Horwood, L.  (2000).  "Does cannabis use encourage other forms of illicit drug use?" Addiction.  95:4, pp.  505-520

Gerber, R.  (2004).  "History of demonizing drugs" in Legalizing Marijuana: Drug Policy Reform and Prohibition Politics.  pp. 1-16

Hall, W.  (1997).  "The recent Australian debate about the prohibition on cannabis use" Addiction. 92:9, pp. 1109-1115

Himmelstein, J.  (1983).  "From killer weed to drop-out drug: The changing ideology of Marihuana" Contemporary Crises: Crime, Law, Social Policy.  7:1, pp. 13-38

Iverson, L.  (2004).  “Cannabis and the Law – High Time for Reform?” European Review.  4:513-525. 

New South Wales Health.  (2006).  Marijuana Factsheet.  (Accessed 27 Oct 2011). 

[1] Cohen, Cannabis Background Power Point, 2009
[2] Gerber, History of Demonizing Drugs, p. 2
[3] Ibid
[4] Ibid
[5] Ibid, p.3
[6] Dennis & White, The Marijuana Debate, p. 75-76
[8] Ibid
[9] Iverson, Cannabis and the Law, p520
[10] Dennis & White, The Marijuana Debate, p. 84
[11] Fergusson & Horwood, Does Cannabis Use Encourage…, p. 506
[12] Hall, Debate About Prohibition, p. 1110
[13] Ibid, p. 1111
[14] Ibid, p. 1110
[15] Ibid, p. 1110
[17] Gerber, History of Demonizing Drugs, p. 1
[18] Ibid