Reclaim Australia: Energizing Australian Radical Nationalism


Fear and concern about terrorist movements initiated by radical Islamists have gripped developed economies such as Australia. Although there is reason to be concerned, most of the fire has been stoked by politicians like former Prime Minister Tony Abbott whose rhetoric constantly reminded Australians of the danger posed to their daily lives by Islamic militants.

Sentiments are fuelled by these constant reminders to be vigilant. When done over and over again it will have influence on how some Australians view Islam in general. It will be difficult to discern between radical Islam and those who are merely devout practising Muslims.

The radical groups which thrived in the 1980’s and Hansonism in the 1990’s saw multiculturalism as threats to Australian culture, society and the economic way of life. In the case of Reclaim Australia, it feeds off the rhetoric of traditional politicians and presents itself as nothing more than a part of the global protest against militant Islam.

Reclaim Australia is poised to outlast other previous radical nationalist groups because it subscribes to traditional nationalist ideologies. These ideologies articulate its disdain of globalism and at the same time advocates pan- nationalism. Reclaim Australia appears to support protectionist policy- making and the role of government intervention.

The group’s broader ideology and willingness to learn from the mistakes of its radical nationalist predecessors could make Reclaim Australia the country’s most formidable nationalist campaigner.

Perhaps the best way to articulate Reclaim Australia’s nationalist position is to understand the agenda of Australian nationalism which was defined by the propagandist The National Alternative as follows:

“An organic nation founded upon Western/European ideals and created by its descendants primarily the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic ethnicity as well as fellow Europeans from northern, central, southern and eastern Europe.”

One of the important aspects of Reclaim Australia is that it presents itself as a movement not an organization. It does not have formal leadership structure although national activist Shermon Burgess was once identified with Reclaim Australia.

The idea of being recognized as a movement is that it does not have strict guidelines which act as potential barriers to entry. Thus, Reclaim Australia is able to build its following from a strong supporter base.

Reclaim Australia’s rallies have become violent but it is interesting to note from media reports that most of the criminal acts were instigated by the so called anti-racism protesters.

This is consistent with Reclaim Australia’s efforts to learn from the mistakes of nationalist groups of the past. Reclaim Australia wants to present itself as purveyors of peaceful protest because national action movements in the 1980’s and 1990’s frequently turned violent. While it gave the radical nationalists a certain level of notoriety, in exchange, the groups lost support.

As the world begins to experience a shift away from globalist to nationalist thought, expect Reclaim Australia to maintain its presence in Australia’s growing nationalist movement.

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