Three Thoughts on the “Dark Emu” Controversy


“Pasco’s Fault” is Peter Sutton and Kerin Walsh’s “Peasant or hunter-gatherer society? Dark Emu Debate,Skillfully points out many mistakes in Dark Emu theory.

The theory Dark Emu, published by Bruce Pascoe in his 2014 work, states that indigenous Australians are not only hunter-gatherers, but also familiar with advanced food production, aquaculture and land management methods. Insist.

Before the criticisms of Sutton and Walche were announced, individuals such as Peter O’Brien, Andrew Bolt, and Ian Keane also bravely joined in to challenge an enthusiastic and critically unacceptable story.

This article does not intend to convince the reader that pre-British Invasion Aboriginal societies were not peasants. Nor do we intend to convince our readers that the hunter-gatherer lifestyle is sophisticated and sophisticated. The people mentioned above do this skillfully.

Also, I’m not going to write an article behind the personal good work I just mentioned, portraying myself as an expert voice for those who have exposed Dark Emu’s errors.

Too many people are already on the rise and portray themselves as “brave” insightful people who have conducted research and lengthy analysis exposing the Dark Emu.

Some have behaved as if the approval scale was important and bestowed it on the work of Sutton and Walche.

Instead, it describes the following: 1) Why I think Dark Emu is so popular. 2) Why are even unlikely sources, such as left-handed guardians and conversations, so supportive of “farmers and hunter-gatherer societies”? 3) Why is it late for some Dark Emu fans to admit that this book is full of big mistakes?

Why is Dark Emu so popular?

I think Sutton best summarized it when he was quoted Sydney Morning Herald “Reading and accepting the Dark Emu has become a quest for a” moral recovery “of well-meaning white Australians. “

In Herald’s Good Weekend Talk podcast, interviewer Greg Callaghan asked, “Is part of the problem recognizing that there is a hierarchy of civilizations with agriculture on top and hunter-gatherer on the bottom?”

Sutton replied positively, “Dark Emu has that view.”

In 2018 Conversation articleProfessor Tony Hughes Dace calls Pasco a “indigenous historian” who was clearly motivated by his desire to “correct the continuous slander of indigenous peoples.”

Isn’t it strange that Pasco gained the status of a hero with such commentary and coverage?

In addition, some people’s reactions were as follows: “Wow, I always knew that the Aboriginal people were smarter than the whites who invaded them, and Pasco proved that.”

I also believe they were smart, not because they were farmers or builders, but because they were very skilled hunter-gatherers. In The Guardian’s article Mark McKenna suggests that “The only way to accept Aboriginal people as sophisticated is as if they look more like a prestigious European white blow job than the skilled” hunter-gatherers “as they once were. is. “

Finally, many who had doubts about Dark Emu may have been too afraid to say anything. In the Good Weekend Talk podcast, Sutton admits that if he asks Dark Emu, he may focus on the right-wing Sky News channel.

Why is the leftist media welcoming “farmers and hunter-gatherer societies”?

Very simply, both Sutton and Walche were very talented and did a very good and in-depth job of reviewing the Dark Emu.

And most importantly, the author does so in a “positive spirit.”

Their books are so well written that I can’t immediately imagine the writing of a scholar who opposes it.

Through their motive to present the truth, they show the flaws of the Dark Emu, yet the traditional Aboriginal people were very intelligent and sophisticated.

In fact, as I recently taught psychology students, hunter-gatherers were certainly very intelligent when their intellect reflected their ability to adapt and prosper in their natural environment.

Why don’t you want to admit the problem of dark emu?

This is briefly explained by a well-studied psychological theory known as cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance is the mental discomfort we experience when we have contradictory beliefs.

The belief that most people have is that “I’m smart and can’t be fooled easily.” However, a second belief soon emerges after the Dark Emu rants by Farmers and Hunter Gatherers. That is, “I was fooled.”

Obviously, this second belief does not match the first belief well. Humans do not respond well to contradictory views.

At this stage, you have two options. First, one can admit that he made a mistake, and for their honor, many do it.

But if the ego does not allow this and makes a significant investment in believing in the myth that indigenous Australians are peasants, call Dark Emu critics racists or “Sky News”. Crowds, Rupert Murdoch, or anything far from the center.

Perhaps Pasco simply mentions Sutton and Walche’s critique of his book. “Difference of opinion” It’s an easy way to avoid saying “I made it very wrong”.

Interestingly, according to cognitive dissonance theory, one may be even more committed to belief when faced with evidence of opposition. This means that after reading Sutton and Walche’s books and their reviews, you can lead them to believe in Dark Emu more strongly, rather than admitting that they have been fooled.

In summary, as long as political correctness, identity politics, and call-out culture (which I call the three evils) thrive and are approved by organizations like ABC on the national broadcast, Dark Emu will lose. I do not think. It will be supported by fans in the near future.

But within a few years, the Dark Emu will be seen as an attempt to win support (and sales) by presenting what it is, the Aboriginal people as a brown version of the Europeans.

Anthony Dillon is a researcher at the Institute of Positive Psychology Education at the Christian University of Australia. He has been commenting on Australia’s indigenous issues for 20 years.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

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