By Kurt Saxon
(c) 1979, Kurt Saxon
A few survivalists have considered migration as a way of getting out from
under the impending doom of the American system. R. Hodkinson of Australia
recommends his country as a place for Americans to settle. He means well
but he obviously has known few Americans.
For most American migrants to Australia, the place is a miserable experience,
both for them and the Australians they deal with. I will go into detail about
this, but first, let me point out the general impracticality of migration.
Most Americans believe the world is their oyster. They feel their influence,
their products, their trade, makes them welcome anywhere. This is true only
when they go to other countries as tourists. They take money which they intend
to leave behind when they go home.
All tourists are welcome, anywhere, by those who make their living off tourists.
Tourists are usually insulated from anti-American sentiments, as the authorities
and those living off the tourist trade are verbally and even physically rough
on their nationals who accost tourists with belligerence.
So Americans who have traveled to other countries, spent all their money
and left, come home with much praise for the polite and quaint natives they
met. In most cases, the natives were polite only because they expected payment
and also because they knew the arrogant, cloddish Yanks would soon go home.
But when an American migrates to another country, the mask of politeness
is off. He is a competitor and, as a national from a country with a higher
standard of living, is considered a loser and a fool.
Since he has little money, except what he might earn there, he is no better
than the natives. He is also astonished by the realization that he is now
in the same position as the Puerto Ricans in New York or the Caribbean blacks
and East Indians in England. For the first time in his life, he is a dependent
foreigner and is treated as such.
I migrated to Australia in late 1962 for various reasons; the main one being
a quest for adventure in what I considered to be a new frontier. Also, I
believed America was going socialist and didn't know Australia was much further
along the same road than we were.
You must realize that Australia has obviously changed in the last 17 years,
but, as a migrant, I'm sure I would run into the same general problems I
confronted then. Although the standard of living might be somewhat higher,
the people and their attitudes toward foreigners cannot have changed much.
Furthermore, although the following may seem very critical of Australians,
I would probably have had just as hard a time anywhere else I migrated to.
For it is their country and their ways. And their attitudes against Americans
were mainly formed by Americans who had been looting Australia for years.
Also, I have never gotten along with Americans so why should I get along
Even so, most of the Americans I met there were just as hostile to the
Australians as I was and they were also just as obnoxious as I was and I
didn't like them any more than did the Australians. Few of the other Americans
were migrants. Most of them were businessmen taking unfair advantage of the
Australians. It wasn't that the Australians were stupid. It was just that
they were less sophisticated than the sharper Americans. The term "Robber
Barons", as applied to our 19th and early 20th century millionaires would
be mild in comparison to the crooks I saw bilking the Australians.
As a near penniless migrant, though, I didn't feel that I should be treated
with the same scorn as the Americans who deserved it. But I got it anyway,
even though I had gone there with the idea of being an asset to the country.
The reason that I had so little money was that I didn't take advantage of
the Australian government's "assisted Passage". Assisted passage was a government
con whereby they paid about three quarters of a migrant's passage. The ripoff
was that one couldn't leave the country until the assisted passage, amounting
to several hundred dollars, was paid back. Since few migrants could get decent
jobs, and if they did, the pay was barely enough to live on, one could not
hope to save the money, so was trapped. I paid my full passage, so left when
I'd had enough.
Wages then were one-third for the same job an American got over here. The
average wage in New South Wales was 18 pounds a week at $2.25 per pound.
Food and rent were cheaper than here but manufactured products averaged three
times higher, due to high tariffs on imports to compare with the naturally
higher prices of Australia's smaller industrial output.
Resentment of Americans was deep-seated and mainly originated from the Second
World War when hundreds of thousands of Americans were stationed in Australia
as a base for attacking the Japanese. The Australian serviceman was paid
very little and the American G.I. was comparatively rich. They literally
bought up all the women, which enraged the Australian men. Like the British,
the Australians complained of the G.I.'s that they were "over paid, over
sexed and over here".
The Australians seemed to think they could beat the Japanese all by themselves,
or at least the ones that attacked Australia. They may have been right, as
the Australian soldiers are among the best in the world; as good or better
than American Marines.
Anyhow, much of the anti-American sentiment is male-oriented. Australian
women are very nice and very pretty, on the average. They never gave me any
problems, I think because since their desirability was a big part of the
conflict, they were too flattered to get into the Yank-baiting game.
As a reporter, I decided to get work in that line. I had rented a TV and
read all their newspapers before making any applications. Although most of
their news about America was from U.S. news films beamed over there, their
papers were biased to the point of outright lies. They have freedom of the
press, as do we. But freedom of the press is all too often a license to defraud
the intellects of the reading public.
I watched the account of the blacks kneeling on the steps of a Southern
courthouse at a civil rights demonstration. This was against the law so the
cops, with dogs, moved them off and there was a riot. One black was flicking
his jacket at a dog, got too close and was bitten.
The news film plainly showed that the dog was leashed and the black just
had no judgment of distance. Next morning, the Sydney Morning Herald showed
a picture of the black being bitten but they had blocked out the leash, giving
the impression that the dog had been set loose against demonstrators.
There were, and are, enough things wrong with America that one doesn't need
to lie to point out U. S. defects. I decided to get even by going to work
for the Sydney Morning Herald.
When I applied for work as a reporter I was turned down with the explanation
that they didn't need any help. Maybe they didn't, but I found later that
they wouldn't have hired me anyway. Later, in Cairns, Queensland, I applied
at their paper and the editor told me bluntly that he needed a reporter but
he wouldn't hire a Yank.
The Sydney editor was nice enough to refer me to the women's weekly supplement
of the Herald. I went upstairs and talked to the editor there. He didn't
want to hire me either, although he did need someone. I persisted and asked
him to at least let me show what I could do so he could see that I could
He dug into a drawer and got a pile of rejects which were the worst garbage
I'd ever read. I then went to a spare typewriter and rewrote several of the
articles. I reworked them into some highly readable stuff and he was so impressed
he hired me as a sub-editor.
This consisted of proof-reading, rewriting hideous romantic drivel sent in
by semi-literate women, and writing captions to pictures. Actually, the whole
staff practically wrote all the stories sent in, they were that bad.
Although socialists, the half dozen staff were intelligent and witty and
I liked them. I got along alright for a couple of months until the editor
asked me to write lying articles about America.
First, he asked me to write an article on how American women celebrated May
Day. I told him American Women didn't even know what May Day was. He said
he knew it and I knew it but the Australian women didn't. I refused.
Later, he wanted me to write about the subjugation of the American Negro.
Instead, I wrote an article entitled, "Don't Pity the American Negro". In
it, I pointed out that American blacks owned more cars, homes, businesses,
etc. than all the Australians put together. Also, that blacks on welfare
got more than the average Australian worker.
I then pointed out that the Australian blacks, the Aborigines, could not
cross state lines without police permission, got half the pay of whites doing
the same jobs and had no political representation. I don't think they could
even vote. Also, at that time, they couldn't buy liquor. My boss then transferred
me to another department, gave me hardly anything to do, and when the quarterly
layoff period came around, I was out.
As much as Australians despised Americans, I believe they hated the English
more. While I was still a sub-editor, Queen Elizabeth and Philip visited
Australia. They came over in a small ship and Liz was very seasick and as
I remember, she had the trots.
The staff women went to the dock to interview them. When they came back they
joked about the Queen's condition. One said, "Poor bitch; I hope she dies".
Another went on about the foul language used by Philip to the press and said
he was a homosexual. I didn't believe the last part but could imagine his
reasons for swearing at Australian journalists.
The next evening I watched Liz on TV. Although I care nothing for the monarchy,
I was angered by the Australians' treatment of her. For three hours they
kept the cameras on her while every Australian politician got up and gave
a stupid speech. They were no better nor worse than American politicians.
Totally degenerate. They each droned on for from five to ten minutes.
But even worse than forcing her to listen to all those clods, that camera
was on her the whole time. She couldn't scratch, yawn, stretch or do anything
one would normally do sitting in a chair for three hours. So for three hours,
she posed like a graceful statue, showing as much poise and class as the
Australian government-owned TV station showed their incredible rudeness and
inconsideration. That woman is a real lady.
As if to outdo the press and TV, that section of the government bureaucracy
in charge of protocol, not only made fools of themselves, but did their best
to kill her. First, they had her tour a hospital. Around the hospital were
some piles of coal. They sprayed the coal piles white.
Then there was this patient named Townsend. The English Captain Peter Townsend
was a commoner who had had an ill-fated affair with Princess Margaret. Believing
Liz might happen upon this Townsend, ask his name and become embarrassed,
they sent the poor devil home prematurely. Even if she had talked to him,
the similarity of names wouldn't have phased her.
Following this idiocy, they sent her up to Darwin, a tropical hell in Northern
Australia, to watch a rodeo. It was over a hundred degrees in the shade and
the humidity was unbelievable. She was out in the open with only a canopy
for shade. Seven bulls died of heat prostration before her eyes. I don't
think she's been back to Australia since.
After being laid off, I took several temporary jobs and, with some money
from home, I bummed around New South Wales and Queensland for a few months.
Then I went back to Sydney and applied for workaway passage on any ship leaving
for home. Workaway means only food, a cabin and passage, but no pay.
While waiting for a ship, I hung around observing and talking to Australians.
I liked them, generally, but they had a bad habit which I don't think is
shared by Americans. Upon meeting an American, the average Australian would
rattle off a string of real and fancied defects in the American system. This
would be prefaced with, "You Yanks", as if an American immigrant had any
control over the country's policies.
When this happened in a group, the bystanders would not tell the insulting
boor to shut up, as most Americans would in a reverse situation. That put
the American in the indelicate position of returning the insult to the whole
group, although he would prefer to repay only the individual.
I got so tired of being ganged up on like this that I became an expert on
insulting Australians. If they hated Americans and wanted to take it out
on me, to hell with them. One Sunday in a Sydney park, a communist was speaking
to a group of wharfies (stevedores). He opened up by saying that an eagle
was flying over the ocean and crapped and they called it "America". He didn't
know there were any Americans in the audience. They just all went on like
I asked him what putrid vulture tore loose and created Australia. He started
yelling at me, "If you bloody Yanks would get your thieving hands out of
our pockets, we could use our science to make a paradise here."
Not having my hands in any Australians' pockets, I replied, "Are you so stupid
as to think that these moronic wharf rats could make use of any science?
They can't even read, except the cricket scores and what broken-down, doped-up
Australian horse crawls across the finish line first."
The quarreling became so loud the cops hustled me out of the park. Actually,
we were sort of enjoying ourselves. I was never punched, nor did I ever punch
in an argument. There was no danger. But these constant, uncalled for,
misdirected insults against America to Americans was a kind of national rudeness
which made me want to leave.
When I got my ship, the Goonawara owned by Sweden, I was assigned to the
hold seeing that the wharfies didn't pilfer. At my first friendly comment,
one of the wharfies took me to task for lynching Negro workers. The rest
chimed in with equally absurd charges and I told them they were a bunch of
goddamned communist parasites who would starve if they weren't loading American
When the bosun heard the yelling, he ordered me elsewhere and put a Swede
who couldn't speak enough English to understand or return any of their insults.
I then took the job of second cook and got back home with fifteen cents in
Today I'm less quick-tempered and would just consider the source when confronted
by such rudeness. I could succeed in Australia now. But I'll make my stand
here. I would not be beholden to people who despised me, especially for things
I was not responsible for.
Americans just don't make good immigrants. Our ancestors left worse conditions.
As bad as you might consider things here, Americans can only migrate to places
with lower living standards. Australia and New Zealand are largely dominated
by American interests and their nationals naturally resent this. As decent
as most of them are, all too many wish nothing but the worst for Americans,
whether we deserve it or not.