Rename Australia now – it is derivative and insulting, so let it be changed to Nomgolia or Yarra Yarra or #referendum #renaming #greatsouthernland #aussies

AcburkeandwillsWent for a passport renewal interview yesterday. Isn’t it really really overdue to change the name of the country to something other than Australia?

I mean, the term is a problematic one, given by Spanish, Dutch, British colonists – first given by Mathew Flinders writing in prison in Mauritius – terra australis incognita, and this name, Australia, proposed by Macquarie and authorised by the Admiralty. Why accept what those pirates had to say? Flinders adopted the phrase somehow from the Spanish “Austrialia del Espíritu Santo” (Southern Land of the Holy Spirit) – and sure it was holy in some sense, but certainly not incognita, nor nullis, as we know well. The Dutch preferred New Holland, but that is equally problematic, and given that they also used Austrailis, with no disrespect to the Dutch, why do we follow their ascription (and while we are at it, surely New Zealanders should get about to changing their name as well – Aotearoa (Māori: [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]), is the obvious candidate). But what to rename the Great Southern Land? I am not going to propose we adopt anything from the Italians either, despite the very welcome migration of good cofeee adn pasta to Carlton etc., but in Latin, auster does connotes south or place from where the hot wind comes. It also had an earlier sense of East, and indeed the prefix aus can mean to shine or burn, ausre means dawn, if we look to the cognates: Greek eos “dawn,” auein “to dry, kindle;” Sanskrit usah, Lithuanian ausra “dawn;” Latin auster “south wind,” usum “to burn;” Old English east “east”.

Since other countries on independence from the colonial powers had no problem changing their names – Sri Lanka from Ceylon, Taiwan from Formosa – I think there is a case for renaming Australia in recognition of the potential for mass inward Chinese migration, perhaps New Tibet would be something to have in mind, lets call it Newbit. Or how about in recognition of the pomo linguistic muddle that we clearly have here around names, we could use Nomgolia. I like that because as a mostly arid country we have the potential to appeal to the Chinese as a migration destination option that would something like southern Mongolia. Well, sadly the racists won’t accept the argumentation that relies on China to populate the great expanses of the Murray basin, clearly we need to explore some indigenous names. Myself, coming from Melbourne, I like Yarra. We could name the country after a great river, apparently a koorie word for water, or waterfall, misheard by the early settler-colonists as a name for the river – yarra yarra they said, and pointed to the waterfall. So we could elevate that error as the name for the country in appropriate recognition of the early mistakes of occupation – a kind of sorry name gesture would not go astray. And after all, the droughts and flooding rains routine did leave some of the early error-making trekkers padding around in the desert begging indigenous folk for water – Burke and wills for example, set off to cross the country south to north, starting from the banks of the Yarra in 1860, died trying to get to Mount Hopeless on the way back (see the statue by Charles Summers, pic by Adam Carr).

I am proposing, as executive member of the Australian Government in exile, founded 1994, Manchester, now also with an office in Hsinchu City, that we have a referendum (that’s a fancy word for guessing game) on a new name.

My preference is for Nomgolia, but I would also accept Yarra Yarra. What do other people think?

[addendum: yes this was a Halloween post, but after all the pics of folks I know dressed in Halloween garb – adults I mean, not just kids – I wonder why it did not occur to me that we should just apply for US statehood. Especially as ex-glorious-leader Abbott crowed about so much in the UK this week, ever closer all the way ties. On Abbott’s overseas tour – does anyone know how he is getting back to Australia? – now is a good time to stop his boat, or plane, or broomstick]


Maybe the trick is to develop a strategy that will take advantage of the defensive struggles that capital is having itself. It is stuck in stagnation for good reasons – the collapse of its ability to refinance further rounds of accumulation (credit crunch continuing because the ratio of constant to variable capital is impossibly large), and now austerity brings crisis upon crisis since valourisation fails all the more with stagnation-driven desperation and cuts. The new technologies that frame a hoped for solution to the long term composition imbalance have seen initiatives in circulation (delivery drones! ocado home delivery, hardly high level labour growth here) but the staples remain resources and weapons (always good for productivity, with suitably racist ideological gimmicks like 9/11, 7/7, Libya, Syria, Charlie Hebdo to push along public approval). But new delivery technologies are hardly the ‘frames’ that Ned Ludd and the like attacked, though to be sure, the Luddites soon identified the enemy as the people wielding the new technologies not the frames themselves. Targetting those that manage the delivery systems is one level of activity. The other areas are weapons, mining, policing, war, and then privatisation as the attempt to monetise the entire private sphere in a last ditch scramble to colonise new domains for production, but there is only so much scope, and austerity limits consumer drives in any case.
In all this, I think the targeting of profit taking is key. But not just the corruption, bonuses, tax breaks and peripheral moments of profit. The central crime is surplus value extraction and those overseer Captains of Industry who need to turn that surplus into capital through some sort of valourisation process with investment and innovation, well, they are probably the most fragile part of the plan. What would hurt profit taking more than having service workers, military and high tech workers all challenge the basis of that extraction? Under the banner of abolition of the wage system of course (and not some swap out for barter or work chits, but rather) A living wage for all, irrespective of origin, capability or age or sector of work. CEOs and the unemployed on the same rate (‘unemployment for all, not just the ruling class’, would be the slogan to appeal to the luxuriant fraction amongst us). Universal across the board abandonment of money and the money changers not just out of the temple, but the temples torn down, repurposed into hospices, refugee welcome halls, and bingo for everyone. Saul from Breaking Bad calling out the numbers. Huzzah!

Danish colonial ties


Some maritime gems in the library yesterday… ”Serampore had a certain importance to the illicit Anglo-Danish trade thanks to its facilities for anonymity and customs easements’ (Feldbaek 1969:199). Indeed, Feldbaek suggests that because of English East India Company restrictions, some 80-90% of goods sent from Bengal to Copenhagen were not consumed in Copenhagen, but moved along in various ways to London as the goods were shipped by English and Anglo-Indian traders working under Danish flags. In the late 18th century he suggests Serampore was more important than Tranquebar for the Asiatic trade (p232). This is in large part remittances because ‘by far the most part of the Anglo-Indian fortunes had to be sent to England through the foreign European companies (Feldbaek 1969:27) and banned ‘country trade’ by English EIC officials had been ‘driven underground and forced to seek cover of foreign European flags’ (Feldbaek 1969:11).


More notes on Capital:

Marx’s word is ‘prekärer’ Capital Vol 1 LW640, also LW707– and when the trades unionist and the precarious are not on good terms, precarity throws, for example, Irish families from the gaity of hearth into ‘hotbeds of vice’ (LW707). He mentions those ruined Ludford women again. Sickness and death among the ‘troglodytes working on the Lewisham to Sevenoaks railway line’ (LW664-5) while Millwall, Greenwich and Deptford are in utter distress and destitution (LW668), there are more kids on opium – the godfrey’s cordial stocks running low (LW695). The parson and gentlefolk seem ‘frit to death’ (LW691) at this scene. All labour is of course precarious, depending upon how ‘frit’ the labourers can make the bosses.

At this point that Marx describes how worker recognition that precarity is a condition determined by their predicament in capitalism is key (D669. P793) Precarity is the condition of having been ‘set free’ of old ties to community and possession. So that Marx writes, with more than a hint of grim optimism:

‘as soon as the workers learn the secret of why it happens that the more they work, the more alien wealth they produce, and that the more the productivity of their labour increases, the more does their very function as a means for the valourization of capital become precarious: as soon as they discover that the degree of intensity of the competition amongst themselves depends wholly upon the pressure of the relative surplus population; as soon as by setting up trade unions etc., they try and organize planned cooperation between the employed and unemployed in order to obviate or to weaken the ruinous effects of this natural law of capitalist production on their class, so soon does capital and its sycophant, political economy, cry out at the infringement of the ‘eternal’ and so to speak ‘sacred’ law of supply and demand. Every combination between employed and unemployed disturbs the ‘pure’ action of this law’ (P793-4 D669)

The next move is to the colonies. Where violence is used instead of a reserve army. (Reference also to Sancho).

Rumford – some like it hot.

A crater on the moon named after him. Soup maker to the poor. And had a hand in formulating the second law of thermodynamics.

Mentioned by Marx in Capital, here is the entry from wikisoup:

Rumford’s Soup

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rumford’s Soup
Region or state Bavaria
Creator(s) Benjamin Thompson
Main ingredient(s) Pearl barley, dried yellow peas, potatoes, beer
Cookbook:Rumford’s Soup Rumford’s Soup

Rumford’s Soup was an early effort in scientific nutrition. It was invented by Count Rumford around 1800 as a ration for the prisoners and the poor of Bavaria, where he was employed as an advisor to the Duke.

As a reformatory measure, the Bavarian government intended to institute workhouses for those on welfare. Rumford’s charge was to provide the cheapest possible ration that was still a high-calorie, nutritious food.


1 part pearl barley
1 part dried (yellow) peas
4 parts potato
salt according to need
Old, sour beer
Slowly boil until thick. Eat with bread.

Rumford’s soup is not noted as particularly tasty, but is palatable with long, slow cooking.

Nutrition and modification[edit]
Rumford’s soup is low-fat, with high protein and carbohydrate content — protein from the dried peas, complex carbohydrates from the potato and barley, and simple carbohydrates from the beer. Thus, Rumford’s soup was close to the optimum solution to the problem of cheap, nutritious food according to the knowledge of the day. Unfortunately, such knowledge did not extend to vitamins or trace elements. As a result, Rumford’s soup was often supplemented by corn or herring to supply Vitamin C and Vitamin D.

Rumford’s soup was a common base for inexpensive military rations in Central Europe for much of the nineteenth and twentieth century.

Molnár T. B. & Bittera Dóra: A gróf sparheltja (The count’s cooking range). Magyar Nemzet, 23 April, 2005.
“On the benefits of thermodynamics”, [1]
Categories: Copy to WikibooksSoups