It is worth reading Gerard Henderson in today’s Sydney Morning Herald: I remember 1968, and I was there. We agree on this much:
Some of the Australian activists of four decades ago exhibited a similar sense of self-delusion. The painter George Gittoes recalled that “everyone was mad in 1968”. The newly retired Labor politician Meredith Burgmann declared that “anyone from that time will tell you – we really thought the revolution was about to happen”. According to the filmmaker Albie Thoms, in 1968 or thereabouts “everyone started self-medicating”. Even today, the likes of Gittoes, Burgmann and Thoms seem unaware that about 1968 they mixed with a few members of the left intelligentsia. At the time the overwhelming majority of Australians were a quite sane lot who did not believe in the likelihood of imminent revolution and were not into the drug culture.
Even in the 70s, when the Vietnam moratorium bit deepest and we voted Whitlam in (and then out) so resoundingly, that remained largely true. However, there is a certain irony in culture warrior Henderson chiding folk for retaining their ideological filters intact despite reality. Witness his tendency to rewrite the history of the Vietnam War.