Australia vs. California
Colin Ross compares Australia with California and South Africa, stressing the importance of the settlersâ€™ national character to a countryâ€™s development.
â€śThe defining factors are always: sun, air and soilâ€ť, asserts Ross, the experienced evaluator of foreign countries. [p. 31] Rather than import their ways of life, settlers have to adjust to the givens of climate and geography. The rest of the text makes it clear, however, that those conditions can be harnessed differently, depending on the settlersâ€™ national character.
For Ross, Australia, California, and South Africa are similar as â€śsouthern virgin territory, sun-kissed land, that Nordic, white men have chosen to be their new homeâ€ť [p. 31]. But California is shaped by the high tempo and business-mindedness of the US-American east coast dweller, while such enterprising spirit has been missing from Australiaâ€™s development. Thus, the cultivation of its territory has been rather lax, as settlers preferred to live â€śa comfortable life with a moderate workloadâ€ť. [p. 32] (South Africa, meanwhile, is distinguished in Rossâ€™s mind by its abundant and allegedly â€ścheap and willingâ€ť native workforce. [p. 32])
This assessment of Australiaâ€™s untapped potential is crucial to the claim, voiced by Ross among others, that in the face of Depression and overcrowding, Australia has a moral obligation to share its territory with a bigger number and a wider variety of European immigrants (see: Support from a British journalist).
Colin Ross. [Excerpt from] Das Neue des neuen Kontinentes. In: Der unvollendete Kontinent. 1. Aufl. Leipzig: F.A. Brockhaus; 1930; 31â€“33.
Case: Oceania-Asia trip 1928-30