February 18th 2006

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: AWB biggest scandal to hit the Howard Government

EDITORIAL: Tide turns on global capitalism

SCHOOLS: Why our children don't know history

ECONOMICS: Sky's the limit with CEO pay increases

EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Engineer shortage hurting economy

RURAL CRISIS: Black Friday for Canadian farmers

MEDICAL: Abortion pill a bonanza for lawyers

STRAWS IN THE WIND: The humbug revolution / Iran / Bush, oil addiction and the environment

AUSTRALIAN SOCIETY: Is pornography just harmless fun?

ENTERTAINMENT: American awards honour traditional values

EAST TIMOR: Will Indonesian military be let off the hook?

WAR ON TERROR: Tackling a home-grown security threat

OPINION: 'Human rights' charter a backward step

OBITUARY: Colin Pike, champion of the underdog

Religious persecution during the Spanish Civil War (letter)

B.A. Santamaria on Toynbee's 'creative minorities' (letter)

BOOKS: MANHOOD: An action plan for changing men's lives, by Steve Biddulph

BOOKS: HEAD OF STATE: The Governor-General, the Monarchy, the Republic and the Dismissal, by Sir David Smith

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Santamaria on Toynbee's 'creative minorities' (letter)

by John R. Barich

News Weekly, February 18, 2006

Joseph Santamaria's article (News Weekly, January 21, 2006) clearly shows the motivation for his father B.A. Santamaria's lifetime work - the defence of religion.

In my university thesis on the National Civic Council, I wrote in 1969 as follows:

"In 1942, the 'Movement' was concerned with the threat which communism presented to the religion of a substantial proportion of the Australian people. The emergence of, in turn, a threatening China and Indonesia and the general instability of Asia forced the NCC to concern itself primarily with the survival of Australia; and the 'defence of religion' aspect retreated to a lesser position.

"Santamaria has guided the organisation to this position because he came to realise that the internal defeat of communism would not be sufficient to maintain the Australian cultural heritage.

"External pressures would need to be met and, to achieve this, a rather drastic program would have to be set for the nation - a program which democratic politicians would not be prepared to advocate. Or, if they did, its implementation would take place in such a placid manner, that it would be too little too late.

"If Santamaria's '11 minutes to midnight' thesis is correct, Australia requires a catalyst, a ginger-group, which will pose certain initially unpopular, but highly necessary, proposals to the people. The NCC claims that it is such a group.

"In this thesis, the author has come to the tentative judgement that the NCC in fact does play a useful role as a 'creative minority' and that, consequently, its efforts should be welcomed by all sections of the Australian community."

It is interesting to note that Pope Benedict XVI has recently commented on Arnold J. Toynbee's concept of "creative minorities" and concluded that Europe may yet return to its Christian roots by means of such "creative minorities".

B.A. Santamaria also based his thinking on Toynbee.

John R. Barich,
WA State President, NCC,
West Perth, WA

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