The Unlucky Country
In The Lucky Country, Donald Horne controversially argued that “Australia is a lucky country run mainly by second rate people who share its luck. It lives on other people’s ideas, and, although its ordinary people are adaptable, most of its leaders (in all fields) so lack curiosity about the events that surround them that they are often taken by surprise.”
Inspired by Donald Horne’s iconic book published in 1964, the authors of The Unlucky Country argue that Australia has now been transformed into an ‘Unlucky Country’. The Unlucky Country documents this journey from Horne’s ‘Lucky Country’ to an ‘Unlucky Country’ – a transformation, which has occurred over a relatively short period of time.
In writing this book, Zimmermann and Moens hope that their analysis of this spectacular transformation will raise readers’ awareness of the values of Australia’s liberal tradition that have been neglected and even despised by the ruling illiberal elites, a neglect largely condoned by an apathetic populace. The book’s incisive analysis of social, political, and cultural developments proves that it is time to rediscover the benefits of living in a free, prosperous, and tolerant society.
The cover illustration is a colour drawing by Joris Van der Mijnsbrugge, a Belgian sculptor who died in 2003. The imaginative and expressive style of his work is admired widely. The authors feel the top part illustrates the inexorable demise of Australia and its transformation into The Unlucky Country, whereas the bottom part of the artwork represents Australia as we could be again, The Lucky Country. The cover thus captures the main theme and ideas developed in this book, The Unlucky Country.
- Augusto Zimmermann is Professor of Law and Head of Law at Sheridan Institute of Higher Education, Perth.
- Gabriël Moens AM is Emeritus Professor of Law at the University of Queensland, Brisbane.