Pre-Contact Australian Aboriginals used very harsh methods to keep their numbers down

Pre-Contact Australian Aboriginals used very harsh methods to keep their numbers down, by William Rubenstein.

When Europeans first settled in Australia in 1788, they encountered an Aboriginal society of almost incredible barbarism and violence. This was the reality of what they found.

The reasons for the violence and barbarism of Aboriginal society derive entirely, or almost entirely, from one factor alone. All of the Aborigines of Australia were hunter-gatherers who had not domesticated livestock nor grown crops for food. As a result, the lives of the hundreds of small tribes that constituted Aboriginal society were engaged in a never-ending struggle to find what food they could from what little existed on this continent.

Directly because of this central fact, it was absolutely necessary to keep the size of each tribe small enough for its members to be kept alive by what food and other sustenance they could find. It was therefore absolutely necessary for them to avoid adding any excess mouths to feed to the limited numbers who could be kept alive by the methods of hunter-gatherers in the Dry Continent. They did this by systematically eliminating the excess mouths.


Probably the most important method of eliminating these excess mouths was infanticide, as Ludwik Krzywicki detailed in his 1934 anthropological study Primitive Society and Its Vital Statistics. Deliberate infanticide existed throughout Aboriginal society, and it was practised by nearly all of the Aboriginal tribes in Australia….

Victorian government surveyor Philip Chauncy saw a young woman, shortly after her child’s birth, scratch “a hole in the sand behind her hut and having given it a ‘little’ knock on the head, laid it in the hole and kept on crying, the child crying too, till she could bear it no longer, and she went out and gave it another little knock which killed it”. Asked by Chauncy how she could do such a thing, she “replied pointing to the bag on her back that there was room only for one child, and she could not possibly carry another”. …

At base, the reasons for widespread infanticide were the product of the Aborigines’ ubiquitous hunter-gatherer lifestyle. “The natives are generally much attached to their children … and yet there is no doubt that infanticide prevailed to a fearful extent.” …


But the reality gets even worse. It seems certainly to be the case that many Aboriginal children were deliberately killed to be eaten. The existence of this eating of children is testified by all too numerous facts.

A swagman, Phil Moubray, relates that he found in the basin of the River Mitchell the Aborigines roasting and eating their own children:

“When a child looks well, is “well-fed,” or “fat,” it may happen that one of the men, or even the whole community, murders it for cannibalistic purposes in the absence of its mother … We do not think that such cannibalism was common, though there are many references to it … It was only in periods of drought and famine that child-eating assumed large proportions … In hard summers the new-born children seem to be all eaten in the Kaura tribe. [Explorer Alfred William] Howitt inferred this from the remarkable gaps that appeared in the ages of the children … [I]n the Birria tribe during the years 1876-77, in the drought, not only were all the infants devoured, but even the younger grown children. However, in some tribes this practice appeared, even in a normal period, not to be so very rare. At least, if the gossip that circulated among the tribes were to be believed, cannibalism was even more extensive than we suppose. For instance, one tribe relates of another that it marks at birth those infants which are to be eaten later on; again the children of some women were always killed and eaten as soon as they got fat enough. According to [doctor and squatter Richard] Machattie, a tribe numbering 250 when the Europeans came, during the next six years ate seven children, i.e., about 3% of the whole population.”

Appalling treatment of women:

Another apparently ubiquitous feature of Aboriginal society was the striking majority of adult men compared with adult women:

“According to [squatter Edward Micklethwaite] Curr, there was in every tribe when it first came into contact with the Whites “a permanent excess” of men over women, amounting to as much as two to one … [Squatter Peter] Beveridge, noting the preponderance of men over women, declares that this exists not because more boys were born than girls — the sexes equal each other at birth — but because the mortality among the women after the age of puberty is attained is far greater than among men: this is caused by many factors, the most important of which is early marriage (at eleven or twelve years of age) and the treatment of the wives by the men as if they were no more than cattle.”

Incessant warfare:

Apart from infanticide and other factors occasioned by the hunter-gatherer lifestyle, another apparently important cause of death was tribal warfare. “Every tribe dreads a night attack from another tribe”.


Pre-contact Aboriginal life resembled more closely than anything else Thomas Hobbes’s famous description of “life in the state of nature”: “brutal, nasty, and short”. No one in their senses would voluntarily choose to live in the lifestyle of pre-contact Aborigines.

All very politically incorrect of course, and air brushed out of politically-correct history.

Now the aboriginals are mascots of the left, useful symbols in the left’s battle to gain political power and undermine western civilization. The left say give the strong impression that the aboriginals can do no wrong. They downplay the high rates of domestic violence that persist among aboriginal societies. Naturally, the left interpret lower rates of aboriginal achievement today as evidence of systemic racism, which justifies their own racist countermeasures and the existence of a small industry of white do-gooders spending taxpayer money. Ah, the money.

hat-tip Stephen Neil