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2 Sep. A Company’s Country: Free Enterprise and Australian Political Culture During BHP’s Cold War

The Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) and Indo-Pacific Governance Research Centre (IPGRC)

The University of Adelaide | Friday, 2 September | 4:00-5:00 pm

Stretton Room, Level 4 Napier Building

A Company’s Country: Free Enterprise and Australian Political Culture During BHP’s Cold War

Thomas Buchanan

Abstract

This paper argues that BHP had a multifaceted role in defending the values of free enterprise in Australia during the Cold War. It shows that the company had economic concerns aimed at ensuring loyal workers for its imagined industrial family, political concerns aimed at supporting the rise of the Liberal Party during the Menzies Prime Ministership, but also broader cultural interests aimed at reinforcing the values of free enterprise among ordinary Australians in a time of great concern about communist expansion. Overall the article contributes to the history of capitalism by showing how a key Australian company shaped the values and beliefs of both elites and ordinary citizens.

 All welcome: No registration required

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