THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Saturday, March 23, 1968
Page ~1g19 THE MiCHIGAN DAILY
- - - - --I r - , , -, - " - --,- I - - - -
A dizzying voyage
By NEAL BRUSS
The Ghost in the Machine, by Arthur Koestler. Macmillan,
The triple threat of expansion comes all at once, all now:
-Humanity multiplies on an increasingly polluted and barren
land at a rate which promises seven billion persons-if not seven
billion souls-by the year 2000.
-Knowledge doubles every ten years, along with learned dem-
onstrations that the new knowledge is boring and trivial and some-
how irrelevant to human needs.
-Nuclear weapons are machined and stored in quantities cap-
able of destroying and re-destroying life again and again, and
ultimately, through the cobalt bomb, sending a killing cloud
whizzing around the earth forever.
You do not simply contemplate and devise rational solutions
for these three objects of terror; you live with them just as you live
with your consciousness. You confront them as you confront your
face in a mirror, knowing they will always be there, unchangeable,
if only you happen to glance at them.
Arthur Koestler sees the problems as even more serious. Due to
a faulty coordination of old and new portions of the brain, man
cannot reconcile his emotions and reason. Biochemists must pro-
vide medicine to cure a botched job of evolution. "What we are con-
cerned with," says Koestler, "is a cure for the paranoiac streak in
what we call normal people, i.e., mankind as a whole: an artificially
simulated, adaptive mutation to bridge the rifht between the
phylogeniticlly old and new brain, between instinct and intellect,
emotion and reason."
A mind-settling drug wouldn't merely solve problems. It would
also adjust the human mechanisms which cause the problems.
Once biochemistry dissolved the paranoiac blockages of the mind,
man would clearly see the need to control population, to direct
and make meaningful the search for knowledge, and to stop the
mass production of nuclear overkill devices.
Man's greatest acts of inhumanity, Koestler believes, do not
occur when man is most self-assertive, when he willfully seeks to
exploit others for his own sake. The true atrocities occur when
man seeks to satisfy the "integrative" rather than the "self-
assertive" urge-and when he is willing to sacrifice both others
In general, Koestler advocates a view that sees human struc-
tures and actions as both complete in themselves and as com-
ponents of larger structures. He suggests a hierarchy of actions
replace the stimulus-response chain model of behavioralism to more
effectively show the complexity of the dynamics of structure and
It is unlikely that any author could have covered as much
intellectutal and theoretical history as Koestler, and his book is
certainly an excellent categorization of controversial topics. But,
given the weath of material Koestler covers, his analysis of individ-
ual topics tends to be fleeting and somewhat superficial.
Koestler attacks his expansive task with a combination of
scientific jargon and metaphor. One fears that he is not adequately
representing scientific concepts and that his metaphors, even
though clever, obscure important theoretical points he wishes
This is to say that Koestler's work is well-directed and his in-
sights are important, but that given the scope of his project and
his eagerness to turn phrases, he rarely delves below the level of
Even if one were to feel comfortable with Koesler's exposition,
one is left to face his plea for the salvation of man through chem-
istry. Despite Koestler's asurances, one wonders whether biochem-
istry Is in-or even could be in-the position of providing the Mes-
sianic medicine. One further wonders what sort of human world
would emerge from the doctor's office, even granting Koestler's
cautionary note that his proposed drug would not be either a brain-
wash or hallucinogen.°
Koestler ignores the possibility that life without the mad capa-
cities he wishes to control may not be life at all. He risks denying
man the monumental struggle to humanely control his fate. One
wonders what would be left of life once the mind-quelling drug
had phased out the universal quest for the best in man.
"The Ghost in the Machine" itself is Gilbert Ryle's metaphor
for the Cartesian dualism of mind and body. Koestler only briefly
touches on the mind-body problem of modern philosophy, and he
never fully explains how Ryle's expression applies to his concept of
man. Ryle's own explication was in several ways defective. Koestler,
however, might pick it up to represent current-and ancient-man
as "The Minotaur in the Machine."
However one wishes to play with the imagery, the impression
is that Koestler's view denies the ghost in the machine. And thus he
denies, in some ways, what is holy.
-------- ---- -
And off goes Roif Hochhuth,- doing it once again
By FRITZ LYON
Soldiers, by Rolf Hochhuth.
Grove Press, $5.95.
"Well, Rolf, now that you've
finished The Deputy and your
new play, Soldiers, what's your
"Oh, I thought I'd write a
play about Christ's incest with
At least he isn't timid. He
doesn't bother with ordinary
sacred cows; he takes on the
gods themselves. Or close to it.
First Pope Pius XII, now Win-
ston Churchill. What man, re-
sponsible for genocide but still
worshipped by the people, will
qualify as protagonist for the
Hochhuth should be classified
as historian, or radical historian,
rather than playwright. The
stage directions-including his-
torical notes, supporting evi-
dence and relevant miscellany
-cover as many pages as the
dialogue. Perhaps he disguises
his treatise as fiction because he
can't prove, legally and objec-
tively, his allegations. As play,
his history can be published; as
drama, his opinion has addi-
tional impact. Hochhuth is not
an interpretive recorder, either;
he is a muckraker of Prome-
Obviously, the nature of the
work excludes a dispassionate
treatment or a dispassionate re-
sponse. Although Soldiers has
been predictably banned in Eng-
land, the play itself does not
impress the reader as an ir-
responsible defamation of char-
acter. The extensive research in-
dicated by constant notes and
references lends the fiction an
almost plausible veracity, and
the moralistic tone is convin-
cingly honest, lending respect-
ability to the Quakerish fana-
Oh, the English, poor English
ticism. Hochhuth is a fanatic,
but because of his ethical prem-
ises, the (non-British) reader
is tempted to sympathize, in
part, with Hochhuth's inten-
tions. Still, for most readers,
the sympathy ends there.
The play is really about
Churchill's role as the instiga-
tor and father, though not the
inventor, of saturation bombing
of open cities (the bombing of
civilian, rather than military,
populations) as accepted mili-
tary practice. But along the
way, Hochhuth, alias David
Hemmings, discovers a corpse
in the bush, and another plot
pushes its way into the action.
The play implies that Church-
ill arranged the assassination
of exiled Polish Prime Minister
Sikorski. Churchill is still the
saviour of the free world, but
"to be great, one must be ruth-
less." Churchill is therefore
portrayed as capable of murder,
if murder is politically expe-
dient, and capable of mass mur-
der, if mass murder is militarily
Killing a soldier in war is
justified (says Hochhuth) be-
cause the soldier volunteered to
risk his life. Killing a bystander
accidentally is tragic. Killing a
civilian intentionally, in order
to demoralize the enemy, is
In the process of condemning
the bombing of open cities,
Hochhuth presents the grisly
evidence of its effectiveness. He
quotes Air Marshal Harris, re-
porting in his memoirs the re-
sults of the raid on "Gomorrah"
which produced firestorms (suc-
tion drafts on the perimeter of
the fire which draw oxygen to
its center) that reached a force
of 160 mph:
Trees three feet thick were
broken off or uprooted, hu-
man beings were flung alive
into the flames . . . Once in-
side the shelters, the panic-
stricken citizens were suffo-
cated by carbon-monoxide-
poisoning . . . in a cremato-
rium which was what each
shelter proved to be.
The indirect effects of the
bombing-that is, fire-took
far more lives than the bomb-
ing itself. In contrast to nu-
clear w e a p o n s, incendiary
bombing is less dirty and more
But the play itself is divided
between Churchill as a person-
ality and the message. The mes-
sage is divided between the is-
sue of open-city bombing and
the assassination of Sikorski.
Churchill (like Pope Pius in
The Deputy) is responsible for
both a murder and a collective
atrocity. The former is a crime
of political necessity, the latter,
an unnecessary crime of moral
The two events are different
plays. And although the bomb-
ing of civilians is the crucial
issue, the Sikorski plot takes
popular precedence due to the
personal accusation of Chur-
chill. Split between the two, the
play loses force.
In fact, not much can be said
for the play aesthetically. It
contains little subtlety and less
art. Further, it isn't a play; it
is a tract. The dialogue and
characters are blatantly didactic,
perhaps because they speak
reality and not play-fantasy.
The enormity of the crime pre-
vents subtlety. When a play
character talks of hundreds of
thousands consumed in a giant
blast furnace as effective mili-
i - -
tary strategy, no audience can
recognize him as a real char-
acter, much less as a real his-
torical figure. The predictable
reaction to this monumental in-
sult is repulsion, righteous in-
Hochhuth must expect the
magnitude of his revelations to
change the world. Instead, the
righteous indignation will be
trained against the author him-
self, not. against the venerable
political genius who, as Hoch-
huth recognizes, saved the world
from Hitler. As one of the char-
acters admits: "The history of
our century will be one and the
same as (Churchill's) autobio-
I can only guess as to whether
Hochhuth's play is, or was, true
in fact. He may be a historian.
He is not a playwright. He is
not (unless the translation is
at fault) a poet. His only vir-
tues are audacity, integrity and
being right, none of which
count. Like the priest, he will be
despised. Like the pacifist, he
will be ignored. A few people,
mostly the Bertrand Russell
fans, will listen. He sees too
clearly, and the immensity of
his vision is beyond the recog-
nition of bookreaders and play-
By SHARON FITZHENRY
The English, by David Frost
and Anthony Jay, Stein and
The English are having a
hard time. They can't get into
the Common Market; their
pound. sterling has lost its
monetary potency; and English
pop music is giving way to
Ravi Shankar. Things look
But do they care? Or, does
it matter? Has it ever matter-
The English are a funny
folk. They live in two worlds,
dreaming of the glory that was
Trafalgar as they piddle a-
round the Serpetine at Hyde
Park in their quaint rowboats.
They have the most unimagin-
ative cuisine, preferring pork
pie to pate de fois gras. They
scoot about town in minicabs
and Bentleys, battling each
other for road space with de-
They have been alternately
hated and revered to great ex-
cess by the various populat-
ions of this earth, and for all
practical purposes it would
seem as if they don't give a
damn. But, then, who does?
That is the way it is.
David Frost and Anthony
Jay are concerned about the
plight of the Englishman in
the twentieth century, and they
have written, a sarcastically
funny book, The English, to
Frost and Jay explain the
dilemma of the E n g I i s h
people as "classism," or the
presence of a subtle but very
rigid and very competitive class
system. In this context, the au-
thors pose a rhetorical ques-
tion: "The three most rendur-
ing English characteristics, ac-
cording to foreign observers,
have always been hypocrisy,
frigidity and snobbery. Have
they disappeared, submerged
beneath a tide of honesty,
warmth and friendliness?" No,
the authors reply, they have
Frost and Jay cover a wide
variety of topics in their book,
ranging from English sex.
("The new archetype is a love
song without love. It's not about
a lifetime in heaven, it's about
a night in bed."), to figures of
authority (persons "who have
always avoided uttering words
or taking action that contain-
ed an element of risk.").
The authors also attack the
English medical practices as
substitutes for religion. Where
once the priest was almighty,
the doctor reigns in crowning
glory. To supporttheir obser-
vations, Frost and Jay quote
the following item from The
Sun: "'A husband suffering
from the flu saw the doctor,
who had just visited him, kiss
his wife at the foot of the
stairs. The husband 'under
great provocation' _nearly bit
him with a milk bottle. But
out of respect for the doctor's
profession, he refrained and
hit his wife instead.'"
The English is actually an
awkward book, awkward be-
cause the reader is unsure just
how it is he ought to feel. The
points under discussion in the
book are valid ones. To be
sure, the Englishman is a snob.
We know this though be-
cause we find similar snobbery
in America. And because we are
familar with many, "English"
attitudes, we find ourselves
somewhat chagrinned to see our
sires attacked so vehemently
YOU CAN FIND-
The Ghost in the Machine-Arthur Koestler
The English-David Frost & Anthony Jay
and other fiction and non-fiction books at
TRADE BOOK DEPARTMENT
on the 2nd floor
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
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PACKARD ROAD BAPTIST CHURCH
Southern Baptist Convention
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Theme: Words Aroundthe Cross-What the
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W. Stadium at Edgewood
Across from Ann Arbor High
Roy V. Palmer, Minister
10.00 a.m.-Bible School.
11:00 a.m.-Regular Worship.
6:00 p.m.-Evening Worship.
NEW MOODS OF DISSENT
FIRST METHODIST CHURCH AND
At State and Huron Streets
Hoover Rupert, Minister
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9:00 and 11:15 a.m.-Worship Ser'vices. Dr.
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7:00 p..m. - Fellowship Program, Wesley
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8:00 a.m.-Holy Communion, Chapel, fol-
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time for 9:00 a.m. classes.
Author of "The Negro Revolt"
Sun., March 24
ARTHUR R. MILLER
. ~h rr~ .11 rj n
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10:30 a.m.-Worship Services. Sunday School
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