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November 07, 1967 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1967-11-07

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Seventy-Seven Years of Editorial Freedom

The New Left and The Old Poor

Where Opinions Are Free, 420 MAYNARD ST., ANN ARBOR, MICH.
Truth. Will Prevail

NEWS PHONE: 764-05521

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.



The Young Dems and LBJ:
Who They Hate in '68

TEHE RECENT POLL of University Young
Democrats showing over 70 per cent
of the respondents opposed to the re-
nomination of President Johnson in 1968
does more than merely confirm suspicions
of dissent among ranks of normally parti-
san Democrats. The poll also indicates
that nearly 95 per cent supported John-
son in 1964 and nearly 50 per cent played
an active part in his campaign.
The factor that has changed all this
in a mere three years, of course, has been
the Vietnam involvement, the most un-
popular war in American history.
Such polls as this conducted among
partisan Democrats as well as those
among the population at large indicate
the increasing disenchantment with the
Johnson administration. This would log-
ically point toward an open convention
and a possible alternative Democratic
presidential candidate in 1968. Moreover,
the resolutions passed overwhelmingly
by the Ann Arbor and East Lansing
Democratic Parties in support of State
Democratic Chairman Zolton Ferency's
controversial call for an open convention
might seem to indicate at least a split
Michigan delegation to the 1968 Demo-
cratic National Convention.
the convention will not be seriously
challenged ior his chance of the renom-
ination be particularly threatened. The
anti-war forces wil certainly be a vocal
minority at the convention and may seem
at times to be on the verge of splitting
the convention wide open. But the
chances of nominating a peace candidate
are virtually nil.
The President usually retains effective
control over much of the convention's
political machinery. For instance, John-
son can allow the platform committee a
certain amount of latitude and presum-
ably a vague appeal for peace will be in-
cluded. But then such an appeal was in
his platform in 1964.
Furthermore, American political tra-
dition has bequeathed a legacy of defeat
to any party which would split its ranks
to offer the nomination to someone other
than the incumbent president. The Re-
publican Party managed to elect its presi-
dential candidates in every election be-

tween 1860 and 1912 with the exception of
two in which the Democrat Cleveland
was the candidate. In 1912 the Republi-
cans lost the election when supporters of
former president Theodore Roosevelt and
Presidient Taft divided the party and
Woodrow Wilson was elected.
Even with such supposedly unpopular
candidates as Herbert Hoover and Harry
S. Truman, the Republican and Demo-
cratic Parties refused to dump their in-
Perhaps the best that any supporters
of possible peace candidates could hope
for would be a more frank and pertinent
dialogue on the Vietnam issue than what
might otherwise occur at the Democratic
National Convention in 1968.
But the YD poll and Gallup polls draw
other conclusions as well. The Young
Democrat poll revealed that 75 per cent
of the respondents would support a
Rockefeller candidacy if Johnson were
the Democratic nominee. What is per-
haps most astonishing is that this high
percentage of partisan Democrats would
prefer a Republican who constantly re-
peats his affirmation that he will under
no circumstances be a candidate and
whose views concerning Vietnam are, at
best, hawkishly vague.
National polls show a Rockefeller-
Reagan ticket leading a Johnson-Hum-
phrey ticket by 14 per cent a full year
before the election. And Hanoi's apparent
unwillingness to negotiate before the 1968
elections are over can hardly encourage
those who would hope for some concrete
results in Vietnam to bolster Johnson's
popularity. Things are bound to get worse
before they get any better.
'T REMAINS, THEN, only to see what
course of action the Republican Party
will take at next summer's convention.
But there is no ignoring that with Rocke-
feller as standard bearer for the Republi-
can Party, the ticket would elicit support
from traditional party members, Demo-
crats and independents alike.
1968 is a prime opportunity for the Re-
publican party to capitalize on Demo-
cratic divisiveness and offer the Ameri-
can people a reasonable choice, not a
wearisome echo.

On Oct. 14, The Daily published
"Reflecting on Two Revolutions" by
Prof. Arthur P. Mendel of the is-
tory Dept. In his essay, Prof. Mendel
examined the unrest of the poor and
the rebellious, affluent youth and
argued that these two social revolu-
tions are getting confused and in-
tertangled, when, in reality, they
aresdistinct and have different
The following letters are lengthy
replies to Prof. Mende's article.
The authorofgthe first letter, Carl
Oglesby, a target for some of Prof.
Menders criticism, participated in
the Teach-In here and was a grad-
uate student at the University and
I{a past National President of the
Students for a Democratic Society.
To the Editor:
I'VE JUST SEEN Prof. Arthur
Mendel's piece in the Oct. 14
Daily. His discussion of the Amer-
ica-in-Crisis Teach-in and the
views I expressed that night is so
good and so bad that I felt a re-
sponse was in order.
Mendel's central point is that
two quite different revolutions co-
exist today. One of them, easy to
recognize, is the revolution of the
materially dispossessed and goes
forward haltingly in America's in-
ner cities and in the global south.
The other, newer and even harder
to conceptualize than Mendel sug-
gests, is the revolution of the
spiritually dispossessed and goes
forward in the nations of the
North Atlantic-if "forward" is the
word for a movement which has
such obvious difficulty in achiev-
ing an elemental self-conscious-
He argues that the two ought
not to be confused, and his com-
plaints against John Gerassi and
me is that we attribute to the first
revolution the aspirations of the
second, first, and second, that we
are lured to identify personally
with what happens in Vietnam
and Detroit by "the exhilaration of
the revolutionary process itself."
THAT BRINGS ME to the bad
part of his piece. Mainly excepting
his notion that I'm "exhilarated"
by bloody revolution, I found many
of his comments very much to the
point and some very agreeable.
He's right about the, two revolu-
tions. He's wrong about my polit-
ical stance (different, by the way,
from Gerassi's). I clearly recall,
in fact, that the longest comment
I made that night bore exactly on
this point: that the priority intel-
lectual work of the new white ra-
dicais was the discovery of their
historical identity, that is, of their
vision, their purposes as a class,
and the modes of conflict they
will encounter as they pursue their
It if frightfully clear to me,
moreover, that affluent radicals
make a disasterous mistake when
they identify themselves (senti-
mentally or not) with the more
traditional revolution: an Oglesby
who tried to become a Carmichael
would no doubt betray Carmichael
no less deeply than himself.
Yet it is exactly in the Car-
michaels, the Fidels, the Nguyen
Huu Tho's that one of history's
most compelling charismas mani-
fests itself. The affluent radical
compares himself to Fidel in terms
of Fide's world-historical experi-
ence and finds himself empty; he
looks at the black militant and
says to himself, "I am inauthen-
tic." So he grows Fidel's beard,
borrows the black militant's slang,
studies Debray and the making of
molotov cocktails, and with nerv-
ous and incomplete satisfaction
concludes that he's at least closer
than before to "where it's at."
vulnerable myself; that vulnerabil-
ity is part of our situation and
needs to be understood as a symp-
tom. But it is bad that this is so
and it is wrong for the affluent
activist to give in to the strictly
literary charm of the jungle and
the ghetto. Besides leading to in-

effectuality (the surrender means
that the affluent radical's only
program is sabotage), this closes
off or dangersously postpones the
affluent radical's confrontation
with this own perhaps unique his-
torical destiny.
Mendel misread me, no doubt,
for two reasons. First, because the
emphasis that night certainly was
on the plight of the familiar rev-

olutionaries- for the good reason
that their situation is most urgent.
And second, because he is a bad-
faith witness.
Although I am angry at his fa-
cile presupposition of special ac-
cess to my motives, emotions, and
world view, at his inclination to
take an impromptu phrase for a
philosophy, I still want to go easy
here and say only that his arrival
on the scene seems rather tardy
and his posture rather more re-
laxed than is appropriate to the
-Carl Oglesby
Yellow Springs, Ohio
On Confrontationi
To the Editor:
'N HIS reflections on two revolu-
tions (Daily, Oct. 14), Professor
Mendel argues one point for the
sake of another; that is, he wants
to establish that there are two
distinct revolutions in order to dis-
credit the radical politics of the
According to Professor Mendel,
the first revolution, that of middle
class youths, is against bourgeois
society: but the second, the rev-
olution of the poor, is toward bour-
geois society. Thus clearly (and
this is Professor Mendel's argu-
ment) there is no relation between
the two, and the politics of con-

love-confrontation model for so-
cial change. He says that he finds
this pattern at work in community
But as anyone who has experi-
ence in organizing can tell the
Professor, this model bears little
relation to the actual reality of
community organizations in which
conflict and confrontation is an
inescapable (and often painful)
part of the group dynamics of the
organization; not only tto use the
ghetto as an example) between
whites and blacks, but also be-
tween blacks and blacks.
Perhaps it is conceivable that
the American system will, in time,
expand to include poor people, and
perhaps the destinies of the two
revolutions will not run the same.
But one thing is certain-that the
politics of conflict and confronta-
tion is a necessary politics if the
poor are to achieve any significant
social power in American society.
-Alvin Henry
Graduate, English
What To Do
To the Editor:
written a disturbing article
concerning two revolutions: one
of revolt of affluent youth against
the institutions of our society,
the second an attempt of the

all for some meaningless routine
or absurd product."
But when he gives us this
stereotyped image, he is mislead-
ing us. For the Hippies are not
really separating themselves from
society to pursue a "pleasure prin-
ciple" alone. Pleasure itself is a
value, and the fact that a sub-
stantially large group of people
accept this value, with the ten-
dency for members of this group
to come from similar social back-
grounds, indicates that there are
social reasons for their new style
of life.
They are still a part of society,
though a deviant part. And Men-
del's distinction between pursuit
of a Freudian "pleasure principle"
and the urge to mastery is fal-
lacious. (There is good experi-
mental, as well as intuitive, evi-
dence for considering behavior
that copes with the world as
basic as tension-reducing be-
All cultures stress some kind of
"effort and achievement;" not
only the dominant Western cul-
ture. Hippies do not drop out just
to pursue "pleasure" then realize
that they are already strongly im-
bued with achievement values and
come back in to the society.
m o d e1, however, disenchanted
Hippies finally return to the ac-
tive life. Either they cast off their
deviant values and go to work
for the establishment, or else
they retain their anti-establish-
ment values and become "maxi-
malists" intent only on over-
throwing the society.
At this point, the reader asks
himself to whom this model ap-
plies: that youth first become
Hippie and then either conven-
tional or activist. Is this supposed
to account for activism In gen-
The model is absurd. Many
Hippies have activist sentiments,
and vice-versa. Many activists are
essentially on the side of the es-
In fact, there are all shades of
combinations of hippiness, acti-
vism, and establishmentism; and
the relations between these, as
well as the paths that led up to
them are only beginning to be
investigated. Results so far do not
substantiate M e n d e 1' s notion.
Later in the article, Mendel does
talk about other activists than his
"maximalists," but who they are
and what they do remains a mys-
tery, as we shall see presently.
Having tried to define the first
revolution, and succeeding only in
confounding the complex rela-
tionships between several groups
of people, Mendel goes on to de-
fine the second revolution.
"It is the revolution of the poor
who crave the material comforts,
the security and the approbation
that the children of affluence
now disdain." The idea seems sim-
ple here, but later he appears to
be unsure what it is the poor
really want or need. He speaks
of "selfless" activists who are
trying to make a society "in
which all those involved in issues
will participate democratically in
making and implementing the
r e l e v a n t decisions" (emphasis
supplied). Then he asserts just the
opposite-"Such ideals as par-
ticipatory democracy reflect the
activists' (meaning maximalists')
needs and values, not those of the
Not only does he not know
whether or not the poor must be
able to participate in democracy
in order to partake of it (sounds
silly, but judge for yourself), but
he does not seem to recognize that
poverty in. this country is not
something remedied simply by
the system expanding a bit to
take in the outsiders.
Poverty is to a large extent
built into the social system. Men-
del comes close to this position

when he says of his good activists
that they are "just as uncom-
promising as the extremists in
their'opposition to bureaucratized,
materialistic, competitive society.
They, too, aim at renewing the
MENDEL NEVER draws a line
between his bad "maximalists"

and his good "activists" who op-
erate only in a cooperative and
loving manner. How far may con-
flict be extended before it is un-
acceptable? Mendel does not
seem to know.
Of course the question is with-
out a simple answer, but by fail-
ing even to consider it, he does
not tell us what these good acti-
vists can do.
Does he think that good com-
munity organization work, for
example, is all "cooperation and
love"? He evidently does, and in
expressing this opinion he shows
that he is out of touch with the
second revolution as well as the
first. There is no such thing as
significant social change without
conflict, usually strong conflict,
both within and between the
parties contending.
Given that the structure must
be changed at least somewhat (as
he would probably admit) is it
not possible that in fact the
"maximalist" doctrine is of some
value in the second revolution?
By drawing so sharply the distinc-
tion between good and bad acti-
vists and leaving a great chasm
between, he puts the reader In
the position of siding with total
revolution or doing nothing at all.
Maybe there is not really such
a huge distance between the goals
of the two revolutions. Maybe
there is not so much harm done
when they form a coalition. His
distinctions between the two revo-
lutions, and between good and
bad activists have little relation
to reality. They only obscure the
WE GET at last to the core of
his confused statement. What are
concerned people to do? Not be-
come maximalists, obviously. No,
"there is another path open to
We read on; expecting at last
to find the answer: what action
can we take? And we still find
nothing at all. He only tells us
that concerned people "could
realize at last that there are two
revolutions," quite distinct; that
"to avoid frustration and the
dangers such frustration holds for
themselves and their cause, they
should realize that this transfor-
mation is an epochal process;"
that "at every step in their evalu-
ation of theory and practice, the
young activists should ask them-
selves if they are serving the peo-
ple or themselves, if they are us-
ing the movement as a means of
improving the conditions of the
poor or as a milieu through which
to work out their own problems,"
We are left with a moral lec-
ture, telling us to think twice, to
go slow, to act rationally.
And this we do not need.
We have enough old leftists,
disillusioned by the fate of their
own movements, who can only
caution us not to make their mis-
takes. How irrelevant!
After a careful reading, it be-
comes clear that Mendel is work-
ing out his own problems by giv-
ing free advice to the young. He
is expressing his own experience
-and in the most confused fash-
ion. His advice can only confound
the ability of the activist to act
at all.
NONE OF this is to deny his
deep concern for the problems.
So it is especially discouraging to
find him, trained in historical
analysis, unable to contribute any
more than a confused moral
If his first concern is to im-
prove the conditions under which
people live, he could do better.
He could use his professional In-
sight to analyze rigorously what
is wrong with society and show
where he thinks action is most
fruitful, instead of discouraging
us from acting.
He could bring to light the fac-

tors that play on the poor. He
could be careful to leave his
biases out of the picture, or at
least to hold them at arms length
by telling us what they are, so
that we can make amends.
He could tell us what to do, in-.
stead of what not to do. Then he
would be serving his interests.
-Fred Arnstein


Carl Oglesby: New Left Intellectual

The Iron Mountain Men

THE WATER sloshed in the nation's
"think tanks" last week with the rev-
elation that Dial Press had published
what it described as a suppressed Gov-
ernment report contending that the out-
break of peace would plunge the world
into unparalled catastrophe.
There is, however, strong suspicion in
knowledgeable circles that the "Report
From Iron Mountain: On the Possibility
and Desirability of Peace" is an elab-
orately constructed hoax which faithfully
echoes the cold, ponderous cadences of
"perfect bureaucratese."
A sidelight of the controversy over the
report's authenticity has been the discov-
ery of a CIA-like web of interlocking
pseudonyms which permeates the world
of leading social planners.
For example, John Kenneth Galbraith,
described as one of the few people with
a background sufficient to carry off
such a masive parody, has written several
political satires in the past few years un-
der a pseudonym. And to add a Kafka-
like element to the picture, he is also
currently preparing a review of the Iron
Mountain book for Book Week under still
another pseudonym.
F THE REPORT is indeed a hoax, it is
an engaging attempt to graphically de-
pict the growing tendency of foreign pol-
icy analysts to institutionalize the Cold
War into a Candidean "best of all possible
And if it turns out that the Iron Moun-
tain Report is based upon an actual study
of an academic aquarium, it is far from
surprising. For last year the Washington
Center of Foreign Policy Research an-
ticipated the Iron Mountain report with
a study which contended that President
Johnson's disarmament plan would upset
world stability instead of promoting
It is more than likely that the prosti-

committed to the framework of the Cold
War that they are reluctant to weigh
the humanistic and ethical values of
peace into their quantitative formulas.
For policy-planners of the McNamara
mold must find it difficult to qualitatively
analyze the postulates and value judg-
ments upon which they base foreign pol-
icy. Justifications such as "national
honor," "American commitments," and
"our credibility" take on a life of their
own, quite independent of the human
suffering which they mask.
THE LEADING EXAMPLE of the fallacy
of this approach is in American-Soviet
relations. For the last month the nation's
press has been saturated with descrip-
tions of the Soviet Union, celebrating its
fiftieth anniversary today, as a nation
which has moved beyond revolutionary
ideology and become, like America, a
self-satisfied middle-aged giant with a
deep fear and loathing of China and
revolutionary movements in the Third
World which it is unable to control.
Despite the fact that we no longer have
a serious conflict of national interests
with the Soviet Union, we have heard
during the past month various plans for
America to combat Russia by entering
into the production of anti-ballistic mis-
siles and orbital nuclear weapons.
From the continuation of a now out-
moded arms race by both sides, it is in-
creasingly evident that the policy-makers
both here and in the Soviet Union are so
wedded to Cold War thinking that they
are willing to blithely lean on the shaky
wall of deterrence as the only barrier be-
tween them and nuclear miscalculation.
Rather than taking the small, and
hopefully productive, risks of unilateral
initiatives toward disarmament, America
is content to nestle comfortably in the
dangerous, but familiar, fabric of an
intensified arm race.

flict and confrontation advocated
by radicals has no relevance for
poor Americans who really want
to join the middle class.
Instead, Professor Mendel be-
lieves that middle class society can
peacefully (and apparently with-
out conflict) be broadened so as to
include the poor who are current-
ly excluded from its power and
wealth. He sees the peaceful model,
for the achievement of power for
the poor in the activities of "con-
structive radicals," who, he thinks,
in their efforts to organize poor
people into pressure groups, are
pursuing a politics of love and
Now the important questions are-
1) Are the two revolutions as
distinct and separate as Professor
Mendel argues?
2 Can poor Americans achieve
significant power gradually and
peacefully, without conflict and,
In short, is Professor Mendel's
love-cooperation model of social
change a realistic one?
IN ANSWER TO the first ques-
tion, it seems ingenious to argue
that the two revolutions are dis-
tinct and unrelated when both
are occurring in the same society,
and when it is amply clear that
the common denominator betweeki
the two is that both groups are
equally powerless to influence the
institutions which govern and or-
ganize their lives.
Indeed, Professor Mendel is sur-
prisingly naive about social power
in American society, and nothing
shows this more clearly than his

poor to gain access to those same
institutions. He seems concerned
about the success of both revolu-
tions, especially the second, with
which he has profound empathy,
stemming no doubt from his own
liberal activities.
He is concerned, but he is also
confused, and he has done a dis-
service to his most basic values
by writing as he did. To demon-
strate this is no simple task, for
the article itself is so full of con-
fusion and contradiction that it
is difficult to decide what is false
and what is true, or even what he
is basically trying to say.
I think, however, that it is pos-
sible to get at his underlying
themes by attending closely to
what he says. Bear with me then
in this analytical trip through his
MENDEL BEGINS by asserting
that "there are two social revolu-
tions occurring. Unfortunately for
both, they are getting badly mix-
ed up." Later, after we see how he
expands on this theme, we will
have to ask: Just how distinct
are the two revolutions? And
wherein lies the harm when they
get mixed up?
He spends some time describing
the first revolution, that of the
Hippies and their cousins, the
quiet cop-outs. He paraphrases
their position so well that you
wonder if he hasn't been a Hippie
himself. "It is a cruel and primi-
tive stavism to go on crippling
human minds and spirits by forc-
ing them into cramped and rigid
molds, insensitive to the fullness,
richness and diversity of life, and

Letters: is There An UGLI B~ook Shortage?

To the Editor:
T HE LEAD editorial of Mr. Ur-
ban Lehner in the October
29th, issue of The Daily on the
"increasingly critical shortage of
books" in the Undergraduate Li-
brary's Closed Reserves coupled
with the proposal that this library
should remain open until 3:00
a.m. or later so that more stu-
dents could avail themselves of
the few copies we have been able
to provide is worthy of serious
comment. It is equally worthy of
a few facts which with a little
exertion the editorialist might
have got hold of.
There is no reason, of course,
for expostulating with The Daily
reportage, and I am confident
that the repudiately best college
newspaper in the United States
is concerned with the facts. Ac-

dents to get through in the
course of a semester.
Quite often, the Undergraduate
Library will duplicate as many as
seventy titles on a given list in
accord with the student-copy ra-
tio, a most generous ratio, by the
way, relative to practices in many
other libraries. Occasionally the
Undergraduate Library is unable
to provide selected titles in quan-
tities desired when they are out
of print or when the instructor
has failed to submit his list in
sufficient time to allow their pur-
chase as well as the making of the
necessary records. By in large,
however, the Undergraduate Li-
brary is able to perform very sat-
isfactorily within the limits of the
IT IS NOT news to users of the
Undergraduate Library that we

found nothing, even though the
library may have purchased a
large quantity of the title he
wished to consult.
The advantage of the present
reserve system over the old "open
reserve" system lies in the ability
of the student to find almost in-
variably the books to which his
instructor has assigned him. He
need no longer search for it
among his friends, rifle through
books being reshelved, etc.
Few students wait as much as
15 minutes for a book; still fewer,
having waited are told it is not
available. There have not been,
as the editorialist alleges, many
student's complaints. As for the
charge of one dollar for lost book
cards, only three have been lost
to date.
THE STAFF of the Undergrad-

ficiency. Since the Closed Reserve
system was begun studies have
been made by the hour, by larger
periods, and by the day to de-
termine what is good or bad in
the system. These studies show
that on the average a student is
given a book in one and three
quarters of a minute after he has
delivered the call slip to the desk
They further show that on the
average a student waits three
quarters of one minute before the
attendant is able to take his call
slip. Obviously averages are av-
erages, and we cannot deny that
at some periods in the day stu-
dents must wait considerably
There was and is no way of
quickly accommodating a great
mass of students freshly emerged
from the classroom. Yet, it can

Lehner's way of underscoring a
crisis, by the way, of which the
Undergraduate Library is not
aware. a
The question whether the Un-
dergraduate Library or any other
library should be open until 3:00
a.m. or later has little bearing on
the effectiveness of the Closed
Reserve system. If the system is
bad from eight in the morning
until midnight - and from con-
tinuous observation as well as
from student testimony, I do not
think that it is-I fail to see why
it should be any better if it is
spread over a working day three
hours or more longer than the
present one.
Should the longer day be adopt-
ed, students who may borrow for
overnight titles from Closed Re-
serves would probably be required
to wait until at least 10:30 p.m.



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