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March 03, 1970 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-03-03

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Seventy-nine years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan

He who pays the piper...

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

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




N O'mercenary army

ALTHOUGH THE Nixon administra-
tion's proposal for an all-volunteer
army has received wide support from
both sides of the aisle in Congress, the
proposal is more a political expedient
than a democratic reform, and its short-
sightedness bodes evil for the future of
the United States. It must be opposed.
Admittedly, the incentives for such a
change are strong. Of all the institutions
that have marked human history, military
conscription - with the exception of
slavery(of which conscription is a form)
r is the most odious. It tears men from
their families and subordinates them to
a destructive machine run by profes-
sional warriors and political cliques and
guided, as, often as not, by imperialist
ambitions. No amount of tampering with
the rules, of equality of selection or lot-,
teries, could ever mak such a system
To eliminate it would do much to light-
en our spirits. Gone would be the nagging
.contradiction posed by "involuntary ser-
vitude" as banned in the Bill of Rights.
Gone, too, would be the oppressive se-
lective service bureaucracy, as well as
voluminous and costly draft litigations.
And just at his moment in history,
the volunteer army takes on special sign-
ificance. Nixon's plan to "Vietnamize"
the war is proving to be a tactic only
to slow the war down, to blunt criticism,
and to satisfy public opinion by putting
the war on a back burner to simmer per-
haps for years, while still presenting size-
able manpower needs. To the thousands
of young men who will face the Vietnam
draft this year and five years from now,
the idea of a volunteer army is irresist-
Yet this proposal, despite all these at-
tractions, poses as many problems as it
purports to solve.
"VOLUNTEER" ARMY, as we all know,
is merely another name for mercen-
ary army. This concept carries a heav-
ily projoritive tinge, and for good reason.
Men who pass their lives under arms,
in fighting wars or in training for them,
are necessarily regimented, exposed often
to violence and the means of violence,
and are generally cut off from the main
stream of civilian life. Men who result
ffrom this regime obey orders unquestion-
ingly, tend to be insensitive to and over-
ly-reliant upon violence, and often loose
sight of the reasons that the army exists
in the first place.
This mentality, while characteristic of
many career soldiers in our present army,
has thus far been quantitatively diluted
by draftees. There is a world of differ-
ence between a career soldier and a
civilian who unwillingly dons military
garb for two years. The draftee keeps the
army healthy with his basic revulsion
against the military authoritarianism -
in short, with his civilian point of view.
Besides, a stagnant manpower pool of
soldiers would pose a ,constant threat to
the government. Over a period of yearp,
the volunteer's loyalties would become as
attached to his individual commanders as
they would be to a conservative militarist
philosophy. A military coup d'etat would
become a real possibility.
Such a turn of events is not so incon-
ceiviable as it may sound. True, this is
neither South America, nor Greece, nor
Spain, and at the moment there seems to
be little danger that we would follow
their example.
But hypothesize for a moment a lib-
eral American administration elected,
say in 1984. If it were really liberal, it
would - almost by definition - begin
to attack the world that is dear to the
Pentagon. It might cut back our nuclear
missile system, for example, and cut the

defense budget in half.
as these would be unacceptable to a
volunteer army. Given that the officers of
the volunteers would include many of the
same reactionaries and neurotics which
presently riddle our high military com-
mand, it is easy to see why such officers
would wish to resist the reduction of the

military machine they are wedded to.
The critical matter is the attitude of
the ranks. Would the common soldier
follow in mutiny? Recall that with a ma-
jor cut in defense spending, thousands
of volunteer soldiers would loose their
jobs. Under these circumstances, the
temptation to join an officer-led revolt
against the President and Congress would
be as strong as their conviction that it is
a patriotic duty to do just that!
It is no coincidence that the moment
for a volunteer army has come at t h e
exact moment that the draft lottery com-
bined with the abolition of draft defer-
ments might make the draft reasonably
equitable for the first time, And it is
doubtless a generous mixture of the phil-
osophies of Thomas Jefferson and Ayn
Rand that has recently prompted many
students to violently condemn the draft
in favor of a volunteer army. For while
the draft has, always been oppressive,
only now-when the white middle class
suddenly faces the prospect of joining
their black brothers in the fighting -
does the volunteer army seem so aus-
THE VERY NAME "volunteer" is a love-
ly euphemism, and no doubt sooths
the liberal conscience. But no matter
what you call it, it is still the poor and
black who will fill the ranks of the "vol-
unteer army," and it will be every bit
as voluntary as miserable schools, slum
housing, and menial jobs. The fact is,
economic realities will force blacks into
a voluntary army as effectively as any se-
lective service system ever could.
Without citing the deficiencies of the
volunteer army, the elimination of the
draft itself poses certain dangers, es-
pecially now.
Although the Nixon administration con-
ceives the volunteer army as a "peace-
time" institution, there seems little doubt
that the reduced Vienam war of two
years from now will fall neatly into
Nixon's loose definition of "peace." Since
Nixon's Vietnam strategy aims less at
ending the war than at quieting opposi-
tion, the draft presents him with some
Our president knows that the American
people-at least more than half of them
-will allow the war to continue if our in-
volvement is reduced to 200-250 thousand
men. But one major cause for dissent,
coming directly from his constituency,
will soon be the conscription of the sons
of the Silent Majority.
The Silent Majority has been content
with the war until now, but with all de-
ferments going, their traditional hiding
place from the draft will disappear. As
a result, these members of the Silent
Majority holding low draft lottery num-
bers, along with their Republican par-
ents, may well cease to be silent. The
hurry-up installation of a volunteer
army would eliminate Nixon's worries
With an army of mercenaries, Nixon
could keep 200 thousand soldiers fighting
in Vietnam or Laos or in another "stra-
tegic area" without inconveniencing his
following in the slightest.
THE ABOLITION of the draft would
have a similar disarming effect on
the traditional Vietnam opposition. Col-
lege students and their liberal parents
who have opposed the war all along are
suddenly facing new problems. For them,
too, old draft loopholes are being plugged
up. And as the draft brings the war to
their doorstep, these people who prev-
iously voiced their protest in petitions,
teach-ins, and peaceful demonstrations
- tolerable dissent from a Nixon point of
view - will likely take more militant ac-

Thus, while a paradox to be sure, the
people would be better off to preserve
the draft and resist it, than to eliminate
it for its inconveniences and live forever
in blissful detachment from the govern-
ment's wars.
Euripides said, "If death were visible in
the casting of the vote, Greece would not
be destroying herself in her warlust."
Echoing down the halls of history, these
words ring with new clarity as they pass
through the American-made Vietnam
mausoleum. Never before has a n a t i o n
carried on a war so devastating which

Editorial Page Editor
1N THE wholly-justified uproar over Uni-
versity complicity with corporate recruit-
ing, there is a danger: that emphasis on
recruiting will understate the dimensions
of the larger problem.
Recruiting-while currently the most
visible and tangible tie between the Uni-
versity and the corporate establishment-
is only the tip of the iceberg. In fact, the
University of Michigan is hog-tied hand
and foot to the giant corporate establish-
ment and its the government-agency er-
rand boys.
The specifics of this relationship are so
many and varied as to almost defy sys-
tematic analysis. To compound the prob-
lem, University officials whohave come to
realize the danger to their own necks in-
volved in public revelation of such ties)
now add to the tasks of the investigator.
In open hearings two years ago on classi-
fied research, Hansford Ferris, chairman
of the electrical engineering department
explained his dislike for "fishbowl living":
"When, as good-intentioned administra-
tors, we try to keep everybody informed on
all facets of our business, things get rather
warm for us.;We soon begin to 'classify' in-
formation for the sake of getting on with
the job of education ... (and to prevent)
a great deal of needless frustration,
anxiety, and random motion."
Fortunately for us, corporate heads are
(or were until recently) less sensitive
about baring their souls, and their public
expositions can help us uncover what the
Ferrises try to hide.
One such confession was entitled "New
Roles for the Campus and Corporation."
It was delivered in 1967 by Mr. Arjay
Miller (former President of the Ford Motor
Co.) at Rackham Auditorium.
Miller, not surprisingly, had little to say
about "new roles for corporations." Ticking
off random good deeds in environment,
employee education ("We encourage our
employes to contribute their time, their
talents, and their money to civic and
philanthropic activities . . ."), and race re-
lations ("In recent years, we have made
increasingly strenuous efforts to seek out
members of minority groups and employ
them in positions fully commensurate with
their education and ability"), Miller was
merely marking time. He only! warmed on
his "new roles" subject when he began to
discuss the University.
His message was rather simple. The Uni-
versity ("research and teaching") and in-
dustry ("use of technology in the work-
aday world"), once independent of each
other, can now no longer afford such auto-
nomy. The University needs industry, and
industry needs the University.
Miller amplified.
Ongoing access to and direction of basic
research in the natural and social sciences
is critical to industry. Applied technology
is all fine and good, but it requires the
periodic infusion of basic research to keep
it healthy. Most computer technology, for
example although refined by the corpora-
tions, had its source in University pio-
Industrial use of "behavioral" sciences
put a premium on such training. "Today,

more than nine out of ten top business
executives are college educated . . .," Miller
techniques is also involved: "We need to
know as much as we can about people as
employes, as customers . . ." The reasons
for Ford's interest in employe psychology
is obvious in light of their problems with
And finally, industry simply needs more
in terms of simple managerial training.
Whereas the industrialists of years ago
needed and sought little in terms of ad-
vanced education, the growth and concen-
tration of industrial operations and the
complications attendant upon that growth
observed. And as his view of the "be-
havioral sciences" suggest, the training

for an equally great impact on the orienta-
tion of University activity.
The entire premise is nonsensical. Power
in a society resides with those who control
its production, distribution, and exchange.
In the United States this control is in-
vested in a very few hands. So long as this
is true, all welfare legislation, "regulatory"
agencies and "countervailing powers," can
do is to quibble over jots and tiddles of
tangential matters.
Mr. Miller makes this point in terms of
"financial support." Even clearer was the
observation made two years ago by our
own vice president for research, A. Geof-
frey Norman.
In the middle of the controversy over

can hardly depend on them to "auto-
matically understand and respect"-much
less "work together effectively" with men
like him. "On the contrary," he concedes,
"as people of different backgrounds and
interests come into closer contact, their
differences are sure to become more ap-
parent and are likely to become more Ir-
His solution?
As follows.
Given: that students and faculty, going
their own way, pursuing their own interest,
and acting on their own values may well
not wish to trail after private industry
wherever it may lead them; then, a third
group must be imposed upon the University
to ensure the necessary cooperation:
"Working together effectively requires a
deliberate effort to see each other's needs
and problems. It takes people with toler-
ance and breadth to understand the dif-
ferences (between corporations and cam-
puses) and the reasons for -them, and to
perceive the common interests that lie
below the surface differences."
Such roles are filled by the University
The administrators are here to make
sure freaky campus-types don't get carried
away with all the egalitarian rhetoric that
floats around some humanities and social
science departments. The administrators ,
are here to see that in general terms the
Universities perform the tasks reguired
by the corporations and their political
allies. And the administrators are the most
powerful group on campus-rather than
bureaucrats subordinate to students and
faculty - precisely because their role is
a policing one. In short, the University
administration is the living proof of the
fact that the campus is no "free market-
place," no pluralist institution, no ivory
Once we understand that the University
does not stand above but is necessarily
involved in the political struggles that
surround it, we can proceed in one of two
On the oneChand, we can take rhe road
outlined by men like Clark Kerr (in his
book, The Uses of the University). That
is to say, we can passively accept the au-
thoritarian structure of American society
and see the University's task as conforming
as well as possible to corporate demands.
Or we can fight. We can decide to be
active-rather than passive--participants
in social struggles. We can ally ourselves
not with the corporations, but against
them-alongside the groups which fight
corporate power with more or less con-
sciousness in their daily lives.
More -immediately, we can demand the
end of on-campus recruiting by corpora-
tions which support American imperialism,
which blatantly discriminate against blacks
and women in labor relations, or which
are-at the time of their recruiting-en-
gaged in industrial struggles with their
own work force.
Thisissue does not hinge on free speech.
We will be happy to debate corporate rep-
resentatives at any forum. But we will be
selective as to which groups receive the
use of our facilities for the practical, day-
to-day augmentation of their power.


which executives require has a rather spe-
cific orientation.
So much for industry's need for the Uni-
versity. Now just why ought the latter !to'
seek this partnership? Miller didn't beat
around the bush:
"The use of knowledge stimulates the
growth of knowledge in many ways. The
most obvious example is the economic one.
Applied research and development provide
the basis for rapid economic growth-and
.economic growth in turn provides the basis
for increased financial support of univer-
sities and university research."
Get it? Miller and his class own the
goose that lays the golden eggs. The Uni-
versity needs some eggs? Fine: feed the
goose! That is the hub of Miller's argu-
ment. It is not elegant, it is not philo-
sophical. It doesn't have to be. It is power-
ful-because Miller is powerful.
IT MIGHT be useful to stop here and
consider the matter in 'greater depth.
One of the favorite refrains of engineer-
ing professors, college administrators, and
asserted sophists dwells on the view that
the University is (or ought to be) a "free
market of ideas" which offers its facilities
to allow who'request them.
This is the "pluralist" argument, and it
is based on the rather weird notion that
all sectors in the American public (or out-
side for that matter) have equally easy
access to those 'facilities and the potential

secret war research at UM (recall that
Mr. Miller was vitally concerned for "the
unfettered pursuit of knowledge and . .
the transmission of the fruits of its re-
search") Norman laid it out: The.Defense,
Department has the money. It wants the
research classified, and "if you want to
play the game, you have to play by their
This is not' pluralism. This is no "free
marketplace of ideas." This is the im-
position on the University of the power of
the giant corporations and the government
which keeps the corporations prosperous.
BUT BACK to Mr. Miller.
Having just put industry's demands on
the campus in rather bald terms Miller
hastened to allay some fears:
"It Js imperative that we preserve the
University's dedication to the unfettered
pursuit of knowledge and to the traismis-
sion of the fruits of its research.",
To summarize all this, then: Miller ad-
vises universities to orient themselves to
those who pay their bills; to gear their re-
search, training, and advisory efforts to the
needs of corporate capitalism. At the same
time, he promises that this entire process
of accommodation can be carried out with-{
out in any way limiting the options of the
University. A cute trick if you can do it.
Miller, of course, knows you can't. And
he anticipates trouble when people on cam-
pus realize the same thing. He knows he


Molda via vs.

In class:

the people?

To the Editor:
AS A\PROFESSOR of 14th cen-
tury Moldavian history I have en-
joyed my stay at the University of
Michigan immensely. That is, I
have until Friday. Friday morn-
ing at 9:00 a horde of young bully
boys descended on my classroom.
I was patiently explaining to my
students the inter-relation of
economic and political forces in
Moldavia during the reign of En-
ricocaruso IV. Suddenly one of
these haughty young men inter-
rupted me and said he would read
a list of demands for an organ-
ization known as BAM, from my
understanding a negro fraternity
of some sort.
Being rather apolitical, I asked
these students if their demands
bore any relation at all to the
economic development of. Molda-
via in the 14th century. I added
that I distinctly suspected that
they did not and for that reason
thought they should leave the
One negro youth answered me
sharply: "Our demands will only

take ten minutes. This University
is supposed to be a free market-
place for ideas. Why don't you
listen to our ideas?"
I responded that in those ten
minutes I could discuss the entire
course of the Moldavian-Transyl-
vanian War. I added that the pur-
suit of knowledge and its patient
accumulation and dissemination
was a creative, onging ,process-
far more important than the con-
cerns of this or that group of stu-
dents, however important they
seemed at the time.
I am gratified to say that I took
a straw vote of the 145 students
assembled in my class. And a full
120 students voted not to hear
these demands. I applaud their
wisdom and maturity.
The negro youths, however, re-
fused to leave. At one juncture a
negro asked me how many black
students were seated in my class.
"There are no black faces in this
class and that is reason enough
for these demands to have rele-
vance to the class, every person
in it and you in particular."

I finally told him that I cer-
tainly couldn't be held in any way
culpable for the problem he de-
lineated and that he was analyzing
the situation in a ridiculously
broad context. I cited some crit-
ical passages from Cardinal New-
man on academic responsibility
but he didn't deign to listen to me.
He proceeded to read the de-
mands in a loud booming voice
whereupon a pushing and shoving
match ensued between the black
students and some of my more
gallant teaching fellows. But the
negro youth completed reading his
demands to the utter indignation
and disgust of the students in my
I am gravely concerned for the
future course of this University.
Will trifling passions of the mo-
ment continue to infringe on calm,
rational, intellectual discussion? I
have just compiled a fourteen-
page white paper on what I think
are some of the basic issues in-
volved in this dispute which I will
read to my class on Monday. I
draw heavily on Bergman and
Rarely do I write letters to The
Daily. But I am absolutely in-
censed at the arrogance and air
of intellectual and moral super-
iroity which these negro youths
assume. If these unscholarly ac-
tions persist unchecked I will be
forced to take my talents else-
where. The University had better
decide who is more important to
it, those students or me.
-Prof. Hal D. Dudi
Esoteric Slavic
Studies Dept.
March 2

I' '



"Do I think you overeacted?... Certainly not!"


when I am unable or unwilling to
make that decision. At those
times I will ask the class to vote
its interest in the matter as I did
on Wednesday. I will be guided by
the class vote at such times."
Later, Prof. Teske noted that he
himself never discusses matters in
his class "unless they are directly
related to our subject matter,
which is astronomy." The para-
graph which followed was deleted
in The Daily:
"inn T iTnv this nrivile tnt

To the Editor:
A GREAT MANY corporations
are exploiting America and the
world for their own selfish inter-
ests. Our government has 4ts
hands tied by big business's mon-
eyand power.
Oil companies pollute t h e
oceans; power companies, the air.
Chemical companies continue to
produce the persistent pesticides
which are threatening the extinc-
tion of all life. There seems to be 9

..U ==171-4 ' '1 /// ! i I ' ' rl

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