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April 12, 1970 - Image 17

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The Michigan Daily, 1970-04-12
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(Continued from Page 17)
pause of it. Oppression can
make people sick -- sick
enough to treat themselves
with drugs that create an
illusion of freedom w h e n
the real thing is denied..
How about the right
to practice medicine?
rhere are quite a few
f us in medicine-
perhaps more than you
might estimate from the
P'.M.A. image we've project-
ed of late - who have the
best of reasons for shiver-
ing in our boots at Mr.
Kunstler's fate. One good
doctor in the community,
one of the, few who is even
willing to treat heroin ad-
dicts, is being muscled
from on high for prescrib-.
Ing too much of a certain
withdrawal drug that he
has every right to pre-
scribe and dispense as he
sees it. Or, if a w o m a n
comes into his office, des-
perate and sick at heart be-
cause she has a tumor
growing in her uterus, an
unwanted pregnancy, he
can cure her all right - as
long as he doesn't mind
risking a long stretch in the
Jackson sodomy mill. Had
nature but arranged that

4 J

I

-w'

.ffr

Why is a "iddle-aging,
life-long Republican
writing this review ?

men would carry only those
pregnancies resulting from
acts of intercourse instigat-
ed by them, then all q u e s-
tions having to do with
freedom of choice in t h e
matter of pregnancy would
have been resolved centur-
ies ago.
A fair question from the
reader at this point would
be: Why is a middle-aging,
life-long Republican psy-
chiatrist and general med-
ical practitioner reviewing
a book written by an off-
beat Associate Justice of
the U.S. Supreme Court? I
don't know. all of the rea-
sons, but it's partly because

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of the Smothers Brothers:
not because I enjoyed their
show particularly but be-
cause they were bounced
off television for rehash-
ing the same old stuff
(pretty good stuff at that)
I used to get in Sunday
School 35 years ago. And
it's partly because I o n 1 y
began to realize within the
past few weeks that n o t
once in my life have I ever
experienced anything but
fear in the' presence of a
policeman, or at the sound
of his siren, or the sight of
his car.
I am still on the payroll
of the University (symbol of
the Establishment, Doug-
las calls it) so I must choose
between dropping out and
ignoring the whole thing or
I hanging in for a hopeful try
at a little internal surgery.
When ideas and the dis-
quieting roar of robust ne-
gotiation do not flow free-
ly, blood does. One of the
men to say that most re-
cently was - Richard Nix-
on.
So, we are talking about
turning ourselves into bomb
tossing anarchists? Perhaps
this may become necessary,
as Justice Douglas implies,
but as the banana republic
revolutionaries on the left
are as much to be feared as
the unwitting fascists on
the right, more promising
options than total defection
to either pole are urgently
needed. Ideally, every citi-
zen would make it his liv-
ing religion to rebel against
every discernible lie, hypo-
crisy or needless oppression
he can possibly find within
his own little microcosm.
Justice Douglas seems to
think there is still a chance
of avoiding armed revolu-
tion, and that our one
bright ray of hope is the
nation's youth. Most of
them are, after all, pacifists
to the teeth, and keenly
aware that the dangers of
fascism from the militant
left are just as great as
those from the right. They
seem to sense that a revo-
lution of words and ideas is
not necessarily a hopeless
aspiration.
But there is little reason
to believe that a bloodless
revolution would be at all
sedate or comfortable for
anyone. Douglas points out
that the powerful and well-
monied Establishment has a
stranglehold on the mass
media. Their public dis-
putes are polite and cal-
culated to charades of con-
troversy, to keeping the
herd assured that the con-
test is above board. But it
really isn't. If millions of
ill-represented youths must
protest and riot to get their
share of time in the open
forum they will undoubted-
ly continue to do so.

The Youth Movement,
furthermore, is not the
work of a few "radical mal-
contents on the lunatic
fringe." It is real, and it
also includes a great many
professorial and practicing
attorneys, auto mechanics,
medicine men, legislators,
and as we are now aware, at
least one United State Su-
preme Court Justice.
When you're not too sure
what the young ones are
thinking but would like to
know, one way is to go ask
them. When I asked my 15
year old son what he
thought about all of this
(he read Douglas' book)
he gave mera straight
enough answer. With his
long blonde Jesus hair and
(patriot that he is) an
American flag displayed
proudly on the back of his
denim jacket, he said:
"Well, it would really be
nice to live under the Bill
of Rights but I don't see
how we're going to get
there. If the revolutionaries
won they'd probably burn
up the Constitution because

they don't understand it
either. All they know about
it is the twisted and fuck-
ed-up version of it they
learned growing up under
the present government."
He also freshened my mind
on a night-legal precedent
for a gun revolt, which is
to be found in the pre-
amble of a seldom read and
very radical document of
about two hundreds y e a r s
ago: ''We hold these truths.
to be self-evident, that all
men are created equal, that
they are endowed by their
Creator with certain un-
alienable Rights. T h a t
among these are Life, Li-
berty and the pursuit of
Happiness - That to secure
these rights, Governments'
are instituted among Men,
deriving their just oowers
from the consent of the
governed -.(now h e r e
comps the interesting Dart)
That whenever any Form
of Government becomes de-
striwtive of these ends, it
is the Right of the Peonle
to abolish it, and to insti-
tute new Government . ."
T h o m a s Jefferson sug-
gested about one revolution
per generation. Are we
overdue?
That revolution - con-
cludes Justice Douglas-now
that the p e o p 1 e hold the
residual powers of govern-
ment - need not be a re-
petition of 1776. It could
be a revolution in the na-
ture of an explosive regen-
eration. It depends on how
wise the Establishment is.
If, with its stockpile of
arms, it resolves to suppress
the dissenters, America
will face, I fear, an awful
ordeal.

Uvs.

radicals

ROBERT WILLIAMS ON REVOLUTION:

are

too

Following is the transcription of two
consecutive, interviews held with R o b e r t
Williems in his home, in March. The inter-'
viewer's questions have been cut, and Wil-
liams' replies pieced together to read as a
continuous conversation. This is the only in-
terview of its kind ever published on Mr.
Williams' con-entions of revolution a n d
radical movements in America-Ed.
The Black Panthers, and most other mili-
tant groups today, have made a lot of serious
mistakes. I think their basic mistake is to sound
more militant than they should be - they sound
too revolutionary, and so they set themselves up
for attack from the power structure in a situa-
tion where they're almost isolated from the
community.
Too many radicals in this country now are
trying to emulate. say, the China or Cuba of
today but it's a mistake because those revOlutions
have already seized rower. American radicals
want to skip all the different steps in the whole
process to the point where the Chinese are--
but they don't understand vet that, they haven't
advanced to tet taoe.
American radicals are more than just in the
vanguard-the,-'re too far out front. A lot of
people are frightened by revolutionary talk, a lot
of people who would be in svmnathy with them.
But they make it very difficult for people to
identify with them.
What we've got to understand is, in America
people identify with America, they identify with
this government. There are, people who think
that things are wrong, and there are even neople
who will go along with change. But they don't
want to go along with change they consider too
radical, or change they would consider foreign.
They feel that America is the ultimate in coun-
tries, in government and in democracy. If you
come along and say that we need the type of
government of some other country, they just
can't fathom that.
When I was in China I once heard a broad-
cast from Radio Moscow, and it was boasting the
fact that "We are second in the world only to
the United States in industrial production." Now
this wouldn't impress a worker in America. He
would say, "We're first. Why change when you're
number One?" We know that basically the prob-
lem, goes deeper than that: it's a matter of
morality and other things. But many people
don't.
So when radicals say they're going to get rid
of the power structure, that's a big order. Right
away people start wondering: If they get rid of
the power structure, what are we going to have?
You've got to have different stages of strug-
gle and you've got to have a front that will ac-

commodate different factions of different de-
grees of militancy. This happened in the Cuban
revolution: many of the people who supported the
revolution were middle class liberals, and intellec-
tuals. We hear about a peasant - worker state,
but at the very beginning the backbone of that
revolution was middle class. In China, there
was a united front: students, intellectuals, Cath-
olics, Buddhists, local capitalists, peasants, in-
dustrial workers. Because they all stressed things
in common they wanted to get rid of, they were
able to form a united front and bring these
changes about. But the movement had to develop
gradually.
Stages -of struggle
With radical organizations here, everybody
wants to start at the final stage. Nobody wants
to spend the time and the patience in .the
developing process, and to help movements de-
velop. But groups must consider that while they
are militant, they must consider trying to win
people. This is what struggle and revolution are
supposed to be all about. They're supposed to
represent change, most of all change in the
attitude of people. The next thing is, the struggle
is supposed to be for the benefit of the people.
Now, if you are alienating all of the people, then
who are you making the revolution for? The
revolution in that case would have to be a fascist
revolution for repression.
The idea is to arouse the people to the point
that they .understand the need for change.
You're bound to alienate some of the people-but
when I speak of alienation, I'm talking a b o u t
those people who could possibly be pulled to your
side. I don't mean the power structure-they're
already alienated. I'm not talking about old
middle class people-but I mean students, young
people, young workers, minorities who may sup-
port you. You've got to spend a good deal of time
trying to convince them that something must
be done.
Say there is a situation where you've got to
win other students. Maybe one student is a
moderate. Be may be afraid to take what would
be considered a radical action. But there must be
a place for him. He must not be written off as a
hopeless case.
For example, take the University student
protests against the Chicago conspiracy trial.
That is a worthycause. But the trashing-I would
say 'they were wrong in this activity. They've
got to consider whether or not that action is
going to alienate more people than it will con-
vince that their cause is good.
You've got to have some activity that won't
be so militant, that will just be to attract people.

There are all kinds of sti
es for different kinds c
thing that is being over]
revolution is not necess
on the front lines with
cades. But it's becoming
breaking glass, or thro
or if he hasn't got a rifle
tionary. But there are r
in struggle, and the yoi
that not everybody is
Some are intellectual v
to convince people that
they can't do that if th
dows.
*
Radicals need betti
think the propaganda sc
There's a way now amc
belligerent; it's in vog
speaker to use profanit:
supposed to be come ind
how revolutionary he is. 7
cept, because profanity
idea that this isn't a re
I've seen a lot of
over the world, and th
They didn't rant and rav
It's getting chic to
Radicals talk about "the
pigs do this, the pigs d
words, and give abad im;
Right now you've got to
of the population stil
They've never had any c
Now if you say the poli
"Why are you calling the
cops hate them. No wonc
It's just like calling r
groups that came from Et
ed them all kinds of na
people nigger, coon and s]
It's a mistake of notc
but most militant grout
themselves in such a way
people they should be
could be more effecti,
straight information. Be
already fighting anothef
tified with language.
Struggle means sacr:
fice just your terminolc
desire to use certain tern
fice in battle. How are yo
ment of change when
yourself?. The revolution
each individual first. The
Continued

miii

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Page Eighteen THE DAILY MAGAZINE

Sunday, April 12, 1970 Sunday, April 12, 1970

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