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March 22, 1959 - Image 16

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1959-03-22
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R l -,

-. Y. -

'4 - - - V

A Letter to

the Pharaoh


To his Potentate, the Pharaoh:
IT IS THE custom of those who
are anxious to find favor in the
eyes of a pharaoh to present him
with such things as they value
most highly or in which to see him
take delight. Hence offerings are
made of precious stones, golden
cloths and such ornaments,
worthy of the greatness of the
Since therefore I am desirous
of presenting myself to Your
Magnificence with some token of
my eagerness to serve you, I have
been able to find nothing in what
I possess which I hold more dear
or in greater esteem than the
knowledge of the past which has
come to me through continual
And having pondered long and
diligently on this knowledge and
tested it well, I have reduced it
to this essay which I now send to
Your Magnificence, hoping you
might find it acceptable.
AS YOU most certainly areĀ°
aware, this day we mark an
historical event of great signi-
ficance. It has been precisely fifty.
time spans since the Absolute War-
destroyed all life in the land to
the North.
-Our ancestors who dwelled in
the lands called Africa, Oeana,
and Ostrailia were the lne sur-
vivors. They struggled prodigious-
ly to re-establish the race; nd it
seems they have succeeded.
From the mouth of the Nile to
the sluggish waters of the Eu-
phrates we have taken root, bud-
ded and flourished. Of course, it
has taken many time spans.
BUT ENOUGH. It is not my pur-
pose to reiterate the facts
which have already been penned
by our great historians. Rather, I
wish to point out certain happen-
ings which our historians- seem
to have overlooked; specifically a
number of alarming sociological
patterns which, in my opinion,
hastened the downfall of the most
powerful nation of that epoch -1
The United States of America.
I do not necessarily contend
that they "exist in our society.
However, traces of these pat-
terns are visible in nearly all so-
cietiesrand should be brought to
the public's attention. TIerefore
I present here a brief outline of
those patterns which developed in
America many time spans ago.
The Malleable Man
IN THAT span known to the
Americans as the Twentieth'
-Century, there developed a novel
brand of Man.
The evolution of this creature
was noted by several of the
period's leading thinkers (who
have become obscure in our time).
David Rieseman called him the
"other-directed" personality.; Wil-
liam H. Whyte, the "organization
man;" Ortega. Y. Gasset; the
"mass man;" Ebenstein, the
"authoritarian personality.
The new man was nebulous by
definition; however, certain char-
acteristics seemed ,commnon to his
kind. He was a man apparently
lost in a vast crowd. Ortega Y.
Gasset characterized his as "wan-
dering desolately ,in a drifting
Living in this crowd he became
gregarious -rather than individual-
istic; all society became the dom-
inating force, instead of the indi-
vidual. Society beingthe force, the
new man tended to conform to
those patterns acceptable to so-
ciety. The most significant charac-
teristic of all, however, was that
he showed'a definite susceptibility
'to manipulation by others. He
could be hammered, stretched,
molded' to one's own liking. For
Thomas Hayden, a member

of The Michigan Daily, looks
into the future in his article to
see how historians may judge

Man had become a very small and insignificant figure

ng one -hundred million dollars
annually. It was responsible not
only for leading world opinion but
for educating each member of its
populace. Among countless other
tasks, it stimulated scientific re-
search, regulated atomic energy
and medicine, controlled food and
drugs and providedold-age bene-
What had happened to the in-
dividual? The answer is quite
simple. He was dwarfed by life;
it had become too complex to
This lack of knowledge, coupled
with the tendency we have al-
ready discussed (susceptibility to
manipulation) created a strange
and frightening society.
I NOW FEEL it necessary that I
elaborate on the specific meth-
ods by which the Power Oligarchy
dominated, or if you will, manip-
ulated, the Malleable Man.
In American democracy an in-
formed, responsible electorate was
of first importance. The concept
of popular sovereignty insisted
that the people elect their repre-
sentataives and make decisions
on fundamental issues of public
policy. Government by majority
rule assumed that man would act
rationally and, consequently, im-
prove his condition.
However, particularly during
the Twentieth Century, Man gave
up the vain notion that he was
rational, and accepted the theory
commonly held today: that Man
is, more often than not, quite ir-
He is, as one social scientist
said, "a bundle of daydreams,
misty hidden yearnings,-guilt com-
plexes, and irrational, emotional
blockages." A significant hypothe-
sis was advanced by Walter Lipp-
man, probably that era's most in-
teresting political theorist, who
noted that people, without an
awareness of the issues involved,
will support or reject a proposal
when. led by an individual or
group capable of intellectually
mastering -the problem involved.
MOTIVATIONAL research; the
study of, those factors which
motivate Man, became the object
of much research.
By learning that certain factors
pressed the public to action, scien-
tists were able to manipulate
people's minds below the level of
The channels employed to in-
fluence public opinion were chief-
ly the prevailing systems of com-
munication - radio, television,
the newspapers.
Advertising was the instrument
used by the power oligarchy to
corrode. The public was bombard-
ed by the mass media even before
they could read and write. Truth
was not the great persuader; the
manipulators used every possible
device by which they could ap-
peal to the consumer's emotions.
EVENTUALLY, the manipulators
invaded the field of politics,
which became a contest not of
issues, but of images; not of plat-
forms, but of personalities.
One politial leader was quoted
as saying his faction had "a great
product to sell. You sell your can-
didates and your programs the
way a business sells its products."
By. the 1960's honest public
opinion had dwindled to a shad-
Through the mass media, the
government, business and social
groups held a devastataing power
over the mind of the masses. A
we i g h t Le s s leach had been
fastened to their necks. An in-
visible tyranny had been set up
under the guise of democracy. A
mist of propaganda shrouded any
view of the truth.
It had become next to impos-

sible for the free thinker, the
original man, to slash through the
oppressive fog.
(Concluded on Page 12)

This photograph of the interior dates from between 1871 and 1909 when President Angell was in
Office. Wives of fwaulty members had gathered as guests of Mrs. Angell (standing, third from right).
In a growing changing University
thepresidAent's home remains
ALasig Link i w ith 'thle -Past.

this reason I chose to call him the'
malleable man.
MAN,as an individual lost in a
vast crowd, was flung into a-
constant search for a unifying,
stabilizing force. He appeared in
youthful America at the same
time a need for centralized power
w.as evolving.
The principal of equality was
one of the basic doctrines of the
new nation. Every person was to
have equality of~ opportunity and
equality before their various ju-
dicial bodies.
It seems here that in a society
where everyone is theoretically
equal, where one man's opinion is
as good as another's, the import-
ance of the individual is lessened
while the importance of society is
inflated. All men are reduced to
an equal_ mass. They are distin-
guishable not as individuals but as
part of the mass, or rather, as
the mass itself.
Society is the individual's source
of direction.hHe learns it is dis-
astrous to violate its codes. Man,
because of his equality, is at the
same time independent and pow-
erless. He usually agrees that
whatever government represents
society has more knowledge than
he; therefore, he is usually will-
ing to place his trust in that gov-
ernment. -
IN THE WORDS of Riesman, the
American became "other-direct-
ed." He seemed to have a desire.
for comfort and, accordingly, a
dread of troubles. The govern-
ment became his security. It pro-
vided for him and took his defense
in time of peril.
Thus, from the ideas forwarded,
we may at least get an overview.
Man had become a very small
and insignificant creature by the
1970's. It was very difficult for
the individual to break with so-
ciety. Instead, most people seemed
satisfied to sacrifice their indi-
vihn-mfo. the eneft oi-

They were easily influenced by
the opinions of the powers repre-
senting the group. Apparently
those powers could shape and
mold the opinions of the indi-
vidual to their own interests. Man
had become malleable in the full-
est sense of the word.
The Power Oligarchy
PARALLELING the rise of the
Malleable Man in the Twen-
tieth Century was the evolution
of another class. This group,
which I have chosen to name the
Power Oligarchy, also defied ac-
curate definition.
Basically, it appears to have
been composed of two major
groups: powerful business and
powerful government. The two
separate yet non-separate bodies
developed together; indeed, the
increase in governmental powers
seems to have sprung largely from
the growth of business.
Alexis de Tocqueville, apparent-
ly an American by choice rather
than birth, observed that -the
American had a peculiar bent
towards industry. He pointed out
that industry was the simplest'
way by which the American could
satisfy one of his major drives:
namely, for a sense of accomplish-
In democratic countries, de
Tocqueville said, Man was often
discontented with his fortune
since he sometimes found himself
less rich than his father, and
feared his son would be less rich
than himself. Man feels the "most
imperious of all necessities, that
of not sinking in the world," de
Tocqueville claimed. Therefore
since most men were desirous of
obtaining wealth, they naturally
turned their attention to trade
and manufacturing which ap-
peared to offer the "readiest and
most efficient means of success."

more appealing to the conserva-
tive element which had forced his
predecessor to resign.
Nevertheless, he seems a liberal
sort of'man himself pressing for
a non-sectarian University and
continuing the fight for a more
liberal academic program with the
introduction of pharmacy courses
and modern languages.
In 1869 President Haven moved
out of the Ann Arbor residence
and into a similar one in Evan-
ston, Illinois, when he became
president of Northwestern Univer-
sity. He was succeeded by Henry
S. Frieze, a professor of Latin
here, who became the acting pres-
ident until 1871.
THOUGH brief, his administra-
tion was notable since it was
the first to endorse an anti-bias
clause guaranteeing the "right of-
every resident of Michigan to the
enjoyment of the privileges af-
forded by the University," and as-
suring all-that "no rule exists in
any of the University statutes for
the exclusion of any person from
the University who possesses the
requisite literary and moral quali-
Faculty and student body
howled in protest and were even
more appalled when in 1870, tak-
ing advantage of this clause, Miss
Madelon Stockwell became the
first female student at theUni-
The growth of the modern Uni-
versity as we know it today, rives
not really begin, however, until
the coming of James Burrill An-
gell whose tenure was certainly
the longest and perhaps the most
notable of any Michigan president.
Arriving in 1871, President Angell
remained in office until 1909.
A MAN of eastern birth and
training, President Angell was
appalled at the physical state of
affairs and refused to accept the
office unless something drastic was
done to "the house."
So fresh paper and paint were
liberally applied, bathrooms with
7 hot and cold running water were
installed and central heating re-
placed the warmth afforded by
the seven fireplaces.
Once in the house, President
Angell was still not satisfied and
added a semi-circular library wing
in 1891 on the west- side of th
1house. Previous to this, a third
story and a kitchen wing had beer
added to the once square' littl
t house giving it new proportions.
given "new proportions" dur-
irig the Angell administration.
The faculty of thirty-five grey
e to be ten times that size and th
r student body of a little over 1,001
y swelled to over 5,000. The gradu
t ate school visualized- by Presiden
Tappan finally came into being'a
did the School of Education, th
- first of its kind to be affiliate
- with a university.
n In his thirty-eight years at th
helm of the University, "Prexy
- Angell became a much belovei
y figure of both students and fac

of manufacturing lowered the sta-
tus of the 'workman, it created- an
aristocracy in the administration
of the science.
After twenty years of making-
heads for pins, not much could
be intellectually expected of a
workman. He became more and
more skillful at his task, but he
otherwise was degraded, no long-
er' belonging to himself, but to his
trade. "The art advances, the arti-
san recedes," deTocqueville com-
On the other hand, the import,
ance of the trade as a whole drew
the educated man into the field
of administration.
As the Twentieth Century be-
gan, that phenomena known as
Big Business had begun to de-
velop. The effort to control com-
petition had been manifested in
the corporation. It grew to fantas-
tic size in its efforts to crush all
opposition. By the middle of the
century, 200 corporations held
control of nearly three-fourths of
American business.
Increased powers of govern-
ment stemmed largely from the
development of the monopoly. The
public demanded some sort of
ANOTHER reason for the expan-
sion of government activity can
be found in the technological ad-
vances made by Big Business.
The development of atomic en-
ergy, systems of communication,
factories, autombiles - all illus-
trate the vast changes which took
place at that time.
America, because of larger in-
dustry and because of involve-
ment in two wars, became an im-
portant world power. An impo-I
tent government could never have
coped with the serious problems
of policy which constantly arose
before the rulers of the land.
The national government, faced
by staggering problems, enlarged
to grand new dimensions. By the
1970's the government was spend-

BRICK by brick, Michigan's more revenue. Faculty also fought
links with the past are being faculty as jealousy was rife and
.nuncontrolled due to theJlack of
carted away. A long hallowed line executive control.
of well-worn buildings have suc-
cumbed to the wreckers' crow bar. A STEP toward more control
Last spring, they pounded into came in 1850 with the appoint-
oblivion the Romance Language wfent of the first University presi-
Building and left a bare cement dent, Henry Philip Tappan. His
slab lined with bare cement powers did not approach those of
benches. This fall, Progress tore today's executive, to be sure, but
the pharmacology from the econ- this was, at least, an attempt to
omics building, leaving an empty support and control the unstable
plot of land and a bleak, nearly University.
windowless wall. Into the home on South UnI-=
But even at.Michigan, tradi- versity moved President Tappan
But venat ichgan trdi-and to this man of culture and
tion can make a stand and the education thehuse as
past resides with comfortable elo- well as the University, must have
quence in the gray stucco home at been somewhat of a shock.
815 South University - the Presi- At the time of President Tap-
dent's House. ttetieo rsietTp
pan's appointment the house was
UILT in 141 as one of folittlemore than a square, two-
"professors' homes" (total story brick and stucco affair con-
"proessrs omes (ttalsisting of the traditional parlor
cost for all four: $30,850) it is room, sitting room, dining room
an original building and the old- and kitchen downstairs and sev-
est belonging to the University. eral bedrooms on the second floor.
The other three once stood on the To this were added a private cis-
sites of the Natural Sciencet. o
Building, Chemistry Building and tern bain, fence for livstock and
Alumni- Memorial Hall. But, the stile but, one imagines the win-
president's house, though redec- ter nights got a bit nippy even
orated, remodeled and expanded with all seven fireplaces ablaze.
many times, still stands. PRESIDENT Tappan reacted
It has stood while the Univer- quickly and firmly to the rigid
sity and the community have ex- academic system at Michigan
perienced great change.
Ann Arbor has left the days 1
when it was a little town of 2,000
population, boasting four
churches, two newspapers, nine x
doctors and seventeen drygoods
stores because the Indians still
traded here.

which emphasized the classics and
mathematics to the exclusion of
virtually everything else.
Stimulated by new methods in
German education which he had
viewed firsthand, the new execu-
tive insisted on the introduction
of practical scientific courses and
attracted many progressive new
faculty members. There was a
break from the strict program of
humanities with freer student in-
vestigation being encouraged.
His administration saw the
germination of a graduate school
theory, and the growth of both
the medical and law schools.
But early prejudices and jeal-
ousies persisted,' and President
Tappan was scored again and
again for his "radical" theories
He was also attacked on mora
grounds because he did not be-
long to any organized church and
drank wine with his dinner in th
European style. Finally, under
much pressure, he left angrily
from the South University stree
HE WAS replaced by the Uni
versity's second exective, Eras-
tus 0. Haven, who served from
1863 to 1869.
President Haven, being a Meth
odist minister, was undoubtedly

THE GIANT University of today I
has emerged from a pasture,
now the central campus, when a
gate on each professor's home
kept the cows out and when the
professors' children were able to
play in the orchards which spread
from the, back-door of each of
their homes. The school had
many a tumultuous early day
when it was highly criticized for
"extravagance" and sometimes
"radical" departures from conven-
tional means of education.
Those were the days when the
student body; unbelievably small
in number and, of course, entirely
male, would rise in the wee hours
to chop wood, attend- chapel and
a class or two before breakfast,
retiring by seven in the evening
to reduce the high cost of expen-
sive candles.
Those were also the days of
conflict. The faculty opposed the
students who met secretly to form
the outlawed fraternal orders.


,LE conm
while the


Today 1

housie is occupiedl



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