100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

April 19, 1959 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1959-04-19
Note:
This is a tabloid page

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


- *' ". - .9. - - TA'

A New Study Shows What Happened-
To Social Scientists During the McCarthy Era
ACADEMIC PPREHENS

By GUY E. SWANSON

'Island Park, a pleasant place for a stroll on a weekday, has had its solitude forever eided by
an apartment project on its margin."
Worst AlonenesAll

Scenes like this are becoming more difficult to find in some areas.

Rapidly Soaring Population
and Urban Togetherness-
Pose a New Threat to Society
Americans Refuse to Face
By DAVID LOWE

IF SOME future historian should
be asked: What was the most
remarkable phenomenon in 20th
century America? he will un-
doubtedly answer: The disap-
pearance of the countryside. And
he will go on to explain that even
by the 1950's the urban centers,
where a greater and greater pro-
portion of the growing population
was concentrated, had so extended
themselves that the last vestiges
of nature had retreated to a dis-
tance where most of the populace
rarely saw them.
Should he be asked further:
Why this astonishing develop-
ment? he will answer that there
was no conscious reasoning behind
it, only a combination of an un-
imaginative use of land and a
booming population.
And he will be right. These two
facts-the almost complete lack of
planning for the new building on
the edges ofrour cities and an ever-
faster growing population - are
perhaps the beginning of the most
serious crisis America has ever
faced.
They should be of national con-
cern. But they aren't. Senator
Richard Neuberger, one of the
Senate members of the National
Recreation Resources Review Com-
mission, has said with justified.
sharpness that such matters, es-
sentially matters of conservation,
lack "glamor" and therefore get
little coverage in the press.
HIS WORD - conservation -
has been traditionally asso-
ciated with National Parks, irriga-
tion projects and wild life pre-
serves, but that is only one facet
of the problem.
Since the Second World War
the urbanization of our 15opula-
tion, combined with a growth in
the last half century from 80 to
170 million people, has made us
a nation of city dwellers, of crowd-
ed city dwellers at that. A single
,metropolitan area may be said to
stretch from Washington to Bos-
ton, and the complexes of Chicago
and Los Angeles, to name only two
others, yearly }become more and
more vast.

Suddenly the problem is not only
one of protecting distant preserves,
but the neighboring countryside
as well, not only a matter of pro-
viding vacation sites, but also
fields and woods of immediate ac-
cessability.
John Rader Platt, associate pro-
fessor of physics at the University
of Chicago, writing in the New
Republic on this very subject has
come to an interesting conclusion:
It is no accident that the uni-
versity communities on a river
or a lake-Madison, Evanston,
Ann Arbor, in the Midwest-
appear often on the lists of
the most livable places, even
for people who are not profes-
sors. The scenery and the sym-
phony are both within a few
minutes' walk, yet the citizens
have national horizons.
ONE WONDERS how long it has
been since those lists were
drawn up. If a person in search of
livable places should visit Ann Ar-
bor today what would he have to
say about the present availability
of the scenery?,
East towards Detroit the gently
rolling hills are being set with
houses, and along the highway
there are new motels, new stores,l
new car lots and the inevitable,
drive-ins. Here and there, like
remnants of an already condemned
race, there is a stand of trees; but

Orwellian nightmare of the North
Campus buildings, surely prize
winners in any competition for
sterility of design. There they
stand in a huge clearing with the
trees pushed, back into the dis-
tance, as though nature wQuld con-
taminate them.
And now this year, Island Park,
a pleasant place for a stroll on a
weekday, has had its possibilities
for solitude forever ended by an
apartment project on its margin.
In the article previously referred
to Professor Platt notes:
These communities (Madison,
Evanston, Ann Arbor) are be-
tween 50,000 and 100,000 pop-
ulation. Without a university,
it takes a larger number, 200,-
000 or 300,000 to support a
symphony orchestra or a good
art gallery. But this is near
the limit. Any further increase
begins to cut the people off
from their countryside.
This is obviously already hap-
pening in Ann Arbor. The shopping
centers are going up and the de-
velopment, and in a very short
time a pleasant hour's saunter in
the country will be impossible.
BUT SO WHAT? Does it really
matter? It matters a great
deal.
Ann Arbor may be seen as a
miniature of the larger picture of
our nation--a victim of spreading
blight and approaching overpopu-
lation which will, in time, perhaps
lower our standard of liviiig and
certainly effect the quality of our
lives.
Julian Huxley, one of the world's
authorities on population prob-
lems, has pointed out that ex-
cessive population effects not only
man's material necessities:
Beyond his material require-

ments, man needs space and
beauty, recreation and enjoy-
ment. Excessive population,
can erode these things. The
rapid population increase has
already created cities so big
that they are beginning to de-
feat their own ends, producing
discomfort and nervous strain
and cutting off millions of peo-
ple from any real contact or
sense of unity with nature.
It doesn't take a sociologist or
psychologist to explain why chil-
dren without parks become delin-
quent or why, in our mass society,
so many people find no satisfaction
in their work nor security in their
lives. It is usually the most urbane
of us who feel the need of potting
or folk singing or painting - all
attempts to get back to the most
primitive, the most natural parts
of our personality.
As the cities grow, as Chicago
nears Milwaukee and Detroit ap-
proaches Toledo their inhabitants
find that the 20th century Ameri-
can ideal of TOGETHERNESS is
the worst aloneness of all. And cul-
turally, only New York and per-
haps San Francisco among our
cities can pretend to give any ad-
vantages commensurate with the
physical disadvantages of living in.
them. And what's going to happen
when, as now predicted, by 1975
there will be 277 million of us?
THIE PROBLEM illustrated in
such a small but vivid way in
Ann Arbor is, of course, not only a
national one, but a world-wide one.
A few facts will help to put what
is happening here in proper per-
spective. In 1949 the United Na-
tions began preparation for an
official international survey of
the subject of human population.
A conference on the matter was

finally held in Rome in 1954. In
the five years between the two
dates the world population had in-
creased by more than 130 million.
The planet is being populated at
the rate of 4,000 people per hour,
90,000 per day and 34 million per
year. Malthus pointed out in 1798
that population grows geomet-
rically, not arithmetically.
The effect of this may be ob-
served in the fact that the popu-
lation of the world in the latter
part of the 17th century was 500
million; in the 1920's it reached
two billion, today it is two and
one half billion. That is to say
that it doubled twice over between
1650 and 1920.
Until the present century the
compound rate of increase was
one per cent perdyear; it is now
one and one-third per ye'ar. With
universally falling death rates the'
compound rate will continue to
increase, and it is now believed
that the danger point of popula-
tion growth in the world will be
reached in the next 30 or 40 years.
Any projects such as irrigation
of the deserts, cultivation of the
seas will not be solutions of the
problem, but merely postpone-
ments of the inevitable. In recog-
nition of this the governments of
both India and Japan are now ac-
tively at work in the area of popu-
lation control.
OF COURSE the United States
does not have the problem
that India or Japan does - neither
Ann Arbor nor New York is likely
to be faced with the reality of
starvation as is, from time to time,
Calcutta or Bombay.
Yet our standard of living is
the result of so much space, so
many resources to spend and
waste; that a large reduction in,
(Concluded on Page 15)

ALL SOCIETIES view specialistst
and -experts with mixed feel-
ings. We need the specialist's
skills, but it makes us uneasy to
realize, that he may not use his
expert knowledge for socially de-l
sired ends. Some primitives try to
limit the influence of their ex-
perts. The blacksmiths, though
well paid, may be forced to live in
a separate enclosure and magical.
precautions taken against the
spread of their powers. The medi-
cine man is honored when all
goes well; killed if crops fail or
patients die.
Contemporary industrial socie-
ties are thoroughly dependent up-
on the efforts of their more skilledI
members; have a correspondinglyI
greater need for developing a]
workable relation between the ex-
perts and their publics,
The biting folk tales about pro-
miscuous priests, sadistic doctors,'
or the venal attorneys-"Why does
the hearse horse whinny whenever
a lawyer dies?"-are not adequate
to control the relations of lay-
men and specialists. So notable a
case as that of Robert Oppen-+
heimer's dismissal from govern-
ment reminds us that we lack.
smoothly operating rules for de-
ciding these matters.
AS A PARTICULAR kind of ex-
pert, the teacher in -a liberal
arts college has something of the
prestige of other professionals,l
and is often the target of public+
suspicion.
One fairly recent opinion poll
shows that college professors are
exceeded in public prestige only,
by justices of the United States,
Supreme Court, doctors, governors
of states, members of the Presi-
dent's cabinet, diplomats, and
mayors of large cities.
Their peers in public esteem are
scientists, members of the Con-
gress, and bankers. Below them
are such important functionaries
as ministers, lawyers, directors of
large corporations, civil engineers,
and union officials. Professors
command more prestige than such
"glamorous" professionals as air-
line pilots, newspaper reporters,
and Army officers.
But all is not honor and pre-
ferment. There are popular images
of the professor as an impractical
egghead, a scandalous bohemian,
arid a dangerous radical.
From 1950 to 1954, Senator
Joseph McCarthy, and others with
like views,- went further. Pro-
fessors at leading universities
were, along with Army generals,
the Democratic Party, and an oc-
casional Soviet agent, accused of
treason or of sympathy for traitors.
The Senate's censure of McCarthy
In 1954, and, more especially, the
lofting of the Russian sputniks in
1957, were required to change loose

entists. 'His recent book (with
Wagner Thielens Jr.), "The Aca-
demic Mind, Social Scientists in
a Time of Crisis" (Glencoe, Illi-
nois: The Free Press, 1958) re-
ports his findings.
We should remember that the
crisis among' the professors was
not imaginary. Lazarsfeld tabu-
lated 9904ncidents in which teach-
er's careers were threatened for
reasons other than academic in-
competence. Of these, 54 per cent
involved the teacher's political
position and ideology. Another
seven per cent were probably of
this nature. In 18 per cent of the
incidents, the teacher was dis-
missed. In another four per cent,
he resigned under pressure. Seven
per cent were limited in their
teaching or research activities.
These are, if anything, conserva-
tive estimates since the outcome
was not clearly described for 35
per cent of the cases.
The average college studied had
six incidents which threatened
the careers of members of its staff.
About 60 per cent of these inci-
dents concerned the political posi-
tions of members of the faculty.
At least thirty-four per cent of
the incidents ended in the teach-
er's suffering substantial depriva-
tions.
REDUCING a history of fear and
agony to numbers should not
lead us to conclude that these
crises had limited results. As any
policeman knows, a few exemplary
arrests can cow large populations.
Further, if the persons threat-
ened are socially visible, the effects
of their cases are more spectacu-
lar. It happens that, whether by
inadvertence or design, the likeli-
hood of a teacher's being attacked
(and, we may suspect, of his being
threatened for his political views)
was greater in the better known
colleges than in teachers' colleges
or religious-affiliated institutions.
More than this, when size and type
of college are held constant, in-
cidents are found to be more likely
in the institutions with the more
distinguished faculties and the
more abundant resources.-
Of the 743 incidents for which
the instigating source is known,
about half began with charges
from off-campus groups (state or
national investigative committees,
community groups, mass media,
and individuals) and the remain-
der with charges from alumni,
colleagues, students, relatives of
students, and the college adminis-
tration. About a fifth of the
charges from a known source were
instigated by governmental com-
mittees.
WERE THE SOCIAL scientists
alarmed? More than this, did
the incidents affect their work,
and, if so, how?
Unfortunately it is here that
Laz'arsfeld's data are least satis-
factory. We cannot, for example,
separate the impact of incidents
related to McCarthyism from
others involving. politics or from
those 'of a non-political character.
What we can do is examine some
consequences of all types of in-
cident.
Lazarsfeld has rated worry and
cpution among his respondents.
Teachers are said to be worried if
they endorse more than one of the
following statements: think it is
possible that some student will re-
port a warped version of their
political views, worry about the
possibility that future employers
might ask someone at their present
institutions about their political
views; wonder if some remark of
theirs related to politics might be
a subject of community gossip;
fear that a political opinion might
affect their Job security; think
that alumni might be offended by

Legislator and judge of -what knowled

accusation into a
evaluation of these
the nation's security.

more sober
experts and

ASSESS-the impact of Mc-
Carthyism on America's liberal
arts colleges, and thereby to con-
tribute to the formation of more
judicious public 'policy, the Fund
for the Republic asked the help
of Paul F. Lazarsfeld, Professor of
Sociology in Columbia University.
Lazarsfeld concentrated his atten-
tion on McCarthyism's impact on
the academicians '.whose' work
might be most affected-the social
scientists.
Field work 'was done In the
Spring of 1955. From a sample of
165 accredited colleges, he inter-
viewed a representative group of
,451 historians, economists, so-
ciologists, and general social sci-
Guy E. Swanson is an as.
sociate professor in the so-
ciology department.

some political remark of theirs;
wonder whether the college ad-j
ministration has a political file on1
every faculty member.
Professors are classified as cau-
tious if they subscribed to two orI
more of the following practices:1
sometimes go out of the way to
make it clear that they have no7
extreme political. leanings; some-
times refrain from expressing
opinions or participating in activ-
ities that might embarrass the col-
lege administration; exercise more
care than before in bringing up
political topics with colleagues;,
take greater care that students are
not referred to controversial read-
ing; tone down things they have
written because they might cause;
controversy.
USING Lazarsfeld's criteria, we
can explore the anatomy of
academic apprehension.
It is not a picture reassuring for'
scholarly freedom. Forty-seven per.
cent of the respondents were wor-'
ried. Twenty-two per cent were
cautious. At the extremes, 48 per
cent were neither worried nor
cautious while 17 per cent were
both worried and cautious. Only
five per cent showed caution with-
out worry.
Worry and -caution, like the
frequency of incidents, are not dis-
tributed at random among social
scientists. They -are positively re-
lated to the teachers' tolerance of
divergent views, to their produc-
tivity, to the number of liberal as-
sociations they have had, and to,
their professional eminence. Worry
and caution are negatively related
to- age and tenure.

We learn something of special
interest from examining the dis-
tribution of worry and caution by
quality of college.
Lazarsfeld has formed four
groups of colleges by the distinc-
tion of fheir social science faculties
and the institutions' resources:
low, medium low, medium high,
and high. (Teachers colleges, those
affiliated with a religious body,
and small public liberal arts col-
leges are likely to be rated low or
medium low.)
The social scientists in colleges
of high and medium high quality
are more likely than others to be
worried, although the percentage
worried does not drop below 40 in
any quality grouping. It is, how-
ever, those in colleges of medium
high quality who are' most likely to
be worried (49 per cent).
AGAINST the distribution of
worried teachers, we may con-
sider the following percentages of
cautious teachers: low quality col-
leges - 23 per cent, medium low
quality-22 per cent, medium highi
quality-27 per cent, high quality
-19 per cent.
As Lazarsfeld's other data show
the colleges of high quality are
likely to be -the larger and' wealth-
ier private institutions. Their
trustees and admi iistrations take
a protective view toward the fac-
ulty. Their social scientists were
likely to be alarmed about the im-
pact of criticism on the profession
but not as likely as - others to be
cautious.
By contrast, the colleges of
medium high quality are likely tc
be the larger, but somewhat les.

SUNDAY, APRIL 19, 1959

Back to Top

© 2017 Regents of the University of Michigan