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February 02, 1969 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1969-02-02

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Thewar against
Man Against Poverty: World War III, edited by Arthur I. Blaustein
and Roger R. Woock, Vintage, $2.45,
Remarkably, in an anthology of more than 10 articles on
man's most pressing condition, few writers even consider the anti-
thetical condition which defines poverty today -- affluence. The
situation of two-thirds of the world's beings is all too often placed
in context by middle-class politicians, sociologists and social work-
ers as the "poverty problem" when in reality it has become an
"affluence problem."
If this seems semantic nonsense, perhaps we (i. e., affluent
Westerners analyzing and worrying about solutions to poverty)
have been blinded too long by our own life styles to the conditions
of fellows. A few intellectuals represented here, like Fanon and
Debray who have gone over the poverty line in sympathy rather
than prurience, have managed to establish another, compassionate
The affluent man defines the poor man's condition by denying
his essential humanity. This is the crux of both their tragic con-
ditions, but it is a large enough problem to understand just the
effects of this denial on the poor man. The accumulatedcenturies
of oppression, class-domination and paternalism which have mark-
ed the character of the poor man are chronicled in great detail in
thin nnthnlogro
"r, poour maln is nou simply at the boutoi of the status totem
pole; he has in fact no status at all. He is reduced to an object -
a thing exploitable for the greater affluence of the already well-
at off, or, in juggernaut of new technologies, simply dispensible. If
he is courted and given benign attention by the architects of the
Great Society, he remains yet a child-like being for whom we may
do good but whom we will never trust with full responsibility.
In the Third World - euphemistically called the "emerging
nations" while steadily receding deeper into the slough of poverty
- the legacy is monstrous. The industrial palaces of the West were
raised over running sewers left in the pillage, of oil, rubber, forests
and tin. If the West's humanistic tradition of ethical and religious
conduct forbade the degradation of other humans, the solution
was to ignore the natives' humanity.
The poor man long acquiesced to the affluent man's definitions
of his non-existence. His laziness, illiteracy, violence and crime
are not so much an indelible "culture of poverty" as Oscar Lewis
would inform us; as a naked result of lives without dignity.
But the inarticulate begin to speak. The affluent hire social
scientists to interpret, just as in years past they would have hired
police to still the voices. The poor, we are told, exist in such and
such a condition on inadequate income, schooling, shelter and cul-
tural values; the remedy is thus many housing units, so many job
skills, x-quantity of foreign aid grants.
But the old stereotypes permeate our solutions. We the af-
fluent will, of the goodness of our hearts (and a fear for our own
skins), try to satisfy these wants. But if we think money and con-
cern are sufficient to eliminate the "poverty problem," we will
soon discover proverty is not just a lack of affluence. Then the
time-honored solutions of reform and repression try to head off
the revolution.
Still the inarticulate will be heard without interpreters:
* First stop wearing the white man's clothes. Dress in your an-
cestral clothes. Learn your history and your heritage.
The great lie is exposed. The poor will know that an identity
is possible outside the pockets of affluence. The therapy of violence
is the initial explosion that break4 the bonds of inferiority and
propels the poor man into independence as Subject. The poverty,
problem ceases to be the shame of the poor man; it becomes a
question of what to do about affluence.


Exorcising the

Commie anti-Chris

Struggle Against History, edit-
ed by Neal D. Houghton. Simon
and Schuster, $2.95.
As Lyndon Johnson's lame
duck administration w a d d 1 e d
through its last week in power
-and into history-it left for
posterity a vast legacy of fore-
ign policy decisions for Amer-
icans to live with and for his-
toriansto analyze.
Certainly the Kennedy-John-
son era had its share of criti-
cism from the very outset eight
years ago. Foreign policies were
denounced and demonstrated
against by old and young radi-
cals both here and abroad.
However, despite our aggres-
sive label throughout the world,
at his final press conference
_ Secretary of State Dean Rusk
said he considered his most im-
portant achievement during his
eight years in office was avoid-
ing a nuclear confrontation
with the Soviet Union.
LBJ himself always m a in-
tained that the most dangerous
critics of his Vietnam policy
were the hawks to his right. He
was proud that he managed to
steer a middle-of-the-road
course away from the clutches
of the new left, but more im-
portantly, away from the grasp
of the military industrial be-
hemoth during the four years
since his first major escalation
of the war.-
In contrast to Rusk and John-
son, most "liberal" critics have
consistently maintained t h a t
the U.S. has pursued a con-
spicuously negative foreign pol-
icy, one which instigates cold
war confrontations and, in
many cases, works against
America's own best interests.
The essays in this book, in-
cluding a foreword and after-.
word by Prof. Neal D. Hough-
ton of the University of Ari-
zona, all attack American fore-
ign policy as destructive and
urge a rational reassessment of
long range goals and the means
which should be used to attain
At their worst, the essays re-
peat the moral outrage and
indignation which many Amer-
icans feel toward U. S. foreign
policy. At their best, they offer
striking analyses of the cold
war mentality of the American
population - whose energy,
says C. S. Burchill, "has been
diverted into military power, be-
cause America's leaders have
deliberately chosen this use,
and they have frightened and
manipulated the American pub-
lic into endorsing their choice."

Dulles: 'A sense of peril from abroad
must be created.'

Burchill quotes John F o s t e r
Dulles as saying in 1939:,
"The creation. of a vast
armament in itself calls for
a condition midway between
war and peace. Mass emotion
on a substantial scale is a
prerequisite. The willingness
to sacrifice must be engender-
ed. A sense of peril f r o m
abroad must be created."
In setting the tone for the rest
of the book, Houghton main-
tains that perhaps no other
people in modern history h a s
ever been in more urgent need
of a working understanding of
its era than we now are. For
Houghton, understanding our
era means realizing:
- That America has assumed
the obligations of "collapsing
European imperialism," by "rid-
ing obliquely and awkwardly in-
to the Asian picture late in the
nineteenth century."
-- That during the nineteen-
th century our "continental im-
perialism" evolved from th e'
"modest desire of emigrating
families to acquire homes and
the less modest desires of busi-
nessmen and corporations to
make money," and whose inter-
ests have dominated American
policies toward Latin America
for the past 70 years.

- And that Americans must
rid themselves of the "evil-sin-
devil complex" w h i c h is re-
sponsible for so much antagon-
ism in the cold war.
Houghton maintains our cur-
rent foreign policies are b o t h
pragmatically unfeasible a n d
morally treasonous. He argues
for national attention on the
more basic "history-making
forces of escalating population,
mass poverty and rising nation-
alism, which supercede ideologi-
cal struggles and political is-
The rest of the book reads
somewhat like a radical-liberal's
text for criticizing American
foreign policy. Article after ar-
ticle explains the basis of U.S.
imperialism, our mistaken be-
liefs and actions.
These essays are divided es-
sentially into two categories,
one dealing with Asia policy
and the other on Latin Amer-
Since most of the essays were
written in late 1967 or early
1968, few mention the European
situation - which at the time
was relatively quiet. Further-
more, some of the articles on
Vietnam are obviously dated,
for they advocate cessation of
the bombing of North Vietnam,

and urge negotiations with
Hanoi and the NLF.
The essays devoted to Latin
America are more impressive.
If the writing in this book of-
fers a completely different per-
spective toward Latin America,
it only accentuates the huge
credibility gap between what is
occurring there and what most
Americans believe is happening.
For while the Vietnam war
is constantly brought into
American homes on the tele-
vision screen, and the value of
Vietnam policy is debated al-
-most daily in the newspapers,
little information and less ana-
lysis of, Latin America reaches
the average American aside
from short reports of occasional
student demonstrations and
military takeovers.
In political circles, conserva-
tives speak of the Monroe Doc-
trine and the Organization of
American States, liberals talk
of the Alliance for Progess, and
radicals of "exploitation by the
United Fruit Company," but few
people care to delve below these
glib terms to the' basis of U.S.
Latin American policy.
One of the essays, written un-
der the pseudonym of N. B.
Miller, says that the basic
theme behind all U.S aid is es-
sentially to "protect American
markets." Behind the veil of
the Alliance for Progress lies
the staggering reality that dur-
ing the period 1950-1965:
"the flow of direct invest-
ment from the United States
to Latin America totaled $38
billion. Income on this invest-
ment transferred to the Unit-
ed States from Latin Amer-
ica was $11.3 billion for the
same period - representing a
new loss to Latin America of
$7.5 billion."
Throughout Latin America,
which has one of the highest
birth rates in the world, agri-
cultural production has appar-
ently dropped 10 per cent while
Latin Americans are frustrated
by Washington's seeming lack
of interest in social reform.
In Guatemala, for example,
the CIA was involved in frus-
trating an attempt at indigen-
uous social reform in the fifties
- which the State Department
labeled "communist," John Ge-
rassi writes.
"In Guatemala the rights
of labor, whether in factories
or in fields, including Unit-
ed Fruit Company planta-
tions, have never been recog-
nized; unions, civil liberties,
freedom of speech and press
had been outlawed. Foreign
interests had been sacred
and monopolistic and their tax
concessions beyond all con-
siderations of f a i r n e s s.
Counting each foreign cor-
poration as a person, 98 per-
cent of Guatemala's ultivat-
ed land was owned by exactly
142 people."
When Jacobo Arbenz tried
to institute land reform, the
U.S. condemned his regime as
'Communist," convened an OAS
conference in Caracas to make
that condemnation official, and
"found a right-wing colonel
named Carlos Castillio Armas,
a graduate at Fort Leaven-
worth, Kansas, to do its dirty
Now Guatemala is a major
recipient of U. S. aid, but says
Miller, "If (our) purpose is to

improve the lives of the people
in these countries, its effective-
ness is open to question."
In Guatemala, 75 per cent of
the people exist on what the
UN has termed "below starva-
tion level." Sixty-five per cent
of the population exists c o m -
pletely outside the money econ-
omy. Twenty-five per cent of
the population dies before
reaching five years of age.
The writers in Struggle
Against History maintain that
Guatemala is not the only in-
stance of massive U.S. interfer-
ence, whether corporate or mili-
tary, which extends from the
early days of the republic to the
1965 fiasco in the Dominican
Republic and the reputed in-
volvement in the murder of Che
In a fascinating article en-
titled "The Use and Abuse of
International Law," Clifton E.
Wilson documents U.S. abuse
of international treaties.
The U.S. has no right under
international law to dictate the
form of government for a
hemispheric neighbor-not in
Guatemala, Cuba, or the Domi-
nican Republic. Even President
Eisenhower made this abun-
dantly clear in 1953 before any
of the three incidents occurred.
The U.S. move toward the
unenviable, self-righteous and
self-defeating position of world
policeman also clearly violates
the Charter of the Organization
of American States, which bars
the intervention by any state.
In the faceeofs what Robert
Heilbroner terms "a certain
lurking fundamentalism that re-
gards Communism as an evil
which admits of no discussion-
the anti-Christ," the essays urge
that the first step toward a
that the first step toward a rap-
proachment with the people
the American public, not the
government; Heilbroner says we
must rid ourselves from the cold
war demonizing of our economic
"The action is for us alone
to take. It is the public air-
ing of the consequences of
our blind anti-Communism
for the underdeveloped worlda
It must be said aloud that our
present policy prefers the ab-
sence of development to 'the
c ha n ce for Communism -
which is to say, that we prefer
hunger and want and the ex-
isting inadequate a s s a u t
against the causes of hunger
and want to any regime that
declares its hostility to cap-
talism. There are strong
American currents of human
itarianism that canbe dire-
ed as a counterforce to this
profoundly antihumanitarian
Today it is imperative to mo-
bilize this humanistic counter-
Today's writers
DAVID KNOKE is an af-
fluent Daily Executive Editor
who would rather share his af-
fluence with poor people than
with the government.
Copy Editor, is a sophonlore in
the literary ,college.
PHIL BALLA, a literary col-
lege senior, is a frequent con-
tributor to the Books Page.

Weimar age: Hunger for unity full of hate

Weimar Culture, by Peter
Gay. Harper and Row, $5.95.
A loaded question: "Is America
following the path that led to
Nazi Germany?"
Last year, the liberal estab-
lishment slluddered at the rise
of George Wallace and the
Right. The use of police in
Chicago showed American tele-
vision viewers what looked like
newsreels they once saw in high,
school civics classes. Youth style"
in advertising has achieved such
success in this country that
American consumers take for
granted the excitement of pop
art color and fluidity.
Preceeding one or two avant-
garde Cinema Guild programs
last year, notes passed out be-
forehand warned that expres-
sionistic style and hippies all
happened in pre-Hitlerite Ger-
many. Some people remember'
German decadence and city
nomads and sigh at the long
hair and politics of New York
Jews so out of place in mid-
western coffee houses. Profes-
sors wonder at the tendency to-
wards irrationality and disor-
ganization among popular his-
torians. Others compare the
fates of Martin Luther King,
Malcolm X, and the Kennedy
brothers to the fate of. Rosa
Luxemburg, Walter Rathenau,
and other pre-Hitler assassina-
tion victims.
There is a lack of comprehen-
sive literature on German cul-
ture between 1918 and Hitler.
Limited but otherwise excellent
sources account for various as-
pects of German life during this
period: Kracauer's psychological
M film history, Caligari to Hitler,
Myers' German Expressionists,
and books long out of print,
untranslated, or the sources
and commentaries of specific
writers and artists. Only re-
cently has anyone sustained an
attempt to comprehensively look
e at post World War I German
Peter Gay is a German Jew
himself exiled by Hitler. His
book on The Enlightenment won
him the National Book Award

maries of The Cabinet of Dr.
Caligari, Thomas Mann's Magic
Mountain, and a typical expres-
sionist play, Gay analyzes very
little. He refers to themes by
way of allusion rather than
explanation. Occasionally he
frames events in terms of cer-
tain German traditions. He
never pretends that this play or
that film, this poet or that
philosopher a c t u a 11 y caused
Hitler's s u c c e s s. He warns
against any kind of conclusions.
The Weimar Republic was
formed in 1918 and, for all
practical p u r p o s e s, dissolved
with the chancellorship of Hit-
ler in 1933. The capital was
moved to Weimar, the city of
Goethe, as public feeling rose
against an age of imperialist
militarism and for an age of
culture. Gay limits his discus-
sion of politics to the appen-
dices not merely because the
essay is about styles of thought,
but also because so many
thoughtful men of the day had
in fact abandoned politics.
Thomas Mann wrote in 1915
that he was an unpolitical man
"and proud of it.' Hannah
Arendt gave up politics.
Because Gay's theme has to
do with idols and idylls that in-
tellectuals pursued, he does not
ask or suggest why. Nor does
he talk about the post-war so-
cial dislocations that fed the
cities with shattered, aimless
nomads, youth like Hitler who
had dreamed of becoming a
priest but turned to painting
and selling picture post cards to
Although extremists charac-
terized the early life of the
Weimar Republic, and Gay
mentions the leniency of the
courts towards the Rightists,
his emphasis of the deviant
styles of thought suggests that
it is men of thought who are
ultimately responsible for the
course of their culture, even if
they foresake that responsibil-
Gay places much blame on
the universities for both the
shoddy state of government and
the intellectual life of the per-
iod. Jews were still excluded on

literature to impose their po-
litical opinions as national
Historians, Gay says, "dis-
played a curious mixture of
bloodless rationalism and half-
concealed mysticism: they cool-
ly showed armies and frontiers
across the chessboard of inter-
national politics, and, at the
same time, reveled in the mys-
terious workings of History,
which had assigned to Germany
a sacred part to play, a sacred
mission to perform."
Serious scholarship arose on
the labyrinths of the subcon-
scious and the medieval. Stu-
dents otherwise politically ex-
tremist looked and accepted
writers who showed how "the
modern world was fragmenting
man, breaking him apart, es-'
tranging him from his society
and his real inner nature."
Gay talks briefly about the
cult of youth. They were dis-
gusted with bourgeois material-
ism. After graduation many col-
lege students could only say
that they would be-unemploy-
ed. In abandoning reality youth
sought heroes. They resurrected
Holderlin and Kleist, the former
a champion of incessant am-
biguity over any decision's lim-
itations, the latter an elabo-
rate suicide. whose intoxication

with death encouraged varieties
of popular exuberance. Buch-
ner's anti-heroes proved their
social awareness by committing
Gay's self-confessed inability
to impose a single or otherwise
embracing perspective on the
themes in Weimar culture can
be seen in the irrational and
deliberately contradictory pop-
ular pursuits that passed for
thought patterns. The philistine
City was hated in principle and
loved in fact. Sexuality was evil
but also the ultimate pursuit
in popular and scholarly studies
alike. Expressionism in plays
was defined in terms of how
well it could confuse reactions
with a chaos of theatricism.
Youth sought integration with
the cosmos through preference
to the primitive over the con-
ventional, so that they created
new alienations. As Gay says,
they turned "adolescence itself
into an ideology."
Gay acknowledges his debt to
Kracauer's thesis on the great
film of the era but does not
comment on it. He acknowledges
that youth read Hesse, who
wrote about innocence and wan-
dering, and says, "The hunger
for wholeness was awash with

By the middle of the twenties
things were changing., The
painted Beckman had disdained
the vogue of expressionism after
the war. By 1923 playwright
Zuckmayer had grown tired of
the anti-naturalistic theatre of
choas. In 1924 Thomas Mann's
Magic Mountain affirmed life
and love over indulgent sick-
nesses and by the next year he
had returned to the real world
politically in favoring republi-
can democracy. By 1925 Hin-
denburg came out of retirement
to become chancellor. At the end
of the year (although Gay does-
n't mention it) the great screen-
writer Carl Mayer had his prin-
ciples of a fluid cinema shaken
with the appearance of the Rus-
sian film, Potemkin.
At least among the intellec-
tuals, gone was the preoccupa-
tion with the fluidity, flux, and
contortion of subjectivity and in
was what Gay calls "the strug-

gle for objectivity that has
characterized German culture
since Goethe."
If the sinister world of Cali-
gari exemplifies early Weimar
culture, it is the Bauhaus, Gay
says, that exemplifies the middle
period. Its architect, Gropius;
.talked about too much "unreal
ar4iculation of the individual"
and assembled a fantastic array
of artists and materials into a
"community laboratory.''
Gay does not speculate on
"Was Hitler inevitable?" Wei-
mar culture does not end with
the Nazis. It goes into exile.
The b o o k ends after all the
confusion of rebellious sons is
replaced with the apparent law
and order of authority, the "re-
venge of the father." The Bau-
haus remains the last symbol of
Weimar culture on German soil,
a symbol for Gay and Gropius
of "mastery through construc-

II. ~I.


I. I

So You Can Be A


.. ' '
" --- ::L
. .

One Man Exhibition
Lithographs and Wood Blocks
featuring the artist's Holocaust Portfolio

JAN. 27-FEB. 28


Daily 10-6
Fri. 10-9
Sat. 10-4

1 w


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