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.

December 07, 1969 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1969-12-07

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

Sundry, December 7, 1969

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Page Five

Sunday, December 7, 1969 THE MICHIGAN DAILY

U ~

Wolf meets Schlesinger and

emerges

unscathed

By STEVE ANZALONE

Peasant Wars of the Twen-
tieth Century, by Eric Wolf.
Harper and Row, $7.95.
N OAM CHOMSKY in his
recent American Power and
the New Mandarins reports
about an exciting new concept
in counterinsurgency proposed
by a senior economist of the
RAND Corporation. The study,
conducted by a man named
Charles Wolf, considers two ap-
proaches to counterinsurgency.
The first approach, Wolf says,
is to win the hearts and minds
of the people of a nation. But
he claims that this approach is
not appropriate "as a conceptual
framework f o r counterinsur -
gency programs." Whatever that
means.
Rather, the RAND economist
thinks it would be more valu-
able to try to modify behavior
rather than the attitudes of the
populace. He suggests such
things as "confiscation of chick-
ens, razing of houses, or destruc-
tion of villages" as ways to in-
duce peasants to shun insur-
gents. It's just like conditioning

the behavior of rats--when they
make an undesired response,
they are given a shock.
Chomsky's book was hotly de-
nounced by many liberals who
argued that a linguist lacked
the necesary expertise to speak
intelligently about their exclus-
ive fiefs - be it history, Viet-
nam, or political analysis. The
most notable of these irate in-
tellectuals - if you can call him
that - was Arthur Schlesinger,
Jr., who defines his fief as the
sancrosanct realm of spiritual
and political adviser to the na-
tion. Schlesinger was so agitated
by Chomsky that he devoted a
section in his Crisis of Confi-
dence to denouncing both Cho-
msky's scholarship and his au-
dacity as a linguist to dare ven-
ture an opinion on matters that
only a select few can possibly
understand.
THE APOPLEXY caused for
many liberals like Schlesinger
by the strident a n d indicting
tones of Chomsky's book is un-
derstandable. C h o mis k y did
make a few errors in scholar-
ship, so they have no qualms
in dismissing the b o o k as a
whole, and they can rest con-

T

NEW MAGAZINE NEEDS
POETRY, SHORT STORIES, ES-
SAYS. $5.00 per printed page or
part thereof. Manuscripts will not
be ret'd. unless accompanied by
self-addressed, stamped envelope.
Mail to KEN GAERTNER, 605 E.
William.

sbsbooksbooksbo(,

tent that the Vietnam war is
just a mistake in an otherwise
sound foreign policy.
But liberals will not be able
to dismiss a new and penetrat-
ing book by Prof. Eric Wolf of
the anthropology department.
The book, called Peasant Wars
of the Twentieth Century, is a
study of social revolution in six
countries - Algeria, Mexico,
Russia, China, Cuba, and Viet-
nam.
Wolf's book will probably
have schizophrenic effects on
the apologists for American in-
volvement in Vietnam. They will
f I n d themselves comfortable
with Wolf's cool prose and ra-
tional scholarship. But at the
same time many will find them-
selves uncomfortable with the
lessons that Wolf draws.
What Wolf does in his case
studies is to analyze the histor-
ical social arrangements in these
countries, show how these ar-
rangements were disrupted by a
new economic and social order,
and how men displaced by these
forces rose to strike up against
them. The situations in e a c h
country were by no means iden-
tical, and Wolf never tries to
minimize these differences. But
his evidence supports an impor-
tant generalization:
"Thus, paradoxically, the very
spread of the capitalist market-
principle a ls o forced men to

seek defenses against it. They
could meet this end either
by cleaving to their traditional
institutions, increasingly sub-
verted by the forces which they
w e r e trying to neutralize; or
they could commit themselves
to the search for n e w social
forms which would grant them
shelter. In a sense all our six
cases can be seen as the out-
come of such defensive reac-
tions, coupled with a search for
a new and humane social order.
"Yet the advent of capitalism
produced still another - and
equally serious - repercussion.
It initiated a crisis in the exer-
cise of power."
Similarly, we find that:
". . . the peasant is an agent
of forces larger than himself,
forces produced by a disordered
past as much as by a disordered
present. There is no evidence for
the view that if it were not for
"outside agitators," the peasant
would be at rest. On the con-
trary, the peasants rise to re-
dress wrong; but the inequities
against which they rebel a r e
but, in turn, parochial manifes-
tations of great social disloca-
tions. Thus rebellion issues eas-
ily i n t o revolution, massive
movements to transform the so-
cial structure as a whole."
I would be inclined to send
my review copy of Wolf's book
to Mr. Nixon, if I could believe

that he actually ever reads any-
thing of this caliber. I am not
all that sure defeat in Vietnam
will convince people like him
that our foreign policy is built
upon a fundamental misunder-
standing of the social forces
operating in the twentieth cen-
tury.
Intellectual work like Wolf's
will probably go unnoticed in
the places where it will do the
most good. The government is
not interested in finding out
the lessons of Wolf's study; it is
more interested in having people
like himself spend their time
developing a winning strategy in
global affairs.
As Wolf describes t h e m,
"These new engineers of power
call themselves realists, but it
is a hallmark of their realism
that it admits no evidence and

interpretation other than that
which serves their purposes."
Apologists for American for-
eign policy like Schlesinger will
probably not be impressed by
Wolf's book. They will ask what
business an anthropologist has
talking about contemporary af-
fairs. But among thinking peo-
ple, it can be hoped that Wolf's
book will get the attention that
it deserves.
For we cannot escape Wolf's
conclusion:
"T he peasantry confronts
tragedy, but hope is on its side;
doubly tragic are their adver-
saries who would deny that hope
to both peasantry and them-
selves. This also is America's
dilemma in the world today: to
act in aid of human hope or to
crush it, not only for the world's
sake but for her own."

Today's writers
STEVE ANZALONE is an
editorial page editor at The
Daily. His number in the lottery
was four. Happy Valentine's
Day, Steve.
LIZ WISSMAN is a former
assistant editorial director of
The Daily. She is now a teach-
ing fellow and PhD candidate
in the English Department. Her
number in the lottery was 12.
Happy Pearl Harbor Day, Liz.

22.99 Ladies' & Men's
Houston 14" tall
SCHNEIDER WESTERN SUPPLY
2635 Saline Road
Ann Arbor, Mich Ph. 663-0111

TOMORROW, MON., DEC. 8
G.O.P. STATE

_ _ ._ .,, y

A, thropoescape

By LIZ WISSMAN

Technicians of the Sacred,
edited by Jerome Rothenberg,
Doubleday A n c h o r Books,
$3.95.
r10 AT LEAST one contem-
porary author, all literature
is "anthroposecapism." That is,
poetry and narrative are activi-
ties arising from the most es-
sential strata of human exist-
ence, born of those first combi-
nations which gave us our tools,
our defense and shelter, and the
systems of language and gesture.
There is something in the tri-
umph and frustration of human
society, in the schizophrenic re-
quirements of a complex of so-
cial roles which must be learned
and lived by the weary individ-
ual, which necessitates a poetic.
In poetry, the friction of ordi-
nary communication becomes
harmonious and the words
which often seem to impose
themselves upon our experience
become an experience in them-
selves. We "escape" the quoti-
dian precisely by a willing ex-
ercise and control of those arbi-
trary forms, the tyrannies of
times and the proprieties of
space, which otherwise control
our social being. Perhaps in
search of some definition of
what makes man poetic, poet
Jerome Rothenberg has devel-
oped an anthropological collec-
tion which encompasses the
"primitive" poetries of Africa,
America, Asia, and Oceania,
OF COURSE it is a vast
Romanticism to seek for human
essences in archaic or pre-tech-
nological cultures. There is al-
ways the danger that we will
distort what is alien by facile
analogies or, in fact, make it
more alien by investing it with
all those values which contra-
dict our p r e s e n t existence.
Rothenberg is at least conscious
of the criteria hie has used in
order to mark off his subject
matter, and to select his texts-
the self-criticism of his intro-
duction is refreshingly candid.
Rothenberg admits, for exam-
ple, that he has a predilection
for "strong Poems" and for a
theory of primitive society which
stresses the unities, the darkness
and mystery presumed to con-
stitute the life-style. (It is no
accident that disunity and ba-
nality are the aspects of con-
temporary life which fall under
attack.) But where he can not
be unbiased, Rothenberg has
NOW SHOWING
BATIKS
ENAMELS
JEWELRY
CARVINGS
COLLAGES
GIFT ITEMS
THE JUDLO GALLERY
204 East Huron

attempted to clearly formulat
the nature and the justification
for his biases.
The anthology consists of ove
500 pages, with some 150 pager
devoted to appendix and com
mnentary. The commentaries are
irregular, but often highly en
tertaining for their own sake
(An index, however, or some
system of specifying who ma'
be found writing on which poem
is sorely lacking.) Rothenber
does not attempt to recreat
an exhaustive context for hi
selections, but rather relies o
a tonal fragment to illustrat
what he calls the "key" of eac
poem. The tone or atmospher
is developed by brief descrip
tions of ceremonial rites com
mon to the culture, by quota-
tions from practicing poets
and by works which, althougl
contemporary, Rothenberg feel
are analogous to the archai
texts.
He admits that the "poems
under consideration most ofter
were part of complex perform
antes, requiring fixed, tradition
al associations and a certai
amount of activity and partici
pation upon the part of the
audience, Buthis impact, h#
hopes, will be to arouse a con
temporary interest which wil
lead to further exploration an
discovery. In addition, "whenE
culture's alive to its own needs
--as Rothenberg believes thi,
culture must become-it is cap-
able of making its own context
and meanings for this poetry.
IT IS DIFFICULT to rende
the quality of this "primitivi
poetry. Generalizations abou
its insistent and almost self
consuming pattern, its ver3
bodily and organic reference
and rhythms, destroy the con
crete particularity which is vita
to its beauty. Only an exampl
will suffice, such as the incred
ibly spare "Eskimo poem agains
Death:''
"I watched the white does o
the dawn."

e
I'
S
r

5
e
y
1,
',s r': , ' y
GRAND
,e !
OPENING
DECEMBER 5-24
h
Is
G With the purchase of any wig, you may have a
I 112 oz. wiglet at half price. The first styling
" (on your purchase wig) is free. High quality
n ; hair at low prices -guaranteed.
n is]ELADONNA
e WVIG SALON
" SHERATON-ANN ARBOR MOTOR INN
769-7620
Open 10-9 Wiglets $4.95 and up
Mon.-Sat. Wigs $18.95 and up
e 100% Human Hair. Bring this ad.
s a Subscribe To
THE MIC.%HIG0nAN DAILY
t
-Phone 764-0558
I : . . ._ _ m . . . . . .

NED'S
BOOKSTORE
YPSILANTI
This new store carries more trade (non-text) books
than any other in the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti area.
Unusual 1970 calendars, thousands of paperbacks,
lots of them used, some hardbacks.
GIFT BOOKS AND CALENDARS
FROM $375 (DALI ALICE) DOWN
Mon.-Thurs.-9-9; Fri.-9-6; Sat.-12:5:30
We think we're interesting-
We hope you will.f
Out 4)e

E :

SENATOR
Robert Huber
(Frequently mentioned as a
possible candidate for
U.S. SENATE Next Year)

WILL SPEAK ON:

' i
~4
i:
i

"Protecting Your Person,

Sk::

iK _
r >

Property, Pocketbook,
and Politics"
Question period to follow
TOMORROW, 7:30 P.M.
UGLI MULTIPURPOSE
K- 7 7- -. }

3

SOPH O

ORE

SLUMP?.

LET US GIVE YOU A

- - ----m m -__--- _ _ _ _ ____

THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

I

(;/iet

&

Su//van Societq

A

is now filling Positiuns for
the production staff of
"THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE"

aiy interested persons may apply to
The Gilbert & Sullivan Society at 2531 SAB, 663-5408

We're Much More Than
Just a Daily Newspaper
CREATE FOR
SAGE . BOOK PAGE

_ _____ '

! I

_ _... _ _

m

o FRONT P
o EDIT PA(

GE

+ SPORTS

PAGE

761-3760

1-5 Daily

PETITIONING HAS BEEN EXTENDED
for Student positions
on the
UNIVERSITY

* SUNDAY MORNING PAGE * PHOTO PAGE
* ARTS PAGE * ADVERTISING
o MAGAZINE PAGE
WE LET YOU "DO YOUR THING"
WITH ONLY SLIGHT LIMITATIONS

JSUMBOY

Ii

I

Back to Top

© 2017 Regents of the University of Michigan