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October 06, 1965 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1965-10-06

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Seventy-Sixth Year

Expedience, Pathology and Morality

WherreOpinionse F ree. 420 MAYNARD ST., ANN ARBOR, MICH.

NEWS PHONE: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.

The Indonesian Rebellion:
The Power Balance Shifts

S HERECENT COUP and counter-coup
in Indonesia, along with an impending
civil war, can be analyzed with respect
to their manifold political, military and
social consequences.
The most notable political implica-
tion is the inevitability of an ensuing,
behind the scenes tripolar power struggle
among the armed forces, the Communist
party and President Sukarno himself.
It appears certain, as one Southeast
Asian expert has noted, that because De-
fense Minister Nasution, and more re-
cently, army chief Maj. Gen. Suharto
were the chief forces for Sukarno and
against a Communist takeover, they will
emerge as the most powerful figures in
the country.
Evidence of this is Suharto's denuncia-
tion of the air force in spite of Presi-
dent Sukarno's statements to the con-
trary. In a broadcast to the Indonesian
people, according to the Associated Press,
Suharto denounced the army and then
"pointedly noted that Sukarno, in a ra-
dio message earlier Monday, had absolv-
ed the air force of any involvement in a
coup attempt."
This successful insubordination on Su-
harto's part can only lead one to con-
clude that Sukarno has lost for the mo-
ment his previous effective control of
the political-military apparatus.
IN ORDER to reconsolidate his own pow-
er, the president will have to effectu-
ate a two-pronged effort to undermine
the position of Nasution and Suharto
and to reduce the power of the PKI (the
Indonesian Communist Party). Success
in this effort would enable him to reas-
sert his paramountcy within the govern-
ment complex.
Sukarno will doubtless attempt to con-
tinue playing off the PKI against the ar-
my. In light of the now-complete rupture
between the two, however, this may no
longer prove operational. Ever-increas-
ing pressure from either side may compel
him to abandon his middle-of-the-road
policy and'align himself with one or the
Should events come to this, Sukarno
might feel the necessity of throwing his
weight behind the army. Such backing of
the conservative faction could conceiv-

ably force him to rethink his foreign pol-
icy into lines more conducive to re-estab-
lishing pro-Western, and in particular,
pro-American relations.
The other, more realistic, alternative
would be for him to enact a series of pro-
Communist coups within the armed forc-
es and ally himself with the PKI. The
predominant factor arguing in support
of this is the current rift between the
army and air force.
Sukarno may conclude from this inter-
military split that the combined stabil-
ity of the armed forces is too precarious
and that therefore it would prove dis-
astrous to back them over the popular,
well-organized PKI.
THE MILITARY implications are essen-
tially twofold. If the fighting contin-
ues only sporadically throughout the
country's 2500 islands, it should prove no
significant threat to the government. On
the other hand, the Communists may
carry out a concentrated, unified effort
on islands remote from Jakarta.
Seymour Freiden of the New York Her-
ald Tribune recently wrote the following
in relation to this possibility: The PKI
"has caches of automatic weapons and-
small arms smuggled into Indonesia over
the last few years. The paramilitary units
of 'peasants and workers,' so described
by party chief D. N. Aidit, have been or-
ganized into a table of organization
drafted by staff officers, guerrilla ex-
perts and army commissars of the Red
Chinese army." Thus Sukarno may find
the situation deteriorating into an un-
managable civil war.
LASTLY come the social implications
of the current unrest. Numbering close
to three million are the latently power-
ful, predominantly middle class, overseas
Chinese residing in Indonesia. They are
among the principal financial supporters
of the PKI and will thus be looked upon
with increasing suspicion and hostility by
Sukarno's government. Their assimila-
tion into the Indonesian community be-
ing thus forestalled, they will continue
to pose an ever-greater threat to inter-
nal stability.

THERE WAS this buff at a party
Saturday night who is just
like what America is today-will-
ing to do almost anything which
"freedom," "necessity" or his own
nonmorality say is good.
In political science today there
is a dominant fascination with
how our various values, institu-
tions and arrangements operate
interdependently to maintain
equilibrium in a "complex" sys-
tem. Theory and methodology sup-
port this glorification and mere
justification of all the "intrica-
cies." Eventually, academics and
laymen alike can talk of little
else but how the system does work
and occasionally how it might
work better.
In sociology, the dominant
school of thought-functionalism
-is merely the same thing. In
both disciplines, one rarely asks
to what end the system's elements
operate, in what areas these opera-
tions have detrimental effects
even while upholding equilibrium,
how things might be arranged al-
ternatively or what the workings
of the components are functional
PSYCHOLOGY becomes more
"experimentalist" - more frag-
mented, more isolated from men.
It focuses on the micro-level of
stimulus-response chains, moving
from a wholistic, environmental
laboratory to the controlled steril-
ity of the "scientific" laboratory.
Studying English or philosophy
we do, perhaps, get a notion of
priorities and alternatives, but
somehow it is all too nicely ir-
relevant and unimmediate. If his-
tory has lessons about the past,
one applies them to the present
too much as exercises. It is not for
Education as a whole seems
little but more processing of func-
tional components for the system.
To be sure, an increasing number
of youfg people say they do not
care to participate -in the more
usual elements of that system-
business, public relations, gov-
ernment, the military-and in-
stead go into social service occu-
pations like the Peace Corps or
possibly teaching itself.,

BUT THIS does not really mean
there is going to be the renais-
sance some people predict or that
there is already more freedom for
courageous and self-fulfilling ac-
tivities which are not directly
Most of these occupations are
themselves merely functional.
Those who formulate and control
them need to maintain, expe-
diently, the arrangements from
which that power derives in the
first place, and the programs are
carefully limited to simple social
work (one can teach the "natives"
how to grow more potatoes on
their land but should never in-
troduce the question of who con-
trols where the profits from pota-
to-growing go.)
One may deal with problem
children or problem families, but
because there is only the ethic of
contributing to the smoothfunc-
tioning of the system it is in-
expedient and therefore incon-
ceivable to ask if the moral im-
peratives are perhaps centered
someplace else.
therefore offer little that is dif-
ferent. Given the safety of these
jobs, their acceptableness and the
fact that it is plenty hard to find
decent jobs anyplace else, one
wonders if the supposed "altru-
ism" with which they are under-
taken is at all what that term
has traditionally meant.
And Daniel Bell, noted sociolo-
gist at Columbia University, has
written of the End of Ideology.
The American experience, he says
-the dominantly administrative
requirements of its present com-
plexities, the diminution of class
differentiations-has invalidated
all those previous conceptions of
social change and of current con-
ditions which were expressed in
terms of universal laws and which
aroused men's passions.
afraid it shows that for most
people Bell is all too accurate. Our
condition in America today kills
our capacity to act as complete
and moral human beings. Instead,
there is the ethic of necessity-

not humanistic necessity, but ex-
pedient necessity.
The buff at that party told us
it was immoral to kill (as in Viet
Nam) but that he would kill any-
way. Somewhat to preserve his
creature existence (personal self-
defense or the self-defense of
"freedom" against "Communism")
but mostly because he could not
maintain "face" if he became a
It wasn't that we asked him not
to shoot back at the man who
would fire upon him. It was simply
that we wanted him to consider
that action, to stop rationalizing it
lamely as "necessary because I
was sent there by my government,"
to ponder actually (instead of at a
party) alternatives to his govern-
ment sending him there (and his
going) in the first place.
NOR DO OUR academic dis-
ciplines (which are supposed to
be ahead of current thought styles)
consider alternatives in this way.
Ills are merely malfunctions,
merely pathological (caused by
foreign bodies in the system), as
opposed to fundamental.
The basic questions are assumed
to be answered (instead of having
again to be asked). The problem is
how to reduce the needs of the
system to more quantifiable and
administrable terms, rather than
to examine, courageously, the re-
lation between these problems and
what the system is in the first
Thus the notion of moral or
humanistic end (and of how so-
ciety should operate to be func-
tional for these ends) seems to
have evaporated. This, in turn,
creates the end of ideology. In
personal as well as social think-
ing one must always be "realistic,"
and the realism is always in terms
of minimum disruption, personally
and socially.
One may believe that killing is

immoral, but one soon sees that it
is nevertheless "necessary." Or, on
the other side of the coin, one
loses the capacity to think that
there might be more to eliminat-
ing poverty, to improving the mass
media, to upgrading cities, to
dealing with the new leisure or to
elevating men's spirits than simply
a larger and more efficient Wel-
fare Service; with all its sickness
of nonmoral limits to expression,
its dependencies and its sad lone-
liness from oneself and others.
IT IS NOT EASY to know what
.is doing this to us. My first guess
is that it is the combination of
the size of the units (political,
educational, religious, corporate)
in which we all serve and our
complex technology, which re-
quires size, and a good fitting of
all the "parts" to operate effi-
ciently (if at all).
One's vote truly does not count.
There is a real and perceived in-
ability to make any basic altera-
tions in or stands against arrange-
ments which confront us (the
same thing as acting courageously
or morally). This isultimately
generalized to problems whose
locus is very immediate to us.
If there is 'an Establishment,
then, it is certainly no conspiracy,
for the ethic of expedient neces-
sity which it hands us is itself
expedient and necessary: the ma-
chine could not operate otherwise.
Moreover, those in the Establish-
ment are Just as much captured
by circumstances as we little
THIS VIEW seems at first to
destroy the 'basis on which social
protest is based. The moral vacuum
of our society is an inevitable
consequence of the need to co-
ordinate an overly-large, over-
technologized social system.
There is, then, not much
to do but destroy the machines
and/or revert to feudal-sized units
(States' Rights, the Black Mus-
lims, communities like Green-
wich Village to an extent) which
are relatively free of interlockings
with the outside world and there-
fore relatively free to organize
around different ethics.
But as more people move to

higher density areas, become more
dependent on each other and have
more leisure time to be structured
by the functionalizing media and
entertainment agencies, this ex-
pediency ethic is likely to control
one's life even more pervasively.
THIS IS the dilemma which
must inevitably face the sensitive
person today, the person who still
feels the need and has the capa-
city to act morally and to express
what is in his guts.
He can protest for education
which is free to make people who
will not fit (but who will know
why and who are capable of hap-
piness in consciously not fitting);
he can seek the freedom of the
Negro and the poor to achieve a
better status for themselves while
still maintaining their culture and
their spontaneity; he can try to
convince potential soldiers to act
courageously on their distaste for
America's wars and to consider
alternatives; he can seek social
control of production and distri-
bution. To some extent he may
succeed and the society may be
humanized. By and large, how-
ver, he will have to love the
struggle itself, for there will not
be many accomplishments to push
him on.
On the other hand, he can
limit his humanizing efforts to
himself and a few friends, to pre-
serving his irreverence and his
sense of self, to working within
the society only to the extent that
it is necessary to survive. (If he
is a talented artist or even a good
teacher he can perhaps earn
cleaner money, but this is much
more difficult.)
He can thus try to create his
own (semi) autonomous, commun-
ity, perhaps even to recruit new
members. In a way, he will still
be a "revolutionary."' Merely by
humanizing himself he creates one
more person, one more commun-
ity which will remain independent
against the tightening days ahead.
LISTENING to that buff Sa-
turday night did not tell me
which alternative to choose (I
think it is possible to pursue both
simultaneously), but it did con-
vince me to hang onto my insan-

Generation, I-Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry

Birth Control and U.S. Policy

TEW CONTEMPORARY problems have
greater import and arouse more con-
flicting opinions than the issue of birth
control. Not only has it seriously influ-
enced the thinking of college students
throughout the country, but it has po-
tentialities of affecting citizens in every
nation throughout the world.
The basis for the growing concern and
interest in the problem is economic, on
a national and individual level. The world
is rapidly approaching the point where
it could be faced with drastic shortages
of natural requirements as the rate of
consumption surpasses production.
Many areas, such as Latin America,
Pakistan, and India are already so over-
crowded that they cannot support their
present populations. These countries face
a future of even more people with trepi-
dation and alarm. Their vast population
creates tremendous tensions within their
borders with an accompanying growing
desire to alleviate the problem.
COMPREHENSIVE program of birth
control, involving distribution of con-
traceptives and instruction in their use,
would be an important step in solving
the problems of these areas since it would
reduce population growth or at least
hold the population level steady.
The ability to limit offspring to the
number that *the parents can adequate-
ly support would, in alleviating the popu-
lation-vs.-resources problem, benefit chil-
dren by giving them greater opportuni-
ties in terms of education and health.
Countries whose populations are ex-
panding at alarming rates are in most
cases too poor to carry on effective na-
tional programs of birth control. Presi-
dent Johnson clearly recognized a need
for the United States aid when he said
t... L.S. - I - .L-4" n - - '.^f +k . . . .'. I- n

that the U.S. would "seek new ways to
use our knowledge to help deal with the
explosion in world population and the
growing scarcity in world resources."
ALTHOUGH there has been a vigorous
increase in tax supported birth con-
trol programs within the U.S., relatively
little has yet been done to help impov-
erished and desperate nations.
India presently has a population of
460 million. In 1949, the birth rate of 40
per 1000 people was somewhat balanced
by the death rate of 30. By 1961, the
birth rate was the same but the death
rate had dropped to 18. Experts expect
that at this rate, India's population will
double by the turn of the century.
In Latin America, the population is in-
creasing at the rate of 3 per cent each
year. By the year 2000, it will exceed 600
million at the present rate. The stand-
ard of living in both India and Latin
America is low. In the latter, some pri-
vate family-planning clinics are giving
out birth control information, but in
many cases the clinics are too expensive
for the average person to afford.
The Agency for International Devel-
opment, the organization in Washington
in charge of giving foreign assistance in
order to ease the population problem,
makes it clear that United States funds
will not be used to supply contracep-
tives to other nations, but will be used
for "research, training and communica-
RANTED, these are valuable objectives,
but they become almost meaningless
when the U.S. does not distribute the de-
vices themselves. "Research, training and
communications" should be used to sup-
plement a vigorous distribution of effi-
cient methods of birth control and con-

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the
first of three separate reviews
of the current issue of "Gen-
eration," covering the maga-
zine's general fiction, nonfiction
and poetry selections, an article
on avant-garde music and an
essay on American involvement
in Viet Nam. The next two re-
views will appear later this
English Department
eration, The Inter-Arts Maga-
zine" offers 168 pages, the most
yet, for 50 cents, with the as-
surance of Editor David L. Birch
that quality accompanies quantity.
Despite their tendency toward
pretentious self-congratulation,
the editors' claims about the grad-
uate and undergraduate contribu-
tors (whom they classify as "reli-
able greatness" and encourageable
"catalysts"!) may be allowed:
within the magazine's categories
of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and
photography, there is both dis-
tinguished and promising work,
well worth anyone's time and
I am not sure, however, I un-
derstand Birch's definition of
quality as that which "experi-
ments and promises a future qual-
ity." If he speaks of the product,
not the writer, it is hard to find
much in this issue which is for-
mally or stylistically radical.
It might better be said that the
lines from Wallace Stevens, for
all their banality, which have
been set over the table of con-
tents point to a feature of the
magazine which becomes its most
distinctive virtue:
"It made him see how much/
Of what he saw he never saw at
all." The best work here sees,
deeply and clearly, and makes us
see, too.
Fowler's "Silences," a gathering
of six photographs. Is it possible
to see Silence? Not always-some
pictures cannot escape the auto-
matic literalness of the camera
lens and the exposed plate, and
one is aware that, in one instance,
it is simply that there are no
people on the tree-lined lakefront;
ergo, it must be quiet there. This
is not poetry.
Another shot is of a section of
sidewalk and storefront, one pe-
destrian; this works a little better
-there is detail, human artifacts,
posters and yet an abscence of
life, so a certain kind of silence.
But even here, the lens is still at
the mercy of every detail, and one
is reminded more of the bleak
gaze of the Ashcan School than
the blank eyeball of Zen.

identify the real world as
cover in the ambient
strange new relationships
familiar things.

to dis-
in old

THAT KIND of heightened
awareness where common objects
are thrown into preternatural
vividness illuminates the maga-
zine's first piece, John Conron's
"The Prize."
A boy, out for crabs, discovers
an eel in a tidepool. What follows
is neither particularly remarkable
nor conclusive on the face of it;
yet Conron etches the boy's com-
pulsion 'so sharply against the
deserted and alien beach, the sea,
the littered rot of seawrack, the
seductive but deadly eel, that one
senses archetypal rhythms behind
his ritualistic account of the hunt
and the two predators.
Heavy with that basic intuition
of life which can create symbols,
the story yet refrains from impel-
ling the reader toward allegory;
the world is metamorphosed into
something both familiar and
strange in a way which commands
an immediate emotional response.
Part of its magic lies in that
too-much-neglected capacity of
the artist to evoke by invoking,
to name things by their names;
this is how the spell works:
The bottom, oddly magnified
and distorted by the water and'
the white light, was spotted
with tentacled anemones and
fringed and turreted moss, stone
lilies and purple sun stars; scat-
tered periwinkles, their shells
encrusted with white sea mat,
clambered over thick ridges of
barnacles. Bits of dark blue and
pearl shells were strewn about.
There were mussels, he noticed,
but no crabs feeding on them.
The crevices lay in a murky
gray shadow, its static forms
blurred; as periodic gusts of
w i n d stirred the surface;
splotches of dim light danced
into the shadow, mottling and
rocking the forms.
THE THREE other stories in
the fiction section (edited by Me-
gan Biesele and George A. White)
also offer more vision than mes-
sage, which I find commendable.
Megan Biesele writes good like a
Fiction Editor should, in her "The
Absence of Pigeons"; revealing, in
her account of a young novitiate's
state of mind the second week at
a convent, that she has had to
write her way into a balanced and
watchful sensitivity without being
able to eliminate altogether those
traces of over-writing which over-
load the nerves.
But if there are hackneyed
pieces of expressionism like "the
alarm just outside the door at
the end of the room ticked om-

zled. She shut - her eyes and
thought of tiny leaf-shaped
pigeon tongues moving liquidly
in tiny beaks.
Tree's Flight" offers a fantasy
which treads the razor's edge be-
tween whimsy and sureal fable.
The donnee seems unpromising: a
tree uproots itself and flies away,
sap chuckling in its veins, leafy
arms flapping-like the D.T.'s by
Disney; it observes clouds, among
which is one wearing horn-rimmed
As an exercise in mood and
tone, the story deserves praise,
but its allegory, even though com-
municated in a sentence rhythm
which persuades the senses before
the mind, is the less significant
part of Mitchell's accomplishment.
Barbara A. K. Adams, in her
"For the Wonder of Love," writes
vividly of a young unwed mother
suffering a very maculate parturi-
tion; but the effective simplicity
of narration and realism of de-
scription are at odds with the
plot, which depends upon a peri-
pateia involving our surprised re-
classification of the story's type,
and the rushing in of magic: a
mixture of 0. Henry and Pre-
Raphaelitism, if you will.
I FIND the poetry section the
least satisfying, and, ironically,
I suspect it is because Poetry
Editors Merrill Gilfillan and
James B. Greenberg were not able
to claim their share of the maga-
zine's general copiousness. That
is, there is not enough room given
to Steeve Bronson for one to dis-
cover whether the melange of
impressions in his "Southwest of
Four Corners" (Navaho phrases,
highway signs, desert flora) could
fall into a collage which makes
sense-lacking a larger context,
lacking other related poems, his
verb-poor, noun-stuffed column of
words does not come off as a
poem, visually or aurally.
Nor can one tell, from Theodore
Hall's "August" and "Meeting,"
whether his talent for making an
image particular and relevant will
marry itself to that talent for
placing the. right word in the right
place which turns prose to pros-
ody. Nor can one tell if the frag-
ments of Joel Greenberg's "Frag-
ments from Troilus in Hell" could,.
within an unfragmented whole,
capitalize upon the intriguing pos-
sibilities the title suggests-al-
though one might guess from his
"All About Alice" that he can
control what he wants to say and
is aware of the themes of inno-
cense and experience which can
be developed through juxtaposing
nursery-rhyme to the recollections
of irony in tranquility, seeing the

Yet despite the momentary
breaking-in of sound and sense
with sightings like "the night
hawk/ scoops through lamplight
loops/ over dark roof-tops," or the
metaphysical wit of "a moth ticks
at god/ who squints quivering
threads of glass," I am at a loss
to sift through these dreams of
solitude: I do not know his "three
dear girls," nor who Rabbi Hiyya
of the Inscrutable Quote was, nor
how, finally, it is with him. But
I am willing to divide the blame
FINALLY, the seven poems
translated by Konstantinos Lar-
das from the Greek of C. P. Cafavy
would seem generous quantity; -yet
even here one needs more because,
lacking their original expression,
these phantoms of poems need a
-great deal of company to assume
adequate substance.
More impressive for their tone
than their images (as in "Manual
Komnenos" and "The Ides of
March"), they do suggest the res-
onances of a unique and authentic
voice, a poetic "presence" which
compensates for lack of poetic in-
tensity. Furthermore, Lardas can
write a poetic line with just the
right amount of heft and can
look beyond it to a developed
thought or sentence (Milton would
have called it a "period") which
moves across lines with that sense
of pre-ordained rightness which
Yeats described as satisfying "like
the click of closing a box."
THE NONFICTION section, edi-
ted by Donald Rothman, has the
greatest elan. Of the two pieces I
shall consider, the first, "Exis-
tentialism and the Work of Emily
Dickinson" by Maurice Benznos,
may be politely dismissed: its
scope is too large for a 15-page
article, its perspective too dim,
and we do not need the elegant
cliches of Sartre to make us see
the existential agonies of Emily's
But with the second, Tony
Stoneburner's "Sermon for the
Funeral of Hosea Victor Stone-
burner, The Methodist Church,
Salesville, Ohio, 2 April 1963," all
the "Generation" editors' pride be-
comes pardonable.
Here is something novel but not
truculently avant-garde, a ,private
vision in a public form, a dis-
covery of self within a memorial
tribute to the farmer-grandfather
who was the kind of hero "equal
to his epoch" which the poet
Long (because expanded since
delivery), it builds upon a variety
of materials-grandfatherly auto-
biography, the writer's journal
entries, earlier verse, memories

meaing grows out of the whole
like green fields from rocky soil.
nes, his gift of vision' which can
touch one's self and others with
undestructive humor, the follow-
ing testifies, even as it helps to
account for the elaborate length
of his sermon:
Grandfather could be succinct
but often he enjoyed being long-
Grandmother asked me not to
be longwinded but I am grand-
son of longwinded Grandfather,
whose prayers in this place (the
Methodist Church, Salesville)
we learned to join, rather than
try to outwait them, for only if
we added our energies to his
(reader of Bible and new-
spapers, he had the sum total of
everything to pray to God
about) was there hope of reach-
ing the conclusion and AMEN.
That I, too, may reach con-
clusion and Amen, I offer another
passage which will at once illus-
trate the's form of the sermon's
narration and bring together mov-
ingly the poet's eye and the par-
son's faith; here we see as, indeed,
we can see in much of this "Gen-
eration") that it 'still is gratify-
ingly possible for the artist to say
a new thing without abandoning
what he learns from, loves, in the
Although Grandfather was pre-
pared for his death, we were not
a bereavement emphasized be-
cause the farm is lovely with
the signs and traces of new life.
the spring, like the cup of the
psalmist (Psalm 23 was read
during the service), overflowing;
willows filming with first leaf
and daffodils blooming; leap-
frogs croaking and bird chirrup-
ing (perhaps the whippoorwill
"hollered" last night)
a central emptiness
yet his Lord is our Lord
How Many.
AMERICAN correspondents are
wrangling with American mili-
tary headquarters here (in Wash-
ington) over the release of casual-
ty statistics which some newsmen
consider to be deliberately mis-
Sharp questioning of a military
spokesman by correspondents
caused a United States Informa-
tion Service official to chide the
reporters for acting "like certified
public accountants."
A few days earlier, at a briefing
on the U.S. Marines' tough battle
with the Viet Cong around Chu







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