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October 13, 1965 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1965-10-13

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U, , t apx aY g
Seventy-Sixth Year

On the Iature of Civil Disobedience

here Opinions Are Free. 426 MAYNARD ST., ANN APBOR, MIcH.
Truth Will Prevail

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.

Viet Namr Hypocrisy
And policy Conferences

States' Viet Nam policy has again been
amply demonstrated by Washington's re-
cent reaction to two gatherings on the
The first, the teach-in held at the Uni-
versity of Toronto, last weekend, was to
include representatives from the Saigon
government and the National Liberation
Front, meeting for the first time any-
where. Yet the U.S. government, despite
its repeated promises of "unconditional
negotiation" in Viet Nam, refused to
send a representative to sit at the same
table with the NLF in Toronto.
If President Johnson really had any
desire to stop the senseless murder in
Southeast Asia, he would have sent an
official to the Toronto teach-in.'
ON THE OTHER HAND, the U.S. is glad'
to cooperate with the upcoming Sym-
posium for Freedom in Viet Nam, to be
held next Saturday in Washington. The
The Students'
non-union, discount barber shop that
undercut other local shops by 40 per cent.
The student has a new Friend now-the
Washteiaw County police.
Inside the fingerprinting room of the
county fail is a sign which bears the
warm greetings, "WELCOME U OF M
A student who recently paid an official
visit to the county jail reported that when
he refused to give the questioning officer
more information than is legally required
-name, address and age-the -officer
smiled and remarked, "Oh, another stu-
Edritorial Staff
Managing Editor Editorial Director
JUDITH FIELDS .. ..........Personnel Director
LAUREN BAR..........Associate Managing Editor
JUDITH WARREN .......Assistant Managing Editor
ROBERT RIPPLER ....Associate Editorial .Director,
GAIL BLUMBERG ................Magazine Editor
LLOYD GRAFF.............Acting Sports Editor
Business Staff
CY WELLMAN, Business Manager
ALAN GLUECKMAN.............Advei$ising Manager
JOYCE FEINBERG ...............Finance Manager
SUSAN CRAWFORD. Associate Business Manager
MAJMGERS: Harry Bloch, Bruce Hiliman, Marline
X~uelthau, Jeffrey- Leeds, Gall Levin; Susan Perl-
stadt, vic Ptasznik, Elizabeth Rhein, Ruth Segall,
Jill Tozer, Elizabeth Wissman.
Subscription rate: $4.50 semester by carrier ($5 by
nail); $8 yearly by carrier ($9 by mail).:
Second class postagepaid at Ann Arbor, Mich.

symposium calls itself "the only student
meeting held that day endorsing current
U.S. policy in Viet Nam," adding that "the
weekend is expected to be filled with left-
wing, beatnik protest against American
firmness in Viet Nam."
While the Toronto teach-in publicly
stated that its goal was the detached and
objective gathering of information, the
Symposium (Webster's calls a symposium
"a collection pf opinions") is sure to col-
lect only one opinion: pro-administra-
tion. The U.S. government will be repre-
sented by a former Saigon embassy at-
tache who is now with the State Depart-
ment's Viet Nam Desk, and a senator
from each major party will speak.
A CLOSER LOOK at the two Vieti Nam
discussions emphasizes the federal
government's irrationality. The Toronto
teach-in was intended to be a productive
dialogue between spokesmen from both
sides of the Bamboo Curtain.
Actually, neither side was officially
represented. Prof. Robert Scalapino, who
defended U.S. policy, is in no way con-
nected with the administration. William
Worthy, unofficial NLF spokesman,' in an
American newsman who has spent much
time behind the Iron Curtain, most re-
cently with Viet Cong leaders in Czecho-
slovakia, one of the three nations which
recognizes the NLF. The crucial point is,
however, that the teach-in had invited
people from both the NLF and Washing-
ton. The U.S. government, realizing that
its representatives would meet articulate
opposition, decided to stay home.
The administration has previously de-
bated with American intellectuals (e.g.,
at the National Teach-In in May), but it
is unwilling to face the Vietnamese who
suffer from or aid in U.S. butchery.
Ignoring the victims of an undeclared
war solves nothing. Yet the symposium to
be held in Washington-purposely timed
to coincide with the International Days
of Protest against the war in Viet Nam
(Oct. 15, 16)-will feature not one speak-,
er from, anywhere outside the U.S. It will
be a perfect opportunity for government
officials to air administration policies
without opposition.
IT'S EASY FOR Johnson supporters to
sound convincing at a packed, partisan
lecture, but Washington will not risk its
propaganda prophets in a two-sided dis-
cussion where U.S. policy might be .made
to look as bad as it really is. ;f our posi-
tion in Viet Nam is so righteous, why are
its creators afraid to defend it? The sim-
ple truth is that, in any meaningful dia-
logue, the real story of American brutal-
ity and hypocrisy would become pain-
fully apparent.

THERE'S NO USE (and prob-
ably a lot of danger) beating
around the bush: when people
talk of civil disobedience in a
demonstration, they're talking
about opposition to the whole
social system.
Civil disobedience is much more
than opposing the law which
might be violated. (As a matter of
fact, the law which is violated-
e.g., a law against obstructing
traffic-is almost always com-
pletely remote from the "cause"
at hand.) It's much more than
simply creating publicity (though
this is definitely a consideration
in any kind of public action).
It's much more even than trying
to make an advance on a specific
problem. In committing civil dis-
obedience one necessarily repu-
diates the whole mechanism which
a social system has established
for changing its laws and institu-
PRESUMABLY most people can
agree that laws and institutions
should in some way change in
order to remain serviceable to
people's needs. While these needs
are by and large defined by the
same laws and institutions which
ostensibly serve needs, in fact it
is possible to speak of something
like basic human needs or of lib-
erties and responsibilities which
ought to be incontrovertible.
(Our Declaration of Indepen-
dence makes mention of these,
and our Constitution-by nature
a more basic and universal legal
document than the legislation
which congresses pass-seeks to
establish some of these same basic
rights as not open to adjudication.
And both objectively-used science
and theology tell us, in their pe-
culiar languages, about other

kinds of needs which are basic
to the organism, independent of
what his current social milieu
At the same time, no system's
processes for instilling and de-
fining values are perfect. There
will always be deviants who pro-
claim that indeed things are not
the way they should be.
To some extent, every deviant-
no matter how much it might ap-
pear that his complaints are
merely personal as opposed to so-
cial problems-advocates changes
which have social validity (since
even apparently personal problems
derive at least somewhat from
generalizeable social conditions).
THE MATERIAL conditions of
societies are almost always chang-
ing (new resources, technological
innovations, shifting demographic
patterns, the introduction of ideas
and facilities from different cul-
tures, foreign pressures, etc.). In
many instances, the scale and na-
ture of social institutions changes
correspondingly; in other in-
stances, many institutions do not
In either case, there is always
the strong likelihood of growing
discordances between basic hu-
man needs and social conditions.
And at all times these discord-
ances are readily seized upon by
"outsiders," who most easily per-
ceive that something is wrong.
The question which civil dis-
obedience raises is how men
should go about getting laws and
institutions altered in such situa-
tions. Systems have inertia, and
their components have consider-
able vested interests in preserving
existing arrangements. A system
maintains itself by carefully de-
fining and controlling the mech-

anisms to be followed in bringing
about change and by inculcating
in its members such values as will
contribute to this control.
THE OBSERVANCE of "proper"
procedures, therefore, is essential,
not only because the "properness"
of the procedures is itself a part
of the system, but also because
these are the only procedures
which the system can control.
Law and legislative procedures
are inextricably tied to the system
of which they are a part. This tie
may be extremely flexible at the
level of formalized statutes and
especially of constitutions, but it
is considerably less flexible at the
level of interpretation and en-
forcement, especially after time
has allowed investments of human
energy and money to accumulate'
and solidify.
Basic changes are or become
.impossible, for the mechanisms
of change which the system has
created do not allow for them.
TO EMPLOY civil disobedience
is not to say merely that existing
mechanisms are too slow; it is,
more profoundly, to say that the
values and procedures upon which
these mechanisms operate (and
therefore the system as a whole)
are no longer viable.
It's a "When in the Course of
Human Events" type of thing. Men
perceive that something must be
done. Yet the same system which
has done nothing or which has
done something undesirable (and

which still controls the means of
change) offers no recourse.
The relationship between the
problms and the alternative
means of solving it is therefore
clear-at least theoretically.
UNFORTUNATELY, not all civil
disobedients are aware of what
their obvious refusal toseek change
through established channels im-
plies. Ironically, those who op-
pose them are usually far more
aware'; it is quite evident that
much more is at stake than wheth-
er traffic shall be allowed to pro-
ceed down a certain street on a
certain occasion.
The reaction is stiff. In the
most general sense it is "a denial of
legitimacy or respectability to the
civil disobedients' goals and means.
Ungrateful. Irresponsible. They
would return society to a state
of anarchy (Perish the Thought!).
In this context it is somewhat
hypocritical for the civil disobed-
ient to become angry at how he is
treated. He Is offering revolution
and he must be prepared to accept
the inevitable reaction of what he
is revolting against.
He can rightfully class this re-
action as a manifestation of bad
system, but to bear personal mal-
ice for the reaction is to say
either that his intentions in civ-
illy disobeying were not as pro-
found as they were perceived to
be (perhaps true, except that the
implications are too clear to be
disclaimed) or that he, if attack-
ed, would not fight back.
i BY THE SAME token, there is
positive value in how society re-
acts to civil disobedience: without
doubt the whole chain of phe-
nomena-action and reaction -
does a great deal to polarize opin-

In a very real sense the main
thing that is respected in this
country is courage backed by pow-
er. There is courage in the civil
disobedience itself, there is the
power (an ability to coerce oth-
ers) todisrupt andboth courage
and power are enhanced by the
fact that in civil disobedience one
acts independently of established
If only, at the same time, the
reasons for the action can be
communicated adequately, this
now respected action will force its
opponents to search their exper-
iences and their values for the
real roots of their attitudes.
THE MORE keen awareness of
essential differences and essential
goals is valuable in itself. It means
that people are less likely to be
moulded into patterns which they
don't really fit, are less likely
therefore to have what is unique
to them destroyed.
Beyond this, that awareness
meansthatwhatever compromises
are reached as the various par-
ties contend with each other will
more likely get at what is really
at stake. There will more likely
be real cures to conflicts of Ii-
terest and to social problems, in-
stead of merely path-working
which solves nothing.
The civil disobedient must,
therefore, be willing to accept
that he is fostering social con-
flict, be willing to accept its costs
and be aware of its potential ben-
I HAVEN'T TRIED, of course,
to say whether one should or
should not commit civil disobed-
ience. But there are some impor-
tant implications in doing so which
should be faced.


Letter from Tuskegee: A Strategy for Civil Rights

EDITOR'S NOTE: Prof. Arnold
Kaufman of the philosophy de-
partment is spending the academic,
year teaching at Tuskegee Institute
in Tuskegee, Ala. His stay at Tuske-
gee is part ofna larger program of
educational and cultural exchange
between the University and Tuske-
gee which has been in process for
the past few years. Prof. Kaufman
will write a number of "Letters
from Tuskegee" over the course of
the year.
I SAW Tuskegee whip Fisk yes-
terday. The performances were
not polished but the entire after-
noon sparkled with genuine en-
thusiasm. The campus songs were
sung rhythmically, the cheers
yelled violently, the playing of the
Tuskegee band was both accom-
plished and tremendously spirited.
I have never' enjoyed a half-time,
show morie.
I thought about the massed
bands I had seen the week before
at Ann Arbor, about the many
superbly rehearsed but somehow
mechanical half-time shows the
University has produced over the
years, and I felt mighty pleased
to be listening to a sometimes
sloppy, but exhilirating perform-
ance. (The U of M would do itself
a favor if it were to invite the
Tuskegee Band to Ann Arbor to
participate in one of its half-time
My family and I have been in
Tuskegee since August 28. Maggie,
my daughter, integrated the third
grade at the Institute Elementary
School on August 30. At 'first she
was annoyed by all the attention

that was given her silky, auburn
hair. At the same time she was
obviously 'pleased by the special
attention she was getting.
By now she has settled down to
a normal routine, participating in
those exclusive, competitive coali-
tions of human beings that ap-
parently make life, tolerable for
children and adults alike.
SHORTLY AFTER we arrived, a.
good friend of mine, Dr. Branko
'Pribicevic who teaches political
science in Belgrade, Yugoslavia,
came through on a State Depart-
ment sponsored tour.
We invited some of the hotter-
bloods among the students to our
house for conversation with Dr.
Pribicevic. I'm not sure they were
aware of the evening's purpose.
I believe they thought they were
going to get yet another dose of
"self-righteous white liberalism."
In any event, they were first pre-
plexed, then taken aback by my
friend's staunch defense of the
Yugoslav Communist regime.
Dr. Pribicevic, in turn, wrote
later that the evening spent talk-
ing to those students was the most
interesting he had spent on his
sponsored tour. Some may screech
about State Department sponsored
subversion-but there is little
doubt that thoughtless convictions
about others were shaken all
around the room.
We also chatted with Dr. Charles
Gomillion for part of an after-
noon. He is the man who spear-
headed the fight for political

equality in Macon County when
voting rights was not even a gleam
in Lyndon Johnson's eye. Dr.
Gomillion is the major architect
of the plan that has resulted in
registering a Negro majority.
REST4AINED exercise of the
newly-won power has, in turn,
resulted in a Tuskegee City Coun-
cil composed of four white men
and two Negroes.
White conservatives regard Dr.
Gomillion as an extremist, and an
agitator. Civil rights militants, by
contrast, often call him an "Uncle
Tom." He seems unaffected by
either criticism.
He hews firmly to the policy of
gradual assumption of local power,
and gives his carefully thought
out rationale to those who want to
hear it. He believes that 'Macon
County can serve as a model for
other Southern communities, al-
laying the' white man's fears in
those areas where Negroes can
not achieve effective majorities.
He believes also that the less
moderate whites who previously
controlled city government were
prepared to ruin the community
financially b e f o r e permitting
power to pass to a council dom-
inated by Negroes.
FINALLY, 'he thinks that it is
tremendously important for Ne-
groes to succeed once they do,
achieve a majority, and that a
period in the minority can serve
both to avoid any possibility of
responsibility for failure during

Viet Nam Needs and rospects

the initial transition, and to give
inexperienced Negroes the needed
political participation to insure
Whether Dr. Gomillion is right
or wrong, he seems to me to be a
thoughtful person of firm con-
viction and great integrity. He
represents, articulately and well,
one of the many, often conflicting,
points of view that have inevitably
formed as a result of the very
successes of the civil rights move-
I can think of few things that
do more to erode the civil rights
effort-or, for that matter, liberal
and radical politics generally-
than the tendency to impugn the
motives and character of those
with whom one happens to dis-
Reasoned criticism of strategies
with which one happens to dis-
Of Pop
To the Editor:
and Lubin in Sunday's Daily
tsok upon themselves the un-
pleasant task of ,throwing "cold
water on Pope Paul's effort for
peace. By implication, they view
Pope Paul as insincere, antiquated,
negative, ineffectua except in
evil, miserably inactive, immoral,
encourager of poverty, disease, ig-
norance and atomic war. Cold
water, indeed.
Some observations:
On sincerity: perhaps Pope Paul
is concerned both with peace and
with the "Catholic church's anti-
quated positions." He is, after all,
a Catholic, and one can sympa-
thize with him for being concern-
ed about religion and what his
church has been teaching for a
good many years. Bissell, et al, of
course, would prefer he were a
third-year law student, able to
see the light, but let us allow that
some may be faced with moral
dilemmas, honestly torn between,
old doctrines and new thoghts.
think of anything less moral than
perpetuating the obstructions to
effective birth control which keeps
millions in the chains of hopeless
I can - genocide, saturation
bombing, atomic bombing. More-
over, just as I think the problem
of moral decisions is more complex
than do the law students, so too,
I think world problems more com-
plex. Even if Pope Paul passed out
condoms in Harlem, I doubt that
hunger, ignrance and world wars
would suddenly end.
For those who think ,the Pope
so ineffectual in other areas, the
young lawyers give him a good
deal of credit in helping Brazil
("this South American giant")
slip "further and further into the
pit of poverty." Presumably bound
there "in the chains of hopeless
suffering"-all because of Pope
Paul and the Catholic church.
Bissell and companions con-
euide with th sinitr wrnin


agree would be much more help-
ful. It is so much easier to call a
person a "trouble-maker" or a
"fink" than to meet his arguments
in a careful way. Such charges
are as comfortably thoughtless as
they are vicious.
FORTUNATELY for local de-
mocracy, a number of Tuskegeeans
who do oppose Dr. Gonlillion's
moderate policies, are quite pre-
pared to counter them with care-
fully reasoned objections,, and to
translate their thoughtful criti-
cisnis into active political oppo-
Unfortunately for local dembc
racy, some of those who support<
Dr. Gomillion's views are inclined
to write this opposition off as
"extremist" or even as "Com-
munist inspired."
ie Paul
apocalpytic judgment, careless .of
their own implications and grossly
over-simplifying demographic
problems, the problems of poverty
and war, and what the Pope said
and meant, which, if read care-
fully in the tradition of Vatican
diplomacy, may well allow for ex-
ensiebirth control programs.
-Edward Hurley, Grad
To the Editor:
As IS OFTEN the case with any
large campaign, issues may be-
come clouded and facts obscured:
Hence what follows will be an
attempt to clarify an danswer
statements made in recent edi-
torials and letters concerning the
University discount bookstore.
1) Letters and copies of the
bookstore report were sent to all
eight Regents asking for their
comments and suggestions. Two
Regents replied thanking us for
the letters.
2) Another letter was sent to all
eight Regents asking for appoint-
ments to discuss the issue. Replies
will be forthcoming.
3) Our criticism is not with Ann
Arbor bookstore merchants but
rather with the administration for
ignoring the students' economic
plight. We are arguing for more
than just a bookstore that can
save students $10 per year. We are
arguing for a University commit-
ment to a student's economic wel-
fare when this welfare coincides
with his educational objectives,
4) There is room for a fifth
bookstore, and in fact local book-
stores have given no indication of
planned expansion. With a pro-
jected enrollment of 40,000 stu-
dents by 1970 another bookstore
will be a necessity. Furthermore,
this University deserves a quality
-SGC Committee on the
University Bookstore


s ,

\1 r y 5

,--- -j

/ :-.
- A

IF ONE HAD to say what is the,
most important function of the
United Nations today, the answer
would be, I think, that it provides
a meeting place where men who
have firsthand knowledge of the
issues can talk privately.
In these talks today the war in
Viet Nam is under continual dis-
cussion, and the discussions are
carried on by men who are in
direct contact themselves or
through their agents with Wash-
ington and Peking and Moscow,
with Saigon and Hanoi.
The best that can be said at
the present moment is that while'
there has been no discernible
progress toward a cease-fire, the
lines of communication have not
been broken. They are, in fact,
sufficiently open to reveal in very'
dim outline 'where lie the major
obstacles to a negotiated end of
the war.
The obstacles are primarily in
the conflict between Paking and
Washington about where the
boundary of their military and
political power is to be drawn in
the Far East. The grand objective
of Peking is to expel, or at least
to neutralize and erode, the Amer-
ican position in Japan, Korea,
Formosa, Indo-China, the Philip-
pines and Indonesia.
THE MOST promising way to
do thisis to keep the American in
Indo-China fighting not Chinese,,
but Vietnamese. As a matter of

The vital interests of Hanoi
would best be served by a settle-
ment neutralizing the whole of
Indo-China and along with it, it
might well be, Burma and Malay-
sia. Such a bloc of neutralized
states, guaranteed by the great
powers, would be in the interests
of all of them. For their interest
is to be independent of and not
at war with the great military
There are some reasons to think
that such a settlement, which
seemed more possible in 1964 than
it does at the moment, is never-
theless still a settlement to which
the peoples of the region would
readily adhere if they could find
a way to reach it.
ON THE FACE of the record,
at least, President Johnson is com-
mitted to look favorably upon the
search for this kind of settlement.
That is to say, a settlement which
brings into existence a group of
independent nations not under
Red China's military domination
nor under ours.



There is no prospect that in
smashing the concentrations of
Viet Cong troops we are doing
much more than scattering them
and forcing them back into a con-
tinuation of the guerrilla war.
THE AMERICAN news reports
which tell of the power of our
offensive attacks are, we should
realize, building up a popular ex-
pectation of an end to the war by
an American victory.
If and when no victory comes
of all this and the war goes on,
the President will be exhorted to
put an end to the war by some
really decisive blows. The propa-
ganda for this new escalation is
already being tried out.
. Toward the turn of the year the
President will probably have to
face his ordeal-the making of
the decision whether to engage in
a total war in Viet Nam or to
work .for a tentative and precar-
ious peace.I
The argument for a huge war
will be carried, along by the glit-
tering promise of a glorious vic-
tory, a victory, moreover, won al-
most entirely by 'using profession-
al troops. Such a prospect would
have enormous attraction for Lyn-
don Johnson.
THE SEARCH for a tentative
and precarious peace would, on
the contrary, require him to sur-
render some of his very consider-
0h n VI n "A - a .-.A v-elii




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