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August 24, 1965 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1965-08-24

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Seventy-Sixth Year

Fulfilment or


akeworld" and little concerned wAith1
ake any latent desire or need he might
have to adjust it to himself or at
least to tell it to lay off because
LI it will not let, him struggle in

Where Opinions Are Free. 420 MAYNARD ST., ANN ARBOR, Mici.
Trutb W11l Prevail 42MANR -',NN RBMIH

Nrws PH ONE: 764-0552

Edit urials printed in The Michigan Daily ex press the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This nutst be noted in all reprints.
OBeing a Freshman:e
0e-to-U11Oe in the Multiversity

HERE YOU ARE, admitted as a fresh-
man to the University of Michigan,
probably conscious of both your abilities,
which are abundant, and your human
shortcomings, which you never have wor-
ried too much about until you found
yourself face to face with a university.
You see yourself, at any rate as an in-
dividual human being-lost in an over-
whelming society, perhaps, but still an
individual. You're in for a surprise.
The wold prefers to think of you as a
┬░commodity, thanks in no small part to
university , sociologists. You have been
mentally and emotionally measured, typ-
ed, fitted and tested. There is, in fact, a
price on your head.
Your mind, your abilities and your
skills will probably be worth, very rough-
ly, $20,000-50,000 a year to the American
(or maybe some other) economy 10 years
from now. From $1500 to $5000 a year
will be invested in you as you go through
school. You are a human resource, far
more valuable than mineral resources.
GOOD NEWS? There's more. Society is
beginning to recognize, in its own
haphazard, going backwards, slow-to-
achieve-consensus way, just how valu-
able you really are. They'll pay, in other
words. $10,000, $15,000, $20,000 a year.
You name it. Cars, ranch homes, round-
the-world vacations, even the sexual
Our market economy is an amazing
mechanism. One of the greatest inven-
tions in the world. It recognizes and re-
wards value quickly and efficiently.
(You'll learn about the market economy
in Economics 12, by the way, as you will
learn about that wonderful word "so-
ciety in sociology 100. Good luck.)
If you are here in search of quick and
efficient rewards-whether in the form
of grades, self congratulation, or "lux-
urious living"-you can get them all here
and more. But look at what you are do-
ing all up and down the line: you're ac-
cepting external definitions of what you
ought to like, of what is good for you.
You accept the Coca-Cola ad as the
model of the good life, the "A" (and not
the work and thought that should go in-
to it) as the great goal, Playboy as a way
of life.
For God's sake back up a minute and
look at what you are committing yourself
to. Are you going to let somebody else-
be it Standard Oil or Lyndon Johnson-
tell you, either directly or indirectly,
what your personal values are? Are you
going to let General Motors' assumption
that what's good for it is good for you go
The fact is that all of us have to some
extent. .But four years in a university can
serve as a period for reevaluation and re-
view, for careful construction of your
own life on your own terms.
HAT I AM saying is simple: be both
aware and wary, be ready to profit
from every experience, balance ingen-
uousness with careful thought. If you
are cynical you end up in your own closed
box; if you don't discriminate among the
ideas, the theories and the philosophies
urged upon you as gospel, you end up be-
ing swept off in wrong, even harmful
directions. Leave yourself open to eval-
uate every new bit of fact or outlook that
comes along, but remember that there
are at least four years more before you
really have to commit yourself to any-
The freshman, as he proceeds through
the University, soons begins to perceive,
or ought to, that he would do well to toss
out "A's", cars, color television and strip-
ed ties as inherently desirable. An auto-

mobile is nice, but it is external to the
person who drives it or owns it and hard-
ly embodies within itself any values or
philosophies with which that person can
identify himself.
AO i
Editorial Staff
Managing Editor Editorial Director
JUDiTH WARREN .............Personnel Director
THOMAS WEINBERG......... .....Sports Editor
LAUREN BAHRR......... Associate Managing Editor
SCOTT BLECH ..........Assistant Managing Editor
ROBERT HIPPLER ...... Associate Editorial Director
GAIL BLUMBERG .. .......... Magazine Editor
LLOYD GRAFF ..............Associate Sports Editor

It's the same thing with grades. Mem-
orized reading lists or lecture notes ac-
quired to fill blue books are external. No-
body wants to commit himself or identify
himself with memorized facts. The act
of memorization is, by itself, of no great
value. Neither is an "A", except insofar
as a person is able to identify with a
standard of excellence that he holds up
for himself in both work and thought-
a standard he has internalized. He must
have a commitment, not to "A's", but to
standards he believes in- which might
result in "A's", but not necessarily.
But how can you, as a freshman, know
where to make new commitments that
must be made to lend stability and mean-
ing to your life? Who or what can you
believe? Where, in other words, do you
put your poker chips?
Establish some rough standards for
yourself. Standards first of excellence.
You know, for instance, when you are do-
ing a good job and when you are not,
what's really behind that "A," when you
are making the effort and when you are
letting yourself follow the smoothest
With this standard of excellence in
achievement set up, you will then be able
to conceptualize standards of logic, of
virtue, of hope, of relevance and of per-
sonal meaning. Just remember that
standards must be for yourself, for what
you want to do, to be and to commit your-
self to. You should believe in and act
upon what you think, but be generous in
allowing others the same privilege.
BUT STANDARDS are only guideposts,
there is still the problem of commit-
ment here and now. Where do you start?
Here I have a suggestion. Look through
the rest, of this newspaper. Ignore the
screaming ads of the Ann Arbor mer-
chants. You can begin to see the diverse
aspects of what we call the University.
The undergraduates, the faculty, the
graduate students, sports, activities of
every, stripe, research, buildings, admin-
istrators, classes, lectures and outside
speakers. It all adds up to more than the
sum of its parts. It adds up to a univer-
sity, not a wax museum. It's right here,
and it's more than buildings and offices
and books and homework.
It's worth looking for. It's worth a lit-
tle faith that there is something here in
the way of values and ideas and ways of
thinking that is valuable to you as an
individual, that can, with an investment
of time, effort and thought on your part
result in identity and commitment to
things you can believe in, not things that
Madison Avenue, or your roommates, or
"society" want you to believe in or will
believe in for you.
It all reduces to a common denomin-
ator, you, individually, on the one hand
and the part of the world that you're
willing and able to make your own, to
commit yourself to, on the other. It
comes down to a one-to-one correspon-
dence, and the University is a partner
that can be indulged in and relied upon
to provide the best possible source of in-
spiration for commitment.
The University has, or is supposed to
have, a commitment to you as well.
While many faculty and researchers
here are interested primarily in power,
profit and personal aggrandizement,
there is still plenty of material left for
the other half of that one-to-one corre-
spondence. Don't let the University es-
cape its most essential obligation: peo-
The University can teach, it cannot
make you learn. And even learning isn't
enough. After you have listened to lec-
tures, studied books, taken notes and
written apapers, you have done no more

than you might have done at any school
or even at home (given educational tele-
vision). You are halfway down the path,
but by no means there.
FOR THE LAST and most essential in-
gredients of the educated man-
alertness, sympathy and human identity
and commitment can come only through
close, personal interaction with other
The freshman, however many of him
there are, has every right to demand that
his professors, his graduate instructors,
his counselors and anyone else that

Editorial Director
LAST FALL, when things were
exploding at Berkeley, there
were a few abortive attempts to
stir this University up too, and
when school starts again there will
Ibe more.
Students almost by definition
have recurring emotional and aca-
demic crises.
Ther will be overcrowded class-
es and three men in many two-
man rooms; some will feel dis-
contented and some might even
complain en masse.
AND EVENTS in the outside
world will continue to press in
on those who let themselves be
Despite it all, quite sufficient
ways have been perfected to make
life pleasant here; no one really
has to put with any continuing or
bothersome tensions.
The student quickly enough
learns that this is a smoothly
functioning institution.
ple who set the tone of this place
and determine its style of opera-
tion are pretty shrewd. They know
how-in their speeches and poli-
cies and classrooms-to head off
any important disruptions, how to
explain away minor disturbances,
how to ,settle questions and chal-
lenges securely.
More personally, there is a host
of official arrangements - from
faculty office hours to psycholog-
ical and religious counseling serv-
ices-to ensure that not too many
students need feel too much anx-
iety for too long.
And students can also count on
less official aid - from friends,
teacherscandathe inevitability of
semesters ending and accounts be-
ing settled-to bring closer to
home a philosophy in which the
resolution of doubts and anguish
is both easy and primary.
ALL OF THIS is as it should be
for people who want to get along,
both in the University and in the
"real world" they will enter (too
soon) upon graduating, as well as
for the University and the social
Tension, anxiety, disorder in
personality or in social institu-
tions do not serve the need for
preserving existing arrangements
from an onslaught of liberated hu-
man energies. It is vital that
everyone be drawn into the Great
Society, that none are left out-
side to challenge and upset its
structure or values.
Basically, modern men and in-
stitutions are neither capable nor
desirous of coping with tension
and ambiguity, and in any case
we have become convinced by the
subtle encroachments of power
structures and vested interests
that what is good for business-
nearly-as-usual is ultimately good
for our souls.
UNIVERSITIES are simply func-
tional and structural microcosms
of the arrangements which obtain
outside their walls. They are serv-
ant-arms of the broader system,
and their assigned purpose is to
socialize young people to be com-
fortable with the existing arrange-
ment by re-creating that arrange-
ment at all levels of society.
(This is not necessarily a con-
demnation; in actuality, it is but
one part of how "institution" and
"socialization" are defined.)
And so, in the universities as
in the broader system, the domi-
nant ethic is that one should not
continually be in a state of doubt
and search, a state of striving in
which good effort itself is all that
is needed for fulfillment.
THIS KIND of tension is too
creative! It increases too much
one's sensitivity to the disjunc-

tion between reality and ideal, be-
tween reality and hope.
Instead, emphasis is on the com-
pleted task as an end in itself, on
the resolved problem, the settled
crisis, on closure and finiteness
and definiteness. This would not
be so damaging if only these vari-
ous stabilizations were viewed as
essentially unimportant to the
process of renewed and continu-
ous creative struggle, if only ac-
cepted morality stressed that they
were but irrelevant phenomena in
an unending concern with action
and process and striving as the
only realistic ends (precisely be-
cause they are not ends) of hu-
man endeavor.
But such is rarely the case.
AS THE GREEKS tell this story
-via Albert Camus' interpreta-
tion of their famous myth - a
hero, Sisyphus, is doomed to spend
the rest of eternity pushing an
extremely heavy boulder up an ex-
tremely steep hill. Almost imme-
diately Sisyphus realizes he can
never reach the top (perfection)
for, after every gain upwards, he
will be forced back down the hill
by the weight of the boulder.
He can give up altogether. Or
he can always want to succeed
and thus always be frustrated,
eternally preoccupied with how far
lia hsae rnf-fa r nf anf a n

this is the only way for men really
to live.
ever, one concentrates on the goal
as an end point. In short time
one either becomes frustrated
and then bitterly and confusedly
neurotic (because the goal can-
not be achieved and there is no
joy in trying) or, more likely,
one leains his lesson and gradually
lets die his capacity to conceive
of ends that are at all difficult
to attain.N
He spends the rest of his life
ignorantly satisfied with pushing
his rock an inch at a time, at
which rate he will never make the
Actually, both these alterna-
tives lead to neurosis, which is
simply the inability to function
in one's environment according to
one's peculiar desires and needs
for self-fulfillment. The person
who seeks nothing less than per-
fection continually fails, and he
is so hopelessly overwhelmed that
he mut eventually retreat from
all significant struggle.
THE PERSON whose goals are,
objectively and subjectively, not
especially worth pursuing (be-
cause they are not difficult) may
well be happy, but in a subtler
way he is still neurotic: he has
forfeited his essential nature by

the energy and self-knowledge and
love of struggle that has been
building up in him.
And of course few, if any, of the
tasks real men might do in to-
day's world are anywhere near as
SO THINGS GO much more
smoothly and safely when the
tone of what is handed down-
in media, in classrooms, in official
pronouncements, in one-to-one
contacts-does not liberate the un-
controllable energies of enjoying
living, trying, striving, rebelling
per se.
If social institutions were to al-
low the locus of satisfaction or dis-
satisfaction to fall upon, the act
of attaining some goal, they would
place the burden of fulfillment
upon genuine human endeavor in-
stead of the randomness with
which phenomena occur in the
world, with which good is some-
times rewarded, sometimes perse-
cuted, more often irrelevant.
One would be fulfilled or not
fulfilled only on the basis of the
unavoidable knowledge of his
style, energy and faithfulness to
himself, his awareness of how
much of him went into any at-
tainment. He would know himself
better and better, and there would
be supreme exhilaration in know-
ing that he is doing or trying to
do what he must do.

physically constraining by their
own struggle, for this "war' 'is
little more than a (tokenistic)
handout, from superordinate, in-
creasing dependencies and the
sense that one is not capable of
conceiving and implementing, on
his own, a better life for himself.
EVEN MORE revealing is the
way American , foreign policy is
conducted, as in Viet Nam and the
Dominbuan Republic or with re-
spect to China, Cuba and the rest
of the "non-aligned" left-leaning
underdeveloped world.
There is no attempt in our ef-
forts to struggle with the multi-
ple and complicated problems of
revolution, nationalism, peasants
vs. urbanites, democratic socialism
vs. c o n t i n u e d domination by
"friendly" foreign and native cap-
ital, the socio-economic requisites
of democratic functioning, the dif-
ferences in "Communisms."
These are issues which go far
deeper, evoke far -nore anxiety
and demand far more creativity
than the one on which we cur-
rently base our foreign policy -
whether or not a government
"supports" U.S. interests.
INSTEAD of engaging whole-
heartedly in this struggle to sort
out conditions and imperatives
and really to compete with the
Eastern nations (instead of offer-

The Love of Struggle for Its Ownii S
Liber ates Man f rom Hi1s Coniditioi

And there is triiester, the busi-
ness and finance office's answer to
the non-use of costly facilities
during summer and v a c a t i o n
months. Essentially the stuffing of
three full semesters into a con-
tinuous 12-month academic calen-
dar, it generates damaging pres-
sures to cram and cut corners and
give back only what will assuredly
get results (i.e., what the teacher
wants. It is fast turning an expe-
rience that can be beneficially in-
tense if given enough slack into a.
ridiculously over-intense rat-race.
There will be speeches by "top"
administrators and "noted scho-
lars" and endless course lectures
wants). It is fast turning an expe-
told subtly that society needs him
and wants him (so long as he for-
gets the silly notion that he has' a
legitimate right to demand of it
something it is not already willing
to give).
THERE WILL BE demands that
the administration liberalize this
rule and eliminate that control
and, alas, only compromises and
assurances that all is really well
and you never had it so good and
the world really does care (which
is too much true) and it'll all come
out in the wash (or the Great
Society) especially since we all
agree (isn't it wonderful?) on the
basic guidelines for our actions
and you should appreciate a great
nation in which there is so much
consensus about important things,
how dare you doubt these con-
And there will be endless other
compromises with the powers-
that-be: t h e state legislature
whose petty politics the University
feels it must play along with since
it must get state money; irate par-
ents wanting to know why the
University is either not guarding
their sons and daughters or is
turning them into Communists;
starving local business enterprises
(on many of whose boards of di-
rectors top University officials sit
or in whose' growing capital stock.
many administrators have strong
personal interests).
Compromises, because they are
the stuff of peace.
IF IN BALANCE the University,
like the social system it serves,
actively or by significant omis-
sions ends up intimidating indi-
viduals' natural desires and poten-
tially most fruitful methods of op-
eration, there are nevertheless
numerous positive-or at least
non-negative.--developments. an d
A residential college, where stu-
dents will be in far smaller group-
ings than is normal and where
learning will be both more stim-
ulating and organically tied to liv.,
ing and socializing pursuits, is in
slow but certain progress.
It is possible, given enough de-
sire, to find some very stimulating
professors and even some very
stimulating courses.
ON THE MORE sedate side, if
one is afraid to seek personal re-
lationships with his often unap-
proachable elders he can some-
times even find understanding
mentors, new fathers, confidants
or just good friends among the
faculty. The library is free, of
course, so there are always good
books to read (though they will
have to be read at hone, for in-
side their walls the libraries offer
little but noisy, smoky chatter).
There are a few good extra-curri-
cular activities and groups of ex-
pressive people to join, for their
own merits or to escape studying
or to find a "community" with
whose attempts to find satisfac-
tion in some kind of creative ef-
fort one can identify.
Once in a while there is a
movie good enough that one can
relax his anxieties about the pro-
cesses of his life and enjoy him-
self (if one has no such anxieties

there are many movies good
One can have good parties and
carry on (respectably always, so as
not to. create indignation) friend-
ships. And if one is so inclined he
can even get up on a stone bench
on the center of campus and make
speeches, or he can read or even
write flaming editorials in one of
the freest college newspapers in
the country.
AND OF COURSE there is still
a sphere-someplace, in some sit-
uations, at some times-untouch-
able except by the student. It re-
quires for its full exploitation only
that the student recognize it and
capitalize on it, only that he guard
it and understand it will all the
anguish that implies and then-
slowly, courageously, anxiously,
with many troubles and setbacks
but, hopefully, with always the
satisfaction that pure striving
brings-that he extend it.
When all is said and done, this
University is still the greatest of
the big state schools (which posi-
tivelv condemns the rest of our


THE CONDITIONS which liberate human potential and thus allow genuine human fulfillment-ex-
ploring directing and redirecting the anxieties and deep self-awareness which come from a love, for its
own sake, of the struggle to express oneself-are essentially dangerous to our social system. So these
conditions generate considerable tension, which can only be communicated and understood as men
somehow isolate themselves from the prohibitive controls of the world around them.

denying its existence, by denying
the fully developing being he
might be if what is basic to him
could any longer asserts its claim
upon his actions. The reliance
upon achievement inevitably re-
quires shrinking the scope of one's
expectations or pushing sideways
or obliquely instead of straight
(Needless to say, there is a
great range of behavior in this
category-all the way, from the
stereotypically anesthesized "orga-
nization" or "mass" man to the
administrator who has not learn-
ed the pleasures of striving in good
style or even, more fundamentally,
of his work.
. (In order to preserve his psychic
health, he can propose and do
only the possible-i.e., only what
has not already been labeled ri-
diculous, undesirable or irrelevant
-which means that his modes of
fulfillment are no longer his own.)
THE REASON, it seems, that
present institutional arrangements
(and the preachings of their
prophets and managers and edu-
cators, which those arrangements
almost wholly determine) try so
hard to socialize men in the pat-
tern of deriving their pleasure
from resolution is that this makes
populations considerably more
predictable and controllable.
It is far safer to specify the con-
tent of the ends, solutions and
goals which are functionally de-
sirable than it is to develop the
capacity for deriving fulfillment
from effort itself.
Moreover, whether goals are de-
fined explicitly or by stressing at-
tainments in general and more
subtly limiting their variance, to
define goals is to determine the
procedures men will take to reach
them (especially since means can
also be directly specified, which is
the function of law).
basic emnhasis of sneilization is

That exhilaration is perhaps
the most human and the most
basic feeling which men ever
feel, and because it is so basic
and so powerfully intimate it
taps far more of those desires,
hopes, capacities and visions
which lie too deep to be dirtied
by those social constraints
which essentially destroy human
Content and success would be
unimportant, and thus they could
not be limited and delimited; pro-
cedure would be all-important, and
thus one would seek those goals
the struggle toward which would
bring them the most self-realiza-
It would not be important if
there were reactionary forces to
keep one from what he really
needs, and what is commanded
and drilled in for the sake of
"progress" could no longer reach
the mind. Only the doing would be
important, and anyone who knows
this knows also that achievement
would then cease to *be a real
satisfaction since it would become
merely the beginning to new and
continuing efforts.
ALL OF WHICH is far too dan-
gerous socially to be entertained
seriously as a theme of education,
child-raising, religion or social
communication. By and large the
proclamations which one will hear
of this theme are hypocritical, and
in its actual practice and its state-
ments of "philosophical" justifi-
cation the social system contin-
ues to seek only resolution and
On the national scale the ad-
ministration is bent on bringing
the poor into the middle class -
which is all the war on poverty
is really about. This would reduce
the present tensions of having a
third of the population ill-fed, etc.
It would also reduce the equally
unbearable tensions which would

ing them no competition at all,
which is what our policies of alien-{
ation and suppression ultimately
do), we feel compelled to reduce
every problem to its most obfu-
scating red and white terms and
aim at nothing more than the goal
of containing/defeating Commu-
By almost any account such a
method is bound to be continually
frustrating and continually more
productive of paranoia and sim-
plism; if standing behind true
progress, no matter what color or
"ism" it represents, would produce
at least as much anxiety (for the
struggle will be exceedingly long
and complex), it would neverthe
less liberate far more of our crea-
tive, constructive and beneficent
America-in-microcosm which is
the Ann Arbor campus, one meets
the same stifling forces and em-
phases. Women will have hours,
for instance, so they do not have
to run their lives completely by
themselves and so (quite apart
from whether they are already
"responsible" or not) they will
have two year's "grace" before
they must or can learn what it
means and requires to be respon-
sible to themselves (which is ulti-
mately all that counts).
(The situation has improved
slightly, I must admit: due to
the courage of the University's lib-
eral vice-president for student af-
fairs, junior women have been
granted permission to be wholly
themselves as midnight comes
Exams will usually stress closure
-the resolution of questions with-
in the narrow confines of the
course outline or the professor's
particular prejudices - and their
very existence means that educa-
tion usually ends up fragmented
and discontinuous. It is positive-
lv comnleterI on earlv Mav after-


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