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November 20, 1960 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1960-11-20
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Ivisit
3 LMIEIR,3
now.14
for ,CHRISTMAS
s uggestions 14
in 1
E for every... member 1
OF YOUR FAMILY 1
g ive
BOOKS
q1
this Christmas
SLATER'S
YOUR COLLEGE BOOKSTORE 1

The Fall of Communism
In the United States

Clockless Living Is the

Way

To

{.

By David Tompkins
David A. Shannon: The De- a
eline of American Commun-
ism: A History of the Com-
munist Party of the United
States Since 1945. New York:
Harcourt, Brace -& Co., 1959.1
A volume in the series "Com- 1
munism in American Life,"
Clinton Rossiter, general edi-
tor. $7.50. 1
tv E OF THE most unfortunate1
events of the 1950's was the
growth of the Red Scare. With the
rise of the bookburner's and the
McCarthyites, America engaged in
a type of_ mass hysteria. Only by3
stamping out all forms of sub-
version or so-called un-American
activity could the America firsters
insure the survival of the Republic.
A part of the save America pro-;
gram was to destroy the Com-
munist Party. There is little doubt
that the Party was a force to be
David Tompkins is a grad-
uate student in the history de-
partment.

considered in American politics. InI
the closing days of the war; the
membership was between 75,00 and
85,000 people. Ample funds sup-:
ported party candidates and pro-
padanda programs. The party also
exercised wide influence in non-
Marxist circles. For instance, be-
tween 1/5 to 1/4 of the member-
ship of the CIO belonged to the
affiliated Communist dominated
Unions.
Yet as in any period of extremes,
the real power of the party was
overestimated. Actually there was
a lot of smoke and little fire, few'
people, especially the best com-
munist haters, attempted to deter-
mine the actual strength of the
Party. If they had measured the
effectiveness of the Party, they
would have come up with the
same conclusions that Professor
David A. Shannon, of the Univer-
sity of Wisconsin, carefully de-
velops in his book, The Decline of
American Communism.
THIS IS THE third volume of
the "Communism in American
Life" series made possible by the
support of the Fund for the Re-
public of the Ford Foundation.
Like the previous studies of the

1

MAGAZINE

Volume VII, No. 3

Sunday, November 20, 1960

Contents
THE DECLINE OF AMERICAN COMMUNISM
By David Tompson ......................... ..Page Two

-THE TWENTY-FOUR HOUR SYSTEM
By Jean Spencer and Pat Golden..............

Page Three

PEOPLE WATCHING
By Caroline Dow and David Giltrow............
RECORD REVIEWS
By Thomas Kabaker........................
MAGAZINE EDITOR: THOMAS KABAKER
All photos by David Giltrow

Page Four
Page Eight

THOMPSON'S RESTAURANT

series, this book is a must for
anyone who wishes to understand
contemporary Ameria.
In his book, Shannon sheds con-
siderable light where formerly
guessing and conjectures based
on flimsy evidence were the
methods employed to evaluate'the
power the American Communist
Party. His exhaustive research
and discriminating treatment of
his subject reveals that much of
the excitement of the McCarthy
period and the years following the
war was totally unnecessary be-
cause 'the Party as such never was
a threat to anybody.
The whole story of the Party
was one of steady and uninter-
rupted decline. By 1958 it was an
exhausted movement. Member-
ship had dwindled to the paltry
3,000 diehards. Instead of the pros-
perous condition of 1945, due to the
loss in membership and heavy
financial burdens, the party was
forced to suspend most of its
publications, and all of the party
schools were closed.
SHANNON CLAIMS that the
"Communist Party today is al-
most dead as a political force. The
American Communists' threat, or
potential threat, to national secur-
ity is another matter-a police and
military matter-but as a political
movement the Communists are
impotent." Thus the conspiracy
activities of the Party or Soviet
agents are not treated in this book.'
THE DEMISE OF the party is
ironical. People like Truman
and Reuther destroyed the effec-
tiveness of the Party. 'Accused of
being soft on Communism, the
liberal elements actually attracted
the only groups which could have
given strength to the Party. Shan-
non clearly shows that the Ameri-
can Negro, the worker and liberal
refused to join the Communist
movement. Instead, he was wel-
comned into the Democratic Party,
and therefore no need for a
Communist Party to represent
these elements politically existed.
The other side of the coin was
the actual activity within the
Party. Shannon maintains that
because the Party completely ac
cepted the Moscow line, as in
foreign affairs, where they opposed
United States goals, in economics
where they predicted a depression,
and in racial policy where they
recommended a separate Negro
state, the Communists were vir-
tually isolated from objective real-
ity. There simply was no depres-
sion and the Negro did not want
to be segregated into a new na-
tion.
But in 1956 Moscow signed the
death certificate of the Party.
Shannon credits Khrushchev's
anti-Stalin speech of 1956 and the
Soviet intervention in Hungary
with splitting the movement wide
open. Dedicated Communists who
agreed with the idea that Stalin
had been too tyrannical were hor-
rified by what they saw in Buda-
rpest.
THE SPEECH caused members
to take up sides and fight for
control of the party. The "sots'
wanted more flexibility and free-
dom of discussion to give new life
and vitality to the party. While
the "hards" wanted to continue
to -follow the dine from Moscow
without question or debate. Even-
tually the hards won out and the
mass exodus of the "liberals"
meant the loss of the young mem.
bers of the Party and left the
Party with no political force.
Shannon doesa particularly
good job of exploring the prob-
lems of the psychology of the
Party. There was simply no need
for the movement in America,
Continued1 on rage Bigft
PAPER-BOUND
BOOKS
50 Publishers Represented
PROMPT SERVICE
On Special Orders

OVERBECK"S
BOOKSTORE

continue to attend them. Many
students, however, will find that
they prefer smaller social groups
where discussion is intellectual,
some- form of musical relaxation,
or physical recreation.
Such activities will take place
at any time in the 24 hours; when-
ever the participants need or want
them most.
THE GREATER CAPACITY for
self-definition and resulting
SAM'S STORE

coherence in formulated goals will
be carried on into later life by
graduates of the University.
The University's public image,
constantly being reshaped by im-
plementation of its commitment
to progressive education tempered
with experience, would be of first
concern to administrators and
alumni considering the plan. The
plan would contribute significantly
to the image. The University would
gain status as a national educa-
tional institution. Its commitment
to progress would' be carried out
beyond the wildest hope-Michi-
gan would out-revolutionize Chi-
cago in the late, great days.
Its product-the educated men
and women of this generation-

would show exemplary responsi-
bility, productivity and efficiency.-
They would know themselves in a
somewhat closer approximation of
the Socratic ideal than is now
reached, and hence be better able
to contribute creatively to the
affairs of the community.
And after a reasonable adjust-
ment period, the plan would surely
measure up in terms of justifiable
expedience.
The University could clearly
handle more students if classes
and living hours were redistributed
over mornings, afternoons and
evenings so that all students were
not active during any one time
bloc. No added facilities would be
implied by this expansion-only
increased use of the presently
existing ones.
1VERALL DORM management
costs would probably be re-
duced proportionately, since stu-
dents would probably tend to eat
less generally and skip more meals,
knowing that no more than four
hours would elapse 'before they
could expect another chance. Li-
brary fines would tend to be cut
down, since students could use the
library when faced with the neces-
sity for an all-nighter rather than
checking out overnight books in
the desperate hope that they will
be functioning at 9 a.m. to return
them.
If all-night study binges could
take place in the library, dorms
could be quieter and more viable
as centers for socital interaction
between students. With increased
responsibility incumbent on them,
students would be more considerate
of each other's individual needs
Thus the plan might well be
feasible to the powers that be ir
the Universiy. Alumni might be
harder to convince, butgthe dif-
ficulties solved by the plan are
peneral enough to be widely re-
membered, and the economic out-
look seems rosy from several

The exam period is the one time
of year when the vast majority of
students are academically im-
mersed. At this time, more than
any other, students would take a
mature attitude toward the 24
hour system.
A logical proposal, therefore,
would be for the University to
initiate a week-long study per-
iod followed by the examination
period, during which the follow-
ing special provisions would be
made. 1) No students would be re-
quired to remain in their living
unit during certain hours of the
day or night. 2) Meals would be
served at four-hour intervals
around the clock, or else provi-
sions for snacks during the night
would be made. 3) Libraries, lab-

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T HIS PLAN ISN'T the sort of
idea the University would put
into effect for the spring term.
It isn't, on the surface, the sort
of idea the University would do
more than chuckle at.
Yet beneath its wild impracti-
cality there are certain valuable
elements in it which might benefit
the University in the near future.
Some experimentation might be
done, for instance, during final
examination period.

offers you a taste treat
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THE COLDSNAPPER
another Zero King original
A wash 'n wear duffle coat with
detachable hood. No frills, no fur
bellows, just clean classic styling
combined with amazing warmth, derived
from its full orlon acrylic pile lining
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TAKE-OUT SERVICE AVAILABLE

OPEN 24 HOURS

CLOSED TUESDAYS

THOMPSON'S
RESTAURANT
221 N. Main St. - Opposite the Post Office
Phone NO 8-9550 or NO 3-3857

Styled for streamlined fashion and fit, this roll up sleeve
blouse by MACSHORE with campus collar and triple-tier
flaps. Just the thing to perk up last fall's wardrobe or top
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Shown in beige and olive

SAM'S STORE
112 E. Washington
Sam J. Benjamin,
27 LS&A. Owner

I111 S. UNIVERSITY

NO 3-5606

STATE STREET AT LIBERTY

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