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August 08, 1969 - Image 2

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1969-08-08

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1e 3ir4ian aihj
Seventy-eight years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan

Administration by fantasy
martin hirschmn


420 Maynard St, Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-05521

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




Communicating for
radical organization

THE RADICAL Student Union whose
name Radical Caucus optimistically
ushered into existence Tuesday c o u l d
make useful inroads into campus politics
if it ever worked.
But there is a nagging doubt that the
union will ever get off the ground. The
question is not so much whether the cam-
pus-at-large is ready for a radical union,
but whether the radicals forming it are.
Over the past year, radical organiza-
tions shook with internal squabbles and
disemboweled themselves of the guts
needed to take hard effective action. Stu-
dents for a Democratic Society split so
violently over basic political issues last
fall that it remained paralyzed the rest
of the year and accomplished nothing-
except setting back radical politics one
year. And the three groups which re-
formed from the ruins were too weak and
crippled to act effectively on their own.
So now, with this'sad history of tribal
feuds fracturing radicalism on campus,
hope glimmers that suddenly SDS, Radi-
cal Caucus, the Tenants Union, Resist-
ance,sand bits and pieces of independents
will merge into harmonious embrace, sift
to testify
good care of their star witness in the
case against Rafael Viera, who has been
charged with the shotgun slaying of a
police officer in the notorious New Bethel
Church shootout of last March.
Witness David Brow ft was originally
charged with 'assaultwith intent to com-
mit murder for allegedly shooting at
police reinforcements who reacted to the
officer's slaying by shooting their way
into the church where more than 100
members of the black separatist Republic
of New Africa were meeting.
-But after police discovered Brown
claimed to have witnessed the shooting
by Viera, they decided to treat the 19-
year-old Brown as a juvenile rather than
as an adult, an option allowed the police
under state law.
And now that Viera has been bound
over for trial--even though the slain pa-
trolman's partner could not identify him
as the killer-Brown has been released to
three years probation in his home state of
This is hardly the usual treatment for
those charged with assault with intent to
commit murder-even in Detroit.

and cull their bitterly divided politics and
emerge with a common denominator of
action and thought.
It sounds good, but will not likely work.
WHAT'S WRONG w i th attempting to
make the union work and then fail-
ing? Nothing, except in t h e meantime
radicals could expend valuable energy
and invaluable time by forming a more
feasible organization which will work: a
coordinating - communications umbrella
organization with no power of its own.
Under such an umbrella, representa-
tives of radical groups on campus would
meet regularly to discuss common con-
cerns, and hash out grounds for coordin-
ated action. When important issues flare
suddenly, the coordinating group could
unify radical action faster and more ef-
fectively than if groups were left to their
own devices.
The coordinating group would accom-
plish everything a radical student union
might accomplish - only without adding
just one more cumbersome organization
fraught with the sum of all the pitfalls
and disagreement which racks every in-
dividual organization on campus.
STUDENTS at the University, further-
more, don't need another glorified
Radical Caucus or Tenants Union - un-
less it seeks to represent and involve all
students no matter what their political
beliefs. And this means trying to estab-
lish a representative student organiza-
tion which will replace Student Govern-
ment Council as the official student voice
in University affairs. Now, SGC with its
handful of councilmen represents the
students as pathetically as the adminis-
tration committees it attacks.
A representative organization, natural-
ly, would not be as politically sophisticat-
ed or radical as some would like. But at
t h i s point, simply organizing students,
fighting to maximize each student's voice
in campus affairs and constantly creating
issues which involve all students will do
far more to radicalize students than ig-
noring them.
Radicals can join together and surpass
the accomplishments of their individual
organizations if, after laying the ground
for cooperation among themselves with a
coordinating group, they begin forming a
union to coordinate all students - rad-
ical and conservative alike.
FORMING a radical student union now
would simply perpetuate t h e useless
exercise of radicals organizing radicals.
This campus needs its radicals now to
form a union which will help organize

THE CONTORTED series of events sur-
rounding last month's regental veto
of plans for a University-sponsored dis-
count bookstore casts a heavy shadow
of doubt on claims by the Regents and
the executive officers that they acted in
good faith.
While the administration-as well as
virtually all of the Regents-argued that
the proposal of Student Government
Council would damage the fiscal posi-
tion of the University, it is now becoming
clear that there was little substance to
this claim.
The basic objection expressed by the
executive officers (the vice presidents and
President Robben Fleming) involved SGC's
proposal for a one-time $1.75 tuition as-
sessment to provide part of the book-
store's initial capital. The assessment had
been overwhelmingly approved in a March
campus-wide referendum.
At the July Regents meeting, Fleming
argued that { regardless of the results of
any referendum, the Legislature would
look upon a special fee assessment as an
increase in tuition revenue. Seeing this,
he said, the Legislature would cut next
year's state appropriation to the Univer-
sity by a corresponding amount.
Partly in response to this argument,
partly because of their general antip-
athy toward the concept of a University
bookstore, the Regents unanimously
voted down the SGC proposal.
SINCE THE Regents' meeting, Fleming
has switched his line on the effect of the
$1.75 fee assessment. Now, he argues, the
effect of the assessment on state appro-
priations is incalculable. In effect, he is
saying, the ways of the Legislature are
strange and difficult to analyze.
Perhaps. But if the administration had
bothered to ask the Legislature about
possible response to the assessment, they
might have discovered otherwise.
Yesterday, I called up Rep. William
Copeland (D-Wyandotte) and asked him
about the possible effect of the proposed
assessment on legislative appropriations
for the University. As chairman of the
powerful House appropriations committee,
Copeland seemed to be among the most
obvious people to ask. His voice alone
carries considerable weight every year in
the determination of the University's ap-
But the representative was surprised
when I explained the situation to him.
He had never discussed the possibility of
a bookstore assessment with anyone from
the University.

President Fleming

Furthermore, Copeland said flatly that
the assessment as proposed by SGC
would have been considered separate from
the normal tuition revenues of the Uni-
versity and would not have had an affect
on next year's appropriation.
POSSIBLY, .theadministration does
not trust Copeland's word as the final
say on legislative appropriations. Cer-
tainly, when the Legislature is considered
as a whole, he is one of the more fiscally
liberal members. When the University
comes around annually, with its hand out,
Copeland is usually among those ready
to offer the most money.
But if the administration does take the
words of the appropriations committee
chairman lightly, then clearly they do so
with some selectivity. During the debate,
over University School last May, one of
the most important documents used by
the executive officers was a letter from
Copeland recommending that the school
be closed. This was the position taken by
the administration and finally supported
by the Regents.
IN CONNECTION with the administra-
tion's argument concerning the possible
reaction of the Legislature to a fee assess-
ment, the role played by Arthur Ross is
also of considerable interest.

As vice president for state relations and
planning, Ross should have been an im-
portant figure in deliberations by the ex-
ecutive officers concerning the fee assess-
Nonetheless, Ross now says he had little
to do with the decision. And if Fleming
consulted him at all, it is unlikely that the
vice president said much to alter the ad-
ministration position-Ross' view of the
effect of a special assessment was similar
to the president's, and similarly unfounded.
INTERESTINGLY, the question of the
fee assessment is not one limited solely to
the bookstore issue. At this very moment
in the history of the University, the execu-
tive officers are considering another-
much larger--special',increase in tuition to
support construction of two new intra-
mural facilities.
Spread over several years, a $10 to $15
assessment for the new buildings would
raise from $6 million to $11 million. The
one-time $1.75 bookstore assessment would
have raised only about $70,000.
Nonetheless, there has, at least until
now, been little consideration- by the ex-
ecutive officers that the IM assessment,
despite its size, would have any effect on
legislative appropriations.
In fact, while -the administration was
busy scuttling the bookstore assessment,
at least two of the executive officers-Ross
and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Allan F. Smith-gave their tentative ap-
proval to use of tuition for IMs.
Ross now admits that the assessments
for the bookstore and intramurals are
"logically parallel" and Fleming agrees
that there is a real problem with the cur-
rent IM funding plan. But because the
executive officers feel IMs are important
(and, apparently, that the bookstore is
not) they seem ready to go ahead with the
assessment for the new buildings and risk
legislative reaction-this time.
SINCE THE INTEREST of the students
is paramount in both the bookstore and the
intramural facilities, it is striking to note
how the stance of the executive officers
has differed from the wishes of the stu-
dents on these two questions.
Students have demonstrated overwhelm-
ing support for the bookstore-and for the
$1.75 assessment-in a democratically run
referendum. Despite this mandate, the exe-
cutive officers-except for Acting Vice
President for Student Affairs Barbara

Newell who has supported SGC-turned
thumbs down on the proposal.
Meanwhile, the question of intramurals
has brought only opposition from student
groups. (SGC, Panhellenic Association, In-
terfraternity Council, the Tenants Union,
Inter-House Assembly and a slew of house
governments have opposed the IM tuition
assessment.) But the executive officers
have resisted suggestions that they await
the outcome of a referendum in the fall.
Instead, support for the IM tuition fund-
ing plan has been cited in the so-called
Kirscht study-a poorly constructed sur-
vey taken by a physical education class.
In fact, the survey was designed only to


Vice President Ross

discover what facilities were desired;' there
was no mention of tuition in the Kirscht
CLEARLY, despite the much touted gains
made recently by students in University
decision-making, the executive officers
have reserved the power-and the inclina-
tion-to act arbitrarily and ignore views
expressed by the students.
And if supremacy in decision-making re-
quires distortion and manipulation of in-
formation, the executive officers have
demonstrated that they are prepared to
fantasize on a moment's notice.

Laughing at the cultural revolution

IT HAS gotten pretty easy to dis-
parage the idea of cultural
revolution lately.
Liberals laugh off "the revolu-
tion" as some flamboyant man-
nerism of speech common to a
somewhat misguided and probably.
they suspect, less educated class of
people. Conservatives, t h o u g h
frightened by those who threaten
the serenity of their stodginess,
can dismiss the whole thing, in
less impassioned moments as the
ravings of a tiny group of maniacs.
And a lot of young people seem to
think the cultural revolution is
synonymous with a change of
style in clothing-magnificently
important today as any fad is but
as changeable as next month's
The arguments of theliberal com-
munity against the cultural rev-
olution have become commonplace
enough to warrant extensive feat-

ure coverage in the "New York
Times Magazine" of two weeks
ago. The article, by St. Louis Uni-
versity history Prof. James Hitch-
cock, gives a revealing picture of
the underlying feelings of those
who oppose the cultural revolu-
In f r a m i n g his arguments
against the cultural revolution,
Hitchcock employs an historical
model. He argues that change in
the past has taken place only
through political revolution-that
cultural revolution can only fol-
low, never precede, political rev-
From there he argues the pres-
ent advocates of cultural revolu-
tion are in reality counter-revolu-
tionary. He says they can never
accomplish political revolution be-
cause they are too soft and hedon-
istic. "Historically, of course, rev-
olutions can be shown to have
occurred only as the result of dis-

cipline, extremely hard work.
great patience and privation, and
finally luck," says Hitchcock.
Hitchcock then embarks on a
long, and by now relatively well
worn explanation of the way in
which the present younger genera-
tion is really not much different
from older generations and how
'the cultural revolution simply
plays into the hands of the Madi-
son Avenue consumption market.
THE WHOLE argument sounds
like an axiom frequently used by
another generation. Something
about "I went through the war
and the depression. I worked my
way up. I struggled and fought.
But you-what do you know.,
Nothing." While there are certain
unchallengeable truths in the
argument it doesn't prove much.
There can be no doubt that the
political revolutions of the past
have required hardwork, diligence

James Farmer and the Washington hatchet men

and, yes, even privation, on the
part of the organizers. Revolutions,
even the more seemingly chaotic
ones, like the first French revolu-
tion had strong powers operating
to steer and direct their move-
ments. Yet with all of that granted
thereremains a very salient "so
Did those revolutions accomplish
genuine cultural change? Did they
alter the fabric of people's lives?
Did they change in any significant
and lasting manner the relation-
ship between the work a man does
and his ability to live from day
to day?
The answer to all of these ques-
tions, more or less qualified in
each instance, is no. And the rea-
son is that while political change-
over ocurred it was accompanied
by little or no cultural innovation.
Even in the Russian revolution,
where some of the revolutionaries
at least understood the nature of
the problem, little was done along
these lines. While massive changes'
were imposed on the lives of
enormous numbers of Russians,
the reforms were carried out large-
ly at gun point rather than by
education. Eventually most of the
changes succumbed to drives for
economic growth. The result has
been a society nearly as tied to
production, consumption and daily
toil as this one.
social systems remain remarkably
the same in the face of gigantic
political upheaval is two fold.
First, people, the mass of people,
continued to be bound into the
same old social miasma by the
decrepit values handed down to
them by past generations. The
most outmoded axioms are, seem-
ingly, the most difficult to change.
Second, where there has been an
attempt to restructure the societal
values it has followed the patterns
made necessary by a successful
revolution. And these are the very
values Hitchcock rightly claims
have been necessary to political
overthrow-dedication, submission
to authority and denial of in-
dividual freedom in response to
the needs of the revolution.
But it is this damning aspect
of revolution-that which has kept
it from being meaningful in the
past-which is overcome by the
proponents of the cultural revo-
IN PLACE of the stale formu-
lary of political revolution, the

found in the nature of learning
itself. By living the values they
,espouse, rather than simply
mouthing them in the way the
existing social norms coerce us to,
the cultural revolution offers the
most effective means of molding
new social directions. Through the
promotion of cultural divergence
the hold of the present system on
the minds of the people it controls
may eventually be broken.
Contrary to Hitchcock's charge
it is not long hair and sex and
marijuana that c o m p r is e the
meaning of the cultural revolu-
tion. Instead it is through com-
munal life, and the respect for
humanity it involves, that the
revolution finds its real expression.
In a life separated from the main-
stream of the economic system,
these people' practice the belief in
humanity which forms the basis
of their philosophy.
In this communal environment
the meaning of that humanism
achieves its purpose. Those who
make up the cultural revolution
are not the flat lifeless characters
that fill the pages of the dozens
-of utopian novels which have been
written. They are real people who
have real differences and real per-
But, as far as the limitations
the society has imposed on them
will allow they seem able to cast
off many of the grosser evils to
which men in our society have
fallen heir. Humanity truly is the
that there are dangers along the
way. Hitchcock points out the
very real possibility of this con-
sumption oriented economy rob-
bing anything of its meaning. He
explains, and quite correctly so,
the capacity of Madison Avenue
to make anything fashionable,
desirable and therefore highly ac-
ceptable. He points as well to the
very real danger of an admittedly
hedonistic movement falling prey
to that capacity of the consump-
tion economy.sWilling to pander
to any hedonism, the American
advertising community has al-
ready demonstrated a desire to
use the cultural revolution as a
way of increasing their revenues.
Yet, if the proponents of the
cultural revolution can resists the
attempts of the consumption-
production economy to turn them
into just another fad, they may



hind t h e scenes in Washington.
Attorney General Mitchell's hatchet
men are at work - in collaboration
with Mr. Hoover's FBI; as might have
been anticipated, an early target is
James Farmer and, beyond Farmer,
the man suspected of offering sanc-
tuary to a lonely liberal bloc in the
Nixon Administration - Health, Ed-
ucation and Welfare Secretary Robert
Amid mounting signs that Mitchell
is emerging as the strong-arm man of
the Nixon era, an' obviously "leaked"
story to columnist Paul Scott, who has
often served as a Justice Dept. mouth-
piece, spells out the Mitchell-Hoover
It reports t h a t the "lax' security
practices" used by Finch have "caused
growing concern within the Nixon Ad-
ministration" and that Justice Dept.
officials have "alerted the White
House that security investigations on
more than a half ,dozen officials have
been waived by Finch, one of the most
liberal members of the Nixon cabinet."
The case of James Farmer, former
head of the Congress of Racial Equal-
ity, is described as "most illustrative"

There ensues in Scott's dispatch a
lengthy recital of Farmer's allegedly
dubious record as contained "in the
FBI file." (Although such files are of-
ficially secret, t h e y are recurrently
made available to reverential journal-
The "evidence" is another damning
exhibit of the quality of FBI dossiers.
Farmer, for example, is described as
one of the "parents" of the "Commun-
ist-controlled" Students for a Demo-
cratic Society. Actually his connection
was with the Student League for In-
dustrial Democracy, long a Socialist
group, Norman Thomas-oriented, that
was later transformed into SDS and
captured by extremist (but non-mon-
olithic) youths.
FARMER'S ROLE as director of
CORE is also cited as proof of his
questionable history. Anyone remotely
familiar with his real background
knows that he was a steadfast advo-

cate of nonviolence and became a
whipping-boy for reckless "militants"
who moved into CORE and hastened
his departure.
It is demeaning to Farmer to offer
such testimonial in his behalf; he was
always a spirited, eloquent figure who
never, for example, accepted the doc-
trine of Hoover's infallibility. But the
FBI's tenacious refusal to differen-
tiate him from the fanatics and Mao-
ists who invaded the civil rights move-
ment is another sad commentary on
Hoover's obsolescence.
Hoover's recital before the House
group, as reported by Scott, was a dis-
tortion of the true chronology. It is
true that Farmer was appointed (at a
time when the Nixon Administration
was desperately seeking a respected
Negro face) before the FBI inquiry
took place. But when his appointment
was announced it was explained that
he would not take office for several
weeks because of other commitments.
During that interval he was subjected
to what he described last week over a
telephone as "a very full FBI investi-
On the basis of the FBI report (tech-
nically, the agency presents "facts,"



He acted - to the murmured dis-
satisfactinn nf s n nd cnhnrts in the

In view of the initial and deepening
estrangement between t h e Adminis-



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