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November 15, 1978 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1978-11-15

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Page 4-Wednesday, November 15, 1978--The Michigan Daily
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Eighty-Nine Years of Editorial Freedom
Vol. LXXXIX, No. 60 News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
'Theudeportation of Loan

Why anti-nukes can't woo labor

_ MEMORIES of the Vietnam war
are still too vivid for the liking
of many Americans. The war caused
extreme hardship for many in this
country, and for some, the hardship
continues today. For this reason, some
Americans have voiced objection to
Nguyen Ngoc Loan's residence in the
U.S.
As many will recall, Mr. Loan, a
South Vietnamese government official
during the war, achieved world renown
when a photograph was published
showing him executing a Vietcong
suspect in the streets of Saigon; the
photograph was taken just as Mr. Loan
squeezed the trigger of his revolver.
He left Vietnam in 1968 after he was
wounded. He eventually found his way
to the U.S. He settled just outside
Washington, D.C. in Springfield,
Virginia and now operates a small
pizzeria.
Although Mr. .Loan has lived in
Springfield since the end of the war, it
was not until his new life in suburbia
was publicized did his neighbors
complain. Based on their objection to
his residence in this country, the
Immigration and Naturalization
Service decided that Mr. Loan
committed a war crime and should be
deported for "moral turpitude."
Mr. Loan, however, cannot and
should not be judged on the basis of one
incident in his military career. He
came to national prominence in 1965
when Nguyen Cao Ky was appointed
premier of South Vietnam. Lacking a
political base, connections, and
money, Mr. Ky enlisted the talents of
Mr. Loan to help restore order to
Saigon after the coup which ousted
President Diem.
Mr. Loan, a bright, young air force
officer at that' time, was appointed
director of' the Military Security
Service, the Central Intelligence
Organization - South Vietnam's CIA
and general of the National Police.
Never before had one person garnered
so much power in that country and he

reportedly came to be known as Mr.
Ky's "power broker."
According to several U.S. military
sources, Mr. Loan used his lofty
position to orchestrate an intricate
system of graft and corruption in South
Vietnam. Mr. Loan reportedly
oversaw the sale of government jobs
by generals, kickbacks and bribes in
the Ky administration, thefts of goods
and payroll frauds in the military, and
South Vietnam's booming opium
traffic.
Mr. Loan, through his alleged
underground dealings, maintained
order of some sort in Saigon. He and
Mr. Ky were heavily supported by the
U.S. government and the CIA because
of their proven ability to keep the
situation under control.
The Immigration and Naturalization
Service has held one hearing on the
case and is scheduled to hold another. It,
appears unlikely that Mr. Loan will
actually be deported back to Vietnam,
where he would undoubtedly face
criminal charges and possible
execution. Mr. Loan would probably
remain in the U.S., but without the
rights afforded to resident aliens, and
unable to become a citizen.
It is unjust that Mr. Loan, a war
criminal, should receive such a lenient
penance. But some argue, as they did
in the Lieutenant Calley-My Lai case,
that it is also unjust to persecute just
one unlucky person who was caught.
Moreover, they argue that Mr. Loan,
just as Mr. Calley, is being used as a
scapegoat. -
To allow either of these men,
however, to escape a just penalty for
their actions, would be condoning their
morally repugnant actions. Just
because one is caught, tried,
convicted, and sentenced does not
mean the guilt of others is erased.
In order for Mr. Loan to receive a
fair trial and fitting punishment, he
must be tried by a jury of his peers,
just as Mr. Calley was. For Mr. Loan,
that can only be done in Vietnam.

R.L. Marsh is a spokesper-
son for the U. S. Labor Party.
The anti-nuclear movement
has always resembled theater of
the absurd (witness the recent
Diag "die-in"). Each year they
concoct wild scenarios for
catastrophe-like they were
frustrated writers for Hollywood
disaster movies. One year it is
"waste disposal." One year it's
"nuclear terrorism." Another
year: "core meltdown." And so it
goes. The latest version of this
farce is "Nuclear
Power-Destroyer of Jobs." As
presented by Harvey Wasserman
and the Arbor Alliance recently,
this ploy is aimed at wooing the
labor movement into supporting
the anti-nuclear cause.
In the past, such attempts to at-
tract support have produced
mixed results. The scientific and
technical community-i.e. those
who know better-has refuted
their claims in detail (The han-
dful of scientists the anti-nukes
cite for evidence-typified by Dr.
Mancuso and Dr. Ster-
nglass-have produced such
shoddy work that they have been
repeatedly rebuked by their
professional peers). There has
been more success in influencing
the government, as evidenced by
the continual mindless delays in
licensing nuclear plants. The
public, in general, has been left
slightly confused by allathis.
We predict that the anti-nukes'
courting of organized labor will
prove spectacularly unsuc-
cessful.
At the heart of the issue is the
relationship between jobs and
energy. Let us look at this in
some detail. Most Americans
realize the close connection bet-
ween energy, economic growth,
and employment. This is no
mystery: mor is it a mere
"statistical" correlation. As a
first approximation, one can look
at any economy-be it a hunting
and gathering society, a modern
industrial one, a medieval
economy or any you like. There is
a certain production of goods and
services necessary to maintain
the population at some living
standard from year to year. The
production of these goods and
services, in turn, requires a cer-
tain amount of work (or, crudely,
"jobs"). Whether one speaks of
human physical labor, animal
power or machinery, there is a
given throughput of energy in-
volved in this work. It has been
one of the accomplishments of
human history to concentrate and
increase this throughput of
energy.
Although the Arbor Alliance
considers it anathema, the use of
machinery and technological im-
provements permits a reduction
in the labor time that goes into
the production of a given item.
This savings in labor time allows
fdor either increased production
of said item-thus making it
available to more people-or a
sort of "free energy" allowing
individuals to work on further
improvements, new problems,
etc. or a combination of the two.
There are several especially
dramatic examples of this in
history (the invention of

agriculture, steam-engine, etc.)
but virtually any useful invention
illustrates this.
The fact that the average
American does not live at the
economic and cultural level of his
or her Stone Age ancestors is due
to just this process. During the in-
tervening centuries there has
been' a succession of im-
provements in the productive
forces. It is this succession of ad-
vances and the subsequent
assimilation of these advances by
the population that define the
crucial concept of labor-power or
quality of labor. The replacement
of the idea of simple undifferen-
tiated "jobs" by the concept
labor-power is the key to under-
standing political economy. For
example, an illiterate peasant
would have difficulty finding any'
but the most menial work in a
modern American industry. A
paleolithic "scraper" would be
virtually useless in a primitive

By R.L. Marsh

". .current high unemploy-
ment along with a succession
of economic crises has been tak-
ing place while national ener-
gy use has been at an all-time
high and increasing."
(emphasis in original)
and cites the steel industry as an
esample.
"In the steel industry, for in-
stance, the number of'produc-
tion jobs decreased by 20%
between 1950 and 1970 while
steel output increased by 45%.
Similar examples can be found
(emphasis in original)
Any competent observer knows
the problems of unemployment,
sluggish sales, "foreign com-
petition" etc. that plague steel
are attributable to the antiquated
state of much of the industry-i.e.
a lack of technology. Certainly
the steelworkers themselves
recognize this. A recent issue of
the USWA monthly, Steel Labor

In the anti-nukes'
government should

upside down world,

discourage

capital

investment. This is based on a worm's-eye
view that ignores the totality of the
economy.

agrarian society. Why? In both
instances the individual
represents severely under-
developem labor-power relative
to the given society. Or consider
an American farmer vs. his
foreign counterpart.Both work.
Both are farmers. Yet the
productivity of the American is
far higher. This is no surprise. It
reflects, generally, a higher skill
level, more education-in short,
all those factors that permit the
American farmer to understand
and utilize advanced agricultural
technology.
Similar examples abound but
the point should be clear:
technological innovation allows
for those improvements in
material and cultural conditions
indispensable for developing
labor-power. This trend is
evident throughout history. It
proceeds neither uniformly or
smoothly. There are always en-
trenched interests, oligarchs,
ignorant mobs and assorted other
obstacles with which to contend.
Enter the Arbor Alliance and
Harvey Wasserman. In their
view, technology is a menace. It
reduces labor input, they argue,
and hence creates unem-
ployment. Now, on occasion, one
hears of a craft union opposing
some kind of automation in a
defensive rearguard fashion. But
it has been a long time since
anyone seriously proposed this as
social policy. If one reflects on
this for a few seconds, the ob-
vious correlate is the rejection of
all technology. This is, in fact,
what the anti-nuclear movement
is all about.
To find any support for this
preposterous idea requires some
agility. An Arbor Alliance paper
observes that:

Today, featured a call for in-
creased capital investment and
modernization along the model of
Japan.
Indeed, most Americans of
modest intelligence realize that
their job or industry does not fun-
ctionindependently of the rest of
the economy. If things operate
properly, technological im-
provements in industry help ex-
pand the industry's output or
promote new industries. It is the
business of government to make
sure things operate properly.
That is, governments must en-
courage investment in
technological innovation, must
promote education, and so forth.
In the anti-nukes' upside down
world, government should
discourage capital investment.
This is based on a worm's-eye
view that ignores the totality of
the economy. Such a view may be
appropriate to worms, environ-
mentalists, and other simple
forms of life, but it is refuted by
human historical existence.
The most concrete illustration
of their eccentric economics is in
the nuclear-solar debate. Never
mind the silly contentions that
nuclear power is unsafe,
uneconomical, unreliable,
etd.-they have been refuted so
many times it is pointless to
rehash them with those who will
not listen. Consider instead the
claim that nuclear power
"destroys jobs." This refers to
the fact that nuclear plants em-
ploy fewer people than alter-
native energy sources. Not only is
this undeniable, but it is one of
nuclear's main attractions. Aside
from lower operating costs (that
is, if we can check the environ-
mentalist obstruction that is in-
flating construction costs), and

far more important, it means
that more energy is provided thus
allowing for many new jobs and
industries and a far greater ex-
pansion in employment than
would be otherwise possible. This
is more evident if one compares
the solar alternative. Its
proponents claim that it requires
more labor. True enough. This is,
in fact, its most damning feature.
It requires more labor simply
because it is far less efficient
than nuclear (or fossil fuel)
energy. Clearly, job creation"in-
itself" is a meaningless in-
dicator. For one could conceive of
an even more inefficient energy
source (although one hesitates to
do so for fear the anti-nukes
would instantly embrace it) that
would provide even more jobs for
the same amount of energy. And
then a more inefficient source ...
ad infinitum.
In the process, one is diverting
workers, materials-labor-
power-from more advanced and
socially necessary occupations
into an ever-growing sink of
energy production. There are
certainly precedents for that kind
of waste: the leaf-raking and
make-work proposals of the New
Deal, the present Humphrey-
Hawkins legislation, and perhaps
most spectacularly, the Great
Pyramids of Egypt:All of these
represent waste from the stan-
dpoint of productive labor,
though even this last x ample
would pale next to the ptoposals
of Mr. Wasserman, Amory
Lovins, and a few others.
Anyone can dream up
proposals to put people to work.
The challenge is to determine
social and political policies that
promote human progress. Mr.
Wasserman's "historical"
writings (if I may use the term
loosely) have amply demon-
strated his contempt for such
progress.sHis glorification of
various mindless and misdirec-
ted revolts (Luddite machine
wreckers, enraged Populists
etc.) leave no question on that
score. He is like the pitiful
peasant who shoots his tractor
when it breaks down. "Too much
technology," he curses.
It will be interesting to see the
labor movement's response'to the
anti-nukes' overtures. In a world
where technology is on the skids
and energy consumption is
reduced, it is axiomatic that
there must be a decrease in living
standards. The anti-nuclear
crowd has tried to skirt this issue
in the past, but even Mr.
Wasserman admnitted in his
recent speech that blue-collar
wage reductions would be
inevitable (his suggestion for
future employment: picking up
returnable bottles). This should
prove quite popular to American
workers. Perhaps Mr. Wasser-
man's study of labor revolts will
come in handy when he presents
such proposals.
"The world is 'too big,' 'too
complex' " cry Mr. Wasserman
and the Arbor Alliance. Too com-
plex for them? Considering the
track record of their insights into
history, nuclear physics, and
economics we must wholehear-
tedly agree.1

k

V

r 4 ,.++
... ... .. ... .. ... ... .. ... .. ...........
Editorials which appear without a by-hin e represent a con--
sensus opinion of the Daily's editorial board. All oth-r editorials,.:
as u'el as cartoons, are the opinions of the individuals who sub- -
mit them.!
::::::Y: ::::
". ".. ".. ." AIL......................................................... ......... "... ".... .... ...ii

tedly agree.

Letters to

the

Daily

To the Daily:
When alcohol became legal for
persons 18 and over, back in 1972;
the incidence of marijuana use by
the 18-21 year-olds greatly
decreased in the following years.
However, now that the legal age
for alcohol is 21, this trend will
undoubtedly reverse itself. For
all of you that voted "yes" on
Proposal D; you may have gotten
alcohol out of the high schools
(and colleges), but you're putting
marijuana back into the school. I
am afraid that prohibition will
not correct these "evils of
society." Nice try.
-Ron Borkan
* * *
To the Daily:
In reference to the article
"Starving in a World of Plenty"
(Nov. 10) the author seemed to
take the view that starvation in
underdeveloped countries is the
fault of the affluent nations of the
world because we consume more
than cmr s hare o~f fnnd anid

be to blame?
-Greg Ippolito
* * *
To the Daily:
Well-The Daily has done it
again. Aspiring toward its
"illustrious" goal of New York
Times elitism and
intellectualism, the Daily has
produced a truly misguided and
offensive article: R. J. Smith's
criticism of the Chuch Mangione
concert. Never mind that
Mangione's music was positively
stimulating and invigorating for
the audience. Never mind that
the musicianship was impeccable
and highly imaginative. Never
mind that the group gave an
intense two hours and fifty
mintues of tightly fused melodic
and improvisational music.
Never mind that Mengione
provided a necessary
accessibility for a creative and
intelligent form of music. For R.
J. Smith disregards the above

no Leonard Feather and the
drama critics are no Richard
Eder, and in any case I wonder
whether either of these two
critics are admirable when the
promulgate that only the purists
forms of art are good.
Smith demonstrates his limited
vision by comparing the "really
fine jazz" of Theolonious Monk
and Woody Shaw to the "other
than good jazz of ' Churck
Mangione. Monk is the epitome of
hard bop, while Woody Shaw is a
prime example of progressive
mainstream jazz. Whether
Monk's and Shaw's "erudite"
forms of jazz are better than
Mangione's is open to debate. But
in any case the three music forms
are definitely not comparable,
this is Smith's first problem.
Smith is equally pretentious
when he states, "it's really.
dangerous to think of college
audiences as being 'hip' or
knowledgeable; . . . quite often

pure jazz artist. To criticize him
for not being one is unfair.
Mangione is an artist who
stresses both melodic and
improvisational ideas in a context
which integrates instrumental
jazz, soul, and pop.
Smith's flippancy and sarcasm
are indicative of his attitude
toward the concert. Pointing out
.that Mangione has a "dopey
grin" on an album cover, or that
the motif for Mangione's new
music is inspired by "Cisco the
Kid," or claiming the theme of (
song is the desire to grow "chili
beans" is unnecessary and does
not add anything to the review.
Surprisingly, an analysis of the
individual musicians
performances was nowhere to be
found in Smith's article. I'd like
to believe this is due rather to
indifference than ignorance. In
any case the playing tvas
sensational.
In short, the wildly enthusiastic

r irMt]Cbtgan

:43 a, t*,

EDITORIAL STAFF
Editors-in-chief

Arts Editors
OWENGLEIBERMAN

MIKE TAYLOR

DAVID GOODMAN

GREGG KRUPA

Managing Editors

flTTSTN1F9& STAFFi

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