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September 11, 1970 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-09-11

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lir kidigan iDaily
Eighty years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Is America worth saving?

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

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.



Sois VS s.4'bureaucracy

THE SIZE OF MODERN "multiversities"
has a way of smothering alternatives
to the kind of educational systems they
exemplify. Often potentially creative in-
novations are crushed beneath the iner-
tia of an impersonal university bureau-
cracy. While at other times, direct ac-
tions by universities have threatened the
ability of an existing alternative to sur-
vive. Such is the case here in Ann Arbor'
with Solstis school.
Last June, when Solstis w a s still an
idea in the minds of its founders, Solstis
found itself in the unhappy position of
shopping in the Ann Arbor housing mar-
ket for. a place to put their school. Ann
Arbor landlords,' concerned first with
"economics" and property, aren't likely to
give low rates to students, much less to
ones operating an experimental school.
The logical alternative to leasing a pri-
vate building was to turn to the Univer-
sity, which owns many old homes in the
campus area. However, in turning to the
University, the organizers of Solstis for-
got that the "Big U', also often holds fi-
nancial considerations more important
than the needs of its surrounding com-
But, at the beginning of the summer,
War auilets
THINKERS WHO view religion empiri-
cally argue that the only important
criterion in evaluating religious beliefs is
results. In other words, don't knock it.
The argument, expressed eloquently by
William James in the 19th century, has
been reiterated most recently by a young
Cambodian company commander, who
willprobably never be recognized for his
contribution to religious philosophy.
The New York Times reported Wednes-
day that the basic equipment of Cambod-
ian soldiers includes a number of bags,
beads and other assorted relics, blessed
by monks and virtually guaranteed to
shield the wearer from harm.
Called yaon, the devices have been used
for 900 years.
The soldier -believes that the charm
make's him stronger and protects him
from bullets And business is thriving -
the Times said that monks, "after decades
of peace in Cambodia, find themselves
swamped with demands for the amulets."
"The monks are not strict about the
interpretation a soldier chooses to place
on' his amulet," the article continued.
"Nor do the monks put limits on t h e
amount of protection a soldier may car-
IN A BATTLE two weeks ago, the com-
pany commander named above coax-
ed his men into the field with a bag in
his mouth and, bags in their mouths, the
men followed him.
Later, the Cambodian empiricist fur-
ther proved the effectivensss of his re-
ligious relics "by tying an amulet around
the neck of a duck and then firing his
automatic rifle into the flock."
"When the commotion and feathers
settled," the article concluded, "the duck,
was still alive."
And the fact that the redeemed duck
"very nearly managed to flee with his
amulet" did not -deter the soldier from
his beliefs in the slightest.
In other words, if it works, don't knock

Solstis apparently thought itself lucky.
The University was willing to rent them
an old house for, only $100 per month.
But as usual, t h e University's philan-
thropy represented the part of the ice-
berg which appears above the surface,
while the not-so-generous considerations
remain unseen below.
THE UNIVERSITY wasn't using' the
house at the time as it was considered
to be "substandard." In fact, the build-
ing was slated for demolition, eventually,
to extend an adjacent parking lot. How-
ever, in the meantime, the University was
perfectly willing to rent the house to oth-
ers without repairing it.
Still, Solstis overcame this obstacle, se-
curing donations and doing repairs, such
as painting, themselves. Using the first
floor and basement of. the house (as the
second floor was boarded up) they taught
over 70 junior and senior high school stu-
dents using self-motivation as a basis.
The school was a tremendous success in
its first two months of operation.
But this was not to last. The Housing
Office was only "generous" for the two
months of the lease. At any r a t e, the
lease ended, with Solstis having no place
to go.
NOW THE University's "generosity" is
indeed tested. 'Perhaps the childcare
centers supporters could help us on this
one - What is the University going to
Whatever they do, a few things a r e
clear. First, the University has not been
honest with Solstis, the community, and
themselves. After first calling the house
"structurally unsound," they now say "it
probably isn't structurally unsound, but
for our purposes, it is unsound." What
can this mean? If it was "structurally un-
sound," why did the University inspect-
or include in his repair estimate last Fri-
day only screen doors, painting, and elec-
trical wiring? And this work estimatedto
cost up to $2,500! 1
'Why was no inspection of the house
made by the University officials before
Solstis moved in to check for "structural
deficiencies" in the interest of safety?
And, if a house is in need of basic repairs,
does not the landlord have a responsibil-
ity to make repairs as long as he collects
THESE QUESTIONS are serious and
must be answered. The over 4,000 peo-
ple from all parts of the community who
have. signed petitions expect answers.
The University has used its size to aug-
ment its power as landlord. But the larg-
er tragedy is that this fight will obscure
the meaningful alternative that Solstis
really presents.
SOLSTIS HAS BEEN successful in a way
many students w i s h the University
could be. Without grades, without pre-
requisites, relying entirely upop the aca-
demic discipline which the student ini-
Viates himself, rather t h a n an imposed
discipline from an institution, Solstis has
succeeded where the University has fail-
ed. As long as groups like Solstis exist,
there is a chance that a new generation
will seek a more worthwhile system of ed-
It would be a shame if Solstis is forced
to close its doors due to the lack of a
lease just at the time it is succeeding as
an alternative to institutionalized educa-

(EDITOR'S NOTE: The following ar-
ticle is the first of a two part series,
analyizing contemporary American so-
ciety. The author is a teaching fellow
in the political science department.)
Daily Guest Writer
JUDGING BY letters and state-
ments which appeared in The
Daily with increasing frequency
last year, there are quite a few
fairly sophisticated people in the
University community who believe
t h a t the stability of American
campuses and of American society
can be maintained by mobilizing
"responsible liberals" to come out
foursquare against "violence and
anarchy." I find this difficult to
understand, for it seems to me
that such a conviction could flow
only from either total ignorance
of contemporary developments in
American life or from the most
willful and stubborn blindness to
the essential meaning of these de-
In fact, it seems clear that the
disruption of normal life in Amer-
ica is virtually -certain to increase
greatly during the 1970's - and if
t h i s leads to the emergence of
either full-scale fascism or full-
scale revolution, the largest meas-
ure of responsibility will lie pre-
cisely with the "responsible liber-
als" who spend their time signing
stAtements and writing letters ex-
pressing vague sympathy with the
goals but soundly condemning the
tactics of the New Left and black

"liberals" come down, essentially,
to the position that while in prin-
ciple they would like to see the
underlying causes of violence and
instability dealt with as well as
the symptoms, in practice they
will approve only "responsible"
and decorous approaches to these
problems, approaches which do
not seriously disturb the opera-
tions of the institutions in which
they themselves work. That is, in
practice, they will settle for deal-
ing with the symptoms.
These people find this kind of
stance acceptable because on one
hand they feel that the American
system is too good to risk injur-
ing, and on the other hand they
are convinced that in t h e long
run "responsible" and decorous
approaches can be successful be-
cause the American system is bas-
ically open and responsive (see
Gardner Ackley's letter to ,The
Daily of April 3). The idea that
the American system is too good
to risk injuring is based on the
view that the m o s t important
thing about. the United States is
that it is the m o s t productive,
equalitarian, and civil libertarian
society (at least of its size) in
Now, obviously, the achieve-
ments of American society in the
areas of civil liberties and (par-
ticularly) equality are o p e n to
great question - but let's pass
over this. I prefer to bring for-
ward the sense in which achieve-
ment in these areas is not the

most important aspect of contem-
porary America - rather, t h e
most important characteristic of
our society is that, despite limited
achievements in the above areas,
its basic mode of operation, its
basic direction of development,
has led us into massive degrada-
tion, misuse and waste of human
rights and natural resources at
home, into genocide abroad, and
to the point where the survival of
our civilization, of o u r species
and of the natural environment
itself is called into question.
the openness and responsiveness
of the American system into fo-
cus. It is claimed that we should
stick to "responsible" and decor-
ous approaches to our problems
because, despite the fact that we
may not have done very well in
the past, now that we better un-
derstand these problems and bet-
ter appreciate their urgency, now
that public opinion is aroused, our
established institutions can be
expected to respond effectively. It
won't be easy, but if those gen-,
uinely concerned with construc-
tive change would just have the
good sense to devote themselves
to making the system work rather
than to protesting against it, we
could beat these problems.
Well, if liberals can really use
reformist tactics within the con-
text of established institutions
and procedures to achieve t h e
kinds of results which we must
achieve if we are to s a v e our-


-Valley Daily News

Kent State

selves, fine. But there seems to me
to be very little reason to believe
that such a course of action will
even be seriously attempted, much
less be successful.
The American "establishment"
has never gone beyond token re-
form on its o w n initiative. As
Howard Zinn says, "Tokenism is

the American way of reform; it
has become a national pastime to
celebrate gestures." Indeed, the
historical record seems to me to
strongly suggest that no "estab-
lishment" ever goes beyond token
reform except when it is under
revolutionary or semi-revolution-
ary pressure.


Creeping Communism threatens Chile

was mysteriously delivered to
the editorial desk of The Daily
yesterday by a uniformed m a n
who claimed he was conducting
"official business."
"IT HAS BEEN one week since
Chile freely and democratically
elected a Marxist president despite
iassive opposition from our bur-
eau, and to our consternation
there has not been -- as of yet -
a military cgo u p or widespread
rioting and chaos.
"Such a situation is unfortun-
ate because it gives the U.S. no
excuse to send in marines to pro-
tect American lives and property.
At the present time we feel it
would be impossible to install a
president who would be more
friendly toward American busi-
nesses than Allende will be.
"Nonetheless, there is still jus-
tification for some kind of inter-
vention in Chile because the very
fact that a Marxist could be elect-
ed indicates that the election was
rigged. The result is the same as
if Russia sent an army over to oc-
cupy Chile - an action prohibited
by the Monroe Doctrine.
"THERE IS ALSO A possibility,
although very remote, that Salva-
dor Allende will not become the
new president since he did not re-
ceive an absolute majority in the
popular election. Chilean law re-
quires that when no candidate for

president receives more than 50
per cent of the votes cast, t h e
Congress, meeting in joint ses-
sion must c h o o s e a president
from among the top two vote-get-
"Thus, on Oct. 24, the Chilean
Congress w i 11 decide between
Jorge Alessandri and Allende. If
the Congress were to choose Ales-
sandri, who is willing to obey the
dictates of American business in
Chile, things would be just fine.
However, Alessandri has only 47
supporters in the 200 member
Congress while Allende h a s 83.
The Christian Democrats, who
control the remaining 75 seats are
reported to be mostly in favor of
Allende. Also, the Congress has
an unbroken record of electing the
man with the plurality in the pop-
ular election.
"Therefore, for all practical pur-
poses, Allende is the next presi-
dent of Chile, and will take office
on Nov. 4.
dent will p o s e extremely grave
problems for the U.S. and for our
bureau. For one thing, he h a s
promised to completely national-
ize the copper industry in which
Chile already owns a 51 per cent
share. Large American companies
are never happy when their for-
eign property is expropriated, and
will annoy government officials
continually as they whine about,
the offending country. \

"The greatest danger posed by
the election of Allende is the
threat to U.S. influence in Latin
America. Throughout the twen-
tieth century, U.S. businesses have
wielded great powers in Latin
countries by virtue of their' gi-
gantic investments and close ties
with the ruling elite. Official U.S.
policy in' the Latin countries has
often been indistinguishable from
the interests of the American cor-
"The cozy relationship between
U.S. business and the U.S. gov-
ernment was expanded and made
official under the Alliance f o r
Progress, a clever program by
which the U.S. was able to assume
a dominating position in the eco-
nomic and political development
of the Latin countries. The U.S.
was able to guide the countries on
a path that benefited American
businesses and sometimes the
country itself, and at the same
time instilled the virtues which
made America a great nation into
the hearts and minds of the lead-
ers of the underdeveloped coun-
which all the Latin countries ad-
hered to religiously was the iso-
lati6n of Cuba. By having no dip-
lomatic or commercial relations
with Cuba, the Latin countries
were able to keep the infection of
Communism out of the Western

-Associated Press

Salvador Allende

"However, Allende now proposes
to renew relations with Cuba, and
in doing so, could very well set an
example for the r e s t of Latin
"What we see in Chile is a La-
tin country in which a great many

people apparently think they know
better than the U.S. what is good
for their country. T h e obvious
consequence of such an attitude
will be a decline in American pres-
tige, influence, and, economic
earnings in the country."

why the bookstore has no books


To the Editor:
SOME STUDENTS have ques-
tioned the absence of textbooks at
the student bookstore this fall. It
should be understood that the
Board of Directors of the book-
store made every effort to secure
textbooks prior to this semester.
The decision to hold textbook
sales until January of 1971 was
reluctantly made for sound rea-
sons, only after analysis of several
First, there was insufficient
initial capitalization prior to this
fall to provide necessary funds for
the store to purchase textbooks.
The $5 student assessment will not

be available until mid-October.
Few publishers will give a new
store a line of credit and initial
purchases must be made in cash.
The $100,000 from the student
parking fund transferred to the
Board for the Student Bookstore,
Inc., in May, was used for the
purchase of the old University Dis-
count store from the Student Gov-
ernment Council for the temodel-
ing of the MUG, for the purchase
of supply and book fixtures (now
overdue from the manufacturer)
and for increases in school, art
ind engineering supply inventory.
Because bookstore revenues are
low in the summer, it was also
necessary to maintain a higher


than normal cash balance to meet
the requirements of the store's
cash flow. The $5 student assess-
ment being collected at this time
will, when received, provide the
funds necessary for purchasing
and stocking textbooks.
search for a competent bookstore
manager ran well into May. The
Board of Directors sought a man
who was not only highly skilled
in new and used book sales but
also an individual who could for-
see and adapt to the needs of stu-
ients. The Board feels they were
fortunate in hiring Mr. Louis
Hahl, formerly manager of the
bookstore at the University of
California at Santa Barbara, a
man who meets both of these re-
quirements. Due to commitments
at Santa Barbara, Mr. Hahl did
not begin work in Ann Arbor until
Aug. 1, too late to place book
orderms even if funds had been
Third, the Board request for the
dining room adjacent to the new
store, that space being necessary
for the textbook department, was
never resolved.
Fourth, the Board of Directors
felt a responsibility not to take
unnecessary risks with student
funds. It seemed more reasonable
to the Board to wait for a com-
Yesterday, The Daily printed
an editorial containing factual
errors implying impropriety in

petent manager try survey the book
market and to order the books, to
wait for sufficient floor space and
fixtures to display the books, and
to wait for sufficient capital to
order books, (instead of decreasing
the supplies inventory )than for
:he board to rush headlong into
a possible economic disaster.
AS PREVIOUSLY stated, plans
call for textbook sales starting in
January of 1971. The importance
of an early payment of the $5 as-,
sessment cannot be over-empha-
sized for it is these funds which
will be used for the initial book
purchases. Only a failure to rent
sufficient floor space in the Union
or a delay on the part of students
in paying the $5 assessment will
prevent the bookstore from pro-
viding substantial textbook sav-
ings next semester.
-Gary F. Allen
Sept. 8
Stop the war
To the Editor:
MR. HIRSCHMAN'S editorial
comment on the military, (Sept.
4) only hints at a most important
aspect of the American war pol-
There is no doubt that the ad-
ministration has been forced. by
anti-war activity in the U.S. to
withdraw some ground combat
troops. But it is all simply a se-
mantic game. The playing field is
the vacuous American mind.
The government should have no
difficulty , killing and maiming
hundreds of thouands nf Tndn-

jeopardize the lives of American
men, Americans don't much care.
A brave country.
--Thomas G. Rieke
Sept. 3
To the Editor:
I AM IN COMPLETE agreement
with Martin Hirschman's recent
editorial (Daily, Sept. 5) evalu-
ation of the Black Economic De-
velopment League and the Wel-
fare Rights Organization. The ac-
count is' very accurate in its anal-
ysis ,of the relationship between
racism and American religious
Something very fundamental is
missing in that editorial, however.
First, an analytical observer of an
organization such as BEDL-WRO
must ask certain questions about
the credibility and efficacy of the
group, In other words:
1. Who does the BEDL-WRO
represent and how were its mem-
bers elected? (assuming that the
electoral process is consistent with
the idea of self-determination)
2. What means do the two
groups have for effectively han-
dling and distributing welfare;
3. Why should these groups be
any less susceptible to corruption
than the churches and other wel-
fare organizations have been?
THESE ARE SOME of the ques-
tions which are left in my mind
over the BEDL and WRO de-
mnnteA xT .. -ri a n T'arif


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