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September 30, 1970 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-09-30

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balancing teacups
Party line with Mitch and Nix
nadine cohoda.

WE'VE ALL been waiting for
the report of the Presi-
dential Commission on Campus
Unrest. And probably no two in-
dividuals have looked forward
more to this occasion than Presi-
dent Nixon and his sidekick, At-
torney General John Mitchell.
Naturally, one assumes they
were in communication with each
other on the eventful day, and the
Daily was lucky enough to sneak
into Martha Mitchell's upstairs
bathroom to overhear on the ex-
tension phone t h e conversation
husband John was having with
his boss.
JM: Dick, John . . Well, it's-
uh. it's here, Dick.
RN: Yeah, I know. Bill brought
it over yesterday. I dunno, John
did you look at the thing?
JM: Yup.
RN: Well?
JM: I don't k now - do you
suppose we could ignore it? We
could tell them it doesn't exist.
After all, if you remember in July
I told them you never said Man-,
son was guilty and they apparent-
ly believed me. And we told them
there was a new Nixon to replace
the old, and look where that's
gotten you, huh Dick?
RN: You know John, you have
a point. But Factually, I think in
looking over the thing I have a
better idea., It's similar to what

you say, but goes a little further.
I suggest we ignore what we don't
like and emphasize what we do.
How about that?
JM: Not bad, not bad.
RN: For example, the report
When criminal violence occurs
on the campus, university offi-
cials should promptly call for
the assistance of law enforce-
ment agencies. When faced
with disruptive but nonviolent
conduct, the university should
be prepared to respond initially
with internal measures...
Faculty members who engage
in or lead diAruptive conduct
have no place in the university
,Now John, isn't that what I've
said all along? We've got to root
out those bums, we've got-to get
rid of those marshmellows we
have for college administrators.
We've got to take away t h o s e
Communist, Peking inspired pro-
fessors so they are unable to make
our children sin. Why John, we
could even use this report as a
basis for starting a nationwide
Algier Hiss campaign to get rid
of those radical professors. Yessir,
I like the sound of that.
JM: Not bad, Dick, not bad at
RN: And a 1 s o, John, doesn't
this justify the calling in of troops

at Kent State and Jackson State?
Doesn't it now? It says there in
black and white "university offi-
cials should promptly call for the
assistance of law enforcement
agencies" if trouble comes. Why
you know what else John?
JM: What Dick?
RN: Maybe we could turn the
construction workers union into
The National Police F o r c e To
Keep The Peace On Campus. "Put
down your rivets - pick up your
guns!" What a motto!
JM: Great Dick, just great. You
know, this might work,
RN: Yeah, I hope so but I have
to be honest with you John. Some
of this report really burns me up.
Sometimes I wonder if they're
* talking about the same country
I'm running. Listen to this.
"Much of the nation is so
polarized that on many cain-
puses a major domestic conflict
or an unpopular initiative in
foreign policy could trigger fur-
ther violence, protests and, in
its wake, counter violence and
Can you imagine that John?
And after my triumph at Kansas
State - they loved me, there they
loved me!
JM: I know Dick, but what can
you expect from those sidewalk
RN:, Just listen to this part.

"They see the Indochina war
as an onslaught by a technolog-
ical giant upon the peasant peo-
ple of a small, harmless and
backward nation."
John, don't they realize we're
helping that small little country
become a big, strong country like,
us. Don't they know that, John.
JM: I guess not, Dick.
RN: And they have the gall to
say :
"The nation has been slow to
resolve the issues of war 'and
Hell, J o h n, I've pulled 75.000
troops out 'of Vietnam in the last
10 months and they're bussing
those kids to white schools in the
south. What the hell more trey
want? We're moving along. You
can't just race headlong into
these things, you know.
JM: I know, Dick. I know. You
don't have to tell me.
RN: Oh, I don't mean to jump
at; you, John, but I get so rank-
led at these people when they say
things like:
"We recommend that the-
president take steps to assure'+
that he is continuously inform-
ed of the views of students and
This really hurts, John. I try
especially hard here. Why I talk

to Julie and David e v e r y day,
sometimes twice a day, to see what
they're thinking, and Harry Bela-
fonte sang, at the White House
just last week.
What more do they want? Am I
supposed to live with t h e m or
have them actually come to the
White House? Now how would it
look for the President of the Unit-
ed States to stay in a dormitory
or. in a ghetto tenement?. Or
what would the Silent Majority
think if those long-haireds and
dope addicts came here? That's
just asking too much, John.
JM: Of course it is, Dick. But
who said you should. You're fine
right here in Washington or in
San 'Clemente or down at K e y
Biscayne or when you travel to
Europe and Mexico. Just fine.
RN:Thanks, J o h n. I always
feel so much better talking to you.
You really understand me, you
know that?
JM: Sure Dick, I know.
RN: Well, John, I guess I still
won't decide anything today. I
guess I'll check with Kissinger and
maybe Klein and maybe he and
Ziegler will come up with some-
thing for us to say. Good night,
JM: Good night, Dick.
And good night for the United
States of America.


Hi Dick.. .

Hi John...



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

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.



J. Edgar tells: how
to spot the radicals

(EDITOR'S NOTE: T h e following "Open
Letter to College Students" is reprinted front
t h e Congressional Record of September 23,
Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation
AS A 1970 college student, you belong to the
best educated, most sophisticated, m o s t
poised generation in our history.
The vast majority of you, I am convinced,
sincerely love America, and want to make it a
better country.
You do have ideas of your own -and that's
good. You see things wrong in our society
which we adults perhaps have minimized or
overlooked. You are outspoken and frank and
hate hypocrisy. That is good too.
There's nothing wrong with student dissent
or student demands for changes in society or
the display of student unhappiness over as-
pects of our national policy. Student opinion is
a legitimate aspect of public opinion in our so-
But there is real ground for concern about
the extremism which led to violence, lawless-
ness, and disrespect for the rights of others on
many college campuses during the past year.
THE EXTREMISTS are a small minority of
students and faculty members who have
lost faith in America. They ridicule the flag,
poke fun at American institutions, seek to de-
stroy our society. They are not interested in
genuine reform. They take advantage of the
tensions, strife, and often legitimate frustra-
tions of students to promo'te campus chaos.
They have no rational, intelligent plan of the
future either for the university or the Nation.
The extremists are of wide variety: adher-
ents of the Students for a Democratic Society
(SDS) including the Weathermen; members
of the Young Socialist Alliance (YSA), the
Trotskyist youth group; the Communist Par-
ty's Young Workers Liberation League (YW-
LL). Or they may be associated with the Stu-
dent Mobilization Committee to End the War
in Vietnam (SMC), a Trotskyist - dominated
antiwar group.
Many are not associated with any national
group. The key point is not so much the iden-
tification of extremists but learning to recog-
nize and understand the mentality of extrem-
ism which believes in violence and destruction.
Based on our experience in the FBI, here are
some of the ways in which extremists will try
to lure you into their activities:
1. They'll encourage you to lose respect for
your parents and the older generation. This
will be one of their first attacks, trying to cut
you off from home. You'll hear much about
the "failures" and 'hyprocrisy" of your parents
and their friends. The older generation has
made mistakes but your parents and r- lions
of other adults worked hard, built, sacrificed,
and suffered to make America what it is today.

statements are issued as if they were the fin,
truth. You should carefully examine the fact
Don't blindly follow course, of action suggest
by extremists. Don't get involved in a cau
j u s t because it seems "fashionable" or ti
"thing to do." Rational discussion and ration
analysis are needed more than ever before.
4. They'll try to envelop you in a mood
negativism, pessimism, and alienation towai
yourself, your school, your Nation. This is or
of the most insidious of New Left poisior
SDS and its allies judge America exclusive]
from its flaws. They see nothing good, positiv
and constructive. This leads to a philosopli
of bitterness, defeatism, and rancor. I wou
like you to know your country more intimat(
ly. I would want you to look for the deep(
unifying forces in America, the moods of no
tional character, determination and sacrifi
which are working to correct these flaws. Tr
real strength of our nation is the power of me
rality, decency, and conscience which right
the wrong, corrects error, and works for equi
opportunity under the law.
5. They'll encourage you to disrespect tli
law and hate the law enforcement officer. Mo.
college students have good friends who are pc
lice officers. You know that when extremist
call the police "pigs" they are wrong. The o:
ficer protects your rights, lives and propert
He is your friend and he needs your support.
6. They'll tell you that any action is honoi
able and right if it's "sincere" or "idealistic
in motivation. Here is one of the most seduc
tive of New Left appeals - that if an arsor
ists or anarchist's heart is in the right plac
if he feels he is doing Something for "humar
ity" or a "higher cause," then his act, even
illegal is justifiable. Remember that acts has
consequences. The alleged sincerity of the pei
petrator does not absolve him from responsibi:
ity. His acts may affect the rights, lives, an
property of others Just being a student or be
ing on campus does not automatically confe
immunity or grant license to violate the lam
Just because you don't like a law doesn't mea
you can violate it with impunity.
7. They'll ask you to-believe that you, as
student and citizen, are powerless by democrat
ic means to effect change in our society. Re
member the books on American history yo
have read. They tell the story of the creativ
self-renewal of t h e nation through chang(
Public opinion time after time has brought net
policies, goals, and methods. The individual
n o t helpless or caught in "bureaucracy" a
these extremists claim.
8. They encourage you to hurl ricks any
stones instead of logical argument at those wh
disagree with your views. I remember an ol
saying: "He who strikes the first blow has ru
out of ideas." Violence is as' ancient as t h
caveman; as up to date as the Weathermai
Death and injury, fear, distrust, animosity, po
larization, counter-violence - these arise fron
violence. The very use of violence shows th

Daily Guest Writer
United Auto Workers have
been on strike against the Gen-
eral Motors Corporation demand-
ing increased wages, an improved
retirement program ("30 and
Out"), and a return to the cost-
of-living escalator on wages
(dropped in 1967). It promises to
be a long and difficult struggle in
which the strikers will have to
overcome more than one obstacle
to reach their goal.
The first and most obvious of
these obstacles is GM itself. Even
before the start of negotiations,
GM top management began mak-
ing "tough" noises - not only
sneering at union demands but
making aggressive demands of its
own : for tighter work discipline,
the outlawing of strikes over work-
ing conditions, reduction of the
number of union stewards per
plant, etc. The corporation h a s
been beefing itself up for the bat-
tle and has at its disposal finan-
cial resources far greater than
those of the workers
The second obstacles confront-
ing the strikers is the hostility
of the politicians. All Agnew's
demagogic posturing as the cham-
pion of the "little man" shrivels
before the steady stream of in-
vective pouring out of Washington
directed at so-called "inflation-
ary" wage demands made by work-
ers who are trying only to keep
their noses above the tide of in-
flationary prices. Nixon put teeth
into his rhetoric when he called
out the National Guard troops to
break the New York postal strike
and the Teamsters strike in Chi-
THE STRIKERS can expect lit-
tle better from their Democratic
"friends of labor", the most "lib-
eral" of whom have spent the
summer calling for government
controls over wages and prices. As
the UAW knows, such controls at
best serve to freeze the propor-
tion of national income going to
workers; at worst - and in all
previous , practice-they simply
provide a cover for employer at-
tacks on real incomes through
speed-ups and ourburdened work
These two obstacles, the corpor-
ate and political establishments,
are the most obvious ones in the
path of the auto workers. There
is, however, another one: the un-
ion bureaucracy itself.
The idea that the union leader-

strike: 1
ership over the past twenty-five
years demonstrates clearly t h a t
their role has been a basically
conservative and retarding one:
Perched atop the -workers'
shoulders, enjoying the p o w e r
which that position gives them,
and wedded to an ideological posi-
tion that says "don't make wav-
es", the UAW bureaucracy avoids
doing battle with corporation and
government and fights (when it
is forced to) only around the least
controversial issues possible,
abandoning even those .truggles
before their goals are achieved.
In the process, it repeatedly
adandons the fight for humanized
working conditions, scrupulously
avoids mobilizing the ranks during
strike actions, stears clear of em-
barrassing its Democratic Party
"friends" and instantly breaks the
back of any movement of- rank-
and-file militancy which threat-
ens this cozy consensus. This is
"business unionism" and its goal
is to avoid any conflict that might
shake the bureaucrats out of their
comfortable "legitimacy" by
forcing them into action over
such delicate questions on work-
ing conditions and who ouhgt to
run the plants - management or
Where the ranks do break out of
the bureaucracy's grip they a r e
quickly slapped down. In 1967,
for example, an entire local (549
in Mansfield, Ohio) went out on
strike against GM demanding im-
proved working conditions. The
International solved GM's prob-
lems by placing the local under
trusteeship (i.e., freezing their
local treasury and suspending
their rights of self-government).
The International's representa-
tive then informed a local mem-
bership meeting during a back-to-
work "vote": "There will be no
vote at this meeting. There is
only one vote in this local and I
have it." The strike was broken.
Last year, at Sterling T o w n-
ship's Chrysler Stamping Plant,
UAW members wildcatted w h e n
fellow workers were fired for re-
fusing to undertake especially
dangerous assignments. 0 n c e
again the International stepped
in, and placing this local, too, un-
der trusteeship. UAW Vice Presi-
dent Douglas Fraser ran the next
local meeting, "suggested" t h e
membership go back to work, and
then took one back-to-work vote
after another until the opposition
finally broke, shorn of resources,
organizational rights, and outside

bellious militancy by taking its
lead. On the other hand he and
the rest of the bureaucrats 1 i k e
him have been historically unwill-
ing and unable to satisfy this mil-
itancy by actually leading mili-
tant struggles of their own. If he
fights the battle which the ranks
are demanding, he will be forc-
ed into the kind of gloves-off con-
frontation with the company
which could upset his entire
scheme of business unionism. On
the other hand, if he fails to do
so, he will not be able to give
the ranks the contract which they
demand - and he will face a larg-
er groundswell of rebellion than
cock faces is the possible interac-
tion, between young workers and
student radicals in the course of
the strike. The single most volatile
and militant sector of the auto
workers it (next to b 1 a c k work-
ers in general) young workers.
They are the least willing to put

and that in order to win their
"legitimate gri9vances" (Al's
phrase) they will have to combat
these power relations, consciously,
and deliberately. And since we
radicals do indeed hope that work-
ers will achieve their goals, we
also hope that they will reach the
consciousness necessary for them
to do so. Tpat is, we hope that the
workers will become radicalized,
and we believe that the conditions
in which workers live, work, and
fight can produce that rise in
consciousness. This is all we say.
Al Reuther,. on the other hand,
has more to say. Not only aren't
workers "capable" of becoming re-
volutionary: Al Reuther informs
us further that they are not even,
combative, that there is a flat
"lack of actual militancy on the
part of the rank and file . .
That is, they just don'twant to
fight at all. And furthermore:
"Most auto workers tend to fear
the main foci of social unrest
these days -- the blacks' struggle
for equality . . ." That is, "most"

'he men and the myths

"The record of the UAW leadership over the
last twenty-five years demonstrates clearly that
their role has been a basically conservative and
retarding one."
....*................*S......*...*... S ggg ggg ggg

up with shop-floor authoritarian-
ism, the least awed by the majes-
ty of either corporate or union
heads, and the most willing to
fight back when stepped on. As
foremen and union bureaucrats
ruefully admit, the past f i v e
years of struggle on the campuses
has set up sympathetic vibrations
within the ranks of working-class
youth. The possibility of strength-
ened ties between young workers,
and radical students therefore is
understandable unattractive from
the union bureaucracy's point of
It is precisely such fears which
Walter Reuther's nephew, Al, ex-
pressed in Saturday's Daily.
His article started off by label-
ing the attitude of radicals (in the
Students to Support the A u t o
Workers)' toward the strikers
naive, pre-conceived, and "arro-
gant." But as we shall see, it is
precisely the perspective of the
union bureaucrats and of Mr. Al
Reuther (who here speaks for
them) which is truly "arrogant."
Al's point number one: Radicals
are all wrong when they "postu-
late the inherently revolutionary
capability of the mass of work-
ers." Certainly, he admits, "the
auto workers are exploited eco-
nomically" and there is indeed "a
sense of outrage which many stu-
dents naturally feel upon working
in an auto plant and experiencing
its dehumanizing conditions..
nevertheless. "the auto workers
rank and file clearly lacks a n y
revolutionary tendencies .."
NOW LET US examine his ar-
gument thus far. Conditions in the
plants are rotten (Woodcock him-
self calls GM "a gold-plated
sweat-shop"),, the workers a r e
"exploited," their surroundings
are "dehumanizing". . . but stu-
dents are wrong to credit these
workers even with a revolution-
ary "capability." Why? Who a r e

auto workers are in practice rac-
ists. You would never know from
Al's article that a full 30 per cent
of the UAW' membership is itself
Also, the workers "fear . . . the
antiwar movement. They have
deep-rooted attachments to t h e
establishment, having purchased
homes and served in the army
(the young in Vietnam)." Under-
stand? They've been in the army
and (as Al would say) so "ipso
facto" are in favor of the war. You
would never know from this about
the growing anti-war sentiment
which exists among workers, with
auto workers in the lead, and
among working-class GIs. You'd
never know that Walter Reuther,
at the same time as he publicly
endorsed last year's anti-war
Moratorium, felt it necessary to
warn (hawkish?) UAW members
not to down tools and join t h e
antiwar marches. Never mind, the
verdict is in: workers are non-re-
volutionary, non-militant, racist
BUT AL IS NOT even nearly
through pointing out the errors of
the "arrogant" student radicals.
Not only is our view of the auto
workers overoptimistic, "pre-con-
ceived and naive." Our image of
the union bureau-, er, leadership
is completely wrong, too. "We are
asked to .believe," Al writes, "that
the UAW leadership is composed
of complacent, white-collar bur-
eaucrats who are out of touch
with the needs and desires of the
rank and file." This, he contin-
ues, is nothing but "intellectual
garbage." (Al is by this, p o i n t
huffing and puffing with ill-sup-
pressed fury.)
First of all, he says, the union
leadership is 100 per cent demo-
cratic. They are elected by their
membership, are in close touch
with their members' feelings, and
represent the wishes and desires

UAW Intetrnational which has
marched with the blacks a- Selma,
Birmingham, Washington, Mem-
phis, and Atlanta . . ." In short,
the leadership is not only demo-
cratic, it is also anti-racist, mili-
tant, and anti-war.
ANYONE NOTICE a problem in
Al's scenario? On the one hand he
presents the UAW ranks-non-
,militant, racist, and pro-war: the
swinish multitude. And on the
other hand we have their leader-
ship-militant, equalitarian, anti-
war and . . . scrupulously repre-
sentative of their ranks?
Of course, it's a fumble. Al has
been a little too free with his
(non-arrogant!) smear of the
rank-and-file auto workers and,
shall we say, somewhat indiscreet
with his whoops and huzzahs for
the UAW bureaucracy - and he
has wound up in a paradox. But
then, this is a common problem
with special pleading masquerad-
ing as analysis.
But after all, the same paradox
exists within the UAW bureau-
cracy for whom Al has been loyal-
ly thumping the tub. They enjoy
spouting militant rhetoric and
masquerading as sparkplugs for
the otherwise non-militant ranks
-at the same time as they smash
organized militancy whenever it
raises its head. Alternatively they
try to pacify that militancy with-
out involving themselves in the
kind of really militant and (dare
we say it?) radical struggle which
the attainment of the ranks'. de-
sires would require.
In the meantime, Woodcock
(like Reuther before him) prides
himself on being among the most
far-sighted of the labor leaders,
and so lends his name to all sorts
of liberal causes-so long as the
ranks don't force him into actual
struggle, around those issues. For
the game reason-and because he
shares most Establishment-liber-
als' concern with student radical-
ism-he announces his hope that
supporting the auto strike will be
"in" on campus this year. It must
be a non-political support. Al
sternly suggests well-meaning stu-
dents are. "welcome" so long as
they keep their "arrogant" mouths
Woodcock's (and Al's) dilemma
is not a new one, of course. It re-
appears each time a "leader" finds
himself perched atop a movement
which threatens to go further
than his own intended destination.
This is not, after all, the first time
a labor bureaucrat has brpken his
back trying to brake the militancy
of his ranks.
IT SEEMS only yesterday -
May-June, 1968, more exactly -
that the French trade union
bureaucrats (the French "Com-
munist" Party) were caught in
such a bind. And it should not sur-
prise us that in frantically trying
to separate radical students from
militant young w o r k e r s, the
French 'Stalinists employed a by-
now familiar line of argument:
"Of course the support of stu-
dents for our strike is welcome!
Only leave your leaflets home.
And your banners. And your ideas.
And should you find yourself in
a parade with our workers, keep
yourselves well away from them
-you with your arrogant(!) be-
lief that you know better than we
leaders what is good for this



"What some of us do believe . . . is that in the
course of combatting 'exploiting' and 'dehuman-
izing' conditions, workers come face to face with
power relations which define capitalism and that
in order to win their 'legitimate grievances'
they will have to combat these power relations
consciously and deliberately."

a ship itself is an obstacle before
n the workers is a startling one for
e most students - although it is
n. increasingly accepted by the work-
ers themselves from their own
m bitter experience. For year after
e year, contract after contract, the
U IAW leadrship has pat-ientlyv de-

THESE ARE only examples. Si-
milar stories can be told about the
International all over the country.
Wherever militancy threatens the
bureaucracy's peace, it is slapped
That is, it is slapped down when

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