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January 23, 1973 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1973-01-23

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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

HRP: Away from ideological confinement


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.

Abortion reform at last

IT WAS ALMOST too good to be true.
In what will be remembered as a his-
toric decision for women, the Supreme
Court yesterday struck down all laws
prohibiting abortions in the first three
months of pregnancy. And while the rul-
ing stops short of automatically permit-
ting abortion on demand, it is a mile-
stone in the continuing struggle of wo-
men for the right to control their bodies.
What makes the decision particularly
amazing is that it was supported by a
majority of Nixon appointees, and by an
overwhelming 7-2 vote. And in stressing
an individual's right to privacy in the
case, the court also rejected residency
requirements and arguments that a fetus
is a person during the first three months.
NOW THE STATE Legislature must re-
write the state's 147-year-old abor-
tion law, which permits abortions only
to save the life of the mother. The new
law will have to set medical standards
and prescribe conditions under which
abortions may be obtained beyond the
three-month limit.
It is here that the Legislature can do
what it has refused to do for so long-

extend the time limit for abortion to at
least the twenty-week period sought by
supporters of last fall's abortion reform
referendum. Such a deadline would per-
mit diagnosis of genetic and prenatal de-
fects, and would allow women carrying
defective children to obtain abortions
easily. We hope the state will also let
licensed doctors perform abortions in hy-
genic clinics, which will make the pro-
cedure cheaper.
JN THE MEANTIME, the Supreme
Court has done much to aid the
problems of population control, and
sweep away the inequities which sent
wealthy women out-of-state for abor-
tions and poor women to unlicensed prac-
titioners. And for women who may never
even need an abortion, it means' a fur-
ther recognition of their true status as
human beings, not baby-making ma-
It took too long, too much pain and
too much money.
But on a cold, rainy day in Ann Arbor,
we could only feel a great sense of hap-
piness and relief.

Ed. note: The following is the first part of
an essay analyzing the internal problems fac-
"ng the Ann Arbor Human Rights Party. The
conclusion will appear tomorrow in The Daily.
I'M MOVED to write this because I think
the Human Rights Party is creating a
lot of problems for itself which are unneces-
sary. Most of these problems are the re-
sult of one approach to politics which is a
matter of style, not of substance.
These difficulties are partly due to the
way lots of us began working in the "Move-
ment" and partly due to the failure of many
of us to realize that a different political
style is needed when a group is transform-
ed from a campus organization long on
words and short on action into a commun-
ity political party wielding significant pow-
I'm going to deal with the problems we
have created for ourself by discussing var-
ious false beliefs which, consciously or un-
consciously, lead to those problems. If we
do not deal with the problems which these
beliefs create, then the HRP will continue
to act "irrationally" - that is, it will not
progress toward its goals.
Here then, are the beliefs I think are
causing the trouble.
1. The formulation of detailed, wide-rang-
ing statements of political ideology is the
most important task for the HRP.
This one is the source of most of the
difficulty. I think it can be explained by
looking back to when most of us became
politically active. During the Sixties there
were not many successes, either through
the creation of new institutions or the
achievement of power within existing in-
stitutions. As a result, many of us concen-
trated on the refinement of various aca-
demic political systems and theories.
Power and success in Movement groups
often went to those who were most adept
at conceptual manipulation and argument:
"the heavies." Conversion of unaffiliated
people to various groups was often by in-
tellectualization, discussion, and the issu-
ance of statements of positions or demands.
After all, we couldn't really affect much,'
so we might as well debate!
There are several things wrong w i t h
operating this way in our current situation.
First, any detailed political ideology, if it
is a deductive system based on a large
number of expressed and implied prem-
ises, will almost certainly be wrong be-
cause: (a) Political ideologies now are al-
most completely verbal, not mathematical.
There are bound to be both semantic and
logical errors or confusions in them. We
often find ourselves arguing over what
a word means. For example, significant am-
biguities in the meaning of the words
"transient" and "community" render the
Rainbow People's Party statements on the
subject of who is a member of "the com-
munity" very difficult to apply, as we have

We must learn to deal "at arm's length" with groups to
achieve goals . . . and realize that HRP itself is . .. a coali-
}" {.:, ". I:" '+R:'"'"}'".-:":F . ,: yTr}Y.ge S{:{.}i"?"?a .y{x,;."rr :"qa i:.m m '"vs n4 .I ":4'v:}?::r ": ":?".;.

recently learned. (b) The world is changing
too fast to be accurately encompassed in
a neat system of ideas. The more detailed
we try to make our belief system, the more
likely it is to be rendered obsolete almost
before we finish constructing it.
THE SECOND reason why a concentra-
tion on ideology is wrong for the HRP is
that we are no longer a close-knit group
sharing nearly identical points of view. We
must realize that we will never be able to
convert a majority of the voting popu-
lation to a conscious espousal of any given
detailed political ideology through an "edu-
cational" campaign or otherwise.

ling all social mechanisms which create in-
equality; e.g., the American corporation. We
are willing to change the modes by which
property, both "public" and "private," is
held and controlled. We believe in maintain-
ing a separate political party because no
large party now in existence is willing to
act to correct the root causes of social ills.
No nation, cultural, racial, sexual, or other
group should dominate another; diversity
is good in itself. We are opposed to hierar-
chical, authoritarian, and bureaucratic val-
ues and goals, and in favor of democracy
at all levels of all social institutions. We
will not "sell out" long-term goals for short-
term gains.

Instead, the best way HRP can grow as
I see it is to form coalitions with o t h e r
community groups in order to achieve par-
ticular goals. And what the over-all politi-
cal views of the various groups in a coali-
tion are with regard to matters outside the
scope of the coalition is really irrelevant.
We must learn to deal "at arm's length"
with groups to achieve goals which we mu-
tually desire. And, not only must we form
coalitions with other groups - we must
realize that the HRP itself is, and should
be, a coalition. Not everyone must share
one ideology for us to exist in the s a m e
party or act together.
Unfortunately, broad ranging political
ideologies and world-views become all the
more attractive to many at that point where
they are so highly abstracted from teality
that they have lost all discernible content.
Probably the best current example in the
party is the belief that "we should strive
for democratic socialism." Some p e o p 1 e,
though, think that a statement like this has
the most, not the least, meaning. What this
signals to me is that this kind of generali-
zation occupies a religious and not a poli-
tical position in the lives. of those who
hold it dear.
THE ABANDONMENT of abstract, de-
ductive systems does not mean that we
would have "no politics." Our "politics,"
it seems to me, is based on two sources:
(a) The party platform (minus a few rhe-
torical flourishes), which contains a large
collection of down-to-earth i d e a s for im-'
proving the lot of the people of the county
and state, written in language largely de-
void of sectarian jargon. (b) A collection
of beliefs shared by nearly all members,
some of which have not been committed to
writing, like: We are opposed to racism,
sexism, ageism, and other remnants of "as-
cribed" status. We are committed to disab-

It seems to me that this is enough "poli-
tics" for most people who are not profes-
sional ideologues.
I ADMIT that is it emotionally comfort-
ing to see oneself wrapped in the banner of
an all-encompasing system of political be-
liefs. You are always ready with an an-
swer to anything. But the self-righteous-
ness which comes from thinking of
oneself as a "prophet of the Gospel" is
deadly when you try to deal with anyone
outside your own faction. And we m u s t
deal with more and more people or else
we will stagnate. But the more complicated
and all-encompasing your ideology becomes,
the fewer and fewer become the number of
people you can talk to, join with, or feel
comfortable in the same group with.
And the wider the scene of an ideology,
the less amenable it is to change through
the process of observation of the world and
incremental correction. As Margo Nichols
has said, a detailed ideological presentation
on some issue "may be beautifully worked
out, but it doesn't work."
Also, if someone questions a wide-ranging
ideology, the emotional investment in ac-
hieving an understanding and adherence to
that ideology will most likely be so large
that the questioner is likely to be person-
ally rejected and his or her question not
taken seriously. It is easier to reject an
outsider than to examine one's beliefs.
2. Adherence to party ideology, and the
ability and inclination to argue politically,
are the crucial attributes which a p a r t y
member should possess. Party participation
must be at a constant high level.
This belief is harmful because it severely
inhibits the growth of the HRP. New peo-
ple will approach the party and think of be-
coming active for many reasons. They
will have many different skills and inclina-
tions. Many will be politically unsettled.

Others will distrust a doctrinaire approach
to reality. Nearly all will be unable or un-
willing to be active in a group which pre-
fers to spend its public and private time
spinning theoretical frameworks and back-
biting instead of being socially active.
Most people enter political activity be-
cause they feel themselves deprived of
things, services, or relationships, and think
they may be able to achieve a better world.
They do not enter a group to be constantly
judged in political terms, neatly categoriz-
ed, and have various "lines" laid on them.
An informal requirement of adherence to
some ideology or other is already present in
the party, and has even crept into the gov-
erning documents of the group. The county
party's constitution, for example, requires
that Steering Committee members be "poli-
tically elected." While a person's politics
may be important, other skills are relevant
as well for elective (or any other) office,
and we judge people for positions on the
basis of other than political criteria -
e.g., how well people will get along with
NOTHING IS more deadly than a require-
ment that someone be constantly "politi-
cal." For only a very small percentage of
the population has either the ability or
the inclination to argue at length politi-
cally. It is a very special skill, requiring
years to develop. And while it might be ar-
gued that it would be good if all persons
had this skill, nonetheless we are closing
the doors to the vast majority of the pop-
Our mass meetings are classic examples
of what is wrong with this belief in poli-
tical argumentation. Most people don't par-
ticipate because they feel themselves in-
ferior. And nothing closes off participation
quicker than inferiority feelings.
Also, not everyone has an entire life, or
even a large part of a life, to devote to
political activity. But we often assume the
contrary. It was a standing joke during
the summer that someday someone would
write a book under the pseudonym of
"Henrietti Hippo" called "How I Led a
Personal Life in HRP Without Guilt."
This party is too frenetic and often tries.
to do too much at once. This can't go on.
Or if it does, only a small group of people
will be able to be active.
The proposal for organized caucuses with-
in the party would only accentuate the ten-
dency to require too much participation. For
people will get the idea that in order to
really "count" in the HRP you have to
belong to a. caucus as well as attend mass
meetings and serve on at ,least one com-
mittee. This is bound to lead to ingrown
David Cahill is co-chairperson of the Ann
Arbor Human Rights Party City Commit-
tee and a University law student.
no v emen t


Actions behind the rhetoric

T HIS Inauguration Saturday, Presi-
dent Nixon presented his philosoph-
ical game plan for the next four years.
Although the objectives are laudable, the
history of the last four years begets kep-
The President, speaking first of for-
eign affairs, said "we respect the right
of each nation to determine its own fu-
ture" and the "responsibility of each na-
tion to secure its own future."
Yet recent history belies Nixon's rhe-
Within the, last four years, Nixon in-
vaded the sovereignties of Laos and Cam-
bodia. And, ironically, to preserve the
regime of President Thieu (which denied
the South Vietnamese a free choice in
.fer its responsibility to other institu-
its last election) Nixon continued the
Vietnam War for four years.
BUTf ACCORDING to the Nixon game
plan, it is domestic affairs that will
consume the greater portion of his time
in the next four years.
The federal government, as he envi-
sions it, will reinstill the individualistic
values of the 19th century that brought
America to its present power.
To a great degree, the President may
be correct in criticizing our overdepen-
dence on the federal government.
But two aspects must not be over-
looked. We must first be aware of the
degree to which government can trans-
Today's staff:
News: Pat Bauer, Laura Berman, Penny
Blank, Debbie Good, Tammy Jacobs,
Terry Martin
Editorial Page: Eric Schoch, David Yalb-
Arts Page: Gloria Jane Smith
Photo Technician: David Margolick

tions and second, we must analyze the
,specific areas where it can be done.
There are limits to individual power
in today's society. The individual cannot
stop the pollution of our water and air
--only massive- federal aid can. Yet Nix-
on has impounded six billion dollars in
government funds appropriated for that
specific purpose.
Earlier, this administration fought for
the $250 million "giveaway" to Lock-
heed Aircraft and was suspected to have
nefarious dealings with International
Telephone and Telegraph., A strange
type of individualism indeed.
Moreover, the stern individualism that
Nixon advocates is hardly relevant in
the case of the blind and disabled, or
the elderly or those living on subsis-
tence levels. The government must sus-
tain such individuals.
WASHINGTON DOES play too great a
role in our lives. The Watergate in-
cident, FBI bugging, and army spying
are all examples of this intrusion. But is
this what Nixon alludes to?
Our President claims that "our chil-
dren have been taught to be ashamed of
their country . . . ashamed of America's
record at home and abroad." But he is
grossly in error. Nobody taught us to be
ashamed; we have only to see for our-
selves. The shame is all around us.
THE INAUGURAL speech is tradition-
ally immune to criticism for its lack
of specifics because it is intended to be a
general policy statement for the next
term in office. But, since this is the first
statement that our President has given
to the American public since well before
his re-election campaign, it is entirely
appropriate. It is all we have to go on.


Dangers of the

AS THE RAG-TAG ends of the
New Left Anti-War Movement
trudge off to Washington for one
final farewell get-together, Nixon's
attack on the working class escal-
ates with little real opposition.
Sadly, even tragically, almost no-
body going to Washington is even
aware of the real attack; in fact,
most actually agree with the funda-
mental rationale being used to jus-
tify Nixon's policies.
What is this rationale? Zero
Growth. For anti-Nixon Zero Grow-
thers, Zero Growth means zero
growth of population, zero growth
of economic production, zero grow-
th of consumption by an over-con-
suming society. Nixon's current
policies represent the only pos-
sible realization of the anti-Nixon
ZGer's desires - zero growth of
the welfare rolls, zero growth of
wages, zero growth of housing,
schools and hospitals, zero erowth
of the quality of human life.

At universities like the University
of Michigan, andat "think tanks"
such as the Institute of S o c i a 1
Research at U-M, "liberal" social
scientists are performing the equi-
valent services for the N i x o n
government that doctors and other
"scientists" performed for the Hit-
ler government in the concentra-
tion-labor (death) camps in the
early '40's'.
We refer to "group dynamics"
studies designed to find ways to
induce small groups of workers to
speed themselves up. We refer to
"attitudinal" studies of workers on
the assembly line performed f o r
corporations, to enable the corpor-
ations to defuse worker dissatisfac-
tion without slowing up a killing
line pace. We refer in short, to the
panoply of counter-insurgency stu-
dies being performed by sociolo-
gists, psychologists, "human en-
gineers", and other assorted
quacks, whose purpose is social
control by behaviorist or "group
dynamics" manipulation.

zero growth
We also refer to the "population
planners", which includes virtually
the entire U-M Population Plan-
ning Department, all of whom are
zero population growth pushers.
Z.P.G. is complete scientific
quackery, whose real effect is the
spread of Fascist ideology.

. Publigben-Hall Sndcate, 2978
A -.
0.. ,
'16 ,*-6 R O AO
op L

Letters to The Daily

Automated battlefield
To The Daily:
John Silver: "Look out for
In Stevenson's, Treasure Island,
a divided ship's company of pi-
rates and loyal men was looking
for buried gold.
In many areas of life, moralty,
and power, knowledge and author-
ity are striving for mastery. Even
the temporary suspension of Pro-
fessor Mark Green from teach-
ing his classes in Organic Chem-
istry was significant. Department
heads may discipline Assistant Pro-
fessors at the University of Mich-
igan for rather minor reasons.
Owen Lattimore displeased the
McCarthy coterie in Washington
for his opinions on China. Perhaps
there will not be another voluntary
exile to England,
What is "The Automated Battle-
field" which the Interfaith Coun-
cil supplied to Organic Chemistry
This slide film reveals some of

lieve subordinates of decision, re-
sponsibility and thinking about duty
and conscience. And disobedience
is punished.
Air warfare has become auto-
mated by the use of planes in
bombing the North and South of
Vietnam against the enemies of
the American puppet government
in Saigon. After the U.S. army
set up Diem as President, t h e
North was attacked in order to
firm up a regime in the divided
South. Since Diem's overthrow in
1963 the policy has continued. Tech-
nicians have supplied five-hundred
pound bombs and smaller, or
guava, anti-personnel explosives
containing needles that penetrate
human flesh. Great corporations,
as Honeywell in Minneapolis, sup-
ply sensors of many kinds, a n -
chored on jungle growth along the
Ho Chi Minh Trail. Mines t h a t
resemble the forest leaves of tro-
pical trees are scattered in enemy
The film conveys the horror of
the destruction of homes, humans
and the indifference to war by men
flying four miles above the targets

ZGERS OF ALL stripes swear by
recycling. But the very assump-
tions of ZG fakery would compel
any economy which actuallyoper-
ated on ZG principles to have one
major product to recycle - hu-
man beings. And as our economy
today already closely approaches
actual zero growth of useful pro-
duction, the "liberal", even "soc-
ialist", ZG advocate finds his poli-
cies converging on Nixon's!
How does it work? The proto-
type operation is already function-
ing here in the Detroit area. Over
the past year assembly line speed
has been increased to a virtually
intolerable pace. Few workers can
stand it for more than a matter of
months. With sufficient unemploy-
ment and, recently, with a supply
of welfare workers forced to work
where they are told, replacement
parts can be found and used until
these too are burned out, to be re-
placed with a new batch.
Sound - incredible? The ISR is
crawling with individuals whose
sole occupation is trying to figure
out ways to increase worker out-
put (per unit of time), without
making any increases in capital
outlays (plant and machinery). It's
pure speed up-and to make the
worker "like it" too! In fact, some
of the budding young researchers
are working directly for General
Motors and Ford, helping them to
figure out how to totally destroy
the union, replace it with s m a 11
"work teams", and thereby elim-
inate the possibility of worker re-
sistance to the gruelling pace -
all in the name of "worker partici-
pation", "ending worker aliena-
tion", and "humanization of the
The only historical parallel to
this means of social control w a s
the "corporativism" introduced in-
to Italian factories by Mussolini,
and the "co-determination" polic-
ies devised by the Nazi Labor
Front in 1930's Germany.
We do not exaggerate our case.
The "worker" slave labor policies
now being enforced in almost


A iding Nixon with populaton control


should wake up and realize t h a t
Nixon is their ally. Recycling of
human beings is the only policy
compatible with capitalistic eco-
nomic conditions today. And capi-
talist economic conditions are the
cause of the ecology crisis t h a t
so agitates the ZG-head.
Only a policy of expanded repro-
duction, of greatly developed tech-
nologies and productive powers of
human beings, can solve both the
ecology crisis and the material

pulation planner", all reject ex-
panded reproduction, which r e -
quires the overthrow of capitalist
economic domination, they must
link arms with Nixon and colla-
borate in Nixon's plan to recycle
human beings.
Those, however, who choose life,
must join with socialists, welfare
organizers, the growing number of
workers fighting back against "pro-
ductivity bargaining," even scien-
tists who know Zero Growth for the



.~J ~0* W" (3 ,M' 31 Z *

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