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February 24, 1978 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily, 1978-02-24

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Page 4-Friday, February 24, 1978-The Michigan Daily

h£e Mibigan :9 iajj
Eighty-Eight Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Vol. LXXXVIII, No. 121 News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
Europe and Communism

LETTERS TO THE DAILY

Good citizen must be reinstated

T HE PANIC ENGENDERED last
year by the Italian elections in
which the Communist party under the
leadership of Enrico Berlinguer very
nearly got control of the Italian gover-
nment has been in no way reproduced
by the upcoming French elections.
The situations in France and Italy
bear similarities. Both the type of
Communism - popularly dubbed
"Euro-communism - and the social
situations leading to the high represen-
tation in each country's government
enjoyed by the Communists suggests
that there is no call for panic.
We are not faced here with an un-
popular party forcing itself upon a free
state any more in France than in Italy.
The opinions of many are now that
Eurocommunism is not the threat it
had been thought to be.
There are two basic reasons for this
shift of opinion: first, the Communist
parties in each country have freely
elected representatives. While this
doesn't necessarily mean that free
elections are guaranteeable under
totalitarian rule, nether does it mean
the opposite. And it does mean that the
French Communist Party has a strong

base in its constituents.
The other consideration is this idea
of "Eurocommunism", as represented
by Georges Marchais, leader of the
French Communist party, and
Berlinguer. This encompasses an idea
of Communists working primarily in
coalition governments (a necessity,
considering the way European Assem-
blies are ordered), working together
on legislation to achieve a set of aims
according to the laws of the country.
The time has come to stop thinking of
"Communists" as being without a
country (except Russia), of assuming
that any policy and possibility of rule
has more to do with the Moscow party
line than that of the host country. Mar-
chais and his party are French first
and Communist second.
Even Stefan Chervonenko, Soviet
Ambassador to France, is reported to
be quietly supporting the Gallists.
Moscow is not pleased with Eurocom-
munism, because it strays too far from
the Soviet line.
Thus, fears of Communist takeover
in France and Italy are basically
unrealistic and attune to a kind of
Cold War thinking we can live without.

To The Daily:
As faculty members of the Uni-
versity of Michigan, we wish to
express grave concern over the
case of Mr. Hank Bryant which
comes up for arbitration in the
near future.
During the trial of the VA nur-
ses, Mr. Bryant, properly
distressed at the inaction of his
superiors, took that responsibili-
ty we all of us bear as citizens and
informed the press about a
crucial aspect of the case. His
disclosure involved a woman,
already deceased, who had con-
fessed to the murders. The
validity of her confession is not at
issue; the importance of such in-
formation for a fair trial is evi-
dent.
For his action Mr. Bryant was
summarily fired from his job.
The legal implications of his case
are complex and may eventually
have to be decided upon in
federal court. The injustice of the
University's action is, however,
quite clear. Mr. Bryant placed
his duty as a citizen with import-
ant evidence in this particular
capital case over bureaucratic
regulations. He acted as a private
citizen when the University
would not act as a responsible in-
stitution. He was not alone in his,
action; he was alone in his readi-
ness to attach his name, and thus
risk his job.
In microcosm, Mr. Bryant's
case reflects others in which in-
dividual citizens have, in the face
of institutional inaction or decep-
tion, acted for the larger good.
We wish to let the University
know we support him in his de-
mands for reinstatement with full

back pay.
-William Alexander,
Dept. of English
Bunyan Bryant,
School of Natural Resources
James C. Crowfoot,
School of Natural Resources
Thomas Detwyler,
Dept. of Geography
Karl Figlio,
Dept. of History
Zelda Gamson,
School of Education
Robin M. Jacoby,
Dept. of History
Norman Owen,
Dept. of History
Michael Taussig, -
Dept. of Anthropology
Arthur Schwartz,
Dept. of Mathematics
Thomas E. Weisskopf,
Dept. of Economics
Marilyn B. Young,
Residential College
Rhodesian rule
To The Daily:
I am not sure that I follow the
reasoning of your editorial "Rho-
desia's non-oolution" (Wednes-
day, February 22). You suggest
that the 10-year guarantee to the
white minority of 28 seats in the
100-seat legislature "insures
white control of Rhodesia's econ-
omy and army for years to
come." How so? ' -
In a legislature of 100 seats, 28
seats do not a majority make.
These seats will not even consti-
tute the minority of one-thirdr
needed to block legislative action
under Rhodesian parliamentary
procedure. Furthermore, Ian
Smith is reported to have con-
ceded the right of black

nationalist guerrillas to be in-
cluded in the armed forces of the
new Rhodesian government'
(Wall Street Journal, 17 Feb.
1978, p.1). Smith is not such a fool
as to hope seriously that the
guerrillas will meekly submit to
white domination.
Perhaps you worry that black
votes will be scattered among
many small parties and hence
will be vulnerable to a more
cohesive white vote. But such
fragmentation would not prevent
forming a black coalition on
clear-cut black vs. white issues.
Black moderates in Rhodesia do,
after all, have politically skillful,
articulate leaders with con-
siderable national appeal to
engineer such coalitions, among
them Bishop Muzorewa and Rev.
Sithole.
Please do not read me wrong:
if ever a people have enjoyed a
right to revolution from such
principles as are expressed in our
own Declaration of Independ-
ence, the blacks of Rhodesia en-
joy it. But the price of exercising
that right is bloodshed, chaos,
and the ominous possibility of a
repressive, Marxist regime
similar to Mengistu's in Ethiopia.
It is not clear to me from your
editorial that Muzorewa and
Sithole may not have chosen the
better course.
+Gregory S. Hill
energy alternatives
To The Daily:
Barry Commoner recently ex-
pressed his views at Rackham as
to what he saw as the real (but
undiscussed) issue underlying

the energy crisis. He trew an
analogy between the avoilance of
this issue in the For(/Carter
debates and the refusa during
the Presidential campaigns of
1840-56 to discuss slavery. I found
it distressing that this issue
remained undiscussed in the
Daily's coverage of his talk.
As Commoner sees it, the issu
is the failure of the free enter
prise system to adequately solve
the energy problem. The'problem
is this: the cost of nonrenewable
energy sources is increasing ex-
ponentially. The cost of
renewable sources (e.g. solar) is
higf, but constant. When the cost
of nrrenewable energy sources
has rereased sufficiently, solar
energ: will be economically
feasibl.
Thenare two possible ways of
reachin this point sooner - ac-
celeratethe rate of increase in
the cost f nonrenewable sources,
or reduc (by governmental sub-
sidy or )therwise) the cost of
solar po'er. Under the former,
the futur cost of energy will be
relativel3higher. This would be
more burensome on the poor,
whose entgy needs consume a
disproporbnate share of their
income. Uder the latter, there
would be nrch less need for the
tremendou. amounts of capital
available ) the multi-billion
dollar enety conglomerates.
This would ofoundly affect the
profits if noihe actual existence
of companiefn the capital inten-
sive industr: Needless, to' say.
the Carter dministration has
chosen the fonier.
- Wiam J. Barron, III

Intellectuals have always been un-
certain of themselves in this country.
They have always felt uncomfortable in
a society that stressed economic
development and the virtues of action
over thought. And their discomfort has
been enhanced by the popular view,
maintained even today, that the univer-
sity is a haven for the unproductive-a
dream world.
But actually, there is no such dis-
tinction between the "campus" and the
"real world." The university plays
quite an active role in our national life.
To put it bluntly, the intellectual work
that goes on at the university level is for
the most part the work that is required
to justify the perpetuation of the exist-
ing social order - to protect the status
quo. The university is in fact not an
ivory tower. It is integrally related to
the rest of the social system. Academ-
ics, whether they know it or not, do a
job and perform a service for the
benefit of the dominant classes in a
society.
THIS HAS BEEN clear enough in the
past. In the years following World War
II, as the United States approached a
period of political reaction, literary
scholars throughout the country advan-
ced the theories of New Criticism,
which claimed that only the text of a
literary work, not an author's era, mat-
tered in scholarship. Sociologists ad-
vanced the idea that our society had
reached the "end of ideology." Histori-
ans spoke in the same terms; Daniel
Boorstin, for one, in his book The
Genius of American Politics, argued
that ideology, meaning, in his terms, a
systematic program of political prin-
ciples and social objectives, was never
part of American politics and was in
fact un-American - a convenient in-
tellectual justification for the McCar-
thyite witch-hunt of the foreign "enemy
within."
The fifties and sixties saw an in-
crease in classified military research
on American campuses and in govern-
ment-supported studies in social scien-
ce departments. It certainly reached its
extreme when the Political Science
Department of Michigan State Univer-
sity helped write the constitution for the
government of South Vietnam.
BY NOW, the University of Michigan,
for one, has severed official ties with
classified research, but such a step
should not lead us to think that the
political, economic and social nature of
higher education has significantly
changed.
It may simply be obscured.
For the trend of the last few years -
ever since Congress rid the country of
Nixon and began congratulating itself
for the efficiency of the "democratic
process" - has been to further obscure
the social realities of our world with
humanitarian talk of change. The
political exploitation of a
"progressive" rhetoric of harmony and
human rights has helped elect and sup-
port the new administration in Wash-
ington, but the society, as a matter of
course, retains all the destructive ten-

How scholars play with the-poor
By Howard Brick

prove themselves," CSF has done nutri-
tional research in various part of the
Third World, including Thailand, Co-
lombia, and Chile, with funding from
the U.S. Agency for International De-
velopment (USAID). Since 1974, the or-
ganization has worked in the Cauca
Valley' of Columbia, developing
programs supposed to end the wide-
spread malnutrition in the region.
But a careful analysis of CSF's work
there belies its intentions. While CSF
sports the lingo of community self-help
theories and progressive education
movements, the organization only helps
to perpetuate the real social basis of
hunger and starvation.
This is pointed out in an article by
University of Michigan Anthropology
Professor Mick Taussig in the current
issue of the International Journal of
Health Services. On Friday, February
24, Prof. Taussig will join with Dr.
Giorgio Solimano, an exiled Chilean nu-
tritionist who once directed Salvador
Allende's free milk distribution pro-
gram, in a panel discussion entitled
"Science and Imperialism: The
Politics of Nutrition Research in Chile
and the Third World," 12 noon to 2 p.m.
in 1035 Angell Hall.
THE ANN ARBOR Committee for
Human Rights in Latin America, the
sponsor of the meeting, has invited
several members of, CSF to the ses-
sion, but it is yet unsure whether any
CSF representatives will attend. The
discussion is part of a series of lectures
and discussions on Thursday and Fri-
day, sponsored by the Committee,
focusing on education and public health
in Chile before and after the 1973 mili-
tary coup.
In the Villa Rica area in the south of
the Cauca Valley, it is estimated that 50
per cent of the children under six years
of age suffer 'from malnutrition. Fifty
per cent of the population in the area
suffers from hookworm infestation.
The causes of nutritional' and health
problems are explained clearly in
Taussig's article: past decades have
seen the conversion of the region from
small-scale peasant agriculture, culti-
vating subsistence food crops, to plan-
tations of non-staple crops.
AFTER THE completion of the Pana-
ma Canal and a Colombian rail line to
the Pacific in 1914, the region was
opened to world trade, and land values
in the valley soared. Peasants were
driven from their land by direct force,
flooding of plots, and aerial spraying of
herbicides, in order to make way for
large sugar-cane plantations, which
were substantially financed by U.S. in-
vestments. Since the 1950's, the U.S.
corporation Ralston Purina has turned
nthv r argesections of the Cauca Valley

coming increasingly concentrated
into fewer owners. The majority of
holdings are so small that their
peasant owners are forced to work
on the large estates. My own cen-
sus in 1971 indicated that 30 per,
cent of households in the Villa Rica'
jurisdiction are landless, while
another 50 per cent have less than
the two hectares necessary for sub-
sistence.
Even the land that remains in
peasant hands has been converted,
through the efforts of a USAID-support-
ed government program, from the tra-
ditional crop mix of cocoa, coffee, plan-

small subsistence farmers to super-
exploited day laborers, who live as the
prey of corrupt labor contractors and a
degrading piece-work pay system. The
people in the area, Taussig says, refer
to sugar cane as a plant "which dries
one up" and claim that the detested
work in the cane fields makes one thin
and prematurely old. Financially
strapped families find it increasingly
hard to feed themselves, and most 'of
the limited nutritious food inevitably
goes to the adult laborer at the expense
of the small children, whose physical
and perhaps mental development is
thus stunted.

charge eating habits. One of the prin-
cipal devices CSF proposes is an educa-
tional program based on John Dewey's
concepts of "learping through doing."
Bringing peasant children.into schools
whee they will participate in gathering
nutritional information through experi-
ments with laboratory rats will create
an elite of "agents of change." The
children will go back to their communi-
ties, tell people that soya is more nutri-
tious than plantain and yuca, and begin
measuring and weighing their brothers
and sisters to test their physical devel-
opment.
As one CSF writer, who now teaches
in Michigan's department of journal-
ism, explains CSF strategy:
Its roots lie inextricably em-'
bedded in Darwinism. CSF is try-
ing to compress a behavioral ver-
sion of adaptive selection into a
very short time frame. It seeks to
produce life-enhancing habit pat-
terns harnessing the scientific
method to functional adaptation.
Only local stimuli are used to
speed the process, for they alone
can produce modifications tailored
to immediate conditions. In es-
sence, CSF methodology is a be-
havioral analogue of the evolution-
ary process of natural selection.
Through artificially-induced bom- .
bardments of local, stimuli, com-
munity habit patterns are shifted
to produce permanent, functional
adaptation to local conditions."
This sort of social science jargon is
appalling, when it is perfectly clear
that the problem lies in the nature of
"local conditions" themselves. To en-
courage adaptation to local conditions
is to avoid solving the problem, to rec-
oncile the sufferers of oppression to
their oppressors. It pictures the "local,
conditions" as somehow parallel to the
natural environment to which species
adapt through selection of mutations.
But there is no such parallel. The local
conditions are social ones, established
by people and changeable by people.
They are not fixed or permanent, but
the analogy to Darwinism pictures
them as such. The analogy is pernici-
ous.
FURTHERMORE, the notion CSF
adlvances that the "community" of poor
peasants can solve the problem of mal-
nutrition solely through "self-help"
is absurd. The "community"
cannot be abstracted from the
society as a whole and the sys-
tem of social relationships that link
its members to those who hold power
outside the community. The absurdity
is all the more obvious if we look at a
situation closer to home. Would the CSF

ized federal goverient budget, and
the conflicts betyn profit-seeking
management and lair? Activities like
Malcolm X once pied with ideas of
community uplift, btby the end of his
life Malcolm X saw ;speople's prob-
lems as broad, sociql ones, and the
word "revolution" wanore frequently
on his lips.
Of course, the notiothat things will
get better if only the pr change their
attitudes has ever beethe favorite of
liberal -reformers. 'le underlying
assumption is that the-oblems of the
poor are their own faulhnd their fault
is mainly that they are spid.
IN ONE GLOWING (F report, the
educational projects ofhe group are
described. The children ae encouraged
to run experiments witt-ats. The ex-
periments are their ow hey think up
different menus and se which ones
nourish the rats best. he students
weigh and measure the animals to
chart their progress, and rd that soya
is the most successful diefor physical
development. "Instead C words we
have our rats," a 17-yearild peasant
girl, Aida, says. "Thanks tour experi-
ment, we realize what }akes good
nourishment. We will start ) weigh our
younger brothers and sistes at home
and to see what they eat, .st like we
did with our rats at school.'The writer
of the report gloats over the uccess the
school has had in teaching te children
the basics of scientific methd and the
tenefits of inductive inquiv. "After
eleven weeks," the writer ays, "the
nutritional relationship betteen rats
and mankind had been firnly estab-
lished."
What can be said of this organization
and itsmethods, this grotesqe mixture
of cormunity self-help, Darwinism,
Dewey', instrumentalism, behaviorist
psychology, and laboratiry animal
testing techniques? Ve should
recognizi it perhaps as an elaborate
way, of voiding solvirg a social
problem tid a way of actually contin-
uing a deumanizing set of social cir-
cumstance. Perhaps the researchers
themselve do not understand this;
they insist ley are helping the poor.
BUT THIY may be deluded. In fact
what more ould we expect out of an
organizatio. like CSF?)'unded by
USAID, an ency that openly avows
its purposes, encouraging private en-
terprise andnsuring an openness to
U.S. investmpts, an agency which is
and sees itsells an arm of U.S. foreign
policy -- worhg with Colombian sci-
entists who ar in turn funded by the
Rockefeller ftndation - operating
with the apprral of the Colombian
government %ose interests lie in
quieting rural deontent without alter-
ing the power ructure, could CSF
come up with aniing else?
And when Aid-and her classmates
return to theiihomes and star
measuring their ratives "to see which

tains and fruit trees to mechanized sin-
gle-crop cultivation of soya, beans or
corn. This conversion has actually ten-
ded to increase peasant indebtedness,
and the transfer of land to large owners

But CSF's program of change com-
pletely ignores the social relationships,
the inequality and fierce oppression,
which lie at the heart of this problem
and has advanced the incredible idea

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