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November 08, 1977 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily, 1977-11-08

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Page 4-Tuesday, November 8, 1977-The Michigan Doily
a an
Eighty-Eight Years of Editorial Freedom
420 May-ard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
VpI. LXXXV |, No. 53 News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Soviets abuse psychiatry

Support S. A
EGINNING .yesterday and run-
ning through Friday, the African
Students Association is presenting a
teach-in on South Africa, featuring sev-
eral recent films and a handful of guest
and faculty speakers. All sessions are
open to the public and free.
With the situation in South Africa
eroding, the U.S., and the University in
a smaller way, can and mustn take
steps to promote freedom and majority
rule. The teach-in is an attempt to
make the university community auare
of the urgent need for stringent
conomic sanctions against the white
;.minority government in South Africa.
Currently, the University has over
40 million invested in corporations
vith holdings in South Africa. It is the
:evenue from these corporations that
uels the Vorster regime, and without
.t the white government would be
orced to submit to majority rule.
The controversy began this sum-
er when several student groups, in-
luding the Daily, called on the
niversity to divest itself of all hold-
ngs in corporations with financial ties
o South Africa. The administration

rica teach-in,
hemmed and hawed, and finally ap-
pointed a committee to organize a pub-
lic forum to discuss the matter. The
Communications Committee, as it was
dubbed, was to invite speakers who
represented a wide variety of view-
points on the South Africa question to
the campus. These speakers would at-
tend public discussion sessions, and
the University would weigh the public
reaction in making its final decision.
However, the committee has made
no visible progress in the past three
months, the situation in South Africa
has deteriorated alarmingly rapidly.
Recognizing the need for an urgent re-
sponse, the African Students Associa-
tion quickly put together this week's
teach-in in an attempt to push the ad-
ministration into action. But for the
administration to take notice of the
teach-in, public response will have to
be substantial. If the films and lectures
are sparsely attended, the University
will simply ignore the teach-in, and
continue to procrastinate that South
Africa is important to us by turning out
in large numbers for the teach-in, it
will be forced to pay attention.

Science has always carried
with it certain moral responsibili-
ties, and such obligations were
presented clearly two weeks ago
at the annual meeting of the So-
viet - American subcommittee
conducting research in
psychiatry and schizophrenia.
American delegates attending
the conference found themselves,
confronted with Russian deman-
ds for a joint statement condem-
ning allegations that the Soviet
Union misuses psychiatry to per-
secute political dissidents. The
American side balked at the
request, but instead signed a non-;
committal document that effec-
tively tabled all moral considera-
The American doctors recog-
nized that "both sides expressed
views as contained in the pro-
ceedings concerning negative
non-scientific factors affecting
cooperation in this area, and
agreed to continue as in the past
on the basis ofwmutualrespect
and trust between the par-
ticipating scientists of both coun-
tries." These words may seem
adequate to the delegates in-
volved, but as the future suf-
fering of Russian dissidents will
make painfully clear, "mutual
trust" will not absolve these pro-
fessionals from the moral guilt
that accompanies the misuse of
their work.
used psychiatry to stifle political
dissent. Russian doctors who
have presented the technical
theory behind this "treatment"
are elevated to prominent posi-
tions in the field. Such physicians
work closely with the Soviet
secret police, the KGB, to assure
that "insane" dissidents will be
properly treated. It is a cruel
joke, but for purposes of state,
the Soviet Union appears to have
catapulted psychiatry into the
realm of political "science."
Yuri Andropov, head of the
KGB, recently outlined the
mechanics involved in commit-
ting political dissidents. He
equated any form of "divergent
thinking" to ideological "delu-
sions"gthat were ultimately
rooted in some form of "psychic
instability." He added that
"those who suffer from such delu-
sions we endeavor to help, en-
deavor to confine, and endeavor
to dissa~te their delusions." Put
more simply, Mr. Andropov en-
deavors to forceably alter the
convictions of those individuals
unwilling to toe the party line.
The means used to achieve this
society without dissent have been
revealed in detail by victims of
the Soviet "mental health"
system, most noteably Leonid
Plyushch and Vladimir Bukov-
sky. The former was a prominent
mathematician until he was re-
lieved of his post for criticizing
government policy. In 1972 he
was confined to a mental hos-

pital until international pressure
helped gain his release and emi-
gration four years later.
DURING HIS incarceration,
Plyushch found himself placed in
wards'with what he describes as
"mentally deranged murder-
ers, rapists and hooligans." It
was these men who became his
constant companions since any

Upon reaching the west, Bukov-
sky was analyzed by a team of
British psychiatrists. To
nobody's surprise - surely not
even Moscow's - he was found
undeniably sane.
In light of these conditions, the
World Psychiatric Association
recently censured "the systemat-
ic abuse of psychiatry for politi-
cal purposes in the USSR" The

The state's endeavors to "dissi-
pate his delusions" had instead
served to dissipate his mind.

tions is one thing, to do so without
adopting any semblance of moral
posture is another. The United
States cannot claim to defend
human rights, if at the same time
its representatives contribute the
very tools which might be used to
destroy them.
Given such considerations, an
embargo on all psychiatric infor-
mation to the USSR would appear
to be the soundest solution. It is
not. If anything, it is a last resort.
A far wiser policy is embodies in
a proposal by Vladimir Bukovsky
- creating a blacklist of Soviet
psychiatrists who have abused
their profession. These doctors
would be totally isolated from
any further research or ex-
changes. The only physicians
privy to new information would
be those few who have resisted
the prostitution of their work.
BY ADOPTING such a plan,
American' members of the sub-
committee on schizophrenia
would make substantial progress

contact with other political
prisoners in the hospital was
strictly prohibited. Plyushch was
treated with drugs, causing him
to deteriorate "intellectually,
morally and emotionally." The
drugs induced him to lose interest
in "political problems, scientific
problems," and eventually the
status of his family. The state's

American delegates to the WPA
joined in the resolution, but
issued a statement of their own
that failed to mention the Soviet
Union by name. Such an omissioni
is inexcusable when one con-
siders that joint exchanges of
psychiatric knowledge are taking
place between the two nations.
IT IS THE men who make these

Secret vote is sacred

HE SAGA of the illegal Ann Arbor
mayoral votes continues. The state
ppeals Court is expected to hear ar-
uments today from lawyers on
hether or not a person who cast his
ote illegally can be forced to disclose
hom they voted for. The enth,.e case
oncerns the recent mayoral election
in which Mayor Albert Wheeler won re-
election by a single vote. His oppo-
nent, Councilman Louis Belcher, filed
gA$t saying that voting irregularities, if
corrected, would alter the results of
the election. The law suit wants the
courts to either declare Belcher the
victor, or declare the election void.
Those irregularities to which
Belcher and his lawyer allude are the
illegal registration and voting of twen-
ty people who re'side in township penin-
sulas that jut into the city of Ann Ar-
bor. These people were led to believe
they could register and vote in the elec-
tion by city officials. Because these
twenty votes were so important to
Belcher's case, his lawyers decided to
put the twenty voters on the stand and

ask them how they voted, citing two
precedents, in 1929 and 1931, which
stated that voters that vote illegally in
an election lose their right to a private
ballot. Two of the voters, Susan Van-
Hattum and Diane Lazinshy, heroi-
cally refused to reveal how they voted,
leading to the present case before the
state Appeals Court.
It is apparent that this case involves
one of our basic rights, the right to a
private ballot. It is essential that we
keep that right, so that we know when
we enter-the voting booth our vote will
be kept secret. Taking away our right;
to a secret ballot is tantamount to tak-
ing away one of our basic foundations
of democracy. We recommend that to
resolve the case of the illegal votes, the
city have the twenty voters vote in a
special election, exclusive to the twen-
ty only. This way the voters regain
their right to a private ballot, and the
city gets a proper barometer of how
the twenty voted. It is of the utmost
importance that no matter what the
results in this case are, our right to a
private ballot is maintained.

endeavors to "dissipate his delu-
sions" had instead served to
dissipate his mind.
Unlike Plyushch, who was con-
fined to one institution, Vladimir
Bukovsky spent years being
transferred between Soviet
hospitals and labor camps. His
arrest resulted from the
possession of banned publications
and his support of dissident
authors. In 1976 he was exiled in
exchange for the Chilean commu
nist leader, Luis COrvalan. Bu-
kovsky's description of the condi-
tions he faced while confined are
virtually identical to those of Ply-
ushch. He wasdeclared "insane"
by Soviet doctors and officially
diagnosed as schizophrenic (as
are most of the estimated 2,000
political dissidents in custody).

exchanges possible, the
American doctors participating
in the subcommittee on schizo-
phrenia, that should be strongly
condemned for their activities. In
the course of exchanging infor-
mation which may contribute to
the most blatant violations of
human rights, these
professionals have corrupted the
knowledge that they offer. Acting
in the name of detente they pre-
tend that their work exists in a
vacuum, and lacks any practical
application. Subsequently, they
agree to issue joint statements
that label the misuse of their field
"negative non-scientific factors"
while such factor~s directly con-
tribute to the misery of political
To pursue "normalized" rela-

in restoring the integrity lost with
the statement. More importantly,
they would provide real hope to
those dissidents who are confined
solely because they ,had the
courage to speak out. Pressure
from the west contributed to the
release of Leonid Plyushch and
Vladimir Bukovsky. If applied
correctly that same pressure
might halt the abuse of a major
field of medical science.
Rod Kosann is Sales
Manager of the Daily Business
Staff, and afrequent contribu-
tor to the editorial page.

Letters to

The L

~~ C. I'. tIRMECroRs.


russian revolution
To The Daily:
Yesterday marked the 60th an-
niversary of one of the most
significant events of the 20th cen-
tury, and certainly the greatest
conquest of the world's working
class-the Russian Revolution of
1917. Sixty years ago the workers
of Russia, organized and led by
the Bolshevik Party of Lenin and
Trotsky, smashed the rule of the
capitalists and landlords, ripped
Russia out of the yoke of im-
perialist domination and con-
solidated political power through
the building of the world's finest
workers state. For over fifty
years the example and lessons of
the Russian revolution have been
sacrificed by Stalinism on the
altar of class collaboration. We
Trotskyists of the Spartacus
Youth League seek to revive and
extend the traditions of
Bolshevism through the
realization of the Marxist
program-the victory of the in-
ternational proletarian
revolution. November 7, 1917 was
the first breakthrough for world
socialism, and we celebrate this
event in the spirit of genuine
revolutionary internationalism.
Trotskyism was born in the
struggle against the political
counterrevolution in the Soviet
Union in the early 1920's. From
1918-1921, the Bolsheviks were
forced to fight the invading ar-
mies of 14 imperialist countries

paratus, headed by Stalin. This
Stalinist bureaucracy was built
through the bloody destruction of
the Bolshevik Party and the
strangulation of workers
democracy. Stalin sought to
defend the rule of the privileged
bureaucracy caste he headed by
counciliating a menacing world
imperialism through a conscious
policy of sabotaging the struggle
for revolution. Under the slogan
of "Socialism in One Country,"
the Stalinist bureaucracy over-
saw the degeneration of what had
once been the beacon of hope for
the oppressed all over the world.
In 1919 Lenin and Trotsky built
the Third, Communist, Inter-
national as the general staff for
world revolution. Captured by
Stalin in the 1920's the Inter-
national, too, was transformed
into a tool for counterrevolution.
General strikes, as in Britain and
France; the struggle against,
fascism in Germany; and
genuine revolutions, such as in
China and Spain were betrayed in
the Soviet bureaucracy's search
for rapproachment with world
imperialis. The Trotskyists
waged a crucial and heroic fight
against Stalinism despite the
harsh and brutal repression they
suffered, resulting in the jailing,
exiling, and executions of
thousands of communists, in-
cluding Trotsky's assassination
in 1940. In 1938 a new, Fourth, In-
ternational was forged by Trot-
sky to fight the betrayals of Stalin

1917-socialized property, a
planned economy and a state
monopoly on foreign
trade-remain. The Soviet
degenerated workers state, like
the deformed workers states of
Eastern Europe, China, North
Korea, Cuba and Indochina must
be unconditionally militarily
defended against imperialist at-
tack, domestic counterrevolution
or capitalist restoration. In-
separable from our stance of un-
conditional defense of the
degenerated-deformed workers
states is our program for political
revolution in those countries. The
political revolution is the
revolutionary strategy to oust the
Stalinist bureaucracies and
create genuinely healthy workers
states based on soviet
democracy. The political
revolution against Stalinism,
together with the socialist
revolution to smash capitalism,
is the only road to world
socialism. These revolutions can
be led only by the Trotskyist par-
ties, sections of a reborn Fourth
The traditions of Bolshevism,
and of the early Communist In-
ternational, live on today only in
the program of Trotskyism. That
is why we Trotskyists of the In-
ternational Spartacus tendency
alone can claim the mantle of the
Russian revolution and, together
with the class-conscious
proletariat, celebrate the 7th of
November as our own.
. C~~nw ~ ~ ......Aih on o

)aily I
myself on what City Council has
done to fight the housing crisis.
Morris does not point out any
specific inaccuraciesin my story,
but hints that she objects to my
statement, "City Council's
sluggishness in moving for im-
provements in housing can only
be explained by the fact that the
council majority doesn't care
enough about tenants to do any-
thing for them." To refute my ar-
ticle, Morris cites several
housing ordinance proposals
which have come before council,
some of which she herself intro-
duced. But can council be said to
have taken action on housing by
merely considering proposed or-
dinances? I submit that the an-
swer is no; for council to do some-
thing substantial it must pass
important ordinances, not just
consider them. Morris mentions
only one housing-related or-
dinance passed recently by coun-,
cil: a "lease clause" provision.
She writes, "Council Democrats
hope this small victory will in-
crease compliance with our city
ordinance requiring distribution
of the (city tenants' rights) book-
let to tenants whenever a lease is
signed. We are aware of the past
.problems of massive non-compli-
ance by landlords, but can do
nothing until tenants complain."
When council finally manages to
really do something - about the
tenants' rights booklet or about
any tenant %issue - Morris and
her fellow Democrats will de-
spvra7 gnorahil1atonn_


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