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December 01, 1977 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily, 1977-12-01

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Page 4-Thursday, December 1, 1977-The Michigan Daily
Eighty-Eight Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Vol. XXXVI ,No.
News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
The batteredWife dilemma

Recalling E. F. Schumacher

HOULD A WOMAN be allowed to
go free after killing her husband if
she can prove that he had beaten her
on a regular basis?
For the second time this month,
Michigan courts have ruled 'yes.' On
Tuesday, a Marquette woman was de-
clared innocent after shooting her hus-
band with a 20-gauge shotgun last Feb-
ruary because, the judge said, the
prosecution had failed to prove that
she had not acted in self-defense.
Earlier this month, a Lansing
woman was also freed after burning
her husband in his bed, on the grounds
of temporary insanity. It was revealed
in the trial that her husband had beat-
en her regularly over the previous 13
These cases are representative of a
problem which has been festering as
long as the institution of marriage it-
self, yet is only now gaining national
attention - the plight of the battered
Wife-beating is'a serious problem in
our society. It is one of the least re-
ported of all crimes, far below even
rape. There are a number of reasons
for this, but the major one is the atti-
tude of the police. Often, police don't
want to get involved in so-called do-
mestic problems. If they do come,
their usual procedure is to try to calm
the immediate situation and then stay
out of it. A wife can swear out a com-
plaint, but seldom can the husband be
held for more than 48 hours, leaving
the wife open for more abuse on her
mate's return.
Another problem is the lack of
places for battered wives to go. Many
have children, but no means of support
except their husbands. Even if they,
could find places to live and jobs, child
care is often beyond their reach.
As the problem gets more exposure,
new shelters, including one in Washte-
naw County, are opening every day.
Although these are certainly a step in
the right direction, they don't repre-
sent an ultimate solution since. most of
them can only accommodate women
for a few days.
* *
THE MOST BASIC of the problems
facing battered wives is the wide-
spread societal belief that being beaten
is something that women must accept
in exchange for their financial support.
Many wives take physical abuse for

years without complaining not only
because they have nowhere else to go,
but because they love their husbands
and feel that the beatings are part of
married life.
Recognition of the problem is only a
small first step on the road to a solu-
tion, though, and clearly the answer
cannot lie in allowing beaten wives to
kill their husbands. Unless women are
educated about their right not to be
beaten, rulings like these could encour-
age battered wives to murder their
With the declining number of house-
wives and the ever-growing percen-
tage of workfing women, some authori-
ties are being led to believe that the
problem will work itself out in the long
run. This is dangerous fallacy. There
are still millions of unskilled women
who need training, encouragement,
and a chance to make it on their own.
Without programs which are available
to all who need them, these court
decisions could set a dangerous



E. F. Schumacher, noted author of
"Small Is Beautiful, " died in early Sep-
tember. University Humanities Prof.
Hen ryk Skolimowski visited with Schu-
macher a few days before his death. Here
he remembers Schumacher.
E. F. Schumacher died a famous man. His
ideas were at first considered cranky and un-
realistic. Schumacher did not change. Only
the world has changed during the last ten
years to accept his ideas as viable and per-
haps necessary. He had a knack for coining
short, memorable and relevant phrases of
which "small is beautiful" is the best exam-
Schumacher visited Ann Arbor last March
during his triumphant American tour. I was
surprised that Fritz consumed quite a quan-
tity of wine during dinner, just before his
major speech. The wine, as a matter of curi-
osity, was supplied for him from special bot-
tles which his entourage brought with them as
they considered ordinary wine to be just poi-
THE RECEPTION he received was good if
not overwhelming, actually before he started
to talk. The crowd, about 4,000 University of
Michigan students, welcomed him as a hero.
Yet many of the students, including my lot,
were disappointed afterwards. They expected
him to go beyond the ideas of Small Is Beau-
tiful. His talk was pitched rather low, aiming
at a popular level, of which Schumacher was
aware. He mentioned during the dinner, be-
fore the lecture, that the time had arrived to
start a popular movement, perhaps even a
populist movement which would bring
together people from all walks of life, so
many of whom were ready and willing to
adopt the idea of Appropriate Technology,
technology with a human face, which would
pave the way to less disruptive life styles and
more harmony with nature and with ecologi-
cal habitats.
It is surprising that a small book would
have had such a following and (in spite of its
simplicity) such a profound influence. But
then this is the way things are: what changes
the world is neither huge machinery nor
"priactical people," but ideas, often ex-
pressedmin small books. It is the ideas about
the world and about ourselves that change the
world and ourselves. One of the best essays in
Schumacher's book (Small Is Beautiful) is
"Buddhist Economics," a slightly mysterious
title. Yes, Schumacher did study Buddhism a
little. But the origin of the title lies elsewhere.
He told me in Ann Arbor: "When I finished
this piece I was looking for a title. The first
impulse was to title it 'Common Sense Eco-
nomics.' But then nobody would take it seri-
ously. So I tried another, 'Christian Econom-
ics.' Well, everybody would say 'old hat.' So I
finally settled for "Buddhist Economics. ",
And everybody loved it!"
What struck me in Ann Arbor was how
completely relaxed hewas. In spite of the fact
that he was at the end of a murderous tour, he
was in great spirits and visibly enjoying life;
and looking forward to more of it. He was the
embodiment of a great old guy riding the
crest of a wave; a pleasure to be with and
chat with. It was quite obvious that what pre-
occupied him most were questions of values,
religion, the future of mankind, the ultimate
purposes of man's life. But he did not talk
about these things in his big lecture, which
was devoted to the popularization of Small Is
Beautiful. My students thought that he lost a
great opportunity to say something new and
significant. Many thought that it was "a
promotional pep talk." And in this spirit they
wrote to Fritz telling him their reactions.
I MET FRITZ next time on August 29, just
a few days before his fatal trip to Switzerland.
We met at Liverpool Station in London, where
he was picking up his sister from Germany.
Again he struck me as a jolly old fellow, com-

I believe
to live an


pletely at peace with himself and at one with
life. In his funny little hat, slightly cocked to
one side of his head, he cut a flamboyant
figure. In his car we went to Surrey where he
lived, some thirty miles from London.'
"Whenever I go to new places and new coun-
tries," he said, "I always observe the state of
the roofs over the houses. If the roof is solid
and well put together, it means that the whole
house is solid and in good order. The roofs tell
you a lot about the people and the way they
live. Take shanty towns around Brasilia. Bad
collapsing roofs on the one hand and general
squalor and misery of life on the other. If you,
take Indonesian villages (or villages in many
other countries, for that matter) you realize
that good roofs go hand in hand with good
We ate an indifferent lunch at a fifteenth
century inn in his village of Caterham. They
seem to think there that if you eat in an an-

he hoped
other, 15

V..- 1l

LOIS JOSIMOVICH.........................Managing Editor
GEORGE LOBSENZ....... ........... Managing Editor
STU McCONNELL.................. ...Managing Editor
JENNIFER MILLER..........................Managing Editor
PATRICIA MONTEMURRI...................Magaging Editor
KEN PARSIG IAN........................ Managing Editor
BOB ROSENBAUM ...................Managing Editor
MARGARET YAO ..................Managing Editor
Sunday Magazine Editors
Associate Magazine Editors
STAFF WRITERS: Susan Barry, Richard Berke, Brian Blan-
chard, Michael Beckman, Lori Carruthers, Ken Chotiner, Eileen
Daley, Lisa Fisher, Denise Fox, Steve Gold, David Goodman,
Elisa Isaacson, Michael Jones, Lani Jordan, Janet Klein, Garth
Kriewall, Gregg Krupa, Paula Lashinsky, Marty Levine, Dobilas
Matunonis, Carolyn Morgan, Dan Oberdorfer, Mark Parrent,
Karen Paul, Stephen Pickover, Christopher Potter, Martha
Retallick, Keith Richburg, Diane Robinson, Julie Rovner, Dennis,
Sabo; Annmarie Schiavi, Paul Shapiro, R. J. Smith, Elizabethi
Slowik, Mike Taylor, Pauline Tole, Sue Warner, Jim Warren,
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Weather Forecasters
DEBORAH DREYFUSS...................Business Manager
COLLEEN HOGAN ..................Operations Manager
ROD KOSANN ............................ Sales Manager
NANCY GRAU...............................Display Manager
ROBERT CARPENTER ......................Finance Manager
SHELLEY SEEGER......................Classified Manager
SUSAN BARRY ..................... National Ad Manager
PETE PETERSEN..............Advertising Coordinator:
STAFF MEMBERS: Steve Barany, Bob Bernstein, Richard
Campbell, Joan Chartier, Fred Coale, Caren Collins, PamCounen,
Lisa Culberson, Kim Ford, Bob Friedman, Kathy Friedman,
Denise Gilardone, Nancy Granadier, Cindy Greer, Amy Hart-
man, Susan Heiser, Larry Juran, Carol Keller, RandyKKelley,
Dough Kendall, Katie Klinkner, Jon Kottler, Lisa Krieger,
Debbie Litwak, Deb Meadows, Art Meyers, John Niemisto,
John O'Connor, Seth Petok, Dennis Ritter, Arlene Saryan,
Carole Schults, Claudia Sills, Jim Tucker, Karen Urbani, Beth

years. He was looking
forward to the time
when students and peo-
ple 'would come here,
to learn from me di-
rectly. "
cient inn you don't need to have good food and
good service.
Afterwards we'went to visit the old part of
the village. On our way we passed a cottage
where one of Fritz's four sons lives. We were
spotted and immediately ushered in. The
discussion turned to atomic energy. Fritz told
us a story of the last year, concerning a
Canadian professor of physics who had turned
into a lobbyist for nuclear power stations. He
was visiting England and specifically Surrey
at the time. He wanted to see Schumacher,
who first declined, since he thought that
"nothing of value would come of such a meet-
ing." Then, being urged, he consented. Dur-
ing the meeting the distinguished professor,
impatient because Fritz would not accept his
arguments, asserted a bit arrogantly: "Let us
see what you have missed in my argument."
At which point, Fritz, enraged, said to the
physicist, "I will tell you what you have
missed in your argument, and in your knowl-
edge, and in your life. You are basing your
theories and your arguments on a ridiculously
narrow field of knowledge and of human ex-
perience, whereas I have studied life and the
world at large." It was indeed Schumacher's
sense of the whole life and his compassion
that have made him so precious to so many of
WE THEN WALKED through the'
'neadowvs to his house. I asked him: "What
did you feel about the letter from my stu-
dents?" Slightly embarrassed, he said: "Of
course your students were right. I was too
tired. And it was a populist tour." "A great
man," I thought, "no beating about the bush
or looking for excuses."
At his place, a large house with three solar
panels on the roof, of which Fritz was very
proud, we went straight to his study, crowded
not only with books and papers, but also with
tools and toys of his three-year-old son "who
likes coming here to play in my study." I
learned that Schumacher has eight children.
"Since the youngest is only three, I have to
live to my middle eighties to see him through
his education," he said. I believe he hoped to
live another 15 years. He was looking forward
to the harvest of his ideas, to the time when
students and people "would come here to
learn from me directly."
The subject of our conversation was relig-
ion and the importance of a sane and fulfilling
life style. "My new book will come as a sur-

prise to most of my readers. They expect it to
be a continuation of Small Is Beautiful. It is
about something else. Religion, metaphysics,
values. Only these things are really import-
ant." The trivialization of life in the tech-
nological society was particularly painful and
appalling to Schumacher. His new book, A
Guide for the Perplexed urged a return to
Christian religion. Thomas Aquinas seems to
be the main authority and the main repository
of wisdom. I suggested that perhaps this was
an exaggeration and that many people will
take exception to this idolatry of the past.
"Maybe so," he said, "It is not important
what form of religion you subscribe to. What
is important is to return to our spiritual roots,
to transcend present barbarism."
SCHUMACHER WAS very pleased with
his American tour, and particularly pleased
with his visit to the White House at the in-
vitation of President Carter who had read his
Small Is Beautiful some two years earlier.
Fritz found Carter "alive, quick, responsive,
intelligent, altogether a good man." At one
point Carter asked him what he was working
on. Schumacher responded, "I have just fin-
ished a book entitled, A Guide for the Per-
plexed." "It is me, all right," said Carter.
During this visit Carter asked Schumacher
what he could do to help the cause. Schu-
macher suggested that during one of his tours
he plant a tree, a fruit bearing tree, for this
would be an example for others to do likewise.
Carter did so a few months later.
This advice to President Carter, to start a
tree planting campaign, was not rhetorical
preaching. Fritz was very worried about the
coming food crisis (and he was usually right
in anticipating crises; he had predicted the
energy crisis some fifteen years before it oc-
curred) and tried very hard to encourage
everybody to do something so that suture gen-
erations are not left high and dry. Ile cleared
one and a half acres of his own land, once
almost a jungle bush, and planted three sets
of trees, each set arranged in a circle "to
create an altana effect in time." All the trees
are fruit bearing ones. And quite a variety of
them. The Soil Association in Britain, with
which he kept in close alliance in recent
years, and to which he gave quite a bit of the
royalties from his first book, has been doing a
great deal of valuable research on micro con-
ditions of various environments and what
kind of food bearing trees best suit various
conditions. Apparently with little ingenuity
we can do a lot. But we are usually too lazy,
leaving everything to high powered technolo-
gy, which does not seem to be our friend any
Fritz Schumacher has become a patron
saint to many environmental and ecological
movements. Not only that, also to many relig-
ious groups which have discovered him quite
independently and found him relevant and il-
luminating. These religious groups and chur-
ches have come to realize that the debase-
ment of human values and the degradation of
physical environment through thoughtless
technology go hand in hand. There are there-
fore two broad moveints which are begin-
ning to converge: the environmental move-
ment which is realizing more and more that
the restoration of values is quite essential to
the restoration of the environment; and a
variety of religious movements, including
many churches, which are beginning to per,
ceive that the restoration of the environment
via Appropriate Technology may be quite
crucial to the restoration of our morals and
our spiritual heritage. Schumacher has
helped both these groups.
During a recent meeting of the Task Force
on appropriate Technology of the U.S. Con-
gress, held at the National Center for Ap-
propriate Technology at Butte, Montana, the
participants decided that the meeting should
be declared a tribute to Schumacher, "whose
work and thought were of inestimable value
for the Appropriate Technology movement,
which is beginning to be important for the
whole nation." A fitting tribute which Schu-
macher would have loved. He was a lovable

( ,, ~ ert

Letters to

The Daily

poor taste
To The Daily:
For a newspaper that professes
to be liberal and human rights
oriented, the Daily certainly
comes up with some pretty
questionable language every on-
ce in a while. The latest offender
was a headline on November 23:
"These gulls aren't queer;
they're just homosexuals." I find
the use of the word "queer" in
this context rather revolting, and
no less offensive than if the Daily
had sneaked into their headlines
one of the many radical,
religious, sexual, or ethnic slurs
that have graced America's
television screens via All in the
Family. Perhaps your editors
feel that word plays of this type
are amusing; I certainly don't,
and I am dismayed that the Daily
houses even a single staffer that
would consider putting
something like this on a campus
newspaper's pages. I fe.el that an
apology is in order, not just to
homosexual men and woxnen but

To The Daily:t
I am in complete disagreement
with your editorial of November
15, which advocated the release
of the Watergate tapes. The
release of the tapes would be
nothing more than an act of
vengence against former
President Nixon. Nothing is to be
proved through the tapes' sale to
the public.
The fact remains that
Watergate is past history. The
court has decided upon the guilt
of the conspirators, and senten-
ces were handed down. The
American public knows what is of
importance: Nixon and his cohor-
ts had engaged in illegal ac-
tivities and they were punished
for it. The release of the tapes
will do nothing to change those
Must we again bring out the, so
to speak, "dirty laundry" for
public scrutiny? As your editorial
stated, we have been deluged
with public accounts of the tapes.
Enough is enough. Will the "full

than another smattering of Mr.
Nixon. Must we label Richard
Nixon "criminal" for the rest of
his life?!
I see a close comparison of the
release of the Watergate tapes to
the renewed investigation of the
Kennedy's assassination. Neither
action can change the history of
events. Kennedy is dead and
Nixon was guilty. Let's resolve
ourselves to those facts and let
those matters rest.
-James Font
dangerous corner
To The Daily:
The intersection of Packard
and State streets is the most
dangerous corner in Ann Arbor.
Two geographical charac-
teristics are the causes of the
high probability of an accident
occuring. First, the fact that
Packard intersects State at an

Street makes left turns on to
Packard a frightening
proposition. With cars waiting to
make left turns in both direc-
tions, it is virtually impossible to
see oncoming traffic when tur*-
ning left on to eastbound
Packard. The decision of
whether to turn or not resembles
a game of "Russian roulette."
This unhealthy game could prove
a serious accident soon if
something is not dane to remedy
the situation.
Something should be done
about the situation at this inter-
section. As of now, left turns
aren't allowed on to State. I
recommend that either left turn
traffic signals be installed, or
prohibition of left turns except
during hours of light traffic. If
either of these proposals don't ef-
fectively solve the problem, all
left turns should be made illegal.
Until some action comes about, I
urge all motorists, cyclists, and
pedestrians to avoid using this
corner whenever possible.
-Jeb McClure

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