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May 30, 1973 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1973-05-30

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Summer Daily
S innmcr Edlition of
Edited and managed by students at the
University of Michigan
Wednesday, May 30, 1973 News Phone: 764-0552
C Ity goVernment
in a vacuum
WE VIEW Mayor James Stephenson's recent decision to
reschedule the public hearing on repeal of the city's
$5 marijuana ordinance as an attempt to reduce citizen
participation in Ann Arbor government.
The mayor decided that he would "not be intimi-
dated" by those opposing repeal of the "infamous" ordi-
nance. He thus changed the date of the hearing from next
Monday's Council meeting, when a final vote on the law
was to be taken, to the following Saturday at nine o'clock
in the morning.
In a prepared statement, the mayor said that he
would not repeat the "mistakes" of the previous Council
by having lengthy public hearings before Monday night
Stephenson wrote, "I have purposely separated the
public hearing from the Council meeting at which second
reading will take place. The information gathering func-
tion of City Council must be separated from the legisla-
tive deliberation function whenever possible."
APPARENTLY Mr. Stephenson feels that a citizen's
right to have a say before his or her elected repre-
sentatives at a decent hour of the week is a mistake.
If he would prefer that City Council's "information-
al" and "deliberative" functions be separated, perhaps
public hearings could be held at midnight on alternate
Fridays. Council meetings, of course, could then be pri-
vate, free of troublesome constituents and their concerns.
A NN ARBOR cannot be governed in a vacuum. A Sat-
urday morning public hearing reveals to us a con-
tempt on the part of Mayor Stephenson towards the rights
of the people of this city.

SkinnerWian theory leading to
fascism within our society

THE MOVIE Williard was no
joke. Rats are becoming a
serious problem, but not just in
the ghettos. They're in the mental
hosnitats, the prisons, the public
schools, the factories, and, yes, in
the universities. Recently t h e
"King Rat" himself, B. F. Skin-
ner, sddressed an audience in Ann
Arbor. The frightening thing about
it was not the speaker on t h e
stage, but the hundreds of students
- potential rats - who stayed to
listen to Skinner and showed a
positive response to the scientific
nonsense spewed out.
Stimulis-response psychology,
which has been discredited for
years by Lawrence Kubie and the
earlier school of Gestault psycholo-
gists, denies the existence of the
human mind. By positing that man
is only the most developed of the
animal species it states that man
responds to his immediate s u r-
roundings, and is and can be con-
trolled by what he finds around
him. If this view were true, there
would be no human race, as we
know it, today.
Man is the only species that con-
trols, shapes, and actually defines
nature, by actively intervening into
the processes of his own reproduc-
tion. In past historical periods,
when man was faced, as he is now,
with a discrepancy between what
"nature" and technology could pro-
vide, and what was needed by man-
kind to continue to develop ma-
terially and culturally, only the
destruction-mongers like Malthus
denied the ability of man to solve
these problems. The people whose
creativity had not been destroyed
by bourgeois society, created the
necessary conceptions through
which man has been able to raise
his standard of living, especially in
the last hundred years.
IF SKINNER'S methods are per-
haps adequate for flat worms and
rats. but clearly inept and destruc-

exist and develop. He laments
that, "New methods of agriculture
and medicine will not help if they
are not practiced, and housing is
a matter not only of building cities
but of how people live. Overcrowd-
ing can be corrected only by in-
ducing people not to crowd and
the environment will continue to
deteriorate until polluting p r a c-
tices are abandoned." His solu-
tion is "to make vast changes in
human behavior."
Is Skinner joking? People have
to be "induced" to not crowd? Do
people live in ghettos be tasre they
prefer it?
ONCE YOU assume that human
creativity is equitable with rodent
mentation and you realize there's
a serious crisis nation and world-
wide, you have to find ways to ra-
tion out what you've got. This is
principally what Phase Three poli-
cies and Skinner have in common
-the goal of regimentation of the
working class, cutting the use of
"Is Skinner joking?
People have to be 'in-
duced' to not crowd?
Do people live in ghet-
tos because they pre-
fer it?"
resources and consumption because
we have reached the limit of capi-
talist expansion, and trying to
teach people to learn to accept it.
When Dr. McConnel and others
start Skinnerian programs in pri-
sons and mental institutions, they
are insuring that these inmates and
patients will never be able to think
or to revolt. When children a r e
taught to read the same way pig-
eons learn to do tricks, the child-
ren will learn to creatively inter-
vene into their environment to the
same extent the pigeons do.
In the Detroit schools the Self
Instructional Reading Labratory
places children in front of t a p e
recorders and flash cards w h e r e
they memorize words and sounis.

There is no social interaction, no
discussion and no conceptual devel-
opment. In factories the beha or
modifiers are concerned with
ensuring a docile work force that
will tighten its belt and learn to
live in the same bestial manner
that it is forced to now.
By giving an academic "intelec-
tual" cover to obvious scientific
quackery the behavoral psycholo-
gists are justifying anti-human be-
havior control techniques. The
main targets of this "rat training"
are society's most easily manipu-
lated layers -- prisoners, addicts,
welfare victims, mental patients,
and children. They are not merely
being conditioned so they won't
resist. They are being trained to be
the shock troops and scab armies
that will break any resistance and
strikes of employed workers as
you, the lieutenants, and the gen-
erals incite them to believe that
mankind no longer has the creative
potential to provide for itself and
that greedy workers will have to
learn to live on less. This is haw
a fascist movement is built.
of organizing that the National Un-
employed and Welfare Rights Or-
ganization (NUWRO) is now en-
gaged in. It is based on the con-
ception that a united front of work-
ers, the unemployed, students, wel-
fare victims, and socialists must
demand a decent standard of living
for the entire working class.
NUWRO is organizing all of those
normally self-competing sections
to fight Phase III around t h e i r
common interest. By demanding a
decent minimum income, produc-
tive jobs and the expansion of ne-
cessary services at the expense of
banks and corporations, NUWRO
will present this country with a
movement which will oppose Skin-
nerism thought and thus help to
insure the productive creative fu-
ture of the working class.
Marsha Freeman is a member of
the Detroit-Ann Arbor Steering
Committee of the National Caucus
of Labor.

Suninier Staff
Ediorial Page Editor
Sports Editor
Business Manager
DAN nIDL E .......t .

tive for human beings, then why
are professors like Dr. McConnel
teaching Skinner's theories? And
why are college students, who are
among the most creative people in
society, swallowing it?
Skinner begins Beyond Freedom
and Dignity by observing that the
human race is being faced with an
extremely serious crisis. He at-
tributes the cause to over-popula-
Nit Eter tion and man's uncontrollable de-
Nisht Editor sire to produce what he needs to

Letters to The Daily

friedih ht osNOe
/ "
Gee, it must be nice to be a hero and have a
friend in the White House.'

Book to be revised
To The Daily:
Obstetrics and Gynecology, t h e
1971 medical text burned by AMI,
will now be. revised. It contains a
20-page description of women's
minds which we feel is medically
harmful and undocumentable. A
very few quotes from it follow:
"Every phase of a woman's life is
influenced by narcissism." "T h e
normal sexual act . . . entails a
masochistic surrender to the man
. . . there is always an element
of rape." (masochism is an ab-
normal sexual condition in which
satisfaction depends on being sub-
jected to abuse or pain.) "The very
act of coming to the physician puts
the patient in a parent-child rela-
Descriptions of women in the
book vacillate between their being
near-idiots and being in need of
psychotherapy: "Many women
equate orgasm with loss of bowel
control." "Orgasm represents the
woman's ability to accept her own
feminine role in life." "She is like-
ly to feel that she is 'animal-like'
. or "to think of the vagina as
a 'dirty cavity' ." ". . men-
struation symbolizes her role in
life . " "It is during rnenstrua-
tion that women are most likely to
become emotionally disturbed, sui-
cidal, or homicidal." ". . . to the
immature girl (with painful men-
struation) menstrual blood conies
from the same area as feces and
urine; this causes her to transfer
to menstruation the feelings she
has toward these excretions." (If
orgasm and menstruation symbol-
ize women's role in life, do ejacula-
tion and urination symbolize men's
role in life?)

disorders are punitively described
as having "neurotic tendencies',
"personality disorders", "enmotion-
al difficulty in the home", deriving
"emotional gain" from their sick'
ness, in need of "mental hygiene',
"sex education" and "intensive
psychotherapy". "The husband of-
ten can be helpful by not being
too sympathetic and increasing time
woman's guilt .
Women in childbirth fear their
"past sins". Ptyalism, byperemesis
and headache are described as
symptoms of "fear of pregnancy"
rather than any organic cause the
doctor need test for.
Frigidity is "occasional failure to
obtain orgasm." "Very few of these
women ever seek medical help for
their sexual inadequacy." If there
is "only pleasure in clitoral stim-
ulation" the suggestion is that she
should be referred to a psychia-
trist. (In spite of Masters & John-
son's data that these "frigid" wo-
men are 100 per cent normal.)
Since the doctor is not going to
have intercourse with the patient,
we think the description of orgasm
should be replaced with descrip-
tions of the diagnosis and treatment
of disease.
Chps. 4 & I spend more space
discussing how neurotic women
-might be than they do the etiology
and treatment of disease. Recently
a woman went to Student Health
Service with acute appendicities.
Her symptoms were passed off as
uninmportant and she was sent
home. At home, her appendix rup-
tured. Her life was saved only
because she was "demanding and
aggressive" and lacked the faith
and. understanding trust in her
doctor that this book so heavily
depends upon.
-Advocates for Medical
May 24

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