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January 20, 1980 - Image 11

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-01-20
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Page 8-Sunday, Janlry 20, 1980-The Michig Daily

neo

(Continued from Page 6)
the neoconservative movement very
many friends-it just isn't in vogue
today to take from social groups that do
not have much to give up. The neocon-
servatives, however, are really not too
concerned about the popularity of any
of their individual theories. They do not
run candidates for office or lobby for
legislature on Capitol Hill; consequen-
tly, they do not have to worry if their
ideas are unpopular.
Rather, the neoconservatives are in-
tellectuals, creating political theories
that they are confident will eventually
be assimilated by the public.
"Philosophy determines public policy,"
Mitchell explains, repeating a neocon-
servative belief that was originated by
the French revolutionary statesman
Alexis de Tocqueville. "The group
which is in dominance determines the
philosophy and therefore the policy,"
Mitchell continues. This is the goal of
neoconservatism: to be the dominant
philosophy.
If there is one issue about which most
neoconservatives hold similar views it
is that the market can and should be
used to solve social problems without
interference by government. Indeed,
many critics of government social
programs point to what they describe
as the failures of two key attempts to
bias the market for the benefit of the
poor-the minimum wage and welfare.
Mitchell maintains that the minimum
wage program actually excludes many
less-skilled workers from the job
market. "Every academic study of the
minimum wage program has shown
that it increases unemployment. This
occurs because employers will not hire
someone who is worth only two dollars

per hour if they must pay them more than
that," Mitchell says. "The Marxist
view that workers would be exploited
by employers if there were no
minimum wage is disputed by many
economists, not just conservatives.
Research looking at wages and
productivity has shown that this
Marxist view is just not true," he con-
tinues.Y
Welfare, too, has resulted in un-
desireable and unanticipated side ef-
fects, according to the neoconser-
vatives. In an article about neoconser-
vatism in Current magazine, Columbia
Sociology Prof. Amitai Etzioni explains
the neoconservative thought. "Poverty
exists because society insulates poor
individuals from the negative con-
sequences of their improper attitudes
and actions-thereby, in effect, en-
couraging them."
Harvard Prof. Edward Banfield, who
Steinfels characterizes as "ultra-neo-
conservative," elaborates on this con-
tention. "The almost universal opinion
today is that, both for his own sake and
that of his society, an individual must
not be left to suffer the consequences of
his actions. If, for example, he has
chosen a life of improvidence, he can-
not for that reason be allowed to remain
below the poverty line. To give him
money, however, is to give him an in-
centive to persist in his ways."
Has this neoconservative position on
welfare programs reached Ann Arbor?
Well, it depends on whom you ask.
David Morgan, an LSA senior and for-
mer member of the Michigan
Republicans Club, agrees with the
neoconservative line. wholeheartedly.

"I believe neoconservatism is the wave of
the future. People are coming to realize
that big government spending
programs have not accomplished what
they were supposed to," Morgan says.
"The failures of the minimum wage
program and the welfare program
show that there should be minimum
government interference in the
economy," continues Morgan, who is
now working for Ronald Reagan's
Presidential campaign.
Mitchell also says he believes that
"many government programs are set
up in such a way as to give people no in-
centive to work." And Third Ward
Republican Councilman Clifford
Sheldon "would tend to, agree that
welfare programs can't become too
much of a crutch."
But Morris, who finds herself in the
neoconservative camp on two issues,
has no taste for the neoconservative's
welfare argument. "Welfare is.
necessary for those who need help," she
says. SecondWard Democratic Coun-
cilman Earl Greene agrees with
Morris. "There are people in our
society who need that extra push from
welfare to survive in our society."
It is Greene who comes very close to
pinpointing a serious problem with the
neoconservative confidence in the free
market to alleviate social injustice.
"The concept of democracy is to share
wealth for the good of all, so I'm not
sure how the philosophy of capitalism is
compatible with the philosophy of
democracy," Greene says.
Democracy is not commonly inter-
preted as guaranteeing sharing of
wealth-Greene may be slightly off
base here. But in his casual musing

about the relationsip of capitalism to
democracy, he has raised a key
question that Etzioni explores in his ar-
ticle.
"Even a sophomore," Etzioni writes,
"and not necessarily in sociology,
knows that the market, far from
maximizing the freedom of the in-
dividual, maximizes the range of choice
of only those with a high buying power.
"Unlike the policy in which the notion
of one individual, one vote is at least
very crudely approximated, the market
offers individuals as many (or as few)
votes as they have dollars."
Etzioni continues, "(Neoconser-
vatives) argue that you can use the
market to introduce the social changes
you desire, but this ignores the need to
deal with the powerful people who op-
pose such changes. Societal stability is
a classic conservative value. It was
always a conservative line to call upon
the underprivileged to sit still so as not
to upset national unity, law, and order.
These arguments gloss over the
possibility that a class of people may
find their needs better served in a dif-
ferent societal structure (hence one
cannot assume that they will be scared
off by fear of overly disturbing this
one)."
Because few Ann Arbor conser-
vatives want to be considered by'fellow
townies even slightly right-of-center, it
is difficult to get a feeling for local con-
servative reaction to the neoconser-
'vative movement. When asked if he
would comment on the neoconservative
movement, one economics
professor-who is regarded almost
unanimously as a staunch conser-
vative-snapped, "Go find a real con-
servative to talk to."

L

wr

.

.

brethren

(Continued from Page 7)
distinct views on crime, on press
freedom, on executive authority, and on
civil rights -views that they vigorously
attempt to get written into the law of
the land.
The Brethren gives each of the
anonymous justices a name, a face,
and a personality that helps explain the
outcome of some of the court's most
celebrated cases. We see Warren
Burger, Nixon's appointed chief
justice, as the dogged defender of the
administration and the chief architect
of the president's grand plan to move
the nation in a more conservative direc-
tion. We see Burger as the chosen
legitimizer of the tough law-and-order
philosophies that Nixon rode to the
White House in 1968. We see Burger and
Nixon in indirect cohoots to implement
the President's southern strategy, with
Burger writing a draft opinion in a
busing case that praised the ad-
ministration for its efforts at cautious
desegregation.
Warren Burger is seen here not as the

robed chief justice, always staid and
stoic in formal public appearances, but,
rather, as an intense paranoiac, bent on
projecting an image of leadership and
always conscious that he is compared
to his predecessor, Earl Warren. We
see the chief justice switching his vote
on vital cases, merely so he can be in
the majority and not be publicly em-
barrassed as the lone dissenting vote.
We see the chief assigning the law-and-
order and criminal's rights cases to
those conservative justices whose
views were most like his own, so that
even when the decision went against
him, he could still control the language
of the final opinion. In short, we see the
chief justice of the Supreme Court
without any robes, and the sight of
Warren Burger stripped of all the
public judicial trappings is not pretty.
It must send a chill down the spine of
civil liberatians to hear the chief justice
of the nation's highest court telling
another justice, "We're the supreme
court, we can do anything we want."
Each of the justices is given a per-

sonality, an attribute each previously
lacked in the public eyes. Douglas is the
crusador, committed fervently to the
liberal cause. Brennan is also a liberal
ally, with impeccable liberal creden-
tials but too willing to compromise.
Black, too, is an old south liberal, but
he's seen becoming disheartened by
rampant crime and degeneration of
American youth. His decisions become
increasingly conservative, and he even
votes to uphold the conviction of a
young California man sent to jail for
wearing the words "Fuck the Draft" in
a courthouse. Despite the first amen-
dment implications, the word "fuck"
offends Black's moral sensitivities,
This book is a compilation of vast
research, its impressiveness
heightened by the high court's pensity
for protecting its own privacy. The
authors, however, fall into the same
writing pattern that characterized
Final Days. That is, despite the claim in
the introduciton that the book was writ-
ten "based on interviews with more
than two hundred people, including
several justices . .. " the authors take

dubious liberties at probing the minds
of their characters and coming out with
declarative statements of questionable
credibility. When Messers. Woodward
and Armstrong write: "The chief
thought it fantastic and unprecedented
." or "Douglas thought Blackmun's
opinion outrageous," the reader is left
to wonder how the reporters gained the
omnicient power to delve into the
private thoughts of men whom they
may never have even spoken to.
The Brethren is an important book, if
only in that it helps strip away the text-
book-inspired aura of the high court as a
institutio.rxemoved from politics and
personalities. Such an image of the
court removes what is perhaps this
country's most powerful branch of
government from public scrutiny, and
the opinions of the court are then
treated as unbiased intrepretations of
law, not the 'political decisions of
political men. And when nine persons
can so shape the future of the American
constitution, then their politics, their
personalities, and their pet peeves
become important to understanding the
processof government itself.

law-

(Continued from Page 4)
an abortion, if you can pay for it, iri
the first trimester of pregnancy.
With regard to race relations, I also
look for continuity. School busing as a
remedy for past segregation may be
restricted somewhat but I doubt that
the Court will forbid its use in all cir-
cumstances.
If the 1980's proves to be a decade of
relative economic stringency, we can
expect an intensification of disputes
between various levels of government
regarding economic policy, par-
ticularly with regard to such questions
as the exploitation of natural resources
and environment protection. The last

decade witnessed a very mild revival of
judicial concern for states rights; I
think this revival could accelerate in
the future. On the other hand, it is also
possible that a national preoccupation
with the economy could result in even
more in the way of constitutional doc-
trines establishing federal supremacy.
That certainly was the result in the
1930's, the last era when the nation felt
truly threatened economically.
Finally, in most eras the justices
seem to find at least one new group of -
claimants to serve as beneficiaries of a
dramatic doctrinal breakthrough. Most
likely candidate for the 1980's: gay
people.

Cundao
Co-ed itors

Elisa Isaacson-

RJ Smith

Neoconservatives
on the rise
Supplement to The Michigan Daily-

Considering death
in the 80s

Scrutini:
the Supr

Cover collage by Reggie Sandman

Ann Arbor, Michigon--Sunday, January 20, 1980

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