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September 17, 1980 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-09-17

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OPINION

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Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XCI, No. 12

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, M1 48109

September 17, 1980 T he Michigan Daily
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Editorials represent a majority opinion of The Daily's Editorial Board

A farewell to Samoff

T HE CENTRAL character in one of
the more notable tenure dramas
here in recent years is now on his way
to Palo Alto, California.
Former Political Science Assistant
Prof. Joel Samoff has accepted a
position at Stanford University this fall
as an associate professor of inter-
national development education.
In 1978, you may remember,
Samoff-whose studies involved
Marxist political economics-was
denied tenure in the political science
department. Although no official
reasons for the denial were given (such
reasons are rarely made public), it
was announced that Samoff's research
did not meet department

specifications.
Because Samoff was widely regar-
ded as an outstanding teacher and in-
novative researcher, many students
and faculty members suspected his
termination had more to do with his
political beliefs than his academic per-
formance.
We will probably never learn the
truth about the Samoff case, and we
are hesitant to accuse the department
of unethical behavior without strong
evidence. But we do know that the
University has lost a fine teacher who
specialized in the relatively new field
of third world economics.
Goodbye, Joel Samoff. We wish you
better luck at Stanford.

A world without

Going beyond the rhetoric

NE OF THE most tiresome bits
of rhetoric opinionated
Americans like to toss about is
Voltaire's old saw, "I may disagree
with what you say, but I will defend to
the death yourright to say it." Too of-
en, a political zealot of some per-
Suasion will issue that noble sounding
proclamation, and then go about his
damnedest to squelch the opposition's
voice.
: It comes as a refreshing surprise,
then, to see Karen DeCrow, former
president of the National Organization
for Women, offer assistance to another
public figure who must certainly
The media at
WILL THE harmless personal
habits -and lifestyles of
Americans never cease to be the
government's business? Will the
nedia never cease to jump gleefully on
ony deviation from the all-American,
boring norm? Will the public never
Tease to react frantically to the news
that any public figure might have
behaved in a fashion other than their
fantasies of moral perfection?
' Judging from the current brouhaha
over President Carter's campaign
director, Tim Kraft, the answer would
seem to be "no" to all three of these
queries. Kraft has been accused of the
horrible crime of using cocaine and he
is suffering for it.
Whatever the inadequacies of his
boss, Tim Kraft is a respected and
skillful political mover around
*Washington. Many credit him, with
creating a viable Carter candidacy in
1976, as it was Kraft who thought of
using the Iowa caucuses to call the

qualify as her archest political enemy,
Anita Bryant.
Bryant recently lost her position as
spokeswoman for the citrus industry,
largely because of the tarnishing her
image took over her recent divorce.
Rather than jumping on the ban-
dwagon of derision many of Bryant's
adversaries have boarded, DeCrow
wrote Bryant a letter recommending
that Bryant sue under a law
prohibiting discrimination on the basis
of marital status.
Whether or not Bryant gets her job
back, DeCrow deserves credit for her
commendable show of sheer civility.
tack on Kraft
media's attention to the then-little-
known Carter.
It seems that even if Kraft once used
cocaine, as has been alleged, it has had
very little effect on his political
abilities. He is a competent ad-
ministrator, generally recognized to be
responsible and honest.
In fact, the only difficulty his sup-
posed (one-time) use has caused has
stemmed from the overblown publicity
surrounding it. To avoid the snickering
of the press and the slings and arrows
of the Republicans, Kraft has stepped
down from his campaign post.
Now the national press is ripe with
stories of Kraft's misdeed and the
ongoing federal investigation. The only
angle journalists have missed is the
most relevant one of all: Why is a
capable public servant being hounded
for a harmless act that has had no ef-
fect on his job performance?
Guess we'll have to wait for the
scoop on that one.

Once upon a time there was a Labour Party
in Great Britain that decided to quit the arms
race. They said, "When next we get in office
we are going to do away with Britain's
nuclear .deterrent." And then they said,
"While we're at it, we're going to get rid of
all the rest of our offensive armaments, like
submarines and aircraft carriers.
When they came into office, two years later,
and actually did all this, their allies in NATO
said, "You're reneging on your agreements
with us. Unless you change your tune, you
can't be our ally any more."
WELL, THE LABOUR Party didn't want to
change back to that worn-out old military
march, and decided that they would just get
out of NATO.
Now, not being in NATO, and not having
any more submarines or aircraft carriers-or
cruisers or destroyers or gunships or attack
bombers-not to mention cancelling orders
for all those nuclear weapons their Tory
predecessors had agreed to buy meant that
the British government had lots of left-over
money. Billions and billions of pounds
sterling, as a matter of fact. So they started to
give it back to the people, some of it in gover-
nment services, some of it in cash.
They spruced up the National Health Ser-
vice, and they reduced bus and train fares,
and they increased payments to old age pen-
sioners and disabled people who couldn't
work.
THE MONEY THAT they gave back to the
people caused the people to start buying more
things. And when they started to buy more
things-things of all sorts-that meant that
there was a greater need for things, so
manufacturers started making more, and had
to rehire all the people laid off from work
years before because nobody could buy
anything because the government was spen-
ding all the money on nuclear missiles and
hydrogen bombs.
So quietly and happily, Britain prospered.
The rest of us, however, determinedly
human, kept buying weapons and stockpiling
rockets and building submarines and bom-
bers. The United States kept producing three
hydrogen warheads a day to save the world,
and so did the Soviet Union.
BECAUSE BRITAIN was prospering,
however, her former allies began to look at
her differently. Because her economy was
sound and her people happy, everybody star-
ted to watch her. She was no longer just an
outcast nation. The generals at NATO were
directed to quit referring to the British as
sissies. In Britain people were buying things
and selling things, just like good capitalists
should! Soon the Americans started to use
Britain as an example to the rest of the world:
"See how well capitalism works," they said.
"Look at good old Britain."
(The French looked at Britain. And they
turned as green as the dome over Napoleon's
tomb, they were so jealous.)
The Russians were watching the British ex-
periment, too, of course: very carefully. The
British were buying and selling things, true
enough, just like capitalist pigs everywhere
else. But Britain was also now more of a
socialist state than she had ever been before.
And so the Russians-the leaders of that
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics-started
to point to Britain's success as a success for
the socialist system.
BUT THE MOST important change that
had happened in Britain was not that
everybody was buying and selling or that the
government was more socialist. The most
important change in Britain was something
nobody had noticed yet: not the capitalists
nor the socialists, not even the British them-
selves. Yet it was this that had caused the
success that everybody was so proud of.
When the British quit the arms race, and
dropped out of the nuclear missile com-
petition, and quit thinking about war
altogether, there were serious psychological
consequences, naturally. At first some of the
people were terrified: They were sure that
the Russians would just walk right in, at
Dover, and take over-or, worse, that they
would send over some nuclear bombs and
destroy poor defenseless Great Britain.
Needless to say, their fears were groundless.
How could the Russians just walk in and take
over? Were there twenty or thirty million
spare Russians around, available for duty in
Britain as colonials? And what good would it

By Bert Horn back
belligerence-once the nation itself quit all
that anti-social behavior, the people began to
follow suit. The public virtues changed, and
the private virtues in the society began to
change to match them. First of all, acts of
violence became less frequent. Van-
dalism-which had recently been imported as
a problem in Britain-began to disappear.
People started to respect both each other's
property and each other's lives. People star-
ted to respect property as property, and lives
as really human lives.
Once that happened, it was hard to control
the change. Quickly, people began to grow
civilized again. They -started to be
social-friendly-instead of competitive. And
because they weren't spending all their
money, all their national wealth of natural and
human resources, on bombs and missiles,
there was plenty in Britain: plenty of
everything to go around. Nobody needed to
hoard things, or to defend his or her private
hoard.
OBCC
It
I :
sc s
A BR ITIsH ER P1
a triumph a Brtain! Ts as gre r han
any empire. This was human civilization.
The French couldn't stand it. They wouldn't
be caught imitating the British, of course, or
couldn't abide the British success, either.heAt
first there was some danger that the French
would invade Britain, and try to undo all that
outrageous prosperity. The government of
France was all of it, but the French people
wanted what the British had, not to make the
British like t t French again. Unemployment,
poverty, worries of all kinds in a violent
society made the French people want very
much to be free and happy like the British.
And the British-well, they were more proud
than they had ever been just to be British, and
probably-man for man, woman for woman,
child for child, British dog for British
dog-couldn't have been conquered: by
any oby. an ap lk h Biih
aSO~ TE FR ENCH government proclaimed
solemnly that they were withdrawmg France
from the arms race, renouncig nuclear
weaponry, quitting NATO, and all the rest, in
order to build a new super-defense system for
France alone In the future, the President of
France declared, France would rely for her
well-being on "Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite."
The Italians decided to rely for their sur-
vival on tomatoes, pasta, and fresh basil, and
took the heels off the army's boots, thereby
utterly neutralizing them.
The German government, relieved at the
course history seemed to be taking, kissed all
the foreign soldiers on both cheeks and sent
f _ , _ _a + ,, r n _sr ,ila ,nr tha _.arm

veap oils
Americans and the Russians kept building
their daily rations of hydrogen warheads and
stockpiling their missiles and bankrupting
themselves, to save the world. The
Americans spent seventy-five percent of their
national budget on defense-so the Russians
spent eighty percent of theirs..Unemployment
in America reached unthinkable proportions.
Only the weapons factories were open, and
only weapons were being made. And what
bombs and guns and missiles the government
didn't buy, individual citizens bought-for
their own defense. Society completely fell
apart. There were riots everywhere. Those
who had homes slept in shifts, to try to
prevent burglaries or outright invasions.
People shot each other on sight, in self-
defense.
In Russia, there was no food. They army ate
everything, and the rest of Russia starved.
When people threatened to eat their children,
the government confiscated all the children
and turned them over to the army-for food.
Eventually the army started to eat the gover-

01

-Il,.

LIES his trade in peace.
Finally, at the edge of the end, when there
was nothing left in America but the scarecrow
of a society, waving its arms at fields of
nuclear missiles pointing in every direction,
and nothing left in the Soviet Union but- .
NO. BEFORE THAT. Before things got that
bad, they changed. Because the Americans
and'the Russians were, both sides, smarter
than that.
When everybody else started being so suc-
cessful by renouncing nuclear arms and
national defense, the Americans caught
on-and outdid themselves in becoming
civilized. And the Russians did the same
thing. Oh-and so did the Chinese.
And by then the Cubans and the Bolivians
and the Brazilians and the Nigerians and the
Pakistanis and the Turks and the Israelis and
even the South Africans had begun to catch
on: that maybe there was a better way to live
than by competition, belligerence, or adver-
sary action.
So we saved the world.
WE SAVED IT because, once upon a time,
the Labour Party in Great Britain decided to
quit the arms race. They said, "Reliance on a
nuclear deterrent for our safety is madness.
Nuclear arms are not defensive weapons;
they are by their nature offensive-and the
only thing their use can possibly accomplish
is to destroy the world.
"To say that as many as ten million people
in Great Britain might survive a nuclear at-
tack is to avoid saying that sixty million
people would be killed. To say that the few
who survive can begin to build a new-but dif-
ferent kind of-life is to avoid saying that a
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