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March 19, 1983 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1983-03-19

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Page 4

Saturday, March 19, 1983

The Michigan Daily

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Bringing community values
to hardened institutions

Vol.:XCIII, No. 132

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, M1 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
Bigger burden for students

S INCE 1981, the Reagan administra-
tion and Congress have cut more
than $2 billion out of student aid
programs. Despite the 13 percent
decline, the president has introduced
new proposals to make student aid
even harder to obtain - proposals that
would place an intolerable burden on
needy students.
'The Reagan administration plan
would require financially needy
students to ppy 40 percent, or at least
$600, of their educational costs before
they could receive federal grants. The
president also plans to eliminate three
programs that now disburse more than
$600 million in student aid.
The administration claims that
federally financed student aid no
longer serves only the "truly needy."
This rationale is not in keeping with the
facts. More than 20 percent of federal
Pell grants went to students from
families earning less than $12,000 a year.
With unemployment running as high
as 25 percent in many Midwestern

counties, many students will not find
employment this summer. Without
jobs, students cannot be expected to
shoulder a larger burden in addition to
what their families are already expec-
ted to contribute. The level of self-help
expected by the administration is sim-
ply unrealistic.
The $600 million slated for
elimination would add to that burden.
Much of the dollar amount would be
rechanneled into the work-study and
Pell grant programs, but the cuts
would eliminate low-interest loans and
supplemental grants to especially
needy students.
The administration seems intent
upon eliminating federal aid to middle
income students and severely con-
straining aid to poor students. For-
tunately, there is considerable op-
position to the cuts in Congress.
Perhaps, Congress members are
finally realizing that past cuts have not
eliminated waste, but only needy
students' chances of obtaining college

By Robert Honigman
The differences between an institution and
a communiy are ones we instinctively inder-
stand, but sometimes it is good to explore
what makes one collection of people an in-
stitution while another group is a com-
At the most obvious level, an institution is
rigid and unyielding, while a community
responds to the wishes and needs of its
inhabitants. In an institution, authority is
hierarchical, handed down from a distant and.
arbitrary power. In a community, authority is
democratic, flowing upward from mutual
consent. The final'legitimacy of authority in
an institution is "because that's the way we,
say it is," but a community holds debates un-
til a policy is formed. Then a vote is taken
authorizing executive action.
DURING ADVERSE times rank and file in
an institution are asked to make great
sacrifices so that the standard of living and
rewards for institutional elites won't be
sacrificed. The health and identity of the in-
stitution is equated with its institutional
leaders. In a community, leaders are the first
to make sacrifices and set an example, and
the health and identity of the community is
equated with the average member.
In an institution individuals are filtered
through a system to reward institutional
loyalty and eliminate anyone who fails to ser-
ve institutional goals. People are only taught
what they need to know, and information is
jealously hoarded by institution masters.
People learn to develop their moral, social,
spiritual, and human potential to the fullest
extent in a community, however, and experts
serve as their advisors not rulers.

In an institution, individuals are allowed to
make "route" decisions of how to guide them-
selves through the institutional maze, but not
"quality" decisions about how the maze shall
be structured. Carr'ots and sticks are used to
motivate inhabitants, involving petty rewar-
ds and deep underlying fears. Rewards are
often based on tokens which promise future
participation in institutional prestige and
power. In a community, rewards come from
the work itself, which is part of life, not a
preparation for life.
IN AN INSTITUTION, music is distant and
loud, a repetitive banal'march, and the walls
are solid, untouched by blood and tears. In a
community, however, music is melodious and
individual, and the walls respond to the
human voice.
In an institution time is written in decades
and belongs to the institution, while time left
over to the individual is dead and heavy, to be
killed not to be nurtured. In a community
time is a sheet of paper on which to write
one's life, minutes of healing, hours of
laughter, and days of deep thought.
People are crowded together in an in-
stitution, but are alone; the physical con-
ditions of life are often barren although the
institution is wealthy and powerful; and in-
dividuals are being trained to be winners in a
system where winners are few.
IN A COMMUNITY, the beautiful and the
spacious are shared. People smile. There is
laughter and love. The homeless and weak
are welcome. In a community, to love and
have compassion are the highest virtues-for
these heal wounds and bind the community
In an institution, rules and greed and fear

hold people together. There is always room
for one less. Compassion is a weakness that
squanders institutional assets. If there area
groups, they are isolated from each other and
are rivals for scarce institutional resources.
These are a few of the differences between
a human community and an institution. All
human life is institutionalized to some degree:
and it is certainly easier to slide through lifer;
accepting institutions as we find them and ac-
commodating ourselves to institutional con-
ditions as we enter and leave. One can still be
an individual within a hardened shell. ThO
harder path is to try to make an institution in=
to a community; to fight entrenched elites; to
shame leaders who are unresponsive and
irresponsible; to soften the callousness with gen-
tleness; and to have the courage to fail.
There is no question that one of the major
purposes of a university is to teach us how to
form and sustain human commodities. If we
learn only for the sake of knowledge and power,
then our learning is worse than useless-it's
dangerous. The powerful and the inhuman
brain are too much with us these days. We've*
trained enough.
In some profound way we know these
things, and yet we don't know them. We un-
derstand what the good is, ,and we don't
choose the good. Like some Socratic dialogue,
we agree to each proposition in a long series
of proofs, but we ignore the conclusion and
dismiss it as false. So let me leave the reader
with a Socratic question. How can we teach
human values and the meaning of community
in an institution?
Honigman is an attorney and a
University graduate.

Blacks Byrned in Chicago'

I MOST ELECTIONS, voters elect
party nominees in the primaries and
the primary winners square off for the
general election, getting at least tacit
support from the defeated primary
candidates. That is, of course, unless
the winner of a primary is black and
beats white opponents - making race
an issue where it should not be a con-
Chicago's current mayoral cam-
paign is such a case. It has become an
election based not on the issues and
problems facing that city, but a cam-
paign based on skin color.
Incumbent Mayor Jane Byrne and
Richard Daley lost to U.S. Represen-
tative Harold Washington in the
Democratic mayoral primary late
last month. Both losers, as well as
manyprominent national party
figures, pledged to support
Washington, the first black to be
nominated for mayor in Chicago, in his
election bid against Republican- Ber-
nard Epton.
Epton and Washington played down
the race issue immediately. The day
after the primary Epton vigorously

told voters not to vote for him because
Washington is black. Both candidates
in the overwhelmingly Democratic
city - which hasn't had a Republican
mayor since the 1920s - seemed eager
to discuss the issues.
That spirit was thrown out the win-
dow when Byrne announced a write-in
candidacy earlier this week. Her elec-
tion bid has made race the principle
issue of the campaign, something that
is implied in her new speeches.
Byrne's candidacy not only gives
credence the initial racist fears of
many whites in Chicago, but deprives
Chicago's voters of the chance to elect
a mayor because of the candidates'
It is not surprising that enough
racism still exists to influence an elec-
tion. It is disgusting that MayorByr-
ne is listening to racist callings when
the other candidates ignored those
voices. Ironically, though, Byrne's
write-in campaign may backfire by
splitting the white vote and further
solidifying Washington's hold on the
black vote. But it appears that
whoever wins will win for the wrong

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Anti-union argument is popular

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To the Daily:
In his editorial on unions, Mar-
ch 15, Mark Gindin wonders why
anti-trust regulations have never
been used against labor. The fact
is, anti-trust legislation has been
used against labor. In 1890,
Congress passed the Sherman
Antitrust Act tto control
monopolies by big business. In
1894, federal judges granted an
injunction against the striking
American Railway Union in the
famous Pullman Strike. The in-
junction was based on the Sher-
man Anti-trust Act. A brief study
of the history of the same period
leaves no doubt that it was the
railway tycoons, not the workers,
who conspired to restrain trade.
Capital-intensive development
began in this country before there
was ever a strong labor
organization. Developments
which brought many workers un-
der one roof in part made the
organization of labor possible.
Workers, however, did not
organize in order to control the
economy. They organized so that
they could have enough power to
fight unjust conditions.
The many effects of capital-
intensive technologies on our
economy are complex. The gains
and problems we derive from
them are not totally clear. Unions
have viewed increased
automation differently at dif-
ferent times.
What is clear from the present
and the past is that all kinds of
arguments have been used to un-
dermine the power of workers to
participate in decisions about
their lives. A basis in truth does

production workers should
receive less pay? How long will it
be before Gindin himself earns
more than virtually any produc-
tion worker?
I constantly hear that workers'
high wages are to blame for the
low sales of U.S. auto companies.
My own car shopping experience
a year ago showed otherwise. I

found that foreign cars were
generally priced higher, often
considerably higher than Ford or
GM cars. Yet dealers couldn't
keep Toyota or Honda inventories
up to demand. In some respects,
Japanese companies employ,
more capital-intensive
technologies than American
companies. Yet unemployment in

Japan is much lower than here.
Let's stop using American
production workers as
scapegoats. The arguments
against them have little basis in
truth. The truth is less easily ob-
tained than these myths and
more valuable.
- Jim Shackelford
March 16

.. .but misunderstands problem

To the Daily:
Mark Gindin's essay on unions
(Daily, March 15) exhibits a poor
understanding of the nature of
work in modern American
society. After abolishing the
minimum wage, I suppose he
would propose lengthening the
work week and repealing child
labor laws.
Unions were formed, in part, to
assure such basic security. They
were, in effect, saying that there
is a limit to the amount people
will let themselves be subject to
the inevitable fluctuations of the
The N
To the Daily:
Your editorial of March 14
shows a serious lack of political
understanding as well as an at-
tempt to trivialize and ignore the
issue of the Nazi presence in Ann
The Nazis are more than a
mere "handful of twisted minds''
or "weirdos." They are a
manifestation of racist, fascist,
and genocidal sentiment and ac-

market place. When companies
prospered, workers naturally
asked for just compensation. As a
result, American society has
become quite comfortable.
Now that America has lost
ground in world markets, Gindin
is saying the solution is to turn
around and walk back into the
past. Unfortunately, today's
problems cannot be solved with
yesterday's tactics. Americans
simply will not work for the
pitifully low wages earned by
third world laborers; and we can
hardly expect them to.
Corporate America's recent

shift to-high-tech and service in-
dustries is quite understandable,
but it has severe ramifications
for the blue-collar worker. These
highly specialized, capital-
intensive fields will provide
fewer jobs to higher educated
people. Surely some of the others
can be retrained, but for most,
there just won't be jobs out there
for them. This is the major
problem for Americans as we
move into the 21st century, but I
have yet to hear any innovative
aproaches to its solution.
- David Reibel
March 17

azis can't be ignored

Yes, we can ignore them. The
German people ignored the early
activity of Hitler and they and the
world have paid an enormous
price in human life because of it.
To ignore the Nazis is not to
prevent media publicity - they
get this anyway whether we
demonstrate or not. One needs
only to look at the Detroit Free
Press and the attention they have
been giving lately to another

on Genocide. The United States,
however, a late signer of this
resolution, chooses for its own
reasons to ignore it. The city and
police are gearing up for Sunday,
threatening with violence those
who oppose the Nazis if we exer-
cise our right to assembly and
free speech against racism and
To ignore the Nazis is not an
"ultimate insult"-to them. It is

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