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November 03, 1983 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1983-11-03

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Thursday, November 3, 1983

The Michigan Daily

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St.
Vol. XCIV-No. 50 Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

Sinclair

WNI OaNT WEAR SEATBELTS R ASOZ:
"ThE4" S o CON FININJG It

The logic of illogic

VERY NOW AND then the
people running the government
set in motion a plan that simply defies
all logic and common sense, yet no one
else in the government can stop it. Two
such moronic plans-the MX missile
and the B-1 bomber - continued to roll
along after the House of Represen-
tatives failed to vote down funding for
each Tuesday.
The House voted not to delete fun-
ding for the MX by a mere nine votes.
It also voted 247 to 175 not to restrict
funding of the B-1 to a one year period.
The votes extended the lives of the
defense department's two most
dangerous and illogical new weapons.
Both weapons are huge wastes of
money. Each B-1 bomber is projected
to cost at least $200 million, while $438
million will be needed to build ap-
proximately 100 MX missiles (that
figure ignores funds for research and
development) .
Proponents of the B-i have been un-
able to answer the charge that the
plane will be obsolete before it ever
taxis down a runway. The defense
gurus' rationale for the B-1 seems to be
nothing more than the billions of
dollars already spent on it.
But the MX vote is much more
troubling - and more dangerous.
The ten-warhead missile is a
destabilizing threat that, if it were
deployed, would push the United States
and the Soviet Union further toward a
nuclear showdown. A ten-warhead
missile is not a defensive weapon.
The MX is too big and too vulnerable
to be considered defensive. Because it

is so vulnerable, arguments that the
missile will act as a deterrent fall flat.
Deterrents are supposed to deter
because they can survive a first attack
in sufficient numbers to inflict damage
in response. By all accounts, the MX
would not survive a first strike - so if
deterrence is the name of the game,
why build the MX?
Even if supporters of the MX could
get around that argument, other
logical objections readily pop up. For
instance, where does the military plan
to put the missile? Every basing
mode the Pentagon has developed has
been ridiculous. None of them - from
the Carter administration's un-
derground racetrack to Reagan's
"dense-pack" to the most recent idea
of putting the MX in old Minuteman III
silos until someone can come up with a
better idea - offer even minimal
protection for the MX.
Proponents of the missile also ignore
the wisdom of nuclear strategists
which argues against multiple,
warhead missiles in favor of single
warhead missiles. The idea of a
flexible response to a Soviet nuclear
attack depends on single warhead
missiles. If the Soviets only attack with
five warheads, responding in kind is
possible using single warhead
missiles. The MX doesn't offer that
alternative.
Yet the MX and the B-1 live. If the
U.S. military must have nuclear arms
and strategic bombers, only one clear
reason for having the MX missile and
B-1 bomber exists: because they're
there.

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Competition and

cooperation

LaBar

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By Robert D.
Honigman
Second of two articles
Students, especially if they come
to the University from their
parents' house, tend to accept the
University as the real world -
the representative or agent of the
world that exists beyond their
home. The University seems to
them like a large gate which
gives entry to the world of
adulthood.
As a result, students tend to in-
ternalize University values and
goals. They accept them as a
valid standard to measure them-
selves against. No one has given
them any other standard.
IF YOU don't like the Univer-
sity then there is something
wrong with you - you have the
wrong attitude, you're lazy, or
maybe you are too sensitive. If
you are unhappy, you can blame
yourself because everyone is
trying their best to give you the
best education possible. If you
can't adjust to the University
where people are interested in
you and the system is fundamen-
tally kind, how do you expect to
make it in the outside world?
So in the University, it's very
easy to feel that you are a failure.
Yet you shouldn't accept the
University's values or judge
yourself by its standards. For
example, numerous studies have
shown that there is litle
correlation between grade
rankings and career success
among college graduates. No
doubt academic ability has some
value, and a minimum is cer-
tainly required - but in the out-
side world it is far less important
than the institution would have
you believe. Grades are really a
form of discipline, a way of exer-
cising institutional authority and

making sure that you march in
lock step through the system.
UNIVERSITY values, in fact,
are something you must unlearn
when you leave the institution. In
the University you learn to look
out only for yourself; you learn
that the world is a pyramid with
the important people and the
superstars at the top; you learn
that the system's only reason for
existing is to support and en-
courage those at the top.-
But in the real world, where in-
stitutions come and go like
dinosaurs, you must learn that
your health and well being are in-
timately bound up with those of
the people around you; that
society is an organic whole that
exists for the benefit of everyone,
not just those at the top; and that
no matter how strong or capable
you are, your children may be
weak and fragile, and so for their
sake you need to live in a society
where the weak and fragile are
cherished and protected along
with everyone else.
You must learn that life as it
passes is your greatest treasure,
not some distant institutional
goal that always recedes; that
friendships are mcre important
than material possessions; and
that sharing is one of life's
greatest pleasures. There are hard
lessons to learn and nothing in the
University prepares you for
them.
The values and goals of the
University are those of a large-
scale authoritarian organization.
Now you can say that since the
outside world is also composed of
large scale hierarchical
organizations, corporations,
government bureaucracies, etc.,
the value system of the Univer-
sity is a good introduction to that
world and you are being well
trained.
BUT NO one imagines that

these large scale organizations
exist to serve their middle-
echelon personnel, much less
their rank and file. If you are
going to become one of the
leaders directing the activities of
a large scale organization, one of
the elite superstars or giants,
then perhaps the University is
giving you the proper education
- how to work sixty hours a
week, handle pressure,
manipulate people, be socially
responsible, etc. No question
about it, the University is an elite
institution and it is dedicated to
training an elite.
But only 1O percent of
you are ever going to
become superstars or
institutional leaders.
There isn't enough room at the
top and the competition will take
years and even decades out of
your life, and will get much worse
before it gets better. No doubt
each of us thinks of ourselves as a
potential leader, so we willingly
join the University and play the
game, and it may not be until the
middle of our lives when we wake
up and realize that the dreams
we were sold will never come
true.
We are middle-management
and will never reach the top, and
what's more, the education we
received is now obsolete and
younger people just graduating
have better technical backgroun-
ds than us and are cheaper to hire
besides. What's left except to feel
you are a failure as a person -
and perhaps you are because you
never learned anything else in all
those years.
THAT'S THE real rub of
University training: You are not
merely being given the wrong
training, you are being taught to
be ashamed of yourself for being
normal and ordinary.
The things you really need to be

a success as a human being are
not being taught at the University.
You need a warm, liberal
education with time for concerts,
novels, and friendships - a
broadening experience of social
interconnections.
You need a student government
that does have power, the power
to veto tenure appointments, for
example, so that distant scien-
tists and scholars who care little
or nothing for teaching un-
dergraduates can be denied entry
into the University's faculty. You
need a president that responds to
you and can be voted out of office
by you. You need at least half the
regents to be elected only by you,
so that people who are concerned
with your problems and needs
and not just the prestige and
reputation of the University are
at the top.
If you go through the Univer-
sity without trying to get these
things, you will be wasting your
University years and getting the
wrong kind of education.
If you are unhappy at the
University, it's probably because
you understand what I've been
saying without even putting it in-
to words. Not everyone should
stay and fight, however. In a
place where the big fish eat the
little fish, the little fish should
leave, and leave without regret.
But if you are big enough to look
out for yourself and want to stay,
by all means stay. Accept your-
self for what you are and try to
grow into what you can be. You
won't escape without scars --but
you'll be alright. Just don't try
to be perfect.
Honigman is a University
graduate and an attorney in
Sterling Heights.

4

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
College is a time for radical thought

s P WIL
S PSapp

3

To the Daily:
Alexander Haig came to this
campus to speak on American
foreign policy. It is possible to
think of him as an intellectual. He
is educated and experienced in
his field. He is thus an authority.
But to a certain extent he is very
far to the right. His political
views fall, or fell, in line with
those of Reagan and of hard-line
conservative business interests.
One might think that on the
campus of a publicly funded

can afford to take time out and
study thoughts that do not per-
petuate the status quo and that
are new and uncommon. That is
why I hope we can remain as ac-
tive as our student counterparts
of the past. However, this time
around we are faced with a far
more dismal economic situation.
The questions we ask of it should
be of the same critical intensity.
BLOOM COUNTY

It seemed clear that the house
last night, save a few rows,
leaned toward the Young
Republicans. We congratulate
those organizations involved, but
contest students should hesitate
before adopting those political
persuasions. In the competition
of the real world, their career op-
portunities may someday dictate
political thought.. For now let's

ask more questions about the
society around us.
The night culminated with
Haig's appalling and sexist attack
on a woman attempting to pose a
question. He did no less than
humiliate her.
- Ajit de Silva
Claudia Grossman
October 20
by Berke Breathed

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