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October 12, 1984 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1984-10-12

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Page 4

Friday, October 12, 1984

The Michigan -ily

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCV, No. 32 420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

Vote against nuclear free city

IV.: The strangling of the
student voice

By Andrew Hartman
Two years ago, the voters of Ann Arbor had
the opportunity to send a message to
Congress and the president advocating a bi-
lateral, mutually verifiable nuclear freeze.
Again this year students can vote on a related
issue, whether or not to support a nuclear
free Ann Arbor. Most people would agree
that something should be done about the arms
race, but this proposal is not in the best in-
terests of the students, the University, the
city, or the country. The charter amendment
proposal is full of misinformation, will be
costly to the city and the University, and
violates the Constitution on several points.
The proposal has the written purpose of
maintaining our security, helping the
economy, and preventing an accidental
nuclear launch. By passing this amendment,
our security will be threatened, the economy
worsened, and the risk of an accidental
nuclear war will be increased.
OUR SECURITY will be threatened by
creating a greater potential for a Soviet first
strike because of a perceived weakness in our
nuclear forces. That is to say, by not
developing nuclear weapons that can
withstand a Russian attack, the likelihood of
such an attack will be much greater. If the

Wolverine football team, for example, could
not guard against the pass offense, our op-
ponents would be more likely to throw the ball
than if we had a strong secondary which could
intercept their passes.
By conducting more research on early war-
ning radar systems to detect a Soviet sneak
attack, we are lessening the risk of our
missiles being fired accidentally. The
greater the accuracy of our defense systems,
the lesser the chance of an accidental nuclear
war. The proposal states that further
development of nuclear technology will lead
to more accidents. This is like saying the
more you study for an exam, the more likely
you will be to fail it!
The proposal also violates our First Amen-
dment rights of free speech by saying, ".. -
weapons, components, or systems shall not be
transported through the City, nor shall any
person or entity engage in any activity direc-
ted at planning or prosecuting a nuclear
war." This means that you could not talk
about a nuclear war in your classes or discuss
a hypothetical situation with your friends.
The amendment also violates the clause in the
Constitution stating that states and localities
cannot engage in any diplomatic activities
with foreign countries by asserting that, "The
Mayor, the Commission, and the City Clerk

shall anually inform..: the Premier and the
Defense Minister of the Soviet Union and the
Secretary General of the United Nations that
Ann Arbor is a Nuclear Free Zone....
The most problematic part of thi
proposition is that an appointed commission
gets to determine what is and is not nuclear
related technology. In the strictest inter-
pretation, the car you drive, the plane you fly
in, and the Walkman you listen to can be
associated with nuclear weapons technology
and research. The list of things related to the
nuclear industry encompasses almost :eery
technology that we use.
When someone can dictate what Wcan
study, what we can talk about, and whit w
can produce, then we are no longer liviii n
free society. The authors of this prdpasal
could just have easily used the same
reasoning to ban books, dictate reli'gin,
establish a superior race, and create a fascisr
state. It is sad that such unconstitutional and-
un-American values have been put forth, rk
der the guise of peace and security. '

PERHAPS THE most disturbing
aspect of the code controversy
goes beyond the system's many flaws
and the administration's inability to
justify its use. In their dealings with
the student body, and specifically the
Michigan Student Assembly, the
regents and administration have made
it abundantly clear that the student
voice doesn't matter in the formation
of University policies.
Being ignored is one thing, but a far
more serious threat to student input
has been proposed - the proposal to
amend or revoke regents' bylaw 7.02.
Bylaw 7.02 guarantees MSA's right
to approve the code before it can be en-
forced, a right that is shared with the
faculty senate. University President
Harold Shapiro's statement that "it
may be necessary either to amend
regents' bylaw 7.02 to take away
MSA's ratification authority or revoke
it" came out of a recognition that the
student body would never approve the
code. Evidence for the almost uniform
student disapproval is abundant.
The student community has openly
voiced its disapproval of the code.
Student leaders, including the
presidents of the Interfraternity Coun-
cil, Panhellenic Association, Inter-
Cooperative Council, most school
governments, every candidate who ran
in last Spring's MSA elections, and
every member of the current assem-
bly have rejected the code. The regents
ignored the results of the MSA election
in which 79 percent of the students
voting rejected the code and 92 percent
said it should not be passed without a
student vote. They also ignored the
message of a University-sponsored
hearing on the code last spring in
which 22 of the 24 students who spoke
said they would like to see the code
thrown out or major revisions to it
made. There is little question as to
where the student body stands on this
issue. Unfortunately, there is little
question as to how much the regents
and the administration care about
"No matter what people say" admit-
ted Regent Deane Baker last spring,
"the regents made the final decision in
all of these judgements." That is true.
In the summer of 1983 the regents
ignored the student body, ignored the
faculty senate, and even ignored the
administration when they rejected a
proposal to extend research
guidelines at the University. This was
disturbing enough since students, the
faculty, and administration possessed

the knowledge and were owed the right
to make decisions regarding military
research. But the code controversy
goes beyond that. It is being created
for students. It is supposed to protect
students, restrain students, and be
partially enforced by students. So
shouldn't the student body's opinion
Apparently not. "The University is
not a democracy," said Regent
Thomas Roach last month. And as for
MSA's ability to approve or reject a
conduct code, "It is not a right. . . It is
a privilege granted by the regents and
I believe, to be taken away by the
regents." We disagree. Any policy
aimed at the protection of students and
any policy that will affect students to
such a great degree should not be im-
mune to the sentiments of the students
The regents goofed by establishing
7.02. It was a concession awarded to
large numbers of protesting students,
a concession that the regents have no
intention of honoring when they really
have something to lose.
One of the most frightening
scenarios involves the University's
current, inoperative code and the
ability to establish a judicial system
without MSA approval. President
Shapiro could say, "OK, don't pass the
code, we'll just set up a judicial system
and use the code we already have."
This is frightening because the regents
and administration would have gotten
around the 7.02 problem and
established a dangerously ambiguous
system. MSA would then be forced to
negotiate in order to get a code that is
more difficult to abuse. Though it
might seem a drastic step, the ad-
ministrators' and regents' complete
lack of regard for student input makes
it impossible to discount it as a
The regents and administration see
their power as something that should
not and will not be challenged. Even in
the face of broad student opposition to
a policy aimed at the students, the
University is unwilling to compromise,
and very willing to revoke every last
bit of the power the student body
possesses to affect University policy.
At stake is the right of the student body
to influence decisions that affect them
in the most fundamental ways.
Already lost is the credibility of regen-
ts and administrators as officials who
are willing to deal with students in a
just and honorable way.

Hartman is president

of the Co/



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AFreudian analsisqy

By Brian Leiter
The 1984 election is driven by
an irrational force. Pollsters
repeatedly tell us that the voters
do not agree with Ronald Reagan
but are going to vote for him
anyway. What is going on here?
Obviously' a cognitive account
- one that appeals to issues and
reasons in explaining voter
choices - is inadequate to the
political reality. This suggests
that perhaps there is more at
play - perhaps the prevalent
reality of this election is, in fact,
Consider for a moment, then,
Freud's account of the belief in
God in The Future of an Illusion.
According to Freud, the belief in
God results from the infantile
impulse for the protection of the
father being carried over into our
confrontationcwiththe world. As
young children, this impulse is
satisfied by our biological father
who provides security, comfort,
and guidance. As we get older
and confront dangers, problems,
and choices on an even greater
scale, the belief in a God plays
the same role: he is the new sour-
ce of security, comfort, and
This account, I think, provides
the explanation of Reagan's suc-
cess. Given the fact that the

strong again; and concomitant
with this strength is security. The
economy is said to be on the up-
swing. The future is bright.
Everything is going to be fine.
'One should not forget
that in the Freudian
scheme the inability
to repress or
sublimate the wishful
impulse is a neurotic
problem ... If Rea-
gan 's success is
dependent on a wish-
ful impulse, one is
lead to wonder: is
Ronald Reagan
America's neurotic
Reagan says so. And he says he's
going to keep it that way too. The
rhetoric, in fact, parallels what a
parent might say to an ailing
child in the middle of the night.
But a portion of the electorate,
just like the child, responds
favorably to such assertions
because that's how it wishes
things to be.

IN MORE euphemistic terms,
this aspect of Reagan's image
goes under the name "leader-
ship." But a moment's reflection
reveals such a label as an absur-
dity. One cannot be possessed of
"leadership" when the majority
of the population disagrees with
one's policies; when one can
barely enunciate a coherent or
complex idea or get facts
straight. What goes by the name
"leadership" is Reagan's ability
to tap a powerful unconscious
wish in the human psyche. It is
also a wish clearly prominent in
Reagan's own psyche - note his
oft-articulated obsession with
The fact that Reagan's so-
called "leadership" and
"everything is fine" outlook are
illusory is also in keeping with
Freud's analysis. As Freud notes,
"the illusion itself sets no store by
verification." The issue in an
illusion is the satisfaction of a
wishful impulse, not the satisfac-
tion of factual criteria. In order to
win many of the voters, all
Reagan needs to do is paint a
wishful picture. What that pic-
ture corresponds to is beside the
One should not forget that in
the Freudian scheme the

( voters
inability to repress or sublimate"
the wishful impulse is a neurotic';
problem. Thus, as perhaps the-
most famous example, one can-
not grow up and maintain the'
wishful impulse to sleep with,
one's mother (one must resolve,
the Oedipal complex). This is"
similar to the infantile wish fork,
the protection of the father. As"
Freud says, eventually reason,
must be brought to bear (in some'
sense, the ultimate goal of
psychoanalysis). If Reagan's
success is dependent on a wishful
impulse, one is lead to wonder: is
Ronald Reagan America's
neurotic symptom? And, if so,
then a Reagan defeat will only'
follow from 1) a dramatic in-
trusion of reality that.
necessitates modification of the
wish; or 2) elimination of the
wish through psychoanalysis or,
maturation (an unrealistic goal
for the short term) ; or 3) the:
presentation of someone better to,
satisfy the wish. a
Until the realization of 1 or 2,
the prevalence of neurosis may
be the determining factor in
American elections.
Leiter is a graduate studenf
in law and philosophy.
by Berke Breathed

Tomorrow, a call to action


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