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January 17, 1986 - Image 4

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Page 4

Friday, January 17, 1986

The Michigan Daily

the 31d143an tat1
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Balancing Yin and Yang


Vol. XCVI, No. 76

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

Double standard

PRESIDENT Reagan is incon-
sistent in trying to force a
Libyan change of policy while
refusing to apply the same stan-
dard to the government of South
Africa, whose violations of human
rights and practice of state
terrorism elicit American con-
The motivation behind Reagan's
hypocrisy is obvious. While the
United States holds negligible in-
vestments in Libya, its South
African investments are substan-
tial. It costs little to impose san-
ctions against Libya, but depriving
South Africa of monetary support
is a proverbial pain in the pocket-
book. Indeed, by supporting South
Africa American investors reap
considerable profits.
However, such profit is dirty
money, earned in a nation whose
subjugation of human beings
deserves the contempt of every
nation that professes to stand for
human rights. Under no circum-
stances should the United States
support a country that violates
these rights.
Proponents of "constructive
engagement" argue that American
investment is precisely that in-
fluence which the United States
should employ to effect change in
South Africa. However, American
firms, like all corporations, are in

the business of maximizing profit,
and benefit from cheap labor and
uninterrupted production, both of
which depend on the perpetuation
of the status quo. These businesses
are unwilling to support significant
change at the risk of their own
The only hope for constructive
change in South Africa lies in the
withdrawal of economic support.
Some argue that foreign cor-
porations would simply fill the void
left by the American pullout.
However, South Africa's status as a
pariah among the nations indicates
that a vacuum left by American
divestment will remain just that.
The world is full of markets, many
of them lucrative, and firms
worldwide do not depend on the
South Africa market, and for
largely political reasons will not
replace American investments
In short, constructive
engagement does not work; con-
structive disengagement does.
Reagan himself believes this asser-
tion, as he has demonstrated by
boycotting Libya and urging allies
to follow suit. Indeed, it is difficult
to imagine Reagan praising Italy
for retaining Libyan investments in
the hope that such "constructive
engagement" will influence
Khadafy to change.

By Leslie Eringaard
According to Albert Einstein, "the
unleashed power of the atom has changed
everything except our way of thinking.
Thus we are drifting toward a catastrophe
beyond conception." Most people find it
relatively easy enough to shut out the
horrible possibility of nuclear annihilation
so as to go on with their daily lives. Only
sometimes does the fear sink in: in night-
mares, or flashes or recognition from bits of
speeches or newspaper articles. To shut out
the reality of the possible holocaust is ac-
tually necessary to be able to function
adequately. We must attend to the details of
living - striving for a promotion, finishing a
term paper, buying garbage bags or
preparing a little kid's lunch.
Nuclear weapons have become the focal
'point of a political game - Democrats
against Republicans, Americans against the
Russians. We fight over philosophies and
strategies as easily as we move pawns on a
chess board. But the game has stakes that
are too high. In order to survive, we have to
evolve - leave behind the macho G.I. Joe
and Rambo mentality that little boys are
inundated with as they are growing up; the
history lessons which concentrate on heroic
battles and conquering foreign lands.
To evolve we must incorporate the
stereotypical "masculine" and "feminine"
qualities into all people. People in this
Leslie Eringaard is a graduate student
in the School of Social Work.

society are so divided into either
personalities or female/dependent/warm
and nurturing ones. What we need is an
evolution of character which will allow
masculine and feminine strengths to be fully
integrated and celebrated in each in-
The world seems to be progressing,
slowly, in this direction. Women are gaining
rights and recognition and many men are
developing and valuing their nurturant
qualities. Some women have become
astronauts and vice presidential candidates,
while men are writing articles on parenting
for monthly magazines.
However, for every step forward (as the
saying goes), there is a half step back.
Lately there has been a proliferation of
"pro-family" sentiment which threatens to
"keep women in their place." Under
Reagan, the country has become more reac-
tionary. It is frightening that some people
have become laissez-faire about the gains
feminism has made, for more than a few
would like to der:y them. We must vigilantly
fight for the equal rights and humanity of all
human beings and not allow any gains to be
lost in hiring practices, equal pay and even
equal monies devoted to boys and girls spor-
ts teams.
Today, there is a strong trend toward
"patriotism," which, to some people is
synonymous with a strong defense, the
heroism of the Rambo character and the
concepts of Star Wars and getting "tough on
terrorism." I wish to assert that the notion
of this kind of patriotism-militarism is out-
With an evolution of our values and

beliefs, our national "egos" won't be so
wounded or threatened if the Russians seem
to spend more money on their military
budget or "steal" secrets from the United
States. This evolution of our way of thinking
may be incomprehensible to us at the
moment, but it is necessary if we - as a
species - are to survive.
Perhaps the solution will simply amount
to not "attending" to the problem. Things
that people worry about and become ob-
sessed over are given a certain energy that
often makes the problem worse. A behavior
modification theory asserts that attending
to a child's misbehavior - even with a
frown or a hand slap - often maintains or
worsens that behavior. Ignoring the
behavior - after an initial increase in the
misbehavior - will make the undesired
behavior "extinguish."
"Not attending" to the problem of a
possible nuclear holocaust might consist of
not giving energy to the cold war between
capitalism and communism, or the insane
race to dominate other countries with our
political philosophies. (Not attending to the
problem does not mean being oblivious to it
- one can note it, but not give energy to it).,,
As Albert Einstein implies, a
revolutionary change in the thoughts and
beliefs of human beings is the only way to
eliminate the threat of a nuclear war. J
believe that the change will come with an in-
tegration of the traditional male and female
qualities in all people - especially high
ranking political leaders and figureheads -
and the centering of our attention on other
worthwhile goals and priorities, which will
take away the energy we've been devoting
to the buildup of the nuclear arms race.



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Boycott Shell

Company is just one more
positive step in the effort to cut ties
with South Africa. Without
significant oil reserves of its own,
South Africa depends on imports,
and a Western effort to cut oil sales
could pressure Pretoria toward
reform of its apartheid system.
Shell is formidable target. Alone
it has an estimated $400 million in-
vested in South Africa and has a lot
more to spend on public relations
than all the anti-apartheid groups
put together.
Still, all corporations are in-
dividually vulnerable at the bottom
line - profit. The AFL-CIO,
National Organization of Women
(NOW) and Black anti-apartheid
activists are unanimous in their
call for the Shell Oil boycott.
Together, labor, women and
Blacks represent significant pur-
chasing power at the gas pumps.
Shell Oil has responded to the
boycott call by saying that only
Shell gas stations owners will get
hurt. However, this neglects the
fact that Shell needs the retailers to
sell its product and that the boycott
extends to Shell credit cards and

products, such as pest control
If only because American Shell
spokespeople said they did not
know what Shell was doing in South
Africa, the American subsidiary of
the Dutch and British owned Royal
Dutch Shell has opened itself to
charges of insensitivity. For
example, American Shell
representatives said they did not
know anything about Shell's firing
of 86 unionized coal-miners in South
Africa, who went on strike to
protest harassment and dangerous
mining conditions.
The Shell Oil boycott deserves
support because of the company's
oil sales to the South African
military and police, but it should
not be considered a cure-all. In-
deed, there are too many cor-
porations and banks tied to apar-
theid for boycotts alone to change
the system.
The movement to cut cultural,
academic, political, military and
economic ties to South Africa does
well to shift tactics occasionally in
order to educate the public about
apartheid. The time has come to
target individual corporations for
selective boycotts.




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Daily misunderstands Social Secunty


To the Daily:
I was disturbed by the amount
of misunderstanding of the Social
Security system that was
exhibited in the editorial "Future
protection" (1/10/86).
Worry is expressed in the
editorial that when the current
workers reach retirement there
may not be money for them. To
the contrary, some actuaries are
now worrying that over the next
30 years the trust fund for the
Old-Age, Survivors and
Disability Insurance (OASDI)
System may become too large.
The Medicare System may,
however, need reforms, as were
accomplished for OASDI in 1983.
The possible shortage of
workers in the twenty-first cen-
tury has interesting opportunities
for eliminating unemployment,
increasing productivity, and

Benefits are not tax exempt.
For higher income beneficiaries,
up to one-half of their Social
Security benefits have been
taxable following the 1983 Amen-
dments. Those Amendments also
provided for a gradual increase
to 67 of the minimum age for
unreduced benefits.

Immediate national problems
are nuclear genocide, and the
solvency of Medicare. When
those problems are solved, one
can be more serious about the
future of OASDI. In the mean-
while, I would be glad to refer the
Michigan Daily editors to sources
of fuller information concerning
the Social Security System than

Nesbitt is the
Director of the
Education and


they appear to have now.
Cecil J. Nesbitt
January 14

King symbolized peace and love




To the Editor:
Today is Martin Luther King
Day, a national holiday. To
many, this day may just sym-
bolize another day off from
school or the office, but this day's
significance entails much, much
more. Dr. Martin Luther King
dedicated his life to the service of

this violent world.
Although Dr. King was most
famous for his protests of in-
justices toward Black'
Americans, he also spoke out on
other human rights violations.
Twenty years ago, Dr. King
spoke out against the injustices in
South Africa. He reproached the

volvement in Vietnam and in
Central America. In each of these
areas, King saw a repression of
basic human rights, and because
of his convictions, felt compelled
to bring them to the public's at-
tention which he did in an effec-
tive and eloquent manner.
So, on this, the fifty-seventh
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