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February 04, 1987 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1987-02-04

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Page 8 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, February 4, 1987 1

Activist

Moulton

discusses

By Edward Kleine
Phillips P. Moulton was
working for peace long before
working for peace became
fashionable. He gave his first
speech as a peace advocate almost
60 years ago, and has been studying
war and peace as "an incidental
activity" for the past 50 years or so.
Now Moulton, a visiting scholar at
the University, has written a book
on the subject. Titled Ammunition
for Peacemakers, it is a slim
volume which looks at modern war
and nuclear proliferation from an
ethical and religious point of view.
The book won a contest, held by
Pilgrim Press and sponsored by the
United Church of Christ, for
manuscripts which provided the
"general reader with ethical
perspectives on personal and social
issues."
The book is subtitled Answers
for Activists, and Moulton said he
wrote it "for people who are, for the
most part, already involved in the
peace movement," but the book,
with its simple, well-argued
passages and layman's language,
could just as easily be a peace
primer for Joe Average as for Peter
Peacenik. There are no complicated
tables comparing U.S. and Soviet
arsenals, no hard terms like "throw-
weight" or "megaton." Moulton
adds to his own simply stated
thoughts the ideas and opinions of
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experts ranging from George F.
Kennan to the prophet Isaiah, to
form a convincing, easy to
understand argument against the
practicality and the morality of war
and militarism. "I come at it from
the standpoint of a person who's
primarily interested in ethics,"
explained Moulton, a soft-spoken,
wise-looking man of 77 who keeps
a bust of Mohandas Gandhi on his,
bookshelf. "I don't consider myself
an expert... I'm a non-expert who's
been studying the experts."
Ammunition for Peacemakers
has sold about 150 copies in Ann
Arbor alone, according to Moulton.
The book is being stocked by three
local peace groups - Interfaith
Council for Peace, Michigan
Alliance for Disarmament, and the
American Friends Service
Committee - and is available at
several local book stores. Kim
Groome of Interfaith Council for
Peace said her group picked up the
book because "it was something
that' people in the religious
movement might be interested in. I
thought the whole book did a very
concise job in examining the
tensions between East and West and
North and South, and how the
North-South conflict impacts on
the East-West tensions."
Moulton began studying foreign
policy and military affairs full time
about eight years ago, after
finishing a book on small-college
athletics for the University's Center
for the Study of Higher Education.
Before coming to Ann Arbor, he
was a teacher and administrator at
the University of North Dakota and
Union Theological Seminary in
New York City.
His "incidental" studies of war
and peace seem to have begun at
17, when he was trained as a
machine gunner [a skill which he

was never called on to use] at a
Civilians' Military Camp in Ft.
Thomas, Kentucky. Although he
would grow up to oppose the very
existence of the military, Moulton
the boy was pretty much unaffected
by machine-gun training. "I was
17," he said. "It never occured to
me that I was preparing to kill
people."
Moulton's career as a student and
advocate of peace began in earnest a
few years later, when he gave his

agressive thing. It wasn't so much
anti-war as pro-peace."
During the thirties, Moulton
studied in Germany while Hitler
was coming to power. Just a few
days before World War II broke out,
he took a ride on a Nazi troop train
on its way to Vienna. He
remembers being told by the
German soldiers that killing a few
hundred revolutionaries [which was
being done at the time] was
justified because it was preventing a

In deterring
war...we're actually
creating a condition
that makes it much
more likely.'
- Phillips P. Moulton
Peace activist, author

The Nazis, of course, slaughtered
millions of innocent civilians
during the ensuing war.
Moulton also .proved himself a
man of uncommon insight at the
end of World War II. On the second
anniversary of the dropping of the
atomic bomb on Hiroshima, the
event which ended the war, he
published an article condemning the
bombing, and predicting what its
ultimate implications would be. "[I
predicted] the precedent we set
would encourage other nations to
get the bomb, and it would lead to
an arms race with bombs." He
added, "The things I prophesized
have taken place."
The arms race that Hiroshima
spawned is the biggest threat to
world peace today, said Moulton.
He devotes most of his book to
arguments against and the policy of
deterrence. Deterrence, he believes,
is actually increasing our chances of
having a nuclear war, rather than
decreasing them, as proponents of
deterrence claim it does. "In
deterring war," he said, "...we're
actually creating a condition that
makes it much more likely."
Nuclear weapons, he argued, "do
have deterrent power, but my
position is that they also provoke
war, and the provocation is much
greater than the deterrence."
The first priority for the peace
movement , Moulton said, should
be to work for a comprehensive test
ban. He urged all people to take
steps immediately to stop testing of
nuclear weapons. Unless there is a
change soon, Moulton asserted, and
"if we continue our present path,
people around here 20 years old
aren't going to be here 20 years
from now."
Ultimately, Moulton would like
to go much farther than a test ban.
Ammunition for Peacemakers ends

book
with a plan for eventual total
disarmament. Moulton would
replace the military with what he
calls Civilian Based Defense, which
would involve "active non-violent
resistance" of an agressor. He
believes that Civilian Based
Defense is practical, and in his
book, he offers several instances in
which it has been successful. Last
year's overthrow of the Marcos
regime in the Philippines was a
good example, he said. "The whole
idea is that power resides in the
people themselves," he said. "No
nation is going to be able to
control a country if the people don't
allow them to do it." Eventually,
Moulton would like to see Civilian.
Based Defense ,adopted here in the
U.S., but he thinks it will be
"decades before we are ever ready for
it."-

I

I

Moulton realizes that many4
people will find Civilian Based
Defense dangerous or unworkable.
"There is danger involved," he said.,
"Some people might be killed. But,
you know, it's a funny thing,
people use that argument against
Civilian Based Defense, but think
of how many people are killed in
w
As opposed as he is to
militarism, Moulton has only the
highest regard for those in the
military, and his comments about
them reveal a great deal about the
man, and about the mix of common
sense and Christian charity with
which he approaches issues. "I have
high regard for the military leaders,"
he said, then added, "We're all in
this together... we should all work
together to find a way out of this
unfortunate situation that we're in."
Ammunition for Peacemakers,
published by The Pilgrim Press, is
available in area bookstores for
$7.95, paperback.

first speech for peace. It was 1928,
and Moulton was an Ohio
Wesleyan University sophomore,
representing his school at public
speaking competition. "The whole
idea [of the speech]," Moulton
remembers, "was that striving for
peace would be a positive thing, an

civil war that might take thousands
of lives. The point of the story,
Moulton said, is that "once you get
involved in the war system, or are
willing to justify all the things
involved in war, for a good end,
,there isn't really any limit here, in
terms of the atrocities committed."

Genet's 'Maids' stunning drama

By Amy Koch
Jean Genet's The Maids
provides an explosion of intense
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thought provocation through its
portrayal of the multifaceted effects
of a socially repressed mind. My
first response to The Maids was
that Karl Marx would have
embraced this play because the plot,
from the point of view of two
highly intelligent employees,
revolves around the pathos that
arises in conflictual
elitist/proletariat relationships. In
addition, the characters Claire and
Solange (the maids) and Madame,
actually leap out of the Communist
Manifesto as the human
embodiment of Marx's theory. The
simple setting and lack of extra-
theatrical devices such as music or
elaborate costumes were not
detriments to the play. Rather,
director Shawn Yardley, by

focusing primarily on lighting,
achieved a heightened dramatic
effect because this forced the
audience to concentrate on the
actresses and the message derived
from the intensity of their
performances.
Encapsulated within the one-act
structure, this intense psychological
battle is waged within the confines
of Madame's luxurious bedroom.
Upon walking into the Performance
Network, one is met with a
curtainless box setting which
merges with the scaffold-type
seating that houses the audience.
This bare warehouse-like building
possessed an ambience of desolation
and solitude. Instead of detracting
from the "lush" Parisian box
setting, however, this barren

U

TRIVIA CONTEST
What buidling was the first
"skyscraper "on campus?
SAC is sponsoring a trivia contest in honor of the 150th anniver-
sary of U of M and Ann Arbor.
Look for questions every Wednesday in the Daily. Mail your
answer to the Alumni Center, 200 Fletcher Street, in care of
SAC. Winners will be announced March 2 in the Daily.
WIN PRIZES!!!

atmosphere was like a physical
projection of the maids' state of
mind. It was as though Genet had
selected this location to serve as a
symbolic contrast to Madame's
opulence and, consequently, extend
his social message beyond the
script.
Dealing with the difficult theme
of identity transformation through
role reversal, a successful
production of The Maids is
contingent upon a talented cast.
Elisa Surmont and Maureen McGee
embody such talent in the guise of
the two maids who enact versions
of their servitude to Madame and
her society while transforming their
own personalities to rebel and
glorify their own miserable.,
existence. Equally deserving praise,
Johanna Borman is the self-
absorbed, witless Madame whose
authoriative elitism is the object of
the maids' envy/hate. Moreover,
though they are sisters, the maids
see their despised positions reflected
in one another and develop a serious
love/hate relationship. My,
bewilderment as to whoseM
personality belonged to whom 4
proved the success of these actresses
because, such a powerful whirl oE
unreality is a trademark that only a
phenomenal Genet play can create.
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