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May 04, 1958 - Image 7

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Michigan Daily, 1958-05-04
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Suriday, May 4, 1958


Faith and Communism
Religious Zeal of American Party
Indicated by Ex-Leader John Gates


3fN r4igtan



By MICHAEL KRAFT would work. But 27 years later,
RELIGION assumes many forms after becoming a member of the
but sometimes its common Communist Party's National Com-
characteristics are illustrated most mittee and editor of the Daily
sharply by those who most vehe- Worker, Gates apparently lost his
mently deny its existence. faith On January 10 of this year,
he quit the party. "Now, I'm a
Despite the form, faith usually democratic socialist, with a small
lies at its core. In numerous ways, 'd' and a small 's'," he says.
acceptance of this faith requires However, during the Student
the worshipper to look inward and '
ignore what he sees in the outside Government Council forum where
world. Gates spoke one student with
Yet frequently, it is the sight of socialist attitudes walked out and
a world marred by unpleasantries. was heard to mutter "damn reac-
perhaps the lack of equality or tionary."
understanding between men, which Although Gates can now recog-
sometimes makes even the most nine the blind faith which ab-
anostic individual turn to some sorbed him for nearly three de-
form of religion in the hopes of cades, he showed during his visit
changing what he sees. to Ann Arbor that he has retained
By 1931, the Great Depression at least part of the idealism which
had caused a good many things originally brought him into the
people did not care to look at. Communist Party.
There was "only a vacuum in Like many conversions, Gates'
which nothing seemed to work," 1was prompted by an incident-in
John Gates recalled during his his case it was the suspension oT
appearance in Ann Arbor in several fellow students at City

to a feeling prompted by economic
AFTER JOINING the party in
1931, Gates, with almost a cru-
sader's zeal, tramped through
Youngstown, Ohio, to organize
steel workers. In March 1933, when
Franklin D. Roosevelt was inagur-
ated Gates sat in jail, charged with
"making a loud noise without a
permit" while addressing a demon-
stration. Four years later, he
fought with the International Bri-
gade in another demonstration,
this time in the losing fight against
Franco and his allies.
Any religious faith has its de-
tractors and doubtors, but usually
they have little effect on those
who embrace the doctrine no mat-
ter how much evidence or argu-
ment is offered.-
The same is true of the Ameri-
can Communists. The twists and
turns of Russian strategy and pro-1
paganda were completely accept-9
able and plausible despite what
Americans or others might say. ]
Gates points back to Spain as
the foundation of his faith which

Sunday, May 4, 1958

New Pl
for W

Vol. IV, No. 7


JOHN GATES-For 27 years he served the American Communist
Party and then on Jan. 10, he resigned because it no longer offered
an effective channel for "the ideals which give meaning to life."



College, New York, because they
planned to publish a magazine de-
nouncing compulsory ROTC. Gates
calls 'the suspension the "trigger"

GATES left college in 1931 to
enlist in a cause he thought

New City from the Ground Up

(Continued from Page 3)
ing college, University and Mu-
seum. In the heart of the town,I
is the city center composed of
Town Hall, main shopping center,
post office, banks and other com-
mercial buildings.
The city sector plan echoes the
neighborhood sector system but'
replaces the open space without
large pedestrian shopping areas on
which are the city hall, post of-
fice and the first business prem-
ises. The whole city is composed of
several cells of garden villages.
The most fantastic thing is 40
miles of roads with no buildings
facing them.
The site as selected has poten-
tialities to fulfill all these condi-
tions. The panoramic view of the
gradually ascending Himalayas,.
the. possibilities of having large
recreation parks in the Shivalaks,
the possibility of hygienic life in
the very beautiful climate of
Chandigarh "where breeze never
dies," contribute to an ideal city.
Eight different kinds of trees
have been selected according to1
the different colors of flowers, to1
give individuality to each road and1
to provide over-arching shade oni
the fast motor roads.+
THE FOUR major buildings
which make up the capitola
group were designed by Le Cor-
busier. The other buildings of the
city were -designed by the other
three architects - Mr. Fry, Miss
Drew and Mr. Jeanret. These con-+
sist of the residentila quarters for
the government employees,
schools, colleges, hospitals, offices
and the city centers.
The houses are suited to the
Chandigarh climate, which varies
from an intensely hot summer;
(115* F.) to a cold winter (just{
above freezing point). A great deal
of life is passed out-of-doors-
sleeping, eating' and sitting are
more often done in the compound
than in the house during the year.,
In general the design of the
houses varies with its orientation
to the city. To keep the peon's'
quarters cool, the bricks have been
projected and cast shadow on the
exterior wall throughout the day..
For other houses, four different
methods are used for shading the
walls - verandahs, sun - breakers,;
jali (screens) grill, or a sunshade
roof. The character of each is ex-
ploited so that it adds to the ar-
chitectural features of the house.
The sun-breakers do not touch the

SECRETARIATE-The first skyscraper in East Punjab is a nine
storyed Secretariate Building for the provincial government. The
monotonous grid of such a large cellular building has been broken
into sculpture by accenting the rooms of a few high officials and
by pulling the ramp tower out as a great silo at the side.

remained unbreachable until early
this year. In his pamphlet "Evolu-
tion of an American Communist,"
he says, "When someone asks me
today, in all sincerity: 'How come
it took you so long to learn about
Stalin and what went wrong in
Russia?' I can answer with equal
sincerity that it looked nothing
like that in Spain. Stalin had said
'the cause of the Spanish Republic
is the cause of all advanced pro-
gressive humanity."
NOW that he has severed ties
with the party, Gates can
smoke a cigar and discuss the
American Communists' loyalty to
Russian party lines. "Communists
had such a great admiration for
Russia that it amounted to idola-
try,' he said.
Gates attributed this attitude to
a number of sources, including
admiration for Russian progress
since the Communists took over
in 1917.
"The Russian Revolution had
an enormous effect on Americans
of a Socialist outlook. It helped
bring the Communist movement
into being. Socialists opposed the
attempt to strangle the Soviet
experiment and rightly so.
"But in the legitimate admira-
tion for the achievements of Soviet
life (to which many non-com-
munists are now awakening), the
American Communists came to be-
lieve that the Russians were the
most authoritative, wisest men in
the world. That there might be de-
fects, crimes, blunders would not
be admitted. The Soviet Commu-
nists were supposed to know more
than anybody else. They could do
no wrong. If they did, they were
smart enough to correct them-
"OURbasic assumption for a.
long time was that revolu-
tionary change in the rest of the
capitalist world would follow the
Russian pattern. If it succeeded
there, and was well nigh perfect,
why not elsewhere?
"We defend what we are doing
because it was right for them, and
was, at the bottom, the only right
way for us. We would not grant
that any important part of it
might be wrong for them, or in-
valid for us.
"Our natural sympathy for the
Russian Revolution became subtly
transformed. Anything they did
which might conflict with our own
better judgement of our own coun-
try could only mean that they
were right, and we were wrong."
The result, said Gates during a
press conference here in March, is
that "when your ideas conflict with
the facts, so much for the facts-
truth becomes secondary and ends
justify the means."
Gates relates a fairly recent
meeting of Communist Party na-
tional officers. They were debat-
ing whether to answer an article
in a Soviet. publication which.said
things about the 1957 national

convention that "all of us knew to
be false."
SONE OFFICER declared, "We
American Communists are in
no position to criticize the Soviet
Communists. They have just shot
Sputnick into the skies. This is a
brilliant achievement of Soviet sci-
ence. When we are able to record
such achievement as this, then
maybe we can criticize the Rus-
"Until then, we have no right to
do so. Even if we are right and
they are wrong..."
Gates declares "this is where the
Communist dillemma lies." It has
been disastrous for the American
Communist party, which now ex-
ists "only as a corpse, in an ad-
vanced stage of decomposition."
The party has fallen from its
1945 level of 75,000 members to
less than 7,000 today. "No one
knows the exact figure and this
may be on the optimistic side,
Gates said.
Many left the party "because of
the Khrushchev revelations about
Stalin. Gates speculated that the
biggest effect on party members
was "the final, open admission of
what Stalin was, making it so clear
that no one could any longer' ra-
BESIDES the discovery that the
demi-god was devilish, "others
quit because they lost all faith in
the leadership and decided the
fight to change the party was a
hopeless job".
For Gates himself, "the day the
Daily Worker died was the end. It
dramatized for all to see what I
had known for some time-that
for all practical purposes, the
Communist Party of the United
States of America had ceased to
Now, he seems to grope-"after
being so certain, and dogmatic, on
most of what I did for a quarter of
a century, I am not inclined to
make hasty decisions. I want to
talk to people-those who know me
and those who don't. I want to do
some listening, some reflecting,
some study.
Yet, faith dies slowly. When a
member of the SGC forum audi-
ence asked him which side he
would take if Russia and the Unit-
ed States ever went to war, he re-
plied, "I am on the side of peace.
I would be against Russia, or
against the United States, depend-
ing on which of them started the
ALTHOUGH he has made his
break from the party, some of
the vestiges of the faith still cling
to Gates. He says simply, "the con-
viction remains that socialism is
the next higher step in American
"As I see it, Socialism provides
the framework for preserving that
which is most precious in capitalist
democracy, and offers us a far
greater expansion of democracy
than is possible today."
John Foster 'Dulles may disa.
gree with John Gates on the ap.

The cheapest building material
and labor available was brick and
manual labor.
All houses are constructed in
brick and cement, and for relief
the local stone is used. The most
beautiful part is that the skyline
is maintained. There are no flats
except over shops. The emphasis
on open air living makes flats less
suitable here than in cooler cli-
Chandigarh's architecture re-
ceived international recognition in
a conference held in France.
THE 350 feet long over-hanging
concrete slab with 27 feet pro-
jection at the top of the Punjab
High Court is the real test of the
engineering skill of the architects.
This symbolizes the supreme court
authority of the Courts of Justice.
The court rooms, from the smaller
courts to the High Court benches,
gradually increase in height from
26 feet to 40 feet. Special acous-
tical ceilings and rough plaster
on the side walls are the main fea-
tures of the court roopI s.
From outside these buildings, a
visitor may be led to believe that
the construction is retrograde, but
he will have many surprises in the
The enormous parasol, the
curved sun-breakers in the front,
the free standing ramps in the
building and unusual plasticity
are further enhanced by a float-
Jing effect given by the vast pool.
Pedestrians and vehicular traffic

the practical needs of those who
will use it.
The nine storied Secretariate
building stands 836 feet long, 80,
feet. deep and 121 feet high (first
skyscraper in Punjab) on a pile
The extensive facade of glass
protected by an interwoven pattern
of sun-breakers and parapets is
used. The other visual features of
this building are the terrace club
(raised on columns) to permit a
view of the Government House and
the Assembly chamber through the
building), the covered passage to
the Assembly, and the artificial
In fact, the Capitol is an urban
composition into which Corbusier
has put not only the technical re-
sources of this century, but has
cast them in mould of a plastic
imagination, which now exists as
one of the richest and most per-
sonal of the age.
Jeanerat's brick, stone,.pre-cast
concrete slabs, and Corbusier's
"modular" dimensions govern all
The total cost for this new city
is estimated to be about $36,000,-
000 of which part is met by five-
year- plan, part by the Punjab
government and the rest by the
sale of lots to individIuals.
Chandigarh is not only an ad-
ministrative capital of the Punjab,
but also it is an industrial and
educational center.r-
Chandigarh will afford its in-
habitants a very healthy and rich
life which few cities can boast of,
and it promises to be what man
has nfen sught. ut failAd to find

A New Capital City-Page 3


Michael Kraft is the newly-
appointed editorial director of
the Daily. He has reported po.
litical news for the paper and


ach, but this might only serve
point out that political and eco-

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