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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 25. No. 11. 1962

View from the Left [Letter to editor in Salient Vol. 25. No. 11. 1962.]

Sir,— I disagree with several points raised in the last Salient in criticism of Mr Maxwell's View From the From the Left. I disagree particularly with the view that a member of the "Left" can be seen by his attitude to the "day to day" problems of the University and not in his attitude to "far away" happenings. The "Left" is a term used to describe a collection of political philosophies—Anarchism Communism Labour Party membership etc—whose only common point seems to be some from of popular control of the economic, social, and political facets of the community, either immediately or eventually. I have never before seen it limited to an attitude concerning the running of student affairs within a university. Admittedly, the social attitudes of those who would claim to be members of the "Left" would normally be reflected in his attitude to Association affairs but this is surely no criterion for membership.

Further as indicated above the "Left" is not a homogeneous entity— unlike Mr. Maxwell, I consider anarchism to be a legitimate "Leftist" philosophy (although I do not hold, it) but it has no claim to be the sole "Left" group It may be noted that I agree that there cannot be the "View From the Left" but I do not think that this is necessarily implied by the heading of your column. It could easily be read as A "View From the Left."

Mr Dwyer's letter says little. He should know that a University audience requires more that a number of glorious but meaningless cliches. "Liberty Equality and Fraternity" has no meaning unless it is placed in the phrase by the context in which it is used. Are men equal? They should in my opinion, be given equal opportunites (and this implies that there should be no financial barrier to university studies) but can we really claim that men are born equal? I think that this concept is valueless and should be dropped

I would point out that unless supported by reason Mr Dwyer's opinion is of no more weight than that of those "selfish, stupid and oppressive elements of the Right."

Finally sir, I think it hypocritical that some of the writers require a "more mature approach and a greater depth of understanding of social or political problems" when they themselves indulge in an immature "little loyal demonstration" which can have no beneficial effect. Again I would seek to ensure my political future by nothing that I personally agree with the sentiments expressed, therein but I think that a more mature approach to the situation can be found. —Yours etc.,

G. R. Hawke.