Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 35 Number 6. April 11, 1972
Letters to the editor
Letters to the editor
Surely the biggest hype yet in Salient record reviews is Philip Alley's appraisal of 'Bangla Dash'. An all time low was reached when Zeke and Dave McLatchie. put pen to paper but Christ, Philip Alley showed us all.
It's own up time Alley! So you read your "Fabulous" and your "N.M.E." but what were you doing when the record was playing?.
We feel it's about time the chain was pulled on Philip Alley and his mates — this kind of shit has been filtering through for too long.
Norris Lurker and Heavy Friends.
This is essentially a matter between Peter Wilson and his confessor, but he spoke an untruth at last Thursday's Student Association AGM.
He spoke as representative to the Chaplaincy board, and the platform of his speech was that he spoke on behalf of the university chaplains to the contraceptive debate.
I expected more validity to his statements than there actually was, - but then, that's my mistake. Later, in consultation with the chaplains (who he claimed to speak for) I have discovered that they voiced no favour in the installation of the contraceptive vending machines. The three chaplains speak as one voice on issues they consider worthy. And on no occasion have they voiced the agreement to the installation of the vending machines that he claimed they had. Again I say, his words were an untruth to that student audience.
I don't know how Pete made such a false claim. Possibly it was his wish to force the vote of having the contraceptive vending machines installed. Possibly, such was his conviction. Yet he spoke as the chaplaincy rep (for that's how he introduced himself) in complete misrepresentation of the facts. May I please ask for an apology.
However, it is fact now that the Student's Association has no money to buy that debated contraceptive machine. At the last stages of the AGM it was voted that the entire budget for Studass spending this year, go to the North Vietnam Medical Relief Fund.
Simon C. Roughen
I disagree emphatically with M.L. Wevers. David Cuthbert chaired the Apartheid Conference in the only way it could be done. He kept things moving and tried to keep speakers to the point. Sideline experts should try chairing a meeting with assorted factions of the left at each others gizzards and see how long it goes on and how little comes out of it. A decision taken when everybody is tired of talk and when half the meeting has gone home means very little. The Apartheid Conference made important decisions which involved nearly everybody at it and should result in commitment to action from now on. I say David Cuthbert did a hard job well.
J. DelahuntyPresident, N.Z. Race Relations Council.
I am very distressed at certain trends I have noticed recently in the management of the Union Building. Far too often I have coma across the suggestion that the Union Building should be kept for the use of students and that we should discourage visitors from the city. "Students paid for this building, so they should be free to use it we are told. "If people start coming up from down town, they will crowd out all the facilities, and we're likely to get ell the rough element coming and breaking up all our nice peaceful entertainments".
Students should be glad that non-students are interested enough to bother finding out what is happening at the university. If the university wants to make people forget ell the crap about the ivory tower, than the only way to do this, is to make others feel free about coming at any time and taking part in everything, not only when the organizers feel that the only way to make a profit is to advertise to the "general public". To use them in this way, as a sure source of money, is merely insulting. They should be welcome at all times, even when a function is free.
- Editor- Gil Peterson
- Deputy Ed- Richard Norman
- Technical Ed- Peter Rumble
- Sports Ed- Andy Wright
- Contributors- John Hales, Roger Steele, Phillip Alley David Naulls, Tony Hall, Peter Franks, Gyles Beckford.
- Photography- Jothiram, Alan Browne.
- Advertising- Brian Pratt (758-684) Roger Green (793-319)
Printed by the Wanganui Chronicle, Box 433, Wanganui and published by the Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association, Box 196, Wellington.
Peter Simpson agrees, apartheid is wrong, but how does he propose to change it? Can we expect to see him dancing to the airports, throwing kisses and flowers to the tourists, even chanting oms while defusing bombs outside Athletic Park?
I can't but conclude that Peter Simpson's soul and his so called social consciousness, are steeped in cosmic schmaltz. I'm open hearted and open minded enough to see the advantages of having the Spring box, the football fields, etc dissolving into transparency. I could even tolerate Peter Simpson and his ideas dissolving into transparency. But I have this suspicion that despite such superlative vibrations, the blacks will go on being oppressed and exploited, and that the miasma of apartheid will not just waft away.
Perhaps the best word to sum up my opinion of Salient issue no. 4. is 'pathetic' Other words such as self-indulgent, nauseous, childish and punie also readily flow to mind. The middle-page "Gro-up-oly" spread and the back page "Cut out the crap" — (Why don't you) — were pretentious and disappointing.
The magazine in fact merely adds to the personal disillusionment end frustration I have experienced over the last two years. Four years ago when I first went to University at Otago I soon became aware of the the self-important petty bureaucrats who organized end officiated at various functions. At least in those days they weren't hypocrites. Now the person who demands your money and rushed to prevent you sneaking in free has an Indian shirt, love beads, long hair, (woodstock) - and preaches freedom and individuality.
There always has been, and one hopes, always will be people who are genuinely concerned and involved with human relations social responsibilities and social concepts. However, having watched the rise of the so-called love-peace culture, end as one who initially believed that it was genuine and sincere, may I comment that your magazine, like so many students, is full of self-pretentious, self deceptive, hypocritical shit which does nothing to aid arty cause.
My only motive for writing this is to plead to people at Vic to see through the absolute crap that surrounds the youth movement (whatever that may be) in New Zealand and to recognise people for what they really are, not what they pretend to be.
Thank goodness the art of the sermon is not dead. Dedicated preachers are alive and pricking on the centra-spread and the back page of Salient No. 4. I have always preferred to have someone tell me what I ought to be doing end what is right end wrong than to work it out for myself (Here endeth the leaden sarcasm).
Here follows a short (very very short) selection of the idiocies in these two features.
The back page.
Economise on everything except education." Old age pensions to you mate. Think before you mouth.
"Resist the anti-human fashion exploitation industry (wear coalsacks)" Believe it or not coalsacks are uncomfortable, and more important clothes are sometimes ways of self expression instead of camouflage. However, maybe everyone looking the same in coalsacks would be more convenient.
Square 19 "Parents teach you to read... what a drag... post-literate era of man." I find the idea that the written word is of no further use to be amusing.
Square 5. "Birth in a sanitized hospital. Miss a turn." It is such a pity that babies miss all those lovely germs.
Square 39 "2+2=4 ("wrong) Don't believe it." All forms of mathematics are tools and methods tor/of communication. Communication is impossible unless the vocabulary used is understood by both the sender and receiver - an exponent of 2+2=5 is unintelligible to a person who says 2+2=4 (and that should have been obvious).
Getting a job on square 84 puts you back 9 spaces. Are you objecting to working, or the system under which we are forced to work. And most people are forced to work because if you're not completely self sufficient (end if you're a music lover have you ever tried to build a transistor or any acoustic guitar?) You need money if not your own, then somebody eises. Making stupid simplifications helps nobody.
Square 49. Superman comics are pretty shallow -don't you really mean that the methods of teaching English rather than the entire content is wrong. If so, why inflict your confusions, and trendy simplistic generalisations on us.
Personally, I read Salient to be informed and to be amused. About the amusement, I prefer to laugh with people rather than at them. About the information, it is fitting if a university newspaper can exclude views which display primer (albeit fashionable) mentality. Although it's probably very nice for the authors to live in the golden lands of childhood, it doesn't help anybody else very much.
You have been good enough to publish a review of the Anti-Apartheid Conference contributed by 'The Instigators'. The contributors who are concealed behind this provocation manage to spread more bullshit in a couple of paragraphs than could be cleared up in a whole issue of Salient. I will try to shed a little light on the subject.
"Devereaux attempted to ignore reality....... in pushing the line that South African racism and fascism is really only a manifestation of class struggle," say the Instigators. How pitifull "Facism is the open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, the most chauvinistic section of imperialist finance capital." Such has been the definition of fascism, of which Apartheid is a variant, recognised as scientifically valid by the radical and revolutionary working class movements since 1935.
Logan Moodley was able to show Conference how Apartheid put millions of dollars into the coffers of mine owner Oppenheimer, how Anglo-American Corporation made more millions and how 300 representatives of Yankee imperialism had horned in on the bonanza which apartheid laid before the financiers of the world.
In other contributions to conference, the miserable wage-rates of coloured proletarians was graphically described.
What was described in all these contributions was the war being waged on these coloured proletarians by international finance capital using the weapon of Apartheid or South African Fascism. Apartheid is a parts of the boss Class's war an all subject classes. White workers are privileged only as compared with the coloured - the old 'divide and rule' tactic.
All this came out at the Conference but was ignored.
Instead Conference chose to express the desire to persuede the ruling class in South Africa to allow the coloured workers to urinate in the same piss house as they now reserve for their own exclusive use. They chose to appeal to that class to choose its coloured workers to represent it in sports teams.
In refusing to make contact with non-white sports bodies and in refusing to request that the Rugby Football Union do likewise. Conference in practice recognised Danny Craven's organisation as the only representative authority for Rugby contacts. And Denny Craven is a boss class functionary as certainly as is the executive of the NZ Rugby Football Union. See "The NZ Listener", Vol. 69. Number 1 1659, programmes for March 20 - 26, 1972.
How typically opportunist the "Instigators" prove to be when they suggest "that after being rubbished twice he (Devereux) may have shut up and entered into the spirit of the Conference." They ask me and you Mr. Editor give space to the appeal, to abandon working class principles in order to trail behind the revisionist and religious leadership of the Conference.
The "Instigators" claim that there were "some other Communists present" at the Conference The unfortunate fact is that I was the only Communist representative present. Others may claim to be such, but revise communism at every point.
I am suprised thet your correspondents, The Instigators (Salient March 29), felt it necessary to take note of Mr S.D. Devereaux's performance at the recent Anti-Apartheid Conference -nobody else did, apart from groaning loudly as at some hem actor in a Victorian melodrama each time he was spied making for the microphone. But they have and, as they correctly reported, "Dev" was speaking on behalf of the so-called Communist Party of New Zealand, I feel some comments are essential.
Because "Dev" peddles the confused notions of the "C.P.N.Z. some incautious people have taken him for a Marxist. This he is not. Neither is his party any longer a Marxist party. Michael Dean correctly characterised Devereaux during his closing remarks as a "19th century economic determinst", the kind of "Marxist" of whom Marx himself used to observe ironically: "All I know is that I am not a Marxist."
The economic determinist mechanically attempts to explain the whole historical process, in its infinite variety, directly by the economic factor. The Marxist recognises that the state of the productive forces in the long run determines all social relations: in the first place, economic, class relations, and then political, legal, moral, philosophical, religious, artistic etc. relations, theories and views. Each of the aspects of the activity of social man is abstracted to form a separate category, but each of these categories is inseperably connected with, and acts upon, all the others. This dialectical interplay of productive forces, economic basis and superstructure (politics, culture, etc) which arises on this basis is precisely what the economic determinists end other phoney "Marxists" overlook. For example, Marxists hold that imperialism's drive for economic control of other countries is the principal source of war in the present ere. However, in dealing with a particular war other factors - strategic considerations, nationalism, the state of the class struggle at home, etc. are also considered. It is over this dialectical interplay that Ho Chi Minh and his successors in Viet Nam part company with the Trotskyites. Ho realised the importance of the national factor and the semi-feudal conditions in Viet Nam and formulated an appropriate programme for the Vietnamese revolution. The Trotskyites, including the S.A.L., do not have this understanding, so they are reduced to raving about "Stalinism" and attacking the programme of the P.R.G. under a guise of "defending" the Vietnamese revolution.
While the productive forces and the economic basis are primary and the superstructure (politics, culture, etc.) is secondary, Marxists recognise that there are times when political and cultural changes are decisive for both promoting economic development and changing the economic basis. Far from ignoring non-economic factors, Marxists have always placed considerable emphasis on political and ideological struggle in particular. The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, launched by Mao Tsetung in 1966 and still continuing today, has as its aim both bringing the superstructure into conformity with China's socialist economic base and promoting China's economic development.
All this is explained by Engeis in his correspondence in the 1890's. Mr Devereaux end his mentors have either never stumbled across these letters or not understood them. This is why Mr Devereaux and his mentors are reduced to pseudo-revolutionary phrase mongering and why they continually affront the commonsense of they audience whenever they speak.
T.S. Auld.(Abridged. Ed.)