Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 9. 1ts May 1973
An Open Letter to the Food Co-op.
I was very distressed to hear of the developments on the co-operative scene since I went to Christchurch. The way I hear things if I wanted to join the co-operative now I would most likely be not able to, because I'm now one of those persons so dreaded by some of the student body, a worker, I earn money, so I can pay the downtown prices. It was said or so I'm told that next year the university co-op will have to be selective, students only, no workers, and a few token pensioners and others, "because that's what Peter Rendall had in mind". Now I don't mind getting quoted, but to use me as an excuse for a bit of out and out tokenism is a bit much. I totally oppose any token suggestion, the co-operative was started as the Wellington Food Co-operative, not the university co-operative. It was started to give its members a chance to get out and meet their neighbours, to relate a bit more to the people about them, not to provide cheaper food for a relatively privileged class. If you want to exclude anyone from the scheme could I suggest students, who have much more time than anyone else to go and grow their own.
But some people say, that the Co-op is getting too big. Shit hot, now start to reorganize yourselves! in theory you have the best brains in the country at your disposal, and you can't even organize a simple thing like a co-operative. God help the Capitalist world when you lot get loose, it won't have a chance!!! Don't get scared because you're succeeding, apply yourselves.
The Mt Victoria People's Union is setting up on its own, along with others who have a greater stake in the community, to join in the true spirit of a co-op, that of all for one and one for all. It is most regrettable that this situation has come about. Division in this manner is really bad and is the means by which downtown interests will break the co-operative, and thus finish the whole scheme for everyone.
If I might make a suggestion to everybody ... all members of the co-operatives should come together and discuss some of the issues that seem to be coming up. A meeting must be held of not just those who have placed themselves at the top, but all involved, for they affect the whole co-operative idea.
Peter Rendall(Truck Driver and proud to be it!!!!!!!!!!)
An Incoherent Youth Ejaculates
In view of the present circumstances and considering all the facts . . . The Larch!
Japanese & U.S. Exploitation of Vietnam
Peter and Roger,
Following the ceasefire agreement in Vietnam and Laos, problems and possibilities for international investors having speculative practice opened up. The Vietnam War has created one of the biggest parasitic industries in South Vietnam. Profit from armaments and from black-market deals amounted to several hundred million dollars a year. Within this hectic enclave of human misery and vice, peripheral earnings from 'entertainmnet' and 'public service' ranging from sales of alcohol, drugs and cigarettes to prostitution, constituted large proportions.
Having made some 12,000 million dollars profit out of U.S. war contracts throughout the Vietnam War, Japan, in the view of U.S. Administration, should now use the profit for reconstruction and rehabilitation of Vietnam under the current internation scheme. Japanese business circles are opposed to this as an indication of a clash between U.S. and Japan. They instead offered 850 million dollars as the basis of aid from all the joint international sponsors. Moreover, they consider rehabilitation and reconstruction of South Vietnam in the context of direct credit grants to the South Vietnamese regime. The requirements are set to export large volumes of consumer goods and equipment from Japan to South Vietnam. It is noted that some 800 million dollars of U.S. aid subsidies were spent by South Vietnamese regime in the past year importing Japanese-manufactured motor cycles, refrigerators, TV sets etc. This however, is considered as misapplication of aid subsidies.
Japan and U.S. are undoubtedly intending to seize the profits in Vietnam in their talks on aid to South Vietnam in the near future. To survive a war is not easy. To survive economic exploitation could be difficult as well. After the war in Vietnam, the profit-seeking investors continue seizing opportunities to accumulate wealth by exploiting South Vietnam and her people.
H.T. Lee Fund
Money received for H.T. Lee to date is well in excess of $300, Of this amount $ 14 was received last week from friends, mainly overseas students, from throughout the centres of New Zealand. Any more contributions would be gratefully received at the Salient Office, by Peter Wilson or myself.
Left Wing Truth
So you sucked someone in with the Hart motion or non-motion, so you "can't resist giving the knife another twist" so onward with fighting bourgeois imperialist capitalist cliches. That's fine but why die slander on the family name of Frisbee. Volume 36, Number 6 did not recognise that Lionel and Lincoln are the black and grey sheep of a long standing family. Their godfather was a good commie hater and liked rugby. Where has he gone wrong?
We sane Frisbees are disgusted at our relatives partaking in your sanctimonious and "tiny minded" left wing version of 'Truth'. We Frisbees even dare to recognise that there may be other opinions than the party line. But of course the cover of Volume 36 Number 7 was full of the slight spark of Frisbee genius and originality.
Yours in fighting the cliches of the paper tiger and running dog establishment.
One Eye on Ecology
I would like to make some comment on David Tripe's article in "Salient" March 21, titled—Ecology Action: "Are they Wasting Their Energy".
From the beginning I must admit that I agree with his final conclusion, that environmental disruption is so engrained into our modern society that it will take a major change to solve it. However, I disagree with the possible change that he implies.
My interpretation of his article is that he blames the profit centred capitalists system for our ecological disruption and implies that a socialistic type organisation may be the answer. Once again his ideas are typical of the socialistic garbage that seem to influence the Salient breed. Here is a typical example of a person who looks at the world with one eye open—so typical of many of the movements of University today.
To help Mr Tripe open his other eye it may pay him to read about the ecological disruption in USSR and other socialistic countries. One book that springs to mind is Prof. Goldman's—"The Spoils of Progress", published in 1972. This will show very clearly what happens to the environment under state control. Why is it that so many critics have more faith in a state bureaucracy than the individual freedom of the people?
"Governments assuming a proper limitation of their activities are necessary and not evil. Their evil begins when they step out of bounds. The necessity is that the evil actions be discontinued". Frederick A. Hayek.
Because of the above reasoning I cannot agree with the ideas expressed by Ecology Action that the Values Party "has all the answers". After reading the party manifesto and listening to various speakers I am convinced that the party is full of contradictions and it will end up by being a party that spends most of its time chasing it's tail. How can you talk about individual freedom, liberty and new values on one hand and increased state intervention on the other even to the point of Nationalisation of land—state ownership again. The present example of the Labour Party and the freedom of the farmers over the Wool Marketing Corporation is a lucid example of the beginning of the state control over the freedom of the individuals and their produce.
In closing may I say that if I have misinterpreted your article Mr Tripe, I humbly apologise.
European Decadence at VUW: An Easter Puke
When one is doing a critique of the university, it is difficult to know whom to attack most, staff or students, but I will take the former, because they are generally at a more advanced stage of idiocy.
Firstly, where is Euro and Yank society going.... most definitely west, to throw in a pun. Brecht, whom those literary morons chronically misinterpret, observed this years ago, and one needs only to analyse the development of Euro literature (at a depth beyond the capability of most staff members admittedly) to see the destructive, decadent effect that "progress" has had ... too many people, too much misdirected energy, materialism. Euro-land and the Big A are sick society and arc threatening to pull us down with them, but what is the university, supposedly at the vanguard of 'cultural progress' doing about this?
The quality of the teaching here is abysmal. Why? Because students with some spark of inspiration and endurance (because one needs endurance to last it out here) are told that all the 'great minds' are Yanks or Euros? How, in fuck, can a sick society produce great minds? This is so totally absurd! Not only are Euros appointed to academic posts here, but even NZ'ers who hardly deserve to be called of this nation, so corrupted are they by Euros and Yanks. Yet our teaching standards arc being continually measured against those of sick societies? How insane!
Brecht demonstrated how misdirected energy led to materialism and ego-encapsulation. And shit, there are millions of encapsulated egos homing round the staff club. Firstly, six months too late, fervent resolutions were passed at Faculty level about the preservation of trees on campus, "the university should be at the vanguard of cultural consciousness!" was the battle cry. Yet six months ago, and today, fervour was directed towards the preservation of parking spaces. We all know that gleaming cars and glistening asphalt, and billowing exhaust-fumes are things beautiful to watch .... but no, let us not charge staff with insincerity, blindness and hypocrisy!.....that's not British! After all, one cannot say that one has to be a human being to be a good teacher .... there is no correlation whatsoever............What utter shit!
So on this count we see that again the correlation between human being and academic at this univeristy has vanished, and it is small comfort to realise that the situation is worse overseas. This vacuousness also shows itself in the manner in which their sexual life is conducted .... a sordid morass... distinguished by meaninglessness and depravity, and with more concern beyond that, for whether their lovers will help or hinder their careers or not. Shit, there is so much mud to be slung about staff members' feeble behaviour, one's mind blows, and it is ironic that it is their middle-class pseudo-morality that prevents students being generally dragged into such messes.
And the way appointments are made is a wonder to behold! The little ego-circle is nicely preserved by criteria such as publications (which no-one bothers to check up on to see if they are any good .... which most of them aren't) and referees from Euro-land. No more need be said about the irrelevance of that! Also whether he's a nice chap, whether he helps his boss in the garden (obvious sexual imagery) and all that shit. Can he communicate with students? Goody gracious me! That has nothing to do with it!
Well, it's all a sick mess, and the students are doing fuck all about it. Most of the bright students go to Euro-land or the Big A, get corrupted and vested interests, and return as non-human beings to perpetuate the circle. It is a good thing that the UGC Research Committee wants more research done in NZ, and perhaps students might start forgetting about politics that relate to things Euro and Yankee, and start worrying about how things work out in the South Pacific. And above all, let's start doing something for the poor schoolkids who emerge crippled by a school system and come to university for something better, if we can't do anything for ourselves now!
Disgusted Porirua Worker
The Antisemitism of Russian Anarchists
Dear Peter and Roger,
Strange though it may seem to Graham Rua, my reference to Makhno was baaed on non-Trotskyist sources.
Everyman's Encyclopaedia (Vol. 8, page 228) states that Makhno's raids were "invariably accompanied by great violence and pogroms".
The Jewish writer Joel Cang, a bitter critic of the Bolsheviks, states on page 60 of his book "The Silent Millions", in reference to the killing or maiming of a quarter of a million jews in pogroms during the revolutionary period, that "almost all of them were organised by the anti-communist military group under the commind of Petlurya, Denikin, Makhno and some of the other generals fighting against the Bolsheviks". Plainly he errs in lumping in Makhno together with the other named anti-Bolsheviks in one command, but the allegation of pogrom remains.
Victor Serge, who Graham Rua recommends at an authority on the Kronstadt uprising, writing in relation to Makhno on page 122 of bit book "Memoirs of a Revolutionary 1901-1941", refers to a "number of atrocities committed by his hands". True, he does not state that they were against Jews, but perhaps Graham Rua can throw some light on this reference.
Trotsky himself did not accuse Makhno personally of being anti-Semitic. In his article I referred to in my first letter, he said: "I should add that the hatred of the city and the city worker on the part of the followers of Makhno was complemented by a militant anti-Semitism".
The evidence brought out by A. A Adams in his book "The Bolsheviks in the Ukraine" (New Haven and Yale Press 1963) supports to the hilt the view that although Makhno was himself opposed to anti-Semitism there were at times substantial anti-Semitic elements within his army.
In May of 1919 the anti-Bolshevik Ukrainian partisan group let by Giforev, carried out the massacre of 5000 Jews in the town of Elisavetgrad. Almost immediately this force was broken up by the Red Army, but a remnant of it, still under the command of Grigorev, joined forces with Makhno. On page 402, Adams says: "Makhno acted as the Government of this alliance and Grigorev served as the head of the military forces". This union lasted for a short period ending with Grigorev's death at the hands Makhno, in a shoot-out at Sentova on July 27 1919. It seems that the bulk of Grigorev's supporters were immediately fused into Makhno's general army. To Makhno's credit it is said that one of his reasons for killing Grigorev was the Elisvetgrad pogrom.
On page 218 of his book, the "Unknown Revolution", Voline also describes the Sentova incident, but strangely makes no mention of Makhno's alliance with Grigorev, which preceded the gunfight. He does, however, tell us that "nearly all" the Grigorev supporters absorbed into Makhno's army had to be dismissed "later on". This was, he states, explicitly due to their "anti-Semitic spirit which their former chief had managed to instil into them".
To the extent that my earlier letter suggested that Makhno was personally anti-Semitic, I unreservedly withdraw and retract. Will' Graham Rua similarly concede that Trotsky's charge relating to anti-Semitism among Makhno's followers has a basis of fact?
I commend a book review of Arvrich's "Kronstadt 1921" appearing in Volume 23 of Soviety Studies (p. 677) to G. Rua. The reviewer is M. Lewin who suggests that Arvrich's conclusion is that, though one can have sympathy with the rebels, the Bolshevik's were none the less justified in acting as they did. Arvrich quotes from a White Guard group which claimed to have organisers within the fortress making plans, but who did not spark off the actual revolt. Can the Anarchists be certain that, had the actual revolt not been stifled by the Bolsheviks, this group could not in any circumstances have taken over the leadership of the rebels? The conduct of Oetrichenko, a leading rebel, after he fled to Finland, can give little comfort to the Anarchists. Arvrich is quoted as saying that he entered into an agreement with the National Centre (an emigre group) and Wrangel, the White Guard Commander, to wage a common fight against the Bolsheviks.
The reviewer expresses the opinion, whether it is his own or Arvrich's is not dear, that the programme and opinions of the Kronstadt sailors was a blend of populist anarchism, slavic nationalism and nativism, often xenophobic and never far from the mood traditionally expressed by the slogan 'beat the communists and the Jews'. As far as I am aware, neither Arvrich nor Lewin are Trotskyites.
Hector Mac Neill
White Liberal Trash
I refer to your grotesque and ridiculous article on some joker called Rama in your thingamebob. Youse white liberal trash is all the same. Why don't you go home and go into daddy's business.
Tony Simpson.(Village Idiot with Certain Privileges)
Singaporean Subversion in NewZealand
I wish to register my abhorrence at the following letter which was sent by the Singapore Government to Singaporean students in this country.
31 March 73
|1.||You may be aware that the Singapore Government has recently launched a campaign against long hair. The issue is not merely a question of hair length as an end in itself, but the life-style which long hair is indicative of.|
|2.||It is the intention to deter young Singaporeans, in being 'fashionable', from being drawn into what is basically a pernicious life-style. Male employees in the Civil Service have been told not to have outlandish clothes and unduly long and unkempt hairstyles. All officers are expected to wear clothes and hairstyles that give the appearance of neatness and decorum.|
|3.||As Singapore Government scholars, you are expected to reflect the positive attributes of Singapore and not to adopt the trappings of hippieism. We have noticed that male students who have returned to Singapore from overseas on completion of studies or on vacation, have been sporting long hair. This is not in keeping with your status as Singapore Government scholars.|
|4.||You are therefore requested to refrain from keeping unduly long and unkempt hairstyles and all other manifestations which are symbolic of the hippie life-style.|
Mrs Helen Limfor Secretary Public Service Commission
I object very strongly to a Lee Kuan Yew's dictatorship, which is incompetent in solving its own very pressing problems, passing arrogant, unfounded and unwarranted moral judgements on the life style of people in this country.
If this dictator considers our life style pernicious he can either keep his opinions bottled up inside his nasty mind, or make his statements public. Such subversion by an American puppet government is deplorable and dangerous, and on behalf of my countrymen I demand an immediate apology from Mr Lee Kuan Yew.
Pie in the Sky
The debate over abortion shows up some significant features of the two sides. The Christians start by stressing the value of human love and sexuality. The humanists have the one as a temporary affair, other as a matter of whim or fancy, a plaything.
The Christians place ultimate value on human life as it is, because it is. No half measures. The humanists say life has a value only according to subjective criteria, one's opinion, its value being relative to many factors.
More often now one hears humanists say that the human is no more than an animal, that the person has no innate greatness or dignity. People are, therefore, to seek merely an untroubled, comfortable life.
Christians hold, however, that what we suffer in this life can never be compared to the glory which is waiting for us. Therefore they encourage people in painful, or trying circumstances to transcend themselves, to act putting others before themselves, to show the greatness that is in them.
I must admit I am frightened by the way humanists are degrading human life, the human person. They seem to be reducing our life to insignificance. It's becoming more clear on which side people will get a better deal.
It is unfortunate that a Malaysian has picked on so trivial a matter to attack his neighbour in a foreign country where they form the minority. Instead of working towards mutual fulfillment he has seen it fit that Singaporeans and Malaysians should be segregated to the extent that they form separate associations. If Mr Chan's aim is to aggravate Singaporeans, he has no doubt succeeded and I can only sympathise with him who, apparently educated, has exhibited such a selfish, malicious attitude towards his own neighbour.
"Heroic Acts" - an insult to workers
The decision to celebrate May Day at the university is a progressive step, which has been welcomed by almost all but a few "proletarian purists", who see all trade union officials as faithful dogs of the capitalist class. Despite these Trotskyistic 'noises off, the celebration promises to be a potentially useful step, even if it does no more than remind students of the existence of working people in our society.
But what a pity it is that this progressive move should be marred by a ridiculous antic. I refer to the pink sheets of paper currently littering the university, which quote that well known phoney Jerry Rubin - "Do it! a heroic activity".
The reverse side of this call to arms states that VUWSA is promoting the general theme of liberation around May Day. Between Sunday Midnight and 3 p.m. on Thursday students are invited to strike a blow at any institution supporting Capitalism, Imperialism, Sexism, Racism and Knowledgeism.
Simply you say. The obvious course is for all students (having dutifully registered with their puffed up little bureaucracy) to bum the university to the ground, preferably with themselves inside it. But hang on a minute heroes! If you do that you won't be able to claim the $20, $10 and $5 prize money offered!
If these antics are carried out and publicised as part of student recognition of the International Day of working class solidarity, they will deserve the contempt of all working people. In the long and bloody course of their struggle workers have carried out countless acts of heroism. Students have also engaged in truly heroic struggle.
But to clothe the old capping pranks in the garb of "heroism" is to debase these struggles in a childish and reactionary fashion. Such a mindless class insult should have no place in the forth' coming May Day celebrations.
No Freedom until Imperialism ended.
With the ending of the war in Vietnam and Laos, the question of the future of Southeast Asia and the role of Malaya has acquired a degree of urgency.
The discussion within Malaya and among her Southeast Asian neighbours in the so-called 'non-communist orbit' has in recent years centred around the 'Association of Southeast Asian Nations' (ASEAN). This Association is a part-economic, part-political consultative body with no clearly-defined lines of action. Its nature of mixed allegiances and commitments under the aegis of several super-powers has turned out bizarre results. Some members considered ASEAN as a marriage of convenience, with mutual protection during political tension. Some saw it as a variety of 'Asian Common Market'. However, others saw it as an extended arm of the various military pacts operating in Southeast Asia, complete with the usual cliches about 'combatting communist subversion'.
The ASEAN members include Malaya (Singapore), Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines who tended to think and act in a vicious circle, in which the future of the region was compressed and solidified into one inflexible formula, the formula of anti-communism. In a state of hysteria, certain powers were able to launch their expeditionary campaigns, set up their proteges, establish their foothold and augment their claim as 'protectors' of this and that puppet virtually anywhere in the world. The new Labour Government in New Zealand continues to play its role as a junior partner of US-British imperialism by actively associating with the Five-Power Defence Arrangements.
Unless a complete break is made with the past concepts of foreign patronage and big power interference any talk of neutrality and sovereignty will be a waste of time. Are certain powers prepared to withdraw from their 'position of strength' and their interference in the internal affairs of countries in Southeast Asia? Are the peoples and nations in Southeast Asia to be allowed to choose their own form of government and associate freely with one another without political, racial or any other forms of discrimination? The dream of a regional organisation of peace, freedom, neutrality and security wilt be a farce if these questions are not solved.
Under the Bulldozer?
Where are all the Ecology Action groups and the Conservationists when the campus is being desecrated by shrieking, chugging juggernauts until it becomes a yellow bowl of swirling dust??
Why does a lone kowhai fall to allow for drainage at the side of the houses on Kelburn Parade? Those who have for long enjoyed the prospect of this tree thought it had been reprieved. Blossoms burst forth and birds returned - as if realising that the tree had been spared. But now one bulldozer has swiftly ended years of growth and the stand of gum trees is assailed again.
If this is planned development what will future students and staff enjoy? Perhaps a concrete wilderness devoid of trees where no bird sings. Modern New Zealanders should learn from their forefathers' mistakes; preserve now. It's not too Late.
Woodman Spare Those Trees
Carol A. Cooper
Fun for Some
This varsity year must go down on record as one of the dullest yet experienced. Not only have we lost all those shit-hot capping balls, orientation balls, etc. but now we can't even enjoy ourselves on capping day. Christ can't we even have a little bit of fun once a year where like last year we all went out splashed around in Oriental Bay and then all got pissed at the Tramways - does everything have to be politically motivated such as this year's proposed "Solidarity with the South African Workers evening - bloody great I don't think!
Surely the past capping activites brought students together for about the only time in the year and usually most people thoroughly enjoyed themselves - there weren't many complaints after last year's brilliant effort and the amount of participation showed how much this activity is enjoyed as a break away from this fuckwit place. So how about giving the fucking politics a bloody great boot in the arse and get some fun back into this machinery with a few good stunts etc.