While disjointed pacifist organizations squabble among themselves, an unadvertised but highly unified group of men at Harvard continue to disseminate their personal theories on problems of national and international importance. The R. O. T. C. crams many of its lectures to students in Military Science with picked news items illustrating the necessity of the Dies Committee, the un-Americanism of labor unions, and the absolute necessity of huge defense appropriations.
Each of three lectures a week is begun by the reading of some journalistic quotation regarding the political, social, or economic ideas of the staff. R. O. T. C. officials' views favor suppression of critics of the government, do not favor unions or income taxes. One article recently read before a class of Military Science 1 students described an encounter between Socialist strikers and constabulary on a sugar plantation in Manila. The Instructor's comment was: "When the employer is good enough to furnish some food and a hut and some clothes for the poor workers, they ought to be happy, but then these Socialist agitators come in and try to make them feel discontented." Attacking income taxation, an instructor once read an item complaining that state and federal taxes consumed most of the $200,000 bonus given to A.T. & T. president Gifford. At another meeting of the class, sentences were quoted from a Washington newspaper which condemned Harold Rugg's social-science textbook series for "breeding a generation of future reds and pinks in our public elementary schools." Other clippings collected by the instructor for the student's edification include attacks on nationwide labor organizations.
These items sometimes lead to a full hour spent in what the Military Science Department terms "teaching the American Way." They are considered equally important with factual scientific training. At this time of year, students undergo interviews with R. O. T. C. officers who decide whether they are fit to continue with their training. Some typical questions do not concern grades but are aimed at the undergraduate's attitude toward the Dies Committee, unions, freedom of speech and of the press. Without the proper sympathies, a student is considered poor material for a more advanced course. This is what the R. O. T. C. calls training young men in American democracy.