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Can We Know the Dancer from the Dance?

By Richard E. Hyland

I was wondering what it's like, I mean really like, to get up and go to work, just like that, at the CFIA....

"Celia, aaah, don't. No, help. Celia, they will, they'll get me, no kidding, they're here... aaah. Celia, you must, no, don't go, they'll get us all... aah..."



No weekend yet and 9 a.m. It rained on the bed last night. No covers on my feet. Slippers, slippers. Watch the razor, beards don't grow on trees, you know. Cold tile and a starched shirt. 15 collar, 151/2 neck. Crest, Breakfast of Champions. Lock the door. And the New York Times again. Headlines, skinny columns. Oh, I made the news today.

Still raining and no umbrella. Semitic museum, I wonder where they keep them. Do I really work here? Good morning, Cynthia. I mean...

"Good morning, Cynthia."

"Here's the mail. A new book about deterrence."

Thank God I can close the door. Jesus, defense treaties at 9:30. Polaris strike capability. Pre-emptive, no preventative war. Maximum propaganda and credibility effectiveness.

"Sir, Mr. Hyland is here from the CRIMSON."

I MET Professors Robert Bowie, Raymond Vernoh and Joseph Nye in the office of the Director of the Harvard Center for International Affairs (CFIA). I was drenched from riding my bike in the rain and my glasses were still dripping. Four comfortable chairs in a circle and three members of the Center's Executive Committee. Something fishy, I thought.

"Have a seat, Mr. Hyland."

Almost too frightened to choose a seat, I finally remembered Malcolm X's dictum and sat facing the door. They clustered around me and smiled. They were of three different worlds.

I looked at Professor Bowie first. Assistant Secretary of State under John Foster Dulles, I remembered. His Erik Erikson- colored hair was neatly cropped. The metal bridge of his rimless glasses had worn a level plateau at the top of his nose. It was the same kind of bridge that I had on my glasses. I will have a level plateau on the top of my nose too. It was the second day in his white shirt. Nevertheless, very elegant.

Professor Vernon next. Short and very unlikely-looking. A crooked yellow bow-tie and a big smile. He would eat me I thought.

Professor Nye wore a blue-striped, long-sleeved, well-pressed shirt. Young, vigorous, and prematurely balding. No coat, no tie. Oh, if Master Pappenheimer should see him. I was sure he was a Rhodes scholar. Princeton and Oxford it turns out. I was in the office later to hear his secretary phone for a squash court reservation for Friday at 5 p.m. I don't think that I could get my little brother to phone for a squash court reservation. But then I don't pay my little brother.

"I'D LIKE TO start with something that you cover only cursorily in your literature. That's how the Center began."

Professor Bowie began reading to me from a xeroxed copy of an unpublished report of the current activities of the Center. I had already read it and I knew that part. During June, 1954, a Faculty Committee on the Behavioral Sciences at Harvard issued a 500-page report that, among other things, called for the establishment of a Center for International Studies. In 1956, McGeorge Bundy, then Dean of the Faculty, formed a new Committee which again advised the creation of such a center. In 1957, Edward Mason, Dean of the Graduate School of Public Administration, was sent to Washington to recruit Bowie. In the fall of 1958, the Center began operation.

I had questions about the real reasons for the institution of the Center. In the 1954 Committee's report, of the 60 page of recommendations, only one deals with a possible Center. Moreover, the Visiting Committee judging the recommendations found the Center interesting but not essential. Since many of the major recommendations of the Committee were never followed, I wondered why Bundy decided to pick up the idea two years later.

The Ford Foundation had funded the Committee and four others like it in major universities. I wondered what they had expected to find. But more than that, the tenor of the report seemed concerned with questions far different from the present interests of the Center. The report said that the Center should look into "Cultural Differences and International Understanding." They were also interested, on a scholarly level I suppose, in "Domestic Determinants of Foreign Policy." The main problems, from the eyes of the behavioral scientists, seemed to be not enough researchers, not enough money, and not enough time to think about "questions of value."

Listen to one of the political scientists interviewed by the Committee:

I do think that there are some dangers in that we need to get our roots more back into comparative analysis of values. There aren't enough people who are really looking at the big problems, the value problems. I think this is a danger for everybody, not only in the academic world. (p. 47)

Some professors were worried that large research projects, especially if dressed up as "interdisciplinary," would get first call on foundation funds. (p. 12) Others already disliked the

... whoring after formalism- these mathematical models are a case in point. It seems to serve much like a philosopher's stone, and leads people to forget about the phenomena themselves in their concern with elegant systems and whether they can fit into them. Then there is all this interest in theory building. As X put it the other day, there is so much regard for being critical and for rigorous theory we may be preventing, or at least not rewarding, people for creating ideas at a fairly low level. (p. 56)

No radical today would say that the CFIA unconsciously disregards the big questions because of a preoccupation with, for example, game theory. Most would say that game theory is at once a way of aiding American foreign policy, as well as providing a mask for that aid. The point here is, however, that some behavioral scientists in 1954 sensed something wrong with the new scientific method, and wanted time to investigate its long-term perspectives. They did not for a minute doubt U.S. goals, but they realized that social science was becoming a whore.

After a little digging, I think I can guess why the Center was started. The crisis managers must have found it lonely in Washington under Dulles. The whole group of liberal foreign policy experts needed somewhere to polish their swords in exile. Bundy must have suggested the old idea of the Center for International Studies. They could get together and wait for better times.

There is usually a lag between newly developed social science techniques and their implementation in foreign policy. During the 1950's, the government had fallen far behind. With Kennedy's election, the New Frontier brought many of Harvard's best into the White House, including McGeorge Bundy as special assistant for National Security Affairs. The Kennedy men brought American foreign policy up to date. The first special forces went into Vietnam in 1961.

BY NOW, Vernon was getting impatient. He was playing with his keys and looking around the room. I understood that he had come for more important business and I decided to skip the next couple of questions on my list.

Later, I wished I hadn't. As the meeting progressed, the Center's representatives built up a case that the Center was actually helping the people of the world. As Nye put it, "Maybe it looks like we're painting a bowl of rose's, but we think we've got a pretty good thing going." At the end of the meeting, there was to be only a choice between what I could sense as the real activities of the Center in supporting U.S. policies, and, on the other hand, a picture that did indeed resemble roses. My one question that could have helped was about the members of the Center's visiting committee. It includes the former Ambassadors to England and Belgium, the Vice President and Director of Standard Oil, a former Secretary of the Treasury and Under Secretary of State, the President of Bell Telephone, the President of Itek, the former director of the CIA, and the President of Radio Free Europe. I had learned enough about imperialism during the last three years to suspect that the members of the visiting committee and I were on different sides. I would have liked to have seen them reconcile that to me.

I looked up suddenly, and saw Bowie's secretary advancing towards us with a tray of four cups of coffee, and big bowls with cream and sugar. She set the tray down on the table we were clustered around and slipped out quietly. The porcelain was hand painted, and with two spoonful of sugar, it was the best coffee I had ever tasted. One of them asked whether I'd like cream, Dick, and I realized that suddenly we were Bob, Ray, Joe, and Dick. I was having coffee with very important people, so I, too, was a very important person.

The other part was the how-bad-can-we-be-if-we-give-you-coffee approach. Later that afternoon, when I went to Dean Ford's office to borrow a copy of the 1954 committee report, I found that the tactic was fairly ubiquitous. In the receptionist's office was a large platter of brownies and raisin and Toll House cookies. I had been there only 15 minutes when I succumbed.

"Could I have a cookie, I've been staring at them for hours."

"That one's a Toll House."

I knew I had tasted the same kind when I was in University Hall last April. The cookies are about 41/2" across and exploding with chocolate chips and pecans. I realized that the way to my politics was indeed through my stomach. It would be best to have a radical dinner that night so that the story would turn out right.

I DECIDED that I could be just as blatant as they could. I skipped to the questions about the current projects and the Development Advisory Service (DAS). After they fended off a few preliminary punches, I threw one about the supportive nature of their research for the U.S. government.

Ray Vernon leaned over to Bob Bowie, and explained that I was voicing the criticism of those who thought that foreign policy was decided by a small group in the CIA. the Pentagon, the CFIA, and the White House. Then he smiled at me.

So we were playing games, were we. All right. I had take Hum 105 and could act with the best of them when I was angry.

"Look, I'm majoring in English, Renaissance literature, and I don't know a thing about Marx or Mao. I just talked to a lot of radicals to see what their criticisms were." I usually use that role only for Humanities tables at Dunster.

Ray Vernon was sure by now he had judged me correctly. Similarly, outside of Ford's office, a reporter for some newspaper stood staring at the second floor Faculty Room as I appeared. He moved over to me and asked,

"Is that where they did it?"

"Did what?" I answered, and he moved back away.

Throughout the interview. Vernon would act the lion tamer. He would kid about radical criticism of the Center and then smile for agreement. At one point, when I asked about a book entitled United States Manufacturing in Brazil and quoted a passage from a Center Report showing its political bias, he explained that the precis was poorly done, and that the book was really about ...

I think Nye and I both noticed that Vernon was acting his role with a little too much gusto. To follow the metaphor, he wasn't watching the beast closely enough. My stance was shifting constantly, so I was unsure how well I was doing. I knew though, that Vernon was playing badly. He was a man. I thought, who probably lost at poker.

My next question was about the DAS. To dispense quickly with categories, the Center divides its work into three parts: the research program of the Center staff and Faculty, the Fellows program, and the Development Advisory Service. Each will be dealt with more patience below. I just want to suggest the flavor of the conversation.

"Take Indonesia, for example."

You take it Ray. That government you worked for this summer came to power by murdering 500,000 people. And the murders didn't even make the front page of the Times. I think all that it got was a short article in Life. But then as Bob Bowie said earlier,

"If you tried to gauge the polities of a government, you'd never work for anyone. There are very few democratic governments around." (I am staring at his following sentence in my notebook to convince myself that he really said it.) "We look at economic processes as an ongoing phenomenon, regardless of the course the population chooses for its government. Development is something that continues regardless of government."

Ray Vernon continued. "Three of us went there this summer to try to help Indonesia make foreign investments an asset instead of a liability. We found that Indonesia had been underestimating its capacity for investments. We recommended first a primer on how to judge strength for investments, and second, that they be less forthcoming with tax-exemptions to foreign investors. We find, however, that it is not a zero-sum game, if Ican use the jargon of the trade."

"Don't," Bowie said.

"In other words, both investors and the government stand to gain by advantageous policies. This is characteristic work for the DAS. We do the same thing in Ghana, Liberia, and Argentina.

He meant Ghana, Liberia, Pakistan, Malaysia, Columbia, and formerly Argentina, Greece, and Iran.

"Liberia is another good example. It is sustained largely by foreign investment, Firestone and Beth Steel. We had to tool up the Liberians to become effective bargainers with the main concessionaires. We taught them quite a lot about corporate tax practices. We gave them seminars, went through contracts with them, and showed them how to get more government revenue to speed internal growth."

I THINK I'll talk about the DAS right now. I can't bear to let that argument stand, even provisionally.

While it appears from Vernon's statement that the DAS is hurting foreign investment and helping the native countries, the reality, I think, is quite different. Increasing a government's revenue in an underdeveloped country also increases its stability. That in turn makes investment safer for a longer term. Taxing foreign investors creates support at home, and provides the illusion of helping the country.

Bowie later gave me two contradictory criteria to evaluate the Center. Either, he said, they chose what they do to serve imperialism, or they do it to understand "the forces at work in the modern world, to see whether we can understand the process of development."

As you can guess, the straw-men fell fast that morning. Very simply, neither of the two criteria explain the problem. Throughout the literature of the Center, there are reports stressing the progress towards a true market economy that a given nation is making. Through some process, whether by true beliefs or by economic or personal interest, they all believe that a market economy is the best way for a country to "develop."

I think that I could demonstrate, however, that American investment has results inimical to the people of underdeveloped countries. Vernon said,

"If you think that all foreign investment is bad, then what we're doing is bad."

Here again, that is not the point. Foreign investment is not, of itself, bad. But American investment usually brings with it the American military to protect those investments. American investment further creates or solidifies a small class that becomes both powerful and dependent upon U.S. presence. When popular governments are restored, the U.S. military acts immediately to unseat them. Brazil, Iran, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and Cuba are all good examples. Often the American investment forces the economy to serve the needs of the American economy rather than the needs of the people of the country. The country becomes increasingly dependent upon a few products, and its economy is increasingly unstable as the prices of the few products fluctuate. Because of the overwhelmingly large numbers of unemployed, American firms are able to keep wages far below those in more developed countries.

Besides preventing socialism, however, I think that American investment also prevents the development of a capitalist economy. It enforces a very unequal distribution of wealth which prevents the economy from growing, and often prevents the growth of a local bourgeoisie.

Please excuse the little screed about "imperialism." To oppose the CFIA, it is first necessary to reject even the possibility of a successful development, measured in terms of the people of a country, by American investment. It is possible, I will admit, that after continuous massive doses of foreign aid, as in Formosa, an underdeveloped country can experience an increase in per capita income.

The main effect of the 50 DAS advisers, however, is to increase and expand markets. Those "markets" benefit American business. The DAS helps to stabilize and consolidate those economies. Whether the purpose is to aid American investment or to establish market economies makes little difference.

WHEN ASKED about DAS participation in reactionary governments, Vernon responded proudly that the DAS left after the military coup in Greece. The story runs that the DAS had been working with Papandreau, and after the junta's coup, the DAS was forced to leave, Even then, however, they remained for a year, and left only after considerable argument inside the Center. It seems there was a lot of the "keep the flag there" philosophy.

We might as well destroy two other myths at the same time. The first is about Pakistan. Just after the Center issued its Tenth Annual Report in 1968, in which they praised the "progress of the economic policy and performance" of the Pakistani government, that government was overthrown after days of bloody rioting in major cities. The new rulers were from the same class, but plainly some one was unhappy.

The other myth concerns the "freeatmosphere for discussion" that the Center finds as its main product. Of well over 100 professional personnel, Bowie was able to point only to one or two who were "radical." Even those two, it turns out, were hired by the University and not by the Center. When the Center began funding their projects, it was unaware of the political ideas of the two applicants.

It was just at the time, in fact, that we began discussing the Fellows program, that Bowie's secretary softly opened the door and announced that it was noon.

"We'll stay as long as he needs," Bowie said.

Nye, however, laid it on the line. "We'll give you all the time you need, provided that we get a fair story."

So that was it. Always before, I had been proud to interview professors for news stories. I had thought that the two of us, the professor and I, were comrades in our relentless search for Truth. I would ask off-center questions, and he would respond with interesting and new answers. Maybe that was why I liked talking to professors on the phone for a story when no one else did. We both considered journalism as a way of mutual indulgence in a creative function.

Or at the very least, some unusually wise and aged professor would consider me with benevolence, and smile at my naivete and idealism. For a few moments we would be mentor and student, emerging from some long-lost tradition.

But at the CFIA, for the first time. I was an object. Spending time with me was an investment. They had learned to maximize profits, and a pleasant chat with a foolish undergraduate would be well-spent. "We'll give you all the time you need, provided that we get a fair story." I wonder if that's the way the DAS works.

I will get it all off my chest at once. When a reporter sits down with an Important Person for an interview, he considers it his right, indeed his duty, to get at least part of The Inside Story. He needn't have it all. Just a little that he can spring on his readers in the middle of his story to assure them that he knows what he's doing. Most bad stories come not from bad writing, but from bad questioning.

So if after an hour and a half with three of the most influential men in Development and International Relations. I knew not one whit more than I did when I started. I was not prepared to believe that it was my fault. They would not concede me my "pay" as a reporter. Since I was to come away with nothing more than a University News Office press release, then they would learn to communicate a little with the next reporter. I decided.

IT'S 5:30 in the morning and really should talk a little about the Fellows program. Since both of us are tired, the plan will be as follows: a quick look at the Fellows of the Center, an unguided tour of 6 Divinity Ave, to get us from the Fellows on the first floor to the library on the third, and finally some of the best quotations from books published by the Center. That way we will have examined all three of the Center's activities. There will be no other digressions. I promise.

The twelve year total of Fellows at the Center comes to 164 individuals from 29 countries. The Center claims that they are there to reflect upon long-term problems, and opportunity they never have at home. The Center sponsors weekly seminars and urges constant intercourse between the Fellows from different areas.

Five of the yearly number of 15 Fellows come from the United States. The rest come from Europe. Latin America. Asia, and Africa. Bowie said that countries that have participated in the Fellows program before are usually responsible for picking the Fellows. Nye explained, however, that this is not always the case. There was once a radical who was in exile from his government who served as a Fellow. "That was in Dahomey."

"Is that in India?"

"No," Nye smiled, "it's in West Africa."

The Fellows for 1969-70 include a colonel in the U.S. Army who commanded a brigade in Vietnam, a U.S. Navy captain, a former president of the Central Bank of Brazil, an AID specialist on Nigeria, and a cabinet minister from Ghana.

Last summer, about 100 students from Brazil came to Cambridge for a week under the auspices of a large number of American corporations. I was here, and had nothing else to do, and so I talked with them quite a lot. One said that "All of the real student leaders in Brazil were either in jail, in exile, or dead." Another explained that "Armed struggle has already begun in Brazil." I wondered why the Center had not asked one of them to come.

In addition to the constant flow of new ideas from one scholar-administrator to another, the Center's Tenth Annual Report says that "The Fellows also traveled widely in the United States. They made a number of trips together, including a two-day visit to Dearborn, Michigan, as guests of the Ford Motor Company."

I THINK I'm happier knowing that 6 Divinity Ave. wasn't always the CFIA. The University began its Semitic collection in 1889. In 1902. a naturalized banker named Jacob Schiff put up the money for the museum, which opened in 1903. I wish I could have heard the negotiations between the Near Eastern Languages Department and the Center's founders over the building's change in function.

The quick tour will begin from Bowie's office, and go back through the building past the Near Eastern Languages Department offices, and downstairs to the most interesting part of the building. That is the Semitic Museum, which, according to a sign, is not open to the public. My piece of The Inside Story at last.

The whole building seems to be full of fakes. In the dark passageways between the seminar rooms where I think I overheard an Egyptian 201 class, are arrayed an assortment of copies of Near Eastern sculpture. There is a four-sided stella, which, if I remember correctly, is a copy of the copy in the British Museum. It is called the Black Obelisque, and on it the Assyrian king Shalmanesar III recorded his conquest of most of the Near East, including Babylon. Nearby is a cast of an Assyrian bas-relief which shows kings impaling their captives on spears.

In a neighboring alcove, there is an imitation of the Hammurabi code. The original, in the Louvre, is black with a bas-relief of Hammurabi, standing, receiving the law from a god. The Semitic Museum's imitation is white. It has a replica of the bas-relief, but the stella itself seemed to be blank. Later, in the light, I saw that the code had been meticulously cast on the copy. At least they had not classified that, I thought.

I had almost forgotten. There is one more rumor worth dispelling. The Center proudly proclaims that it does no classified research. Personally, I consider it a breach of etiquette to play with words. My humor lies elsewhere, I think. What the Center means, is that the Center itself, as an institution, does no classified research. If you look very closely, however, you will find a safe for classified research in Professor Cheney's office. I would be willing to wager that there exists a similar one in many other offices in the Center. Seymour Martin Lipset did work for the Air Force. But heals, I have not been in his office.

Downstairs again. Of the 12 or 13 extant sculptures of the Sumerian king Goudia, who lived about 2350 B.C., a good number are in the Louvre. One is in the Boston Musuem. The portrait of his head may well be the most beautiful piece of sculpture ever done. In the Louvre, they sell a full-sized reproduction of that head, made in the Louvre workshops, for 55 francs. I have one in my bedroom at home. There is also one next to the while Hummurabi.

Further inside the museum lie two Egyptian sarcophagus from the Lower, or decadent Empire. There is a random collection of glassware and pottery from all over the Near East.

After climbing back up the stairs to the second floor, and passing a manure-colored bas-relief, also a copy, of some Assyrian king, you arrive at the Center Library on the Third floor. The library is small, and books may be borrowed only by Center members. The description of the library in the Center's reports advertised a section on development. I would check to see if they had a sense of humor, I decided. I looked for Walter Jackson Bate's The Stylistic Development of John Keats. It was not in the card catalogue.

LET US BROWSE. however briefly, through the books that are there. First I noticed a manuscript by George Quester, a research fellow of the Center, former Head Tutor of the Government Department, and my section man in Gov 1b. I have two memories form my freshman year. The first is of my only date. The second is of Dr. Quester's section on Karl Marx.

"Why do no intellectuals believe in Marxism?" Quester asked.

None of us were quick enough in deciding whether we were Marxists or intellectuals, and so after 15 minutes of our stumbling, Dr. Quester answered his own question.

"The reason is that Marxism leaves no place for the intellectual."

He paced leisurely to the other side of the room as we inscribed the answer in our notebooks. Next question.

"What is the American ideology?"

"I really think we believe in apple pie and motherhood." I said quite seriously. The pretty Cliffic next to me smiled.

"No in fact." Dr. Quester answered, "America has no ideology the way the Russians and the Chinese do."

Next is the book by Gordon and Grommers, entitled United States Manufacturing Investment in Brazil: The Impact of Brazilian Government Policies 1946-60. The summary in the Center's Fifth Report that Vernon had called inaccurate is, in fact taken verbatim from the concluding chapter of that book.

It reports a general conviction among the participating companies that Brazil presents a large and potentially rapidly growing market, and that, in general terms, it offers a good environment for the foreign manufacturing company." (Fifth Report, p. 9)

This was one of the first books published under the auspices of the Center. One more quotation from the book:

Brazil almost automatically attracts the attention of companies giving any thought to foreign investment outside the highly advanced regions of the world. Even if. as one official said, half or more of the population cannot be considered potential customers of manufactured products, this is still one of the most important market areas among the less developed countries. (p. 147)

In 1964, under the auspices of the Center. David Galula published a book entitled Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice. From Bowie's forward:

His primary interest is to develop principles to guide a regime seeking to combat insurgency... Since insurgency seems likely to be a frequent occurrence in unstable new nations, however, there should be many opportunities to test his models...

It would be too self-indulgent to quote from the book itself. In the Table of Contents, under Chapter 7: The Operations, are the following procedures:

"First Step: Destruction or expulsion of the insurgent forces.

Second Step: Deployment of the Static Unit.

Third Step: Contact with and Control of the population.

Fourth Step: Destruction of the insurgent political organization.

Fifth Step: Local Elections.

Sixth Step: Testing local leaders.

Seventh Step: Organizing a Party.

Eighth Step: Winning over or suppressing the last guerrillas.

So much for Center research. The argument then in a capsule from another Center publication. Morton Halperin's Contemporary Military Strategy, 1967.

"We seek, then, to develop an effective strategy for what is known as counter-insurgency in dealing with what the Soviet Union and China call wars of national liberation." (p. 136)

Those of us who support wars of national liberation must oppose the Center for International Affairs.

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