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The Cambridge Project can provide vital information to the Defense Department and at the same time further the interests of peace, Karl W. Deutsch, professor of Government, told a public meeting yesterday at the First Parish Church of Cambridge.
If the Defense Department had had accurate means of determining how the North Vietnamese people and the Viet Cong would react to an American troop build-up, Deutsch said, the Pentagon could have predicted the trend toward escalation and avoided it. Instead, Washington based its policy on the mistaken idea that large numbers of guerillas would desert rather than face a long war, be added. In that instance, Deutsch explained, the Pentagon could have furthered the interests of peace through the application of social science research.
'No Counterinsurgency Programs'
Opponents of the project claim that some of the programs proposed for the Cambridge Project- such as studies of revolutionary movements- could be used by the Pentagon to undermine national liberation actions. Deutsch denied the charge, saying, "There are no programs that deal with counterinsurgency."
Instead, the project is aimed at developing methods for using computers to aid social science in attacking the
pressing problems of the world, he said.
Social Science vs. Technology
Throughout his remarks, Deutsch emphasized the importance of developing social science to control expanding technology. He compared the governments of the Soviet Union and the United States to the drivers of runaway cars Neither of these big industrial powers understands its own workings, and both must have greater insight to construct intelligent polices, he said.
Old Social Science
This insight can only be supplied by an improved social science program, Deutsch said. The use of computers in the Cambridge Project is a welcome step away from the old social science, he added. "Gone are the days when political scientists could just buy a copy of Aristotle and think deep thoughts about it." he said.
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