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NO BEARING ON POLICY

The Mail

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

To the Editors of The CRIMSON:

This letter to you is to state my support for Harvard's decision to use police against the student demonstrators earlier this week. Apart from the merits of the ROTC issue, Harvard ought not to make its policy decisions in response to mob tactics. There is no intellectual future for any university dominated by overprivileged juveniles who are intoxicated by mob power.

The anti-ROTC movement at Harvard is fundamentally irrational in any case because the existence of the ROTC has no direct bearing on American policy in Vietnam or elsewhere. This movement has no intellectual or moral respectability except in a context of genuine pacifism, which is a philosophy which few student demonstrators profess and which many of them betray by their actions. The anti-ROTC movement is mainly an expression of the kind of youthful identity crisis described so well by Erik Erikson. Apart from the fact that this type of emotional crisis makes it difficult to think rationally about complex issues, it appears that the effects are more intense among those young people who are more affluent and more highly educated.

It would come as a surprise, by the way, to many of those simplistic souls who think that the U.S. should just "get out of Vietnam" to learn how much support there is in Asia for the U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Educated people in Asia generally want their societies to evolve as open, pluralistic, constitutional democracies. Most Asian countries have a long way to go to achieve these goals, but giving way to step in the wrong direction. Malaysia, which has a continuing problem with Communist guerillas on a small scale, is now having its national parliamentary election campaign. In this campaign the various opposition parties are freely campaigning for votes and publishing very strong criticisms of the present government. There is no indication that anything like this will happen in any Communist country in the foreseeable future.

There is, of course, criticism of various aspects of U.S. policy and concern for the suffering of the Vietnamese. But the many Asians who are interested in democracy do not want the U.S. to "just get out" on totalitarian terms, student agitators notwithstanding. William C. Parker Jr. '62   Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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