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"How Harvard Rules"


They are not a few people around here who are very upset about students "stealing files from university Hall." which actually means looking at files in University Hall, taking some documents out and copying them, and returning the whole lot. "Stealing files" also involves circulating them for public consumption, which is really the main crime, since the files are supposed to be private files, which only deans and assistant deans and faculty members and secretaries, etc. can look at. From Ford and Pusey's statements, it appears that the file stealing business was among the main reasons that the police were called in as quickly as they were. Ford talked about protecting various faculty members from having their recommendations and psychiatric material seen by students. Ford knew as well as everyone else that the students were not in the least interested in the stuff (although some of us--me included--know Edward M. Kennedy's PRL).

What the students were interested in, they got, and they printed it in out old friend The Old Mole: letters about CIA connections, a remarkable letter from Ford to Pusey suggesting ways to circumvent the Faculty's decision on ROTC and intimating some high-level resignations, a letter from Glimp to Pusey casting some doubt on the motivations, of the committee that is negotiating with the Pentagon on ROTC. These letters, claim the men who copied and circulated them, should be the property of the public. They serve as documentation for the Harvard movement's new publication, How Harvard Rules.

How Harvard Rules is 88 pages long with a fold-out chart of interlocking Governing Board directorships inside. It costs one dollar but can be acquired for a quarter. It is a fascinating work, mainly the product of the Old Mole staff and something called the Africa Research Group. It presents a long and detailed analysis in Marxist terms of how and why the university works.

What is most impressive about the book, magazine, or whatever is the range of its analysis. It shows how each and every Harvard department serves a corrupt establishment, from Fine Arts (". . . the art historian at Harvard for the most part is working for and with the ruling class--for those that have time to acquire their particular 'culture.'") to Literature ("Little attention is ever paid to the communal or 'folk' aspects of literature, or a 'pre-capitalist' literature which expresses the myths and values of a group."). Now, a great deal of this writing is remarkably puerile, but it has the great virtue of holding together. It is all here, the pieces fit, it works. This is the general idea as expressed in the Introduction: "The picture that is sketched here is an aspect of a totality that consists in essence of technologized-bureaucratized capitalism and the negative forces it is generating out of itself."

Beyond this, there are some very good pictures and diagrams and copies of "Liberated Documents," as they are called in revolutionary jargon. One exchange is interesting. Ray Mungo, a first-year graduate student last year and the radical former editor of the B.U. News, asked Dean Ford "to appoint a faculty committee. . .to investigate this issue and to raise at the faculty meeting the question of whether ROTC ought not now, many years overdue, be eliminated from Harvard curriculum altogether." Dean Glimp, who knows all about young Mungo, wrote a memorandum of advice to Dean Ford: "I'm virtually sure Mungo is the professional protester who was either president of the student body or editor of the paper at Boston University last year. He is a tough customer--according to some B.U. administrators who were chuckling last summer about exporting their number one problem."

The How Harvard Rules ought to be read, and it is easy and rather fun to read. The writing is grating sometimes and ridiculously glossy sometimes, but after all it was written by "professional protesters" and "tough customers." J.K.G.

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