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The Burdens of 1973


NEWS OF U.S. bombing in Cambodia drones on. U.S. support for political repression in Vietnam continues. More bizarre details of Nixon's would-be secret police unfold in Washington. And yet, amidst summer breezes, pleasant reunions, and a Triple Crown victory, the school year draws to a close with an unaccustomed quiet that news magazines and conservative Faculty thrive on. The burdens the world bore this year were no less painful, no less unwieldy than the threats to self-determination and human equality to which past years have made us accustomed. But local burdens seem heavier, because after years of radical protest and finally the defeat of even a liberal politician clearly better qualified than Richard Nixon to be President, national forums seem a less appropriate focus for change. But local energies, like today's women's protest, and whatever difference exists between the consciousness of the Class of '73 and that of the classes of 10 or 50 years ago belie Commencement's placid tone. Richard Nixon has brought not a calm, but a smoldering and unresolved tension.


AS THE DRAMA of Watergate unfolds daily, it becomes ever more clear that crimes have been committed in the case. Tales of extensive burglary, electronic eavesdropping, forgery and bribery have all been spilled before the Ervin Committee or leaked to the press. The question of the moment is the extent to which Richard Nixon is responsible for those crimes.

The Watergate crimes, serious as they are, are insignificant beside Nixon's other--and admitted--crimes. These crimes were defined by international tribunals after the end of World War II as war crimes, and Nixon has not stopped committing them.

Under Nixon's orders, in direct defiance of the United States Congress, American planes have dropped bombs on Cambodia on a daily basis since late in February. Nixon has claimed that the bombing is directed against North Vietnamese invaders who are attempting to overrun the country, that only military targets are being hit, and that the aerial onslaught is intended only to prop up the tottering January peace agreements.

These claims are all lies. The bombing, as some belated reporting from the area is starting to show, is directed against an indigenous Cambodian revolutionary movement, the Khmer Rouge, a force numbering in the hundreds of thousands which is attempting to topple the Lon Nol regime, Nixon's two-year-old creation. It is not directed against military targets, but has actually killed thousands of Cambodian people and clogged the roads in that country with tens of thousands of refugees. Nixon's bombing is a crime against peace -- a crime for which Nazi and Japanese war criminals were hanged.

WATERGATE APPEARS almost ludicrous beside the immensity of Nixon's continuing genocide. Burglary, electronic eavesdropping, forgery and bribery have no place in a democratic society, but only an obscene, inverse moral standard would place them above genocide on its list of evils. Bombing villages, destroying crops, burning people alive: these acts outweigh in criminality phone taps and forged letters.

Nixon has denied knowledge of Watergate; he has never attempted to evade responsibility for the Cambodian bombing -- on the contrary, he has obliquely welcomed it. Although his Administration has provided only the barest details of its onslaught, it has never denied that the bombing has not stopped. The Administration can quibble over the number of screaming children and homeless villagers, but it has not hidden the central truth: the war continues.

For nearly a decade, The Crimson has called for an end to American involvement in Indochina. We repeat that call today. The war has brought more death and destruction to one area of the globe since Adolf Hitler's armies devastated Europe in World War II. The United States should cease its bombing and all other overt and covert military operations in Indochina. The genocide must stop.


WE HOPE President Bok was striken by a temporary affliction yesterday, perhaps induced by the sweltering heat of the past few days and the presence of vast swarms of alumni, when he suggested at the annual meeting of the Associated Harvard Alumni that ROTC might return to Harvard.

We urge him to be a bit more temperate in his remarks when students return in the Fall. If he continues to hint at bringing the war machine back to Harvard, people just might take him at his word, and the quiet that prevailed here these past months will be punctured again by noisy and strident demonstrations.

ROTC has no place at this or any other University. "The basic principles of freedom that should prevail at a great university" (to which Bok referred this afternoon) does not include the freedom to commit mass murder, the use to which American armed forces have been put in the past decade. The Vietnamese people have forced the American military out of their country, but the air war, now in its 99th consecutive day, continues in neighboring Cambodia. The butchery has not stopped.

Nor is the United States military, even in the brief periods when it is not attempting to destroy another people, an institution for which Harvard should seek to train its undergraduates. The military is a particularly repressive arm of a repressive government which even when at rest stands poised to intervene brutally in the affairs of the other nations of the globe.

In addition to aiding the cause of repression, ROTC at Harvard would undermine the principle of autonomy on which the University is founded. Harvard exists to serve truth, not the particular immediate interests of the military. Bok should reexamine his own conception of a University if he things it exists to cater to the interests of the powerful and mighty in America.

Four years ago, 200 students occupied University Hall to demand that ROTC be removed from Harvard, and most of the rest of the campus joined them in the two-week strike which ensued--a strike whose primary demand was that the soldiers leave for good. The Faculty also voted that ROTC be expelled.

We would caution President Bok that most of the University is likely to oppose yesterday's offhand suggestion, some more militantly than others. He is treading in extremely dangerous water. He should swim to shore before September.


RETURNING ALUMNI have no doubt been impressed by the change in Radcliffe's relation to Harvard. The increased number of women students, the more overt exercise of personal freedom, and coresidential living are clear steps forward from earlier days. But hesitant steps forward are not the same as equality for women. Harvard cannot demonstrate such a commitment without admitting men and women in equal numbers.

Arguments against equal admissions have proven specious. Contrary to predictions, colleges which have moved toward sexual equality have not suffered decreases in the contributions of tradition-minded alumni. Women graduates, it has been said, would contribute less money to Harvard than male alumni. Last Spring, the average pledge of Radcliffe seniors was higher than that of Harvard seniors.

It has also been argued that formal "non-discrimination" is a better policy than "one-to-one." But Harvard's past insistence on discriminating against women and the potential for disguising de facto discrimination under such a declared principle makes such a policy suspect at Harvard.

Harvard must adopt a deliberate equal admissions policy which entails devoting equal personal and financial resources to recruiting, scholarships, and personal services for men and women as well as assuring that qualified men and women teachers and workers will be hired in equal numbers. The Harvard and Radcliffe admissions offices should be combined to make the pursuit of this goal feasible.

Current alumni and the students graduating today can make a substantial contribution to the equal admissions effort. They can lend their support to today's women's demonstration by contributing to Harvard only with the stipulation that the University adopt an equal admissions policy. Contributions for this purpose can be sent to the equal admissions fund established by the Radcliffe Class of '71.

We urge support for today's demonstration and emphasize the importance of ongoing pressure by financial contributers to this University to create an equal admissions policy.


FOR THREE YEARS now, the University has failed to meet Uncle Sam's requirement for a non-discriminatory hiring plan. And after a quarter of a million dollars, Harvard's latest endeavor appears no more likely to succeed. Given the government's vague standards, Harvard's delinquency in reaching an acceptable equal employment plan can only indicate its determination to get away with as little as possible.

Instead of searching for the most minimally acceptable guidelines for increasing the numbers of women and minority employees, the University should be drawing employment plans that will ultimately reverse traditional patterns of discrimination and help to destroy stereotyped sex-role patterns.

While the University has pledged a commitment to the increased hiring of women and minority group members at all levels in the Administration, faculties, and among salary-and-wage employees, it has also proposed that their numbers grow by less that 1 per cent in the coming two years. The University cannot seriously contend that such token statistical increases represent affirmative action that will eventually lead to truly equal employment.

Furthermore, the Administration's secrecy in compiling its data and developing its proposals runs counter to the ideal of an open University for which any affirmative action plan should stand. The University distributes publicly only abridged versions of the affirmative action documents it submits to HEW. And although the institution is not required by government directive to divulge the contents of its plan to its students or faculties until the proposal is accepted by HEW and becomes binding policy for the University, surely Harvard has nothing to lose by making all of its plans available to interested parties.

Once again the Administration is attempting to palm off a plan that falls far short of any real demonstration of commitment to the policies it has no trouble verbalizing. The University's obligation is not merely to meet the substandard requirements of the Federal government, but to begin immediate active recruitment of women and minority groups employees so that the near future will see a Harvard whose administrators, faculty members, and workers include equal numbers of men and women in all the ranks, receiving equal compensation for their duties.


SAM BOWLES and Herb Gintis will be leaving Harvard next year, and that will be Harvard's loss. The two, widely acknowledged to be among the most prominent practitioners of the radical approach to economics, will be going to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Unlike Harvard, UMass has decided to recognize the importance of this new approach by offering tenure to four of its adherents, including Bowles and Gintis.

The Economics Department's December decision not to grant Bowles tenure is no reflection on his capabilities, but only demonstrates the unwillingness of senior Faculty members to accept a new approach which questions classical assumptions.

In fact, this decision casts doubts on the validity of the Department's judgments on the academic merits of the tenure decisions concerning Arthur MacEwan, Thomas Weisskopf and Herbert Gintis, all of whom have previously been denied appointments. The Department offered Gintis a new non-tenured appointment this year, but that hardly represents an adequate commitment to this field.

Underlying the Department's decisions is a belief that radical economics is not sufficiently scientific. Although senior Faculty members admit that radicals ask important questions about the capitalist system, they argue that these questions are unanswerable and outside the scope of conventional economics. Some, but not all, argue that any questions about the socio-political context in which economic activity takes place should be left entirely to sociologists and political scientists.

Excluding an approach merely because it has not yet answered the important questions it has asked is absurd at best. At worst, it smacks of ideological bias to ignore an approach which shakes deeply held beliefs.

Harvard should learn a lesson from UMass and open itself to approaches to economics which differ from its own.


THE PERFORMANCE of student-Faculty committees this year has offered little hope that they can provide an effective, democratic alternative to the dismal student government they were designed to replace.

By decisively defeating the Paul proposals this Spring on reforming the Committee on Rights and Responsibilities, the Faculty continued to demonstrate its lack of interest in the equal participation of students in disciplining members of the University community who have violated the rights of others. No student has served on the committee for the past two-and-one-half years, and students' continued refusal to endorse the CRR underscores its role as a mechanism for arbitrary Faculty decision-making. Conservative hyperbole about the threat of student influence to Faculty rights is ludicrous; it is privilege, not legitimate authority that the Faculty seeks to defend.

The greatest disappointment was the Advisory Committee on Shareholder Responsibility, in structure the most democratic of the regular University committees. Though University employees without Corporation appointments have no representation on the ACSR, the attempt to bring alumni, faculty, students, and the Corporation together had created a slim hope of influencing Harvard's investment policy toward increased social responsibility.

In fact, the narrow definition of the ACSR's role and President Bok's reluctance to meet with concerned students on investment issues after the ACSR's inception confirm original student suspicions: The committee was intended chiefly as a means of defusing protest without effectively bringing outside input to bear on Harvard's investment rationale. The ACSR's abstention on a proxy resolution concerning Exxon's proposed role in Angola especially demonstrated its ineffectiveness for thoroughly considering the moral and political questions surrounding socially responsible investment.

Unless the CRR and the Commission of Inquiry which are charged with protecting the rights of students and Faculty give equal responsibility for decision-making to both parties and define their roles clearly, they will be ineffective. Until the ACSR has an unobstructed voice on the full range of political issues surrounding responsible investment, it cannot function effectively as the moral voice of the University. The Bok Administration must take steps next year toward these reforms if it is ever to begin to secure the full confidence of students in Harvard's fairness and good faith.

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