On Morality


To the Editors of The Crimson:

I agree with my former student and friend Dan Swanson, whose passions I respect, that the Crimson should have memorialized May Day, as a day of revolutionary awakening. And on that day, one could reflect on the savage injustices in South Africa, Chile and similar repressive countries. But one could also have called attention to those revolutionaries rotting in Cuban prisons. I think, for example, of Major Huber Matos, a comrade-in-arms of Fidel Castro in the guerilla movement, who has been 18 years--yes, 18 years--in jail, for the sole crime of expressing disagreement with the Maximum Lider, and who spent a considerable period of time in solitary confinement for refusing to wear the obnoxious yellow jackets that Castro has decreed such prisoners should wear--a story which was documented last year by "Worldview," a liberal Christian magazine. And one could express solidarity, too, with Alexander Ginzburg, the young Russian dissident, who faces trial for the sole crime of distributing monies to other dissidents who have lost their livelihoods because they expressed a desire to emigrate--a right stipulated in the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights which says that a man has a right to leave any country that he does not like. Or the several eminent Czech scholars and writers who are reduced to menial jobs, if they can get those, for having signed a declaration which reputes the program of Italian Euro-Communism. And. And. And.

Is it not time, especially for those on the left, to end this myopia of selective indignation and negate their own credentials or claims to be the defenders of "liberation," "emancipation," and the desire that "the international" be the human race? Let us have a single standard of morality, revolutionary and otherwise. --Daniel Bell   Professor of Sociology