Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 18, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE LETHBRIDQE HERALD Wednesday, December 18, 1974 I'lHTOItlALS The immortal Lippman One of the most important political thinkers of the 20th century died the other day. He was a man who belonged to no political party, had held no public of- fice and represented no organized interest. Despite this, he was respected, admired and listened to by presidents, prime ministers and other heads of state. Educators, diplomats and similar molders of thought and policy were guid- ed by his work. By profession he was a journalist. Walter Lippman's writing, over more than six decades, is a guide for liberal democracy. There is a timelessness to his wisdom which makes almost everything he ever wrote pertinent to any day in which it is read. In 1938, under the title, How Liberty Is Lost, he stated, "The more I.see of Europe the more deeply convinced do I become that the preservation of freedom in America, or anywhere else, depends upon maintaining and restoring for the great majority of individuals the economic means to remain independent individuals." "In the great struggle with com- munism, we must find our strength by developing and applying our own prin- ciples, not in abandoning them." He wrote these words in 1961 in discussing how a free and open society can compete with a totalitarian state and he chastized his country for supporting governments which, in the name of anti communism were opposed to all important social change. In the early 1920s he said of the limited value of public opinion, "When power, however absolute and unaccountable, reigns without provoking a crisis, public opinion does not challenge it." And he had this to say on the qualities of leadership, "In the realm of morals the example set by the prominent is decisive. It is far more important than the exposure of the wicked A civiliz- ed society must demand of those who have the ambition to lead it a higher standard of disinterestedness than they would live up to if they had no public am- bitions." If this was pertinent in 1951, when it was written, it is just as applicable today. This is the true test of philosophical writing. It is a disservice to quote Lippmann thus, as though he fashioned epigram- matic truths. He did not. He thought deeply about the institutions which serve people and he wrote dispassionate and reasoned analyses to demonstrate that liberal democracy could serve them best if it was practised. Walter Lippmann may have died but his thoughts are immortal. RUSSELL BAKER Man of the year It is man-of-the-year season over at Time magazine again and before they settle for anointing one of the bush-league politicians in which the planet abounds I want to put in a word for Willy Brandt, who did something so rare in this era of bloated excess that the mind can scarcely grasp the grandeur of the deed. Brandt turned himself off. To my knowledge, no other person of conse- quence was able to match Brandt's achieve- ment in 1974. Threatened with a government scandal if he stayed on as chancellor of West Germany, Brandt simply quit. What an ex- ample to a world crying for mercy from achievers who don't know when to stop. It was Ingmar Bergman's latest film, Scenes from a Marriage, that brought Brandt's great achievement to mind. I am told this movie runs a mere three hours, but after what seemed like its 33rd, I recognized that even the great Bergman had been in- fected by the plague of the 1970's and could no longer turn himself off. No movie maker can turn himself off any more. Two hours for the telling of a 20- minute story is commonplace on the screen, and a remake of The Maltese Falcon, which was stunning in its original 90 minutes or so would probably run seven hours nowadays. The swelling of movies by people who don't know when to stop is a small part of the general excess. There was a coup in Ethiopia not long ago and the new government shot most of the literate population of Addis Ababa. In New Orleans the city fathers are building a domed playground bigger than the domed playground in Houston. The Willy Brandt example is needed here. "Come, Brandt could have explained to the triumphal Ethiopians, "shooting peo- ple quickly reaches the point of diminishing returns." And to the boosters of New Orleans: "Turn yourselves off quickly before you commit another pointless arena." We are in the elephantine age. What cannot be done better is done longer and bigger. To work Bergman's iilm into my schedule I had to put aside Robert Care's biography of Robert Moses. The Power Broker, a work which I had been reading since August. If I finish it before senility steals my wits, I have William Manchester's history of the modern age to look forward to. Excellent books both, but life is short, and Bergman who cannot turn himself off any more must still be attended to, as well as the Shah of Iran, who cannot stop lecturing me on politics, conservation and morality. And what of the Academy Awards and the Miss America Pageant, which run longer than Bergman and Care combined? Is John Huston still speaking at the Academy Awards show I turned on one night last spring? He seemed to be just warming up when I collapsed with acute tedium at dawn the next morning. Let us draw a merciful veil over the com- munique of Henry Kissinger, the pronouncements of Earl Butz, the politics of Ulster and Palestine, the advertisements of the petroleum lobby, the magazine fluff about Jacqueline Onassis, Richard Burton, Prince Charles, Burt Reynolds and Elizabeth Taylor, and the televised dissections of foot- ball, basketball, ice hockey, baseball and Olympic quoits, and touch briefly on Watergate. Richard Nixon could have saved us from it years ago by following the Brandt example, but he was like everybody else, from Bergman to the Shah. He couldn't turn himself off. "I have never been a he told us, without even apologizing for this flaw in his character. Refusing to quit is a virtue only up to a point. Knowing when to quit is the beginning of wisdom. Nixon didn't know. Neither did Johnson before him in Asia. "When the going gets tough, the tough get was the big enchilada philosophy of John Mitchell. A more accurate philosophical summation of our time would be, "Damn the torpedoes; full excess And so, when the editors make up their an- nual list of the Ten Biggest Stories of 1974, they will have an easier time than ever before.'All 10 stories this year have been Watergate. It is longer than Ingmar Bergman and John Huston combined, bigger than New Orleans' domed playground, and just as un- necessary. Willy Brandt showed how we might have been spared, and in salute to him I shall turn myself off, although, like a good American, only for a day or two. Letters "Pierre who OPEC moves boldly By Joseph Kraft, syndicated commentator VIENNA "We're here to set the basic price of oil for Jamshid Amouzegar of Iran told me as the ministers of the petroleum-exporting countries, or OPEC, gathered here in Vienna the other day. But that sweeping prediction has turned out to be an under- statement. In fact, the oil-exporting countries are moving beyond price to establish conditions that will determine the basic character of the world economy. In comparison with their bold approach, the response of the United States and other rich oil-consuming countries seems pathetic. The oil-price issue, at present, happens to be fairly fuzzy. It depends on the out- come of continuing negotiations between Saudi Arabia's oil minister, Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani and the major oil company in his country, Aramco, for a 100 per cent takeover of the company by the Saudi government. The assumption here, however, is that the Saudis will achieve 100 per cent ownership, and that all other oil-producing countries will swiftly comply with that pattern. And in conjunction with that effort comes the adoption of a uniform price for oil. That price, fixed around a standard set by the Saudis in a meeting at Abu Dhabi last month, was in- stituted Friday by OPEC members here, and gives them a take of more than per barrel. That is an increase of 38 cents per barrel over the price prevailing in the last quarter of this year. It is a rise of about per barrel in the price which OPEC itself said, at its Teheran meeting of December last year, would prevail through all of 1974. In other words the oil price has been steadily creeping up through 1974, and will rise again in 1975. The pressure for the latest increase, it is im- portant to note, comes from Mr. Yamani who regularly promises that "the price will come down." What this means is not merely that the promises of a lower price are not to be taken seriously. Far worse, the promises seem to be part of a clever strategy whereby the prospect of lower prices is used to discourage the major investments the United States and other consuming countries would have to make now in order to become in- dependent of foreign oil producers. Apart from setting the price, the oil-producing countries have agreed to hold a meeting of their heads of state in Algiers next month. At that meeting they will con- sider various proposals put forward by the Shah of Iran and President Houari Boumedienne of Algeria and others linking the price of oil with the prices of other major items of trade such as food- stuffs, raw materials and manufactured goods. In that way the oil- producing countries not only intend to protect their revenues against inflation in the major consuming countries. They also want to strike a blow for all the poorer countries at the expense of the developed world. Finally the oil-producing countries are at least thinking about a program that will increase enormously cheir already impressive economic power. They have in mind a program for deliberately restraining production in order to main- tain price. As Dr. Abderrahman Khene, the secretary general of OPEC, told me in an interview: "The producing countries have gone beyond price. They are now concerned about the burden of having to produce at a rate that depletes their resources. They are thinking about con- servation." A year, at least, will go by before any conservation program could be mounted by the producing countries. Some of them with large pop- ulations and pressing needs notably Nigeria and Indonesia would probably never agree to cut back production. But many other countries could, so the threat of an even more powerful oil cartel is decided- ly real. The interest of the United States and other industrial countries in defending themselves against such pressures hardly needs to be underlined. But the steps taken so far by the developed world have certainly not im- pressed anybody here. Apart from vague promises of cuts largely explicable on tactical grounds, the producers show absolutely no disposition to lower prices. They doubt the Europeans or Japanese, with their dependence on oil for economic activity and employment, would consent to cut consumption. In a crunch the producers think that any consumption cuts could be more than matched by production cuts. As to the threat of military action by the United States, it is dismissed out of hand. One Arab official here said to me: "You had such a hard time getting out of one Vietnam, why would you want to get into another? U.S. impatient with new majority in United Nations By Tom Wicker, New York Times commentator NEW YORK The United Nations General Assembly, in its 29th session, has often acted unwisely and vindic- tively, and it is probably true, as Ambassador John Scali warned, that American sup- port for the world organiza- tion is "eroding." But when was American support for the UN among the people and in Washington not And whatever its provocation. Scali's scolding speech was an implicit threat to pick up the American marbles and go home, if the United States had to be part of an offended minority in the General Assembly. Provocation there un- doubtedly was, at least for the Western powers and for Western attitudes the recognition of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the reception for Yasir Arafat. The "suspension" of South Africa, the exclusion of Israel from a UNESCO organ, and the curbing of Israel's right to speak in the Middle East debate. All of these actions, even to those who abhor South African racial policies and question some Israeli positions, are distasteful to the Western political mind if for no other reason than that they deny participation, stop debate and frustrate the accommodation of differing interests. But to other peoples of the world, each of these ac- tions was profoundly justifiable. How often, for example, has South Africa been protected by a Western minority using the veto in the Security Coun- cil? But what has that minori- ty actually done to influence South Africa to ease its racial policies? To what extent has. continued South African par- ticipation in the respectability afforded by the UN enabled it to maintain those policies and to violate the human rights the UN supposedly stands for? Is the suspension of South Africa less "responsible" than the exclusion of Com- munist China that was forced for so long by the United States? It is true that the suspension of South Africa was achieved by evading or flouting the written charter just as rules are evaded or flouted in every assembly of men by those who have the power and ingenuity to do it, just as they have been evaded and flouted in the UN itself by the United States and its allies when they had the power and ingenuity to do it and with no more regard for the minority's feelings than is being shown today. That does not justify what the 29th assembly did; neither does it justify the United States in threatening to quit now that the tables are turned. The Scali position appears particularly self-serving when it is realized that the "automatic" third-world ma- jority in the assembly is not all that automatic. Just this session, for example, the United States view was upheld on the representation of Cam- bodia. The United States, Bri- tain and France, moreover, still have veto power in the Security Council. If Scali's reference to the "great investment" the United States has made in the UN was intended as a threat to reduce American financial support, that seems par- ticularly unfortunate. While the Soviets have not really put up their fair share, the United States has been the UN's primary financial resource because the United States has been by far the wealthiest na- tion in the world. Now that resources are shifting on a massive scale, it seems fair to demand that the oil-producing nations take more of the burden but because they have the money, not because things are going against Washington's desires in the General Assembly. Aside from all this, the Scali speech appears to represent a failure to understand and adapt to a great tide of history. In our time, what were once the have-not nations have found at least two forms of power. One is the grip of some of them on the world's vital oil resources; that is power in- deed. The other is the numerical majority all these nations have attained in the General Assembly. That ma- jority represents power more psychological than real; but it has caused a profound shift in the way these nations look at themselves, at the great powers that once dominated them, and at the world all must share. The Western nations appear to have no realistic means of rolling back these two developments; in fact, the new majority in the General Assembly is at least partially the product of Western policies. What sense does it make, therefore, for Scali to suggest that "the United Nations can return to the path the charter has laid and to hint that it had better if it knows what's good for it? Book review That implies what is not true that when the old ma- jority of the United States and its allies were in command, the letter and spirit of the charter were faithfully obeyed and the interests of each member were fully served. And it suggests what the new majority can hardly be expected to accept that having come into numerical control it should nevertheless act as if it had not, so that the wishes and attitudes of the old majority can continue to prevail as if by divine right. A saga of broken promises "Osceola, the Unconquered Indian" by William and Ellen Hartley. (Prentice Hall of Canada Ltd., 293 Another intriguing account of the American army's size and strength pitted against a small number of Indians in a long and bitter struggle. More soldiers were killed during the war than there were Indians Socialist countries Some very shy person who calls himself Faithful Con- stituent stated that Sweden, West Germany and China were socialist countries (The Herald, Dec. The World Almanac states that Sweden is a parliamentary democracy with a king as head of state, and the almanac also states that 95 per cent of the Swedish economy is in private hands. Hardly a socialist state. West Germany was govern- ed by the Christian Democrats from 1949 to 1969, when Willy Brandt, a Social Democrat, became chancellor until last year when he resign- ed because of his employment of a Communist spy in a politically important position. Over 90 per cent of West Ger- many's economy is in private hands. Hardly a socialist state. Taiwan is very prosperous and is certainly not socialist. The People's Republic of China (mainland as. well as Russia, will survive as long as the Capitalist countries produce enough food to feed the Socialists. Mainland China has benefited greatly by falling heir to all of the mines and factories and railroads built by the Japanese and others. The Chinese people have had many sufferings over the centuries and I believe that the world wishes them well no matter what type of government that they may have, for those Chinese who emigrated to Canada and their children surely have been good and respected citizens of Canada. To many people the only appealing thing about socialism is the almost com- plete absence of welfare in the real Socialist countries. In China or Russia or the other Socialist countries, work is re- quired of all who are physical- ly able to work and no labor strikes are permitted, so if Faithful Constituent believes in the virtual elimination of welfare and strikes he should enjoy socialism, if and when it arrives in Canada. RAY KEITGES Lethbridge No porno at centre I strongly resent MLA Dick Gruenwald's implication that, as a dues paying member of the Lethbridge Birth Control Information Centre, I am financially under writing either a porno shop or the dis- tribution of pornographic materials. Much like beauty, pornography is in the eye of the beholder and I would suggest that until Mr. Gruenwald investigates the centre's materials he is not in a position to cast judgments. The people involved in the centre are making a sincere and concientious effort to make available information which people must have if they are to make responsible moral decisions within the context of their lives. Although I share Mr. Gruenwald's opinions on the abortion issue, it is im- perative that something positive be done to alleviate the need for abortion and it is with this in mind that he should consider supporting the centre's activities. His kind of shortsighted thinking is reflected in the fact that in 1972 the federal government spent close to eight million dollars on abortions while spending less than ,on family planning programs. (MRS.) JESSICA TICHENOR Lethbridge Opposes dog bylaw The Herald is to be congratulated on the editorial For the children's sake, (Dec. As one who voted for Alderman Bob Tarleck and urged all my friends and ac- quaintances to do so, I find myself .wondering why he can- not think of more important issues to take up the time of city council than the tighten- ing of the already over tight dog bylaws. Actually, this proposal is not aimed at those people whose dogs are neglected by being allowed to run at large, and who may not even have bought a licence for them. It is directed primarily at owners who regularly exer- cise their pets and allow them to run freely on an open space within the city limits under their supervision. Maybe I am wrong, but I thought aldermen were elected to serve the interests of the citizens, and not to make their lives more mis- erable. It is to be hoped that the ma- jority of the members of city council will vote against this spitefully proposed legisla- tion. EVA MARIE TELCS (MRS.) Lethbridge Public has a choice I would like to express my concern over the remarks made by Dick Gruenwald, MLA, regarding the Lethbridge Birth Control and Information Centre. For- tunately The Herald article showed him for what he is, a man of abysmal ignorance. It is time that his eyes were opened. He should steel himself to make a visit (unan- nounced) to the centre and catch people as they leaf through the so called pornography. When the public wishes to obtain information from the 'centre, they have to make the effort to go there and then have the choice of reading the literature speaking to the well qualified staff. This is unlike the choice my 10 year old son had recently. We were in one of Lethbridge's biggest depart- ment stores Saturday. While I looked at the children's books he had moved two feet away, where, next to recipe books and the Bible, was that well known book The Joy of Sex. While I do not object to the book being sold in the store I do feel it could have been dis- played elsewhere. The book does not only tell how "to do it" but has drawings of couples "doing in every possible position. I did com- plain to the assistant manager Monday but check- ing later in the day, found the book had not been moved. My point is Mr. Gruenwald would put his energies to better use if he opened his eyes in public places and saw the kind of literature which our children are being knock- ed over the head with. If I were not able to give my children a healthy and inform- ed sex education at home I would not hesitate to go with them to the Birth Control and Information Centre where I know they would not be confronted by illustrations such as those in The Joy of Sex; and the "couldn't care less attitude" of store staff. i Mr. Gruenwald may have 'done untold harm to the jcentre while the store's assis- tant manager smiles gleefully. i JOSEPHINE STADDON Lethbridge in total and as usual the saga is full of broken promises and deceit. Osceola, the man who adopted the Seminoles after his people were driven out of their homes in Alabama, leads the Seminoles until his cap- ture. It is a well written ac- count of a people who were never really defeated. GARRY ALLISON _. The Lctlibriiliic Herald 504 7th St. S. Lethb, Jo'gc, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO. LTD. Proprietors and Publishers Second Class Mall Registration No. 0012 CLEO MOWERS, Editor and Publisher DON, H. PILLING Managing Editor ROY F. 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