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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 16, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta Saturday, Junt THI liTHMIDM HERALD t Why we need an alternative society By Arnold Toynbce, London Observer commentator Human beings have two prob- lems to deal with: our relations with each other ar.d our rela- tions with the non-human con- stituents of our habitat the "biosphere" that coats our planet. Like other living crea- tures, have to draw on the biosphere's limited resources for winning our material liveli- hood, and we have far surpass- ed every other species in com- pelling the biosphere to yield to us what we want from it. Human technology is brilliant, and its efficiency is increasing at an accelerating pace. But technology is dependent on ciality. Even the most primi- tive of our human tools could not ever have been invented and operated by a solitary Rob- inson Crusoe. The effectiveness of our human technology is lim- ited by the degree of our human society's success; and, unhap- pily, the brilliance of our tech- nological record presents an ever greater contrast to our dis- mal social failure. The social insects' history has been the reverse of ours. The individual bee, ant or termite has a built-in dedication to the service of its community, and this social instinct has enabled these species to maintain them- selves for hundreds of millions of years in contrast to the couple of million years for which recognizable hominids have been in existence to date. Mankind needs to achieve a social harmony of the social in- sects' standard, but this task is harder for us than it has been for them. Our human sociality is not built in to human nature, unlike the social insects. We have a certain amount of free- dom of choice, and we can, and often do, use our freedom to behave In the atomic age into -which our ac- celerating technological ad- vance has now carried us, a persistence in anti-social con- duct spells, for mankind, the self-extinction of our species. Our present form of human so- ciety is morally delinquent. Mankind's most urgent business today is to discover and estab- lish an alternative form of so- ciety that will close our present scandalous and perilous "mor- ality gap" or. short of closing it. will at least reduce it dras- tically. The alternatives that we are being offered today are shams. The ideological and religious differences that politicans ex- ploit for arousing mass emo- tions are superficial. Beneath these specious labels there is today only one single global so- ciety. Present-day society is global because present day technology is. The potency of this global technology requires a society of human beings who are morally fit to handle pois- onous tools and lethal weapons. This problem touches the quick, and no current ideology or re- ligion is probing down to it, though there are some private groups of pioneers who are looking for a new way. The balance sheet of the lat- est 100 years of human history shows the need for change. On the credit side we have an in- crease of wealth and health. Even the still indigent two- thirds of mankind are possibly wealthier, and are certainly healthier than they were 100 years ago. But these gains have been bought at the price of heavy spiritual as well as material losses. The chronic growth of mankind's "gross product" is robbing still un- born generations of their patri- mony by polluting the biosphere and using up its material re- sources. We hold our command of these resources in trust for posterity. We are betraying this trust, and, in committing this and other moral misde- meanors, we are making our- selves profoundly unhappy. Our increasing material af- fluence is leaving us unsatis- fied, strained, restless and haunted by a fear of being re- leased by death from a life that we do not enjoy or, for the Hin- du and Buddhist majority of mankind, by a more logical fear of being reincarnated. Vio- lence is mounting (two world wars in one lifetime, genocide, the forcible eviction of people from their homes, and private crimes of violence for econom- ic gain or out of animosity, or even for fun.) There is an in- crease in dishonesty and in the decline of our standard of w o r k m anship. "Permissive- ness" and sexual promiscuity are undermining family life the indispensable psychological and moral setting for children. Our children are repudiating the society into which they are growing up. This society has been made what it now is part- ly by the adolescents' preco- cious selves, as well as by their and by their predecessors i' Tevious geirSrations. But the jOving perceive only their eld- c.s' responsibility, and this has created a generation gap of reciprocal misunderstanding and hostility. Our present form of society is truly repulsive. It condemns both individuals and commun- ities to run a "rat race" in which success and failure are measured by the percentage of mankind's gross product that a community or an individual succeeds in appropriating by ruthless competition. Human beings used to be ashamed of the greed in which they indulg- ed until Adam Smith suggested that the selPseeking of individ- uals is beneficial for society. We have eagerly adopted his doctrine, without paying atten- tion to his reservations, be- cause in 1776 the year in which the Wealth of Nations was published a great spurt in the advance of technology giving us the tools for making our greedy self-seeking pay unprecendentedly high divi- dends, to an adroit or lucky minority. The formidable fundamental question now is: what is life for? Assuredly every human being ought to try to achieve something in his lifetime. But personal achievement need not, and ought not, to be found in self-seeking; it can and should be found in activities that bene- fit ether human beings, includ- ing posterity. This is the pro- fessional objective of doctors according to the Hippocratic Oath and of nurses, proba- tion officers, teachers and min- isters of religion. Their profes- sion must incidentally win a live, lihood for these dedicated peo- ple and for their families, but this is incidental to their ser- vice for humanity. If and when they make material profit the paramount objective of their work, they are no longer being true to their professional ideals. This is the right standard for all of us. An alternative society? Here are a few of the questions that we need to ask and answer in exploring alternative social pos- sibilities. Ought we to love all our fellow human beings equal- ly, as Moti and Jesus taught? Or should there be gradations in our affection and concern, as was held by Confucius and by Mencius? What kind of fam- ily life offers the best start for children? How are we to deal with sex? Nature has made us sexual animals, but something has made us also human beings. We need to harmonize the nec- essity of sexual procreation with our human dignity and happi- ness, which are not compatible with an unregulated indulgence of our built-in sexual appetite. The reduction of the death- rate calls, in our limited bio- sphere, for an artificial limi- tation on the size of the planet's human population. The opti- mum size of population is the size that offers the most prom- ising spiritual and material possibilities for every child that is born. The estimate is diffi- cult to calculate, but it is not impossible, and it must be done; it is indispensable. Tech- nology has now knit together, into a single society, all human beings all around the globe, but the maximum size of a com- munity whose members can know each other personally is small not more than a few hundred. How can we com- bine the global community, which we need for preventing war and the pollution and de- pletion of resources, with a vast number of small local commun- ities confined to neighbors whose relations with each other can be direct and personal? How are we to face death? A human being is unique among living creatures in knowing in advance that he is going to die. The Pharaonic Egyptians knew how, and so did the believers in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. How are we to face re- birth, if we believe (as a ma- jority of human beings do) in the reality of this? Hindus and Buddhists know how. In order to face either death or re-birth, we need to be in touch with, and in harmony with, the ulti- mate spiritual reality that is in and behind and beyond the phenomena. For some people this spiritual presence is a hu- man-like god; for others it is a suprapersonal spirit; but, in Books in brief "Courier To Peking" by June Goodfield (Clarke, Ir- win and Company Limited, 253 pages. Andrew Tanyard, distinguish- ed scientist and leader of the U.S. delegation to the 1971 Pe- king Conference, finds himself the innocent victim of intrigue and conspiracy. He ultimately discovers that the U.S. has used him to smuggle in a se- cret message to the Peking gov- ernment, which deduction leads to his untimely and inevitable death. A fast-paced thriller, on a par with The Andromeda Strain, there is excitement a mile a minute. ANN SZALAVARY whatever form we conceive of it, it is a reality for every hu- man being, including those who fancy that they do not believe in its existence. We shall not win an alterna- tive society without winning an alternative religion; for religion is society's rock bottom basis. Our present religion is a con- secration of egoism. Our pres- ent ultimate objective is the anti-social pursuit of material gain, both individual and col- lective. Since this is an abom- inable religion, it is not sur- prising that we are making ourselves miserable and are jeopardizing mankind's surviv- al. Fortunately there are peo- ple, in this and other countries, who are aware of our plight and are trying to work out practical proposals for bringing an alter- native society to birth. These pioneers deserve support. The sands are running out. The Voice Of One -By. DR. FRANK S. MORLEY Dreams unlimited By Judi Walktr reviews Canada's saga of steam "Railways of Canada: A Pictorial History" by Nick and Helma Mika (McGraw- Hill Ryerson Ltd., 176 pages, Travel the rails of Canada by steam engine, from the vener- able Sampson to CNR's majes- tic 6218, which was retired in an impressive, nostalgic cere- mony in July The Samp- son is now enshrined in a New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, museum, a fitting place for Canada's oldest surviving steam engine. One of man's noblest innovations was the steam engine and the passing of the mighty smoke belching steamers, with the birth of the diesel was a sad event. In the main this book is the history of the birth and death of steam locomotives, and the rail lines that carried them. _ While the subject is a roman- tic one, it is treated, and right- ly so, on a highly factual basis. Railway firsts, from the en- gines and the rail lines them- selves, to the building of bridges and towns, to the first rail- oriented tragedies, are all in- cluded in this fine chronicle of railroading in Canada. Read of the men of Canada's railways Sanford Fleming, who not only did Canada a great service but the world as well, when he originated the time zone idea; William Van Home, whose genius master- minded CPR construction; the brakeman who saved a train from derailment in 1877; Lau- chie McDougall, the "wind- gauger" for the Newfoundland railway. Some of the trains themselves make interesting reading, too, like the "Newfie Bullett" which moved at the blistering pace of five miles an hour. The personal stories of early adventures, both the workers and the backers of the rail- roads, added to the sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic, stories of Canada's rail pion- eers, make this a fine book. It is a human accounting, full of history and facts. Supplemented by ads, news- paper clippings, sketches and photos, the book covers a rich variety of incidents, from the death of P. T. Barnum's re- nowned elephant Jumbo when he charged an on-coming en- gine, to Van Home's 15 word speech on completion of the CPR "All I can say is that the work has been well done in every way." Of note to local readers is a photo of Lethbridge's high level bridge, which appears strange- ly small in the picture. And did you know that there's a Lethbridge in Newfoundland? The historic and nostalgic look at Canada's railroads can be summed up best by the short poem that appears at the end of the book: "My engine now Is cold and still, No water does my boiler fill. My wood affords its flame no more, My days of usefulness are o'er GARRY ALLISON Juror's view of Panther trial "Juror Number by Edwin Kennebcck (W. W. Norton and Co., distributed by George McLeod Ltd., 238 Juror Number Four is one of the best books I've rccd in a long time, and what makes that experience even better is that the book isn't to be light reading if subject matter is any indication. Edward Kennebeck was one of 12 people who sat in judg- ment during one of the long- est criminal trials in New York State history. Over 13 members of the Black Panther Party were accused of attempted mur- der, conspiracy to kill police- men, bomb department stores, blow up subways and railroad tracks, and many other crimes, including my favorites, 'reck- less endangerment' and 'public mischief." In a number of ways, the de- fendants and the general com- munity should be happy that Kennebeck was placed on ths jury. While lie isn't exactly a screaming radical, he was open minded enough to see through the case which the police and the district attorney were trying to create. "I had admired many aspects of the Black Panther Party, I sensed that much of their frigh- tening talk was a form of self- respect. I wasn't going to let anyone's disadvantages, ignor- ance (lack of education; re- poverty, aim me against Kennebeck says. He is also a good writer (em- ployed as an editor at Viking Press) and WES able to turn eight months of trial into a book about how justice works in the United States. It's a nice change from those hundreds of 'quickie' books which flood the book stares af- ter any important event and aro usually written by people who want only to make a fast buck, and who if they ever wrote at all, probably didn't even win the Midtown Transit Company award for grade three essay writing. Kennebeck's book is nothing like that it's readable and it's interesting, and it has some- thing to say; that he can combine all three into 238 pages is no small accomplish- ment. After an eight month trial, Ksnnebeck and his 11 com- rades met for two days and found all derendants net guilty of the charges preferred against them. The grand juries (which in the United States prefer crim- inal indictments) arc mainly composed of "the fat cats in the community, who, like most of he states, "have not heeded Martin Duberman's tad- vice to be in touch 'with the felt experience of others' the poor, the disaffected, the an- gry underdogs to have some conception of their lives, their feelings, their language." At the beginning of the book he says he didn't know much about the jury process, but. ssvcral pages bafore the book's clcsc, he must have reached the conclusion that juries can bs useful in protecting from the power of the ponce and the rest of the judicial sys- tem. The only thing further to say Is read the book, and if you can't afford wait for the paperback. WARREN CARAGATA As you speak, so you are The language of a certain lacrosse coach of a team of young boys lias become so filthy that it has drawn protests from par- ents and league officials. In a simple con- versation which involved nothing rancorous a man used the most blasphemous lan- guage. It was just his way of talking. Three teen-aged girls walking near me used as dirty talk as you will hear anywhere. The head of an Ontario College could not speak a sentence without blasphemy. Popular books lite "Love Story" make filthy lan- guage their chief stock in trade. Cut out the four letter words and there is no book. "You taught me language; and my profit on't is, I know how to said Caliban. This is just one of the ways in which language is being deliberately debased. Language is a chief glory of man, his greatest cultural achievement, greater than law or science. The man who debases the word is an enemy of the human race, breeding contusion and every kind of foul- ness. Degradation of language spawns dirty deeds. The Apostle James maintained with fine insight that not only express ciiar- acter, but create character. Words arc the mothers of deeds. Speech not only express- es thought, but creates thought. Jesus said that words send you to heaven or hell. "By your words you shall be justified and by your words condemned." "Idle Speech" is a condition of the heart. Jesus said that for every idle word that men speak they shall give account in thi day of judgment. "Talk is runs a proverb, but is it true? It is very expensive in every way. St. James again warns that talk lights fear- ful fires. This was true in the case of Hitler. Words break up friendships, de- stroy homes, and do endless mischief. In the Book of Proverbs no man is consider- ed more contsmptible than "The Whisper- er Gossips are incorrigible liars. Of a certain man it was said that when he told a story you didn't know what the truth was, but you knew what it wasn't. Few men are capable of telling the truth for to tell it you must be the truth. On the other hand "a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver." The words of Job have set men on their feet. William Perm in his mediations and maxims has a chapter on "right-timing." So there is a time to speak and a time to be silent. One of the most impressive and frightening things about Jesus is his stony silence before Pilate, Caiaphas, and Herod. Yet his seven last words on the Cross havo been the theme of countless sermons and the inspiration of millions of lives. Men jeer at a discussion of words as mare "semantics." They deride grammar. It is a dreadful reflection of an evil age. SATURDAY TALK -By NORMAN SMITH Can we blunder on? In a recent comic strip of "Peanuts" the young bird panicked when it began to rain snd fled to the dog to find out what rain was. The dog sairl rain is a good thing, filled up lakes and let fish swim and gave us all somctning to drink. The bird top- ped away, relaxed. The dog observed: "Woodstock doesn't care what it is as long as he understands it." Now that I found comforting. Yet not ev- erything is as simple to understand as rain. Most anything to do with our prob- lems whether of people or country demands decisions. Which brings in my sec- ond quote, a letter I got six years ago from my old friend Dr. Leo Marion, then dean of Pure and Applied Science at the University of Ottawa. "Dear Norman: Last evening I told you about Buridan's ass. I did not tell it quite rightly and I should like to make a cor- rection. The ass was at an equal distance from a bucket of wster and a bushel of oats. H'2 died of thirst and hunger be- tween the two because he couldn't decide whether to drink or eat first "Buridan was a XlVth century scholastic philosopher, and he wanted by this exam- ple to illustrate what he called the free- dom of indifference." My sermon for today is on the freedom of indifference which government and pri- vate enterprise exercise as they plunge ahead with the development of this coun- try as though they were competitors rather than partners. Meanwhile we the public, feeling incompetent to decide where to put a pipeline or how to check pollution or which economic equation is right, lose con- fidence in government, in private enter- prise and in ourselves and the country losss its uniph. Like most other people, I've been won- dering about this blinkered approach to na- tion building for some time and was sad- dened to discover the other day that it may exist in the professions as well as in government and business. At Brock University a gifted Japanese- Canadian architect in the convocation address urged graduates to beware of iso- lating themselves in whatever might be their profession. An architect, or lawyer, or doctor or scientist or agronomist must be wary lest his profession feel that every situation must have a solution according to !ts own training, as though it were only a matter of finding the right technique. "The favorite unit of course is money. Con- science, empathy, imagination and personal experience are left out of the equations. Ideals are replaced by statistical aver- ages." Mr. Raymond Moriyama warned that loo often such solutions rode roughshod over the problems or were simply irrelevant. "My point here." he said, with quiet emo- tion, "is that this narrow technical ap- proach to lyiman affairs means, more often than not, lost opportunities and unrealized potentials for human growth." That's an artist's view of life in the arts. What about a hard headed view, such as that of the president of Air Industries As- sociation of Canada? Thai's big business and science combined, but David Mundy was with Uie department of trade and com- merce from 1945 to 1968, latterly as assis- tant deputy minister and for years one ot its key officers. Some weeks ago Mr. Mundy letting fly at his association's semi-annual meeting ex- pressed his concern, or even outrage, that government and industry were not working together to generate high technology pro- grams in Canada. He had invited a dozen high government service officers to bear his righteous indignation related not just to air industry problems but the whole field of government industry development In Canada. There was almost a desperation In Mundy's voica, a note of "for God's sake, gentlemen, we're blowing it." And he was speaking to both "sides." "Other countries are engaging in fine- tuning exercises of selected areas of their own economics tD extract the maximum benefit for the country. If our government plays a passive role foreign firms who have the active support of their govern- ments are almost certainly going to beat out Canadian companies in the new areas of technological opportunity. We can't be odd man out and cling to the idea in a world of increasing interdependence that Canadian industry can operate under lais- sez-faire conditions." he pleaded, "we have thj in- genuity to develop a system between the two extremes of a managed economy and laissez-faire. What I am really talking about is the ability to anticipate and some process involving decision-mak- ing for the future. There has to be agree- ment on basic facts between the public and private sectors, on where the trends are and where the opportunities lie, other- wise we are working at cross purposes." Mundy stressed that he was not propos- ing a narrow buy-Canadian program, not looking for large infusions of taxpayers' money to help industry. He was seeking "better organization both within govern- ment and between government and indus- try to unlock benefits to the nation." And he acknowledged that the private sector should give greater support to meeting the nation's economic and social" objectives: that is, that it should pass on in salaries and working conditions the increased prof- its of better organization. Buridan's poor ass starved because it didn't know whether to eat or drink. If Mundy and Raymond Moriyama are right our professions, government and industry are also being donkeys or mules. And what about the lack of co-operation between provincial and federal govern- ments in planning the future of our na- tion? It seems that our "boundless natural re- sources'" have enabled us to blunder and plunder on believing there was always more in them lhar hills and we could af- ford our mistakes. But it's a new world now big and t tough league. The question no-v is not how great are our resources but how are we using them. The public is beginning to think that gov- ernmcnls at all levels, business, industry and the professions, had better smarten up. And I think the public ia right ;