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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 29, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta Saturday, Junt LETHBRIDGE Those bloomin' cacti THE VOICE OF ONE Dr. Frank S. Morley Groenen The new poverty of the western world From an editorial in Fortune "magazine As many observers have noted lately, the Western world presents a disturbing landscape. Virtually all advanced nations are afflicted with unpopular governments, restive electorates, intractable inflation, pervasive doubt. There is no lack of fragmentary explanations. Blarne is put on poor leadership, for example, and it is true that even apart from the special presidential disaster in the U.S., there is a severe shortage of inspiring political leaders (inspiring leaders of any kind, for that But it is fanciful to suppose that changes in political leadership, without major changes of other kinds, would remedy the underlying troubles of Western nations. The in oil prices comes in for blame too. and it has indeed been painful in more ways than one But economic, political, and social stresses were troubling Western nations before the outbreak of war in the Middle East last autumn. To a large extent these stresses can be traced to persistent inflation, with the instability and injustice it brings. Inflation itself, however, is not an accidental misfortune but rather a symptom of deeper social disorders. A major cause of inflation, and the inability of governments to cope with it, has been the prevalence of unfulfillable expectations. As Flora Lewis of the New York Times observed, "governments have led their people to expect continuous increases in purchasing power based on steady industrial expansion." And now politicians find themselves caught in a trap of careless promises. But again, all this leaves much unexplained. Why has the goal of "continuous increases in purchasing power" become so central, so dominant in the lives of nations and the policies of governments? Why have past increases in purchasing power added up to such disappointing results in terms of the enhancement of life? Why so much unhappiness, unrest, and violence in the midst of so much material abundance? Why the low morale in Western societies, the lack of social cohesion, the sense that things have gone wrong? Why do governments, growing ever larg and more intrusive, seem ever less capable of meeting the demands upon them? All of these phenomena are related in one way or another to a single underlying condition the loss of what might be called the invisible means of support, the inner resources that in earlier generations lent purpose to people's lives, connected them to the social order, restrained their conduct, and helped sustain them in adversity. Unfortunately for both governors and governed, the great postwar rise in standards of consumption has been accompanied by deep erosion of among other things religious faith, traditional values, standards of craftsmanship, the ideal of service, and the sense of member- hip in a social order. The processes of erosion have created in every up to date Western nation a large class of what historian John Lukacs calls "the new poor: men and women and children whose poverty is not material but social, psychic, spiritual." The new poverty makes it difficult to govern a modern nation, let alone lead it anywhere. The hollowed out new poor tend to demand much from government, and very little from themselves. We have seen in the last couple of decades a great inflation in demands, claims, and rights, to be met or enforced by government. And simultaneously we have seen a great deflation of duties, responsibilities, and what Edmund Burke referred to as "moral chains." A few years after the French Revolution, he wrote: "Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites." This is certainly not to suggest that the economic and social problems governments busy themselves with are imaginary. Quite the contrary: there is enough real injustice, enough material poverty, enough defects in social arrangements to occupy all the public efforts societies can muster. But to judge from the record, it seems most unlikely that these efforts will do much to remedy the new poverty. Is there any remedy for it? Probably none that government can divise or administer Individual political leaders or government officials can always help a little by setting personal examples of probity, or becoming effective advocates of moral principles. But no enactment, program, or bureau can do any good. The burden, then, has to fall on individuals. The first step for those who want to help whether as parents, teachers, preachers. business executives, members of organizations, or individual human beings is to dare to be backward looking. Perhaps the best hope for a recovery of morale and purpose and order in Western societies lies in a revival of personal moral values and responsibilities. A collection of brief book reviews "The Larkspur Conspiracy" by Judson Philips (Dodd Mead, 187 Reporter Peter Styles learns about a conspiracy to steal millions of dollars from public funds. His discovery sets off a chain of events that include murder, suicide, and the threatened slaughter of the entire cast of a Broadway hit show. A fast moving story that should please all mystery novel fans. TERRY MORRIS "Up Wingers" by F. M. Esfandiary (Longman Canada Limited, hard cover paperback 146 Neither left-wing nor right- wing, this "future shocker" hits the happy medium, the up-wing. To be a successful up-winger all of our old world traditions must be cast aside, our historical and ethnological memorabilia, our basic social and cultural systems have to be left at the roadside for the sake of a new lifestyle Mass education, mass media, new instant communities, space- age concepts, no more buses, cars, trucks, subways or streets, only modular automated transportation, hovcrcrafts, helicopters, monorails and monocabs. Guidelines are provided for achievement of more leisure time, less rigid work hours, vague dreams of unreality that do not quite explain what people will use for money to utilize the excess of leisure. "Creating a new life is too important a decision to leave to one individual or couple. The concept of individual rights in procreation is primitive. We need collective planning. collective procreation, collective child- rearing." There will be no family nucleus around which its inhabitants can revolve, only an open system encouraging a multi-racial, multi-national, free and easy way of life. ANNE SZALAVARY "Albert the Dragon" by Rosemary Weir (Longman, 108 First published in 1961, this delightful little book was reprinted in 1973 and is also available as a paperback. Albert is a very friendly vegetarian dragon who has some exciting and humorous adventures with a small boy called Tony. Students in the middle grades of elementary school should enjoy reading about Albert. Also suitable for those who like to read bedtime stories to their children TERRY MORRIS "Seduction and Betrayal: Women and Literature" by Elizabeth Harwich, (Ransom House, 208 Ten essays make up the body of ihis elegant and iCTnperaic book. The subjects of the individual essays are Jhe Brontes, Svivia Plath. Virginia Woolf. Zelda Fitzgerald, Dorothy Wordsworth. Jane Carlyle. three of Ibsen's plays, and. in the final essay, from which the book takes its title, a survey of central women characters in 18th-and 19th- century novels. The book is feminist in the most positive sense: it aims chiefly for the strengths of the women whom it discusses. The essays are clear, discursive, and full of insight, stimulating reading for those interested in literature. Only the essay on Virginia Woolf seemed to me to be a little sketchy, and the final essay is clogged with a surfeit of fictional heroines. My two favorite essays were on A Doll's House and on Jane Carlyle. but the others are just as good the one on Sylvia Platti is exceptionally strong; it's just that I cannot get on wilh most of Plath's poetry. JOHN BELL "Figure of Speech" by N. Mazer (Fitzhenry Whitcside. Written for young people over 32 Oiis full-length novel tells of Wie warm affection shared by a 33-year old girl her grandfaUier. Jenny's family couJa not understand iJie mutual love which bound them together so there are manv tense situations and moments of misunder- standing. ELSPETH WALKER "Exploring New Ethics For Survival The Voyage Of The Spaceship Beagle" by Garrett Hardin, Garrett Hardin has written a very unusual and intriguing book dwelling on human survival in this swiftly moving world. It is a combination of man on earth and the fiction of a spaceship's fantasy trip through space. Throughout the story we can see evidence of Hardin's views on population control, pollution, resource management and ail the changes which must be injected Uierin. Of course, the spaceship is always there with the crew and its incredible encounters in space This is a very rewarding book to delve into and gives one of the special insights to some of the problems our world has already experienced. EMILY BURKE "Ghost in the Water" by Edward Chitham (Longman, 157 Teresa and David try to find out why 17-year-old Abigail Parkes committed suicide over 100 years ago The story- is set in England's Black Country and Uie dialect might confuse Canadian readers An interesting mystery book thai also tells something about the everyday life of youngsters in country TERRY MORRIS "The Dark Number" by Edward Boyd Roger Parkes (Longman, 167 This is another volume in the Constable Crime series. H tells the story of Jonnny Maxen who returns to Scotland in search of his wife. He is soon involved in murder, mayhem, and intrigue before he discovers the fate of his missing wife. A very good mystery stor TERRY MORRIS "The End of Someone Else's Rainbow" by Robert Ressner, (Clarke, Irwin and Have you ever wondered about the life of a convu released after many Wiley Bridger a veteran convict of 17 years came out. The money he had stolen from the bank is his only crime, lay- waiting for him back ;n his home town. However, so did Michael Javitt, the cop who brought him in and waited all these years to recover the money Wiley discovers changes and the tree marking the spot of Hie bunal now shaded the new library and not the original field. Wiley teams up with Francme Pennypack, the librarian, to recover the money while Javitt makes life as miserable as possible for them This is an unusual plot that captures the imagination through to the final climatic scene EMILY BURKE Meeting the challenge At an assembly in Kitchener, Presbyterians from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island were gathered to open the celebration of their centennial year commemorating the union of the four to form a national Canadian church. The meetings opened with vast enthusiasm. A youth choir from Peterboro sang "Tell It Like It Is" and the new songs thrilled the vast audience to the core of their being with their obvious conviction and dynamic brilliance of production and singing. Church services were crowded with hundreds of youth. New forms of worship found a happy response. The interest of the public was astonishing. The popular Bobby Gimby led the children in a procession through the city. Award winning banners designed by young people for the most part were hung everywhere and carried through the streets Balloons went up in the sky. The Reverend F. G. Stewart, who had been chosen as Kitchener's "Citizen of the Year." declared that never in history did the church have a greater opportunity, supported by an eager and responsive public. The world was waiting and listening. The mood was one of excitement. What did the church have to say in this important time? What guidance could the church give to a bewildered and lost generation? What had the church to say about tyranny and revolution? What had the church to say about the greed and covetousness which had produced world-wide inflation? What had the church to say about the boredom which produced crime and suicide? What had the church to say about gambling and lotteries? About technocracy? About world law? About the tragedy of North Ireland where churches are crowded and streets run with blood? About the arms race? About population control? About abortion? About drugs? About the penal system and capital punishment? About the deliberate destruction of the small farmer? About the breakdown of the educational system? A curious motion applauded the government's trade and cultural relations with China. Another criticized South Korea for suppressing free speech. The two resolutions might have been drafted by Chairman Mao himself! Not a word of criticism for North Korea' What of the destruction of Sunday by professional sport7 What of the degradation of sport by violence and huge salaries? These and a thousand more questions pressed upon the assembly for some clear statement. Alas, gradually a sense of frustration and a realization of failure came over the assembly. The church seemed out of touch with the world, confused and bewildered by events, part of the problem instead of the answer to the problem Some were embittered by the dry platitudes. Professor Hay of Knox College bitterly criticized a statement saying that it could be wrapped up in one sentence, "God is against evil: we must be against evil." Since the statement was a strong assertion of evangelical faith, it was clear that the church expected something different, something new, something expressed in contemporary language and made relevant by new revelations for these But there were no prophets and no one was dreaming dreams or seeing visions Yet there were promising signs. There can be no doubt but that the church has a far stronger intellectual and spiritual base than it had 25 years ago. There is a far deeper sense of urgency and eager expectation. Among some very able young men there is wistful longing. Far more people are aware that formal faith is not good enough, there must be an immediacy of personal experience. God is speaking; man must listen. This was the general conviction of the assembly. No one doubts that the church must give ethical leadership. No one doubts that the church must be prepared to suffer and sacrifice. When the assembly sang their anthem. "Glory, glory, there could be no doubt but that they meant it as a battlecry. The answers have not come yet, but the Holy Spirit will give the words and the answers. What a thrilling time this is for the church! SATURDAY TALK Norman Smith Shopping for votes There are only nine more shopping days, no matter which side of the counter you are on. The candidates are shopping for voters and the voters are window shopping for something to pin their faith on. Someone trying to puff up my vanity (which isn't hard to do) said to me the other day in the presence of three grinning gargoyles: "Now that you're free from the maddening crowd, Norman, and have to think, who do you think is going to win the Without asking him to draw up a chair and sit at my feet for a half an hour, of wisdom, I said anyone pretending to know that now is feeding on hopes or fears, neither of which are reliable. Clueless we all are. The parties and their leaders don't know what their policies are and so spend their time attacking the other fellows' policies. The voters know in their conscience that they themselves don't know what should be done about inflation and energy and environment and all that. But what's disturbing them more is that they now realize that the experts and politicians don't know either. All elections have a degree of confusion and uncertainty, but I don't recall one wherein leaders, parties and people were so disenchanted b" their own ability to set things right. It's ill enough if we don't know how to do something, but downright galling if we know what we should do, even if we coul The 's why I don't think you can guess now what's going to happen July 8. The campaign itself, so far. suggests the V politicians and leaders figure that voters are nincompoops. They may be partly right, but they don't try very hard to enlighten us as to what are the facts or what are their plans. It's largely a charge of "you're a and a brilliant rebuttal of "you're another." Except that none of the leaders' fathers are alive I'd expect to hear quite often that old rallying cry: "My dad can lick your dad." The trouHe is that when the politicians act like teer.-afcers the voters tend to follow suit. The dialogue is not deep, shall we say. I think of a remark that great golfer and fine woman. Marlenj Streit. made the other dav: "Golf isn't a kids' game. You can't yell and scream and jump up and down on the course." But you can in the adult game of choosing governments, apparently. Ask the candidates to talk about issues and they all with one accord begin to make excuse. Bihngualism is too touchy, inflation is too mysterious, anti Americanism isn't fair cuz you can't kick a man when he's down. You can't debate environment until it clears, you mustn't mention provinces because they're too provincial, nor communities for they're just a mayors' nest. One of the few hard rock statements I've seen about Canada lately was from that hard old rock. Senator Norman Paterson: "We've run out of workers, and I've run out cf sympathy with those who won't work. We can't continue this nonsense of subsidizing idlers." Apparently only if you're 91 and a senator can you say that. If you're running for Parliament you put it rounder terms, such as "Every man and woman has a right to live. eat. be healthy and decently housed and properly educated and to work as he chooses It seems to me we're getting into a bit of a bind. In the last Parliament most of the effort and time was put into jockeying for political advantage rather than revealing, analysing and thinking. Now. in the campaign, the same situation prevails: it is all what you might call surface tension, not democratic examination. And then if the Commons is again to be a see-saw will the session be just another long warming up for another raucous main bout at the polls? One of these days our system must setiie down to work. To thinking. Thinking is damned hard work, and we can very soon get out of practice. It was Platon who said: "My opinion is that in the world of knowledge the idea of good appears last of all. and is seen only with an effort." The trend to what is curiously called "participatory democracy" (as though there could be any other kind) is good: but vituperation isn't participation. There should be an order to politics, and even to political meetings unless the only measure of a good meeting is to be in decibels. Book review The Menninger mind "Sparks" by Karl Metminger, M.D., edited by Lacy Freeman (FiUhenry Whiteside Ltd., 290 The famous co-founder of the Menninger Chmc and Menninger Foundation, well known for his work in the psychiatric field, displays his versatility as a human being by expressing his opinions on a myriad of interesting subjects. Lucy Freeman has edited the files of Dr. Karl Menninger containing 50 years of his writings on many subjects. In addition to that "Dr Karl" has updated many of his comments and opinions His topics vary widely, including comments on his native Kansas, remimscenses about his parents and brothers, the birth and development of psychiatry in America and sidelights into personal encounters Sigmund Freud and Albert Schweitzer. His account of the coming of age of psychiatry in North America has all the characteristics of a good suspense drama He tells of a struggle of which most of us are unaware, concerning the gaining of respectability for psychiatry as a valid science rather than a mysterious practice shrouded in fear and superstition In addition to his campaigns for prison reform and the abolition of capital punishment, he has championed a host of causes, including equal rights for minorities, protection of the environment, the preservation of endangered species and belter treatment of the aged. IJie mentally retarded and the troubled young. A Uiougfit provoking volume that ends with an impassioned plea for all of us to devote ourselves Jo saving our world for those who come after. BEATRICE MEIXTZER ;