Latin American perspectives; Colombia
National Educational radio in cooperation with the Institute on man and science presents a series of talks drawn from the institute's annual conference held recently in Rensselaer Vale New York. The Institute on man and science is a nonprofit educational institution chartered by the New York State Board of Regions. The annual assembly of the institute is designed to focus attention on 20th century technology and the human relationships resulting from its application. The first program in this series presented the keynote address of the Institute by the Right Honorable Paul Martin government leader in the Canadian Senate. On this program we hear two reactions to Mr. Martin's address. Our first speaker is Albert G Wilson an astrophysicist at the Douglas Aircraft research laboratory. Here now is Mr. Wilson ladies and gentlemen for this excellent overview of the problems and dangers
of our times. That leaves us either with a sense of optimism that we could share with Ambassador Mark or perhaps a sense of fear that he does not have the picture completely in mind to many of us the critical question that Ambassador Mark raises is whether with in this framework of law and order we're going to be able to accommodate all the changes that must be made and our social and economic and political fabric in the next few years. Certainly one must agree that the changes have to be made. What is change change in essence in this social sense consists of
d structuring and re structuring the relationships and processes of society. This includes our attitudes or our customs and our laws. Now if we are able to facilitate this the structuring and restructuring of our institutions we may avoid their destruction. There's a difference between the structuring and the structural restructuring is to make a modification destruction is total. Michael is a. The N-S capable dictum of nature is mortality of life is death. We face a future in which many outmoded things must die. Whether we like it or not perhaps we may still choose
what is to die. Whether our Irani s and outworn attitudes obsolete and agonistic institutions or hundreds of millions of human beings outworn attitudes one of them that the battle of a man to society is to be measured by his ability to produce or more modernly his ability to consume. I've won attitude. Education is the ability to regurgitate answers to previously posed questions outworn how to do it. Success is to acquire a sept of a stablished and recognize status symbols obsolete institutions. War as a decision making process defense establishment for the illusion that they provide security
and economic slavery of whatever form it is not sufficient to point out as Ambassador Martin was that there exists a widespread trimmed against authority. It is important to differentiate the three general categories of response that are now taking place to the present situation. The first response we can call the holding action response. These are the patch job and make do programs. I will call the poverty program to save the cities program programs in this class. Voting actions are well described by such phrases as containment policy deterrence policy. All of these concepts are predicated on buying time. But we cannot go on
buying time for ever especially when little or nothing is being done with the time we buy them. The second response the rebel response. This is the response of the send protest the demand for a voice. The demand for change now. The establishment is rotten. It must go. Truly the forces of revolution and rebellion are on the march again in our times as they have been for the past 200 years. But for many of us. For either the holding action concept or the rebellion concept to prevail is a rather dismal choice of business as usual or business as usual under new management. To me this is no choice. The third choice.
Response. I don't have a name for but I'll call it the revolutionary response. This response says we must recognize we are at the end of an era. Western civilization is in a cul de sac. We no longer have the freedom to live on examined life as individuals or collectively. If we were to find a solution we must escalate imagination. We must invent new and alternate futures. We must increase the spectrum of choice that's available to us. The essence of the metta revolution is to recognise not to escape the depth of the extent of the changes that must be made. The process is to look at the total world
how it's changing and to design our institutions to mesh with this total world. Not to try to save fragments of instance in this which we inherit from a past age we must be eclectic. We must save those portions to that wisdom declares we carry on this disease. This is the difference between the metta revolution in the rebellion were not trying to abolish everything or say we are to be eclectic and carry forward those things which are meaningful beyond our times for the present structure. And I agree with the statement that Ambassador Martin made when referring to the students the editor and its of all three of these responses have in common. One thing and this is our own and this is the common concern for all of man. You heard Albert G Wilson an astrophysicist at the Douglas Aircraft research
laboratory. Has he reacted to the keynote address of this year's Institute on man and science. Another reaction to the keynote address was made by Harold Williams A Stanford University graduate now assigned by the Continental Army command to urban civil disturbances. Here now is Mr. WILLIAMS. I'm not going to speak too long this evening. I recall the last time I spoke before such gathering. The main speaker had continued on and on for about two hours it was a dinner gathering and determine master ceremonies had no idea how to stop. So we finally thought what if I forgot my fork and put against my class made the fellow realize that two hours is a good enough force to pick up his fork and call in on the class you know get a tall fellow kept talking so we thought well if I pick up my knife and just bang it down on the table maybe he'll realize that he's gone on far too long so he picked up his knife thanked on the table that works so we picked up his gavel.
He thought well I'll just have to bang my gavel down table and see what what good that does. I raised just gavel and brought it down with a huge thunderous blow under the table and we didn't get the tape had to come down on the head of an elderly rather balding gentleman to his right elbow looked up broccoli and he said hit me again Sunny I can still hear him I was all over. The reason I relayed that story and the reason I'm a bit worried about how long I carry on is that every country happens to be the right and Chairman this evenings. As the two speakers before me spoke I wrote down several things. One was authority is breaking down. One is the unexamined life is no longer possible. Another is that change is inevitable. Another is the communications revolution. And one way or another I'd like to talk about all four of those things. I'd like to begin by talking about a minority of young people that we might roughly
categorize as student radicals. If you don't think these people are important just look at Columbia University. Approximately 100 real radicals with the backing of about 400 lukewarm radicals activists and liberals stop the academic machinery of that entire university. The first point I'd like to make is that student movements on college campuses and elsewhere that are led by these radicals have an ideology but no program for this ideology is defined in terms of things that the revolution is against the war craft systems establishments you name it. Consider for example the the phrase student power. I think this is entirely a misnomer because these students really don't want power. They would know what to do with it. The issue of power became downright embarrassing at Columbia University when after the first bloody Mili
the students actually inherited real power. They didn't know what to do with it. After three weeks of confusion they resorted to violence nihilism as a substitute for purpose. Once the revolution was won we can see this in another way in that most of the campus results right now. It doesn't really matter what the animating or initial issues were always boil down to the question of amnesty for the participants. Usually the initial issues are left out in the final negotiation entirely. The ideologies of opposition and to understand it among young people. I think we have to go far beyond college campuses. It really isn't based on opposition to the draft order and it won't be solved by the election of Eugene McCarthy or even peanuts. The. Youth lays much of the blame for the State Of The World Today at the foot of technology. They're not concerned about what
technology has done for us but rather what it hasn't done for us as well. I think broadly the admission is one of value to technological values which I think particularly in taga nice radical students are the pursuit of comparative excellence in the quest for expertise. The hitch with comparative excellence is that it has nothing to do with intrinsic excellence. And this I think becomes downright invidious when we assign some kind of an independent measurement to the standard of measure. For example we don't have value in having more or less of something than someone. Or even worse there is value in being equal by having just the same as our quantitative and statistical measurements become more sophisticated. The idea of real value I think is left further and further behind any event. This is the way the new physics expertise has now become a goal in our society. In most sectors
expertise governs our lives. The people in command have such a vast supply of technical knowledge that we very seldom turn to take a look at any other qualities. Everything else seems some way to run a psychologist named Eric Fromm never tires of telling us that the whole matter of expertise helps to set up some kind of a competitive market in which people take on comparative and functional exchange values. And again the real matter of intrinsic value is left behind. This incidentally is a subject of a good deal of literature. Consider for example the poem by Gertrude Stein a rose is a rose is a rose. Regrettably to most people a rose is not a rose. It's an expensive flower a certain price category. Good for a specified number of occasions. People also feel take on exchange values and I think nowhere is their argument more reinforced than in the entire series of self help programs that are going on right now and that the way that they're promoted
for example pays to increase share word for claims the Reader's Digest and Norman Vincent Peale retorts. Let me show you the power of positive thinking. I too quickly move from technology and consider for institutions which if historically produced real value in our country and let's take a look quickly at how youth is connecting to the first one is religion. The new theology offered real hope for young people beginning about five years ago. Somehow in its wave there was a bombing a new vitality formed I think out of a a marriage of traditional Christian concepts restated and some new nouns in TARC for example a very popular book on college campuses was called Situation Ethics by Joseph but you but your delineates three alternatives for making decisions. One is legalism which one hinders the decision making situation armed with the whole prefabricated structure of of laws and not just the spirit but the letter of the law
prevails. The second is antinomianism And in this approach one enters decisions armed with nothing dependent on the situation or the existentialist moment of itself to provide the ethical solution. The third answer and according to Fletcher the new one and representative of the new theology is called Situation of us and if one enters decision making armed with the precepts of his community and of his person but is prepared to set these aside if the concept of love is better sir. I think some of the high notes for young people and saying that we should throw out our old notions of God entirely and think of God as the depth of our being our ultimate concern whatever we take seriously without reservation. Young people remain skeptical. They realize that these are prophets not preachers. Check the Fletchers categorical loaded assumptions and they doubt whether the old
concepts even repository as freshly as in Teluk can serve the needs of a new day excepting telex definition of God. They ask What can we take without reservation politics. I'm a Texas brimful with dollars but not much credit. A recent survey a national survey by well-known firm said that 60 percent of the people in this country feel that the Warren Report on the Kennedy assassination was either misleading or incomplete. I suspect the figures a good deal higher among you. And this is taking over half the people in this country apparently feel that the chief justice of the land would deliberately conspire to mislead this country. You take this very seriously so that even more so than with religion. There is nothing of value to suddenly
youth makes a connection between technology politics. They can clearly see the presidential campaign now involves a really an industry. We have our speechwriters our computer programs our surveys our minority group consultants publish negroes etc.. Now they don't really object to this. What they object to is that this apparatus some way makes it very very hard to tell whether the man beneath it is a good man or a bad man. It's higher education. Youth feels has made an implicit assumption that since there are enough value giving institutions politics the arts and the knowledge can be value free higher education. Believing this and every effort to avoid contamination has really closed upon the fields of propositional knowledge so that the social sciences have become quantitative and statistical but never normally. Philosophy has become linguistic analysis
in which philosophers seldom try to define the good life but rather the several senses in which the word good. May be you. Religion has become a specialized historical study and the humanities comparative ascetics the last institution the arts is most fascinating to me because youth I think brought it on themselves and accepted it for so long. So I'm talking about the preoccupation in art with form as opposed to content. I think this really began quite a while ago with the popularity of of such writers as Ernest Hemingway Hemingway's character use some way Bell talk of a good deal of self-control terseness and they're very very collected. It continued I think through Humphrey Bogart through the novels of Virginia while the existentialist people like Albert can move through pop art and onto the whole notion of keeping one's cool.
The problem is that such art I feel is not capable of enduring renewing or sustaining us. The problem is when we go back to look at Ernest Hemingway's characters and we try to get inside them we're stumped because these characters are made so they come out in the form of his novels there depended on the art form itself for animation. I think the state of this has come to the point seen most readily in title of Marshall McLuhan's latest book The medium is the message is it. It's very easy to prove who radical youth and to say that there are values in all of these institutions they're just not able to see them. I can't prove them. I'm not a radical youth. There's already a generation gap between me and I'm just out of college a few years and these people for example I was brought up to feel that that destruction of property was almost as bad as destruction of other people. They clearly don't feel that way. But I do find a lot of truth in what they say. Further it's
not a one way street. We're just beginning to understand the pressures of modern American life. They might be just like us only a bit more sensitive. Who's to say for their radical youth and I think most youth is just not really taken a very easy path out. They have an abdicated society and they haven't even beaten a pastoral retreat away from it. It's I think the hippies tried to do. It's very hard to live without anything to affirm which is what they're really doing. Lacking a religious basis they have no sense of penance or forgiveness. They try very hard to be good here. But when they fail they have no reconciliation. I did not try that hard to be popular. I'm now in the United States Army. It bothers me bothers me to have to stand up here and tell you that I'd like to tell you a bit of what went on in my mind a year ago when I made the mission decision to join.
Seems to me that the dilemma that I was walking between is aptly summarized by two writings one written about 20 years ago in the other 2000 in Plato's The cry to O Socrates condemned waiting to be poisoned with Him lot in jail his influential follower. Righto. It's not a way for him to escape Socrates says I can't. I've lived here for a long time I had plenty of opportunity to leave. I've long accepted the laws here. I have no right to destroy them now by breaking them after the fact. What Socrates was saying I think is that through societal compact man his claims upon man the bad spot however is pointed up aptly in another book. It's called Eichmann in Jerusalem by an a friend and it says quite simply that the German soldiers cannot escape legal or moral accountability for their actions by pleading that they were under orders.
My response was that both viewpoints are true but that man is responsible also for what he does not do. There is certainly risk in either course. Including like to bring us to the issue of the communication revolution because I see a good deal of hope for the society also but I'm afraid I don't see it more technological development. I do not see it for example in bringing up to our standards the remaining 40 percent 35 percent of the poverty level. This is more technology I'm afraid I don't see this as an answer to all I see the answer as being in a communication revelation but of quite a different sort. My concept of societal value is one which allows an individual fulfil. I doubt that this will bring people closer together by making the more of life. I suspect it will make them more different. I like this because I think it puts the problem of survival in focus. It then becomes
not how do we cope with technology but how do we connect with other men. It's just a communication problem that I see and it worries me right now and that I think you might help us to solve. How do I connect with you or you how can I make my head in my guts join to talk with you as a complete human being. That sounds simple but that's the problem as I see it and that I think is where youth while they are young and helpless all you have heard Harold Williams United States army attached to the Continental Army command as he spoke at the Institute on man and science held recently in Rensselaer Vale New York. The speaker on our next program will be Timothy Costelloe deputy mayor and city administrator of the city of New York. Mr. Costello's topic will be Can man manage the city. These lectures are recorded by the Institute on man and science. The programs are prepared for
- Latin American perspectives
- Producing Organization
- WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
- Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- Episode Description
- This program focuses on "Colombia: The Political Dimensions of Change" by Robert D. Dix.
- Other Description
- A series of comment and analysis about current affairs in Latin American countries.
- Global Affairs
- Media type
Producing Organization: WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Producing Organization: Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-3-32 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- Chicago: “Latin American perspectives; Colombia,” 1968-05-06, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed January 24, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-f47gvq2h.
- MLA: “Latin American perspectives; Colombia.” 1968-05-06. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. January 24, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-f47gvq2h>.
- APA: Latin American perspectives; Colombia. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-f47gvq2h