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From Northeastern University the National Information Network presents urban confrontations. On the question of student activism in the red. Students have a very limited read to playing but a very important one I think it's time some might say unionists can stop the economy students on like constantly AAMI students basic power lines and their ability to affect public opinion. This week on urban confrontation David read noise and pivoted to the National Review. Steve work professor of political science Laura Wertheimer of the Young Americans for Freedom. No mastery of Holy Cross College and Michael Kelly of the Socialist Workers Party. This week's program. From left to right activism on the campus. Political activism its goals and means to those goals has been the focal point of increasing controversy in the past few years. The anti-war movement the women's liberation movement and most recently the movement for a cleaner
environment have all sought expression through independent mass action on the college campus. In this program our opinions and theories reasons in Russia know which run the gamut of the political spectrum on the needs and proper methods of political and social reform. The participants in this program are Laura worth time or former student Steve wirth a professor of political science mastery of Holy Cross College. David broad Neu a conservative writer and Michael Kelly of the Socialist Workers Party. They will attempt to present their ideas on the question of political activism and the college community. Laura worth Hiver a graduate of Pennsylvania state is a member of the conservative youth group the Young Americans for Freedom. She outlines what she considers to be the conservative philosophy and points out that she feels the student movement has already alienated itself from those people who could bring about real change.
The question isn't whether we should have passed. The question is how. The right has always felt that the way to get a better society is for each person to become the best person that he can. And that's sort of our view of what the students relatives. People who come to college to find out what they're going to do with their life and to learn to do it well. And that's really their first responsibility at college. You don't you don't come tonight. To go out and impose instant solutions on the world because you don't have them. I'm just going to quickly offer three basic conservative positions so you know re stat. First of all let's say that a person's life belongs to him. It seems pretty obvious I mean who else would have bought into it. But the ramifications of it. Then I don't think. That are really pretty broad at that your time is your own and the money that you get for working belongs to you it doesn't belong to the
government of any good cause or to the poor to the poor or to the minorities. It's worse to dispose of as you choose. And that means that interactions in the society should be voluntary because you should have the right to dispose of your property and your money which is ultimately your time. Exactly the way you want to. And. This is. Pretty much the basis of conservative philosophy. Rev. best who governs least and the functions of the government should be kept minimal. You shouldn't have the government doing all sorts of social welfare work because a person can decide for himself whether he wants to make a contribution to it. None should take it from him because of course you don't pay your taxes the government comes and takes them from you. Distributed as they see fit. The decisions should essentially all be wrong. The other conservative position is that democracy is probably the best
process for deciding civil disputes. In many ways of doing it. And of course just because 51 percent of the people favor it doesn't automatically make it right. Doesn't matter right. But for most civil disputes were a decision of preference then on basic morality. Democracy is the only functioning way of keeping a free society because if the majority does that it's less likely to be tyrannical than if it's considered only by a minority. I was at the harbor the summer. I went to. Much of the student has degenerated into absolutely purposeless. This would have accomplished nothing. Couldn't possibly accomplish anything even if there was some purpose that they wanted to achieve. The only thing that they could have done with it was turn off the people thing
to get a consensus that violence and terrorism. David broad NOI a frequent contributor to The National Review criticizes the apparent lack of consistency among political activists. You can't on the one hand say Down with the establishment power with the people. On the other hand bombed buildings which brings in the National Guard and on the third hand scream murder when some fascists come and beat up your parade. And on the fourth and say off the pigs you just can't do it you've got to have a consistent policy and the only policy that is going to work is a policy advocated I believe by Miss Wertheimer and which I wholeheartedly support and that as a libertarian conservative approach to problems which is the limitation of government in all spheres.
Steve Worth was the co-author of the Sze bill passed by the Massachusetts state legislature which attempts to test the constitutionality of the president's right to wage an undeclared war. He notes that the way to make the system work is to help reform minded people gain public office. I don't upgrade systems I don't work I said that I said it has a better chance of working if you'll get in and occupy and help people occupy seats of power. We agree with you. And what I'm saying is that there really isn't that much of an alternative. The alternative is for your self-righteous total commitment to truth as opposed to a process by which people can. Debate the issues and then by the use of the ballot box decide who's going to hold power. What I'm suggesting to you is that before this time in our history it hasn't been so much but absolutely in character that the system worked. I think the position. I have and let us now. With some derision
clapping and clap for the liberal Center. Was that we share something with better sads. We share I think with the enemy we just spoke. To and that. The system itself. If it can be behind a stone if it can be put to good purposes is probably the best that has been defined. By the mind of man particularly in the restaurant tradition. And it hasn't really helped us because we haven't made it work. And I think most of us would feel that the radical solutions. I rag on crab primarily because that in effect of an operative I'm going to read these barbarous. On right hand. We get just a little really. I've listening to conservatives say that we have created the best of all possible worlds. I say my country. Read a wrong. I mean if we could have saved the country somehow or we were not fond of it that
we reject its basic principles. David broad noise suggests that the students should play a very limited role in the political process. Young people are singularly unprepared either to put other people's houses in order until they have straightened themselves out. And it's axiomatic that youth is a time of flux. Well to dispense with the molding experience the college offers to some and beginners jobs offers to others and shark. I believe in and to dilute the a notion to wit that the young should pop out of many of the heavier problems while they are readying themselves to participate as adults. Michael Kelly who was the candidate from the Socialist Workers Party for governor in Massachusetts disagrees. The power of students he explains is to affect public opinion through the university. For students in fact to attempt to lock themselves into some sort of ivory tower and ignore the problems of the world would be an immoral on the question of student activism. The rare students have a very limited read to play but a very important one I think
students unlike say newness can stop the economy of students unlike constantly AAMI students basic power lines and their ability to affect public opinion and I think living in the world that we are today with a campus cannot be isolated from the problems of the world from the pressures of the world and in fact the university and its structure reflects the society at large. That's right what students have to play in fact is to tackle these problems and to use their power to effect public opinion I think that the history of the student movement in this country which goes back now into the civil rights days indicates this power nap in fact is the relevant field students should play in the society to use the university as a basis for social change to take university and to use it the way we did during the strike all over the country. As an anti-war university as a university to reach out to the people to the people that have the power to make change in this world today that I think is the road students have to play in the society. Steve Worth agreed noting that the student must get out and get power.
But through the democratic process I can think say this students better get out of the universities and go to work. They better get out in the streets and ring doorbells and get power in the establishment because if they don't if they don't we're not going to have a society to turn over to them when they somehow become real people. In my judgment they're no different. They like the rest of us range from the bad to the beautiful. But I think on balance are more beautiful and bad which is the reverse of my generation. But I think they've really got to get out in the streets I've really got to get power. It's silly to talk about destroying the establishment because you've got to put a new one in its place. And the new establishment would no more guarantee creative intelligent human leadership than the one we have now. The thing that's wrong is not the establishment the thing that's wrong it's the people who control it. And what you need to
do because this is your country this is your world. It's going to be yours for very long. TIME But there may not be anything left of it. The industrial complex is placing your hair and the racists in the United States. I poisoning our lives and unless you do get out by some point talking about anymore. It's your world you never made it but you can remake it. But you're not going to remake it either. Engaging in egocentric power trips in a revolutionary movement that won't go to feet but it may give you some satisfaction in as a your game playing or on the other hand sitting back and saying this world that my parents made is perfect or even good neither perfect nor good. Joe you better get out. You better take power but by constitutional means. I guess that's the only way there is.
Lou mastery student body president at Holy Cross College was nominated to the president's council on children and youth. He urges students to go beyond the university and to become involved in the community. How far must we extend beyond the university. Well it seems to me that right now we cannot work within the university with too much success so we must go beyond the university. We must go into the community. The education as I pointed out education of the community in this city and in and in the Worcester area where I'm where I go to school has been successful. But yet the difficulty is right now we must influence people that we would like to see in office to run. I think that was the biggest problem that we had this summer. There were not enough qualified people to run for office. And that's why there were some failures on the student movement. So this is one of the things that we must get involved with. You must get involved with working outside of the campus community. Talking with those people we have faith in and convincing them that they can work within the system and if we do get enough people that we
can change it. Steve Wirth notes that change in the existing political system is possible but that the burden of that change rests on the young bass system of government gives as an opportunity if we want to make the effort. To change this system. A social institution that planned for the first time in human history guaranteed equal an APB for able to guarantee a decent chance not a decent living but a decent chance to make a decent living. If we can and I only suggest this to you that. Never been fair. Has any country at any time in history. Put such a heavy burden on wrong people. It might not be a burden that you compare but if you don't carry the burden. I see and I don't think I'm being too extreme in saying this I see no future for the United States and I see no future.
For the human condition in a troubled world. Can there be effective social reform through the system. Michael Kelly of the Socialist Workers Party thinks not and explains that the only way to implement change is to build a mass movement system you pushing back people in this country because for me the question is when the separation. And if these cases we have cops in this country that have in fact that for their own front you crabby for want justice in America for centuries I think on the question of pollution I make a question of the day we find the system is unresponsive. It is not some of the problems now however. Back to Sammy's Pamela's Professor roots as the candidate of your choice elect the candidate of change I could agree with you have used that in fact is precisely the way not to go about it. The right way to bring an. Effective social change in this country is by building the type of movements we have been in the past few years. The troops were not withdrawn from Cambodia because a few senators voted for it in Congress. All because a few hundred students went back to reading them. We must remember with the
mass student strike you make the world not have been that change without the mask in fiber from the escalation of Vietnam would have gone to the levels of our battle. There would not have been an end to the bombing and took For instance in the women's liberation movement without the wanted separation and that there would have been no oppression problem at the piano in the OC amenity of the states. The only effective way to bring about change is to reach out and do in fact the people themselves. I'm in France. And this type of mask that can ping Russia from within the system to be. In the system. Michael Kelly continues arguing that most of the violence in America comes not from the left but from the establishment. Violence and unrest in America today do not have originate on the campus. The small amount of violence on the campus today cannot be compared to the violence and the destruction of a single bomb dropped on the Vietnamese people that it can in no way compare to the every day violence of the policeman's gun club in the ghettos of America. It came in no way compare with the attacks on the Black Panthers and I wrote the brothers and sisters. I rest the campus activists he says well I'm for an end to the Vietnam War he says. It's wrong he says.
But no talk of arresting anyone there. All the Socialist Workers Party to will stand for law and order when it means arresting the criminals in Washington in Vietnam who thought of the bombs dropped. Who want to profit off of this immoral war when it means arresting the national bad officers who kill our brothers and sisters in Kent State. That means arresting the cops admitted our brothers and sisters in Jackson Augusta and a dozen other places when it means arresting those who deny our brothers and sisters the right to control their own bodies the right to abortion and birth control. Those who really caused the deaths of about 10000 sisters in the past year. That's when the Socialist Workers Party will be for law and order. I'll be driving the American people away from the movement as he says. Every indication is that the American people are joining us in increasing not decreasing numbers. The American people are discovering that the only way to solve the fundamental problems confronting American society today is by taking things into their own hands. It is these movements that represent the future of this country. It is precisely the young people that Kennedy and Agnew condemn who will bring about the real solutions in this country not the Democratic or Republican parties. It is the increasing numbers of radicalizing young people joining the growing
socialist movement will one day create a socialist America where human needs not private profit will be the rule. But those brothers and sisters that agree the fundamental social change in the society is needed. I urge that everyone here join the Stude Mobilization Committee to end the war. Join female liberation join the Socialist Workers Party campaign and support a movement for real change in America today. Steve worth I think that massive peaceful demonstrations are salutary an effective way of demonstrating a point. And more than that a sense of extreme commitment as you suggest yourself. People listen to demonstrations of commitment just as I listen to the voices of the ballot box. What I'm suggesting to you sir is that despite the temporary effect of this of that demonstration and I think the people in Washington did get the message that here almost to a man the college students of America were opposed to the unlawful and precipitous actions of President Nixon in moving troops
into an invasion of Cambodia. What I'm suggesting to you if you have an interest in permanently improving the status of people in this country the only way to do it is to assume positions of power in the establishment. And if you build a new one you'll still have to happen establishment. What I'm suggesting is we need to preserve both. Aspects of this political system. One. Where people are free to express their deviant views and to pursue their own private personalities in their own private lives. But on the other hand. And with public decisions are needed. The only way the only effective way. History has demonstrated this be done is through an electoral process in which the people then agree not on these collective decisions on what is one of them. Only the people can make that determination. Not one man. And so I'm suggesting you have to and I agree with most of your social attitudes. I think I
believe that what you say about the oppression of the blacks is not overstated. What you say about the hypocrisy of the double standard of morality for the young and for the government. One being held to a standard of morality of law and order and morality and the government seemingly avoiding it. This I agree with what I'm saying is the only way you're going to change it. Is to elect men to public office who represent that point of view and say you don't like the organization. You don't like the name of the office change but you don't have to call it something you want to call a Congress or a council or something else. And if the people in positions of power that make these continuing decisions and there is no continuous power there is no continuous pressure to keep the government honest on those policies that we won temporarily in the name oratory. Michael Kelly responds. I think the stillbirth brought up the key the key question here and he said elections in the legislature. Real power being in the public offices that's where we have to go down. See there's a facile
Sumption there where power doesn't lie in the public offices of this country where power lines in fact are the rights of this country in those to control the wealth of this country in the business institutions financial institutions and they in fact contrary. To political parties the major political parties in this country that's trying to her own idea of what I projected the mass sanctions mass demonstrations independent movements is the key to change. Not unlike to just in that legislature input however good a family many years into a corrupt political system. David broad NOI explains that he feels that the question is academic that what is actually developing is not pressure on the establishment but increasing support for it to be worth challenges the assumption seems to be floating around up here that the activism of the students has led to changes in policy and has been to some degree effective Mr. Kelly maintained without women's lib. There would have been an end to the anti-abortion situation in New York State and saw Mr. Wortham plies of the massive demonstration and
they somehow change policies or implies that I don't see this. It seems to me that what is developing is not a pressure on the administration to respond to those positions which Mr. Keller Mr. Wirth support but rather add a rising frustration among students and non-students elsewhere who are against those of use who are. Activating themselves now to counter demonstrations. The most notable example of course was the hardhat bit in New York some time ago. I'm traveling around to various universities in various parts of the country and will be in Illinois for some months and at the schools out there. Things are a little different. In other words. You aren't in a majority among the people your age. If the polls mean anything. The Gallup poll and the Harris poll. Indicate that a majority of people your age are. Rather turned off by these demonstrations now that doesn't mean that they're right. You're
wrong I don't believe for a minute that the majority determines correctness that only must determine a course of action in certain limited situations the county voted upon. May I just correct the basic assumption which is that speech was premised namely that the students are that different across the country the Harris poll has shown that 16 percent of the college students in America only only 16 percent have any respect for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and that's where the state was vetted. Twenty seven percent of the American college students nationwide supported the president or thought he was doing a good job. Only 11 percent thought I admit was doing a good job. This is wrong. On. And. On almost every issue. The difference between the national climate of student opinion and the poll I took two classes of Engineers and one class of white students. Very little maybe 2 3 percent on each question. As they HOUSECALL showed it now students do not agree that the administration is doing a good job.
I haven't seen the poll but I have seen one that was we counted in Commentary magazine one of the organs house organs of the liberal radical establishment and there were two liberal researchers found to their horror. That. An overwhelming majority of young people were turned off by the radicalism and the positions that are manifested by Mr. Worth. Mr. Kelly and so on and so forth. What is the future of independent political movements in this country. Certainly we have come to a point in our development as a society where we must decide on a method for change. Lou mastery sums up with a question for the coming months. So where do we head to what do we do what can we do. I wish I had the answers I wish I had the foresight for that. I worked in Washington. And I found many parallels in between Believe it or not between the groups in Washington. And people that were working in Washington in the student movement. They're just as mixed up about what we're going to do in the next 10 years as we are. So we're all together in
our ineffectiveness. So what have we achieved. Have we changed the thinking of the country I think we have. I think this is what we have to do. This is the hope of the student movement. We cannot depend upon it as. Mr. Wirth has pointed out on the demonstration any more this is an ineffective thing this is something that we've been fooling ourselves about the only thing that that I see left rather than revolution is a constant. Participation on your part. In the state level. Just for one example in the federal level this was it was so apparent down there that they were that they really were. Impressed by the thousands of students that did go down there right. It seems to me that we cannot expect the system to work unless we want to we can only make it work unless we get ourselves involved.
We can change to a revolution Yes but the only thing that I think a revolution will achieve. Is a lot of good students and a lot of a lot of dead people. They've estimated I don't know which corporation it was I. Possibly the Rand Corporation. If there was a revolution in this country we're talking exactly six hours to put it down. So it seems that a revolution is out. So I would say that the question we messed about I was a change in the priorities of the government through the system unfortunately must work through the system because there is no other way and a change in the feelings of the people. I wonder can we do it. Northeastern University has Rocky dated broad NOI contributor to National Review Board professor of political science Laura Wertheim of the Young Americans for Freedom. The mastery of Holy Cross College and Michael
Kelly of the Socialist Workers Party. Today's program from left to right activism on the campus. The views and opinions expressed on the preceding program were not necessarily those of Northeastern University or the stations. This week's program was produced by David Brown. I can by can hunt. With technical supervision by John Voss executive producer for urban confrontation with Jeffrey M. self on. Urban confrontation it's produced for the division of instructional communications at the nation's largest private university. Northeastern University request for a tape recorded copy of any program in this series may be addressed to urban confrontations. Northeastern University Boston Massachusetts 0 2 1 1 5. This program was produced by the Department of radio production. Our data director. Or announcer Dave Hamilton. This is the national educational radio network.
Urban Confrontation
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Political Symposium
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Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Urban Confrontation is an analysis of the continuing crises facing 20th century man in the American city, covering issues such as campus riots, assassinations, the internal disintegration of cities, and the ever-present threat of nuclear annihilation. Produced for the Office of Educational Resources at the Communications Center of the nations largest private university, Northeastern University.
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Producing Organization: Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.)
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Identifier: 70-5-30 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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Chicago: “Urban Confrontation; 30; Political Symposium,” 1971-00-00, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 4, 2023,
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