Dear Editor

Dear Editor Dubious Denunciation Some 30 years ago I aroused the implacable hostility of the Trotskyites (both dispensations) by suggesting that never in history had any group of allegedly deep...

...Jonathan Cottin's anti-Daley polemic (' Daley's Dare," Correspondents' Correspondence NL, April 3) has no place in a journal of temperate political analysis Perhaps one has to be from Chicago to note the inaccuracies of the piece ("the Daley machine" was not reinstalled in 1971ócity committeemen were elected in 1968 and again in March of 1972, at the same time delegates were elected) but one need only have a sense of fair play to observe the bias I think the phrase, ' In a pig's ass," snorted or otherwise, must be as often heard outside the wards of Chicago as inside I believe this attests to the level of Cottin's reportage and/or analysis I would be glad to read an explanation of the Democratic National Committee's delegate-election rules and a discussion of the limits they impose on the kinds of endorsement and support which delegate candidates can validly accept I understand the rules are by no means crystal clear and in some respects contradictory on their face I should think, therefore that candidates must construe the rules as they deem proper and explain their reasoning to the Credentials Committee at the convention if challenged Even if the Chicago Democratic organization is quite clearly wrong we would be best served by an examination of that, if New Journalism can perform such a service Chicago Mark H Virshbo Jonathan Cot tin replies There would be no Dalev machine without Daley, and he was reelected in 1971 As for Mr Virshbo s curiosity about the new party rules, Chicago papers have reviewed them in some detail ever since April 10, when the entire Daley slate was formally charged with 12 violations of these regulations...
...Dear Editor Dubious Denunciation Some 30 years ago I aroused the implacable hostility of the Trotskyites (both dispensations) by suggesting that never in history had any group of allegedly deep political thinkers had such a passion for signing their own death certificates The nub of their argument was that there was nothing inherently wrong with the OGPU except that it worked for Stalin As I recently read Roy A Medvedev's Let History Judge, I had the same reaction Underlying this "heroic denunciation" of Stalin was the same complaint The wrong people were shot In this context, I want to congratulate Adam Ulam for his review ("The Riddle of Stalinism NL April 3), which, to my knowledge, is the first to emphasize this crucial point Perhaps I am getting paranoidal with age, but in my reading Medvedev would not even roll over in bed at the thought of a Soviet regime that concentrated on eliminating "antisocial" Social Democrats like myself Waltham, Mass John P Roche Ideology As always, I read with interest my old associate Bruce C Vladeck's latest critical ruminations ("The Ideology of Ideology " NL, March 20) This time, however, I fear he has dismissed the whole notion of ideology with too cavalier a contempt Ideology, he seems to imply, is primarily ' a sophisticated means of calling one's opponents liars" To Vladeck, there is some reality, objectively provable to rational beings which ideologies merely hide, leaving us in a world of lies The problem, I think, is that Vladeck is mistaking ideology for orthodoxy Without some sort of framework for understanding unstructured events some grid of values for measuring and judging opinions, nothing is possible People do not absorb isolated facts and then data-process them into objective conclusions Rather, we accept some ideological basis that ties together our own past experiences, the available roles that have developed historically in our society, and each individual's potentiality, within that framework we encounter the world This does not mean that the world is only lies, or that truth is meaningless, only that it must be approached from some perspective It remains unclear whether Vladeck is disputing that there is an ideological bias to his own writing Of course there is one His stance as man-of-good-sense is the legacy of Enlightenment rationalism Problems possess solutions that can be discovered through objective analysis, all good things are basically compatible, people honest with themselves and free of prejudice will in time agree on what's best for everyone, etc This is no more a prion obvious and universal than 19th-century Shinto or, for that matter, 20th-century Maoism In other words, ideologies are not blinders or cynical myths Ideology illuminates experience It may be a colored light, it may cast shadows, but without it there is only darkness Beikelev Calif Harry R Katz Monad Brute C Vladeck replies Harry Katz' usual cogency and sophistication obscure the obvious that he did not read my review very carefully I said quite explicitly that 'all thought is ideological or none is This conclusion is inescapable " I'm glad Katz shares my opinion on this subject my point though was that neither of the authors under consideration seemed to be aware of the possibility and since they built their books around savage attacks on the ideologies of others, their barbs fell on thin air Of course my thought is ideological insofar as there is such a descriptive Everyone's thought is ideological The only defenses are skepticism tolerance, pluralism and heresy When Katz claims I am attacking orthodoxy, he pays me (no doubt unintentionally) a fine compliment Green with Ire John Mander's "Facing Reality in Ulster (NL March 6) was more than disappointing and far below the standards I expect from your magazine It appears to have been written by a bigoted Englishman who considers Irishmen beneath his class and who knows little about Irish history and culture Mander concludes his irrational article by saying "an agreed separation is the only sane answerM Doesn't he know that this is what exists now and has for 50 years9 ' The Emerald Isle was never united except ironically under British rule ' he writes Thanks to the British it was a conquered land, but had always been united in its culture and language Also in his last paragraph, Mander makes an analogy" between American rights to the United States and Protestant rights to Ulster Don t tell that one to the American Indians Perhaps to extend his analogy he would liken the Irish situation to the settling of American businessmen m Vietnam against the wishes of the Vietnamese and years later claiming their right to that soil Here he shows his imperialist mentality In another incredible statement earlier in the piece, Mander says 'internment must be retained if responsible, democratic government is to continue " Internment a part of democracy9 Are we to censor public communication to insure free speech9 Anyway, who told Mander that Ireland is a democracy9 If he knew the country he would recognize it to be a theocracy Nor does he seem to remember that any freedoms Ireland has received from England have been won by the gun Boston Dan Coffey What in the name of Robinson does this Mander think he is up to9 I would not pay him a penny for his fable His Simple Simon solution to the Irish problem reflects a dangerous attitude bordering on jingoism This individual and others like him are the reason most Americans have a one-sided view of what has been happening in Ulster Completely ignored are the facts that the six northern counties were originally grabbed at gunpoint and that on December 14, 1918, four-fifths of the island's people voted for a full republic The Stormont government was deformed at birth and it is amazing that this anencephahc monster has survived for 50 years A civil authority which tolerated such unbridled savagery from an army under its control, and then refused to take disciplinary action, possessed no moral authority and deserved no loyalty It had to go Edward Heath at last has seen the light and has taken the first essential step toward ending the crisis Let us hope that the Prime Minister proves to be an astute statesman and recognizes that the "Irish Question" is one to be answered by the Irish A true democratic solution can be achieved only when ?majority vote of the whole island determines the political structure of the whole island Hamilton, Ohio Randal B Radcliffe, m d Fair Play...

Vol. 55 • May 1972 • No. 9


 
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