Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 23. 23rd September 1973
Now Read On..
Now Read On...
Reply to Jack Silva
The newly elected Committee of the Wellington Malaysia-Singapore Students' Association finds it utterly abhorent that Mr Jack De Silva, the Malaysian High Commissioner to New Zealand, should accuse Malaysian-students in New Zealand of being backed by a 'foreign power' and being subverted with communist propaganda. His statement being based on flimsy circumstantial evidence — not fact.
Mr De Silva must realise that this Association views his fallacious remarks as a serious form of intimidation of Malaysian students. Mr De Silva should in future, 'digest' his facts first before committing himself to such unfounded-cum-fanatic charges.
Further, at the Annual General Meeting of the Association on 15/9/73, the following motion was adopted by the 150 odd members present with only one dissent.
"That this Association deplores the actions of the High Commissioner of Malaysia in respect of his blatant intimidation of Malaysian students studying in New Zealand universities. Further, that the Association fully backs the VUW Students' Association stand relating to the activities of the said party."
In the interest of the Malaysian students represented by this Association, it is only proper that Mr De Silva withdraw or substantiate his statement immediately.
David Tan,President Wellington Malaysia-Singapore Students Association.
Are Blacks Stupid?
Salient publishes articles which create a false impression of the true situation in South Africa. The writers inevitably mistake separate development for racism. If the standard of living of the Africans is lower it is not the result of racial prejudice but is because their lower intelligence has prevented them from developing separately at the same rate as the whites.
Open Letter to the Rt Hon Norman Kirk, Prime Minister of New Zealand
In view of the extremist threats of El Fatah and other Palestinian Freedom Fighters, I would like to know what protection New Zealand will be offering the Israeli athletes at the Commonwealth Games in 1974.
Yours faithfully,A Concerned Student
In reply to Doug Conrad's letter in Salient (Te Ao-Marama) No. 22, who has attacked the small harmless personal shit-stirring letters such as sent in by PUKE. These letters provide a light entertainment in reading our very political centred paper, and good discussions arise from such letters. H. Buchanan has a good point, but if these groups which are supposed to be suppressed, sent in sensible articles they would be published (correct me if I'm wrong eds). Doug Conrad should take more notice of the letter "Not that I'm prejudice", and he would discover that this is the sort of person the campus does not need. Asian students are in this country to study, not to become Kiwis. They find friendship among other Asians. Also there are many "Wog" students, as they were called do integrate. One does not see groups of Italians or Greeks wandering around the campus does one?
A note to the new ed. of Cappicade for '74. As it has been noted by the Publications Board, that Cappicade did not make a large profit. Gyles get your arse into gear and produce a mag that everybody will want to buy, do not drag up yesterday's sick jokes.
English Dept Forum — Reflection on the University
As I sat listening to the goings-on at the English forum last Monday, certain points occurred to me, which seemed to be relevant not only to the English Department but also to other departments. One of these points concerned the way in which English is taught: there is a discipline of English literature which must be taught as a historical sequence from ancient times to the present day.
The majority of graduates in English from VUW end up drifting into teaching careers, there being nothing else for them. Yet what they learn at varsity is of little or no relevance for the teaching of English: at schools they can manage Shakespeare and a certain amount of modern writing only. What school pupil relishes Milton, Pope, Dryden or Swift? Yet this is what students get shoved into them here, rather than being allowed a general course in English, which would include modern writing (something which is not at present taught). But I would suggest that there is a very good reason why we observe this phenomenon..
The basis of the problem is that all the present teachers of English at this university appear to have studied English themselves as a part of the process of historical development. The orthodox approach is to start with Chaucer and end the study of English literature at the year 1900 so why should it not be continued? The graduates of the system are only capable of teaching English as literature according to the same patter, as a process of historical development.
Thus English literature is a continuing study, with the literature being the basis of English leaching from school pupil, to university student, to teacher, who imparts the same material to the pupil to begin the cycle all over again.
Obviously the cycle continues because there is no-one with enough courage to step-in and stop it. English literature continues to be studied, but it achieves nothing: the cycle is rather like the case of a cat chasing its tail — running round in circles and never getting anywhere. But I wonder where else this phenomenon may be observed in this university — the phenomenon of the orthodox approach to a subject being continued, regardless of whether it is realistic or worthwhile, purely because it is the orthodox approach?
There is no doubt that students of economics will be able to recognise an example — Econ 201, a course which with a 60% failure-rate (in 1973) acts as a particularly effective bottleneck for students. The justification for the material in this course is that it is orthodox economics theory — in fact that it produces a patiently unrealistic model on the basis of some ludicrously unrealistic assumptions is not important.
Under these circumstances, is it any surprise that universitites continue to be elite institutions? Courses are taught, for little or no real point, with material that is of little practical significant, purely so that the next generation of teachers will be able, in turn, to teach it to the next generation of students. Some people decline to accept such rubbish, yet it appears as a justification for a sizeable proportion of what passes as education. Acceptance of the orthodox approach can be, in many cases, a precondition of advancement in a subject, yet all too often the orthodox-appraoch is pointless, stupid, irrelevant, or quite devoid of meaningful content.
In reply to Comrade Conrad, the cardboard cut-out hero of the enlightened (sic) minds on campus I would like to point out that he has in fact written a "shit letter" of the type which he has condemned.
Puke is not a "pseudo-intellectual fuck-wits" and I confine my crap to the receptacles provided throughout the university — especially the cafe.
Not being satisfied with this alone, he comes on in his mature paternal tones to level a "personal criticism"at the writers of personal crticism. But I must give my comrade credit for being able to decipher the grammatical "shit" which H.D.B. despliayed all in his letter "Give us a Fair go Mate".
Comrade Conrad is also right about H.D.B.'s letter going further than a moral or Christian outlook, but how far it does go and what it does look at remains a mystery, except to H.D.B. and Comrade Conrad. Perhaps they could enlighten us. Perhaps they are one and the same...... Whata mind-fucker.
New Dance — The Plight of the Individual
Your review of New Dance drifted in here and I thought it was not bad for Salient, it was at least half right. Largish hunks of New Dance were puerile. But having lived with the bastards while doing their publicity I'm still impressed by Jack Body's pieces (and if you missed the first half you missed half of Jack).
Unlike most of the dancers Jack was getting into extremes... exploring human limits if you like. For a bourgeois company that 'destruction and orgy' sequence was a great leap forward (or backwards but SOMEWHERE).
The whole thing was politically blind but Jack Body was having a good look at the plight of the individual. The orgy went a lot further than the Eliot poem you dredged up. Eliot talks of "hollow men, stuffed men" Body removed men altogether. There were only hands, arms, masks, and violence. And if you'd been looking more acutely you'd have noticed that it wasn't an orgy ....when hands touched by accident they recoiled in instant repulsion. Somehow this was a little commentary on the rest of the show.. just like yours but you missed it.
Oh yeah. It would've been nice if other items had, as you put it, "inspired people to enjoy their own and other people's bodies better and more". It was lack of this dimension, rather than lack of content, which was wrong with the show.
And you might forgive a few of the puerile items which, to appease various wealthy donors, were expedients — just the same as the ads for Mobil, Borthwicks, Ford, National Mutual and Shell which Salient published in the pages following your review.
[unclear: Wo]men can't wait for the M[unclear: illenium]
Although not all women are Marxists, all women are women: this may seem self-evident [unclear: b] needs to be pointed out to Peter Wilson. Not all women toe the "Marxist" line where self[unclear: li] clinics are involved. The basic difference between the attitude of the women's movement as whole and the "wait-till-the-revolution" attitude is that, as a white middle-class male, [unclear: Won] can afford to sit back and wait till [unclear: there] revolution. However, women who have unwanted pregnancies right now aren't prepared to wait till the Millenium for their abortions. [unclear: Art] women aren't going to continue to suffer under sexist doctors, state-paid or not, [unclear: u] the revolution arrives, when they could [unclear: beeing] sympathetic pro-women voluntary doctors and helping themselves and each other.
This is what Rothman's visit is about. Women's attitude is typical of male-domina-[unclear: to] political groups that are so caught up in idology that they have shut off their feelings and perception to the suffering of women [unclear: this] is going on right now, under their noses.
Far from 'posing questions of biology [unclear: onf] women's physiology in abstraction from the existing social order', Rothman's orientation is aimed at equipping women with the neessary knowledge and confidence to assert themselves in one of the most oppressive of their social relationships: that between them[unclear: an] the medical welfare system.
This consciousness raising effort operates [unclear: in three] lapping areas. a) The relationship between a woman and her anti-woman doctor; b) Setting up self-help clinics to meet women's medical and psychological needs right now — a revolutionary example; c) The political struggle for state-supplied non-sexist medical walfare services in the context of the ongoing ([unclear: Ie] that word!) struggle for radical social change by the women's movement in general. Perhaps it is because the women's movement [unclear: ngs] directly from the experience and needs of women right now and attempts to answer [unclear: n] on both a short-term and a long-term [unclear: s,] that it has had such far-reaching and [unclear: prfound] effect on women's consciousness ([unclear: Mrxist] or no) in the few years it has been operating.
Although we appreciate that Wilson's "attitude" was "struck" in reponse to Jill Basher's [unclear: lrr], we feel that his reply shows him up to be "[unclear: astracted]" from present social realities, espec[unclear: ia]' where women are concerned. His uncomfortable and premature defence against charges of "male chauvinism" give us some hope that he will eventually see the error of his ways and stop [unclear: tng] to use his position to impede the politices of the women's movement — he can't win!
[unclear: aganist] Peter Wilson"
[unclear: Dibie] Jones & Linda Evans
It is shocking to hear that that crap by the [unclear: rae] of Jack De Silva has the check to claim (Checkpoint, September 11) that he has a better collection of revolutionary literature in [unclear: his] private library than the library in Victoria University. ("It is better than anything you have [unclear: get] in Victoria University, my private library.") [unclear: ould] advise that that come along [unclear: t lave] a look at Rankine Brown before he [unclear: oens] his bloody mouth again, to insult all [unclear: the] staff and students of Victoria University.
[unclear: Jece] Oslen.
Dr. Silva Fried
Talking about Kentucky Fried Chicken, we [unclear: he] a big Malaysian chicken here in Wellington. [unclear: We] else but the High Commissioner Jack De [unclear: Sliva]!
In making stupid accusations about the Mal-[unclear: tan] students here is damn bloody childish [unclear: i] this goes to show how ignorant the Malaysian Government is in sending goons like Jack to NZ
I'm quite sure all Malaysians will agree with [unclear: r] that he is just a 'pain in the arse'. It is good [unclear: read] that Professor Campbell and the Victori [unclear: dass] have strongly criticised such allegation! [unclear: haps] all the Malaysian students all sectors of [unclear: F]W should point out to the Malaysian Government not to send people like Jack De Sil [unclear: afoad] until they have attained political maturity.
What makes him a real chicken is for turning [unclear: dow]n an interview on Gallery. It is typical of [unclear: Maysian] politicians in making incredible [unclear: usations] and chickening out when being [unclear: saurised].
Perhaps he is scared of being 'fried' during [unclear: interviews] on Gallery. That would really be [unclear: nething] to look for — Malaysia's own [unclear: d] chicken!!
Finally, as a Malaysian, I hope that the University would press for an apology by Jack [unclear: Silva] to the foreign powers whom he claimed [unclear: shit]-st irring' the Malaysian students. I, for one, [unclear: d] it hard to believe.
[unclear: M]alaysian Students Forbidden [unclear: to] Talk Politics
Most of the New Zealanders find it hard to understand that why most of the Malaysian [unclear: dents] are passive to the political affairs. They [unclear: dom] take part in any activitites such as dem[unclear: ons] against the Vietnam War, etc. They [unclear: fen] bother to ask why there are MSSA [unclear: MSA] both in a same varsity, each trying [unclear: a] claim to represent the Malaysian students.
To understand this, the New Zealanders [unclear: most] understand that we do not have the same [unclear: edomm] as you Kiwi students have in NZ. Right [unclear: fom] primary school to secondary/high school, we are told that: "Students are not allowed to talk about politic!" Politics are for the poll We are reminded time and time that the task of the students is so study and nothing else. Why keep politics away? Because there are "professional teachers" and "professional students" who go around the schools/universities to collect information of those who criticize the government. If a teacher or students gave some bad comments on the government, then his name will be in the Black List and he will be in great trouble so will be the school. The "security laws" in our country are the most powerful laws in the world. With these "security laws" in hands, they can arrest any one and put into political prison without trial. For how long? God knows!
The New Zealanders may ask now that you are in NZ, you can do what you like, can't you? The answer is no! We are still under the constant "watch" through some of the Malaysian students in Victoria University. Most of the Malaysian students know this damned fact. As can be seen from the recent allegations by the Malaysian High Commissioner, Mr De Silva, on the "Eastern Cultural Concert". This shows us clearly that he, the representative of Malaysian Government can't even tolerate such an entertaining concert, not to mention any political studies, as he told the interviewer in the radio programme "Checkpoint" on last Tuesday night.
Mr De Silva's intimidation on the members of the cast of "Eastern Cultural Concert" is not a surprising move to most of the Malaysian students. When I walked out of the Memorial Theatre after the concert, I had the same question as my Malaysian flatmates had in their minds: "Won't they get into trouble if the High Com knows of it?" I'm greatly moved by the courage and the determination of the students who put on such a concert. I pay great respect to them! For those who smear the "Eastern Cultural Concert", they are just cowards without conscience.
For my awn protection, I remain anonymous.
A Malaysian CP Student
I did not suggest to Prof Geering that 'Marxism is a set of historical predictions' as Bruce Robinson says in his Salient report last week, since I consider that statement to be anti-Marxist. What I suggested was that as society's level of productive activity increased, implying an ever-increasing appropriation of nature, so people's understanding of nature and of society (or themselves) advances. This is, as I understand it, the basis for the Marxist theory of knowledge which asserts that things can only be known in the degree to which they are changed or altered. To know the taste of a pear one must change the pear by biting it. Since productive activity (changing things)is an iron necessity for human society (as opposed to the specifically capitalist form of productive activity) people's knowledge necessarily advances also, thus rendering obsolete older modes of understanding. Dominant among the latter is religion in which human societies have sought refuge from their own lack of self-knowledge and in which they have represented their subordination to blind (because its not understood) necessity — "God's will".
I am still unsure how Professor Geering deduced from these remarks of mine that "what I call capitalism, religious people call sin", as Bruce Robinson correctly reports him as doing. However to equate an historical stage in the development of society-capitalism — with an empty, arbitrary concept like "sin" is patently absurd. The only purpose such a reduction can serve is to bullshit people that capitalism and sin being the same thing and sin being a permanent fact of human existence, therefore capitalism too is a permanent fact of human existence. Would it be unfair or inaccurate to describe this view as reactionary in the extreme?
What the Right is on about
The following passage taken from "The Little White Book" serves to illustrate clearly the capitalists' obsessive fear of commun'sm and readiness to grasp at any excuse to blame the latter for their own failures and frustrations. Note the similarity this stupid statement has with Mr Jack de Silva's recent ravings about subversion....
"At the moment many of you are exposed to a strange influence from the Orient. It can begin with music and colours, bare feet and the way you sit on straw mats, yoga and rice, together with strange words and pictures. But there is much more to it. On the surface it looks like a mild influence, but it is overpowering and often based on a Communist philosophy. This means your thoughts and inner being become bound so you can no longer do what you want. You become pawns in a plot that threatens our country. Some of you have already played so long with the forces of the Orient that you have lost your freedom.
"From the Orient you have learned to become 'tolerant'. From the Orient you have been taught that there are many outlooks on life, many different philosophies and that you should be big enough to contain them all.
"What you have learnt from the Orient is not completely devoid of the truth. But this is the dangerous thing about it."
YoursA Red Malay.
Inflation — A Solution
I am sick and tired of the Labour Government's attempts to try and curb inflation. Under the National Government last year prices rose overall by about 5%, halving the previous year's rate of price increase, thanks to their stabilisation measures. However, even 5% is an excessive rate of price increase.
The Labour Party said that, if elected, they would better the National Party's record in fighting inflation. This was what they promised in November last year. What happened? They got elected, got rid of the National Party's stabilisation system, and attempted to deal with the situation piecemeal, treating the effects, not the cause. Prices are expected to rise by about 15% this year — this is worse than the worst year of the National administration
However, even National was not without fault. In 1970 and 1971, prices rose by about 10% in each year, under National.
This shows that the whole financial system requires reorganising. The system carried out under both of the main parties in NZ today can do nothing to halve price rises, only slow them down a little. In this respect there is very little diference between the parties, except National was a little more succesful than what Labour has been so far.
Monetary reform is required. The use of reserve bank credit, and making use of the special IMF drawing rights will help to stabilise the situation. It's time for a change — a change from inflation to stability — a change to Social Credit.
Yours,Vaughn U. Westmoreland.
Formation of a new Association
Please publish the following urgent matter in Salient as soon as possible.
Notice is hereby given to all students of Victoria University that a meeting to form (Singaporean Students Association) will be held at RB 104 on Friday September 28, commencing at 8pm.
Membership is open to all. Malaysians with leadership potential would be most welcome to serve in this new dynamic Singaporean association. Kiwis would also be welcome to come and
|1)||To cleanse our society of all dirty politics.|
|2)||To foster better relationship between armchair critics of all backgrounds.|
|3)||To combat against apathy, evil and all parasites.|
|4)||To promote Singaporean interests and condemn all anti-Singaporean elements.|
|5)||To encourage the principle that all students should keep short hair.|
|6)||To be the watch-dog of oppressed students against all interfering High Commissioners.|
Special note: This association will only claim to represent its members and not necessarily Singaporeans. Join SSA.
The Logic of the Anti-Abortionists
Anti-abortionists on campus seem to dislike being associated with the most extreme advocate of their views: H.P. Dunn, senior obstetrician and gynaecologist at National Women's Hospital in Auckland. Yet they sell his amazing pamphlet, "What's Wrong With Abortion?" on their literature tables.
For those who have yet to come across this collection of ravings, here is a sample: Dunn says that a consequence of legal abortion is that "The sexual revolution will have finally succeeded. Pregnancy is the only event that stands in the way of complete sexual freedom. At present there it in society a peak incidence of fornication, adultery, divorce, sterilisation, contraception, homosexuality and related perversions. " (My emphasis.)
There are 46 pages of such revelations in this pamphlet. I can warmly recommend it to those who would like some light relief from study. But when you've stopped laughing, please remember the power that this man has over women's bodies, as a gynaecologist, and the influence of his kind in preventing the removal of laws against contraception and abortion.
As I said, Dunn's student allies are embarrassed by his ultra-reactionary views, particularly those on sexual freedom. But I wonder if they are not in fact basically in agreement with him? I am sure that many of those opposed to abortion — even the so-called liberals — see sex outside marriage, or sex for enjoyment, as something wrong for which one should fully expect to be punished. For that reason, they not only abstain from sex themselves (which is their right), but do their utmost to spoil it for others — in particular; by trying to prevent women from freeing themselves from unwanted pregnancies.