Letters

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EMPIRICIST FAILURE

REASON's March 1976 "Spotlight" of Sam Peltzman provides a paradigm of a minor error of libertarian tactics, but one which, until recently, figured very heavily in my own life. Peltzman, like many another of "the Chicago school," suggests that change is best accomplished by 1.) compiling a strong empirical case against some form of state intervention, and then 2.) Working Within The System by means of publicity and political action. Peltzman's interviewer clearly asserts the superiority of the "dollar and sense" approach over a moral argument, and goes so far as to cite Peltzman's collaboration with Hendrik Houthakker and George Hilton on a transportation deregulation proposal as proof of the pudding.

Not quite. For the late great push for deregulation, as it turned out, provided nothing more than an elaborate facade of "reform" while the labor unions and regulatory interests prepared to completely nationalize the railroads. In no small measure is "ConRail"—soon to be our next Post Office—due to the inadequacies of the Chicago school's value-free empiricism.

The empiricist approach suffers a terrible attrition in the political process, a fact I witnessed as a staffer for Congressman James F. Hastings of New York (since retired from public office), who served on the House transportation subcommittee during the creation of the abortive Surface Transportation Act of 1974, and the newly-enacted Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1975. Contrary to Chicago doctrine, politics is a moral arena, something which even most lobbyists implicitly acknowledge by their heavy reliance upon spurious "moral" claims of "need" and "equality." If pragmatists criticize regulation for introducing waste and idleness into industry, the vested interests merely retort that economists are subordinating other claims to "the god of efficiency." If they point out that transport regulation costs Americans upward of $10 billion annually, railroads and truckers will simply quote ICC Chairman George Stafford, who replied "We all recognize that good government costs money." If, indeed, the cost of regulation were its most objectionable feature, the Union Pacific Railroad would not have dared propose a $10-15 billion railroad trust fund financed by a tax surcharge upon freight rates of all transport concerns.

Much of the Chicago argument in transportation was directed at showing regulations' failure to attain stated goals, which predictably lent impetus to regulatory reform rather than deregulation. The old alliance of economists and the U.S. Department of Transportation took a mean turn in the summer of 1975 as the DOT disavowed deregulation and began to forcefully lobby Congress for a new kind of regulation: a Secretary of Transportation wielding huge Federal grants in order to "induce" railroads to run their operations as advised and merge operations where ordered. The economists' ambivalence about antitrust and their marriage of convenience with Naderite consumer groups resulted also in a new control of rail ratemaking which, though it counteracts some of the effects of the overall regulatory cartel, threatens to introduce a regulatory apparatus outstripping any other single function of the ICC. During the closing days of subcommittee markups, when the contradictions of deregulation and antitrust fervor increasingly widened and the proceedings assumed the appearance of a gang-rape, the bill was tagged with amendments such as one prohibiting rate adjustments which would cause any comparative advantage between ports served by a railroad. In the name of eliminating "predatory" competition, the original provision of the economists allowing downward rate flexibility was at one point stricken from the bill altogether (though later restored).

Ultimately, empiricism proved impotent when confronted by politicians' ability to hear everything the economists had to say and still do nothing about it. Rudeness and irrationality are no obstacles where raw power is at stake. When Florida East Coast Railroad president W.L. Thornton appeared before the subcommittee to demonstrate that Penn Central would have earned $387 million profit in 1974 had it eliminated union featherbedding (based upon the intrastate FEC's experience), and concluded with an offer to answer any questions about his extraordinary testimony, Congressman James Florio (D-NJ) smirked a little and, with a whisper, declined—whereupon Chairman Fred Rooney (D-PA) replied that there were no questions, thanked Thornton, and hastened from the room. Subcommittee members and their aides were privy to a similar experience when Rooney's staff counsel began a closed meeting held late in the markups by presenting a list of issues that had to be resolved before reporting the bill to full committee. Evidently overwhelmed by anxiety that the rail bill utterly failed to address the real problems of transportation, Rooney's young lawyer in the following 15 minutes virtually cried out a fierce plea for deregulation. Afterwards, Rooney and the other congressmen present rushed to "agree," and then ignored what had been said.

So perhaps REASON praises Sam Peltzman and his compatriots for the wrong thing. In transportation, at least, the most than can be said for their work is that it has heightened our awareness of just how far the state will go in defiance of reason, and provided conclusive empirical evidence that The System relies not upon public sentiment, mistaken belief, or economic ignorance, but upon plain raw force. If this awareness is all that is to be won during the short-run, then argument from principles a la Lysander Spooner would appear to be a far more efficient method of advancing that goal.

William D. Burt
Cuba, NY

CONGRATULATIONS

I just wanted to drop you a note to congratulate you on the continuing progress of REASON. Your December, February and March issues were all outstanding, and over the past year or so, the magazine has attained true professional stature.

There is no question in my mind that REASON is one of the libertarian movement's two real successes to date—the other, of course, being the Libertarian Party. Having watched countless dozens of organizations come and go over the past nine years, while seeing others barely sputtering along, I am very much impressed with REASON's performance. And I don't impress easily, as you know!

You, and all who have worked with you, are to be congratulated on your skills and dedication, for your achievement has been a most significant one. Keep it up!

David F. Nolan
Denver, CO

(Mr. Nolan was the principal founder of the Libertarian Party. —Ed.)

GUILT BY ASSOCIATION

The other day in the Berkeley Public Library I was perusing recent back issues of American Mercury magazine. Originally a highbrow muckraking journal founded by Mencken and Nathan, it has indeed fallen upon sad times. Apparently, it has passed, through a succession of owners, into the hands of anti-semitic, anti-black, "Christian Nationalist" neo-nazis. I won't nauseate you with the details, but to give you an example—they eulogize Otto Skorzeny, who, in WWII as head of 22,000 SS commandos, rescued Mussolini from his captors.

What shocked me even more was that two of your contributors to the special issue on historical revisionism [February] are also associated with American Mercury. James J. Martin has about half a dozen articles in the last couple of years, and Austin App is listed as contributing editor. That these people should lend the prestige of their names to such a questionable rag indicates lack of judgement and bad values. That REASON should see fit to draw upon them as contributors shows bad taste in the extreme. Also, who the hell is Steve Springer?

We must not allow the libertarian movement to be tainted by the infiltration of apparent nazi influences. What happened to our much vaunted concern for public relations—which was the excuse for the exclusion of a homosexual and a tax evader from the national LP ticket? Where are we going, anyway?

Kevin Bjornsson
Berkeley, CA

DR. MARTIN replies: I do not intend to do any abject crawling or indulge in any other guilt-posturing before Mr. Bjornsson for being published in the Mercury than for having been published in a couple dozen other papers and magazines. If no one else would publish my historical pieces, that is not a reflection on me. When I write history I expect it to be judged on its merits, not by some self-appointed political censor's private opinion of the "respectability" of its publication auspices. In my two decades of association with Harry Elmer Barnes, I learned not to reject any court of last resort in getting published as an alternative to being rendered mute. So I do not care whether my material is issued by the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Anti-Saloon League, or the Communist Party, as long as there is no editorial tampering with my material. And the Mercury editors have been scrupulously correct in avoiding any activity of that sort. I also have written things no one would print, and those I have published myself. And I have other material I will self-publish in the future. If the Russians can make recourse to samizdat and be praised for it, at least I can also go that route, though personal satisfaction, not the huzzas of a distant Establishment, is my objective.

Though several non-subscriber readers of the Mercury who hold what I have always considered impeccable libertarian credentials have praised one or more of my Mercury articles, the only communication I have ever received from a subscriber mildly complained that in one of my articles I was serving as a transmission belt for the Communist line! How do you like them apples, Mr. Bjornsson? Care to join hands with him? Or others? I can get you in touch with opposition to my views from across the entire political spectrum. Inferring from the total silence of its subscribers, it would seem to me that if Mr. Bjornsson does not like my Mercury pieces, he has for company the entire subscription list of that magazine.

As for Mr. Bjornsson's clumsy and reptilian guilt-by-association baiting, I am far too busy to get ambushed into lengthy word-jousting about that. I have been hit by the poisoned arrows of the likes of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. and Carey McWilliams on the liberal left and the editorial menage of the NATIONAL REVIEW and the Philadelphia Society (before which I was characterized contemptuously as a 'vulgar Marxist') on the right; compared to them, Mr. Bjornsson is simply a frenetic amateur. When I have a yearning to read guilt-by-association prose of his sort, I prefer checking a file of 40-year-old Stalinist papers, since that art form was brought to a fine edge in them at least that long ago. From this performance, it seems to me that Mr. Bjornsson has a lengthy period of preparation ahead of him before he competes in fast company for the championship in the long-distance garbage throw. —J.J.M.

REVISIONIST QUESTIONS

I found your revisionist history issue most interesting and informative. So interesting, in fact, that I cannot refrain from a few comments.

William Marina's "U.S. Interventions: Aberrations or Empire?" states that "One way to approach the question of whether American interventions have been 'aberrations' or part of a growth of empire, is to compare that other 'great aberration', the intervention in the Philippines beginning in 1898, with what is known about the involvement in Vietnam. If the same pattern of governmental deception, lies, and brutalization of American soldiers and the native population is evident, then it would appear difficult to continue to hold the 'aberrationist' thesis." This is illogical, however. That two episodes in the history of American foreign policy show many similarities does not imply that the two episodes are typical of that foreign policy. It remains a logical possibility that they are simply two instances of the same type of aberration.

Incidentally, regarding American policy toward Cuba upon conclusion of the Spanish-American War, Marina does not mention that the Spanish peace mission formally requested that the United States annex Cuba, to ensure protection of Spanish lives and property there (The History of Cuba, Willis F. Johnson, referred to by Mario Lazo in Dagger in the Heart). This annexation, as we know, the United States did not agree to.

Alan Fairgate's survey of "Non-Marxist Theories of Imperialism" greatly surprised me by its omissions more than anything else. He cited the contributions of Schumpeter's "Imperialism," which "focused especially on the role of protectionism in facilitating the formation of cartels and trusts" and on how "Protectionism and 'dumping' intensify the conflict of interest among nations and precipitate a process of forcible expansion abroad." He lauds "U.S. isolationists of the Old Right" for "their…recognition, at least on an implicit level, that…domestic and foreign policies are related and that one cannot understand interventionism abroad without reference to the domestic economy." Though he advises us that his is a "brief and highly selective survey," it is still surprising that one who evinces an admiration for Austrian economic theory should not mention the writings of Ludwig von Mises on imperialism. Mises recognizes explicitly the relation between domestic interventionism and protectionism and foreign expansionism in Omnipotent Government, and elucidates it with a study of the case of Germany. In Planned Chaos, too, he deals with the expansionism of Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, and Communist Russia.

In "The Sudeten-German Tragedy", Austin J. App implies that cession of Danzig and the "Polish corridor" to Hitler would have been "wise and just." Mises, however, contends that "When the Treaty of Versailles renewed Poland's independence and restored the provinces of Posen and of West Prussia to Poland, it did not give a corridor to Poland. It simply undid the effects of earlier Prussian (not German) conquests;" that the corridor's "mainly non-German-speaking population was decidedly opposed to German rule;" and that "They returned Polish members to the German Reichstag and they were anxious to preserve their Polish idiom and their allegiance to Polish traditions. For fifty years they resisted every endeavor of the Prussian Government to germanize them." (Omnipotent Government, pp. 212-13)

App refers to the Anschluss as Austrians having been "allowed to join Germany in 1937″ (emphasis mine). Mises, a native Austrian, characterizes it, however, as "the violent annexation of Austria" and states plainly, "Hitler invaded Austria." (Omnipotent Government, p. 191)

Matthew Krogdahl
Brooklyn, NY

MIDNIGHT MONEY

Dr. Gary North's money analysis column in the March, 1976 REASON (p. 29) stating an increase in cash in public hands is basically deflationary (i.e., results in an overall reduction in the amount of money by reducing member bank checking deposits), is a correct statement of cause and effect if, and only if, the Federal Reserve System operating personnel take no actions to off-set such charges to member bank reserves due to the increase in currency in public hands. In fact, his statement is generally incorrect, since in usual actions, Federal Reserve System personnel do in fact "off-set" charges due to increased currency in public hands, usually by means of open market operations, the buying of U.S. Treasury securities, which amounts are credited dollar for dollar to member bank reserve accounts.

That this is basically so can be readily seen by comparing the general overall changes in currency in public hands with the total of Federal Reserve Credit over the 15 year period. From December, 1960, through December, 1975, currency in public hands increased from $29.0 billion in December, 1960, to a "corrected" level of $96.3 billion in December, 1975.

The various factors affecting member bank reserves, and thus the overall amount of money and credit in the United States, is given by the so-called Bank Reserve Equation relationship. "Member bank reserves and all of the factors that affect their volume can be combined into a bank reserve equation. In this equation,…factors supplying member bank reserve funds are set opposite factors absorbing such funds. The various factors come from the combined balance sheet of the Federal Reserve Banks and partly from the Treasury's account. Together they reflect the numerous forces in the country's economic life that affect the activities of the banking system.…Over the longer run, the major factors affecting member bank reserves are Federal Reserve Credit, the monetary gold stock, and currency in circulation." (The Federal Reserve System: Purposes and Functions. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, D.C. 1963. p. 199).

One of the basic purposes of the founding of the Federal Reserve System was to provide an "elastic currency" for the United States, and which can presently be taken to mean for the present time that no appreciable decline in the overall amount of money and credit will be allowed by its governing personnel. And, though some analysts would argue the point, the evidence is overwhelming that the governing personnel have ample power to control the overall amount of money and credit with respect to trend, either up or down.

Finally, the point needs to be stated absolutely, unequivocally, and as forcefully and widely as possible until everyone believes and understands the point. Wage and price controls produce absolutely no economic benefit, either direct or indirect, but by distorting the pricing structure (the basis of efficient use of available resources), make economic want satisfaction more difficult to achieve, if in fact a comparable level of production can be achieved at all under such wage and price controls.

Ronald L. Muzzy
Huntington Beach, CA

DR. NORTH replies: Mr. Muzzy, sadly, seems unfamiliar with the most fundamental concept of economics. I do not refer to the division of labor or to marginal utility. I refer to ceteris paribus, "other things being equal." In practice, economists translate this into the phrase, "hold everything steady while we revise the data." Without ceteris paribus, economists would become responsible for making accurate predictions about the future. With ceteris paribus, economists always make accurate predictions, so long as every factor is held constant. Obviously, ceteris paribus is what keeps the economics profession from degenerating into something mundane and less rewarding financially, like political science or even journalism. (The second most important concept in economics is "the long run." It is employed when other things have become so unequal that even the journalists catch on. When nothing else will restore order, "in the long run" is always employed.)

Therefore, I can say without reservation that ceteris paribus, the decision of black market participants to convert checkbook money to cash—midnight money—will reduce the money supply. It is a rational market response to government policies that would have otherwise made affairs far worse. Federal Reserve officials on the Open Market Committee could attempt to counteract midnight money's deflationary effects, but these policies might only take effect in the long run.

My argument is not really far-fetched. U.S. Financial Data (Feb. 18, 1976), a publication of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, presents evidence that the public did thwart Fed policies in 1975. While Arthur Burns kept promising an expansion in M1 of 5 percent to 7.5 percent, the public added to its holdings of currency by 8.8 percent, reducing the effects of the Open Market Committee's pumping up of the monetary base. The Fed pumped the monetary base by 7 percent, but in the last two months of 1975 and through January, the public actually decreased its holdings of checkbook money by 0.4 percent. The money supply (M1) therefore only grew in these months by about 2 percent. Black market transactions presumably would decelerate M1 even further, creating even more planning problems for the Open Market Committee's inflationists.

In short, my ceteris paribus will defeat Mr. Muzzy's omnipotent Federal Reserve bureaucrats, but probably only in the short run. Price controls can, both in theory and in practice, reduce monetary inflation. They do so by forcing otherwise complacent citizens onto the "alternative zones of supply" where fractional reserve banking is less likely because the government will not be regulating the midnight banking system, should it even come into existence. Atlas shrugs earlier. But in the long run, the inflationists and controllers will probably win; that is, they will destroy the official markets. The alternative markets will then be the pockets of economic rationality. Hey, buddy, can you spare a pre-1965 dime? —G.N.

LIBERTARIANS AND POWER

I am a recent subscriber to your interesting magazine, but, as yet, not a convert to the libertarian movement. One little phrase bothers me, "—except to protect one against fraud and his rights as an individual." (Perhaps I have not stated this subordinate appendage accurately.)

You seem to be spending most of your energy on the first part of this statement, "No government, except—", and you seem to gloss over the last part as being of little importance.

I have the feeling that if one ever got a libertarian society working so much effort would have to be spent on this little exception that you could easily end up with a horrendous, lopsided monster equal to any of the government-ridden societies we've got now.

Your thinking seems to reflect a misconception very common in our society—that one does monstrous things largely for money. We read of some dictator gotten completely out of hand, and the average person conjures up a picture in his mind of a man making fantastic piles of money from rake-offs, of bleeding the people white so he can keep harems of expensive blondes going, of living in gold lined rooms, yachts, villas and private islands.

When the dictator is finally ousted such a person won't believe it when the overthrowers reveal the monster lived in Spartan simplicity. Apparently the average person cannot understand that "power mania" is far more prevalent than money mania and much more destructive.

Just how are libertarians going to curb this power urge? How are you going to stop a monster who doesn't want money but the power to make huge masses tremble, who will spend every possible mental effort to think up the most convoluted schemes to get his thumb behind the masses' eyeball?

Also the libertarians seem to picture a typical employer as getting up at the crack of dawn, working without break until dark so he can make money. Unfortunately I have worked for employers who got going at dawn, etc., but not to make money. They did it because of a sadistic urge to push the employees around—the longer the hours, the more they had to cringe. Just as unfortunately, the employees seemed to have no idea how to get out from this monster, but blindly came back day after day for more of the same, in many cases not even looking to a labor boss or Marxist Utopian scheme for salvation. Just how are the libertarians going to straighten out this knotty problem?

I prefer to follow Andre Gide's advice. Never join anything. In every movement there is always some little clause you can't agree with.

I certainly admire your adventurous thinking, your intelligent articles, and your courage.

William Black
Auburn, WA

FREE WILL

I've seen a lot of argument back and forth lately on the issue of "free will" or "personal sovereignty," both in relation to "The Rape of the Black Mind" [January 1975] and the more recent article by Dr. Breggin on voluntary psychiatry [September].

It seems to me a lot of these articles, and the letters inspired by them, miss a very obvious point: they seem to assume that "free will" is either something humans are born with—or something they don't have at all. It doesn't seem to occur to them that it might be something that is developed.

Humans are born with the capacity for speech, but they must still be taught to speak. Humans are born with the capacity for locomotion, but they must be taught how to walk. Humans are born with the capacity for free will, but they have to be taught how to think.

Now the purists may think this is "deterministic"—but it isn't. Once you learn how to speak, you can say anything you want—being taught how to speak isn't the same as being taught what to speak. Being taught how to walk isn't the same as being taught where to walk. And being taught how to think isn't the same as being taught what to think.

But here's the rub: learning to think, to exercise free will, is a lot more difficult than learning to walk, or even to speak—and a bad environment can stunt the development of the natural capacity for free will. Some people in bad environments never learn to even speak very articulately. But this doesn't mean free will doesn't exist, even in the slums—it's just that its exercise is limited: a mugger, I suppose, exercises "free will," but only to the extent of deciding whether to work Times Square or Greenwich Village on a particular day.

Colin Wilson, in one of his books, mentions that his parents were victimized time and again by an incompetent doctor—but never went to another doctor because it simply never occurred to them to do so. Free will is largely tied to freedom of imagination; we have to imagine ourselves being able to do things before we can actually do them. People who escape bad environments usually do so, not through material circumstances, but because they believe they can.

As far as experimenters like Delgado are concerned, free will purists seem unduly alarmed at the "philosophical" implications of such work—as opposed to what might well be the evil intentions of experimenters. Sure you can put a box in a person's brain, and control him by radio—but that doesn't disprove free will, any more than cutting his tongue out would "prove" humans can't speak, or breaking his legs that humans can't walk. If free will weren't normal, experimenters and dictators would not have to resort to such difficult techniques of mind-control and brainwashing.

As a matter of ethics, we must always assume the capacity for free will, even in the most "deprived" individuals—in order to encourage development of that capacity, however stunted. We don't have to assume the black whose mind has been raped, or the mental patient whose mind has succumbed to the pressures of what he considers an intolerable environment, are actually "free" to the extent that others facing fewer obstacles are—but we do have to assume that the capacity is sacred, and treat them as if they were capable of exercising it. That way, perhaps they one day will.

If we understand the true nature of free will as a capacity in all humans that must be developed, rather than a fully-developed capacity we are born with, then we can speak realistically about both free will and environment—and arguments like the one over whether the "black mind" can be "raped" can be seen largely as the result of confusion about the nature of "free will" and environment.

John J. Pierce
Dover, NJ

RETALIATION, REVISITED

My heartfelt apologies to Mike Dunn for helping to cause him such an exasperating experience ["Letters," Feb.]. Morgan Norval should feel even more ashamed, for his puissant polemic must have wrought immeasurable grief on our gentle friend. The mere fact that Norval's essay is one of the most clear and cogent full-length articles I have ever seen does little to mitigate the damage done. We simply have no business upsetting more civilized libertarians that way.

I want to take this opportunity to tell about my miraculous remission, inspired by Mike Dunn. His letter was most illuminating and transmogrifying. For example, I had completely overlooked the possibility that I was 200 years too late, and that my fellow Americans have meanwhile evolved to a higher, more docile state. Why had I remained untempered by the American experience? In this our bicentennial year, I now feel a special sense of shame for having walked amongst those barbaric insurrectionist philistines who try to shoot their enemies in spite of all Jesus taught us.

I must cavil, however, with one small innuendo in Dunn's otherwise brilliant exegesis. The subject of my dangerously insane whimsies was not the bumbling IRS clerk or the mail sorter, but the type of public-spirited individual (or his principal) who comes around to relieve me of my automobile or to levy a mild discipline for improper working attire. Had I been thinking of some wretched Philbert Desenex, not meaning any harm, just sweating it out at the office for a querulous spouse and refractory brats, I might have argued more convincingly from the basis of euthanasia rather than criminal justice.

But all that is passé. I now beg forgiveness for my erstwhile guerrilla tendencies, and promise to deal only in the spiritual value line. Whenever reproved for naughtiness by an oshacrat or tax collector, I shall assume the posture of a submissive mandrill.

Robert Miller
Bozeman, MT

ON SPECIAL ISSUES

I really feel I must criticize your February 1976 issue: not its content, which was outstanding in quality, but the very idea of "Special Issues" limited to single aspects of libertarianism.

Not too long ago, an acquaintance asked me to give him an issue of a libertarian periodical, to serve as a general introduction to the field. I looked over all my recent issues of REASON but did not find one that could fill the bill. All the articles on free market economics were in one issue; on revisionism, in another; on psychology, in still another; and so on. You would have done better to shuffle these together.

Taras V. Wolansky
Thiells, NY

FOREIGN POLICY AND WAR

Congratulations to the editors of REASON for compiling the special revisionism issue, surely the most important issue of the past year. In the absence of scrupulous scholarship concerning the origins of war, it is both difficult and frustrating to maintain an isolationist position when confronted with the volumes of doctored, jingoistic history used to justify past military adventures.

With the appearance of these researches, libertarians can wield their arguments with greater power—fortified by the understanding that the horrors of the century never were "inevitable". We are in a position to condemn the Spanish-American War for the imperialistic adventure it was. So also with the shameful entry into World War I…which planted the seeds for World War II, which also could have been ameliorated. Not to mention the specious anti-communist adventures conducted in the years following.

But one point deserves special emphasis. Greaves and Bartlett clearly reveal the infamy of FDR and Secretary Stimson in their provocation of the war with Japan; no less is the infamy connected with the end of the war with Japan. It must be mentioned that the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were ruthlessly obliterated with a terror weapon of unprecedented magnitude: the atomic bomb. A research into the history of the Manhattan Project indicates that Stimson once again exerted his influence, this time to suppress or obscure the petition of the atomic scientists that the bomb not be used on civilian targets. The need to drop the bombs seems also motivated by Truman's desire to impress Stalin, rather than from any rational military concern.

A weapon that withers the flesh away in a split second, reducing people to faint shadows on pavement and rending buildings into dust and slag—surely this is a monumental atrocity! No libertarian ought to participate in the on-going apology for the use of that weapon. We should loudly repudiate the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as an act of evil, and speak out against the continuing development of advanced offensive nuclear armament.

More than ever before, the outrageous charade of "nuclear strategy" needs to be should be the opening point for a forth-exposed and discredited. Rather than be intimidated by the military's endless assertions that "parity" is needful to stave off atomic attack, we should begin to utter a seditious protest against the accumulation of this terrible destructive energy. Nuclear war is tantamount to the annihilation of our entire society (or of the Russians')—a price in excess of any "victory" that could be imagined. It is not evident that the parity theory is our only option; we have only been intimidated into thinking it so.

The lesson of revisionism is that our past disasters were avoidable, and that the loss of life and resources could have been significantly minimized. We should be inspired by this lesson to begin searching for a way out of the most oppressive situation in world history: the on-going psychological "cold" war that brandishes weapons of unthinkable potency. This coming elaboration of libertarian theory in the area of foreign policy and military strategy.

Mike Dunn
Santa Barbara, CA

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