Benjamin Spock speaking at Augsburg College. Address was in honor of the Minnesota 8, sponsored by the Minnesota 8 Defense Committee. Topics of Spock’s address were on politics, social injustice, environment, and health.
Spock’s speech was initially interrupted by women right’s protesters, reading excerpts from his book that the protesters viewed as marginalizing women.
Read the Text Transcription of the Audio.
Dr. Benjamin Spock spoke on Friday, February 19th at syme LB Hall on the campus of Augsburg College in Minneapolis The doctor had just gotten to the stage when he was upstaged by a group of feminists who preempted his talk we quote from. Dr. Spock's latest book decent and indecent published in 1970 quote women on the average have more passivity in the inborn core of their personality quote a girl is not as apt as a boy to become fascinated or particularly interested in such abstract subjects as math and later physics and love her deep confidence that she will bear children leaves her in the average case less preoccupied than the boy with trying to become great artists inventor. I think that when women are encouraged to become competitive too many of them become disagreeable quote. Okay, quote men have the ability to analyze a problem. That is how they become more often than women inventors discovers Builders uncurl this This reinforces The Stereotype that women are emotional and men are rational quote. More women wanting to go to work will continue they have every right to do. So as long as the children's emotional needs are thoughtfully met unquote this totally ignores man's ability and responsibility to develop the skills to fulfill. These needs quote women are usually more patient as an exciting rabbit repetitive tasks quote. These qualities make women indispensable as wives mothers nurses and secretaries unquote how convenient that these are ideas of woman's nature fit. So remarkably the common Prejudice and serve men industry and commerce. So well, we expend - felt it necessary to react to dr. Spock's. Here tonight because he an outstanding advocate of the status quo with regards to women's traditional role in our society in this respect. He is not even a liberal. He is the reactionary. Dr. Spock acknowledges that innate differences between males and females are impossible to determine but those aren't you treat all the differences in parent and our society is being in a institutional and inevitable. I believe I have time to speak here. I'd like to finish it is certainly true that different traits will be inevitable as long as dr. Spock in the status quo continue to treat them as preordained truths of human nature. If the peace movement is truly concerned with ending the domination of All Peoples. It is imperative to go to the root causes of these ills and confront the day-to-day aggression of the male 6 over the female 6, which dr. Spock passes off. So easily As Natural needing only to be controlled we do not accept the popular definitions of what is masculine or feminine. It will be necessary for men to change their destructive. Right here in their own lives and homes before they have the right to denounce National domination. We can no longer allow people like dr. Spock to speak of a man's need to be in control and in authority over women as acceptable social behavior. This condones in our society very values, which the peace movement claims to denounce. We do not recognize dr. Spock as a legitimate spokesman against a war which is the natural extension of the sexual domination. He defends Mock's back a choral reading sponsored by feminists throughout the world. The doctor speaks women are usually more patient in working it an exciting tasks. The doctor speaks women on the average have more passivity in the inborn color of their personality. The doctor speaks, I believe women are designed in their deeper instincts to get more out of life when they are not aggressive. I think that the when women are encouraged to be in competitive too many of them become disagreeable a boy should know that his father enjoys his company in a special way because they can talk about cars carpentry or Sports. The doctor speaks a girl needs from her father compliments on the attractiveness of her appearance in her skill in feminine occupation particularly in her thoughtfulness and helpfulness. Which is hexed you've heard and Spock Proclaim our Praises in Slippery liberal fragile and phrases were lovely mother's loving wife. He knows just how to live He's another man to give us blues because we're still not free to choose serving his whims has become a bore. We've been aired girl nursemaid mother a whore. The girls are walking out the doctor is joining in the Applause. later on behalf of the Minnesota 8 defense committee. I would like to introduce dr. Spock and welcome him back to Minnesota. Dr. Spock's still is concerned about his children and he has come here tonight to lend his comfort and to support some of them. Thank you. I ought to at least explain myself a little after the demonstration. I thought it was a very well organized demonstration. I think they had some very good points. Let me confess that I wrote that part of decent and indecent between three and four years ago when women's lib and what it stands for was hardly visible on the Horizon but I think I should have obviously in retrospect at least done more revising before it was handed in to the Republic for about a year and a half ago. I think the main thing the main thing. I should I think also say partly and certainly at least an unconscious sexist in having assumed like all but everybody did up until a few years ago that men that women would take the larger part of the child care. Obviously. This is a Prejudice but a Prejudice based on what's happened everywhere in the past, but I agree that that is a Prejudice and that should not hold any longer. I think the main thing I would say in self-defense is that they have cost selected the things that I said that would that would seem to limit women's role but actually in other parts of that chapter I said women should be able to do any kind of work that's available that they want to do that. They should be equally trained that they should get equal pay and I should also say that those aren't just words that Two of the most important jobs. I've had in my career where I served under women bosses. So I think that it's not just that I have words about the women should be able to get anywhere but I think I was able to live that kind of career and was very happy and proud to serve under those women. So I don't think that it's quite fair to imply that I think women should only be held down. I think also if anybody wants to old stuff now look into that chapter that unfortunate first half of chapter 2 in that book, they'll see that most of the criticism is the characteristics of males because what this book is about is not just chitchat the book is about how are we going to save us selves? And what I spent a great deal of space on was the in the unfortunate impulse of Men to save face first or they hit first and then find out the the right and wrong of a situation afterwards the pathetic need to prove virility that shows in so many aspects of male Behavior. Well, anyway, I'm not trying to beg off altogether. I think that I was wrong and some of the things that I said, I obviously carried over prejudices from the past as most of us have I hope that I'm willing to learn I would only say finally that for the last three months. I've been revising the first half of chapter 2 of decent an indecent especially before it came out in paperback where it might be brought by students and I think God I think I'd cleaned it up considerably only time will say whether it's clean enough to pass muster. Anyway, I agree that women won't get their just deserts women won't get equal pay equal opportunity to promotion until they protest and protest vigorously. That's what we found in every other aspect of Modern Life That's wrong people aren't going to give you things until you show that you're going to insist and keep on insisting. So I agree entirely that the should be women's Liberation and that it should that it should be vigorous very militant and it's assertion of Rights and it's only after these assertions have been made and rights granted and new ways of living including within the home tried out that we will be able to come to conclusions later about whether there's anything inherent about these differences that I was so casually talking about or whether they were all imposed by Society. Society well, we should get on then to not get on now to dissent and social change. I don't I think that dissent is extremely important. I think that our country is sliding toward disaster internally and we're going to continue to be on the edge of nuclear war in our external relations until we get drastic change in all the attitudes of majority of our people and I'm afraid that's going to take a long time. I think until that time comes descent is going to be a very prominent feature of American life and it's good for us to stop from time to time and Review dissenting how far do we feel entitled to go with what means over what issues? I found myself in the last three years that I've changed considerably every three months so that it's no good to change to come to conclusions about the scent. There's no need of there's no you can't think that that you've solved it forever. At least. I can't I keep changing finding it necessary to become a more radical as you know, why I've been reproached by people like Spiro Agnew and before him Reverend Norman Vincent Peale for corrupting the youth It would be I would be proud if I were responsible for some of the great changes that the demand for a better world the idealism that makes young people willing to spend to devote more of their lives to working for Humanity rather than just for salary and advancement. I'm not trying to tell anybody here how far to descend I'm only saying let's talk about some of the aspects of or angles of dissent and then after awhile, let's get to some good discussion. I hope that when we first get to it that will be some of the people who sharply disagree with me who get most vigorously into the discussion. In other words. I don't want wishy-washy discussion. I would like good peppery discussion. I first of course have to Mention the issue of Iraq, which I got it dissenting and got into a little trouble about it the war in Vietnam because I think it's a very good example of how wrong a society a nation can come in its aims and how absolutely essential it is for those who consider the nation wrong to dissent. I believe that the United States was never invited into Vietnam by anybody except our own puppets begged us not to go because they knew they'd be put to death if we didn't stay around to protect them and I believe that we didn't go there as a result of any treaty obligation. There are presidents keep referring vaguely to this. There is no treaty obligation under which were in Vietnam. We went there as a power grab because our government under Eisenhower and John Foster Dulles in 1954. There was a chance of are succeeding in controlling South Vietnam the way the French failed we promised first after the defeat of the French and their eight-year War to reimpose Colonial control. We agreed first to abide by the peace treaty the Geneva accords which specified no foreign interference can't read only to be temporarily divided not for political purposes and within two years 1956 there was to be a nationwide election in which the people were to be entitled to be reunited and choose a government of their choice in our own President. Eisenhower said everybody that he consulted on southeast Asia agreed that 8 if we had allowed the the election to be held that we promised not to interfere with eighty percent of the people would vote. It would have voted for Ho Chi Minh the hero of up North and South Vietnam, we found our first Step Up it in the United States transported him. His name was GM transported him to Vietnam and set him up in the puppet business and we might have gotten away with it. If you hadn't turned out to be one of the most tactless arrogant paranoid leaders of modern time that absolute laid Grove is people that to despair. He canceled the election. He canceled a village elections. He took the land away from The Peasants among whom Ho Chi Minh a divided and and took it back from The Peasants and gave it back to the absentee landlords the upper class landowning people. He filled the Jail's to overflowing and I had people tortured and put to death and eventually the six years after we installed our man the Vietnamese people so despaired of Ever Getting Justice that they started the Vietcong a Revolt in 1960. That was our first day legality. We had no damn. Business being there. We broke a sacred promise to abide by the Geneva accords in moving in there. And after the fighting broke out our president, then Kennedy should have according to our promises to the UN submitted this threat to the peace to the UN, but as is characteristic of our country, it only submits to the UN those disputes in which it's pretty sure that it can embarrass the other side and keeps out of the UN those disputes in which it might be it has the muscle to do so in which it might be embarrassed. So that's the second year legality. We broke our promise to the UN then Johnson. Got himself elected in 1964 on a promise not to escalate the war send Americans to fight there and as some of you may know I'm just as ashamed as about that second chapter in decent and indecent I campaigned in 64 very actively on radio and television for Lyndon Johnson so much so they called me up two days after the election to thank me. And then he said in this voice that sounded so humble though you and I know now there was not a scrap of humility and Lyndon Johnson. He said dr. Spock. I hope I will be worthy of your trust and I who had no idea yet that he was going to betray us said. Oh President Johnson. I'm sure you'll be worthy of our trust and it was only three months later that he betrayed millions of us and made a monkey out of me and some of the other people who care Paying for him that in doing so he broke his promise to abide by the Constitution of the United States, which says only Congress can declare war. He said the Tonkin Gulf resolution woodsy equivalent of war was the equivalent of a declaration of war but the Senate Foreign Relations Committee under Fulbright eventually found that he committed fraud and getting this resolution out of Congress. He said there was uncover VOC to tack up by the naval forces of North Vietnam and the naval forces of the United States knee asked for authorization to repeal searching unprovoked aggression in the future. Well the records of the Navy department when us Fulbright, finally gotten two and a half years later showed that the United States Navy had equipped trained a Saigon Naval Force which on that first week of August 1964 was making unprovoked attacks on Harbor installations of North Vietnam with not only the full knowledge of the United States Navy, but the act of cooperation of the United States Navy then our country unable to make any progress in spite of the fact that we in the Saigon forces had a six to one numerical superiority and troops total air superiority and considerable conventional weapon superiority unable to make any progress basically because all the people who had guts and patriotism were on the other side the people on our side of the same Mandarin class Vietnamese who fought on the side of the French when they have the Vietnamese were fighting for their independence the landowning people who know that if we stay they can have their economic privileges, but that if we go their land will be taken away from them and distributed and that's why they're fighting on the side. Of a foreign invader then our country takes to wholesale violations of the laws of warfare. We began poisoning crops wholesale to try to stop the people into submission. This is forbidden by international law. We began destroying dwellings by the torch by the bulldozer and by bombing and this is forbidden by international law and we remove the people from their homes in the graves of their ancestors and put them in what amount to concentration camps in the hundreds of thousands and this is forbidden by international law, but this adds up to is not a slightly immoral War a slightly illegal War. It's one of the dirtiest rules that's ever been fought in the history of mankind and I think that our government has a nerve saying that such people as the Minnesota Aid in the Boston 5 and all the young men have gone to jail for reproof you for refusing to participate in such Dirty Work the government says weird Criminals and all we've been doing is pointing out that the war is totally wrong. There's not the slightest legal justification and the young man and the older men call attention to the Geneva II to the Nuremberg principle. That's the principle by which we put to death Germans and Japanese as war criminals and in their trials they set with the they said all we were doing was obeying the orders of our superiors and you know, our American judges French judges British judge has said that's no excuse. If you knew you were being asked to commit crimes against humanity. You're not only permitted you're obligated to refuse to obey those orders and our government our courts refused to even allow this to be mentioned in the courtroom. This is there's no precedent for it. So our young men go to jail. For doing what our judges said in the Nuremberg principle any any citizen young citizens of a country should and are obligated to do. I'd like to drop the war in Vietnam for a minute and go on to some other examples of this of. The question of dissent and I'd like to mention next what is this law that the establishment types are always invoking when young men resist the draft when people march on the Pentagon and a demonstration of go to Chicago to demonstrate Orphan Black people in their desperation get rioting The Establishment types insist Law and Order must be restored at all costs. Well a very interesting article I thought comforting to me was written by a professor sacks of the University of Michigan law school a couple of years ago who points out the law isn't quite as neat. It isn't a nice integrated circuit integrated circle of laws the way the establishment types would have you believe he says remember only a small minority of the laws are being enforced at any one time and it's purely the discretion of the prosecutor of the policemen who happens to be offended by somebody's Behavior, then he arrest the person or prosecutes them and finds a law to invoke but other times other groups who don't happen to offend the police and sacks gives the example of American Legion ears at a convention get away with murder the sort of thing that young men if they Tried for five minutes would be pinched immediately clubbed and put into jail sacks also makes the point that there are tens of thousands of laws a majority of which conflict with other laws in the United States. You often have to if you got determination in your belief that you're right and if you've got money I should have to mention that she needs some money too. It's one of the things that I've learned in this last few years Justice is not blind giving equal justice and absolute Justice to everybody. You got to have a good lawyer or a whole batch of good lawyers. If you're going to get Justice out of the courts and this takes a lot of money. I was let me just for contrast. I asked today how much money has been raised for the Minnesota 8 and they said in the neighborhood of $9,000 and I remember my own trial. I was one of five my own personal This is what $80,000 fortunately I'm I started with one lawyer. And in order to do the job, right? He brought in for other people and fortunately I had friends and supporters who raised most of that money. Otherwise, I'd be paying more painful for another 10 years. Anyway, he says if you want to fight your case up through the hierarchy of the Court remember that even when you get to the Supreme Court, it's very difficult for these most wise judge has to decide what is right and wrong because a great majority of their decisions are split decisions 524623 endure so on. Then he adds one nice thing that comforts me says remember that the Supreme Court reverses itself giving the example of an earlier Supreme Court that said separate schools for black children are equal then in 54 somewhat more honorable. I'd say Supreme Court says, oh no can't be equally otherwise, why did they create separate schools? Well, my hope is that some decade maybe between Wars some caught in the United States world are raised this question of whether an illegal War isn't as illegal in the United States as it is in the in other countries. Sacks and writing this article and I am calling attention to it. Don't imply for a minute that a society can get along without laws for the more you have to have General respect for the law. He's only making the point it's not as neat as the establishment types and the authorities would have you believe and maybe you're right, even though the government has gone after gone after you endure said that you're wrong. I think this brings us to the next topic how slow the law often is to catch up to what's considered Justice and I just want to give you three examples one is women's suffrage, you know, women began demanding the vote in the middle of the 19th century and they used all the prescribed means writing letters to the president and their congressmen and senators and participating through their husbands in political campaigns educational campaigns and women not only got nowhere they were laughed at but thinking that they should be given the vote and in the 20th century, they became indignant enough at what is so obviously too obvious to them and Injustice and which we would all agree today of cause it was a Preposterous Injustice. It was then they began smashing windows. Knocking the heads off statues of our heroes and lying down in Pennsylvania Avenue to obstruct traffic and these weren't young girls. These were Society matrons so-called from Boston and Philadelphia cities where women take their take their rights seriously and aren't afraid on occasion to be a little obstreperous. And then and only then did Congress say well maybe women have a point after all and then they started the woman suffrage amendment. Another example is Labor's right to organize and to strike generally denied labor in the United States until the mid-1930s. All at an industrialist had to do was go to court get out an injunction it more or less paralyzed laborers efforts labor tried all the prescribed means a political pressure educational campaigns got no fair and then in the mid 1930s they got Indignant that they discovered and had the courage to use the sit-in strike and it turned out strategically are tactically to be a very powerful weapon because if 5,000 men in a factory decide that they're just going to stay there indefinitely without working it would take something like 15,000 police or 15,000 troops to get them out of there and they'd be Bloodshed and then it would be political repercussions and when labor used this somewhat illegal though, certainly a non-violent means then it made Congress stop and ask well is labor getting Justice and they decided no, it isn't getting Justice and then they say they passed the Wagner labor relations act third example is the American Revolution. Our forefathers thought taxation without representation is tyranny, and it sounds like a small issue compared to some of the injustices of today like the Injustice of his of black people. I would say And they tried all the polite prescribed means to get relief from England and got nowhere and they finally began dumping tea in Boston Harbor and started a full-scale Revolution and the American Declaration of Independence, which is one of our most sacred document says in so many words if people can't get Justice through the prescribed means then they're entitled a stop not a sit-in they're entitled to start a revolution very strong language. Lincoln reiterated that and more recently Supreme Court Justice Douglas was threatened with impeachment your member for putting it in a book that he just written that the American people have the right to Rebel if they think they aren't getting Justice for now. I didn't come to the Twin Cities to start a revolution. They'll I respect those who think Revolution is the only solution I happen to believe myself that though. The injustices are enormous. The collective just injustice is at the present time. I happen to be one of those who believe that we haven't have tried the prescribed means if you want an example of what I mean, I would say relatively few thousand young people almost got Eugene McCarthy the president say and if If a quarter of the people who find the war abominable were working willing to work in the campaign's of Peace candidates, we could entirely change the complexion of Congress. No question about it in my mind. Now I want to go on to some other examples of dissent that are little more controversial and little more recent than the American Revolution. The first one is the Democratic Convention of the in Chicago a couple of years ago seems to me those 8,000 or so young people who went there had every legal and constitutional right to go. This is the right of petition to the government and I would say that Mayor Daley was in was totally wrong and denying them a permit to March to the convention to present their views and quadruply wrong to unleashes police. If there are people here who believe that unleashes too strong a word. I would remind you that the president's own commission on Violet said after careful investigation. It was a police Riot. This is not to say there was no provocation, but it was predominantly. Police Riot I would also remind you that back in the spring of 68. There was bold talk of a hundred thousand American peace people of all ages going to Chicago to demonstrate and at that time a a daily made it absolutely clear that he was going to treat anybody rough who came there to demonstrate and that was exactly the reason that most of the old people dropped out including me. I found excuses. My wife helped me to find excuses why I couldn't go to Chicago that summer now, I'm ashamed because I think that it was one of the real battles of the war in that to end the war and to strike a blow for the right to dissent and if there had been some gray beards and small matrons in the up in the racks of the demonstrators Mayor Daley might been a little more reluctant to unleash the police, but if he did just the same when the television So I'm not only young people in genes being beaten and there is terrible prejudice against young people in jeans if there had been matrons and greybeards. So then the people watching television wouldn't quite it might not have been quite so ready to say those kids had it coming to them. Shocking the way that trial was the trial of the leaders was carried on to me. One of the hair has a real it really fascist kind of a trial and it read badly enough in the paper. But when you went there to visit and saw that judge smiling doing a sort of a Dancing Cranes minuet with the prosecution always turning hostile e on the on the defendants and on their lawyers, you saw the reason why they began to be disruptive and disrespectful after a certain number of weeks and months went by I think more alarming than anything else is the fact that in the The law under which those leaders were prosecuted the so-called rap Brown law was passed only a few months earlier by a congress. I would say absolutely unnecessarily most lawyers that I've talked to said. There was no need for a federal law to punish those who cross state borders to cause a riot most of them say that's clearly an unconstitutional law anyway, because how can you have it in your head to start a riot? I would say those people did not Perfectly, obviously, they went there to protest. But it was it seems to me a purely vindictive and a suppressive impulse on the part of the Congress that made them a pass that law. They wanted to be in on the act of knocking down people like rap Brown who are talking into uppity away. This is characteristic of the way our government behaves. It seems to me instead of facing the terrible wrongs that the people are protesting against instead. They ruthlessly try and beat down the dissenters if you think that's a real own example, I remind you that Congress has recently passed a preventive detention at clearly unconstitutional and by which the judge and the District of Columbia can keep in jail. I'll deny bail to a person who otherwise is entitled to bail because the judge imagines that he might commit another crime a clearly punishment in anticipation without any Let me move on because I want to discuss more briefly to other examples of dissent that I think bring out very important aspects of it. One is I apologize for the fact that they're very Eastern examples as you well know. I'm a provincial easterner and I might as well confess it I happen to know people at Columbia involved and at Harvard involved and those that's why I take the examples at Columbia. There were a number of issues you remember about three years ago. But the one that in the end was Paramount was a protest against Columbia University's unfair harsh treatment of its poor tenant the people who lived in the buildings on Morningside Heights owned by Columbia University and they do own most of the real estate. They're a very small number of students said at a time like this when we're beginning to recognize how badly we've mistreated Negroes and and Illegally sell in the last hundred years a great University should lean over backwards to treat them decently. But when Columbia needed one of these buildings were own own use a ton ceremoniously evicted. It's black tenants and took no responsibility and finding substitute housing this small number of radical students protested again, and again, they protested most indignantly at the time when Columbia was beginning to build a Columbia gymnasium on a small piece of city park property one of the small areas of Park available for the poor crowded people of Harlem. They lay down the students did before the bulldozers trying to stop them and dramatize the issue then when nothing else fail when nothing else succeeded they finally occupied buildings, as you know, president Kirk called in the police who first remove them without too much difficulty and then they beat him out in the campus in such a brutal way. There's a vial Reaction in The Faculty as well as the student body and a few months later the trustees of Columbia instead of firing the students fired the president that they fired Kirk the other example that Harvard the issue was ROTC. There's a small number of radical students who sent at a time like this when a great majority of faculty and students think that the war is abominable and when the defense department is supporting more and more University Research including research on chemical and biological warfare a university should wipe the Slate clean and say it's not a business of a University at a time like this to be involved in the teaching of killing even in an indirect way and they asked that the cat They asked that ROTC no longer be a department and academic Department of Harvard though. They didn't object to its staying on as an extracurricular activity and they appeal to the administration that always gave them the brush-off they appeal to the faculty and the faculty had a resolution that was table and it stayed table de for months with no action and being taken and these students having tried everything else decided to occupy a building and president pussy, as you know called in the police who first remove them and then beat them bloody in Harvard Yard, they got him down there and they beat him and beat him in there were pools of blood and it caused such a violent reaction that within a few weeks The Faculty of Arts and Science of But University voted 285 225 that ROTC must be removed as a department of Harvard University. I think both of these in a sense were extraordinary that they at least at the time they seemed extraordinary successes of movement started by a very small number of students and it's worthwhile stopping for a minute to ask. How did this small number achieved so much. I think that the answer is that if you're in any small minority that's protesting against Injustice the first and the biggest job is to get that majority to pay attention to what the issue is to put it the other way around people have a protective mechanism to keep themselves from going crazy so that they tried to keep from being involved emotionally. They try to keep from seeing and hearing and more importantly feeling Injustice. It's this rather than it's not that there's a majority of A heedless people they protect themselves and you have to break through that she'll and if you'd allow me to psychoanalyze those the other students and faculty at Columbia and Harvard, I think at Columbia when they saw their own friends, they're real friends lying down there being beaten. It suddenly make them realize this is just what black people have been getting for 350 years in the United States it became real for the first time and I think at Harvard when they saw their friends being beaten they suddenly realized this is what the Vietnamese have been taking. They've been really dying and shedding a real blood and it made them realize this can't be we've got to protest more strongly. I'd like to mention several degrees of dissent because I think in the minds of too many people descent is merely Civil Disobedience or violence. I think many of us would feel that at a certain point where I was entitled to go from legal to civil disobedient descent and at a certain further Point most of us, I think would feel entitled to go on to violence, but I want to make the point that there's a variety of forms of dissent. There are completely legal which I don't believe are being used and I'm ashamed to mention the first one that's writing letters to the president and the vice-president not the vice president. Never mind the vice president the president and US senators and representative I would put it this way that if at a tenth of the people who find that this war is abominable would take the occasion every two to four weeks when there's a new outrage like the enlargement of the warrant allows to write a letter. The president would be getting something like fifty thousand letters a day and this would scare the hell out of Richard Nixon to get any such number. I would put it another way that we it's unfair to him for us to seem to be silent so that he can go around with that Suave Smiles if he thinks he's got us all persuaded that Vietnamization is the answer. I've been terribly distressed that even in peace meetings of people who join peace societies and they were willing to spend a whole day at a piece Workshop. You ask those people. Have you ever written a letter to the president and half of them have never written a present but written to a letter and you ask them. How come you know, you don't get investigated? By the FBI, unless you threaten the president's a life. Your neighbors don't need to know that you're taking a position and all it costs is about total of eight cents something like this and you know, you get answers from people like well, I wouldn't know exactly how to express the letter or I wouldn't know how to address the envelope and you have to explain to people the president doesn't call in the Secretary of Defense shown up a batch of letters and say look at that spelling look at the look at the punctuation here. The president doesn't even see the letters but somebody has to count them and if there's an appreciable number they are obligated to tell the president about it and we ought to keep the president aware all the time by tens of thousands of letters every day saying I'll never vote for you again. If you don't bring this war to a complete conclusion, bring all the troops on by the end of 71. I - people say I won't once or twice and it didn't end the war. So therefore there's no there's no point in writing. I would say it means you haven't written a tenth as many Rudders as you should I always assumed I write at least every two weeks. I assume that the president discounts these that he's heard that I'm opposed to the war a problem probably thinks that this is a sort of a routine professional attitude on my part that makes him yawn. But what we need is millions of people whose names are known to the present who think you we can think of as potential Republican voters and you don't have to tell them you didn't vote Republican the last election. All you have to say is in the coming election. I'm not going to vote for you unless you end this tsubame the world political activity of course is extremely important not just voting but Working and I again, I would refer to the few thousand young people who worked so devotedly and nearly put Eugene McCarthy in you. Remember this past May there was after Cambodia Kent State there was a lot of talk that tens of thousands of young people were going to get involved in the political campaigns of anti-war candidates for congressman and the word that came back from Washington is very few people turned up. I have a good friend a girl from Cornell who lives in the same apartment house who worked for good Del took a six months off from Cornell to work for Goodell, even though she's a real radical. She said it was perfectly clear that there were more people in New York City working young people working for Buckley Charles Buckley the Conservative candidate than were working for the liberal anti-war candidates. I can see why people feel discouraged the war goes on but I don't think people are entitled to feel like discourage. We're not in Vietnam being shot at we're not even in prison for three or five years. We're out here able to enjoy life such as it is and we should not be de murmuring at writing letters and an engaging in political activity. I would like to mention a picketing for certain kinds of descent. I'd say I think it's very effective. It's a dramatic but I would confess right away to the middle class middle aged people in the audience as a fellow. I can't say middle aged considerably beyond that but there's nothing more embarrassing there was nothing more embarrassing to me than the first couple of times that I was on a picket line in the first place your right out in public and everybody can see you and in the second place you're going round and round in a circle and I would rather be in a anti-war. Menstruation that goes from Central Park to the UN then just just keep going round and round it seems pointless and undignified to keep going around and every demonstration that I'd been in we've been hemmed in by police who looked disapproving to put it very mildly. I have this day dream that someday I'm going to be involved in a demonstration in which the police are on my side and I'm going to be flashing Victory signals at me or this kind of a signal what fun it would be. I'm not I may say things critical of the police. I don't think we can afford to antagonize police to call them a pig's. I think we have to recognize that they are human beings with insecurities and anxieties and resentments and that we've got to win some of them over onto our side. Certainly anybody who's talking about a revolution that you've got to have the police and the troops at least an appreciable number of them on your side. I think that it's important for us to Show in various ways in different cities University students should show up when they are striking or when they are talking about the need for higher salaries tis one of the problems of the police. We keep them constantly anxious by keeping them in a marginal situation economically and then reactionary forces and the people who bought them can can more easily get them to take hostile positions toward young people. This leafleting there's something about the written word that makes it a more impressive and I thought though I was very impressed by that women's lib demonstration Against Me In the Flesh. I was even more awestruck by saying the leaflet outside and I think if you're deaf leafleting the boss or the mayor or somebody else you can be sure that he wants to get hold of a copy just like I wanted to get hold of this copy out there and though he can't send his secretary out. I mean, he can't go out himself and pick up a leaflet that would be undignified but he sends his secretary out. And as soon as he gets one, you can be sure that he calls in the vice mayor or the vice president of the company and that they read every line wondering what is being said and wondering how many people are believing this. Then the Civil Disobedience and I don't need to tell you that civil disobedience is getting increasingly dangerous as the authorities University authorities municipal authorities Federal authorities hardened their hearts and decide to crack down and you can easily get not only bounced out of a university but you can easily bounced into a jail to I think if you are going to commit Civil Disobedience terribly important to organize to make sure that there's a large number of people and so that your leaders will be protected so they can't be cut off from you. This applies not just to students or to Citizens and a municipality. I think it applies to faculty people to one of the things that worries me is the increasing repression on the part of the federal government being exerted on universities in which they want to come in and get at records and dictate spy out who's a good professor from FBI's point of view and who's a naughty professor in the same thing about student that that kind of repression and surveillance is increasing and I think all over America we ought to have faculty people organizing themselves deciding where to draw the line and where how to put pressure on the administration to keep the administration from to easily turning over records to Federal authorities. As far as violence is concerned as you can imagine for a 67 year old a pediatrician. I'm not a great believer in violence. I think partly that I feel it's a somewhat dangerous way to try to bring in a new Society because so often in revolutions. Once the terror is the use of Tara is used. It tends to be used on people on your own side to be carried out. This is not true in all. Revolutions by any means, but certainly was true of the French Revolution and the Soviet Revolution that it puts put post poems the true civilizing of the society after its revolution. I think more practically what I've learned in the last three years is that the violence usually helps the side against which the violence has used that the violence of the u.s. Marshals at the Pentagon and March on the Pentagon that radicalized hundreds of thousands of young people and some of their parents and certainly met a day Lisa police. I believe radicalized tens of millions of young people particularly in some older people in a couple of days time a greater more rapid and more pervasive radicalism that's than has ever been carried out probably in the world to before because television allows you to see it. So I would always prefer to leave the violence to the other side if I possibly can at least until I've used all lesser means but I think if we're honest all of us will agree that the point comes at which we would feel that the violence used by the other side is great enough so that we would resort to violence and An obvious example is if thug gets in is attacking a member of your family or your child. Of course you attack him you don't say am I justified in using a violent but to get over to the political side my own feeling would be that if the president for instance suspended the Constitution or dissolve Congress and began to throw tens of thousands into concentration camps to me. This would be a declaration of war and that defied every principle of our government and I certainly would feel absolutely free to join the revolution at that point. I think in by beings extra scrupulous about Revolution, I think that younger and more radical people than I might correctly say of spark you can take this lofty view because you've always been white and you've always been middle class. You've always been comfortable. I think that would be a very legitimate criticism because there's no doubt that our backgrounds shape. view of these things Well, I just want to say a few more words about the Minnesota 8. I've been proud to come here today to help raise money for the Minnesota 8 and I assumed that they were idealistic Brave and wise people just as soon as I heard about the case and it's one of the shocking things about the communication in this country that I didn't hear about it from the time they got into trouble back in July until somewhere around the middle of December not a word of it that I could see in the New York Times and when I was asked to come I said I would be glad to and today I've had the privilege of spending part of the day with at least seven of the Minnesota eight and found them wonderful people. I think it's important in every part of the country for us to take advantage of the local opportunities to to dissent and to and to line up with people who are fighting oppression and Injustice. It's hard to get people aroused about a case in Boston or a case in Chicago, but it's the case in your own City that the rallying should be done for these people are entitled to a very good defense. I they need many thousands of dollars. Not only what you will contribute to night and coming in here, but I think that she should if you possibly can make future donations or make a donation beyond the dollar tonight. Remember you're not asked to spend $1,000. Or $5,000 to defend yourself on your asked us to give a relatively few doctors to help somebody else. Who's Defending Your Position for you. I think one of the Tendencies of liberal people of course, especially older ones is to say but I'm not sure that I myself would have used just those particular techniques of descent. I think this is very wrong to think in these lines. The important thing is that are horrible titanically wrong war is still going on and that everybody who's descending in that against that war should consider himself a lies with the other people and you should go along with whatever form of dissent seems appropriate to you. It's futile for anybody to try to dissent in a way that doesn't feel right to him inside because he won't do it effectively but this does not entitle you I would say to be For Soleus about somebody else's descent who which seems to meet you more militant. Basically, he's fighting a terrible wrong. He's sticking his neck out Way Beyond how you stuck your neck out. I think in their particular case for those who have hesitancy about the idea of going into a graph board, right? I like to think of the example of the berrigan's there were two spiritual highly idealistic Caprice and there were other priests and nuns associated with them who carried out a similar act and who felt that there's no question in my their mind that with the evil of the war. They were morally spiritually and religiously justified in doing so and I think that we should concede to other people the same right even though we ourselves might not want to get involved in a similar thing. right in Justice for black people is going to go on until more black people to get militant and until more white people who recognize the terrible Injustice are going to come become militant. We've got to get hold of our fellow citizens by the lapels and shake them and to make them look at the terrible wrong. It's one of the most pathetic examples of how mankind fools himself that Americans keep boasting to other countries around the world how demic Democratic we are and how freedom-loving we are and we say this looking down our nose criticizing other countries where we think that the democracy is less perfect without ever realizing that for 350 years. We've denied freedom and democracy to a large part of our population meanwhile abusing them and that it's all been illegal for a hundred years, but this doesn't keep us from thinking from most Americans thinking that we're a marvelously freedom-loving. Country they've got to be shaken and the black militants and white militants have got to do the shaking we have in the United States. Damar lysing poverty in most of our cities and it's absolutely unnecessary countries only half as rich as ours like the Scandinavian countries long since legislated poverty out of existence. They sent it isn't decent for a country that can afford to support those families that can't support themselves. It doesn't decent it isn't right for the rest to keep them in demoralizing a poverty here. We are not only the richest country in the world a country that's never been so rich and still we treat in poverty horrible poverty with total indifference and it will continue. It isn't just the fault of the government is going to continue until we wake up there more of our own people to other areas Health. The United States has more medical successful medical scientists. It has all the equipment it has the means to make the most healthy. In the world giving every American citizen but Medical Care a few Americans have good medical care, but the majority are mediocre or poor or no medical care. The AMA has been saying for years that we have the best medical care in the world meant to be guided by science scientific principles, but they lists of different countries and in regard to morbidity to certain diseases and death rate from certain diseases, like infant and maternal mortality show that the great United States stands in those different tables between 15th and 25th among the nations of the world. Absolutely unnecessary. It's a disgrace and it's going to stay that way until we Rouse ourselves and then go out and browse our fellow citizens. Lastly well education and also pollution education. I'm an authority of our kids get good education. The majority got second third fourth grade education. The most tragic thing is that the kids at the bottom of the barrel who need the good education most in order to get up off the bottom of the barrel are of course the ones who get the worst education. This is going to go on guaranteeing that they stay at the bottom of the of the barrel at a at a poverty-stricken a level until we put the kind of money into education in the kind of teachers and to the school so that and the kind of philosophy of education that will raise those people up pollution startling statements being made now soon. There won't be enough oxygen to breathe as well as the buff fouling of our rivers and oceans and going to turn the ocean into a sudsy bath with detergents. Absolutely horrible and there's democratic. Republican party's see it stylish now to talk about the environment and an indoor pollution, but Richard Nixon's Administration, he made a great Point few months back of saying he was proposing that a certain amount be pathetic number of Millions be appropriated to for pollution. It turned out when it was looked into that's was a small amount smaller amount than had been appropriated by during the Johnson Administration. In other words. It isn't serious at all. I think as long as our two parties dependent primarily on industry, which is of course the big polluter that probably aren't going to be very serious about cleaning things up and it's going to take an enormous exertion of pressure on the government to intimidate the government to intimidate industry to really clean things up to add it up my God, we need descent i--excuse those who feel the country's running along reasonably. And there's no obligation to dissent but if you agree that these things are wrong. You can't just be sitting and deploring things. Remember, I'm not saying you have to get involved in Civil Disobedience and certainly not violent just pick the form of dissent that seems right to you and keep on using it. Well, you see my views I would like as we get into a discussion to have preferably a first two or three questions or remarks be made by people who feel very critical about something that I've said is the somebody who's been hot under the collar for a while. Either that I said something they thought was wrong or that I failed to say the most important thing. Yes. He raises a fundamental question says I seem to imply that by more people getting involved in the political process that you're going to be able to fundamentally radically change the direction and not only in foreign policy. But in domestic policy considering how all-powerful industry is. Well, I respect those people who say they doubt that this can be done those people who feel that only Revolution will check will be able to change the country. But as for myself, I would say aye. I'm not going to conceive that until I see much more effort made and I would put it this way that if people aren't willing to Rouse themselves and make the effort that they're not going to get a revolution or if they do get a revolution out of people's despair that you're not going to get anything much Superior out of the Revolution. What I'm saying is that it's got to be heavy involvement of people and that that you first should have a try with changing the political process. One of the pathetic things about the United States is that not more than half of our people vote in any election and this is a disgrace this degree of intent of indifference. Another shocking thing is that young people between the ages of 21 and 30 of had one of the poorest voting records. Now, we've got the vote for 18 to 21 year olds. And one of the big question is going to be are they going to have any better voting record than the 21 to 30 year olds? It seems to me these are Tons of indifference now, I think if you feel for absolute sure yourself that it's been that you've been convinced that nothing but Revolution should work then I think you're obligated to be working for revolution. I don't mean you've had have to start it tomorrow, but you should be working hard. All I'm saying is everybody should be working at something instead of just wringing their hands. I want to just tumor on one point in this is an unpopular place to do it because this is Eugene McCarthy's country. I was very careful in the last political candidate 68 can paint never to in to endorse Eugene McCarthy. I always used to say on this was a kind of a weasel worded thing to say those who believe in Eugene McCarthy should be working for Eugene McCarthy in Wild Applause from those people who believed in will Eugene McCarthy, but I never said I was working for Gene Eugene McCarthy partly because I didn't think he was consistently very liberal in his past voting record and also, Because he had this quixotic quality and I was scared that you let people down more by over idealizing somebody and then having having it turn out that he's nowhere near your ideal that that's more dangerous than not getting the candidate that you want. Well, anyway, I wanted maybe that's an ungracious thing to say in the Twin Cities. All I mean is I don't want you to be implying that I was working for Eugene McCarthy. Actually. I'm working for what's called a new party which is trying to build itself develop itself to the left of the democratic party. The only trouble is it's very small and it's so far hardly visible to the naked eye except in certain cities. There's the nearest good healthy branches and Grand Forks North Dakota where I was speaking all day yesterday. There's a branch in the Miami a branch in Tucson a branch in Dayton a branch in Boston some branches in New York some Is around Washington, I myself believe that it's better to start a new not non new party not advocating a violent revolution, but frankly facing the fact that we have that we've got to turn from a very imperialist country into a definitely Anti-Imperialist a country and that we've got at least at the very least restrictive capitalist corporate structure and probably socialize a lot of the country. But again, this is going to take a lot of work by people. Okay, another question no point in my repeating. Yes gentleman in the back. Involved in a mission myself. I am disturbed by changing the structure. I don't think I don't like the kind of pointing that was really important was the kind of wedding were Brothers what could their children to school to get a great post and put their threatening? No, while the police there are lots of people know who do believe that it should and could only be done effectively by without a revolution I bring up. Ocean because I think that's an appreciable number of young people particularly who are convinced about Revolution and I don't want to pretend that I've never heard of Revolution or that it's too dirty a word to mention, especially when it's Sanctified by the Declaration of Independence. I think that I I was not trying to speak for everybody but I think I was speaking for most in saying that I think most of us even those who believe in peaceful change would change would change their action. If the government resorted to outrageous violence against them, at least I'm speaking for myself. Military dictatorship. There is no military and rustic dictatorship Works a new revolutionary leaders feel they are not boring, but they are not born good local project you all heard her message. Is there another is there another question preferably a sharp critical one? Yes. I'll take your next okay, just a minute. But I just wanted to say that I hope people didn't realize or think it was just women who are concerned with the changing the sex roles and things people becoming more militant and all that. I people people really realize too that it's males were a lot of people are also wanting to have a lot of change in the sex roles because I think if we really look at it like what the basis of all the society is that it's all based upon these various male power hierarchies these various male power structures and this whole thing about what the war on the draft are based upon that this, you know space, you know, dr. Spock mentioned this thing about, you know, the virility of men the type of competition the aggressiveness and all that we have going on there these basic underlying things which you know, each all of us live out in our own daily lives and it the women we also got to be changing our own lives while they're training in the society and its you know, some people were really reacting and hooting at the women, you know, but like they're just being militant because I think doc Spock was saying that is you want to use in the changes book but is part of this type of ideology this understanding of the sexism and the sexual oppression, which is this people are just dying to come to in this country and it was ten years ago. We started to find out about racism and I think and how this all related to the fabric but now we're coming into this whole thing of understanding like I think how this whole you know sexual oppression and all that and I think that you know, when we can, you know end the demand for sex roles in our own life and why Society set up we're going to go to a long way to ending this whole War mentality and this whole perpetuation of this whole all these sorts of Oppression. While we're on speaking in topic related to women's lib. I wanted to say I admired those women lived women who thoroughly organized this protest and took a very good occasion to make their point. I really do Advocate this spirit. I thought that was a damn good demonstration this gentleman over here. Well, I'd be delighted to lend my name to that. I happen to believe and I believed it before the election of this past fall. I've been saying it for a year and a half and speaking at universities. I think that the Is going to eliminate himself in 72. I don't say that to make anybody complacent but I think that he is going to alienate even those people who believe in him by continuing inflation depression and unemployment. These are things that people cannot stand even when they're hard hat types or maybe least of all hardhat types. Yes. He raises a good point if Nixon is impeached who would be president. Do we have another question? Yes gentlemen halfway down. Well, I don't really think it would change things are very much but it might teach whoever took over a lesson that the people are really getting indignant. He gave me a note earlier. I hear it is March 3rd, Wednesday 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. I am working people for peace Place First National Bank Plaza. Do you want to read do you want to say anything else into the microphone about this? Why don't you say a word? Working people last week. We had a meeting downtown and we decided that it's time the working people join the Youth of this country and start mobilizing get away from the clothes two rooms and the lectures And get out in the street. So as a first activity objective of this first manifestation will be to build up an independent working people mobilization Mass mobilization against the war already. We had an organizational meeting were going to meet at the First National Bank Plaza 12 o'clock Wednesday, March 3rd, we're going to have signs and we're going to form as long as we can single file and Surround all those buildings downtown and do much leafleting and I urge you if you're working if you know working people are unemployed people tell them to be there. It's important that this first this is a first thing that will happen the Twin Cities by initiative spontaneous initiative of working people. It's important to be a success. Thank you. Should we should we take two more questions jungmann down there in the middle. He says if the election were to be held in two weeks who would be my ideal luck candidate. Well, I don't have an ideal candidate. I do think we need something a little fresher than most of the candidates that are available. Now, I one of the places I find out about the candidates is in speaking and universities asking students about the candidates who have already spoken their students are very good judges. The thing that's discouraged me everywhere is when you ask house musky all students tell me he became makes a good speech but just as he's soon as you ask him any questions, he begins hemming and hawing he has certainly been had a very wobbly record about the War and Vietnam and he has drawn Lay the wrath of Mater who said he's know damn good and he's not consistent in regard to the environment which a muskie has felt. He was in regard to which Muskie has felt that he was an ideal Knight on Horseback. So I say God Deliver Us From Another wishy-washy president who hasn't got the guts to politician run got the guts to decide things. I think that George McGovern is more honest and he certainly is more courageous to be so consistently against the war where you come when you come from a state where opposition to the war is not a popular. He's been going very definitely against a large majority in his State and I guess he's respected because he's such a fine person. The only trouble is and maybe it's not fair to reproach. Somebody for not being what you'd like them to be. He hasn't gotten much Charisma and I was discouraged that when he announced his candidacy. The Press said his presentation was wooden and he sent those who've ever supported him a statement of his position. It was 16 pages. And I think this is kind of pedestrian. Well, I wish you had a little more fire maybe if we give them more support you'll develop more fire. I only make the point for myself. I want to work for a new party because I don't see the Democratic party ever becoming an Anti-Imperialist party or ever becoming an anti-pollution party one more question and then we call it a night or that yeah. Thank you for the opportunity to dr. Spock. I'd like to remind all of you that gnome Chomsky is coming to Northrop Auditorium, March 6th. And in the evening, there will be workshops at Vocational High School in Minneapolis. Like to urge you all to come and hear what Noam Chomsky has to say. Should I I did promise one more question those were both announcements design. Yes. He says he's glad that I mentioned health and he asks how can Americans work for a system of national health such as they have an England my own belief is that that is the only system that's really effective instead of bringing in some kind of a partial system where you'd still have to pay a fee for service and then the doctor is spending half his time making out chits and the person and the person gets the money and then turns it over to the doctor or the doctor applies for the money for every treatment and visit. I think this is a terribly clumsy way and it would seem to me that the only really effective way is the English system in which you have a doctor free for everything that you need and he is paid by the government and he's paid in accordance with how many patients he has on his. Up to a certain number. They don't allow a doctor to get however popular to get so many people on his panel that he doesn't have time to take care of the people. This is what I think we should be working for. I was trying to make heads or tails of what the president's proposal was that was in this morning's paper as usual. It comes down to letting the private sector do it as you notice that he's going to ask the employers of the United States to set up some kind of a system. We're not going to get health for our people on any such good health for our people on any such half-baked programmers that I believe. Thank you for your attention. Remember the Minnesota 8