Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas on April 25, 1976 · Page 5
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Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas · Page 5

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Sunday, April 25, 1976
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American Issues Forum Northwest Arkansas TIMES, Sunday, April 25, 1976 · 4A FAVETTEYILIF ARKANSAS ^^ The Survival Of In EDITOR'S NOTE: .This is thje -seVcntecnlh in a series of 18, articles exploring issues of the American Issues Forum. This series has been - w r i t t e n ' especially. lor. the sccomi segment of Die Bicentennial program' of. Courses by Newspaper.. In ' his tins! article on [be shaping of A ni e r i c a n character and ; rvalues, Neil" Harris, professor of history al the University or Chicago, discusses Ihe threats to individualism and Us s u r v i v a l - a s an ideal in our contemporary society. . ' . B y NEIL I1ARIUS Americans arc probably l/?ss constrained by established Insti tulions, altitudes and values than 'people ji\ older societies Of nil the."major social forms --' religion, family, education ;»nd slate -- .only Hie slate . remains ·. as a powerful 'mo of choices, Primarily IhrouRh its econo ; mic',.mechanisms -- the la* -structure, hanking ami fisca policies, hiring practices/ we! · f a r e · allowances -- the stal L Vlally ; affects personal lib ;styles..In the last two decacfe ' t h e , Federal government ba declared war against man: -; informal mechanisms wine".differentiate Ibe larger popi , lalion: age and sex rliFCrim ,.' nation, - racial and residcnlia , segregation, religious and ceo ripmic tests for orgamzalio membership, . and invidiou practices of schools, clubs, an corporations. The rights of th ·Individual -- juvenile or aged black or while, man or woma -- have achieved greater lefia security than ever before in 01: . history, . . And .yet, few Americar appear to believe that trie poss . bititi.cs of individual choice ha\ been increased in the last huiv red years. The desire Eo greater freedom scorns lo clas with the conditions of. life, an the past is invariably rom'ai cized a s - a ^ b e t t e r lime. Onty le most obvious victims of ast injustices -- blacks, native n d hispanic Americans, siais,- women -- fail to join ic celebration of freedoms lost. Till: THRKAT TO privacy oes not come from any parli- tilar group or Institution. If lies n : t h e growth of mass society, n gigantic, corporate enterprise, n congested cities and suburbs, nnss production and bureau- racy, homogeneous commu- iications -media '-- nothing less dan modernization itfiplf. Such conditions might seem favor individualism, or ai east one of its characteristics " a society with little rcspccl tradition or authority eople might he expected to cu' hemselves off from the exl.'ir ral world and retreat into private" enclaves or to the com lany of family and friends Tocqueville called this state m i n d ^'individualism" !ound it attainable -- even pre vat.ont -- in the age of Jackson Although Tocqueville. found n equivalent^ the United Stale or the castes, 1 eslablishc 1 churches, and patriarchal fam lies he had known in Europe lie encountered workable i weaker social institutions. Th family was based more; o affection than 'authority; rcl gioris were voluntary asso ciiilions rather, than stal supported churches. Both, hos ever, formed asylums fo Americans who asylums ' oscape froyn Uic pressurp ai bustle of their large society. BY THE .M1D-TWENTIET century this ability, to retrea from the world had becon much more difficult. Certain the opportunities for recrealii appeared to increase. Summ vacations, travel, country club movies, television, spectatt sports, hobbies, all offered 01 lets for fatigue and monoton But (he logic of their scale an econtrmy dictated adjustment and the habits of urban (or s m In Our Mass Society urban) life were hard to lose. | Oiv: symbol ' of the new anncctcdness w -s the telc- lone. In countless numbers of ays the telephone aided corn- rt, security, efficiency," and elf-expression. No otter people dopted it with such cnlhus- ism, or managed it so effec- vcly. But the telephone was Iso an , instrument which Tattered rituals o f - w i t h d r a w a l , .s abuses -- product selling, bsccne calls, wrong numbers, nterruptcd dinners -- as well Us dispersion -- into boats, trains, aulos -- suggested some I these problems. Telephones avc people more choices, ahi ransccnded barriers of space? Jut they also made many :hojcGs less meaningful, . bi adically reducing the ability to e s c a p e certain pressures ·onlacts, or contingencies. If by individualism, tbj?n.. wi mean the ability to w i t h d r a v 'p oneself. It had been severely liinhu'shed by o n e instrumcn vhich clahncd to enhance it. I N D I V I D U A L I S M posscssc mother meaning which seem lo have shrunk: that sense autonomy and satisfaction tha i could gain from feclin bigger than , the institution which served them. Up throng lire early twentieth .cenlur American life seemed : flcxiMi Kc formers could urge tli remolding of basic economi and political practices, an promise a return to older day As late as Woodrow Wilson 1312 campaign,: national leadei could attack'.bigness a n d el borate - organization as evils : themselves. Memory pcrtnitlf a recollection of different time Institutions.' were relative ytnmj!. We now live with a sense permanence that dims tl range of new possibilities. Tl patterns and cycles of- life a repetitive, and shame audacio plans. The new becomes ol and the old becomes ; histdri o t , only individuals lose their ilonomy; whole generations avc become conscious of limi- tions. The optimism of an merson or a : Whitman is rare- heard, and our political ialogues are conducted within arrowcr limits. Autonomy has icrgcd into determinism. Another danger to individual- im -- and ils confidence in crsonal power and achieve- nenls -- has come through the eneralizalion of danger. Free Ivoicc and seif-sutticiency were nco nourished by a sense o: parincss. Threats a g a i n s ' bcrly and welfare could be dentitietl. The memorable upi omes of American individual sm -- thfi Minute Man, stan ;ing on Concord Green, the rontiersman c r o s s i n g th Cumberland Gap w i t h Danie Joone, fhe Union Volunteer, th Toralio -Alger businessman -- vere compounds of pluck an uck, fortunate because thei idurs of decision coincided wit m o m e n t o u s choices. T h dangers-were clear and visible ilealh in battle, defeat by. Int ians . o r i climate, busines conquest by competitors. B Y . T H E MIDDLE of t h t century, ; however, most Amer cans found it difficult to specif the major · threats to the happiness and security. Feai about dangerous .conspiracH reassured some, but these cr sades have tended to be she: lived and episodic, whether 11 enemies were Catholics, Co munists, evolutionists, or hi pies. Scapegoat . t h i n k i n proved insufficient. No group or event appcare responsible for personal s ecurity, de pression, or dome lie unhappiness. Where the was no blame and no enem individualism diminished, for had nothing to measure itsi against, Even personal victor! were difficult to gauge. Symbo of material success continue coveted,, but in a world of g business and government, c relationship b e t w e e n onomic success and indivi- al ism is uncertain. The increase of , communal periments ,(somc oE which sccnd, in spirit, from 191 h enlury Utopias) and the recent .rge of interest in China and j extraordinary display of cial discipline suggest that dividualism , as a value end lifestyle is under attack, rowded living conditions anc terdependence have empha- zed the need for public inter ention and for collective, solu ons to problems like health are, crime, housing, ,and ovcrt\ ; . AND YET, DESPITE the ecology interests, : for example iave many sources, and demand collective solutions. But one of their chief motives is o protect nature as a testing ilace and refuge for the individual, an asylum for rcevalua- ion of his priorities. Despite the growth of violent :rime, millions of Americans insist that the right to possess firearms is a basic part ot their civic identity. The advantages of mass transit seem -undeniable, yet the ownership ant operation of private auto mobiles r e m a i n a dominanl goal. Computerized data banks have reached new heights, ye counterattacks 'have demtmslra ted national resentment supervision a n d : invasions "of, irivacy. j IT IS DIFFICULT,' of course in a world of credit cards, telephone numbers : and - finger prints, for individualism as anonymity to survive. : B u t . if most Americans adjust to this kingdom oE digits and ciphers, of personal sovereignty. A sig- they still cling to older notions nificant American art form r -the Western -- indulges 'this continuing admiration for per sonal heroism and the; exploits of the self-sufficient individual. Is individualism likely; ' to flourish in a world increasingly dominated by complex -.public institutions? Will the placing, of limits on will and action. ac- tually increase chances f«r variety : .and personal fulfillment? Born in a colonial revcv ulion, Ameriia defined its freftf doms. outside the rituals, structures, anil formalities , of t r a d i t i o n a l societies!; _Th* question" today is whether 'social discipline and individual 'desir* can : still co-exist creatively in the American republic "of '.1978 -- and beyond. r · .NEXT WEEK:^Daniel AaronV professor oE English and American .Literature al Harvard University, and Allen Welnslein, professor oi history ' a t 1 . Smith , College, discuss .' "American, Values: Permanence , a n d Change-."- r , , - /. . ; . · _'_ becks that modern life lacod upon practical . indi- idualism, and the, surfacing of ilternate visions, most Ameri- ·ans remain committed to an deal society t h a t maximizes ndividual choices and permits nen anil women to rise or fall jy their own efforts..The vision f a better future .compounded 'rom personal ambition and advancement, still holds people ogcther, Sixty-five years ago, lerberl Crofy, the prophet of Theodore Roosevelt's brand of Progressivism, c a l l e d 'on Americans lo abandon their dreams of economic, individual ism and, to subordinate "the individual lo the demand of a dominant a n d constructive national purpose."- The stale Croly prophesied, would make itself "responsible for a morally and socially desirable distri button of wealth." Croly's call wont unanswered, Despite t h e growth of new public commitments, and a whole .range of program designed to minimize economic and social inequalities, intlivi dualism survives as an ideal. All kinds ot movements testify to its vigor. 'Conservation and S STAKT VM W SiMPLETHIH^HlM KU0 SffMS TOBE W, TEKS HSIAO-PI^ * Perfume Islands Lose Their Scent EDITOR'S NOTE -- The Perfume Islards look idyllic and life there probably should b«. But H isn't; it isn't even tolerable for many islanders. By HUGH A.'MULLIGAN Ap Special Correspondent MORONI,' Comoro Islands AP))',-. Something is blowing ta ttK'Wtod in the Isles of-Perfume. It ··could 'be : war. It could he the ilack of sewage Ircaiment. It: could - be another classic fish story Way out happening 1 ; are the'.-'stdcR ur trade of far away places hke this "Wo L a r e - m revolution," an. nounced tile driver of the pickup track that doubled as a tau hurrying off to the gas station with a rare pas mg fare The ·visitor to these rarely visited: Islands in the Indian Ocean off Southern Africa soon learns that every journey, even of a thousand jards begin with a dialectic at the gas sla tion. One of the high prices o freedom, fuel is too cosily her« to be allowed lo evaporate in this merciless tropic heat vain out a customer,in tow. It is Ihen automatically as sumed tial the passenge wants to see the famous fish hanging .in a a hotel lobby 'to want of a museum, or else vis a perfume distillery. Why els would anyone come lo thes dank, -volcanic glands that a' most slipped from history sisht when the Suez Cana opened in 1869 ami Ihe sailin ships ceased calling? Since proclaiming fhcir ind pcndcnce from France last Ju and joining llic United Nation as the 143rd member, the lov ly, emerald green, wind-swep . Comoro Islands have toyed wit the idea of changing' t h e i name to the-Isles of Pcrfum for the very good reason In most of the world's supply French perfume, at leasl th innards; is brewed here. DISTILLERIES SHUT The problem is lhat most [he ..perfume distilleries ha\ shut down because of the fa ing out witli France over fourth island in the group. Ma o 11 e i which votel ovc vhelmingly against joining t new republic and shrugged o a c o m i c opera inyasi mounted by. .the .nationals with two Venerable prop plan and a barge-load of.50 unarm orators, ' Then, too, there might be slink over the sanitation issu · ft the wjnd Is in the wrong rection, 'or not blowing at ( over Moroni, t h e handsome. Smart Decision SACRAMENTO, .Calif. (AP) · -- II look just one bark from x rookie lo make a burglary suspect surrender. . .:· The rookie, n dog oamen Prince, was taken by deputy John Cliillon lo ,a drug store ' where a r°P" had been seen ' dangling from the roof. Chillon stood in the doorway ' and shouted a warning that be was going to release the dog. ' When Ibcre was no resnonsc, he gave a search command to ' Prince. . , "Prince barkefl and had jusl ; : slartcd to search when a man · ilood up from behind a counter · with Ms hands in the air," Chillon said. . SMART SHOPPERS WATCH TIMES ADS 7 DAYS A WEEK! piial ]tes helpless and fetid, d people might laugh at the w name. Or choke on it, fndependence hag been a xcd blessing. Since the new vernmenl rejected . French onomic assistance tn a fury er thc-Mayotte quest ion, fae- r i e s have closed , and lioolteachers, doctors and clinicians have left because ere is no agreement to cotitin their contracts. The\pictu sque Chamber of Deputies ildmg seat of the go\ e tn ent. is a chaos oE overturned esks; and scattered papers spended in time from \\hpn il st met under benign French uspices Unemployment, al- ays chronic, how approaches s aster proportions. ·The ,· war 1 with .Mayotte. the lost prosperous island, is onlj war of words, because there no army to fight it. Funerals nd weddings, not war, are the main preoccupations of the eople, mostly Moslems, of Ma- agasy" origin, .whose language s Swahili written in an: Arabic Iphabet. FISH STORY 'Weddings are a big event here, like the arrival of your boat," explained J Caabi El- ychonlii, Ihe newly appointed cr of, the national tourist off ice. - "Everyone is : invited. ,\ i j dancing goes on for days. Tlierc is a jalico, an.'Arab;hiu- sic concert c\ try night Who ever has a big wedding is a big man on the island. "Now the government \s -advising the people to buy a*car, build a house, put the money tc work in the econo my,-instead v di splurging otr-a wedding." FUNERALS POPULAR I- unerals also loom lai ^e the social*life of tlie islands. 'You should have been here last week, 1 " Elychontii advised "The Grand : M u f t i , 'died. : A Still, there is always the Eish- n'g lo assuage the new national onpr, and no country had ever onie up with a better fish sto . And a true one at thai: In December 1952 a six-foot ong, steely-blue fish weighing about 100 pounds was lakcn rom the deep waters of .the JozambEque : -Channel - o f f .An- ourn Island in the Comoros. The odd looking catch was a c o e 1 a c a n t h , known affec- ionately as "Old Four Legs," and no fish like it had been anded since 1033, off South Africa. Prior to lhat, it had been missing for. 70 million years dim presumed .extinct. Now four or five of these pre- iistoric whoppers arc talren every year off Grande Comorc, the 'largest" island and . site of .he capital, and scientists have come flocking from all over the world. -Despite the fish and the perfume, the Fr en ch govern ment would gladly bid fond farewell lo the economic burden of these beautiful islands, but her constitution requires her to recognize Mayolle's stubborn insistence on remaining French, A referendum hold on Feb. 8, in accordance w i t h . French 'law, produced a vote of 17,845 to 104 against independence on May- otle, while' all the islands together, in December, 1974, had voted hy a large majority lo end their status as an autonomous territory within the French Republic. Mayottc, wilh its large Creole jopulation, always has been the nost French and least Arabic of these African islands. LEADERS A N G R Y "Fretich trickery," answered a spokesman for Comoros pres- denl Ali Solih, who accused the French of deporting nationalist eaders from Mayotte before .he election. "They arrived lere by boat in very poor condition. Without Mayollc we iave no economic future. II is rich in sugar cane- and fishing." The island group lies midway between the equator and t h e Tronic of Capricorn, some 300 miles northwest of Madagas car. The Comoros, wilh a popu lation of 300,000 -- from which now must be substraclce* Mayotte's 30,000 -- aro- 35 por cen covered with plantations grow ing coffee, coconuts, mangos pineapples, citrus fruits, ba nanas, avocados and pcrfumr- plants like j asmine t fritter or angp, citronclla and rare ylan£ 1'lang. much beloved man. Very ac- ive. He was 93. The most im- orlant Muslim person for a .housand intlcs. Twenty-five thousand people attended the funeral in the creat mosqiie." All .the islands now have "airports, but there are only. 220 air conditioned hotel rooms. The morning . our,; ship dropped anchor, Grande '^ Comoro's only tourist buses were in use meeting the weekly, Air France plane " from Paris. Still the Comoros have high hopes for tourism as one of the last re mainirig places in Africa when Khodesians and South African are welcome. They account for many of "tKe 3,000 tourists who. come eacl year. "There are lovely, beachc skin diving, walks ; in the foi ests" he detailed the delights of i 'vacation in the Comoro 'You can go lo the top of the ·olcano: and look into the'fiery jrater. There is no road, b u t ' v s only two days .with goo feet.' ' ;-.-.- ' Elychontii said., Ihe. govern ment had hoped to' build a gam bling casino, but "there are- ob jcctions because of lire slric religion here." Similarly, ther is reluctance to lei Club Med terrance open a hplDl for fea of nudity on.the beaches. At the moment, haweve teachers and technicians wou bo more welcome than tourist so (he schools and perfum mills can-open again. · · SPRING DRESSES A Special Group Reg 28 00 30.00 19.90 A - variety of solfds, prints, short.. sleeve, and long sleeve fn arnels and palyesiers. Sizes 8-3 8, : ISLANDER GOWN Assorted Prints Reg 8 00 9 00 190 6 SO VitfU IX Ui%9V Just right for day dreaming or night dreaming. Sizes S,M,L, Shorl gown Reg. 8.00 5.90 tong gown Reg 9 0 0 6 9 0 PANT and DRESS COATS Al! Season Req 4000 4400 29.90 32,90 You'll look a bright a a Spring c?ay m an all polye ter coat m a orled color Size 8 1 8 DEARFOAMS . Scuff or Slipper Reg. 4.00-4.50 2.69 Washable, comfortable, and cool. Crepe knit scuff or slipper in ler- ry pnd crepe knit. Sizes S,M,L,XL. SOLID T-SHIRTS at Great Savings 3.80 Reg. 6.00 Makh with your newest play wear. White, Pink, Blue, Yellow, Green, Orange in 100% cotton. 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BOYS' KNIT SHIRTS and Tank Tops Reg. lo 4.00 1.90 2.90 Choose from pofyeselr and col Ion in solid and prints. Sizes 4-7.'' Boston Store Northwert Arkonioj Shopping Ptoia

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