EMPTY SHELVES \(Copies of the Oct. 28 issue of The Nation mentioned in the following review can be purchased directly from the magazine’s office, 333 Sixth Avenue, New York City 14. The price is 50 cents for a sinAUSTIN Once in a great while something really intelligent is said to a Rotary Club. That rare thing happened last week when Rep. Charles Wilson of Trinity, himself a graduate of Annapolis and therefore not unfamiliar with the military attitude, warned the Lufkin Rotary_ Club that the real question in the Gen. Edwin Walker controversy is whether or not the nation is to remain under control of civilian authority or whether it will fall under the control of the military. Wilson was wrong in only one respect: he was wrong in suggesting that there is much choice left. The fact of the matter is, the military is already running the country, and has been for several years. The big brass, pimping for its willing prostitutes, big business and big industry, works both sides of the street, and if the civilian politician fits into the analogy ‘at all, it is as the cop on the beat who has been intimidated and bought off. The Nation, one of the two or three finest magazines of national circulation, has in a special mented what the author, Fred J. Cook, aptly calls our post-World War II descent into “The Warfare State.” IN ALL-TOO-BRIEF, this is Cook’s thesis: We have been repeatedly told by most of our politicians acting under the sway of the Big Brass \(which for the first time in our history is setting our foreign of our news media, that Russia refuses to accept the kind of sensible inspection program that would enable the tWo nations to successfully disarm. What most people have not been told is, Khrushchev gave Kennedy a note earlier this year which read in part: “The Soviet Government . . Is willing unconditionally to accept any Western Control proposals if the Western Powers accept the proposal for general and complete disarmament.” A few days later in a broadcast to the Russian people, Khrushchev repeated this and added, “The controlorgans \(of arms inspecwhere without any so-called veto, without any prohibition, without any restriction. There should be access at any time and at any place, and we are ready to provide this for the control organs.” When did Khrushchev make this offer to Kennedy? At the very Vienna meeting from which Kennedy returned to stir this nation up with speeches about the foe’s intractability, and to warn us to be prepared for war! politicians who has stayed sane in the midst of the military hysteria, remarked: “Perhaps Mr. Khrushchev doesn’t mean what he says. But it must be recognized that he had said, about as clearly as it can be said, that he is ready to accept whatever system of control is considered necessary by the Western powers to insure total, complete, and effective disarmament. I suggest that the least we can do is to put Mr. Khrushchev to the test.” The reason IKhrushchev’s offer was not given publicity, the reason we have not put Khrushchev to the test is simply that the military-industrial power complex does not want, and could not survive, a disarmament program. Time and again, steadily in fact, they have shown it. At the 1959 Geneva disarmament talks, agreement seemed at least distantly in sight. Frightened, the United States military-industrial complex used its aceDr. Edward Teller, who suddenly announced that any test-detection measures would be fruitless since an atomic explosion, if conducted in a large hole, would probably go undetected. Although other scientists later proved that to successfully muffle the nuclear blast, 25 million tons of rock would have to be scooped out of the big holeor more tonnage than was mined by 21,000 anthracite coal miners in all of 1959 Teller’s statement was enough to break up the disarmament talks, the Russians declaring angrily that the United States is “on the brink of absurdity,” which was an understatement. TRADITIONALLY the military I is a drone; he is a mere instrument of the state; he is to be used. By clever and ruthless power strategy, he has reversed his position since World War II; he now uses the state. Donald Nelson, head of the War Productions Board during World War II, tells how the Army sought “total control of the nation, its manpower, its facilities, its economy.” The military’s lust for power grew out of its gigantic expenditures, with more billions spent in one year of the war than was spent in all federal activities in all the years combined between 1789 and 1917. The Selective Service Act of 1940 directed that all dischargees be retained in the reserves until they passed the age of 45. With the war over, the Pentagon, claiming to act under public pressure, violated this law and gave all soldiers an outright discharge. Its strategy was soon evident. Having gutted the reserves, the Pentagon cried out that America was dangerously weak and that Universal Military Training must be instituted. Eventually, after millions spent in a Madison Avenue propaganda campaign, the Pentagon got its way, and the standing army was raised to the millions. This meant that many of the Big Brass that would otherwise have been out of work, or who would have been ordinarily demoted in peace time, stayed on at their old rankfor now they had a large regular army. But a large regular army makes no sense, unless the people are frightened enough to support it and supply it. Berlin, Korea, and always The Bomb furnished the fright, with the proper embellishments furnished by the military’s highpowered propagandists, the news media, and war-oriented politicians. The biggest ally, because it had the most to gain, was and continues to be, big business. In 1954, the U.S. News and World Report wrote: “What H-Bomb means to business. A long period of big orders. In the years ahead, the effects of the new bomb will keep on increasing. As one appraiser puts it: ‘The H-bomb has blown depression-thinking out the window.’ ” Writes Cook: “When President Kennedy, after his meeting with Khrushchev in Vienna, went before the television cameras to call the nation to a new state of armed preparedness, -the lid onmilitary spending went off, and the instantaneous reaction spoke volumes ‘about the kind of America we are building in this age of the New Militarism. There were two prominent themes: cheers for the new arms program, and insistence that now, under the guise of the greater patriotism, we must cut back on all that welfare-state nonsense like aid to education and medical care for the aged. Put most simply and most brutally, the reaction was: ‘Hurrah for more billions for the weapons of mass murderand to hell with people!’ ” Cook quotes Henry B. Luce, a magazine salesman, as saying in 1957 that this nation “can stand the load of any defense effort required to hold the power of Soviet Russia ‘in check. It cannot, however, indefinitely stand the erosion of creeping socialism. . . .” AND WHY DON’T the politicians attempt to get back the ‘gov ernmental powers they have forfeited to the military-business bloc? Because they are afraid of the $110-a-week dullards who work on the assembly line turning out obsolete weapons for the military-business bloc and who would have to look for some honest labor if the defense budget were cut back to its proper size. In Texas we remember the wounded cry that went up from the chambers of commerce and the people in the five or six towns which were supported by nearby air bases, when it was announced earlier this year that the bases would be closed. Is this the cry of peace-loving people? Sen. Richard Russell of Georgia is head of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Rep. Carl Vinson of Georgia is chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. “Coincidentally,” writes Cook, “Georgia is crammed with 18 military installationsso many that an indiscreet general is said once to have remarked, ‘One more base would sink the state.’ ” Gonzalez and Goode both peppered their campaign with charges that the other man could not keep San Antonio’s military installations safe for that city, and get more military installations. Is this the kind of campaign talk one ‘would expect to hear in a peace-loving nation? Is it any wonder that Russell and Talmadge of Georgia were among those who voted against the creation of a Disarmament Agency? More than seven million people in this country earn their living directly or indirectly from the military.. A 50 percent cut in defense spending would throw 200,000 out of work-12 percent of its labor forcein Los Angeles alone. Is it any wonder that our leaders are afraid to ‘get too close to a disarmament agreement with Russia? If there weren’t a cold war, we would probably feel obligedfor the sake of “our way of life”to invent one. ASTORY in the last issue of ‘the Observer recounts how Mr. Ronnie Dugger, our representative at the State Department press conference in Dallas, was chided for using “Russian language” when he asked what could be done to reduce tension .in the country. Was this the remonstrance one would expect from diplomats in a peace-loving nation? If Dugger uses Russian language, does Gen. Douglas MacArthur also? Cook quotes him: “Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fearkept us in a continuous stampede of TRINITY What happens when the Texas State Library, that notoriously ineffectual organization, quits operating its experimental bookmobile service in rural areas?a service financed by the National Library Services Act, a federal dream that rural areas will become so enamored of books during the year-long touring of a bookmobile they will, when it pulls out, start supplying library ‘facilities for themselves. Usually in Texas the dream does not get beyond the dream stage. Usually nothing happens, except that the rural residents go right back to getting their books off the paperback twirler in the drugstore and forget about libraries. Proof of this is found, among other places, in East Texas. So thoroughly had the state library bookmobile experiment embued residents in this five-county sector with an undying itch to read, that four of the counties effortlessly reverted to the bookless condition they were living in before, as soon as the bookmobile departed. Huntsville, for example, with a population ‘of 11,000, has no public library and the bookmobile experiment didn’t encourage that town to even talk about founding one. RUT IN Trinity, which was headquarters for this particular fivecounty bookmobile experiment, the response was quite unusual. That is to say, several ladies here did decide the library business should be kept going, and they are keeping it going, although their achievement to date is rather a pathetic one, if not even a dismal one. They need help. The woman who owns the Dr Pepper warehouse allows the library to use part of it. Although the warehouse looks like an old colonial jail from the outside, it is comfortable enough. The Lions Club picks up the library’s light and gas bills. And there is ample volunteer help to run it. Sen. Ralph Yarborough, in one of those no-holds-barred speeches that have shown us through the years where his heart is, answered Ted Dealey \(see before the North Dallas Democratic Women’s Club this week. His remarks are excerpted here. DALLAS “Recently, in the most famous White House dinner in recent history the publisher of the Dallas News, in attacking President Kennedy and the New Frontier, said that he spoke ‘for the grass roots of Texas’. “But did he? Who really speaks for the grass roots of Texas? What are the real ideals of the, people of Texas? Are we a people afraid of liberties we have won for ourselves? “The grass roots sentiment is for government of progress, not of regression. I see Texas as a great and progressive state, peopled by brave, intelligent, generous people who have ideals and a vision. That vision is not a vision of hate, of dictatorship, of rude patriotic fervorwith the cry of a grave national emergency. Al ways there has been some terrible evil at home or some monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it by furnishing the exorbitant funds demanded. Yet, in retrospect, these disasters seem never to have happened, seem never to have been quite real.” B.S. THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 5 November 10, 1961 But when the library women asked residents of Trinity to contribute books, what did they get? Mostly attic junk like “The Rover Boys In Business,” “Dancing Feet” by Rob Eden \(on the flyleave of this gem is inscribed, “From Aunt “The Boy Scouts at the Panama-Pacific Exposition” “The Bobbsey Twins at the Seashore.”‘ They got lots of Bobbsey Twins. A great many of the books were so shabby it would cost more to repair them than they are worth. Of course some of the gift books are in good shape, and a number of the titles are of current or recent-past best sellers. Roughly half of the 1,800 books on the Trinity library shelves are good enough to keep; the rest should be burned. The population of this town is 1,700. When the library asked for money contributions, it got no support from city hall and less than $200 from residents for buying books. Which makes Trinity the smallest town in Texas with a non-subsidized library. If people here didn’t want to chip in, they didn’t mind checking out. During the first six months of operation, the library had a circulation of 3,000. On a Saturday morning \(the library is open only 50 books will be checked out, mostly by children. The library isn’t integrated. There must be something of luck or vitamins required for the establishment of a library. For instance, over in the Central Texas town of Kyle \(population 1,028, or more than one-third smaller than Trinto be in Will layton’s family has put up $25,000 for the construction of a library and residents of the community are so fired by the idea that they have already contributed $3,500 toward a bookbuying goal of $5,000. B. S.
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