ACUTE CONTAMINATION Noisy Spoilers Honest Art Colony for Texas \(We excerpt this excellent statement by Norman Cousins NEW YORK A great political tradition is in danger today of acute contamination through unsavory association. The tradition is conservatism, both political and economic. The contaminating agents are a wide assortment of persons and groups who ‘have appropriated the label for uses totally alien to the his torical development it represents. It is a clear case of ideological grand larceny and something ought to be done about it. The term conservative has a specific background and meaning. It stands for stability as opposed to innovation; for restraint as opposed to daring; for the preservation of inherited conditions as opposed to drastic reform. These ideas are not only compatible with a free society; they have an essential place in it, along with genuine liberalism. True conservatism is opposed to liberalism, but not destructive of it. The principal difference between conservatism and liberalism is represented not so much by disagreement over the nature of a free society or its goals as by disagreement over the approaches. Both conservatism and liberalism serve as the twin structural supports of constitutional government. IN ANY event, there has sprung up over the past few years a strange array of noisy haters and spoilers who have arrogantly appointed themselves the standard bearers of the conservative banner. In thought and action they resemble far more a pack of political desperados than the inheritors of Gladstonian ideas and manners. They claim to be conservatives, but exactly what is it that they would conserve? Would they conserve the Constitution of the United Statis? Only if some major surgery could be performed, especially on the first 10 amendments. Would they conserve the one institution that has been specifically charged with the responsibility to preserve a constitutional form of government; namely, the Supreme Court? Only if they could expunge some Supreme Court justices and decisions they happen to detest. Would they conserve the ideals that animated the men who founded this nationideals that have to do with the basic nature of free man and his place in a free society? Only if these ideals could be twisted into their direct opposites. . . . THERE IS a disheveled quality I to their thinking, but some of them are not without intellectual pretensions. They claim affinity with such figures as Edmund Burke, Jeremy Bentham, Lord Acton, Alexander Hamilton, and, more recently Senator Robert A. Taft. But names such as these are the synthetic props of respectability rather than any valid philo sophical or historical underpinning. Their particular animus is the word democracy. They believe that the United States is a republic and was never intended to be a democracy. But in this they are refuted by the one man in American history whom they claim as their progenitor, Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton did not hesitate to use the term “representative democracy.” In fact, he described representative democracy, “where the right of election is well secured and regulated, and the exercise of the legislative, executive, and judiciary authorities is vested in select THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 5 September 21, 1962 persons, chosen really and not nominally by the people” as that government that would “most likely be happy, regular, and durable.” . . . THEY claim Robert Taft as their I patron saint, but they are lucky that he is not alive to tear himself loose from their unwanted affections. For Robert Taft was a genuine conservative. He may have had his foot closer to the political brakes of legislative progress than any man of his time, but at least he insisted on staying on the main road. He was not out to supplant democratic institutions, but to keep them free of overly centralized controls. Even here, however, he recognized that housing and education were national problems and had to be handled accordingly. There were few stronger voices on the issues of civil rights and racial equality. As it concerned the United Nationsan object of supreme contempt by those who now speak in his nameSen. Taft felt that what was needed was..not weaker but stronger world organization. He believed in the need for world law and felt the United States should take leadership inside the United Nations in that direction. In fact, this was the central theme of his book on American foreign policy. GGENUINE conservatism is now being libeled by know nothings. There is no reason to doubt that the tradition will survive the ordeal, but it may be unpleasant while it lasts. NORMAN COUSINS HOUSTON Robert E. Lucey, Catholic Archbishop of San Antonio, will be the recipient of the first Max H. Nathan Memorial Award in the feld of human rights at the annual dinner meeting of the Houston Chapter of the American Jewish Committee Sunday, September 23, at the Sheraton-incoln. The American Jewish Committee selected Archbishop Lucey because of his devoted labors over the years on behalf of the migrant farm worker families of Texas. Among the many contributions made by Archbishop Lucey is the organization in 1945 of the Bishops’ Committee for the Spanish Speaking, of which he is executive chairman. This organization is concerned with the social and spiritual welfare of migrant workers and supervises the visits of clergy and laity to labor camps and reception centers. The Catholic Council for the Spanish Speaking was organized by the archbishop and is now nation-wide. Appointed by President Truman to the President’s Cornmission on Migratory Labor in 1950, the archbishop served as a commissioner until the work was completed. At his urging, a national office for migrant workers was established in 1955 by the Catholic Church in Chicago, and in 1956 he organized the Committees for Migrant Workers in the Archdiocese of San Antonio by counties to render assistance in every way possible in matters of health, housing, clothing, education to migrants in Texas. With the encouragement of the archbishop and under the sponsorship of the Bishops’ Committee for the Spanish Speaking, a program to demonstrate the feasibility of providing inexpensive homes for migratory workers was recently launched in San Antonio. The federal government has allocated $100,000 for preliminary SAN FRANCISCO If we have art colonies in Texas, I’m not sure where they are. La Villita? Ingram? Scholz’s Beer Garten ? It’s pretty slim pickins for art colonizers in our state; perhaps because our towns are not very congenial places for seekers after Truth and Beauty, more likely because the reputation of our fair state does not attract enough of those rootless aesthetes Anderson called “the talking artists” to sustain a colony, even if we had a place for one. Surely, however, some headsup chamber of commerce somewhere will see this deficiency as a Main Chance to boost their dead little town. Port Isabel, for instance: a clean, sweet little place, complete with Lighthouse and skid row at the shrimp boat docks. North Beach in Corpus Christi, after North Beach in San Francisco? Corpus’ abandoned zone has a muddy beach littered sufficiently to enrage the most bitize critic of American commercialism. Or what -about Rockport? It’s no Sausalito, but there doesn’t seem to be anything real there now to intrude on the bohemian lifethee is some sort of an art league that would be good for laughs and think what a colony of free lovers would do for the winter tourist trade. YOU WILL NOTE that these three locations all share one characteristic, proximity to Mexico. This is because the San Francisco avant garde has solved the ancient problem of how artists can stay alive while giving birth to the new life, and the only possibility for adapting their idea planning and research on this project, which will have three stages of development: 1.Low-cost homes are to be built for occupancy by migrant workers who will be charged rent equal to 20 percent of their annual incomes; 2.Job training and job placement services will be made available to migrants so they will have the chance to increase their incomes; 3.When incomes have bean raised, the homes will be transferred from rental basis to home ownership under FHA mortgages, allowing migrants up to 40 years to complete payments. AUSTIN The Observer’s keyhole-shaped eye becomes even more perceptive than usual when it engages in appraising the frisky, frank specimens of young womanhood who abound in the paradise of sunshine and education which is our proud state’s capital. It is “rush” season at the University, an ancient folk rite wherein freshmen students with aspirations to the social set display their virtues \(which may severely critical stare of upperclassmen who have already been initiated into the inner sanctum of fraternity and sorority life. Watching the young female hopefuls scurry anxiously off to the endless rounds of rush parties and the hand-clapping, singsonging, name-dropping these parties entailthe Observer was induced into a brief moment’s meditation as to the Nature of Things. But primarily as to the Nature of the American Coed. There is something about this disturbing creature which distinguishes her from her counterparts elsewhere to Texas abides in its contiguity with Mexico. “Contact,” the lit’ry magazine of San Francisco, last week sponsored a hegira to Eastern Nevada, a “sex safari,” the local press dubbed it, to inquire into prospects for buying a ghost town and turning it into a vice den dedicated to the support of struggling artists and writers. The theory is fairly simple. The North Beach denizens have noticed among themselves two surpluses; girls who readily make love and artists who are starving. Some enterprising promoter had the flash: Nevada, local option prostitution, gambling, Easy Street! The editors of Contact have taken an option to buy Contact, Nevada. and set up various workshops there. Apart from prostitution, the place would be sustained by gambling dens that would feature the Chinese mico maze game, penny rrinthin g , other such esoterica of chance. Thirteen million Californians might be expected to include a few who would patronize Contact, and it is doubtless also only a matter of Time before the mass media pick up the story. Contact’s publisher, William H. Ryan, says, “We hope to make enough money from honest prostitution so our gifted writers won’t have to prostitute themselves.” This, surely, is the heart of the matter. No one can contend that honest prostitution is worse than dishonest prostitution; the difficulty might arise in distinguishing between the .two. The honest prostitute might feel more kinship for a writer who honestly prostitutes his daytimes washing dishes than for one who profits from her work; but presumably there is enough diversity of opinion in Sausalito to make such an observation academic. Besides, the writer needs his day times. “It won’t be the first time artists and writers have been supported by ladies of the night,” Ryan said. Gung-ho for love and the arts. Tremors of alarm have been reported in the offices of the major upon the face of the globe. Is it her wealth? It is doubtful. Her benign ignorance? No. Some coeds are miserably intelligent, and have no qualms in telling you so. It is . . . We tread on dangerous ground, and admit it. It is .. . her little-girl-like quality. In England, France, Germany, or Japan, an 18-year-old is, if not a woman, at least woman-like. She works at it. In France a university coed wears high heels, lace panties, and sheer nylons. She talks politics, or literature, or something else equally as boring. In England she drinks gin and speaks French. In Germany she drinks gin and beer, and speaks French and English. But here, there is a strange homogeniety among teenagers from pubescence to twenty. They dress in little doll clothes, wear little skirts which reveal their well-scrubbed little knees, talk an endearing little baby talk, wear their hair in expensive little permanents, and engage in all kinds of imaginative little sexual experiments in blacked-out car seats. Have we spawned a nation of Lolitas? C.D. foundations. What, a creative project they will not be purse-stringing? But Ryan hasn’t decided whether to exercise his option to buy the town. He says the proceeds would be used to finance the publication of Contact and other “intellectual enterprises,” but one wonders whether he wouldn’t wind up with just another foundation. When one considers the financial rapine on which the Rockefeller Foundation is based, one would have to be foolhardy, indeed, to scruple against a foundation based on honest prostitution. Nevertheless, Ryan’s group will still have the foundation’s problem: how to separate the gifted artist from the others before you see his work? Nor can the purposes of the Contact Foundation \(shall w_e_ _ long aS the girls are to be given
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