ABOUT THIS ISSUE
by the Editorial Collective
‘Science for the People’ Vol. 7, No. 4, July 1975, p. 2 – 3
This is the first issue of our magazine put under new management: i.e. a stable core of people, divided into editorial, production, and distribution groups, and committed to a tenure of 6 months or more. We, on the editorial committee, are generally satisfied with our
experience to this point and with the first product of the new system: this magazine. We have made some mistakes and will be especially glad for the chance that the new system will give, to apply past experience to future issues.
We lead this issue with “Imperialism: The Common Enemy”. It defines imperialism as a total system and exposes the domestic and overseas relationship of monopoly capital. It offers an outline of the process by which capital has necessarily sought foreign investment outlets and links this process to the inherent contradictions within an economic system, here at home. We hope it will arouse study, discussion, and follow up articles.
The ideological supports of imperialism (or any exploitative economic system) ultimately depend on theories of permanently limited human potentiality. For these limitations to stick they have to be immutable, permanent, genetic. And so, we have a resurgence of
genes — stupidity genes, femininity genes, laziness genes, craziness genes and you-can’t-change-human-nature genes. The XYY article in this issue brings us up-to-date on the courageous fight being waged at Harvard Medical School against one of these theories, the XYY
chromosome = criminality theory. We see here once again the workings of establishment science and how the “freedom of enquiry” gambit is used to suppress an analysis of how and in whose interest, a particular direction of enquiry is chosen. We congratualte the authors on tackling this issue. A related theme, concerning liberal ideology, is treated within the “Science vs. Ethics” article. The authors show how liberal palliatives naturally (“regretfully”) revert to coercion or repression in the face of intractable social problems. We thought they contrasted a liberal vs. Marxist analysis of the “overpopulation” problem very convincingly.
Victory came to Indochina during our editorial deliberations. We hail this triumph of the people. We honor and commemorate the dead and living in Indochina who helped bring it about. Our modest tribute includes a review of SESPA’s anti-war actions, as we recall the war’s role in bringing us into existence. We have a co-feature by an American visitor to Vietnam, describing the outstanding participation of women in that country’s struggle and reconstruction.
The book Small is Beautiful, reviewed by David Chidakel, deals with the question of revolution-by-alternate-institution. This trend of withdrawing from confrontation with the existing structure, and forming instead alternate structures such as subsistence farming
communes, food coops, small businesses, etc., has never been dealt with in our magazine. While harsh economic reality may have already discouraged this tactic, the article is a good analytical piece and brings forward the question: should the people renounce the productive
technology which they have created and which rightfully belongs to them?
Finally, (What, ANOTHER commemoration?) this issue marks the 5th anniversary of Science for the People. Herb Fox, a Founding Father, has written a political analysis of the magazine’s development in this period, based upon his own intimate and active participation. It brings out some of the past struggle and ideological cleavage that a lot of us, especially outside of Boston, may not have known about and points the way to future debate. We thank Herb, and not just for the article.
Our editorial group has emerged from this issue intact, despite our many different political positions. We’ve all learned a lot through our interactions and discussions. The next magazine will be a single-issue undertaking by the Stony Brook chapter. We’ll be back in November, though, wiser, better prepared and trying to improve upon our work. One way of doing this is through our own self-criticism, but we also need and welcome your correspondence and articles to help us in this task.
SCIENCE FOR THE PEOPLE HAS A NEW ADDRESS:
16 Union Square
Somerville, Ma. 02143
CONTRIBUTORS: Arlene Bergman, Kostia Bergman, Barbara Chasin, David Chidakel, Herb Fox, Richard Franke, the Genetic Engineering Group, Sally Hannock, Larry Lambert, Brenda Lansdown, Purr McEwen, Renee Sung, Sue Tamer, Connie Phillips.
MAGAZINE COMMITTEES: Production: Mark Hoffman, Ross Feldberg, Anne Sevin, Monica Veneziano; Distribution: David Chidakel, Mark Geiger; Editorial: Anne Marie Crowley, Eric Entemann, Chuck Garman, Michelle Fluck, Alice Miller, Richard Rosen, Lorraine Roth.
p. 8–10 CPF
p. 11 Face of North Vietnam
p. 13 Radical America
p. 14 Impa Science
p. 16 LAWG Letter
p. 17 Spark
p. 18 WIN
p. 21 CPF
p. 22–26 Faces of North Vietnam
p. 30–31 Issues in Radical Therapy
p. 32 CPF
p. 34 Edcentric
p. 36 The Progressive
cover Photograph by Dorothy Lange
EDITORIAL PRACTICE: Science for the People is prepared and distributed through the efforts of three groups of our members, each taking responsibility for the editorial, production, and distribution functions respectively. Membership in these groups reflects a commitment to participate in magazine work for at least six months, up to a maximum of one year. The groups will be accountable to the general membership through open meetings called to discuss each issue and through criticism and comments received through the mail. In this way it is hoped that the magazine will present a more coherent political perspective, better reflecting the view of the larger organization. Nation-wide participation is strongly encouraged; interested individuals should contact the magazine coordinator at the Science for the People office. We also encourage preparation of single issues of the magazine by chapters outside of Boston, and point out that the separation of editorial and production functions should make this a more realistic task.
Every effort will be made to publish articles describing Science for the People activities. Analytical articles will be judged on the quality of their writing, and whether they reflect the general political outlook of Science for the People. The editorial committee may make minor changes, but any extensive rewriting will be carried out with the consent of the author. The editorial committee reserves the right to make editorial changes, or comments in italicized script, on all articles submitted. Authors should submit articles as double-spaced typed manuscripts; if possible, six copies are helpful. Contribution of drawings, cartoons, photographs, or designs on the topics of science, technology, energy, pollution, health care, the struggle against racism and sexism, imperialism, etc. are very welcome. For legal purposes, Science for the People is incorporated. Science for the People is available in microfilm from Xerox University Microfilms, 300 North Zeeb Rd., Ann Arbor, Mich. 48106, (313) 761-4700.
INTERNAL DISCUSSION BULLETIN: The development of political principles of unity for Science for the People is a process of struggle, visible in the magazine through letters, editorials, and the different positions taken in the articles themselves. Outside the pages of the magazine the struggle progresses through regional meetings (See the report of the last Northeast regional conference, SftP, Vol. VII, no. 1, Jan. ’75), study and discussion books, caucuses, active projects, etc. Because principles of unity are vital to the future of the organization, the Internal Discussion Bulletin has been established to present the positions of Science for the People groups, as well as the pros and cons of the many different positions. Send in documents, letters, discussion reports, and proposals on the political issues facing the organization. Contributions should be the work of three or more persons, except in cases of extreme isolation. Subscriptions to the bimonthly IDB are only yearly. Write: IDB, at the Boston office.
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