Strait_v1n3_1971-10

l{ARL HESS Goldwater campaign writer turned New Left, from the pith of establishment to the roots of anarchy - two ways in which Karl Hess has been described in recent months. Brandishing an almost organic-elemental form of conseNa- tism, Hess talked with Strait for almost two hours during his recent visit to Buffalo State College. What follows are some of his more portent thoughts on the situation in America today. CONSERVATISM Conservatism is probably a very bad word, un- less you put it in terms of what you want to con- serve. The thing I'm interested in conserving today is the central role of the person in history. Now I have been variously described as a conservative, communist and anarchist, but the central point be- hind all of these terms is my belief in the re-asser- tion of the role of the person in history. Now the conservatives once tried to do this in this country by being against the State. They were, at that time, the only people attacking state power ยท so it seemed reasonable to be a conservative. The great failure is that they never attacked any other institution of power, particularly the great corpora - tions which were to a great extent state supported monopolies . Here the conservatives had very little to say. As the conservatives themselves began to ac- quire political power, they abandoned even their attack on state power . So you find today that con- servatives are said to provide the greatest support for the war in Viet Nam which is to support state power at its most active level. AUTHORITY I've always been against authority. Authority in the arbitrary sense is obnoxious. I can appreciate someone who has studied metallurgy for fifteen years and who says "If you pull out that iron bar, it's going to break." Now I can understand that sort [of authority] but not the sort of authority that says "I am the President. Therefore we must go to war." I've always resented that. GOLDWATER One thing that we've got to understand is that he is an Air Force general and he does hold Air Force ideology. The Air Force has always very act- ively theorized that the platform of foreign policy should include the option of pre-empted war. So that he, much more than Nixon, would be suscep- tible and receptive to suggestions of the use of nuclear weapons in Indochina or a pre-empted strike against the Chinese. And so that because of a very particular allegiance to a very particular analysis, The Air Force analysis, he could be much more war-like. 18

(( arbitrary authority 1s obnoxious ' '

'' I believe the American Era is over ' '

THE NEW LEFT

The only people today who attack state power regularly, are the New Left. That's why there is a New Left - the Old Left supported state power. The New Left not only attacks state power, but other institutions of power. That's why it is a complete position which you didn't find on the right. Sor for a person such as myself who says you should make rather than be a victim, of history, there is no place else to be. The conservatives don't say that anymore. Individuals? Listen to the conser- vatives today, Agnew talks about plucking indivi- duals out like you would rotten apples out of a barrel. Nixon talks about your obligation to the State ... Mitchell about people attacking state authority.

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