Controversy still swirls over whether the book was a satiric hoax about think-tank logic and writing style or the product of a secret govern- ment panel. The document is a favorite among conspir- acy theorists, who reject the statement made in by satirist Leonard Lewin that the book was a spoof and that he was its author. Doctorow, then an edi- tor at Dial, and Dial president Richard Baron agreed with Lewin and Victor Navasky to list the book as nonfiction and to turn aside questions about its authenticity by citing the footnotes.
It is unclear whether this was authorized by the author. A new paperback edition was published in They met at an underground nuclear bunker called Iron Mountain as well as other, worldwide locations and worked over the next two years.
A member of the panel, one "John Doe", a professor at a college in the Midwest, decided to release the report to the public. They met at an underground nuclear bunker called Iron Mountain as well as other, worldwide locations and worked over the next two years.
A member of the panel, one " John Doe ", a professor at a college in the Midwest, decided to release the report to the public. The heavily footnoted report concluded that peace was not in the interest of a stable society, that even if lasting peace "could be achieved, it would almost certainly not be in the best interests of society to achieve it. Therefore, it was necessary to conceive a state of war for a stable economy.
The government, the group theorized, would not exist without war, and nation states existed in order to wage war. War served the vital function of diverting collective aggression. Still, there are those among us who follow Jeffersonian values and would recom- mend instead that it is the American system, rather than peace, that has grown dangerous and unresponsive to our needs. Perhaps the United States, rather than peace, is the appropriate target for revolutionary restructuring.
The Report is one attempt to hasten this process through exposure. There is danger as well as promise in such satire. Tile approach ranged from tile problem of ethics serving the greatest number with the fewest number to the problems of appetite better recipes and prestige-advertising inducements. But --imbued with dedication and freed from emotional at least the stability of our social system would not be or moral compunctions--might pick up the suggestion jeopardized by disarmament, withdrawal, idealism, or and immediately engage in the technical problem of refusal to play the strategic game.
The This crude functionalism neglects what is the most Report stirs revulsion only in those who play the game important characteristic of social systems--that they in which people count. For the strategy theorists, and operate on a loose dynamic with strong random ele- that may by now include too many of us, I fear that ments and many degrees of freedom, and that their they have just picked up a trick or two that they might properties at any one time are simply the result of these otherwise have missed.
In other words, I have been asked twice now whether I wrote the many things exist for which there are no good reasons book. I did not. More specifically, many things exist for Amitai Etzioni, and Irving Horowitz are candidates which there are no good reasons in human welfare, and whose wit, competence, and devotion to peace make the world-war industry is one of them.
It exists because them suspect. My great hope, however dim, is that it of a perverse dynamic and it can be done away with by was done by some dropout from the RAND Corpora- changing the dynamics of the system. My great fear is that the strategic framework of It is an attempted justification and legitimation of the thought is so prevalent and so compatible with tile war industry, and especially of the American war indus- competitive advantage of an affluent society that the try, at a moment when the institution of war is threat- Report describes a process of controlling the future ened with delegitimation because of its outrageously that is too far along for warnings to be of value.
What is attempted here is a legitima- tion of the military system, not in the ancient terms of courage and drama that have so largely been drained out of it, thanks to air power and the mass murder of KENNETH E. Professor of Economics, I console myself, however, with the reflection that Institute of Behavioral Science, the dynamics of legitimacy are very complex and that Univers y of Colorado sophisticated attempts to create legitimacy frequently backfire.
I am frankly interested in delegitimizing the I have been publicly accused of writing this book. I did war industry, and in spite of the fact that I suspect not write it, and I knew nothing about it until I re- this document had the opposite intention, it may well ceived a page proof, somewhat indirectly, from tile turn out that its effect will be to further this detegit- publisher.
Furthermore, I regard the suggestion that I imization. The reaction may well be, "If this is how wrote it as very close to being an insult. If the book is the war industry has to be justified, there must be some- intended as asatire, as it may be, it is written with too thing even more wrong with it than we think. If it is its results, therefore, this book may turn out to be on "straight," it represents a point of view that I reject the side of the angels.
Intellectually, the work is clever pinchbeck, operating at the level of popularized folk science. Tile author, or authors, of the work do not understand the significance of eco- Professor of Economics. Louis ibility of the American economy and its adjustability to any level of military or governmental expenditure. The basic intellectual fallacy of tile book, however, From tile newspaper articles alone, I could not figure goes far deeper than its particular misunderstandings. Lewin modestly wished to cloak his work It might be called the "functional fallacy.
A reading of the volume clears up fallacy of supposing that because something exists there that question rapidly. If this string of unsupported must be a good reason for it. Thus, the world-war assertions and social-science fiction had been offered industry, as I have called it, exists at a certain level, under his own name, it would have been laughed off say approximately 10 percent of the gross world prod- the market as the malevolent musings of an uninformed uct.
There must be a reason for this, the book argues, crackpot. I particularly regret seeing the numerous factual and are poor, but that the economics chapter seems to bc analytical errors included in the sections dealing with convincing. I will leave to the psychologists the analysis economics. The general reader is likely to be hard put of how to con academics via "interdisciplinary" re- to separate fact from fiction.
For example, "The Spe- search. Unemployment rates--and total unem- as directly as private customers do. Witness the sub- ployment were falling all through prior to the stantial shift of resources from civilian output to meet Vietnam buildup during the middle of the year. The the needs of the Vietnam war. It declined Incidentally, this large and rapid shift of resources from 5. It is hard to believe that such basic distortion military production.
Tile step-up in the Vietnam war of the truth is not malevolent. While some Midwestern budget policy would not be effective enough to facilitate states have seen their military contracts double during the shift of resources from military to civilian uses. Details are that this process is not oriented toward stability, but contained in Economy Effect of Vietnam Spending, toward change.
Joint Economic Committee Washington, G. The overall renders is to lower the level of argument in the crucial social system we seek to preserve is not what the dialogue on the prospects for peace. Until now the de- Report calls "the survival of the social system we bates have centered mainly on different interpretations know today.
We are now reduced to the institutions for which "substitute" institutions must be lower-level chore of cleaning up Lewin's literary litter created. Rather, it is a fluid system composed of before it pollutes the intellectual environment. Under changing institutions and processes through which we the circumstances, it is unfortunate that Iron Mountain seek to enable every individual to control and affect is receiving greater academic attention than its spiritual the events that control his life.
And these concerns ex- tend beyond the static and negative one defined by the Report as "the survival of social systems we know today. DUHL, M. They require changes toward improvement, rather than merely viewing the stability of society as the "one Whether this book is a hoax or not is irrelevant. What bedrock value that cannot be avoided. But the planning procedures needed to ensure that our Report from Iron Mountain serves a useful function peacetime social system is between these two poles are in pointing out that a peacetime society needs new not those that maximize the value of stability, but those kinds of social planning to deal with the special concerned with creating mechanisms to guarantee that problems created by peace.
But the book points out the values we hold dear to our society are maintained. Eventually, however, in the absence of definitive confirmation either way, commentators tended to agree that it must be a political satire. In that case, who could have written it? Among the dozens of names mentioned, those of J. Galbraith and myself appeared most often, along with a mix of academics, politicians, think-tank drop-outs, and writers.
Most reviewers, relatively uncontaminated by overexposure to real-politik, were generous to what they saw as the author's intentions: to expose a kind of thinking in high places that was all too authentic, influential, and dangerous, and to stimulate more public discussion of some of the harder questions of war and peace.
But those who felt their own oxen gored-who could identify themselves in some way with the government, the military, "systems analysis", the established order of power-were not.
They attacked, variously, the substance of the Report; the competence of those who praised its effectiveness; and the motives of whomever they assigned the obloquy of authorship, often charging him with an disingenuous sympathy for the Report's point of view.
The more important think-tankers, not unreasonably seeing the book as an indictment of their own collective moral sensibilities and intellectual pretensions, proffered literary as well as political judgements: very bad satire, declared Herman Kahn; lacking in bite, wrote Henry Rowen, of Rand.
Whoever wrote it is an idiot, said Henry Kissinger. A handful of far-right zealots and eccentrics predictably applauded the Report's conclusions.
That's as much background as I have room for, before destroying whatever residuum of suspense may still persist about the book's authorship. I wrote the "Report," all of it.
A currently circulating herently comprehensible; and the infra-particular, definition of a dove is: One who favors the least esca- covering the conceptual requirements of natural lation. Tile military personnel of each Iron Mountain is a hoax. This may be a brutal commentary on what it sometimes takes to get conspicuous exposure in the supermarket of political ideas, or it may only exemplify how an oblique approach may work when directed engagement fails. Two years ago I did some research into the military-industrial complex and came to an essentially similar conclusion, namely that American society, as we now know it, could not make the accommodations necessary to achieve disarmament reallocations, to achieve assistance of the type needed to avert extensive violence stemming from underdevelopment, or to achieve international jurisdiction of disputes. When asked about his 'conspiracy' statement, he replied: "For the first time since Charles II The Times has been guilty of a misquotation
And perhaps, with luck, to extend the scope of public discussion of "peace planning" beyond its usual, stodgy limits. Ttley gave as their excuse that they were it as easy for women to displace men in the war game uncertain as to whether they should feed it in as a as in civilian industry. A handful of far-right zealots and eccentrics predictably applauded the Report's conclusions. Perhaps it is because this Here the author s of the Report rise s above the syndrome is so familiar that so many readers did not style of gay potshots to warn us of the intractability recognize the put-on.
If this string of unsupported must be a good reason for it. Not only is employment not curtailed but it is Before commenting on this report, I would like to actually expanded by the added demolition personnel. In other words, I have been asked twice now whether I wrote the many things exist for which there are no good reasons book. But matters we usually consider the legitimate concerns social tensions are not war. The book includes the claim it was authored by a Special Study Group of fifteen men whose identities were to remain secret and that it was not intended to be made public. In fact, the an illustrative aside about the organization of the Inca values of the putative authors are pervasive--stability is empire.
Just as Herman Kahn can deduce the promising since nuclear weapons will kill indiscriminately. Perhaps it is because this Here the author s of the Report rise s above the syndrome is so familiar that so many readers did not style of gay potshots to warn us of the intractability recognize the put-on. Here, at least, war has a drawback: It is reports in the general subject area covered by the not eugenic. I reminded them of a benefit to the men, even if it did also incidentally the liberating results for women of the Punic Wars, help women. And these concerns ex- tend beyond the static and negative one defined by the Report as "the survival of social systems we know today. Several sympathetic critics of the book felt that the guessing-games it set off tended to deflect attention from those objectives, and thus to dilute its effects.