MAILBAG

What’s wrong with the rich/Escape

August 1 1968

MAILBAG

What’s wrong with the rich/Escape

August 1 1968

MAILBAG

What’s wrong with the rich/Escape

THE ONLY THING that your special report on The Rich did to me was to convince me more than ever that we are living in an archaic and barbaric age. I suggest that, just as there are laws protecting us from physical violence, there should be laws protecting us from people with superior intellect or position who use those advantages to take away a lessfortunate person’s rightful share of the country’s wealth.

GARY MacKAY. BELLEVILLE, ONT.

* I object to the insidious propaganda of your article. After asking. "Do we need the rich?”, first you fail to give a direct answer, and second you answer indirectly in the affirmative: "They don't do much harm.” “They are active in philanthropy,” etc. I maintain we don't need the rich and would be much better off without them and the whole capitalist system which produces them. The rich take the power, but shirk the responsibility that goes with it. Through subtle propaganda such as your article represents. the North American middle class has been made to believe that the Dollar is our god and the Big Businessmen are its prophets.

NICK BOROWSKl. VANCOUVER

London (Ont.) revisited

Re Jon Ruddy’s Foxhounds and Tea Cosies: I am 14 and a granddaughter of Mr. V. P. Cronyn (you remember, the man who fumbles with his black-andpink tea cosie at the London Club). Ruddy’s picture of both London and its occupants was quite distorted. He suggests that my grandfather has nothing better to do than sit in the London Club and reminisce about the so-called worst thing that ever happened to him, breaking his collarbone during a hunt at the London Hunt Club. If you think that is all my grandfather’s life has consisted of. you are terribly mistaken. My grandfather fought in two world wars and helped win for us the freedom we enjoy today: he has worked for and supported financially every charitable organization you can think of: and he certainly didn't inherit his money and then sit back on his latter end and enjoy it — he worked his way up and today we enjoy looking back over the days when he rode a bicycle to work.

MARTHA CRONYN, LONDON. ONT.

Pearson’s legacy

I cannot let the Mailbag criticism of Readers Markland, Young and Barrick go unchallenged. Lester Pearson was one of Canada’s great prime ministers. In the face of great difficulties, he brought in many very valuable pieces of legislation, and I cannot agree that our flag is anything but beautiful. One of Pearson's great contributions to Canada was his recruitment of Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Jean Marchand and Gérard Pelletier into federal politics. These men have already made an impact on Canadian life.

A. MAGI E, DON MILLS, ONT.

T Some of your correspondents seem to think that Pearson did nothing while he was in the leadership. Didn’t he raise the salary to each member of parliament to $18,000 per year and to the old-age pensioner $1.50 per month? What do your correspondents expect?

G. W. STEWART. REGINA

Race problem: it’s not “worse”

It was encouraging to see Mary Lawson’s tribute to John Howard Griffin, the ailing author of Black Like Me (Reports). However, surely it is not correct to say, "The race situation today is. of course, worse than it was when Griffin turned

black ..." In analogy it would be like saying the race situation in Germany would have been worse if someone had blasted open the extermination camps, resulting in great turmoil, Jews burning buildings, disrupting transportation, the extermination rate down to 100 a day instead of an efficient, peaceful few

thousand a day. The attitude of the racist probably has not changed in the past 10 years. But surely the rebellion has caused a slight reduction in the lynchings and death sentences for the theft of as little as $1.95 (State of Alabama vs Jimmie Wilson. 1958).

J. G. RAYCROFT, PRESCOTT. ONE.

New voices from the backwoods

The most remarkable aspect of Robert Hunter’s article. Green Bower, is the fact

that the Americans who are attracted from the cities to the Canadian backwoods receive much better treatment from the press than Canadians who have spent their lives on farms and ranches rather than join the rat race in the towns and cities. The best part of the American endeavor seems to be that, being from the city and therefore more articulate than most small farmers in the BC bush, they may be able to publicize how the small farmer has been forced to subsidize the high standard of living of the town and city dweller. - G. A. ROSE, VICTORIA

* The rejection of synthetic norms and values as exemplified in the Green Power report and the implied dedication of the new pioneers of self-sufficiency struck a mental chord of melancholy anxiety with this reader — probably because I would never have guts enough to tell the world it can go to hell just as effectively without my further assistance. However, 1 would like to applaud the proponents of extra-extra-urban living and to thank Maclean’s for a brief but enlightening vicarious adventure away from the insistent, and quite unnecessary, intrusions

of the Avon lady and other would-be creditors. - JOHN H. SANSOM, HALIFAX

* As onetime residents of Argenta, BC, for a couple of years, we found Green Power most interesting. For certain, Argenta is an “escape from the sabretoothed cities," and it is other things, too: an abundance of the joy and beauty of nature, an opportunity to develop family living where the basics of production and consumption are personal experiences. But in the category Green Power describes as "freedom" — from vested

interests, from bureaucracies, from conformities imposed by the urban culture — though specifics were different from those in the city, we found the pressures in Argenta as strong as they were in suburbia. High marks were given for a back-to-nature pattern with contempt for “city ways." Certain vested interests were held by those who had gone there previously — but not by the old-timers who had been farming for 50 years — and bureaucracies had grown from the vested interests.

GEORGE W. STRONG, OAKVILLE, ONT.

TV: that’s what’s happening

The cover blurb on your June issue should have read: “The first appraisal of ’68 television by a COMPETENT critic." Douglas Marshall is to be congratulated on his insight (The Inexplicable Fascination of the Boob Tube’s Most Fatuous Flour, Reviews).

ROBERT APPEL, MONTREAL 'fc