______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 1

_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 1

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 2

• UNDERCURRENTS, the magazine of radical science and alternative technology [ISSN 0306 2392], was published from London, England, from 1973 to 1984 [No. 60]. This text version has been created in 2006-8 by me, Chris [Hutton-]Squire [a member of the nowdissolved Undercurrents Collective], by OCRing scanned images of a print copy; the text has been spell-checked but it has NOT been checked against the original. Health & Safety Warning: The practical, technical and scientific information herein [though believed to be accurate at the time of publication] may now be out of date. CAVEAT LECTOR! The many stories that Undercurrents told will interest students of a period that is both too distant and too recent to be adequately documented on the Web. The moral, philosophical, social, economic and political opinions herein remain, in my opinion, pertinent to the much more severe problems we now face. Readers who wish correspond on any matters arising are invited to contact me via: chris[at]cjsquire.plus.com This pdf version is formatted in 15 pt Optima throughout, so as to be easily readable on screen; it runs to 170 pages [the print versions were 48 - 56 pp.]: readers wishing to print it out to read are recommended to use the text version and to reformat it. The many pictures that embellished the print version are sadly not included here. There no restrictions on the use of this material but please credit individual authors where credit is due: they are mostly still with us. Page numbers below are for this pdf version. The beginning of each section or article is indicated thus:

From: Cliff Harper’s Class War Comix 1, reviewed in this issue

_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 2

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 3

UNDERCURRENTS Number 12 September-October 1975
6 EDDIES. The Usual Brew of News, Scandal, Eddie Currents, Gossip and Reports - and now introducing Froth. 29 LETTERS Your chance to get your own back on us. 37 WORKERS AND THE WORLD UNITE. Workers at Lucas Aerospace are demanding the right not only to work, but to work on socially desirable 'alternative technologies'. Dave Elliott takes a look at the background to this encouraging initiative, and examines the prospects. 51 CRABAPPLE: TWIN OAKS COMES TO WALES. A new community has been set up near Shrewsbury by a group which intends to put into practice some of B F Skinner's behavioural theories in an attempt to avoid the conflicts which have divided many other experimental communities. A member of the group describes how they're going about it. 60 BIOFEEDBACK. Elmer Green looks at what biofeedback means and how it can be used, and tells of the extraordinary feats of Jack Schwartz and Swami Rama in achieving control over bodily processes normally regarded as involuntary. Plus: a simple but effective do-it-yourself biofeedback device. 70 COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY. Karl Hess describes how Community Technology Inc is trying to promote small-scale, locally-controlled techniques for food and energy production in a deprived area of Washington DC.

81 COMTEK FESTIVAL: SPECIAL REPORT. News, pictures and comment about the happenings at Britain's second Community Technology Festival COMTEK·75, which took place in Bath in August.

_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 3

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 4

97 TOWARDS AN ALTERNATIVE CULTURE. In this third part of his extended essay, Woody examines the concepts of the subjective group and the objective-group and suggests how the former might evolve towards the latter. 113 BAREFOOT IN THE SURGERY. Dr John Bradshaw, a medical renegade in the Illich mould, talks to Chris Hutton-Squire about Illich's ideas, about the need for neighbourhood 'life' centres, and about New Medicine, an anti-establishment medical magazine he proposes to set up. 126 REVIEWS. The Red Paper on Scotland, Calgacus, Legal Frameworks Handbook, Transcendental Meditation by Jack Forem, The Survivalists by Patrick Rivers, and World Energy Strategies by Amory Lovins. PLUS The Battle of the Bubble, a totally biassed Review (?) by Peter Harper of Class War Comix No 1: New Times, by Cliff Harper who is no relation. 146 WIND POWER Part II : Electric Light Orchestration. Godfrey Boyle describes how to wire up the dynamo and the associated electrical devices required for the Undercurrents - LID Wind Generator described in the last issue. PLUS wind power bibliography and Winco Wincharger product review. 156 CARRY ON SWITCHING. In spite of strong evidence that Britain already consumes far too much electrical energy, and that centralised power stations are responsible for a major portion of the energy we waste, CEGB planners seem unable to contemplate even the slightest reduction in electricity demand. Their biases show through clearly in the papers presented at a recent private CEGB symposium on Long Term Studies. Godfrey Boyle puts some of them under the magnifying glass.
UNDERCURRENTS . . is published bimonthly by Undercurrents Limited. 275 Finchley Road London NW3 6 LY. England, a democratic, non-profit company without share capital and limited by Guarantee. Printed in England by Prestagate· Ltd.. Reading. t International Standard Serial Number 03062392 OUR ADDRESS. At the moment, Undercurrents is in a state of semidecentralisation. We still don't know what's going to happen· our office at 275 Finchley Road. London ?-i At the moment we're using the place on-and as 'licensed squatters'. but whether we will be able to negotiate an arrangement to stay the is still uncertain. Meanwhile. daytime. weekday telephone calls to our London number I (01-794 2750) are being intercepted by the Post Office (officially) and callers are being referred to Uley (STD Code 0453 86) 636. This the phone number of our permanent office 11 Shadwell. Uley, Dursley, Gloucestershire. From now on. all communications about general editorial
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 4

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 5

matters. features. subscription and distribution should be addressed to Uley. Communications about News and Reviews aM Advertising can still be sent to 275 Finchley Road, where they'll reach the people concerned a little more quickly. (But don't worry too much about sending stuff to the wrong address: mail is forwarded every few days from both addresses to the appropriate people). SUBSCRIPTIONS cost £2.50 sterling ($6.50. a equivalent in other currencies) for six issues I posted by second class/surface mail to any country. SUBSCRIPTIONS TO THE UNITED STATEl CANADA AND MEXICO cost US $7.50 and I are sent by airfreight to New York and poste· from there by second class mail. Delivery takes('l 3 to 14 days. Airfreighting is only economic if as many subscribers as possible use it. so we I cannot accept surface mail subscriptions to these countries. Our US mailing agents are Air and Sea Freight Ltd .• 527 Madison Ave. Suite 1217, New York NY 10022. Second Class postage paid at New York. NY.
COPYRIGHT. The Copyright © of all articles in Undercurrents belongs to Undercurrents Limited, unless otherwise stated: they must not be reproduced without our permission. But we will normally give permission for our material to be used. without charge. for non-profit purposes. on condition that Undercurrents is credited.

CONTRIBUTIONS. We welcome unsolicited articles. news items. illustrations. photographs, etc. from our readers. Though every care is td with such material. we cannot be responsible f( its loss or damage. and we cannot undertake to return it unless it is accompanied by an appropriate stamped envelope addressed to the sender To make life easier for our typesetters, manuscripts for publication must be typed clearly or one side of the page only. with double or triple spacing and at least one inch margin on each side of the type. OK? CREDITS. Undercurrents is produced by a large number of people. There are only two paid staff. one full time. one part time. The re· of us work for nothing in our spare time. Here in alphabetical order. are the names of the people most directly concerned in putting the magazine together. Godfrey Boyle. Sally Boyle. Duncan Campbell Peter Cockerton, Pat Coyne, Tony Durham. Dave Elliott. Richard Elen. Sotires Eleftheriou Herbie Girardet. Peter Harper. Chris Hutton-Squire. Martin Ince. Barbara Kern. Martyn Partridge. and Peter Sommer. Other people without whom Undercurrents would be more or-less impossible include: Graham Andrews. Gavin Browning. Ollie Caldecott, Charlie Clutterbuck. Brian Ford. Ian Hogan, Roger Hall. Cliff Harper. John Prudhoe, Dieter Pevsner. Nigel Thomas. Geoff Watts. Martyn Turner. Joy Watt and Woody. And of course everyone we've forgotten. HELPERS: If you're interested in helping: on Undercurrents in any way write or phone for details of our weekly meetings.

_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 5

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 6

• • Eddies

ATOMIC BOMBERS STRIKE The French nuclear power industry has been shaken by the third in a series of bomb attacks on nuclear reactors and workshops. The most recent explosion at Mont Aree power station, Brennelis, Brittany, took place on August 14th, causing its immediate shutdown. The attack has been attributed to the Breton Liberation Front, but to date no responsibility has been claimed. However, the incidents make it clear that European terrorist and political organisations have recognised the advantages to them of attacking nuclear installations. The first, and probably most serious attack, was at the Fessenheim plant in Alsace. On May 4th, two explosions damaged the reactor core casing, and although damage was initially labelled "slight" by Electricite'; de France (EDFl. the two charges have set back construction work by more than three months. According to Undercurrents French correspondent, the Paris group of Les Amis de 10 Terre (Friends of the Earth) "expressed solidarity" with the attackers, approving the setback to construction and the increased level of debate about EDF's plans which would ensue. He reports that the actions of Amis de 10 Terre have, to date, hardly been effective, and it is understandable that some groups have sought other means of halting the EDF programme. Responsibility for the Fessenheim attack was claimed by the AntichMeinhof Commando, presumably a distant cousin of the Red Army F action (RA F) many of whom have now gone on trial in a concrete fortress in Stuttgart. Their communique, reproduced here, identifies clearly with the struggle to stop the French nuclear power programme they call it a struggle of "primordial life" against the "genocide" of capital The 'Commando' link their struggle with opposition to "the atom" by women workers at other factories. American nuclear factory attacked A month later on June 6th, two charges exploded almost simultaneously in northern Parisian suburbs at offices and factories belonging to Framatome (the French - American Atomic company, a subsidiary of US Westinghouse). At Argenteuil, a workshop testing valves for reactors was damaged and
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 6

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 7

experimental valves destroyed. Not far away at Courbevoie, almost half the input terminals to Framatome's main computer were destroyed in the second blast. On this occasion as on the first, it was clear that the attackers knew the target well, and aimed to cause spectacular damage while avoiding harm to plant workers. Responsibility for the Framatome attacks was claimed by a different group, the 'Garmendia'Angela Luther Commando' whose communique showed that the lead had been set by the previous strike at Fessenheim. They also pointed to a recent incident where a young Italian worker had died after accidental exposure to Cobalt 60 at a plant where food is preserved by irradiation. As a result security was drastically increased at nuclear power sites and related industries - including oil refineries and depots after two depots in Metz were attacked in July. But the attack on the small experimental power reactor at Brennelis - which had been due for closure this year until given a five year reprieve - points to the continued vulnerability of nuclear installations. EDF planned to construct 200 reactors by the end of the century, with 55 under, way by 1980. The plans, which were announced soon after the Arab oil embargo, have already been cut back once, and have met increasingly militant opposition This culminated in a Paris demonstration of 25,000 on 26th April, and has united many elements in French society, not simply the left but people living in areas planned for the construction of reactors, as well as a significant section of the scientific and technological community. Four hundred French scientists have signed an appeal to the French government not to go ahead with the programme until the risks involved are fully understood. They cite the possibility of reactor accidents, of radioactive pollution, the risk of theft of fissile materials - and express disquiet about EOF being both advocate and judge as to decisions about nuclear power. The 400 were soon joined by researchers from the Saclay Centre d'Etudes Nucleaire (Centre for Nuclear Studies) who, writing in the magazine 'Impascience' have, for the first time, revealed accidents and mishandling of radioactive material and apparatus there.
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 7

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 8

On the list, which included cancer deaths and radio-Iodine caused thyroid disease. orders, were the following: A container of radioactive products was sent to Romania but the receiving laboratory did not have suitable equipment to handle it. With CEN agreement, the container was sent back to France, marked as on empty package to simplify customs procedure. At CEN, two workers belonging to another organisation charged with opening empty containers, opened the returned item and received a dose of radioactivity well in excess of the maximum permissible safe dose. It is not yet known what happened to them. Dermatitis, including one case necessitating a skin graft, blood abnormalities and one death through bone cancer have been caused by a defectively shielded X-ray generator at CEN. Two operators have been injured by the beams of large accelerators. In one case a physicist was partially blinded; in the other an accelerator had continued to operate because the safety mechanisms had been shortcircuited - a practice apparently condoned by the Saclay radiological protection service. The door of a chamber holding a giant 75,000 Curie Cobalt 60 source came open several times. releasing massive doses of radiation to the surrounding area. In one incident, back-up safety systems did not operate automatically and had to be operated manually. Fortunately, no one was irradiated in the incident, despite some panic. ... This is the text of the communique issued following the May 4th attack at Fessenheim. Alsace. It has not been published in France but may be included in the next (October) issue of the radical technology magazine lntereferences. "We claim responsibility for what has just happened at Fessenheim. We took all possible precautions so that no human life should be threatened. This is our way of contributing to the anti-nuclear struggle, hoping to stop (or delay') the entry into service of this power station", since afterwards it will be too late to use such methods. Capital does not hesitate to pass from traditional forms of genocide (wars, factories. prisons) to more radical genocide (bombs, depressions) represented amongst others by the nuclear industry. It is no longer the time for polemics: it is grotesque to hear defence of the
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 8

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 9

atom in the mouths of those 'who hal'l' contaminated tire waters of the Rhine ..... with mercury. and still more the waters of Minamata where capital defends itself against the anger of the people with lookout towers and barbed wire. Japan and here, Our enemies are the some; the multinationals who sell that which they never had - oxygen and water hare now become merchandise. Our action. non-contradictory with the popular movements $such as those of Wyhl and Marckolsheim is tire expression of the primordial protest of life against the capitol that is guilt of genocide. the final stage iI/ the patriarchal society of oppression. Maintaining;' a salaried population has itself become Q murderous nonsense. We ha· 'e no more need of nuclear energy than we ha· ·e of 'working the whoIe day long to produce gadgets. The blind following of productivity has become a planet-wide enemy. And the proletarian combat of developed countries objectively joins that of the third world countries. The combat is total. be it that of women. of children of the third .... ,or/d. or of the proletariat. Let liS remember that .... ,omen. at W)'hl (70% of women voted against the atom) as elsewhere, are ;,in the vanguard of the rejection of "nuclear power. which is nothing other than the last word of this society built lip ..... without them and against them. Puig Antich - Ulrike Meinhof Commando .. LONG LIVE HALF LIFE Did you know that a nuclear power station has already been overrun by guerillas? that fuel rods have already been stolen from a British nuclear plant? that a black market in uranium already exists? that nuclear bomb threats and ransom demands have already been made? These questions were posed by Mike Floud, a member of the Lancashire 'Half- Life' antinuclear group, at the end of their 'Nuclear Week' of protests, demonstrations and talks. They report ... Nuclear Week, at the start of June, began with a series of theatrical events which were intended to draw attention to our casc. The first of these was a motorcade from Heysham to Windscale. About twenty cars set off from Heysham, headlights on, barrels of radioactive waste prominently displayed, and amateur terrorists aboard nervously clutching their smoke bombs. When we got to Windscale we carried out a terrorist attack, about
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 9

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 10

fifty yards from the AGR and without apparent police surveillance. There was one barbed wire fence between us and the reactor. Wednesday saw Half Lifers clad in black, wearing gas· masks, cheering up tourists along the Morecambe promenade with a 'Death March'. They seemed to enjoy our rendition of "Where have all the flowers gone? ... Radioactive everyone". The potential threat to the Morecambe tourist industry may become an important element in Half Life's campaign. So far the hoteliers see Half Life as 'more of a nuisance than the power station. But there are signs that they are being won round. Other locals farmers and fishermen are also disturbed about the nuclear power plant-. In the latter half of the week we turned to the more sober business of persuasion and reasoned debate. On Thursday a group of Half Lifers invited the local council's Environmental Health Committee to consider the future of their resort under electronuclear management There is growing unrest among local councils: South Lakeland has come out openly against Windscale and has demanded to be told exactly which routes are used for radioactive waste traffic. On Friday and Saturday, public meetings and debates were held. Among these were a discussion of Chapman and Price's view that an exponentially · growing· nuclear power program, (such as CEGB's) may produce a net energy loss Other discussions centred on the risks of 'routine' radioactive emissions. Representatives of the Atomic Energy Authority and British Nuclear Fuels had initially agreed to attend the teach·ins but then rapidly withdrew. Stirring up AGRo What hope is there for this tiny David pitted against the electronuclear Goliath? Small indeed, it may seem, when one considers the forces behind the world wide rush to nuclear power. But a few considerations give us grounds for hope. The AG R at Heysham is admitted by the CEGB to be • dead loss commercially ("This is a disaster we must not repeat" Arthur Hawkins. head of CEGB). It may be that even when the investment made up to now is discounted, the station will still not be capable of breaking even. An unholy alliance between antinuclear conservationists and Treasury gnomes could yet upset the nuclear applecart. Secondly, it is likely to be at least four years before Heysham goes critical (if, indeed, that is technically possible, which some CEGB engineers doubt). Thirdly, we feel confident that we can stop any move to put other installations on the Heysham site. We will collaborate with other groups round the country to contest any further applications by
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 10

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 11

the CEGB for nuclear sites. Since the number of possible sites is limited, action by local groups could place a severe check on British nuclear devel·opments. From the campaigner's point of view, one of the advantages of the centralised power generation system is that its very giantism makes it vulnerable at crucial weak spots. In Britain the obvious weak link in the chain is Windscale, where all the waste from British reactors as well as waste from Europe and Japan is reprocessed and stored. Block the waste transport routes to Windscale and you have closed down the British nuclear industry. Whereas action directed against indiv·idual power stations can at best delay or halt a single station, action at Windscale could potentially bring the whole programme grinding to a halt. Moreover. Windscale represents all the evils of the nuclearl power world in a pure and un! diluted form. It emits at least I six times as much radioactivity in routine emissions as all the other nuclear power stations in Britain put together. It dumps sizeable quantities of plutonium directly into the sea. Whereas accidents happen· at other reactors occasionally) at Windscale they happen frequently. It is the largest storehouse of plutonium in the country, and the nearest nuclear installation to norther Ireland. It is there that a terrorist attack must be most feared, and there that a British "nuclear park" is most likelyi to be sited. What is more, Windscale is located on the windward side of the Lakes. There is an everpresent possibility of our most beautiful national parks being contaminated. Half Life envisages a multi· faceted attack on nuclear · power, comprising local and I national lobbying. a sustained publicity campaign and, whet we have sufficient community]' support, direct action where necessary. A crucial part of the campaign is to press for alternative energy policies The response of the public to Nuclear Week has been I encouraging. The local people who have to take the alleged; "acceptable" risks of living next t to large nuclear plants are uneasy, and becoming more so. Local councils and M.P.s are pressing questions about nuclear safety to the electronuclear establishment The response of the statutory bodies has been less I satisfactory - though predictable. The CEGB has resolutely boycotted our public debate and refused to answer questions They won't say how much I radioactivity Heysham will routinely emit, now what the. contingency plans are; nor ti
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 11

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 12

they assess accident risks (if they do); nor whether they I armed guards. I Half Life, 82 Bare Lane, Morecambe GRANADA, YOU'RE FALLING UNDER OUR SPELL If public recognition is measured by getting your own television series, Alternative Technology may have made it. Granada will be running a 21 or 26 week half-hour show called Ecohouse starting late this year or very early next and - well, it's interesting. A two-storey derelict coachhouse has been bought in a semi-rural, semi-urban setting in Macclesfield at the back of a crumbling mansion and just past an idyllic amateur's cricket pitch. An advertisement in the Manchester local evening paper produced the Grant family - Geoff, a woodwork and metalwork teacher, Lynn, an ex-English teacher, a three year-old daughter and a six-month baby. Good luck found them a local 'generalist' architect. Don Williams, with no direct AT experience but a keen intelligence and plenty of enthusiasm. Over the next nine to twelve months the barn is going to be made into an almost autonomous house adapted to the needs of the Grants, using the resources of the AT world, both orthodox and freaky, and with a good deal of the work being executed by Geoff Grant himself. The lTV network audience will watch, partly out of curiosity, partly out of envy, and partly because they'll learn how to be that bit more self-sufficient themselves. That's the intention there'll be as little cheating as necessary in order to get the series working. Don't look for any heavy philosophisingthe Grants are nice ordinary people who want a 'nice' home but don't want to change their life-styles completely. Producer and presenter Brian Trueman is unlikely to stare heavily at Gurus of Our Time and ask meaningfully about the Implications For Society, but we got the impression that he knows the implications are there and they'll be implicit. If you know what keeps the house warm and where the food comes from, there should be a bit more than smugness in your outlook, shouldn't there? Trueman expects criticism on all sides - orthodox architects will dislike the inelegancies of approach and the lash-up qualities of some of the solutions. AT purists will quibble about what is meant by autonomy and will pick holes in the ideology of involving the resources of a large entertainment conglomerate, of asking big business as well as dedicated amateur and academic enthusiasts for advice. Someone is going to
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 12

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 13

suggest that windmills will replace cars, pools, and yachts as status symbols and someone else will talk darkly of infringed building regulations, privilege, and, no doubt, a threat to decent civilised morality. Nevertheless the technical solutions evolved in Ecohouse may well turn out to have far-reaching political implications. BRAD was a failure in that Robin Clarke's blueprint for a community linked by AT and completely self·sufficient wasn't totally realised. But in terms of tech·nical and social experiment, not to say propaganda, BRAD has been extremely valuable, even if the participants now feel uneasy about past history. Ecohouse has a good chance of being another such exercise - Don William's ideas look exciting and Granada's production team have the AT 'bug' even if total messianism has yet to surface_ They have already defined their position by a series of implied negat·ives - no mere product parade a la Tomorrow's World, no pretentiousness a la Horizon at its worst. So the precise balance between Barry Bucknall ism and outward vision/ inward sanity has yet to emerge and depends on the quality of the advice it gets and accepts. Some AT groups, such as BRA [ and the Street Farmers have been contacted already. foundations - At the moment, the potential Ecohouse is about 12 metres by 6 metres on onethird of an acre of land. Ground level walls are 13" solid brick and the upper level 9". The slate roof is presently in a poor state, and will have a BRAD-type solar collector. The whole house will be put in a cocoon of insulation - 6" on the roof, 4" on the outside wall surfaces plus wooden cladding (the weatherboard principle), and 2" below the solid floor. Heat from the roof will be stored in two water tanks and a heat pump will be used to ex tract heat from the store to transfer it to warm air ducts. There will be a windmill, though whether it is to be used to generate electricity or to produce heat for transfer to the heat store via a heat churn has yet to be determined. There is a lean-to conser·vatory, partly for living, partly for growing, and partly to act as a heat trap - the top ridge of the roof overlaps the bottom of the upper storey windows by 2" so that a small amount of early morning heat can be fed into the bedrooms. There may be photovoltaic cells - or may be not. There will be an emphasis on food producing gardens and elementary animal
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 13

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 14

husbandry. The Ecohouse project will probably cost £20,000_ The site was expensive at £9,000, while a provisional budget of £11,000 has been set for 'improvements'. Is this what we want for ATs first screen debut? Well, if your political perceptions encourage you to burn 10kWh of energy in other people's places to accelerate the crumbling of the System; or if your self-sufficient commune hides away to avoid contamination by the outside world - you didn't seriously expect much from the telly, did you? Ecohouse will be produced and presented by Brian Trueman, and is being researched by Polly Bide: Granada TV, Manchester M60 9EA,0618321211 ext 119 THE JOB FOR THE RATE Devious are the plans of govern·ment. Readers of Undercurrents 10 will remember Dave Elliot's description of the pitfalls of state-run 'Back to the land' schemes. The old Land Resettlement idea is not yet ready for resurrection, but they're working on it. The latest proposal fro· the Manpower Services Commission, part of the Department of Employment is so-called 'job creation'. The Commission, which has been desperately mounting training schemes and special courses in an attempt to conceal true unemployment is now awaiting approval for its £30 million scheme. The proposal is for 15,000 men and women to do "community work" in areas of severe depression. They would be paid just a little more than unemployment benefit or social security. In this way, cheap labour is obtained by exploiting the unemployed to do necessary social work, rather than by paying normal rates. There would be no job security workers would return to the dole when projects ended. A nice way of cutting the rates. PLANNING FOR WAR In the last 18 months, a revival of 'Civil Defence' work has gathered consider­able momentum. Recently, Bexley council in london voted [77,000 for an emer­gency bunker. Eddies takes a look at some aspects of renewed govern­ment preparations for its own survival - and how the propa­ganda machine will work. When the civil Defence Corps was given a peaceful burial in 1968, many
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 14

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 15

people may have supposed that the busy era of V-Bomber scrambles, eN D marches, and secret underground shelters for top civil servants had gone with them. Far from it. In the period since then, most local authorities have quietly re­tained on their staff the pro­fessional cadre of CD officers ­-usually known as Emer­gency Defence, Civil Aid or by some other euphemism. Now, however. the official title is' Home Defence' - and, under the Civil Defence (Planning) Regulations 1974, all local authorities have been required to prepare plans (the "War Book") which will deal with emergency organisation in their area. Normally this would be done by the 'Emergency Planning Officer' and his staff, who must also cover natural disaster and civil disturbances. The emphasis is a little clearer in a recent advertisement by the Home (ex-Civil) Defence College at Easingwold, Yorks, which defines the problem as "adopting the peacetime services to function in the major emergencies of war and peace peace". Clearly, TV and radio will have an important role in the "major emergencies of peace" - in other words, an uprising in a time of scarcity. Below, we document where the Jimmy Young prog may be hanging out when the revolution starts. Preparations have also been made to ensure that the government will be running the media if Britain is attacked. Instructions have been conveyed to local authorities by circular from the Home Office's Home Defence section. A new circular (Emergency Services 2/75) describes the plans the gov·ernment has for distributing information through the media in the event of nuclear attack. It discusses manipu­lation of the media in general: "providing continu­ ous guidance to the press and broadcasting services on the publication of news and comment"; and the way in which people might react after an attack, from initial stunned apathy" to "more aggressive behaviour" - if there wasn't any government around. Control of the media would also be necessary to prevent <defeatist and alarming rumours," We are told that "existing publicity material is currently being revised", but that in any case "the Central Office of Information and HMSO have plans to act quickly." That must shake the Soviets! The central section of the memorandum, however, deals with three prewar phases:During the Low level crisis, "very little material could be released to the public ... Government broadcasts would give the first indication that war might not be averted" and include - wait for it "references to the effectiveness of the nuclear deterrent." The second phase Preparatory Period would be "some 3-4 weeks", while the country was placed on a war footing".
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 15

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 16

Finally, the Immediate pre­attack period - we get "saturation coverage by all the media. ' . repeating basic advice on the warning system, and measures to be taken for survival of individuals and families ... This would be some 72 hours," Then ... The publication of news­papers would continue right up to the attack ... Normal peacetime TV and sound broadcasting would continue until the govt decided to introduce the special wartime broadcasting service (WTBS) ... Before this, announce­ments would be broadcast telling the public about the new system. At the time specified, all TV and local radio stations would close down and broadcasting would be restricted to a single radio programme consisting primarily of news, official announcements ... with, for morale purposes, an entertain·ment element." To cater for WTBS, the BBC has its own wartime headquarters and a special network of transmitters (see below). In the post-attack period, regional governments might restart regional local radio with news-sheets when possible - in the event of an audience to listen. The memorandum then discusses arrangements for gathering and selecting news and propaganda, and finally the selection and training of "suitable persons" to work for for WTBS. In the first of issue of REPSYCHLlNG, more extracts from the HO circular are given. 20p from 209 Archway Road, LONDON N6. REPSYCHLlNG, the 'magazine of the unborn' is just that: indescribable. TIM AND THE RED FLASH The BBC's emergency arrangements are ostensibly part of the civil warning apparatus in case of attack. All transmitters can be remotely switched to transmit pre-recorded attack warnings, as part of an emergency network. (Reputedly, these warnings are now 8 years old). The other part of the warning net is 'Red Flash' - which connects Home Office warning officers at RAF radar stations and at the Air Defence Operations Centre (High Wycombe) to 250 'Carrier Control Points' installed throughout the country in large police stations and telephone exchanges. The secret about Red Flash is its usual name TIM, or the talking clock I But the information on Red Flash is never heard, as it uses a high frequency carrier out of the normal speech bandwidth. The TI M circuit provides a well maintained, high quality, link which has several loops
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 16

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 17

round the country From the control points, signals radiate to thousands of special receivers, using ordinary telephone links. Again, the system is inaudible on normal calls, since the HF carrier is filtered out. The carrier receivers - small plastic boxes about the size of an ordinary phone. with just a loudspeaker grille and two knobs - are located in police stations, fire stations, BBC control centres, hospitals, etc. There are 14 thousand in all, including some in private homes. Occasionally seen in police station front offices, they tick quietly away on standby J dormant and waiting. Other receivers auto·matically control 8 thousand sirens all over Britain. A pitching and falling banshee signal would be the attack warning. Red Flash also allows spoken messages to be sent to receivers over the TIM network - to police and government establishments, even to all policemen in a particular area. Applications to other situations can be envisaged. TIM's tones will never sound sound the same again. · Pip - pip pip! NOT-SO-BRIEF CANDLE Those (few) enthusiasts for nuclear power who still dismiss the Browns Ferry incident as too bizarre an occurrence to take seriously as a threat to the nuclear programme have been spared a rude shock ­largely as a result of the in­activity of the World's press. The Browns Ferry incident, in which workmen searching for air leaks with a candle accidently set fire to poly­urethane caulking material round control cables and caused all five Emergency Core Cooling Systems (ECCS) to fail, was not the first at the plant. Two days earlier a sim­ilar though much smaller fire was caused in exactly the same manner. Browns Ferry's local paper, the Nashville Tennessean, re·ported that the plant's operators, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commis­sion (N RC) had not managed to find out why the use of candles for air checks had not been halted after the first fire. The incident was logged, but not, apparently, brought to the attention of anyone in authority. Also reported by the Tennessean was chief of TVA's nuclear generation office, Jack Calhoun's comment that. so far as he knew, the use of candles to make an air check was unauthorised. "I guarantee that we'll quit doing that", said Calhoun. This is believed to be shutting· the stable door after a record number of horses have bolted - approximately 1.3 million I
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 17

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 18

corresponding to the plant's 1000MW output '· .. and now, over to Broadcasting Bunker ... " “- This is station WTBS, the Voice of the British Nation - What's the recipe today, Jim? - Hallo all you mumsies out there listening in to the JY prog. today's scrumttyeeeouus recipe comes from dear old Minfood. Their absolutely delicious Buttery Pie can be made from a pound of used potato peelings and ten ounces of fresh grass. But do check the radio­activity first, dearies … “ The BBC has spent "several millions" of somebody‘s money on building themselves a well-equipped wartime shelter at Wood Norton Engineering Training Centre, near Evesham. The shelter, deep underground, is fully provided with TV and radio studios and two "massive" generators. The entrance nests incongruously below a curious office on the training centre site. Under the surface are many feet of concrete, and behind the thick steel doors is a staircase leading down to the shelter and its airconditioned vaults. Above Wood Norton, on the appropriately named Tunnel Hill, microwave radio links the centre with sub­regional headquarters at Kinver, near Kidderminster, and to the Post Office national microwave network which normally carries broadcasting material as well as military information. Wood Norton was the emergency 'Broadcasting House' of the;"last war, when all circuits to BBC radio transmitters were routed through massive switch­boards there, as well as through other centres such as Clifton Gorge, Bristol. The old mansion at Wood Norton reportedly still has speech circuits to all main transmitter centres, although broadcasting cables apparently terminate in the shelter. According to a Post Office engineer, these cables, labeled 'EC' for Emergency Circuit, are shielded and laid separately, deeper than ordinary telephone cables. They run directly to radio and TV transmitters, where the incoming cables are termed 'deferred services' - a code use to fob off inquisitive transmitter engineers who wonder why so many well· prepared circuits are left idle. It is surprising that cables have apparently been provided to TV transmitters, as there there is no intention of using them in a general War situation. There are, of course, other circumstances in which protected circuits and transmitters may be useful. According to BBe sources, many transmitters carry enough fuel for three months operation. The Home Office circular (above) describes a BBC "network of transmitters
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 18

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 19

throughout the country, equipped with generators to supply power and providing fallout protection for the staff ... The WTBS system is linked with sub-regional headquarters (SRHQ).” Another, surprising, role for the BBC has been "keeping civil order" apparently abroad! One engineer spoke of activities at the time of the Paris uprising in May 1968; "Urgent, secretive messages were sent to get a couple of old wartime transmitters (low ·powered short"·wave) operational. We did, they weren't used, but if events in France had got worse (for the status quo) they would have been. But not for broadcasting, as the power was too low." "Since the embassies and the Army have their own large communications net·works, such as the Diplomatic Wireless Service, I can only surmise that "Dirty Works" people would be dropped in France. They were really serious about getting these junk transmitters working, fast!" COOKING THE NUKES Creative energy accounting is now all the vogue with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. According to David Dinsmore Comey in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the NRC, worried by the poor reliability of its plants has started 'improving' the plants' capacity factors by switching away from the traditional basis of 'design capacity' to a new concept called 'Maximum Dependable Capacity' (MDC). MDC is defined by the NRC as a plant's net output during the most restrictive seasonal conditions for condenser cooling. This normally occurs only for a couple of months at the height of summer but the NRC apply the definition throughout the year. The net result is that the plant is rated lower, making it easier for it to attain its 'capacity'. Says Comey, "It's like computing a golfer's handicap solely on the basis of a score he got during a New Year's blizzard while hung over". One power station designed to produce 821 megawatts has been reduced to 700, another has been downrated from 745 to 666 MW and the NRC now run four plants which had more than 100% capacity factors in December 1974! WHISTLE BLOWERS UNDERCURRENTS would like to thank a small articulate minority whose occasional titbits of inside information are readily separated from redundant mountains of instantly recycled paper. Such information can often be vital to groups or individuals who may be affected by the
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 19

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 20

indiscriminate actions of a large company or organ of state. Several articles in this issue are based on such information. Obviously, we can't say which - but you're allowed to guess. We're grateful - and will publish whatever such reliable information is sent, as soon as possible. PS Would our guest from the CIA London station who left his briefcase at a recent office meeting please call back - we can't see which of his teletyped secrets he intended for publication. ENVIROFAIR BRIGHTENS BRIGHTON The first Peoples Free Fair, Falmer, Brighton, 14/15th June. The Envirofair held at Brighton last year has merged with the Kiddies Karnival, and now provides an alternative show and a free festival. More than forty groups spread their stalls, their ideas and better ways of living across the green acres of downland adjacent to Sussex University - while through the day and evening a succession of theatre groups, comics and musicians played and performed for the kids and adults. The ecofraternity provided the main Envirofair section. Shows included the local Friends of the Earth and Conservation society J and the Socialist Environment and Resources Association ( a little known eco-corner of the Labour Party.) The Diggers were well represented, in view of the first land for People meeting held the next day. Assorted Street Farmers didn't quite get energy out of their alter- native technology. Their Bermuda rigged windmill dom·inated the entire scene although Conservation Tools and Technology's Winco machine was racing ahead on the energy stakes. Undercurrents was there on a worthwhile trip, sharing a stall with the recently reformed Brighton Science for People group. Plenty of others too; displaying, demonstrating or sharing crafts, organic food, gadgets, or just ideas. Perhaps four or five thousand people went through; didn't count them. A warm and pleasant day was only marred by two events. One of the theatre groups, perform ing free in the city centre, were brutally dragged off Brighton police; charged, inter alia, with littering by throwing confetti (shades of Alice's Restaurant?). But all charges were dropped later, at a cos of £50 to the police. Veteran Windsor festival organiser Sid Rawle was a bushed by sneaky solicitor for the Windsor Action Group and served with a writ. .. which led him to jail the following week. Later the action moved stage in the Falmer woods music given free by local a other groups. Quietly, the through the downland nigh and on Sunday the woods were the setting for breakfast and the first Land for People meeting.
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 20

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 21

READERS REACTIONS A FEW CHANGES in Undercurrents should result from the readers meeting held at Comtek. More than fifty people came along to the discussion tent on a hot afternoon for a chat about the way UC is going. Nothing very controversial was said. Most people were rather surprised but happy about the inclusion of occult science material in a recent issue. One or two didn't relate well to Woody's long series on Alternative Culture - but everyone else did. Unless the heat had stultified all critical faculties, UC was doing alright. However, a few changes may follow suggestions made. The most important was probably proposals for a regional network; the others were:. EVENTS LISTING - there should be more, larger events notices. There will be - but we rely on being told well in advance about an event (It takes about three weeks to publish material for an issue which is then on sale for two months.) So write to Barbara Kern in plenty of time. SHORT REVIEWS - of magazines and lesser literature will be a new information section. DRECTORY of sources, groups, and individuals is something we couldn't all agree on. A regular section, similar to that in 'Alternative Sources of Energy' (USA) where readers identify their interests with an alphabetic code in published listings could be a useful addition, enabling readers to contact others locally with similar interests. Would you like to see this arrangement - or a regular list of AT groups in each issue? The problem was how wide to cast the net - where do you stop? Please tell us what you think - more proposals in the next issue. ALTERNATIVE TECHNOlOGY teaching - a review of courses involving AT is in preparation. A REGIONAL NETWORK of 'correspondents' was the most interesting suggestion discussed. Fourteen people, broadly spaced over the country have offered to start this idea off. At the minute, it's highly experimental more work will be done after this issue has gone to press. But the network might work like this. Each correspondent could write a short column about local events of interest - communal ventures, AT experiments, etc., and supply information through Under· currents to the area, perhaps including distribution and selling. Or conversely he/she might be asked to find out about a local development. The net result ideally could be a forum and contact pol for groups and individuals become acquainted.
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 21

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 22

Next time round, we should have a better idea of how d network could work. These are the current, experimental network members. If something is going on of interest in your part of Britain, get in touch ... CORNWALL - Jon Campbell Lucastes, Lerryn, Lostwithiel, Cornwall. GLOUCESTER - Godfrey Boyle 11 Shadwell, Uley, Dursley, Gloucs. (Uley 636) POWYS - Bob Todd (NCAT); Uwyngwern Quarry, Machynlleth, Powys. (Machynlleth 2400) CARDIFF - Paul Downton, I Wvverne Road. Cathays. (Cardiff 43485) BUCKS - Kip Handling Signal Cottage, Bledlow, Bucks, SUSSEX - Duncan Campbell Franklin Road, BRIGHTON. Sussex. ESSEX - jan Wysocki, Hams Cottage, Rack Road, Kirton. IPSWICh. YORKS - Leeds Future Studies Centre. 15 Kelso Road. LEED.' 2. LANCS - Nigel Ferguson, 21 Chatsworth Road, LANCASTER NORThUMBERLANd- Geoff Watson. Church Cottage, Chollerton. HEXHAM, Northumberland Monica Frisch, EGIS Information Service, North lodge, Elswick' Road Cemetery. NEWCASTLE 4 EDINBURGH - Michael Tribbeck 10 Cannon Lane, Edinburgh 10. (031-447 4908) NUCLEAR FOES Friends of the Earth, at 9 Poland Street, london Wl have recently produced the first "Nuclear Times" - a newspaper concerned with isSues in the nuclear power programme. Its free, apparently ... but they are unlikely.to turn down contributions. The excellent first issue contains a guide to the nuclear industry in Britain, the nuclear fuel cycle and an account of the planned British reactor programme, plus information on researching and organising against your local reactor. Get rid of a reactor now! SOMETHING IN THE AIR AN INTERNATIONAL Windmill Competition was organised recently in France by BINI and ANVAR, two companies dealing with inventions and patents, in conjunction with Phase Zero, a weekly technical paper. Nearly 400 entries were received - a lot of them, frankly, cranky and badly thought·out. But one or two were original and ingenious.
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 22

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 23

Wind Charger Take, for instance, the proposal by one M Gitton for the direct electrostatic con version of wind to electrical energy. M Gitton's device. which has no moving parts, apparently works by injecting into the air stream electrostatically-charged 'packets' of ' air which are then swept downstream into a large grid of wire mesh. As they pass through the grid, the packets of ionised air induce alternating electrical potentials whose peak value depends on the amount of charge passing through the grid per second, the electrostatic capacity of the grid, and the impedance of any external load con·nected to the system. The frequency of the alternating potential varies, depending on the velocity of the wind and on the frequency (f) with which the charged 'packets' are released into the air though the inventor suggests that an output of fixed frequency could be obtained by controlling f electronically. 'Un petit prototype' is being experimented with at the moment at ONE RA, Meudon, but as the judges pointed out, the proposal is still far from being a practical proposition. If it works, though, it could have at least one environmental effect which the judges failed to mention. A whole host of beneficial social side·effects should accompany the injection of large quantities of negative ions into the atmosphere. as they waft along with the breeze over the tense, nervy, irritable populations of our towns and cities. On the other hand, of course, a few million packets per hour of positive ions would soon have 'cm all fighting in the streets. Another entry that was amusing, and might even work, was a wind generator made out of an old umbrella, intended for portable use by campers and hitch hikers. The fabric of the umbrella is removed and sails are strung on the frame instead. The umbrella shaft drives a Bosch 6v dynamo directly, though if you've been following the discussion about minimum charging speeds in our latest Undercurrents Wind Generator articles, you'll share our doubts that the sails could ever turn fast enough to produce a useful voltage unless the dynamo were specially re·wound. Still, how many designs have you seen for windmills that can be hidden in a trouser leg? Yet another odd proposal was for an inversion of the idea of a flapping wing aero· plane. As the wind blows, it waggles two 'flappers' (you can hardly call them wings) up and down. Adjustment for different wind strengths is made by varying the phasing of the flappers relative to each other. With careful setting up, efficiency is claimed to approach the theoretical (Betz) maximum of 16/27.
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 23

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 24

If you'd like to know more about these and other entries, write to Agence Nationale pour la Valorisation'de la Recherche, 13 Rue MadeleineMichelis, 92 Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. TELL-TALE TELEGRAMS EARLY IN AUGUST the Post Office proudly showed the press round their brand new computer-controlled telegram retransmission centre in Cardinal House. Farringdon Road, London. By a curious coincidence, three days later, on August 8, the papers were full of the admission by the US National Security Agency that all international phone calls to or from the United States are (as we told you in UC7 and UCB) intercepted, recorded, and sometimes listened to. There is of course no immediate connexion between these events. One concerned telephones in America; the other, telegrams in England. We cannot infer that international telegrams passing through London are subject to routine official surveillance. But the fact remains that the system at Cardinal House is ideally suited, in several ways, to just such an operation by the British equivalents of the NSA. The system has elaborate arrangements for recording and storing telegrams, ostensibly to deal with complaints and enquiries. At any time, the last 750,000 telegrams to pass through the centre are held on magnetic disc stores. Since at present 68,000 telegrams are handled on an average day, this means that the past eleven days' traffic is instantly accessible through the computer. In addition, all telegrams are stored for seven months on magnetic tape. Retrieval in this case is slower. since it may mean getting a tape out of the cupboard and loading it onto a tape drive to be read. The records include telegrams which merely happen to have passed through London in transit between two other countries. One quarter of the centre's traffic is in this category. The computer's main task is to route telegrams correctly to their destinations. At the same time, it tells its owners what it is doing, in automatically generated reports. These, we are told, enable the staff to keep a close watch on system operation and telegram handling progress. But there is no technical reason why the machine should confine its attention to the address at the top of the message. Unlike a telephone call, a telegram can easily be analysed by a computer, and it would be easy to arrange for an 'automatically generated report' to pop up in someone's office every time a certain
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 24

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 25

name or word appeared in a telegram. THE WIND ERA The Electrical Research Association has gathered its reports on earlier wind power work into three volumes, shortly to be published. Each volume costs £17 - though you might get it for £11 if you have an ERA member friend in the electrical industry. (Do any actual ERA members read Undercurrents?) Titles are as follows: ERA 75-34 Volume I, Wind measurement and characteristics. ERA 75-35 Volume 2, Wind driven plant and its application. ERA 75-36 Volume 3, Design and testing of wind-driven plant. (Further information from D Warne, ERA, phone Leatherhead 74151 ext 391.) We're tired of complaining about expensive books so we'll leave you to draw your own conclusions. Of course if a free copy plopped on the mat we could write a super review of it for our next issue. Nudge, nudge. ALIEN PORN TV piracy is happening in a small way in the South of France. One village now has its own TV relay station, set up by a local engineer because of poor reception. However, they rapidly realised that they could also use the relay for programme origination. They aren't very radical about it the weekly unofficial spot includes the mayo,'s account of the past week plus odd local gossip. But at least the local gendarmerie are too sleepy to worry about the illegal transmissions. A more serious and effective experiment took place at Levezou on July 8th. In the middle of a play, transmissions were suddenly inter·rupted by two minutes of hard porn, which equally abruptly returned to normal material. The source was some local freaks who jammed out the normal signal into the TV transmitter with their own programme recorded on a videotape, and played back through a low power transmitter close to the receiving aerial of the Lezevou transmitter. Because the station normally acts as a local relay for the main trans·mitter many miles away, any group transmitting on the same frequency as the main transmitter have got them· selves a pleasingly powerful broadcasting station. Since you are much closer to the receiver, you don't need to use very}' much power. And you're guaranteed a big, attentive audience glued to their boxes!

_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 25

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 26

... ANY NOISE YOU LIKE PROVIDED IT'S WHITE The shop stewards at Ford's car components factory at Leamington, Warwicks, have recently been organising with technology for better working conditions. Their ally in the struggle was a simple noise meter to measure the legality or otherwise of clattering aut·omated machinery. The convenor using the noise·meter was summarily brought to the plant's Personnel manager, who charged him with a disciplinary offence 'the "possession of an unauthorised device". His attitude spoke volumes - and the convenor informed him that his volume was topping 90 decibels rather noisy in fact, and could he please calm down. The ensuing out burst registered at over 100 decibels, he was told, quite an 'orrible 'earful. Would he like to take this case to national level, and would Ford management claim (but quietly) that workers might not measure the safety of the plant for themselves? Perhaps not. When the noise level on the shop floor was measured, it was indeed found to be over t· e legal limit of 90 decibels. Ford may be forced to take action to reduce the noise made by factory machinery. The British Society for Social Responsibility in Science are currently investigating the hazards of noise in industry. To give/receive information, contact Tony Fletcher, BSSRS, 9 Poland Street, London WC1 SECRECY THROWN TO THE WINDS THE SECOND MAJOR US workshop on wind energy conversion systems (WECS) was held in Washington on 9-11 June, 1975. It may be the last. British delegates from the Electrical Research Association who were there report that "the US view seems to be that they have reached a stage where further public disclosure, especially to overseas organisations. may need to be restricted." The US WECS programme, run jointly by the new Energy Research and Development Administration and the old, wings·clipped NASA, has a generous budget which in the fiscal year 1975-6 could reach $18 mill·ion. At the time of the work·shop their 100kW machine with 125ft diameter rotor had been manufactured and was being installed. There are preliminary studies for machines up to 3 megawatts. The agencies have also carried out economic studies of wind power and perhaps it is these that have convinced them there is money to be made, provided the grubby paws of foreigners can be kept off the precious blue· prints.

_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 26

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 27

WHAT'S ON Leeds Futures Centre are holding a conference on ALTERNATIVE TECHNOLOGY AND THE FACTORY with special emphasis on the Lucas Aerospace initiative at Bradford College and the University of Bradford. Dates are November 15·16th. For more details phone Roland Chaplain at the Futures Centre: 0532/459865. leeds Future Studies Centre 15 Kelso Rd. t.EEDS LS2 9PR. THE CONSERVATION SOCIETY's AGM will be on November 15·16 a the Corn Exchange in Bristol. The theme is the discussion and launching of the society's 'Campaign for Conservation · and Survival'. Speakers include the President, lord Avebury, Michael Allaby and John Seymour, and the Dean of Bristol. Further information can be obtained from the Secretary Mr H A Fowler, Henley Cottage. Yatten, Bristol. lATE EXTRA - There y,iU possibly}' be a SiMPLE TECHNOLOGY WEEKEND October 4/5th 1975 at Duckworth Farm, Shawforth, Rochdale. Details - phone Diana Manning at · middlesex Polytechnic, on 01-804 t674. The Teilhard Centre for the Future of Man is holding its Annual Conference on Saturday October 18th at St. Pancras Assembly Rooms. Euston Road. It is entitled SELF AND SOCIETY, CONFlict OR COoPERATION, and Dr Joseph Needham and Ursula King are among the speakers. Phone the centre for more detail" 01-582 9510. PRINTERS NATIONAL MEltiNG organised by Jonathan Zeitlyn of the Inter-Action Media Workshop is taking place in October - date not decided as we went to press. This follows a meeting of London political and community printers held in July, and will aim at setting up useful national co-operative networks. Contact: Printers Meeting, 2A St Pauls Road, LONDON Nl. The next major LAND meeting will take place on October 18-19th at the Futures Centre. 15 Kelso Road. LEEDS 2. (But please confirm the dates with the Centre before you rush off towards Leeds.) Tel: 0532/459865. looking much further ahead - there is to be a three'"day conference 3t the University of Newcastle upon Tyne from March 30 to April I 1976. It is entitled APpROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY FOR TIlE UK, and is org.anised by the staff of the University's Faculty of Applied Science, supported by t Intermediate Technology Development Group Among the possible session ideas are: traditional techniques and their future development; low impact sources of energy; and the philosophy of appropriate
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 27

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 28

technology. There, will also be a small exhibition of prototype working models and other material. For more details write to Mrs Cox, Administrative Assistant, Dept. of Civil Engineering; University of Newcastle upon Tyne. NEI 7· after lst November 1975. We will also give more details nearer the event. ORGANISING AN EVENT?? Please send any information for inclusion in this section to Barbara Kern at Undercurrents

_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 28

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 29

• • Letters

GOATS BEARDED Tom Kewell didn't say the last word on cow-versus-goat in Undercurrents 11 - 1 doubt if anyone ever will. Since so many would be self-sufficers seem to think first of goats, here are some observations in favour of the cow. based on experience rather than theory. First, if you want to make cream, and thence butter, forget goats. I daresay goats' cream can be skimmed if you have endless time and patience, but there are better things to do. Small separators arc no longer made, and secondhand ones are hard to find, expensive when you can get one, and often in poor condition. What's more. they consist of a million parts, each of which has to be rinsed, washed, sterilised, rinsed again, and dried, every time the machine is used. For the small quantities of milk you will get from a goat or two, they are just not worth it. For a pound of butter, you need at least a quart of cream, which means several gallons of milk. which means a lot of goats for worthwhile production - or one cow, whose cream you can skim by hand. Kewell implies that goats can be kept confined all the year round. Again I dare say it is possible, though I doubt if they would be happy or healthy in the minimum size of pen he mentions. But unless you want to run your own little factory farm, it is more enjoyable for all concerned if animals are out of doors whenever condition are right. So keeping any large livestock involves land, and the chances are that, if you have any, it will be grassland. Now goats are not particularly good converters of grass., unlike a cow, which will live and give milk, on little else for at least the summer months. Goats need hay or other roughage in addition, and they have to have expensive concentrates all the year round, whether they are producing any· thing or not Again the cow wins, though if you have access to a large area of heather or scrubland or something like that, the balance of advantage shifts in favour of the goat. I think those are the only circumstances in which goatkeeping could compete economically with cowkeeping, though the goats "ill still need their concentrates. So if your goats are out of doors, they will have to be confined somehow. Any fence, hedge, or wall - of less than Long Kesh standard will not contain them without fail, so they have to be tethered. No method of
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 29

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 30

tethering. including the one illustrated does not involve trouble and discomfort - sometimes injury - for both animal and owner, and any is likely to fail sooner or later. A row of fruit bushes or vegetables is soon disposed of by a goat and nearly as quickly by a kid, which is even more athletic and can't be tethered at all without risk of strangulation. A cow, by (:contrast, is a placid creature without athletic ambitions., and if it has grass and water will be confined by ordinary fences and gates. It doesn't mind ram, which goats will not tolerate for long, so you don't have to rush out to take it back to shelter every time there is a shower and it starts bellowing. Now the matter of quantities of milk and what to do with it. An animal unfortunately, isn't like the milkman: you can't put out a note for it to tell it how much you want the next morning. It gives what it is biologically designed to do, which means a lot shortly after calving or kidding, and progressively less for, usually ten months. Two months later, it "ill give birth again if you have ordained it so. Or, on the other hand. it may not, and if it is a goat, you will probably be carrying a hungry passenger for several months., because goats, unlike cows., rarely breed outside their season. For this reason, all your goats will be giving their maximum at much the same time, while for a large part of the year you may be getting only a pint or two or none. (And Kewell's average of 200 gallon a year seems a bit optimistic: I wouldn't count on getting that much from a goat). So you can't smooth out the peaks and troughs of production as you can with a pair of cows., or perhaps a cow and a goat, which is what I keep. Kewell seems to think it counts against the cow that it gives a lot of milk, but in fact it is difficult to have too much of it. Here's how we use the 2Y.2 gallon a day we are getting from the cow: we skim it for cream, either for the table and for cooking with or for butter, and if there is too :much butter it is made into ghee for frying; the skim is made into cheese (hard cheese which is a far more useful commodity than cottage cheese and yogurt - although Kewell forgot to say that hard cheese needs pressing, and it doesn't take six weeks to make, only to mature); and the whey, unless I make Norwegian whey cheese, of which a little goes a very long way, feeds the pig or the chicken or sometimes the goat. as does any surplus skim, or spoilt whole milk or other odds and ends. We thus directly or indirectly supply much of our fat and protein consumption (and more than our needs) from, at this time of year, little more than grass.
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 30

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 31

But I don't want to give the impression that aU the advantages are one way: a notable point in favour of goats' milk is that, quite apart from its undoubted benefits in certain disease conditions, it can be fed direct to babies without treatment, which cows' milk can't. My real reason for writing is not to knock goats - I like them and their milk and its derivatives - but, perversely, to be a bit discouraging. Goats are too cheap and easy to buy -humble scrub animals, that is and I think too many of this kind are bought by people who can't afford or won't be bothered to house and feed them properly or manage them considerately. A cow is large and relatively expensive, and taking one on is more obviously a responsibility. I don't want to be sanctimonious, but any article - even a sound one like Kewell's which encourages goat keeping makes me think, not of the pampered pedigree animals belonging to the ladies of the British Goat Society, but of the unfortunate beasts which are bought on an impulse as a source of "free' milk and are neglected when they don't live up to their owners' expectations or turn out to make unforeseen demands. Waller Gundrey North Hudgill Alston Cumbria HAS BEAN Come on Fiskeby V isn't all bad. Yes, it costs you. But Y.2 a packet planted a ten foot double row last year, fed two people several meals., and we saved seed, far more than we bought Cultivation notes - high germination rate, but where a bean missed, the ones near the gap seemed to suffer a little. I reckon they should be planted 3" apart or less, in rows 3 - 4 ., apart We produced bushy plants, about 8 - 10" high, with plenty of pods. Still low yield, small beans, two per pod, but the same size as the soya beans in the local health food shop. No intensive irrigation, mulched with garden compost. Practically no hoeing required. The saved seed plan ted this season had 90% germination, if not more. The frost last weekend destroyed maybe 20% of that. Not bad for a frost-tender plant. Maybe the problem is partly culinary, It is greedy to expect to eat Fiskeby V by the plateful as one might ",with runner and broad beans. A vegetable casserole i!l a good technique, since Fiskeby V has a pretty unexciting flavour, much improved by carrots, peas etc. Since at times the future seems precarious, it seems worthwhile to raise a few plants for seed each year. Patricia Baker The Compasses Silverstone Northants.
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 31

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 32

DIVINE LIGHT OF TAO As an admirer of Joseph Needham for many years, I too have wished that we could learn from the Taoists along the lines you recommend in your last issue. The question is, whether Taoism is only a sensibility or also an experience. When Needham says that Taoism is "free from all transcendental elements", this is of course correct. But there is strong evidence that it involves a very direct contact with an immanent divinity. Books on Taoism will describe Taoist "alchemy" and meditation techniques., as an essential part of its way. Thus, in Th Secret of the Golden Rower (Routledge), we learn of a Taoist sect, that used breath and sexual techniques for realising the "Divine Light" through the "Third Eye", flourishing in China in quite recent times. Support for this identification of Taoism with inner experience comes from Jung's commentary on the Golden Flower. Thus, .' .. the light of heaven' which 'dwells between the eyes' as 'the heart of heaven' is used synonymously with Tao. Human nature and life are contained in 'the light of heaven' and, according to Liu Hua-yang, are the most important secrets of-Tao."(pp. 97-98). Thus it can be argued that this very simple and pure enhancement of consciousness is a traditional and valid way towards the radical transformation of social reality that we all desire and strive for. Sincerely, Jerry Ravetz. 5 Moor Park Avenue, Leeds LS6 4 BT. UNDERCURRENTZZZZ .... ? I find Undercurrents more stimulating each issue. But please must we be subjected to such lengthy boring diatribes, the worst examples being boring Peter Harper and "Woody". I do not object to political comment, being involved in an "alternative" newspaper myself (excellent, terse Leeds Other Paper) but if these writers were to brush up their style a bit, think about what they're trying to say, they should be able to release space and time for more worthwhile things. This tendency is more widespread in UC. Dave Elliot could have cut his interesting but too long article by about one-third and lost nothing ..• and so on. I know we're all trying to find styles to replace alienated and unreadable journalese and scientific jargon but I think this is a step in the wrong direction. I think the journals of the Women's Movement are solving this problem better than anyone else just now. Still I'm enclosing my sub ..• Hopefully Pauline Stone 6 Hessle Mt., Leeds, LS6 IEP
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 32

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 33

SKEPTICISM Anyone encouraged by Sylvia Lee's article (Undercurrents 11) to start beekeeping. should seek out a fellow beekeeper first. You can't rely on the books - I would never have got through my first year without the help of an old man down the lane. That way, you can also get a look at the equipment and see what you can make yourself. Since it can cost over £70 to get started it's amazing how soon you can learn the simple carpentry required. The even more AT-minded should get a copy of Make Your Own Skep, published by the British Isles Bee Breeders' Association, from Whitegates, Thulston, Derby DE7 3EW . Contrary to what most beekeepers are brought up to believe, you don't have to kill skep bees to get the honey. There are some snags.. but maybe these are outweighed by the fact that skeps cost the price of a sheaf or two of straw. Terry Pratchett Gayes Cottage, School Lane, Rowberrow, Winscombe, Som. BS 25 lQP DISAPPOINTMENT AT THE POINT OF PRODUCTION May I comment on one or two things in the article by Browning and Clutterbuck, Is there a Radical Science? in UC II, p.8? One can agree with a good deal in Browning and Clutterbuck, not lease with their disapproval of UCs recent Liaison with Resurgence, that grande dame of high-minded obfuscation. But there is,I suggest. an equal. though different, evasion in this sentence: "Surely, what we are supposed to be doing is challenging existing technologies and the ideas behind them, and surely that means taking some of our ideas to the points of production - not to the most peripheral areas of these isles:' True, the next sentence admits "it isn't easy", etc. But the follow- ing two paragraphs though recognising many snags - make me, though in my seventies, feel so young! For they cling to a quasi-theology which was very plausible a century ago but has become more and more disputable ever since. It would certainly be lovely if those "at the points of production" were foremost in vision of a liberated society and of its appropriate technology. That they would have the first was Marx's belief, and Morris's News from Nowhere gave a rough (and rather questionable) picture of the second. But the unfeeling hand of History has produced something different. To start with, whatever the increase in the proletariat in the nominal sense,
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 33

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 34

the point-of-production workers are a decreasing proportion of it and a minority of the population in most of the "advanced" countries.. Thus any revolution they accomplished would be a minority dictatorship unless (as in News from Nowhere) they instilled eventually a like vision in most other strata. Since space forbids discussion of just where "production" work begins and ends in the complex hierarchies of modem industry, I must resort to the broad distinction between blue and white collars and point out that "militancy" is far from confined to the blues. Of course it is the blues. the "engineers" of all grades, upon whose operations capitalist industry primarily depends. That is what inspires "radical scientists" to try to make them technologically "prefigure socialism". But scientists. said T. H. Huxley, should sit down before facts like little children. What are the facts? I am sure both UC and Browning-Clutterbuck would agree that strikes and sit·ins, however militant and even if "general", are not in the least revolutionary unless - but dammit. that article's last two paragraphs strongly imply that the facts are far from encouraging. Can anyone for instance produce evidence of a single strike by car workers where any shopfloor voices, let alone union leaden, have protested at the multi-pathogenic effects of their industry? And the article" expressly questions the relevance of "workers' control". Then why still hope and pray to the points of production? I suggest two allied motivations. (I) "Marxist" piety and a consequent non-sequitur. If Marx rightly described the "laws of motion" of the system (which is broadly true), his political predictions about the "working class·' must be equally accepted. (2) Bourgeois conscience. The working class, especially production workers, are exploited; therefore they must be saved by the conscious among us intellectuals and themselves become the saviours of us all To those twin pieties I suggest two principal answers. (I) In industrial society we' are practically all bourgeois now. (2) So Radical scientists should perhaps think again. On the first, we have of course Marcuse, Bookchin, and others saying something like that with variations. How far the working class is now "embourgeoisee" in social mores cannot be shortly discussed. But the Industrial Revolution urbanised and starved its sensibilities. Of course the agricultural proletariat led cramped, often ill-nourished, and exhausting lives; but their children loved and gave names to a thousand flowers. Need one spell out the contrast with the metallic alienations, enforced competition, and commercialised "recreation" of their descendants? And the second answer? Now it cannot, alas, be denied that to- day's
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 34

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 35

communal movement, obviously the target of the snide phrase "the most peripheral areas of these isles", is beset by fetishism: personality problems, let alone the threat from Authority if it did achieve a significant erosion of the market economy. Too often it is co-opted by the latter, or else it talks as if Jordan could be crossed on Pacifist pontoons. Bu t Marxist piety derides it for a further reason. It has recruited few blue collar heroes. Indeed, together with the student rebels of the sixties and related stirrings. its members were mostly born in "he white collar wardrobes; and they have the insolence to denounce "the consumer society" wherein the sacred working class so "militantly" competes. In· sufferable sin against the Holy Dialectic! Oh, no doubt Browning and Clutterbuck don't love the consume society. But they still obviously feel that. despite all disappointments, the points of capitalist production must hold the magic key. I am not at all asserting that the communal movement is a good bet either. But I vigorously assert something else. So long as the industrial and most other - workers fall for every con trick such as "workers' control" or whatever and show no conscious striving for the lost green of life, then those who have that consciousness (even in freakish forms) hove every right to seek escape wherever it may be found... Finally, if Marx could rise today from his Highgate earth, he might ' find much cause to say again "Personally, I am not a Marxist". Basil Druitt 47 Barrack Road" Christchurch, Dorset. WATTS THE RECIPE TODAY, GEOFF? I thinks most of Geoff Watts' review of Ivan lIlich's "Medical Nemesis" is fair and reasonable but I'm surprised that he's fallen into the trap of expecting "Illich to provide a " .. recipe for the transition ... to a feasible society". The basis of lIlich's arguments is that no "recipe", however wise, benevolent and well-intentioned, can be anything but destructive of a community's mutual aid systems if-it is imposed from outside; and he repeatedly criticises our willingness to accept and "consume" solutions to ethical. medical, l and technical problems instead being the engineers of our OWl each other's salvation. Given this, how can lllich ] pose any "recipe" for solving I problems,. unless he contradict himself? Indeed, it's a sad reflection on how far self·help has degenerated with Geoff Watts, reviewing a book which stresses the need self·help. complains that he h; been given a solution to
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 35

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 36

consume! And incidentally Geoff should re-read the bit about a barefoot doctors. Illich does ·I· and criticise" this system ... because it is no longer fully de professionalised. In his earlier; for conviviality he praised the! system, but commented that t afraid the medical profession i succeed in undermining and P.l professionalising it. Now it seems his fears were justified, so why I shouldn't he criticise? Sandy MorrisonDun Eisdean Beog 47 Church Road, Dover, Kent. SELF-SUFFICIENCY PURE CAPITALISM Dear Sir - As a paid up subscriber my position is clear - I welcome the omnipolitical nature of your put. Your plaintive reviewers' demanding a clear moral stance from which to view every issue carrying the implication that only everyone shared their vi point the world would be a p worth living in, should be tolerated but not heeded. As I see the left wing cure is worse than the right wing disease - and it seems that a philosophy of S4! sufficiency is more akin to PI capitalism than anything else fact that pure capitalism (rugged enlightened independence, I coupled to mechanisms enabling: everyone else to be thus too) never been practised on a Ian scale scarcely detracts from r ing it as an objective. Communes seem to be leading that way good luck to them. The sociology of knowledge explains how f. plus nurture give to the individual's unique outlook. I work with [not for) deprived kids (what else someone whose parents don't I a damn for them?) and they seek only the means of doing own thing - my problem being see that they allow everyone else the same privilege. Perhaps y 'committed' correspondents come to my school? Meantime suggest they read Popper an' Hume on historicism and causal relationships; Sapir and Whorf on linguistic relativity and Now We Are Six (A. A. Milne). Truly youth is wasted on the young Incidentally what is a Savonius Rotor? Yours faithfully, T. G. P. Flinn 12 Menzieshill Road, Ninewells, Dundee.

_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 36

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 37

• • • • • • • • • • • Elliott WORKERS AND THE WORLD UNITE

The Lucas Aerospace Combine Shop Stewards Committee have decided to put to their management a proposal for a new set of production priorities: they are demanding the right to work on socially.needed alternative technologies. This initiative shows the way towards a new type of trade unionism which combines the traditional defensive economism, forced on it by the capitalist system, with a progressive and 'positive view of the possible alternatives · or socially and environmentally appropriate production. TRADE UNIONS are usually depicted by the press as narrow minded, self-interested, greedy wreckers. Some Union spokesmen even obligingly provide quotes to reinforce the impression, such as: "We are going to be at the top of the tree and if that hurts anybody else, then I'm sorry .. " The issue of income differentials is one that few trade unionists have yet fully faced - except in theoretical or rhetorical terms. Levelling up is their ideal - and, as far as it goes, a sound one. Even so, it still sounds pretty materialistic. But Trade Unions are, after all, part of the current socioeconomic structure. They may have been created as an 'oppositional' movement aimed at radically altering (or even removing) capitalism, but over the years they have, to a considerable extent, had to adopt a reformist role. They have become part of the system, in that their main activity, collective bargaining. is concerned mainly with the division of the roughly fixed share of the cake allocated to the workers. Now of course when you say 'trade unions' this means different things to dif·ferent people. For the press its either the top union officials (the 'faces') or the sinister shop floor militants who surface briefly into public consciousness. In real·ity the union is the membership: the elected officers are only there to carry out the mandated policies and protect and advance the interests of the members. If some of the trade union officials have espoused reformist policies, this does not mean that the trade unions themselves as a whole are necessarily reformist instit·utions - although that is the danger. There are some countervailing tendencies at the grass roots, as the current rise in shop steward, rank-and-file, and cross union combined activity illustrates. But in a society which trains its members to chase the carrot of material possessions, applauds conspicuous consumption and celebrates affluence
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 37

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 38

as an end in itself, it is not surprising that institutions which are partly incorporated into it, like the trade unions, will absorb some of these values. And there are quite strong tactical reasons why trade unionists will reduce all issues to economistic 'wage' issues - they are easily understood, quantifiable and, in theory at least, such demands attack profits and thus change the economic imbalance between wage-labourer and capitalist In reality of course, and particularly in an inflationary situation, wage demands do not attack profits - they just lead to price increases, withdrawal of capital investment and further recession. No real redistribution is produced.
_______________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________ Shown below are some existing items produced by Lucas and its subsidiaries. Lucas Aerospace is one of the Joseph Lucas family of companies: Lucas is a major supplier of electrical components to the motor vehicle industry. Lucas Aerospace are mainly concerned with supplying a wide range of mechanical and electrical systems to the aircraft industry. Consequently they are involved with producing a wide range of pneumatic, hydraulic, electrical and electronic control systems, power generation units and so on. The Lucas group of companies also have, or have had, interests in the following products: Lucas Marine solar cells for auxiliary power for boats, caravans and isolated sites (in conjunction with the Solar Power Corporation of America) . 25 amp·hour/week, DO/watt. Lucas electric delivery van and electric·pedal hybrid bicycle. Lucas Freelite windmill (now discontinued) Small scale power units, batteries etc. for isolated sites. (Lucas Industrial Equipment). Medical equipment - haemodialysis systems, cardiac pacemakers etc (Lucas Aerospace ). &. Regenerative 'retarder' breaking units for vehicles. _______________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________

Management also prefer (to some extent) to deal with cash issues rather than the more diffuse (and un·manageable) 'control' issues - such as those concerning manning, safety, pollution, long term policy and so on. Management quite consciously introduces or accepts conflict-reducing institutions which force workers to define grievances in cash terms. As Michael Mann has put it: “What we call the institutionalisation of industrial conflict is nothing more nor less than the narrowing down of conflict to aggressive economism and defensive Consciousness and Action in the Western Working Class.”
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 38

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 39

Papermac 1973. So wider issues are consciously reduced to economic issues. The fact that this tactic fuels inflation illustrates how unstable the system is. The tendency of management to encourage aggressive economism, for the sake of short term ease of managerial control, leads to longer term instabilities. i Furthermore, this economism might cause workers' expectations and aspirations to rise to a point when they cannot be satisfied within the present economic system a point not lost on those who are working for the overthrow of capitalism. The problem with this tactic, in its revolutionary context, is that it does not equip workers with an awareness of, and an ability to organise around, the many equally important noneconomic issues and problems, After all, workers are not just faced with economic exploitation. Although this may be the central mode of their oppression, other more diffuse forms of control are in operation which help sustain, underpin and legitimise the economic exploitation. In their daily experience at work, as well as in the community or as consumers, workers are forced to realise that they lack even the basic elements of control over their lives. They are closely supervised at work, paced by machine and clock, bought and sold according to the needs of the capitalist system, and cajoled to adopt its required consumption and life style patterns. They are just hands and mouths. It is not surprising that some workers want more than just more money to compensate for this alienation. Not only do they seek to challenge the basic economic alienation (the exploitation of their labour power) but they also see k to have more control over the conditions and purpose of their work. This goes further than simply asking for better 'work·ing conditions' and welfare provisions, and it is for this reason that management fears _______________________________________________________________ ____________________________
P.R. and Profits from Poverty Some people might argue that industry will come round to the sort of 'appropriate technology' being considered by the Lucas Combine simply under the influence of market forces, perhaps augmented by the pressure of public opinion or legislation on environmental protection/energy conservation. Some of the new products being considered by firms like Lucas indicate that this is a distinct possibility. In which case,
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 39

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 40

what's the problem? What would be lost if industry unilaterally opted to alternative technologies? Now to some extent it may be that industry, operating in response to the market, can shift its priorities in this way and thus enable some of its customers to move towards self-sufficiency, or whatever. But it is by no means clear if it would be possible for the mass of people to afford the products: they would simply be sold as luxury extras to those who could afford them. After all, that is the most profitable market at present. The point is that, given the present socio-economic system and the present locus of control, the aims and priorities of production are rarely identical with those of the mass of people: in short, this view ignores the possibility of structural divergencies of interest in society. If the industrialists opt for alternative technology you can be sure that they will do so in a way that insures the maintenance of the present system of control, profit and privilege. In this context it is worth considering briefly the activities of the US aerospace companies in the late 1960's when, due to the 50% cut back in NASA projects, retrenchment hit them - for the UK aerospace companies are facing a somewhat similar situation today. The response of the US firms was to diversify. As De Greene records: " ... retrenchment in the aerospace industry caused aerospace management to seek new markets and applications" “the energies of a socially oriented engineering profession (should) be switched from spectacular and technically sophisticated products like weapon systerns and space vehicles, towards mundane but socially sophisticated products meeting primary human needs." Indeed they went further than rhetoric and investigated a considerable number of social problem areas", including communication, education, transport·ation, health, information processing, crime and delinquency, pollution and urban development". But note the odd mixture of 'problem areas'. Many imply a very 'status quo' oriented view of what constitutes a social problem and what 'solutions' should be investigated. As these studies progressed it became more and more obvious that all these firms could offer, despite their advanced systems analysis techniques, were 'technical fixes' that involved fairly sophisticated technology - computer data files and analysis techniques for criminal records and crime pattern analysis, rapid transit systems, electronic surveillance to combat crime, and so on. This is hardly surprising when one remembers that the firms would inevitably be concerned with profit: as one enthusiast put it: ". , . we must find a workable, profit-oriented mechanism by which the great talents of systems-oriented industry can be brought to bear on the needs of society". In the end what emerged were a few meagre, but profitable, projects on mail handling systems, rapid transit:, and data files. As Boguslaw bitterly commented, it seems difficult for H ••• technical elites nurtured on a diet of weapons system development, a criterion framework of time and cost efficiency,and a free enterprise' management ethos, really (to) address themselves to the technological tasks involved in providing human dignity and a peaceful planet ... "4 More recently, 'pollution control' and environmental protection have been seen as a new market - with very similar results. As Ridgeway comments: "According to the calculations of the American Council of Environmental Quality, at least a million doll a" is pocketed in the course of the elimination of three million dollars worth of damage to the environment" - and remember it is the large companies that to a considerable extent are responsible for the pollution in the first place. As the old
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 40

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 41

saying goes: "where there's muck there's money". Another, newer motto has also been heeded " ... there's money in poverty". Urban development grants and the US poverty programme have provided much healthy profit for US firms. As the magazine The American Way commented, the u ••• companies view America's poor as a vast potential marketu.5 Given such a viewpoint, it seems hardly surprising that the various 'environmen·tal' and 'poverty' projects embarked on by US industry contributed only marginally to 'solving' the underlying problems. As Goodman commented in After the Planners: " ... their solutions give little hope that those who suffer most will benefit from these efforts". What they did provide - besides profits - was an aura of 'social responsibility'. The firm's PR departments could hold up these projects as demonstrations of the companies' concern for the underprivileged. Now of course it might have been possible, if these projects were enlarged and extended, to have made some real contribution to solving the problems in a limited way - and in particular to provide work for the many unemployed people who were part of the problem. But in general the projects were high-capital prestige projects, involving only small numbers of specialists. As Ida Hoos has pointed out:, they were used to draw attention from the firm's major activities: U Anxious to create an image reflect·ing the public good and demonstrate social responsiveness, companies deeply engaged in the development of fighter bombers, missiles and rockets wish to convey the impression that their prime focus is benevolent. Their advertising message is the red herring drawing attention away from the fact that the ratio between civil and defence-space con- tracts is that of gnat to elephant ... "7 The Californian Studies mentioned earlier involved $100,000 apiece for projects investigated by Space General, Lockheed, Aerojet General and North American Aviation, compared to say $30 billion a year spent on weapons and space development ... What does all this imply for groups like the Lucas.workers who are trying to shift production priorities? It seems that the capitalist system imposes severe restrictions on what can be done. But most workers, whether blue collar shop floor production workers, highly skilled technicians or managers, would no doubt be quite happy to engage in socially useful production. If the locus of control can be shifted then it may perhaps be possible to engage all this goodwill and encompass the genuine concern and interest of all the employees in a way that will transcend the narrow profit incentive. This is not to say that Lucas or any other firm should seek to become a philanthropic institution- but surely it is possible to organise production in a way that meet real human need without becoming a charity: Initiatives like the one taken by the Lucas Combine are exciting precisely because they will involve a wide range of employees. The Combine covers employees who are members of a wide range of unions - white collar, blue collar, engineers, technicians, office staff, supervisors, research staff and middle managers. This body is unlikely to want just a facade of social responsibility - it is the real thing they're after. Kenyon B. Degreene Systems Psychology McGraw Hill 1970 p. 549. N. Calder Technopolis McGibbon & Kee 1969 p.165. J. F. Collins 'Technology for the Urban Crisis' Technology Review July-August 1968. R. Boguslaw 'The Design Perspective in Sociology" in The Sociology of the Future W. Bell & J. Mau Russel Sage 1971 p. 258.
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 41

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 42

R. Martin 'Business Tackles the Ghetto' The American Way 1969. R.. Goodman 'After the Planners' Penguin 1972. p.80 Ida Hoos 'Systems Analysis in Social Policy' lLEA 1969.

_______________________________________________________________ ____________________________ the demand for "workers' control". For, to press for control over such issues as line speed, job design and work organisation, manning levels, product design, production system choice - and perhaps even long-term policy on corporate pricing, marketing, employment, the environment and technology - is to challenge seriously the prerogatives and authority of manage·ment But is any of this really happening? Are there any signs of trade unions transcending wage issues? Yes there are, but you will not read about them in the capitalist press. You might get a few column inches about Jack Jones pressing for higher pen·sions. And the local papers might occasionally comment on the Trades Councils campaign for better welfare or school provisions. You hear a lot about management-initiated schemes for worker participation, job enlargement, suggestion schemes and so on. Very occasionally you get a report of union solidarity gestures concerning deprived or oppressed workers abroad. And you might be told of the activities of workers in far off (safely distanced) countries - like the Australian building workers' "Green Bans" on environmentally and socially inappropriate developments. But have more than a few people been told about the Positive Employment Program at ICI, in which the unions proposed a joint management-union control committee on Environmental Studies? Have many read that these workers". . . were anxious that the growth of their real-incomes is not to be at the expense of the health of themselves, their families or their communities". How many people know about the Transport 2000 group, which aims to press for " ... a more rational and ecologically sound form of transport". I t has not escaped these workers that current modes of technology and produc·tion organisation affect them not only at work, but also in their communities: theirs is a quite logical response, even in self-interest terms. It is also rational to begin to question the logic of a form of production, planned obsolescence, all in the name of conspicuous consumption. If a car \worker spends eight hours a day shuffling along a conveyor line contributing to the production of 200 cars, and then has to walk a quarter of a mile, past the 200,000 unsold cars stored in what was the car park, to his own car, so that he can then spend an hour driving through con_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 42

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 43

gested streets to his polluted, motorway blighted, home - and all in order to pay for his car and the consumer items and services to help him forget his work then he is likely eventually to see the irrationality of it all. Increasingly, his response is unlikely to be just a demand for more money to compensate: the demand is now for more control over conditions and policies. Trade Unions are probably in an ideal position to influence industries' social and environmental policies - after all, their members are organised around a crucial point in the production and distribution chain: they have a strategic role. They could take a leading part in redirecting industry towards more sane forms of production. But are they taking up this challenge, you ask? A year or so ago, the Lucas Aerospace, Shop Stewards Combine Committee set up a science and Technology consultancy service which was aimed at providing tech·nical advice to members who were faced with new technologies, work methods, speed up, potentially dangerous machines or processes, and similar innovations introduced by management As such, this was essentially a defensive' organisation in the traditional trade union sense. But recently the Combine decided that they must adopt a more positive stance, and develop counter proposals rather than just react to and resist management's initiatives. The Aerospace workers -are highly skilled and are used to tackling challenging new projects. They, like the car workers, can plainly see the environmental problems associated with current products and production - cars, weapon systems, and so on. In a recession, when government Defence (and Welfare service) spending is reduced, these goodies are Iikely to be in less demand. While at the same time the needs of the community-for houses, basic subsistence items, cheap sources of energy - keep growing. But the Aerospace workers seem also to have adopted a radical view of what they mean by 'alternative products'. It's not just a matter of a shift in emphasis from military to civilian aircraft and associated systems (such as automatic blind landing systems) -socially useful and radical in the present context though this shift might be. For although the workers are considering these types of new priorities, and similar socially useful and urgently needed pieces of equipment at present of often only marginal or token interest to the firm - such as medical aids,
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 43

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 44

like haemodialysis units, artificial limbs and other aids to the disabled, eddy current retarder braking systems for heavy vehicles and so on - they are also considering alternative technologies which may have more long term structural implications. They are interested in the whole range of alternative energy technologies, including - windmills. solar collectors. heat pumps, solar cells, hydrogen electrolysis, fuel cells, batteries, invertors, electric vehicles, steam cars, stirling engines and even airships. They are considering in particular how these technologies can be put to use in complete systems to aid people in need, both in the short term and the longer term - for example cheap heating and power service units for prefabricated industrialised buildings, cheap small scale power units for third world farmers, as well as, marine agriculture and undersea farming equipment and robotic equipment to automate unpleasant tasks. You might argue that some of these technologies imply l reform , rather than radical change or revolutionary alternatives, in that:they simply deal with problems thrown up by this existing society_ But the implied classification' of radical/reform technologies is not necessarily a sound one. For one thing, medical and safety problems will exist in any society. And Furthermore, whether a particular technology is truly a radical' technology depends to some extent on how, when, where and by whom it is developed and used - in some circumstances·the creation and introduction of quite conventional techniques, or minor shifts in the pattern of production or usage, can be revolutionary. For the mass of people to have access to photocopying facilities would surely be a change which would shift the balance of power somewhat The same could be argued for telex, radio, TY or even computers. On the other hand, some potentially 'radical' alternative technologies could become the base for a repressive society. This is not to return totally to a 'use-abuse' model of technology (i.e. technology is neutral, it depends on how you use it) for the means cannot be separated from the 'ends' but simply to throw more emphasis on the social and political context of its inception, production and use. With this in mind it is interesting to see that it's not only alternative products that the Lucas workers are considering, but also alternative modes of production.
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 44

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 45

They are well aware that it is pointless to produce environmentally appropriate products in a way that is socially alienating and environmentally damaging. So they will press for radical changes in the organisation and control of work and demand better designed jobs, autonomous control by work groups and project teams, new forms of management, and so on. _______________________________________________________________ ____________________________
THE LUCAS LETTER We are" taking the liberty of writing to you as we understand you are interested in the possibility of deploying the skills and equipment of technologically advanced firms on alternative technology, in particular those forms which are socially useful. We should explain at the outset that this Combine Committee represents all employ .. of the 17 U.K. sites of Lucas Aerospace. It is therefore unique in the British Trade Union Movement in that it speaks for the entire spectrum of workers by hand and brain, from labourers to senior technologists and engineers. We design, develop and manufacture a wide range of aerospace components and complete systems. A substantial proportion of this work is on defence contracts. It seems to us that the "energy crisis" will result in a slowing down of many of these projects and the general economic climate is likely to result in cutbacks in defence contracts. This we regard as inevitable and even desirable: Our concern however is that cutbacks of this kind have always resulted, in the past, in the break up of teams of skilled workers and design staff, followed by the degradation of the dole queue. We have, over the past two years, been engaged in a number of bitter disputes to assert the 'right to work'. It is our intention to do so in the future. However, instead of campaigning for the continuation of socially undesirable product ranges we will, products. In addition .•. we also want to ensure that the work is carried out in such a fashion that the full skill and ability of our members is utilised, and that we depart from the dehumanised fragmented forms of work which are now becoming common place even in a highly skilled industry such as aerospace. The annual turnover of Lucas Aerospace in the U.K. is approximately £60 million. There are about 14,000 employees, and some 2,000 of these are engineers, draftsmen and scientific staff. A large proportion of the remainder are highly skilled manual workers. It is the kind of work force which, because of its skilled background is extremely adaptable, and would be capable of working on a wide range of products ... We have just over 5000 machine tools and about 250 of these are numerically, automatically or digital display controlled. A list of test facilities shows that this is backed up by products, environmental and investigation laboratories. There is a very genuine desire to work on products which would be socially useful, not only in Britain, but in the newly emergent and developing countries. It is certainly not the view of the Combine Committee or of the work force involved that the kind of capital intensive products which have come to characterise the technologically advanced nations will be appropriate to the newly emergent nations. I t is therefore fully understood and accepted that entirely different forms of technology will have to be considered.
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 45

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 46

IF YOU KNOW OF ALTERNATIVE TECHNOLOGIES on which a work force of this kind could become engaged, in particular if these technologies would be socially useful, we will be very pleased to discuss the matter with you further. We are particularly keen to see that the very considerable skill and ability of our members is used to solve the wide range of human problems we see about us. We should like, in conclusion, to point out that this initiative comes entirely from our workforce itself, through its Combined Shop Stewards Committee. and as such is completely independent of the normal commercial considerations of a large company of this kind. We will greatly appreciate your advice and suggestions, and would, of course, treat your reply in confidence. (Emphasis added) If you think you can contribute in any way to the Lucas workers' appeal, with its far reaching implications: Contact (with s.a.e.): Roland Chaplain, Future Studies Centre, 15 Kelso Road, Leeds, LS2 9PR. (Tel.: 1532-459865). The FSC is acting as a clearing house at the present, and can put you in direct contact with the lucas Aerospace Shop Stewards Committee if you wish. A conference is likely, with workers from Lucas, Yorkshire ITOG, and other people. Details from FSC again. Do you know of ..:>other TUs, shop stewards, workers' groups etc. thinking on these lines? If you'd like to publicise this further, please contact the FSC or the Lucas workers' committee before you do, as developments may get outdated fairly quickly. Undercurrents will publicise further developments as they occur.

_______________________________________________________________ ____________________________ All these changes must, they argue, be geared towards meeting the real needs of the community - that is towards providing socially useful products as opposed to the spurious consumer goodies thrown up by the present mode of production planning and 'market research'. The urgency of the need for housing, for cheap wholesome food, cheap heating, acceptable public transport and education, does not require a market' for it to be articulated. The fundamental question that is raised by this development is whether an advanced technological company like Lucas, assembled by capitalism to meet its needs can be diverted or modified to meet community needs. Can large centralised units produce appropriate technologies in a socially and environmentally desirable way - or must they be broken up into smaller decentralised units? Now it is important to realise that these large companies represent a huge social investment in human capital - a vast national' skill and equipment resource. Many 'alternativists' want to dismantle such units, and they may well be right. But for the moment they exist and we must think about how to change them: we need a transitional strategy. The proposals pill forward by the Lucas workers are a first step. For it is not just a matter of technical re-organisation: it's a question of
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 46

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 47

social change. And what the Lucas Combine is planning is to try to generate discussions on the possible alternative types of production throughout the membership: the emphasis will be on the process of developing new priorities, new ideas, new attitudes to technology and, eventually, new ways to relate to consumer' need. All this activity will feed into the final 'corporate plan' which will be presented to management: ultimately it could become the focus of a collective bargaining confrontation or it might be treated as part of a long term planning agreement' exercise as laid out in Benn's scheme for Industrial Democracy. It will be interesting to see how management will react to such a positive gesture - and it will be interesting to see what alternatives the Lucas workers come up with. The point for us on the outside to remember is that here we have a group of workers who have some degree of power to turn the dreams we have had of alternative technologies' into reality. We can perhaps act as advisors - feeding in ideas and helping where we can. For although it is an internal development. the Combine is, as its letter illustrates, keen to get outside advice and contributions. This initiative seems to me to have partially circumvented the central problem of developing Alternative Technology in a capitalist society. It is often argued that you can't develop AT until you've got an alternative society. The trouble with this is that it becomes a chicken and egg problem. But some people have argued that you can at least make a start - you can develop premature or semi-fledged alternatlves which help stimulate and motivate others. The point is that this requires both social and technological changes to occur together in a sort of dialectical process. The experimental communes have been depicted this way by some people - as embryonic attempts to live in the future now'. But the Lucas initiative, and the others that will undoubtedly follow, provides a much more viable route and context for this dialectical development. Theirs is an ongoing situation, rooted firmly in reality. Utopian ideas and technical and social reality can interact in a productive way and in a context which links immediately to the lives of large numbers of people - not just the readers of Undercurrents or the commune down the road. I see this process of technological and social change as crucial, though it's not the only possible vehicle for change. As the capitalist system gets further
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 47

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 48

into crisis many other types of development will become possible and appropriate. Where needs are no longer met by the system, people may move towards self help, self sufficiency and co-operative efforts (although they might also move towards a further state of dependence on centralised authority. And in either case there is the danger of isolationism, privatization and individualism). The redirection of existing industry by those who work in it. towards new goals using new methods, holds out the hope of keeping the emphasis on collective organisation and control. This does not mean continued centralised, bureaucratic forms of control ... it means struggling where people are, for new forms of social organisation, and new forms of technology. Cynics might argue that the whole thing will be co-opted - the workers initiative will be absorbed and their ideas will be used by the company to improve its profits, at the workers' expense (see insert). But remember that these workers are well organised. They will campaign for these changes within an oppositional frame . of references: they are well aware of the dangers of co-option and collaboration. Whereas small, insecure groups tinkering with AT in the hills are much more likely to be ripped off and have their ideas misused by the system. The point is that well organised and technically skilled workers are in a good position to develop alternatives and to protect them from abuse. although it should be remembers that the alternatives thrown up by this process may not be what we would call 'AT' ... With this context in mind, (and bearing in mind that there's no reason why \IW should know what is socially appropriate) what alternative technologies could be worth exploring? Tactically, it might be wise to 'sugar the pill' somewhat by emphasising fairly 'high' technologies rather than low' technologies - although this would only be a temporary expedient In the area of alternative energy technologies this suggests things like large scale water electrolysers producing hydrogen for storage, transport (in cryogenic or metal hydride form) or for transmission as a gas along conventional pipe lines (as a basis for the so called 'hydrogen economy'). Or district heating units using heat pumps run off conventional power stations. Or Silicon or Cadmium Sulphide solar cells - which with new thin film techniques can be manufactured cheaply. Or large scale solar farms and solar furnaces producing steam for turbogenerators. But I imagine there would be a better case (as far as the 'alternative technologists' are concerned) for less sophisticated and small·scale
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 48

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 49

alternatives: methane production from anaerobic digestors; the local generation of hydrogen by electrolysis powered by a windmill; small water mills and turbines; electric generation by fuel cells fuelled by methane, natural gas or hydrogen; the development of electric powered and steam powered vehicles and soon. Then come those techniques that we . would accept as 'pure' AT - small scale, easily controlled, maintained and understood, amenable to local construction and use. For example, small scale wind-electric machines, flat plate solar collectors, and small scale convertors like heat pumps run from windmill-generated electricity - or even directly by mechanical power from a windmill operating the compressor Some of the items on this list might not turn out to be appropriate in social and environmental terms. It may be counterproductive in energy and resource usage terms to invest in large numbers of small wind machines or solar panels. Some of the more complex technologies, like fuel cells or heat pumps, may be too sophisticated to be classified as AT. On the other hand it may be more important (both socially and tactically) to focus on meeting urgent social needs, such as those for safer vehicles, cheap housing. medical aids and so on areas which many alternativists tend to ignore as being too linked to 'advanced' technology, but which, certainly in the interim, are vital. These are the sorts of problems that must be thrashed out in the process of selecting suitable priorities for production - and they are obviously the sort of questions the AT movement has been chewing over for some time. But now we are no longer alone. We are joined by a group of highly skilled, well organised and enthusiastic engineers, designers, technicians, administrators and junior managers. And remember, we are not talking about the absorption of AT ideas into an unchanged capitalist firm. The stewards represent a membership made up of blue and white collar workers and their families and communities. They do not represent financial, government, commercial or military interests. So that the ideas and changes that they introduce are likely to be geared towards the needs of the community. Hopefully they will be able to make links with those groups which are currently trying to get AT introduced into a community context Initially this might mean dealing with Local Authorities, but ultimately it might be possible to forge links between producing firms like Lucas and local collectives and communities who are trying to work towards AT - whether on housing estates, in rural farms or in production co-ops.
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 49

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 50

The Combine Committee welcomes ideas. Here is a chance to get it together in a way that (;4n help spread the idea and practice of AT on a mass scale. I hope we live up to our own rhetoric. And at the same time learn from the experience. Dave Elliott

_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 50

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 51

• • • • • • • • • • CRABAPPLE : Twin Oaks comes to Wales

IF YOUR philosophical leanings are towards, rather than away from, a broadly scientific outlook, and you want to change your lifestyle so that it's more in keeping with some of the ideas and values of current alternative culture, what do you actually do? More people are experimenting with communal living situations and/or common ownership work situations. It seems likely that if such projects were to flourish in sufficient quantity and diversity, they would form a significant and viable alternative to the conventional society of our times. No need to expand this daydream; many of us share it to differing degrees and in getting our different social projects off the ground and making them succeed. How many groups fail to get started for everyone that makes it? If an intentional commune/community does manage to get started, it's been said that it has a life expectancy of about three months on average. In so tar as there are any reasons for failure, perhaps the two most common are financial insolvency and irretrievable breakdown of social relationships. But there again, perhaps they're not. It's impossible to know since there is so little available material on the perceived reasons for failure of different projects. It seems likely that a greater flow of information and ideas from and between different groups will be to the advantage of all. This article is about the philosophy behind, and the experiences of, one small experiment - Crabapple Community. Walden Two We came together on the basis of a shared philosophy since we had all read Walden Two and agreed with most of the central ideas in it. In practice the Israeli kibbutz would probably have made as good a starting point; we wanted something to aim at. Walden Two was written by the behaviour psychologist B. F. Skinner. In it he describes a hypothetical community of about one thousand people living to a high degree of self sufficiency on a large acreage of land. They run their own agriculture. industry and education, and have their own doctors, dentists and so on. Each person or couple has their own private room in which they sleep and keep their private possessions. All else is owned communally. e.g.. transport, kitchens. dining roomS, workshops, equipment, library, etc. Some of the main values put forward in the book are: co-operation, rather
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 51

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 52

than competition, as the means of achieving; equality among members, no dominant leaders, elites, heroes, etc. people are more important than property or profit the overall aim of the community being the achievement of the 'Good Life' for its members. expansion of such communities to enable them to offer a viable alternative to life in conventional society to as many as want it. the empirical approach to problems. use of the potential for good of behaviour modification techniques using positive reinforcement, not punishment. This last point is the most controversial, and is best ignored here since it would take an article in itself. A highly recommended book on the subject is An Introduction to Behaviour Modification (for details of this and other literature, see bibliography). Twin Oaks In 1967 a group of eight people started a community in the States called Twin Oaks. It was broadly based on Walden Two, and has moved on from a somewhat shaky start to be a thriving community of some sixty or so members on a 120 acre farm. The combination of ideas from Walden Two with counter-culture ideas seems to have proved to be very fruitful. It seems that there are another dozen groups in the USA that are set up along broadly similar lines - although, perhaps more than in kibbutz, there is a great deal of individual variation. It may be that much of this commonly adopted framework is successful, as judged by the criteria of survival. What are the features of this framework? Well, probably the most immediately obvious feature is organisation. Neither a power hierarchy, nor rigid organisation, merely organisation designed to help to achieve those things that the members wish. For example, the labour credit system is a system devised to ensure that necessary work gets done with a minimum of negative feelings. In outline, it's simple. A labour credit is a measure of work and hour of averagely unpleasant work rates one credit. If the work is more unpleasant than average, it rates more than one credit per hour, and conversely vice versa. All members have to fulfill the same quota 01 credits per week (40 at Twin Oaks) and they sign up for the work of their choice. Due to conflicting interests, they will have some work assigned to them that w; not of their choice, and they will not get some of the work they wanted to, but, i general, mathematical shuffling gives the most satisfactory arrangement for the greatest number. Another system used is that of manage' A manager is a person who has volunteered" to be responsible for some particular area of community
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 52

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 53

activity, like transport, maintenance, or agriculture. A manager has, in effect, a mandate from the group to co-ordinate activities in his particular field; the policy, however is determined by the group, the manager merely taking the more mundane decisions. At Twin Oaks, nearly all members are managers of something. One further system is that of government. Their system is a sort of benevolent open oligarchy with numerous safeguards including a democratic over-rule mechanism There are three people who take on tho job of being planners (blame Skinner for unfashionable names ... ), each planner being in office for 18 months before automatically getting the boot. The three planners have decision making powers, but their decisions are arrived at · after open discussion with any interested members: decisions are then posted on the notice board and can be overuled by a two thirds vote of the members; there is no means of enforcing unpalatable decisions, members have certain rights and freedoms guaranteed. It comes down to open government with the active consent of the governed and seems to have worked well for Twin Oaks.] In brief outline, some of the other features of Twin Oaks are as follows. A contract signed on joining makes explicit certain aspects of the relationship between the individual and the community, - for example, finance, or terms of membership. • All incomes are pooled. The only money that members may spend on their own behalf is their pocket money allowance" • All of a member's private financial asset are donated to the community after three years (and 'frozen' before three years). • All members have private rooms in which they must keep any possessions that they wish to keep privately. • No illegal drugs. No TV, its values being too opposed to those that they believe in. • Communal child care. This is a job on the labour credit system, but members wanting to take part in it must have had appropriate training in community policy on education. In their early days they found that parents' relationships with their own children, mainly their reluctance to pass control and responsibility on to the community, repeatedly caused unpleasant and counterproductive situations. In the interest of their own survival, they refused to allow children to be brought to the community,
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 53

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 54

and the only children they have had subsequently have been those born and educated at the community. They have a behaviour code which is not a set of rules, more a specification of some of the norms that they are trying to establish. Some of the main points on it are: - all members expected to explain their work to any other member asking. no speaking negatively about a person except to their face on their own. no public complaining - bad for morale; complain via appropriate manager, or via 'bitch box'. no discussion of seniority or other prestige groupings. attempt consideration and tolerance in interaction with others. no boasting of individual accomplishments, everybody does their share. private rooms are inviolate. try to tidy up after self. For those who would like to know more about Twin Oaks, details of their newsletter and book are included in the bibliography. Both of these are well worth the effort and expense of obtaining. Crabapple - heads in the clouds There are six of us at the moment, plus two children. We came together as a result of ads in alternative mags. Despite using very careful wording designed to attract compatible people only, there has been disappointment, on one or both sides, in three cases out of every four. It took many meetings to get to know each other well enough and to begin to formulate a coherent policy. Our decision-making procedure was one of attempting consensus, but moving to voting where necessary. In fact we seldom found it necessary. Having got a nucleus of committed people, we had to decide whether to set up a trial living situation, or get on with 'the real thing'. Trial living is probably the most sensible course of action since there is not so much at risk emotionally or financially: on the other hand there is less incentive to make it work. We decided to skip the trial. Money. solicitors, and Other Nasty Things. We were most fortunate in that we had enough capital between us to finance our project ourselves. Though we all wanted it to work, we realised from the experiences of other groups that it was quite likely to fail. If it failed, we all wanted to know in advance how any assets or liabilities were to be divided up, in order to lessen the potential unpleasant scenes. So the first stage was to agree how we wanted the project to be arranged financially, and the second was to find an appropriate legal framework. On the financial side, we wanted quite a lot: financial equality within the community. people to return to their
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 54

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 55

previous financial states on leaving the community. members assets to be used by the c,community. the community to become financially independent of its component members as soon as possible, and capable of selfsustained growth. After much discussion we ended up with the following curious arrangement. On joining. each member declares their estimated private wealth and it is frozen - they may no longer spend any of iL A percentage of this private wealth (the same percentage for everybody) is then lent to the community at the current building society interest rate to be repaid over a ten year term. On leaving, a member has to give one years notice to the community before they can claim back that part of the loan still outstanding. However, at the end of that period the community is obliged to pay the debt, even if it has to sell its assets to do so, the main asset being the small holding that we intended to buy. All a bit unidealistic. We know. We lost one of our most promising potential members over this issue. But then its not intended to be idealistic, just a brutish functional compromise. Having decided what we wanted to, there remained only the small problem of doing it Since more than four people may not own a property jointly in the normal way, a legal form is needed to enable a group to do this. This turned out to be a ridiculously involved area; fortunately Laurieston Hall organised a legal frameworks conference at about this time. This helped clarify quite a lot of thin· . The Legal Frameworks Handbook (see Review in this issue) that resulted from the conference is the best available introduction to this whole headachy area. We were lucky and found a solicitor who was sympathetic and had previous experience in solving a very similar problem to ours. This meant his research time would be lower and fees correspondingly. What we've got now is a trust which administers the property for the beneficiaries, who are the members. The trustee of the trust, and therefore the legal owner, is a limited company. By a curious freak of fate, it so happens that each and every member is a director of this limited company. Also, we have been granted a partial capital gains tax exemption on selling up the property. We think that we have, in effect, equal joint ownership by a group of more than four. Other aspects of our formal relationship to each other are made explicit in our trust deed, and, to a lesser extent, in the articles of association of our company. Since the trust deed is the most easily changed, we have used it as a sort of constitution outlining decision making rules, votes needed to change rules, minimum conditions of membership, and so on. Sadly, our legal
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 55

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 56

form documents are still with out solicitor; this causes no little embarrassment since we cannot remember what's in them ... As these documents could well be of interest to other groups, we intend to make them available to interested parties when we get them back. We're still waiting for the bill; it's likely to be well over £200, but our solicitor says that other groups could merely modify those bits that do not suit them and so get themselves set up for a good deal less. Looking for a place We chose the Welsh border somewhere within commuting distance of Shrewsbury. We chose Wales, because it's a land of smallholdings and prices are less than in England. Near Shrewsbury, so that we could earn money, hopefully from our own business.The reference library yielded a list of estate agents. MID were duly written to. At under £18,000 the choice was somewhat restricted; in fact only one place seemed to be a possibility, so we bought it It is 17 miles west of Shrewsbury in the Welsh foothills at 300 feet Most of the eight acres is fairly flat, potentially cultivable pasture divided into six small fields. There is also the remains of an orchard and about half an acre of dingle - a wooded scrubby dell with a small stream trickling through the bottom. The buildings are surrounded by the land. The five roomed house has been recently rebuilt and is fairly sound. The outbuildings, in contrast, are remarkably unsound, but quite extensive. Mains water and electricity were connected. At the time, this was relatively cheap at £13,250. The repayments for this sum, spread over ten years, come to £42 per week. This whole process, from writing out the first ad to moving in, had taken eighteen months. Arjuna Two of us had started and had been running Arjuna wholefood shop in Cambridge. They had tried to sell it before joining, but had been unable to get a realistic price and so we decided that the community would take over running it This allows us to earn some money in a work situation under our own control. even though it means that there are always at least two of us living at Arjuna doing shift work there. Its main advantage is that it allows all of us to learn what is involved in running a wholefood shop. This means that we will be in a better position to try starting one in Shrewsbury, which is what we hope to do. This could provide the community with an adequate income source. but it's quite a financial risk. At the moment we're negotiating for shop premises and appear to have been gazumped.
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 56

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 57

Planners and managers Although we've got planners, they've not so far been used. Policy is decided by those who are interested, which is usually everybody. The managers carry out the pol icy. To avoid being left in the lurch by somebody leaving, there are two managers for each area. one of whom is nominally a trainee. Since there are ten managerships this means that everybody gets three or four responsibilities. Our manager areas are: House - the domestic bit, cleaning, food, laundry. labour - working the labour credit system and allocating the work. Finance - keeping records and accounts, budgeting. Behaviour - predominantly child care. Arjuna running it. Shrewsbury shop - getting it started. Transport - keeping the vans and bikes serviced and functioning. Agriculture - starting the veg garden. Construction and maintenance - any repairing or building including running the workshop. Visitor and information - answering letters. looking after visitors. information systems. The labour credit system For quite a few weeks we managed without a labour credit system, but this began to cause difficulties. For example. we did not feel free to sit down while others were working; some were perceived as doing more than others. We started to evolve a system. but got very bogged down in complexity. Only recently have we arrived at a system that works reasonably satisfactorily. It goes like this: Each evening the labour manager writes out a list of the jobs that need doing the following day, with the current rate for each type of job, for example: washing up breakfast 0.8 cooking the evening meal 1. 2 gardening 1.0 shopping 0.9 fire care 0;5 construction 1.1. child care 1.1 (This means that anybody doing the shopping gets 0.9 credits per hour, and so on). Each person independently ticks the work they want to do the following day. When two or more people sign up for the same job, it is given to one of them at random. but the following day the rate drops by 0.1. Conversely, when nobody signs up for a job, it is assigned to the person who has signed up for least work that day, and the rate goes up by 0.1. If the average rate that work is being done at rises above 1.05, then the rate for everything drops by 0.1. Our main criticism of this system is that it takes too much time - 30
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 57

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 58

minutes. Apart from that, it works well. and the work gets done. The main criticism from visitors has been that it's silly, and that people do not need systems like that to allocate work. It is perhaps no coincidence that of the three that have voiced this kind of criticism, two have been the only two who have failed to meet the quota. The flexibility of the system is really nice. For example, when I finish writing this, I'll use up some of my surplus credits and take the rest of the day off, do a bit of reading, go for a wal k around the hedgerows to see what's growing and then write to some friends. I know that I don't have to worry about other people wondering why "I'm not working. Hopes for the future Much depends on the Shrewsbury wholefood shop. If it can provide good, cheap, natural food for this area, then it should be able to give us enough work at 53p per hour (the statutory minimum for shop work) to give the community an adequate and reliable income. If we've got that income, then we can borrow more money and put up an extension to the house so that we have space for a total of some thirteen members (each with private rooms). This would make the per capita costs much more manageable - for example, repaying the total loans for smallholding, business and extension over a ten year period should cost less than £8 per person per week, or about £5 over a twentyfive year term. Needless to say we all want some Ii stock, hens and two cows will probably' the first priority. We are also enthusiastic· about alternative technology; solar r, extension, methane generator, etc ad nauseam, to say nothing of continued expansion ... But these and all our other dreams in the future. Right now we're just getting started and our main problem isn't a p or even money. its lack of suitable people who are sympathetic to this p, kind of set up and its aims. If any you want to know more about us, send s ... e.s. for our free newsletters. If you' still interested and want to visit, then can be arranged. Our policy on visitors may sound a little harsh; we have some unpleasant experiences with visitors, so if you do not accept our policy, it woo be better not to come. We want our relationship with visit, to be symbiotic; a balanced two way relationship; we help you as much as you hi us. In practical terms. visitors cover the own costs (75p/day) and take a full par" the labour credit system (currently 7 credits/day);n return for food, shelter whatever else they gain. One final request, if you do want to visit us, please write to the visitor manager: (s.a.e. please) and arrange it all before appearing,
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 58

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 59

otherwise you're likely to a very cool reception. As well as being of many different social experiments · are a place where people live. Tailpiece We would really like more communication between different groups_doing different things in the realm of intentional communities. This could be of help to u all. Perhaps the new Communes Network newsletter would be the appropriate place, Bibliography. Communes Network. Subscription £3. articles for publication to: 76 New Nor Road, Huddersfield, W. Yorks. Crabapple Community, Middle Ty Brith, Llansantffraid, Powys, SY22 6TE. . An introduction to Behaviour Modifies,i Behaviordelia, PO Box 1044, Kalamazoo: Michigan, 49005, USA. As far as we know not available in this country cost SIO. Good source of other books for behaviour freaks. The Leaves of Twin Oaks - their newsletter!' The first four years are available in book form (paperback) costing $2.95. Subsequent bi-monthly issues work out at roughly 50 cents each. Subscription is S3 dollars for six issues, but write to them first to check prices, availability, etc. Ask also about an' other publications they handle. Twin Oa Box 426, louisa, Virginia, 23093, USA. A Walden Two Experiment, by Kathleen Kinkade, a book about some of Twin Oak early trials and tribulations. Hardback, S7.95. Order from Twin Oaks. Walden Two, by a F. Skinner, published in paperback by Macmillan at about £1.40 - unlike the other books this one is available from bookshops in this country, but it is of considerably less interest than the Leaves or Walden Two Experiment

_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 59

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 60

• • • • • • Green BIOFEEDBACK

In Germany, about 1910, Johannes Schultz started a programme which he called autogenic training - meaning self-generated or self-motivated training. He had been interested in yoga and hypnotism, but abandoned the latter about the same time as Freud. on the grounds that hypnosis was so idiosyncratic; its results were not sufficiently repeatable. The patients' resistance was often the reason. As a result, Schultz wondered if control over the process could be given to the patient himself. If the patient were giving himself instructions, maybe his resistance to them would dissipate. He would, for instance, get a patient to say to himself such phrases as 'I feel quite quiet,' while at the same time allowing himself to be quiet This approach works. You can say to yourself, IMy hands are warm,' and in a while they will feel, and actually be, warmer. . We, that is my wife and I, began our work in 1964. We attended the Menninger Foundation autogenic training programme in 1964. Most of the physicians attending the programme had never heard of autogenic training. But my wife and I decided to investigate what a person could do to change their physiological states. We trained thirty-three women for two weeks in a programme of relaxation and hand-warming. Eventually, several could raise the temperature of their hands between two and ten degrees Fahrenheit. Encouraged, we decided to add biofeedback to the programme. Up to this point, only my wife and I had studied the equipment read-outs; the trainees did not see them. But biofeedback requires the individual to receive direct and continuous information about his or her performance. So we turned our monitors around so that the trainees could see what was happening. The result was that people · o were given biofeedback in the course of autogenic training learned much faster. The programme was now a programme of selfregulation. At the time we did not understand how, if you told your hands to get warm, they got warm. Even today, we do not have a complete understanding. For example, an epileptic learns to discourage the type of brain rhythms likely to lead to an epileptic seizure - but we do not fully understand the process by which this takes place. How does a person select a brain pattern?
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 60

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 61

Figure 1 divides the nervous system into two sections. These I label 'conscious' and 'unconscious'. (Psychological terms can be avoided by using the labels 'voluntary nervous system' and 'involuntary nervous system'.) Information usually comes to us through our external senses - sight, smell, sound, etc. This information might be called OUTS outside·the-skin information. External information usually arouses an emotional response in us, but the response is not always obvious or even consciously accessible. We know that there ;s a system deep in the brain, the limbic system, which registers whenever emotional excitement is felL This has been determined by the use of electrode implants. The reverse is also the case. If we stimulate the limbic system, conscious excitement is experienced. The limbic system is connected with the hypothalamus. This small organ, in turn, is connected with (and regulates) the visceral and glandular systems of the body - the smooth muscles, the intestines, etc. None of this is news; it has been well known for some time that external information enter . ing the organism is filtered through levels of the nervous system where it ultimately produces appropriate bodily reactions and changes. What is new is this: we now know that information arising from inside the organism (of which the individual may be completely unaware consciously) when displayed on monitoring meters and then fed into the brain, in the same way in which any external (OUTS) information passes to the brain, can cause the same organismic response - it can produce internal changes. The result is a cybernetic loop. Inside-the·skin information, INTS, is converted to outside-the-skin information. OUTS. This OUTS information is then fed back into the system, leading to or producing new INTS, which is then once again externalised. And so the loop is continued. Putting it simply and nontechnically, all that we apparently need to do to learn voluntary control of a physiological function that is normally unconscious, is to acquire some information about it that we can consciously understand. The equipment we use to display bodily states is not always needed. After people have worked with a biofeedback device for a while, they cease to need it. Somehow the subject learns how to consciously perceive unconscious states. The cybernetic loop looses a link. The subject can directly control inside-the-skin events. A cardiac patient in Baltimore, for
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 61

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 62

example, initially learned to control her rate of heartbeat through a biofeedback monitoring device. She reduced her heart rate from 110 to 60/70 beats per minute over a period of three months. During that time she discovered that she no longer required the machine. Consequently, the difference between biofeedback and yoga may not be be great Yoga is harder and takes longer to master. perhaps because the adept must work on a kind of hit-or·miss basis; only as the yogi succeeds in acquiring some control - that is, actually manages to produce larger changes within himself - can he then become rapidly more adept, because he now has an adequate flow of information. One of the most frequent applications of biofeedback technology focuses on brainwave frequencies. Alpha and the other brain rhythms were discovered about 1935 by Berger. He placed an electrode on the back of a subject's head and picked up an electrical rhythm of about ten cycles per second. This was the first frequency he observed and that is probably why he called it alpha. The second type of frequency - beta waves - appeared when the alpha rhythm disappeared. Alpha waves vary between eight and thirteen cycles per second. They occur in about ninety per cent of the population whenever the eyes are closed and thinking is random. The beta wave frequency is about thirteen to twenty-five cycles per second. Both rhythms occur when the eyes are open and attention is focused. It is possible to produce alpha waves with the eyes open - if you are sitting staring into the distance. or are trapped in a boring conversation in which your attention is wandering, then you will probably produce alpha rhythms. Through the use of biofeedback, a subject can 'learn' to generate a certain brain rhythm, although theta and delta rhythms, both of which are lower in frequency and are associated with sleep or semiconscious states. are more difficult to produce. Some Uses of Biofeedback Among the possibilities for the use of biofeedback is the control of migraine headaches and related conditions. Headaches are probably related to high levels of tension and, to some degree, to a restricted flow of blood through the brain or scalp. Tension and the flow of blood are generally considered functions of the autonomic system. Accordingly, in principle, control can be learned through biofeedback. (The absence of alpha waves is one index of tension. Mental patients are often unable to produce them or if they can, do so only sporadically. Learning to produce them is closely associated with learning how to relax.) How we learn to
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 62

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 63

control, and what the physiological processes are that are induced, is uncertain. It is possible. however, to be slightly more precise about the probable mechanics of migraine and its relief. People who suffer from migraine usually have abnormally cold hands. They can learn to warm up their hands through biofeedback, like other people, but in this case the increase achieved is as much as twenty-five degrees Fahrenheit. Improving the flow of flood in the hands - making them warm often results in elimination of the migraine. This is a matter of simple hydraulics; the result is not achieved by drawing the blood away from the brain and the scalp. Soaking the subject's hands in hot water, which also makes them warm, has no effect on the headache in the majority of cases. What appears to happen in biofeedback is that in learning to control the flow of blood in the hands, the patient is learning both how to engage the entire autonomic nervous system in the blood flow process. The benefits of improving blood flow in one part of the body are then generalised (by the central hypothalamic control) to all parts of the system, including the head. The loss of the migraine appears to be a fortunate by-product. Our interests, however, are not limited to the physiological aspects of psychosomatic illness and disturbance. We are also interested in psychological processes. For example, we have done a substantial amount of research on theta brain waves. The theta wave is an even slower rhythm than alpha, from four to six cycles per second. It begins usually just before we actually fall asleep, when we are very quiet and still. If theta is produced without the individual actually falling asleep, although that is what usually occurs, then the subject experiences hypnagogic images. A hypnagogic image is one that flashes vividly and completely into the mind, often with considerable detail and complexity. Most of us experience this phenomenon on briefly and occasionally at the edge of sleep. Biofeedback can be used to help trainees induce theta waves without succumbing to sleep. When this happens, the hypnagogic images become more plentiful and persist. They are not consciously created; they are self-generating. Theta waves and the associated hypnagogic images are important from several points of view. For example, a number of eminent scientists and artists report in their autobiographies that hypnagogic images were sometimes the source of their best ideas. Hypnagogic images in creative individuals may represent an aspect of their genius. Theta waves may be
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 63

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 64

related to creativity. We also found that the increased production of theta waves - as with alpha waves - produced greater well-being, better work output and more relaxed and convivial personal relationships in most subjects. These results were also experienced by mental patients. Some patients seem to get information from their unconscious in the form of hypnagogic images, which aids them and their psychiatrists in the resolution of their problems. Swami Rama The heart control experiment referred to above was only one of a continuing series of experiments at the Menninger Foundation. The experiments were a part of the Menninger Voluntary Controls Programme. One day one of the doctors who had graduated from Menninger called me on the phone and said he had found a yogi who could make his pulse disappear. This seemed mildly interesting so we agreed that this yogi, Swami Rama, should come to the Foundation for a series of tests. When he arrived, we connected him to our monitoring devices. He then stated that initially he would differentiate the temperature in two spots on his hand; he said he would heat up one place and cool the other. The results, briefly, were as follows. Over a five minute period the temperature of both spots drifted up slightly. Then there was a distinct shift in the record, and the temperature of both began to drop. But then the temperature below the little finger began to rise while that below the thumb went down and stayed down. We talked a little, and then the yogi said he was about to do something. At that 'point the temperature of both spots began to rise. Then the one below the thumb went down again while the other continued to rise. Finally, we had a difference of eleven degrees Fahrenheit between the two areas. Then we did the heart experiment. On the cardiotachometer record his heart produced an initial rate of 66 beats per minute. Then it speeded up to almost 94 beats and finally dropped to 62. This fluctuation was interesting, but other subjects had achieved comparable results. Suddenly yogi called out, 'What is my heart d now?' At this point he had increased 'dub' half of the normal 'flub-dub' be: so that it was unusually large - some like 'flub-DUB, flub-DUB,' to
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 64

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 65

represent: this in words. When he did this, his rate shot up from around 66 to around 8 per minute. We then requested the SWi to slow down his heart rate. Quickly he reduced it from 70 beats per minute to around 52. The session ended. The Swami was due to depart for Minneapolis the next day, but he was distressed that he had not 'stopped' his heart for us Originally he had said that he needed fast for three days before attempting so. This was logical if 'control' was to achieved; it would be exercised through the vagus nerve, which also controls stomach and a good deal of the viscera. Indigestion could result from interference with that nerve. Nevertheless, the Sw, announced that he would make the at without fasting. He was interested to out if there would be any side effects. second, he did not want to forgo the opportunity of being recorded. In any case, said, his own teacher could stop his h at any time without any preparation. agreed to the attempt. We did not agree' however, to the Swami's proposal that' would stop his heart for three to four minutes! Ten seconds would be enough for us. The next day he performed. Our record, reflect that his heart rate of 70 beats per minute suddenly rose to 300 beats per minute for a period of 17 seconds. At this point my wife in the control room called, 'That's all,' our pre-arranged signal to conclude the experiment. But we were puzzled - if his heart had stopped, why did our records show 300 beats per minute? We took the graph to a cardiologist for his opinion. He told us the 300 beats per minute signal was known at atrial flutter. This occurs when the heart is not pumping blood; the valves are not working and the chambers are not filling with blood. Blood pressure drops and the person faints. What, by the way, he asked us, had happened to this patient? We told him 'nothing' - the Swami just took off the electrodes and went out and gave a lecture. Jack Schwartz I had heard about Jack Schwartz and invited him to come to the laboratory. About a year after the invitation was issued he called and said he would come to the laboratory for eight days. When I looked in my diary all the days on either side of those dates were full, but the eight days were available. We wired him up in the usual way. I had not known in advance what he would demonstrate. What he did was drive knitting needles through his biceps, without any expression of pain and (except as described below)
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 65

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 66

without bleeding. Later he performed the same thing before an audience of fifty doctors. But before he began, he dropped the knitting needle on the floor and rubbed along the floor with his shoe. In answer to our curious looks, he explained that he was sterilizing his equipment. Playing the 'straight man', I asked why he had never developed an infection. He replied roughly, 'All the cellular material of the body can be controlled by the mind. Normally we cannot do it because we are unaware or unconscious. Yet such functions are under the mind's control, and if I give instructions for my body not to interact with any foreign materials, how can I get an in infection?' By the time he had the needle buried about half an inch deep in his arm, I began, to think that even if he did this a hundred times, I still would not believe that he could control his blood flow. Maybe, I thought, he has a peculiar skin. Consequently, with the intention of interfering with his concentration, I asked him if he would bleed when he pulled the needle"" out. I was thinking that I could interrupt his conscious-unconscious harmony. He looked startled and said that he did not think he would bleed. But when he took the needle out he did bleed, quite a lot in fact We were mopping the blood up when he said in a soft voice, 'Now it stops'. Then, while I was actually looking at the puncture wound with the blood running out, it closed up in about one second. I congratulated him. We now knew that he could bleed like a normal person, but could also stop the bleeding at will. I suggested that he might like to do the whole thing again without bleeding. A long pause ensued, and I began to wonder what I had said wrong. Finally he said okay, and inserted the needle a second time in a slightly different place. This time the holes closed up quickly. There was no subdermal bleeding and there were no marks of any kind. All traces of one puncture had disappeared in twenty· four hours, and of the other three in seventy-two hours. Later I asked Jack why he had paused before agreeing to a second trial. He explained that he would never 'force' his body to do anything. Instead, he had to request his body to perform the task that is, he had to 'ask' his 'subconscious' if it was willing to co-operate. He also said that he had to clear the request with his paraconscious'. {Paraconscious is apparently his term for some kind of superconscious In other words, he is not willing to do 'tricks'. Apparently, he needs to feel that the effort is worthwhile. He
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 66

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 67

apparently must seek confirmation, first from his subconscious and then from his paraconscious. Swami Rama had discussed the same issue with us. His comments suggest that there is some kind of field or fields associated with the body. The Swami went further - he argued that there is a 'field of mind' surrounding the planet. There are a lot of 'pranas' or energies outside the skin, as well as ten within it. Theoretically, biofeedback holds enormous potential for self-healing. But there may also be some real limits to the control capacity of many, if not all, subjects. Then too there is the argument that biofeedback may be potentially harmful, even if apparently effective. Lewis Thomas, M.D., takes essentially this position when he argues that the problem is: If I was informed tomorrow that I was in direct communication with my liver and I could now take over, I would become deeply depressed. For I am, to face the facts squarely, considerably less intelligent than my liver. I am, moreover, constitutionally unable to make hepatic decisions, and I prefer not to be obliged to do so; I would not be able to think of the first thing to do.' There are probably limits to the application of biofeedback; this is likely to prove the case as the phenomenon is further researched. One of the disease conditions few have thought to be amenable to any kind of conscious control, limits notwithstanding, is cancer. Yet Carl and Stephanie Simonton have introduced the 'mind' into their practice. Carl, a physician, is a radiation therapist. Stephanie is a psychologist and works closely with Carl's patients, principally in J. counselling role. Simonton first teaches his patients how to meditate and then instructs them about their disease process and the means by which the body's natural immunities resist the cancer. He then asks them to meditate on the disease process and the attack' on the disease by the immune system. It sounds simplistic and perhaps it is; but, according to Simonton. for those patients who use meditation the prognosis is roughly twice as favourable as another patient population matched for demographics, severity of disease and attitude. Elmer Green References:
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 67

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 68

1. Lewis Thomas, M.D. 'I am less intelligent than my liver', New England Journal of Medicine 287 (Massachusetts Medical Society, 1972). This article is an extract from The Frontiers of Science and Medicine, an edited transcript of the 1974 May Lectures. just published by Wildwood House at £2.50. The "Hay" lectures take place this year from October 15 to 18. Details from the Franklin School. _______________________________________________________________
Skin Flicker THIS SKIN RESISTANCE meter is the simplest of all biofeedback devices and is very easy to construct. The circuit is the same as that used by Maxwell Cade for the biofeedback meters he provides for each student in his Psychocybernetics classes at the Franklin School of Contemporary Studies in London (see UC11). It consists of a battery and a variable resistor (potentiometer) which pass a minute electric current through a suitable part of the body, via a pair of electrodes. The magnitude of the current is measured using a microammeter and varies with the subject's skin conductivity. When you are relaxed and calm, your body does not perspire very much and, due to the lack of moisture on your skin, only a relatively small current will flow between the electrodes. But if you begin to feel excited, your body starts to sweat and the current between the electrodes increases significantly. To make your own skin resistance meter, with which you can start to explore the correlation between your own mental and physical states, this is all you need. • A 50 microampere meter. New, this can cost you about £5 (suppliers advertise in magazines like Wireless World). But by nosing around in secondhand shops you should be able to pick one up for a lot less. I compromised a little, and bought a 50-0-50 microampere 'centre-zero' instrument in a shop off Tottenham ." Court Road in London for £1. It works just the same as a SO microampere meter, except you only use one half of the scale. (Warning: if you're buying a secondhand meter, be sure to get it tested in the shop first). A 5 kilohm linear potentiometer. Electrodes. Cade's are made from two metal buttons (yes, just like you put on clothes) embedded in a small sponge, with wires soldered to them. The spa is wrapped in plastic tape (except when; the buttons are) and is fastened to the palm of the subject's hand by means 0 a strip of Velcro (which costs about 1 per foot from any dress material shop), Putting the electrodes on is like strapping your watch to the inside of the palm 01 your hand. I used virtually the same arrangement except that I defaced two 1 p coins of realm (don't know wot come over me, Officer) for use as electrodes, since I didn't have any metal buttons. A convenient sponge to use is the type you for washing up, with an abrasive coati on one side of the sponge. • Battery. I used a 9-volt PP7 transistor radio battery. Cade uses two 1 Y2 volt torch batteries in series, but battery voltage doesn't seem too critical and Y, can probably use almost any transistor radio battery: experiment.
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 68

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 69

• Switch. This is inserted between the positive terminal of the battery and t: rest of the circuit. It's not necessary i you're sure you can remember to disconnect the battery after using the device. Otherwise, you'll run the battery down slowly. The battery, switch, potentiometer, meter and electrodes are all interconnected as shown in the circuit diagram. All connections that can be soldered should be soldered. The photograph showing the various parts interconnected (but uncased) should make things clearer. In practice, you should of course rig up some kind of case for the thing. It is not conducive to good meditation if, when you accidentally tug one of the wires in a moment of Satori, the bits come tumbling· into your lap like an overturned plate of spaghetti. Cade uses a plastic box of the type sold for holding 5 by 3 index cards. The meter is mounted through a circular hole in the lid, the potentiometer and switch are inserted in holes drilled at the side, and the electrodes are stored conveniently inside the box when not in use. It's difficult to give other than vague advice about using the meter. The best thing is just to experiment with various relaxation techniques (such as the Zazen procedure which Cade uses: see UC 11 I, taking a peek at your meter every now and then to see how the needle's behaving. When you have reached a calm state, neither deeply relaxed nor excited, adjust the potentiometer until the meter reads 25 microamps - the middle of its scale. Then, as a very rough guide, when you can make the meter reading drop below 15 microamps, you should be in a state approximating to 'Alpha', If you can make the meter drop below about 10 microamps, you should be somewhere near 'Theta'. But it is important to remember that the meter is merely measuring your skin resistance, not your state of consciousness which cannot be measured. (Also, if you're feeling tired, 01 unwell, it's sometimes difficult to get the needle to rise above 10 microamps: equally, if you're over-excited it's often hard to get the reading down below 50 microamps). There are significant correlations between skin resistance and observed mental state, but the correspondences are by no means one-to-one, and a great deal of research into the whole subject is still ,being carried out. Maxwell Cade is working on a book on the subject, to be published by Heinemann next year. Heinemann are also publishing a book by Elmer Green sometime soon. Details of Maxwell Cade's next series of classes are obtainable from the Franklin School of Contemporary Studies, 43 Adelaide Road, London NW3. But until such classes become much more widespread throughout the country, readers who can't get to London easily will have to find out for themselves by trial and error what the various meter readings and potentiometer setting mean for them. As always, having a teacher makes things a great deal easier, but it's by no means impossible to get along without one. Godfrey Boyle


_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 69

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 70

• • • • • • • • • • Hess COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY

SINCE EARLY 1973, a group of engineers, scientists, technicians, and craft-people in one Washington neighbourhood has been pushing against the conventional wisdom of neighbourhood helplessness and has been attempting to create, in effect, an institution of technology in a racially and economically mixed inner city neighbourhood. What the work strongly indicates so far is that, at least, the sheer scale of industry and technology, often seen as overwhelming, can be reduced to a size that is humane, locally useful, and within the bounds of democratic control. Also, that inner city neighbourhoods can be far more self reliant in basic production, including food, than usually imagined, and that engineering and technical skills have a useful and innovative place in community life as well as in the life of great institutions and corporate bodies. The group selected as an operating name Community Technology, Inc., giving it legal form as a non-profit corporation with all participants agreeing to an equal, participatory voice in its affairs. Its financial form was a S2,500 grant from a friend. Beyond that, participants have contributed time, tools and their own money to begin and complete projects. When the group began meeting together it agreed to this summary of its purposes: Technology is too often seen as a mysterious force, virtually beyond human control and, because of imag.ined efficiencies, well beyond human scale. It thus becomes master rather than servant, massive rather than flexible and humane. The goals of Community Technology Inc., and of its projects, are to demystify technology, to challenge all of the claimed economies of scale, and to push as far as possible practical demonstrations of high technology in the direct service of human needs and imagination in an urban community. We propose, beyond the demonstrations, to gather information relating to technology which is both usable by and useful for communities of people - technology which, although sophisticated in concept, is low in impact
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 70

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 71

upon the environment and low also in capital and labour demand!. This sort of technology, sometimes called intermediate technology, is decentralizing or centrifugal in social impact and frugal in resource use. After gathering in formation, we will concentrate upon the most effective methods of dissemination()l1. Specific projects immediately planned, in addition to a complete information service, are trout raising in basement-sized areas; vegetable farming in roofsized areas; use of solar energy on a community scale; use of windmills as an urban energy source; effect of machine tools upon community selfreliance; and redesign of community facilities, including transportation. Additionally, in partnership with every projectdemonstration there will be the development of community institutions which best bring citizens and technology into the closest, least dominating, and most liberating relationship. It was clear from the first meetings that the fatal danger facing any such effort would be a lapse into talk rather than work. Some in the group had previously been involved with the political implications of scientific work. The discussions had been endless but without discovery of ways to project theory into action. The way the C·T group chose to make that projection, to live both its politics (loosely, communitarian, decentralist, nonhierarchical, humanist) and its technology was to hunt out real space in an inner-city neighbourhood for real work. Such neighbourhoods are heir to most of the social ills of the time. Most are seriousIy deprived of any institutions of science or of any locally scaled technology. They are, for the most part, residential colonies in the empires of the city, the state, or the nation. Washington. D.C., suffers under just about all of the disadvantages imaginable. It is only now taking even a half·hearted and, some say, halfbaked step towards local government. Its major industry is the federal bureaucracy. Its school system, as with most others, is concerned with obedience of manner and not with agility of thought. Science and technology, in Washington, are not embodied even in the usual corporate activities but are, instead, just sections in the local museum. The Warehouse The space the group found was the rear area of a warehouse, in the Adam Morgan neighbourhood of Washington D.C. The warehouse itself was
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 71

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 72

leased b' the Children's Hospital of Washington. Part of. the space housed a clinic, part a recreation program. The rear was a shambles, a junkyard. But it was offered to without charge, on the condition that i be cleaned up and used for the group's community-centred projects. The C- T meetings became, and have remained, talk-work meetings, at the w; house. The technique seems to keep feet of the group solidly on the ground their original intent - to do technological, work in the neighbourhood, to test the reduction(l of technological scale to human size and human needs, and participatory rather than institutional control. All meetings are open. Neighbourhood people drop in and out. Assistance is given to neighbourhood projects of eve sort. One high priority right now is find out how children in the neighbourhood who are interested in the work can be involved in the work more regularly than present, when about the best that can done is having a few kids in now and then for informal craft lessons, a little reading: and so forth. The main stumbling bloc of course, is the fact that everyone involved in the project does other work as well so that there is no time when the warehouse is regularly open, no members who are always available, and no extra mate for "apprentice" projects. In the year that the meetings have held at the warehouse, electric lines ha' been brought in, plumbing has been installed, a complete welding shop (the stock-in-trade of one of the members, Karl Hess) has been set up, and there is now a good array of general tools, a me lathe, woodworking equipment, some electrical test equipment, the beginning of a chemistry lab, and a very basic set reference books. An entire wall of broken: windows has been replaced by mylar sheet in wooden frames and an antique blower system for the area's single steam: pipe has been restored to health to keep the temperature at least above freezing The first major projects that the group decided upon were related to food and energy. In discussing the scaling of technology to neighbourhood use, the problem of food had been a constant concern With the agricultural mode, generally, moving up the scale, toward vast indus farms, how could a movement in the opposite direction be feasible and, even' feasible somewhere, how could it be feasible in a crowded, innercity neighbour! hood? The same with energy and its u· connotations of giant corporations and. continent-spanning grids and pipelines. A chemist in the group, Dr. Fern Wood Mitchell, had just returned from establishing a large commercial trout farm in Canada. He was intrigued by the possibilities of high-density fish production and suggested that it
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 72

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 73

would be feasible indoors. It was obvious that, if true, the perfect herd animal for a city neighbourhood had been found. A senior engineer from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, C.J.Swet, suggested that the group consider some sort of solar energy demonstration as the energy equivalent of the food project Because the warehouse space was not yet suitable for the fish project, it was carried out in the basement of Mitchell's home. The solar demonstration, a high temperature concentrator which could transfer heat indoors for cooking, could be built in the warehouse. Both projects have now gone through an entire cycle of planning, building, operation and, now, re-design. Both projects worked satisfactorily the first time around but can certainly be improved. Basement Fish Farm The fish, rainbow trout· are grown in fibre-glassed plywood tanks at a density of five pounds per cubic foot of water. They are healthy, not being exposed to outside bacterial infections, grow a bit faster than stream or pond fish, have good musculature thanks to turbulently circulated water, and end up consuming less than a dollar per edible pound in energy and feed. (Rainbows sell locally at about $2.25 a pound.) The innovation that makes the project feasible in an inner city neighbourhood is its frugal use of water. Its consumption of water for a 500-gallon tank is just 25 gallons a day, compared to the usual commercial high-density usage of about 1400 times as much water. Existing commercial systems use a straight flow-through system. The Community Technology System that makes that possible is a bacteriological ammonia converter. Fish excrete significant amounts of ammonia and, in such dense conditions, the ammonia concentration would reach fatal levels in half a day unless",s constantly carried out in a flow-through system or converted into benign components. C-T's ammonia converter (a tall, narrow container in which the fish tank water is continuously filtered through bacteria-covered stones) established, in effect, a constant nitrogen cycle for::the fish tank. Water is transferred from the fish tank to the converter by siphon and then back into the fish tank by air lift pump, which has the added advantage of aerating the flow as it does its work. Particulant matter in the fish excreta is mechanically removed, being handily deposited in a corner of the tank by the designed circulation of the water.
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 73

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 74

Solar Cooker The solar concentrator uses a trough-like parabolic reflector to focus radiant energy along a black heat pipe. The pipe is enclosed in an evacuated Pyrex cylinder to prevent re-radiation. To drive the reflector around.the heat pipe in a way that it will always be facing toward the sun, a bi-metal helix is wound around a shaft inside the evacuated tube. As it is heated by the sun, and twists, its torque is transferred through a stainless steel seal at the end of the glass tube by means of a ring magnet which drives another ring magnet on the other side of the seal. That· in turn, moves the parabolic reflector. Heat is transferred from the heat pipe to a hot plate via a high-boiling-point fluid. As the hot gas transfers its energy, it condenses and trickles back into the heat pipe. The hot plate is useful (at about 400 F) for cooking or for transferring energy to a heat storage mass (lithium nitrate) which, insulated, could retain useful energy for cooking after sundown or even in the morning. Subsequently, the solar work of the group has turned to the more practical area of flat plate collectors for home hot water heating. Three designs, all capable of withstanding freezing temperatures (a northern, winter-time bane of solar devices) have been modeled so far. The group's hope is that the flat plate collectors will not only be useful for installation in neighbourhood houses and apartment buildings (several have asked for the devices) but could provide a light industrial product for the neighbourhood, which as a community resource, could break the obvious bonds of dependency which have made so many inner-city neighbourhoods virtual colonies of the surrounding.. dominant economy in which neighbourhood people have little hope of doing anything more than selling their raw labour or, finally, whatever claim to real property they might have, such as family homes or apartment leases. Community Technology's weekly work meetings have, of course, produced their own inner social dynamics as well as selling up relationships with the ambient community. Meetings First of all, intemally, the group (a dozen regularly, with as many more attending meetings irregularly but keeping in touch fairly closely) has been able to resist any sort of hierarchical organization. Leadership, such as it is, is project-centered but with the fullest participation and
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 74

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 75

discussion by all who wish to join in. A technical editor, Therese Hess, and a physicist, Jeff Woodside, are working on the second fish project, did all of the plumbing, and are now constructing tanks for a production run in the warehouse itself. Although they have taken the lead in the project, it is discussed by everyone at each meeting and, after the talk· session, anyone who wants can join in an evening's work on some phase of the project. People can drop in to work on projects at any time, in fact Woodside also did the actual construction work on the solar concentrator. Meantime, a mechanical engineer, Roy Samras, has advised on the construction details of all the projects. Two house-builders who vi,it the group about once a month assisted in the electrical wiring of the warehouse. Karl Hess, a welder, has been able to assist in the construction processes. An electronics teacher, Rich Steinberger, meantime, has helped move the group toward production of a neighbourhood newsletter. An electrical engineering student at the University of Maryland has operated some methane production studies in.support of the group's wider interest in waste-use systems to follow its food projects. Students from other schools have visited and have established other projects in support of the general area of interest: humanscale technology. (In one of the gloomier developments, however, C. ). Swet, the group's main solar researcher, was fired from his job recently for simply stating that he would be unwilling to work on weapons systems. He now teaches part-time and continues his active association with C-T.) The food projects have been expanded by the continuing study of the use of urban rooftops for gardens. The Hesses maintained a very productive rooftop garden through the summer and another C-T associate, Gil Friend, is now building a small, pilot greenhouse on a roof to study the feasibility of year-round growing, hydroponically, on rooftops. Lack of Support If the group has faced an ongoing crisis, it is simply that of money. Attempts to solicit foundation support for the enterprise have proven fruitless. So called liberal foundations have expressed great skepticism at the entire notion of neighbourhood scale technology, preferring, instead, projects of more spectacular scale and, particularly, projects which, rather than emphasize work, emphasize welfare. It is the conventional wisdom that inner city neighbourhoods are doomed to the most demeaning sort of dependency and that, therefore, the best thing to do for them is just try to
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 75

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 76

make life bearable. It is also said that inner city people cannot deal with scientific concepts or with technological terms and tools. While CoT cannot claim to have disproven that absolutely, its members feel there is no reason to accept it as a fact, either. It is possible, however, that the very lack of support for the project will, in the long run, prove to be beneficial. If the group can survive the lack of any substantial initial funding, particularly for tools, then it will have made a better case for neighbourhood self-sufficiency than it possibly could have if elaborately supported. As a pioneering effort, however, it would not seem that its work would be seriously distorted if it could at least afford, from outside resources, to acquire such needed items as a milling machine, adequate air compressor, lifting and jigging equipment, and general laboratory equipment. The group's next order of priority, particularly after getting the secondgeneration fish production system underway, is to develop self·sustaining projects which will, also, produce enough income to sustain the operation overall and even enable at least one or two people to work at it full-time. One such project would be a mobile auto repair service driving to disabled machines, particularly in the suburbs, and earning enough, say, from two or three days' operation there to enable several more days of operation at cost, or free, in the neighbourhood. (Three of the group who are competent at such things as engine tune-ups already work for people in the neighbourhood and emphasize teaching those helped now to help themselves.) Other suggestions include a home repair van which would operate on the same basis as the auto repair service and, of course, the commercial sale of the rainbow trout and the flat plate collectors. But the long-range purposes of the group will be served only as the skills and information available at C-T permeate and become useful tools in the neighbourhood generally. Thus, a "teaching hardware store" is also planned, with hope of some space for its operation being available some time next year. The store would carry very basic items, tools, fasteners, and wood and metal modules (boards and strips, plates and rods) and would provide tools, on the premises, for basic fabrications such as cutting to size and threading.for finished assembly in homes and apartments or group project spaces in the neighbourhood. (C-T itself has already fabricated entirely such neighbourhood items as playground equipment and a large barbecuing machine for the community park.) The hardware store, it is hoped, would be a constant,
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 76

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 77

practical link between information and people in the neighbourhood. First reactions in the community itself are enthusiastic but not terribly. active. The neighbourhood (a 70-block rectangle in the inner city, with 31,000 people just about equally divided between black, white and Spanish-speaking) comes to C- T regularly for routine advice on mechanical matters. But no major project of cooperation has been accomplished. Ongoing discussions of light industrial production and gardening at least keep the possibility very much alive. Two substantial neighbourhood groups are now talking about such projects. Now what's the use of all this, in principle? First, it offers at least one small alternative path for those who, while working at high skills or science, question the current corporate organization and deployment of those resources. It enables scientists, engineers, technicians, and craftpeople to re-think the roles of their skills and talents while actively or, you could say, scientifically testing the material possibilities of new ways of work. Second, it offers to the neighbourhood the possibility of invention and knowledge that may make it possible for community groups, who also deplore large-scale corporate organization of life and the economy, to provide a material base for actual alternatives. Political theories of social change, without a material base, may be merely pie in the sky. Given patience and with resources to keep going even at the present t level, the group already has discussed with people in the neighbourhood these sorts of extensions of C-T work: conversion of vehicles to electrical, methane, methanol, or hydrogen drive systems with particular hope that one or two such vehicles could be maintained as community vehicles; a system of basement fish farms to enable regular harvests; more rooftop gardens; regular apprenticeships for the neighbourhood to spread as far as possible scientific methods and technical knowledge and skills; windpower devices, with one already being planned to charge a battery to light a community sign; design and construction of motorless loadcarrying devices to replace the rickety shopping carts which are now about the only such devices in the neighbourhood; emancipation of some houses from the sewerage system by the installation of composting waste systems. Beliefs All of the work and hopes connected with it are based upon a few shared
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 77

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 78

beliefs. There is the belief that humans, to survive as humans, must understand the natural world, neither ignoring it nor being mystified by it Humans are ill-suited to living as foraging animals or predators - the bucolic foraging instinct denying the creative bursts of the mind, and the predatory instinct denying the finite resources of the natural world and the humane advantages of mutual aid. Science is the way we understand the natural world. Technology is the way we do work. Both are seen as necessary. It is the organization of both, and not the existence of either, that the Community Technology group questions. Further, the group questions the hierarchical corporate and state organization society itself and intends that its work in support of a non· hierarchical, de centralized, participatory (rather than representative ) notion of society. As encouragement for this line of research, the group cites obvious breakdown of the larger institutions of society. Experientially the w is encouraged by the long historical e existence and success of small-scale social organization, from villages and com to town meetings, assemblies, and 0 forms which, even when obliterated greater institutional power, have shown' remarkable power to resist and even recover and return. Techniques and tools most suited to decentralization are everywhere apparent i development of technology (miniaturlsation, cybernation, alternative energy sources) and yet, because of corpora state organization, the scales of application continue to grow gigantically, with something as simple as an aerosol vat achieving, thanks to scalar organization the proportions of a major industry now, a national or perhaps international health hazard. The assembly line is a. instance of scalar development which be contrasted to project-centered workl called "gangH or team work or any other more decentralized form. The development of cities themselves is another process which encourages Community Technology approach. American cities, in particular, are agglomerations of once-independent municipalities which maintained their own social se· vices, protection, and even productive, facilities prior to annexation into the city proper - annexations most characteristically carried out to extend the tax base, police power, and political scope of the "downtown" area. These cities, in their growth, have, it is now apparent· created more problems than they have solved. City life today is perilous at best devastating of sensibilities at worst. Ir social debris of the cities, however, a return to neighbourhood solidarity is noticeable here and there and in communities of every racial and ethnic sort or. mixture. It is this decentralist urge whicH immediately
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 78

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 79

would be assisted by groups such as Community Technology. Fo who answer that problems can be solved only by increasing the scale of social organization and control, the Community Technology view is that virtually all of society's resources already have been commandeered to feed that growth. To not pay any attention to an alternative, particularly in view of the shaky state of gigantism would be, at the very least, unwise. Beyond that, of course, Community Technology projects are based on the positive view that, in fact, the most effective and decent way of life will be found in small-scale and not gigantic organization. The vision is of people living in peace, in a society of mutual aid and full participation. The work is to ensure a material base for the vision, for the dream. Karl Hess Recommended Reading Small is Beautiful, E. F. Schumacher, Harper Torchbook. (Abacus in UK) Post Scarcity Anarchism, Murray Bookchin, Ramparts Press (Wildwood House in UK) Energy for Survival, William Clark, Anchor Press. Communitasl Paul and Percival Goodman. Vintage. (Wildwood House in UK) Mutual Aid, Petr Kropotkin, Porter and Sargent. Mohandas Ghandi, George Woodcock, Viking. The Essential Works of Anarchism, ed. Marchal Shatz, Bantam. Neighborhood Government Milton Kotler, Bobbs-Merrill. Design for the Real World, Victor Papanek, Bantam (Paladin in UK). Economic Concentrationl John Blair, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. The Pentagon of Power, Lewis Mumford, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich The Case for Participatory Democracy, ed. George Benello and Dimitrios Roussopoulos, Grossman. Participatory Democracy for Canada, ed. Gerry Hunius, Black Rose Books, Our Generation Press, Montreal. Periodicals Journal of the New Alchemists, Shank's Pond Road, Falmouth, Mass. Alternative Sources of Energy,Route 2, Box 90-A, Milaca, Minn. 56353. Articles
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 79

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 80

· Karl Hess, "The System Has Failed'\ Penthouse, Aug. 1974. CJ Swet, "A Prototype Solar Kitchen," A.S.M.E. publication 73-WA/SOL-4, Nov. 1973. "Urban Aquaculture Comes of Age," (Author unknown) Based on interview with Fern Wood Mitchell, American Fishes Magazine, Dec. 1973. UNESCO publication Vol. 23, No.4, Impact of Science on SocietY. Seymour Melman, "Why Nothing Works," Ramparts Magazine, July 1974. John Passmore, Anti·Science - A Misunderstanding, It Excerpted from Science, July 27, 1973. Karl Hess, Principles of Lifestyles. Energy: Today's Choice, Tomorrow's Opportunities, World Future Society.

_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 80

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 81

A HOT COMING we had of it, just the best time of the year for a journey, and such a long journey .... .... thumbing the Hogarth flyover at eight on a Saturday morning, overtaken by a hitch·hiking vicar (could hardly believe my eyes - must have been last night's over·dose of Grotney's), sweeping along in the slipstream of juggernauts laden with intervention butter for the eager inhabitants of South Wales. Oh Lucky Day! That man must be stopping for me. "You heading out west, mate?" "Take yer as far as Slough." "Far out.” Three hours later made a triumphal entry into the Roman City, wedged into Professor Crump's Post Office van, surrounded by stuffed birds and things that went squeak every time he changed gear. Pretty hairy, no doubt, but it's nice for the children. And then we are in Walcot Street, bunting hanging from anything that will take the weight, and a big sign 'Welcome to the Festival'. Phew! Wot a relief! It really is going to happen after all! And that dome·,shaped object must,t be a dome-our dome-site of the world·famous Undercurrents 24-hour literary hyper·market (by courtesy of Compendium and Comtek). Someone says "dome ,sweet dome" for the thirty·fourth . time; everyone writhes on the ground politely. A stately home glowers at us from across the river ... Are those nasty hippies actually enjoying themselves?" Too right we are! And so are the neighbourhood kids. And the neighbourhood grown·up'. And the 'un s shining and the band's playing. "Would you like a copy of Under·currents?" "No thanks. My granny sends me hers after she's read it." This festival's got everything - boat·trips, races, performances, discussions, music, pet-shows, good food and a whole regiment of windmills of various shapes, sizes and degrees of effectiveness. Since there wasn't much wind, the legend 'Danger Electricity' on the Undercurrents generator proved to be an act of faith rather than a dire threat. The hydropower man was, holding out for better weather too, but the CTT solar panel merchant' seemed happy enough. It', a nill wind .. Sward gardener Tony Farmer offered a gruelling demonstration of how to extricate oneself from the tender embrace of the supermarket chain, and gave proof, if proof were needed, that self·,sufficiency ha, nothing to do
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 81

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 82

with lying in the sun while the fruits of nature fall into your lap_ Yes, the, field i, full of people busy trying to change each other s opinions in the nicest possible way. a veritable Babel of world-views. What does it all add up to? You too can be a Vegan, a Dowser, a Homeopath, all three or even more. You too can learn to see things differently. But everyone's really cool about their evangelism,m. The most important thing is to have fun do what you want to do because it turn' you on and makes you feel good. Take delight in the scintillating variety of people's creativity_ This is a celebration of life. The temperature's been in the nineties most of the week, sunburn strikes and yet another sallow urban dweller is reduced to applying beer internally in order to quell the pain. This remedy is highly recommended merciful oblivion bears the ,sufferer away to the land of anaesthesia. A man turns up at the Comtek cabin and asks whose in charge. When told that no·one is, he staggers away mystified. There are hundred, of people here, and none of them are fighting, stealing, raping, pillaging, looting or burning. And yet no-one's in charge. Freaky. If you missed it this time, there'll always be another time. Martyn Partridge A FREE UNIVERSITY OF THE FIELDS THE COMTEK '75 FUTURES FORUM followed on from last year's discussions and from the People's free Fair discussions at Sussex in June. These ad hoc meetings, set in crude conditions without the props or the rigging of political assemblies, on everyman's land among arts events and technology exhibits, open to anyone who cares and attended by a motley band of diggers, squatters, academics, editors, farmers, dowsers, vegans. thinkers and doers, are of greater significance than they seem. Godfrey Boyle caught this distinctiveness when he described the creation of alternative societies not as the work of a unified assault force, welded into immobile solidarity, but of numerous parallel movements working out of their own immediate situation towards a wider alliance. The three main discussions were on land, the social implications of AT, and alternative cultures. This account is not meant to represent everything that was said, but to give a summary of the main arguments and one person's impressions of what was important. The discussions do not yet bite as they might do, nor come to any definite conclusions, but beneath the surface is the sense that problems are more urgent, the questions
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 82

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 83

more serious, and the solutions far less obvious than before. Land reform on the agenda of mankind The agrarian base on which all technologies are erected is neglected by humankind only at our peril. To radicalise society and turn technology to a fully human use, we must reach for its roots into the earth beneath the layers of history from which all things grow. As a prelude to the Land for the People meeting. we were shown two films contrasting science's 'nature proof' monoculture chemical farming with organic methods, the spectacle of the mass-produced madness of agribiz was sufficient to terrorise anyone out of the supermarket. Taking us closer to the soil, David Trowbridge described Working Weekends on Organic Farms (WWOOFing) as a way of experiencing country work while still city-bound, and Alan Gear introduced the Henry Doubleday Research Association's agricultural research work. Neither approach was particularly revolutionary, but while most of us are citybound, these everyday approaches to the land, like the allotment efforts of the Sussex Whole Earth Group, could have a much deeper effect than the beautifully produced Land for the People manifesto. As Philip Brachi of BRAD and sward gardener Tony Farmer reminded us, "working the land changes your head." Tempering any over-confidence, Joss Kingston, from Sheffield's RadTech, and others warned of the experiences of previous 'back to the land' movements, - the 1930's Government Land Settlement Scheme (see Undercurrents 11), the Dig for Victory campaign, or the Tanzanian Ujamaa Villages. Re-tooling Society Peter Harper sparked off on the social implications of alternative technology with his congenial assault on AT for concentrating on the conspicuous technology of consumption, rather than the more massive hidden technology of production. If what we are doing is to have any significant effect, we will have to shift the entire emphasis of radical technology from windmills, methane digestors and solar roofs, all well and good in themselves, to the hard tools of coal-mines, steel refineries and assembly lines. Not only must the monopoly of supply, services and ideas be broken, but the entire middle area between home and factory, the private and public spheres, must be recolonised. AT and selfsufficiency were a reaction to technology out of control; now we must begin to redress the imbalances between production and consumption, town and country, the
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 83

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 84

autonomous and the collective. With a drive to produce more food in the cities, a shift of light industry into the country and a redistribution of productive activity back to household and neighbourhood, a better equilibrium between living and producing, between the land and the city, might be achieved. Another balance must be struck between the formal and informal sides of working for social change - between the legal and political structures as distinct from the values (or "what it feels like") which ultimately decide the quality of any changes. If we neglect the way we work together and our own intimate relationships, then our actions will be without a fulcrum. David Elliott followed Peter's master plan for a balanced future with the nuts and bolts example of the Lucas Aero·space workers (see his article in this issue But when the Aerospace workers suddenly drew the AT movement into arena of large-scale industry by asking "What should we produce?", our backyard boys apparently had very little to offer. We have much to learn from them in terms of skills and harsh industrial realities. Whether the production of AT hardware by big business (which has already begun) comes about under workers' control or as yet another radical co-option monopoly capitalism, depends very much on our own enterprise as well as support of the Aerospace workers and others like them. The final forum was on Alternative Cultures. Someone said that culture is about personal growth. The satisfaction of all needs, from basic physical necessities such as food and shelter to emotional desires and the realisation of deeper human potentials must all be pa of a radical approach to technology. We are all 'bruised fruit' and must cut through the layers of 'chicken-shit'-the, defence mechanisms of role-playing-an 'bull-shit' - intellectualised explanations to rediscover our organismic needs. So one else suggested that next time we meet there might be encounter groups body workshops to assist the discussion and practical workshops. Out of meetings such as these, a 'free university of the fields' is being born, without frontiers or regulations. The terms of the debate are widening and activities expanding, but until they begin to embrace the differences that still separate the mystic, the landsman and technologist, they cannot even hope to form the alliance that will seduce the straight world into one that is round ant whole. The workers at Dagenham are not to be persuaded that bicycles, whole food< and a satisfying mixture of
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 84

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 85

work under their control is better than a well-define job with few responsibilities, a good wage; and a wide choice of goods in the shops until the viability of the former has bee' proven to them by example and their o! experience.

Who wants a country estate . . ? - We do!
THE LAND MEETING started with Satish Kumar pointing out why it seemed necessary to start a new land movement: Land for the People. Existing groups concern themselves with some aspects of the land question without facing up to the problem in its totality. land for the People intends to concern itself with three main questions: protection, production and distribution. Protection of the land from agricultural malpractices which lead to a loss of vitality of the soil, endangering the chances of future generations. Increased production of food on the basis of ecologically-sound methods, to ensure greater food self-sufficiency for the people of this country. And finally, redistribution of land, which will require drastic changes in the present system of landownership, particularly the ownership of large estates. Malcolm Caldwell, approached the land question from the point of view of the international economy. The relationship between the overdeveloped Western countries and the rest of the world is changing rapidly. National Iiberation movements all over the world are reducing the dependence of their countries on Western imports. The present world economic crisis is only an indication of the shape of things to come. A reduction in exports from countries like Britain to other parts of the world will make it increasingly difficult for us to pay for food imports which are now costing us £3,000 million a year. But greater food self-sufficiency, which is therefore becoming increasingly necessary, is not likely to be achieved without drastic changes in economic attitudes and in the present power structure. We've got to realise that none of the existing political parties would support a move towards workers' control and community ownership of the land. We've therefore got quite a struggle ahead of us, but as this will be seen increasingly as matter of necessity, rather than choice, time will be on our side. So far the theory ... but many people in the meeting, already convinced of the HALF-LIFE from lancaster brought down their travelling nuclear horror show, which has been used in a campaign against the local
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 85

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 86

Heysham nuclear power station. Each card in the illustration con·tains details of a separate nuclear accident or terrorist threat. need for people to get back to the land, were more concerned with how this can be done. A variety of approaches were suggested - from people pooling money to buy farms to approaching landowners for land; from asking government or local authorities to squatting on land. It was generally accepted that we must draw attention to the fact that there are already many people who want to get onto the land to live and work who do not have a chance to do so. A number of people said that they were going to look for suitable disused land on which we can demonstrate our aims. But in order to build up a successful campaign it is necessary for local groups to bring together people already interested in the whole land issue, but not yet committed to concrete action. It was agreed that Land for The People should help to set up a network of local contacts as the basis for the development of local groups ... whatever name they want to give themselves. The next major land meeting· will be at the Futures Centre, 15 Kelso Road, leeds 2, on October 18 to 19. The Diggers group in leeds have al ready taken over some land in the town for cultivation and they are going to show us what is possible in the town context. (If you want to come to this meeting please confirm the dates with the Futures Centre.) _______________________________________________________________ __________________________ Ralph, lady Oswick, Marchioness of the Arts Workshop, leads OAP's from their cuppie tea on a tour of the festival site. Comtek was punctuated at frequent intervals by curious visitations, be they frogmen, dragons, witches clowns or Silly Party canvassers - all seemingly emanating from the BAW shop in Walcott Street. _______________________________________________________________ __________________________

GRAHAM CAINE of the Street Farmers group recently spent several weeks in Portugal where he and some friends were able to get involved with a local community and local workers and to learn something of the struggle that is under way in that country. They were also able to lay the groundwork for a programme of Community Technology development. Graham presented a fascinating report of their visit at Comtek.
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 86

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 87

What was impressive was that they were, even if only tentatively, able to stimulate local people into awareness of the potential of communitygenerated technology. Perhaps more significantly, they were able to interest a worker-controlled factory in the idea of distributing some material resources to aid this project. What one catches a glimpse of here is how a fully-developed socialist society could work. It took only a few minutes to overcome the (natural) suspicion of the workers controlling the factory; then they were discussing amongst themselves whether this particular project deserved their support. That's real, if embryonic, democracy. Graham and his friends built a solar heated shower unit in a poor working class village, mainly to demonstrate what could be done with solar energy to meet community needs. They admit that per·hap, they picked the wrong project in that the peasants did not have even cold running water, much less hot water. And the level of local technical skill in plumbing was surprisingly low. Perhaps they could have done better spending their time transfering skills and ideas so that the community itself could generate what it needed subsequently. Nevertheless the solar shower gradually won acceptance, even if it was treated as a somewhat eccentric idea brought in by strangers. Graham and the group then interested the local people in a plan for sewage disposal (there is just an open sewer pit) and power generation. It is this much more crucial development which they hope to be able to aid when they can obtain sufficient funds to return. It was particularly interesting to hear from Graham that although he had up until then operated on the principle of 'do·it-yourself-sufficiency' following a small-group anarchist line - when he was faced with fairly large groups of workers who controlled the factory, he could see no problem with an elementary division of labour. You don't have to do everything yourself or be able to control everything if you live in a society in which everything is under collective control, so that decisions can be negotiated communally. Throughout Portugal, workers and tenants (as well as soldiers and sailors) are getting organised in workers' and tenants' councils. It is no surprise that one of the urgent issues that they will be addressing themselves to (apart from extending popular control and defending the revolution against control by the Communists or destruction by the reactionary elements/Social Democrats) is improving the poor community technical and environmental facilities and conditions that most people have had to
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 87

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 88

put up with. These are the sorts of development you don't hear about in the media. Dave Elliott _______________________________________________________________ __________________________ Pages 28-9 are omitted [photo spread] _______________________________________________________________ __________________________

A WIDE RANGE of flat plate and para·bolic reflecting collectors could be seen strewn around the periphery of the solar collector workshop. Although most were built by 'enthusiasts', there were two manufactured flat plate collectors on show. Sunheat Systems' ABS plastic quick·response collector (see UC10) aroused a lot of interest, but also illustrated one of the main problems associated with thick plastic heat exchangers of this kind: unless water was constantly circulated through the panel, it wilted in the sun. Robinsons of Winchester also showed a panel although it did not arrive until late in the week. Made from}4" thick channelled PVC membrane, this panel bore striking resemblance to an enthusiast's panel built nearly a year ago. The channelled membrane is used in the packaging industry - in PVC it costs about [21m' but in Polypropylene only 40p/m'. PVC does not weather as well as polypropylene, but the problem with poly·prop is bonding it to the header pipes. An appropriate solvent is not available, and suggestions of heat welding, though feasible, could be very tricky with such a thin membrane. However. such techniques would be worth developing since the cost of such a panel would be so small. _______________________________________________________________ __________________________ BRIAN FORD acts as gaffer over the Comtek solar heater. This was the largest project actually built during COMTEK, and provided good hot water for the nearby kitchen during the final days. It was temporarily insulated with polythene sheet after recycled window frames proved unsatisfactory. _______________________________________________________________ __________________________
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 88

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 89

Other manufacturers were reticent to participate in Comtek (did they fear unfavourable comparisons?). but the range of DIY panels helped to make up or it. With a temperature of 92" F in the shade, Nick's elegant parabolic reflector could have produced super-heated steam, and I dare say the smaller parabolic collector (now a completed solar cooker) could have boiled an egg or two. But the prize for zany humour goes to the solar collector built from a refrigerator con·denser unit, painted black and placed inside an old TV set. The main workshop activity was centred on the installation of 80ft' of radiator collectors to provide hot water for the main kitchen. Kevin, Ian and Ted wrestled with monster plumbing problems, but in the end got the array plumbed in and free of leaks, using an assortment of plastic and copper fittings radiator hose and jubilee clips. An ex-washing machine pump circulated the water, and Steve wired up a control box to vary flow rate according to heat gain. The heavily-insulated 55gal hot water storage tank provided much more hot water than was required by the kitchen)" and it was a pity that our original " intention of providing a shower as well could not be fulfilled. However, we showed by building the system from largely scrap components that with minimum plumbing skills anybody can install a cheap water heating system of their own. Further details of the collect: installation and control box are available through Comtek.

AN IMPROMPTU SEMINAR on elec·tronic communicationsJ arranged at short notice to fill a gap in the programme, was organised by Richard Elen and Alan Campbell. Under the circumstances it was not a very ambitious event and the discussion rarely strayed from ground already covered in Undercurrents 7 and 8. Electronic media in the UK are dominated by the Post Office and the SSe. These organisations have accumulated a vast amount of power to control the airwaves and the wirewaves, and a movement for radical technology should be concerned with making these techniques more widely available to the rest of the human race. Richard described the saga of the ship-based commercial pirate stations back in the sixties, which were effectively scuppered by the Marine Offences Act in 1967. Since then, unsuspecting listeners have been astonished to discover occasional fly-by-night land-based stations insinuating themselves rudely into Auntie's exclusive airspace and
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 89

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 90

broadcasting the sort of music which sends the average SBe producer screaming for his gin and tonic. Probably the best known of these is London's Radio Jackie, though there are lots of others-which is hardly surprising when you can build a transmitter for as little as a fiver. For high quality music broadcasting in stereo, a rather more expensive VHF setup is necessary, but for a station devoted to community news, discussion, agitprop etc., cheap medium-wave equipment should suffice. Alan spoke mostly about the telephone system and mentioned one or two of the devious underhand tricks which some people have been resorting to in order to cut down on their bills. There was also discussion about official tapping techniques. Apparently there are very few subscribers who merit the permanent attention of a snooper, but it's not unusual for a man with a little black bag to turn up at an exchange, brandish his headoffice ID card, and pass an entertaining evening tuning in to the local eccentrics. So if you think the GPO might have you marked down as an eccentric it would be better if you conducted your more enterprising business! deals from a call-box. Talking about call boxes, incidentally, never use the same one for the same nefarious technique. If you happen to have a number that buys you an hour of transworld prime time for a 2p piece, for chrissakes don' be greedy. It takes about ten minutes tG trace a call and send the bogies round t1 chat to you, and if you mention your location during your call you'll make if easier still. Richard and Alan were at great pains to emphasise that most of these methods are thoroughly illegal, an that they were in no way encouraging anyone to practise them_ That goes for me, too. Martyn Partridge _______________________________________________________________ __________________________ Tony Durham showed how two Fresnel lenses (available for 50 p each) could gather useful amounts of solar power ii enough to pop corns one at a time - c heat a small cup of water to a usefUlly' high temperature. _______________________________________________________________ __________________________ VAT ‘75 ONE DIFFERENCE between Comtek '74 and '75 was the increased emphasis on fringe science or, as someone put it, 'Very Alternative Technology'.
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 90

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 91

A major aim of the AT movement has always been to work with natural forces; the aim of 'VAT' is to use the full range of these forces - even though some are less tangible than others. The idea is;, to put these forces to practical use, whether using a form of 'earth acupuncture' to 'clean up' a valley, or dowsing to trace old land drains. There was an alternative medicine stand; Tom Graves taught a large number of people dowsing; and on the final day, a crowded and very fruitful discussion was held on the relevance of such things as ESP. alpha brainwaves, dowsing, and magic to the AT movement. Several people commented on the recent surge of interest in things magical. Tales of paranormal happenings, strange facts about ley lines and megaliths, and personal experiences of the inner world were swapped enthusiastically. We came no nearer to reconciling science and magic, but there seemed to be an agreement that science itself explains very little, and that there is still room in the universe for many other things. It was emphasised that there are psychological dangers in magic, and it is important to develop the kind of sensitivity which tells you where you are and what is happening. When in real trouble, think of pure white light, one person suggested. Someone else found a crucifix useful. How to start? Well, dowser Tom Graves recommends - naturally dowsing. The rods or the pendulum amplify your subconscious reactions, and eventually you can feel phenomena such as the so-<:called 'human aura' without these artificial aids. COMTEK itself was an example of 'synchronism' - the way in which interested people seem to arrive in the same place at the same time. Such 'co·incidences' often happen, of course - the problem is sorting out the meaningful from the meaningless. The attitude of mind is all-important here - 'controlled subjectivity' is the aim. Since true objectivity is impossible to obtain in practice, even in the physical world, that state of mind is as close to 'objective' as one can get. The question of ethics comes up frequently. If you are working for selfish reasons, to boost the ego for instance, the operation will certainly misfire. It may just fail, or it may backfire on you instant karma with a vengeance! Increasing attention has been given to fringe science by the media recently one example is a weekly 'paranormal' night on London Broadcasting, which always keeps the switchboard busy. It was brought home to us how much general feeling towards inner evolution has grown
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 91

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 92

in the last year, albeit slightly tarnished by the influx of what might be called 'esoteric big business'. And with that inner evolution, change in the outer 'real world' will become yet more powerful and constructive. _______________________________________________________________ __________________________ TOM GRAVES was Comtek's dowsing teacher. More than two hundred people, he says, tried the vibes of converted coat-hangers, with 'real success' in finding buried sewers. _______________________________________________________________ __________________________ LIQUID ASSET FRIDAY AFTERNOON's discussions were enlivened by the appearance of Rupert Armstrong-Evans making a plea for water-power. In a temperate climate running water is far and away the most reliable natural source of energy (unless you can think of a way of harnessing the power of falling rain!), so it's a pity we don't make better use of it. It's largely a problem of longterm investment against a quick pay-off. Waterwheels and turbines cost a lot of effort and materials, but they'll last for ever if they're properly maintained. (Unlike Nuclear Power stations, which become energy-hungry paranoia-centres when their days of usefulness are over.) Many rural dwellers are in a good position to make use of hydroelectricity if only they had the motivation and the techniques. Problem is, planning regulations and the Water Resources Act can militate against the casual harnessing of stream-power. What's more, this raises an important question of whether the countryside is to be preserved as a sort of nature·reserve for aesthetically inclined townies, or whether it is to be used to support indigenous communities. An interesting point that came out in the course of questions was the fact that a large part of the CEGB generating potential is surplus capacity held in reserve against the occasional sudden surge. (Such as when the whole population switches off Tomorrow's World and makes a nice cuppa tea to revive the flagging national morale.) A system of limiting domestic consumption to, say, 3kW at a time (as is done in certain parts of Canada) would greatly reduce capacity requirements and save unborn generations from our jerry-built leaky nukes. Martyn Partridge
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 92

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 93

REACH FOR YOUR GUN MAYBE 25 PEOPLE turned up in the Village Hall for a discussion on Alternative Culture, and then we realised we didn't know what we were meant to be talking about. Definitions of 'culture' were offered, so broad as to be meaningless. Social theories were sketched out on huge canvases. Points were scored by all including the Gestalt therapist who quite correctly sussed the games people were playing, and then joined in himself with an impressive lecture on Maslow's hierarchy of human needs. What did the people who hadn't spoken yet want to say? Nothing, for the most part. The people who did speak mostly disagreed. I don't think any two people in the room even agreed over what the disagreement had been about. The man next to me thought it was political activists versus New Age Consciousness. I thought it was intellectuals v. the rest. Someone said if this was how the Alternative Culture held discussions we were no better than the straight society outside. I don't agree. I've never heard the Institution of Civil Engineers baring their souls the way we did that afternoon. Maybe it did hurt for some of us. Maybe we didn't reach any conclusions. Maybe we proved once again that without straight culture to lean on, Alternative Culture would collapse. But it set the brain cells tingling, and I think even some of those who left with a bad taste in their mouths will find, week.s, months or years hence, that they learned something useful _ from the people around them. Especially from the ones who didn't say a thing. Tony Durham _______________________________________________________________ __________________________

COMTEK·75. Was it a success or failure? Here's what one of the organisers has to say: MOST PEOPLE have their own definition of Alternative Technology but COMTEK stands for Community Technology, which means a technology designed, produced and marketed within the local, social fabric. This is something that cannot be achieved by sitting in a shed building yourself a wind generator. It can only be done slowly by putting materials, tools, and techniques into the hands of your neighbour and getting him to do it him·self. Initially people have to become more aware of their own potential and it is here that festivals like COMTEK are particularly
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 93

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 94

important. The aims of the COMTEK festivals are threefold:To increase the national impact of AT as a whole, to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas amongst those already involved, and to provide a vehicle for getting these ideas across to the local community. In order to deal with these objectives the festivals have been structured into three main elements: the Forum; the Workshops; and the Exhibits. In taking a critical look at the success or failure of the objectives one must look at the response to each of these three elements. The Forum. On the face of it, this was the most successful element in that the discussions probably involved the most people and created the most enthusiasm amongst the participants. However, there could have been more public contribution, especially if there had been quieter surroundings and a more detailed pre·liminary programme, with possibly a few more technical experts with facts and figures about their work. The Workshops. The pottery and the kites were particularly popular especially with the kids, some of whom went on a special kite flying picnic to escape the becalmed festival field. The Earth Block Building was also popular but,like the Solar and Wind workshops, it could have been more demonstrative in attempts to involve the public. This aspect could be improved if exhibitors gave more associated performance data, but even then it would be difficult to improve the participation of people in a relatively serious subject within the context of what the local media call a 'festival of the absurd'. It seems that many people react to superficial impressions and see Alternative Technology as a freak fringe. The Exhibits. It is always good to see working examples. It's a pity the wind didn't blow much - except during a thunderstorm in the middle of the night, when all seven windmills were strobing in the lightning. Once again, however, there is a need for test figures to be displayed so that performances can be compared. To improve this situation COMTE K is planning· to obtain some pen recorders and electrical monitoring apparatus in order to measure the performance of prototypes of both enthusiasts and manufacturers. Overall, COMTEK 75 has been reasonably successful in increasing the national interest in the subject. There are two nationwide TV programmes in the 'pipeline' and other reports of interest have been fairly widespread. The exchange of ideas between those who took part was very good, everyone enjoyed themselves but the contacts must be followed through for it to have all been worthwhile. However, I am not convinced that
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 94

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 95

Festivals of this format are the best way of getting ideas across to the layman_ The Festivals tend to be a fulcrum around which revolve the activities of COMTEK for the rest of the year. Consequently, the commitment to continue interaction with the community through reclamation, and co·operatives, has been recently reaffirmed. There are also plans for improvements to the studio, including a solar shower, eco toilet, heat pump an windgenerator. It is also hoped that others will be interested in producing a testing their prototypes in the depot an activity which could be supplemented by regular weekend workshops on specific topics with audiences of 'ex per and 'laymen'. Finally it is felt that it is time to do something really outrageous and serious in order to demonstrate the possibilities of alternative approaches. Applications for AT are particularly appropriate for revitalizing local industries and for liberating disused buildings and land - and there is plenty of that in most places, including Bath. L us all now get together and look for a legal but quick way to stage such a c convincing demonstration. Glyn Davies COMTEK/Bath Arts Workshop

IN THE WEEK of Comtek and the Walcot Festival, a number of favourable factors seemed to come into am almost astrological conjunction. There was, of course, Comet Kobayashi. which a couple of us managed to spot through binoculars. And one of the site's resident magicians informed us that Thursday August 7 was, appropriately, an exceptional high point in the megalithic calendar. But more tangible contributions to the extraordinary atmosphere of the week were made by the site itself - a steep riverside meadow prettier than last year's muddy field; the weather, which blazed up to 34° C by day and went mad with wild thunderstorms on Monday and Friday nights; and of course the music. surely the most powerful of all forms of community technology. Saturday's all-day concert, with J""s Roden last on, was an enjoyable climax to a week of more intimate musical happenings. There was Reg Meuross an Martyn Raphael, singing and playing guitar by a wood fire in the corner of field on Wednesday night: two very warm, very unassuming and very talented musicians. Then there were the Ace Drummers with their picturesque collection of - I suppose - African instruments. They drummed as the Parachute Dome was erected, infusing ritual into
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 95

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 96

engineering. They drummed the dusk on the hillside, and people joined in on pennywhistles and an old d drum. They drummed quietly, out of sight behind the tents, and a subliminal pulse-beat throbbed over the site. they drummed on the same hillside in full afternoon sun. and bronzed dancers stamped and circled on the grass. Global Village Trucking Company, Thursday night, St Alphege's Hall. People were leaping about from the band's firs note. Heat in the stuffy little hall was unbelievable. and I came out feeling better than after a Turkish bath. Friday night: disco in the Village Hal As basically-clad dancers tested the n" in the deconsecrated chapel, lightning flashed marshmallow pink and baby b over the sodden gravestones outside. I sure the heavens were celebrating, not angry. It was so nice and warm the best protection against the deluge was to sit in your bathing trunks. If any of the d got up and joined in, they doubtless added to the spirit of the occasion. I'm sure a lot of things happened right that week because of the stars and the sun. But a lot more happened right because of the hard work and solid organising put in by the amazing ladies and gentlemen of Bath Arts Workshop Thanks. it was a proper festival, it was. Tony Durham _______________________________________________________________ A section of the UNDERCURRENTS mob; from the left, Tony Durham, Duncan Campbell, Martin Ince, Barbara Kern, Chris Hutton-Squire (bespectacled) Martyn Partridge (truckin'). Richard Elen and others were magically absent, and the essential Sally, Holly and Godfrey Boyle were just outasight. _______________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 96

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 97

This is the third part of an extended essay by Woody. Parts one and two appeared in Undercurrents 10 and 11. Is change possible? How is change possible? We still confront the same dialectic between the way are, and the way the world is, which has tended to defeat reformer and revolutionary, escapist and exemplar, in every generation. Let us consider the growth of a social movement. whether religious. political or whatever. It might be assumed - and usually is assumed. by those concerned - that if the message is right. it should be possible to convince at least a majority of people of its worth; to convert them to the truth. At first. it looks as if the assumption may be justified: the movement begins to grow. Sometimes growth may be slow and steady, sometimes really spectacular, with thousands. even millions, flocking to the banner. After some time. however. it becomes clear that all is not well. The movement is growing more slowly than might be expected, and the rate of growth is tailing off. At this point, one of two troubles are usually diagnosed. Either the failure is a failure to communicate effectively (perhaps the movement's failure, perhaps the effect of counter-propaganda from other sources); or the message, the vision. the· programme, is not quite right after all. The second option brings Its own special dilemma: to what extent should the message be modIfied? At one extreme. there may be the view that the. message is sacred, it is the truth. and any attempt to dilute it in pursuit of popularity is profane. At the other end of the scale. there may be those prepared to give people what they want. to reduce to zero the original conviction and purpose. in order that the movement should continue to grow. Between these limits a whole range of compromises is possible. Even if the movement was not already tending to disintegrate - under the pressures of competitive egos seeking leadership roles - into numerous sects and factions, it probably does so now. Fragmentation: the subjective group This tendency to factions will be least at the pragmatic end of the scale, where numbers and influence are a measure of success, and there is very little principle left to fall out over: few will want to leave the most viable going concern. It will be greatest at the dogmatic extreme, where large
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 97

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 98

numbers of small sects may be formed. Each of these sects now laces the world as a movement in its own right, and meets the same problem: the heathen, most of them. stubbornly refuse to be converted . What went wrong? Why did the movement fail? The surprising answer is that it probably didn't L .. at least, not until the rot set in. The notion of relative morality tells us that it never had any absolute truth, either before ore or after 'adjustment'. There 'never were any heathen. What the movement did have was a relative truth which was valid for a certain minority with particular ranges of personality, life experience, and life situation. It is quite possible that most of this minority did associate with it. For the majority. its truth was not valid. and would not become so until their life experience and/or situation, was modified in an appropriate way. This conclusion can be summarised in the following axiom, which we will argue is of crucial importance in understanding social change: For any set of ideas. propagated by perfect communications, there is a saturation n .. number of people able to accept them, in the given social conditions, This number is the subjective group to those ideas. It might be useful 10 consider some corollaries of this axiom. First: For any set of ideas. no matter how ridiculous from other standpoints, and no matter how poorly communicated, there will probably be some fraction of a real subjective group available 10 accept them. Next time a member of the Flat Earth Society crosses your path, don't feel so astonished ! Of more concern to us : The response to communications effort (aimed at reaching an entire subjective group) is governed by the law of diminishing returns, It follows from this that a fair proportion of the subjective group can be reached with comparatively modest effort. In fact, the corollary rather understates the case, for in addition to the increasing duplication of information, etc., implied· d by it, the subjective group to a given ideology displays a 'homing' tendency: a reminder that people are active and not passive beings. Thus it would not be necessary to communicate with anything like half the population in order to contact half a subjective group. Even less would it be necessary to saturate them with propaganda. Note also that the effect of counter-propaganda is going to be minimal: the movement's subjective group, almost by definition, is unlikely to be a subjective group to the idea of its negation. The significance of the second corollary now begins to emerge. If a
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 98

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 99

movement is attempting to communicate its message, and the response to effort ratio begins to fall, this is less likely to be a sign of communications or other failure, than a sign that movement building is nearly complete. In plain language, everyone else thinks the ideas are rubbish. By changing the message, the subjective group will also change, and the group which responds to the modified ideas may be larger than before. There is no absolute sense, however, in which::h one set of ideas is better than the other. II this is so, it might seem logical to take the ideas (if any) which command majority support, to be right by definition ..In. This will be little help to the originators and followers of the movement: it was almost certainly the fact that they were not part of the subjective group to the prevailing ideas which produced the movement. We can now give a second, more objective, answer to the moral questions asked before: why struggle? and why struggle for sociality? We struggle because we are part of the subjective group to these ideas. This discovery makes more, not less, urgent our continuous criticism of our own position, and of the ways in which it remains valid for us. The feedback by which we modify our stand will be the interaction of our life experience with our values, and not. repeat not, the extent to which others are able to accept its truth. Further, we can now distinguish two very different aspects of communication. the confusion of which has disastroUs consequences for most radical movements. In one sense. communication is making available ideas- both facts and values, reasons and explanations-to those able to receive them. If after the initial contact. communication becomes a two way process. then something can be said to have been created. Communication in this sense is vital to any movement. Indeed, some would say that it is the movement. But communication may also imply persuasion, getting the other person to see it your way, convincing people of the need for change, etc. Communication in this second sense is intolerant. dogmatic. It seeks to make a relative morality absolute. This remains true even when the content and style of the message appears to be light-years away from the ideas we associate with religious and political dogmas. An invitation to a charity social which implies, however tacitly, that the person receiving it ought to attend and support the cause, belongs in the same class of communication as the Spanish Inquisition, and the coercion of some modern states. On this issue, we all live in glasshouses. A re-reading of this article will reveal no shortage of passages where the exhortation is implicit. where
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 99

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 100

the useful and dogmatic aspects of communication are intertwined: 'How can you fail to see the correctness of my argument ?" In verbal discussions, with more emotional involvement, it seems almost impossible not to behave in this way. Non· the-Iess, for those who would wage values struggle, critical attention to this problem is likely to be high on the agenda. II the concept of relative morality allows us to see the dogmatic nature of persuasion, the concept of the subjective group allows us to see its futility - at least up to the point where the persuasion is SO intense as to constitute a real factor in the life situation of the victims: a facility which is (fortunateIy) seldom available to minority groups. Once any subjective group has communicated . with itself, identified itself, become a movement, then the problem of social change, whatever else it may be, is not a communications problem. The objective group The question floW arises, what if the message being advocated is pitched in terms of. practical advantage 1 What if it can be shown that the morality, the purpose, the cause, coincides with the objective interests of the people being invited to accept it ? This assumes that they, or at least some of them, do have some objective interests in common. The existence of objective interests is debatable, since 'interest' is a value word which implies purpose, and hence subjective morality. Great wealth is hardly an advantage to someone seeking poverty, nor is escape from pain in the interests of a -masOChist. We will get round this difficulty by making the following down to earth assumption: Where a number of people share the same conditions of life, there are other real conditions of life which, once experienced, would be considered more (less) desirable by the majority. It is therefOre in their objective interests to move towards (away from) these latter conditions, We can observe numbers of people with more or less the same real conditions of Iife. In some cases very large numbers. Each group of people bound together in 'his way can be said to form an objective group, or class (In contrast with the subjective group, or movement, who have in common their ideas.) II the above assumption holds, the class can be said to have common objective interests. Now it was inconceivable to earlier movement builders that an objective group could not be persuaded of a cause which was not only right. but in their own interests. Indeed, in the most sophisticated version. the subjective messiahs were dispensed with. The objective group was to
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 100

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 101

become subjective group to itself. The class, out of its own bitter experience and its own struggles, would generate its own movement. The real superiority of this vision lay precisely in the absence of moral persuaders. When hopes and predictions were not fulfilled (despite, in the latter case, plenty of 'oft-stage' prompting by subjective groups who saw the road: i.e. a retreat to the persuasive position), explanations were called for. Either the communications war was being lost, or the message was not quite right... Let us add a third corollary to our principle axiom· The subjective group to given ideas will not in general coincide with the objective group to whose benefit the ideas allegedly refer. Just why this corollary (or its equivalent in other systems of understanding) should be true, is the .subject of intense investigation at a number of levels. Some lines of enquiry suggest that the whole naive idea of common objective interests breaks down once the wonderful complexity of human beings is understood. Others stand by the notion of objective interests on common sense grounds, and see the problem in terms of psychological barriers. If the barrier theory holds, we can distinguish between two types of objective interest: negative and positive interest. A class with a negative interest in change, Le. every interest in preserving the status quo, seems 10 coincide relatively well with its subjective group: the psychological barrier is weak. Conversely, a class with a positive interest in change often coincides .very badly with the subjective group(s) receptive to the idea of change. Indeed, the .more desperate the plight of the people involved, the greater the barrier seems 10 become. For a treatment of this theme, and also some aspects of the dialectic between life attitudes and social change - especially the key role of sexual repression - the Solidarity pamphlet: .. The Irrational in Politics-is essential reading. Our earlier caution regarding the libertarian position should be borne in mind. In the case of complex mature societies, two new difficulties arise for movements aimed at an objective group. Firstly, the definition 6f common objective conditions of life - once the easy part of the problem - becomes increasingly difficult. Secondly, the real interests of a class, which are to be the subjective interests of the movement, are much harder to define in specific terms.
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 101

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 102

Social change Now we noted that the subjective group to given ideas may change as social conditions change'- Therefore it should in theory be possible to change society in ,an appropriate way until I: subjective and objective groups coin de. (On the barrier theory, this WOI correspond to the elimination of psych logical barriers to acceptance.) B: changing society is the task in ha Therefore, we find no reason to make an exception to the general proposition that persuading people beyond 0 own subjective group even in t own interests - is (a) dogmatic, (b) futile. The implications of this POSItion for religious. cultural political movements, hardly need to stressed. So far we have treated society passive. It is of course dynamic. evolving. changing. As it changes. sizes of the subjective groups to e, and every set of ideas are liable change. There is no absolute reason why the subjective group to given so' Ideas should not become a majority under favourable conditions. In political terms. The classic success story ( was the rise of fascism in '205 and . Germany. Almost every twist of economic. social and political situation seemed to operate in their favour. It was the punters dream: 'going through the card'. The prospect that circumstance move society in their particular direction remains the one real hope every social movement operating the basis of recruitment by persuasion The odds against any particular g are very high. to put it mildly. blind history will show no prefer in the ideas it favours. Social change maybe, but in which direction? Regarding radical movements with purposes similar to our own, we envy the touching faith that history, is on their side, but we do not share It. We respect, In S cases, the thoroughness with which objective arguments to support prediction are marshalled, but WE not find them convincing. The System Where social movements are cq ned, the ideas put forward so farl implied truly radical movements. ving a total vision, and seeking i we seek - fundamental change< society. Let us now look briefly j conservative centre, at the she subjective world of big parties small principles; sporting contest spectacular shows; gentlemen's · ments and career opportunities. I look also at the single reality t them: The System. The society stands over us and against us, a which is ourselves. The
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 102

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 103

culture even in the midst of change, acts continuously to preserve itself, a influence over us. We can now no longer think subjective group as a neat watertight compartment. The principle operates, but the groups shade more into each other. Different paris sel of ideas may find different ces. The same audience may be': subjective group to various conflicting, Ideas. In some reception is extremely fickle ani ble, almost from day to day. j these difficulties in mind, we can define two fundamental subjective groups:- those who respond to soclety's subjective message - an establishment mentality. if you like; and those who draw their ideas from its objective reality: an 'every man for himself' outlook. Morality and Strategy Armed with the concept of the subJectIve group. and the separated notions of communication and persuasion, we will now approach the problem of morality and strategy from a new- angle. To anyone who feels this is a trivial diversion, we would reply that since part of the price of real change is likely to be paid in lives, possibly including ours, we may as well have our sums fight. Close to the heart of the idea of morality is the notion of 'fighting fair': of restrictions that must be placed on strategic options for moral reasons. ThiS IS sometimes explained by postulating an interrelation, a dialectic, between means and ends: e.g. • One cannot attain a just end by unjust means •. Now we have seen that each morality is relevant to a specific purpose, which In the case of social purpose can be represented by a particular direction on the social map. Likewise a strategy can be measured by the amount of progress it makes towards the desired end. On this basis, the notion of moral restrictions on strategy, of the result put at risk, is meaningless. An 'immoral' strategy would not be chosen in the first place, since it leads in another direction. The dialectic of means and ends is revealed as a nonsense; rather like saying: • One cannot get North by walking East •. Yet, to take a simple example, a sword· man resolved to fight in a chivalrous manner, and who does not press home the advantage when his opponent stumbles on a root. may well pay dearly for his decision a few moments later. There has been a very real restriction on strategy. The point to note is that the swordsman realty had two purposes: to win, and to be fair; each with their attendant morality. As noted before, a purpose which can stand on its own. such as to win, is often not thought of in moral terms when It is the only purpose. However, when two
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 103

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 104

conflicting purposes are attempted. a moral dilemma is posed. The morality of eIther purpose may impose restrictions on the strategy· required to secure the other, and the morality of both is revealed. As an aside, it can be shown for the case chosen. that the morality of winning probably serves the biological purpose of indiVIdual survival, while the morality of being fair may serve the refracted social purpose of group survival. II follows by definition that in social language only relations to the second purpose will be described in moral terms: a very one-sided outlook. Having added the notion of moral dilemma to our collection, let us choose a specific issue: pacifism. Ignoring borderline problems, such as abortion and vegetarianism, pacIfism IS a clearcut moral issue for those who believe in it. Or is it ? Up to four distinct norms may De sought after by persons sailing under the pacifist banner. La. they can have up to tour purposes. four moralities. These are: To practise pacifism: a resolve not to take human life under any provocation. To communicate the idea and logic of pacifism as information. To defend themselves/others against the real consequences of actions by persons holding other values. To achieve, by persuasion or other means, a pacifist world: to make the pacifist morality absolute. The fourth norm is dogmatic by definition: those pursuing it are dogmatic pacifists Many such people would reply: If that is dogma. then pacifism IS a cause worth being dogmatiC about·To thiS we have no answer. except to note that a lot of other dogmatists feel that way about their cases too: half the world's troubles start at this point. So we will leave them in peace. This leaves the remaining pacifists with three possible causes to struggle for For simplicity, we will assume that they live in a society which tolerates communication. They are able to fulfil their second norm, contact their subjective group. become a movement. However, under the prevailing conditions, the subjective group to pacifist ideas is small - say 1 %. Here they are then, one per cent of the population, tolerant. but with two norms to achieve in a brutal world. Perhaps we assume too much. Some of them may seek only the first norm: to hUmbly follow their faith. and to submit to their fate if their own, or loved ones', lives are demanded. For
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 104

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 105

these at least, the road is clear: no moral dilemma faces them. For the others, the dilemma is very real. If even one innocent Iife lost in the world is one too many, then the problem is to apply effective sanctions to those of other moralities: not to convert them, but to protect the innocent. The first conviction places a limitation on the strategic options available 10 secure the third, and vice versa. Pacifists themselves are often unaware of the extent of their difficulties, and their compromise. Committed to nonviolent means, and noting that it is in the objective interests of everyone not to be killed, they look for majority no co-operation with the war mongers. The notion of the subjective group escapes them. Even amongst the faithful, an incitement to effective (and therefore reprisalprovoking) non-violent action against people who share neither morality to the issue concerned, nor their restriction on strategy, is a complicity to murder,. What comes out of all this is the hopelessness of the full paCifist poSition as a single issue. Now It is time to put sociality in the hot seat: to test it with respect 10 the same four norms. We find first of all that the fourth, dogmatic, norm cannot be; that tolerance to other moralities, other cultures, is inbuilt by definition. We begin to comprehend sociality as an integrated concept. We see that the practice of sociality is inseparable from communication with others who would practise it. and from its minimal defence by any means necessary. The pursuit of sOCIality poses no moral dilemmas in the sense we have indicated. This does not mean there will not be dilemmas of another kind: strategic dilemmas. In the real world, the perfect strategy will seldom be available. The need will often be to choose the least immoral. as well as the most effective, of several available strategies or tactics, none of which will point exactly in the direction of human love. The mature society Two facts about the mature society. The first of these is the high degree of political freedom. including freedom to communicate. This liberal climate stands in contrast to other social forms. Nor is it a superficial feature in the sense of a bonus handed down to good boys and girls, as many radicals like to persuade themselves. A liberal image of itself is essential to the functioning of the mature society. Now this does not mean that the liberal era is permanent. merely that to close it the whole complex culture must be set in motion towards authority. We need to understand this kind of freedom, and the limits which society imposes, since the
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 105

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 106

climate itself is essential to our intentions. Secondly, the maturing of a society. often after generations, perhaps centuries, of political struggle and social evolution, marks the end of many dreams. People become vaguely aware that the road does not lead to utopia: it is a road to nowhere. To turn backwards into the dark tunnel at authority seems equally depressing, though for some the paternal hierarchic·communal society of remote ancestry now stirs as a race memory. Those of a pragmatic outlook are prepared to count the real sociality index - or better still the subjective one - and reflect that authority and alienation in_ balance are less unpleasant than tyranny alone. It is a time of uncertainty, of confusion. Many weird embryos appear. Minority subjective groups, always present in society, grow to unusual proportions. Older combatants, of definitions now failed. continue their ritual struggle: a tragi-comedy on the stage of life. Behind this subjective world lies the objective reality we have tried to describe, the real world of mutually hostile people and blind socio-economic forces, lurching unsteadily forward. Alternative Culture An unproved assumption, one already being put to the test, in a blind empirical way. by small groups of people. which takes as its key the idea of the subjective group, can be stated as follows: Under the conditions of modern society, we find an increasing number of people who have in common their subjective rejection of its norms, in favour of a social ethic. These people. if they can base their values in ·common objective conditions of life. will generate a social culture. It may be useful to compare the above with a corresponding assumption keyed to the objective group: Bourgeois society has called into existence a class. the proletariat. which has in common its objective relations to the mode of production, and which, so soon as it becomes conscious of these relations.. must inevitably triumph over them to create a new, socialist. society. Let it be clear that no breakthrough is being offered, only a new line of advance We still face the same defeating dialectic between the way we are, and the way the world is, which has frustrated so many intentions and predictions. Just as the theory of the objective group requires that it becomes conscious, becomes a subjective group to itself, becomes a movement. so the theory of the subjectlve group requires that it becomes
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 106

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 107

committed, becomes an objective group to itself, becomes a culture. Just as consciousness has been the Achilles' heel of class theory, so commitment is the stumbling block of culture theory. At this point, however, the similarities end. The protagonists of class theory never doubted their right, indeed duty, to make their morality absolute, for the benefit of all. In our case, the notion of tolerance to other moralities is central to the whole concept: the condition of sociality is incompatible with the forced inclusion of hostile, or even reluctant, human beings. The idea of capturing state power has no place in alternative culture strategy. The goal is to create a social culture among those who desire one, not to convert the existing society into a socialist one, dislike it who dares. This may sound an incredible statement to those used to thinking in conventional terms. Some will ask: « How can it be meaningful for a limited number of people to practise social culture, while the system continues to alienate, exploit or napalm both them and other victims, according to i· s logic? • This difficulty springs partly from a failure to understand what the pursuit and practice of social culture involves, and partly from a hidebound frame of reference concerning the nation state, territory, the meaning of democracy, etc. Some of these areas will doubtless be illuminated in the course of sketching out a programme for the alternative culture. At the level of social theory, we shall confine our attention to two related aspects. Taking the last one first, a commitment to tolerance should not be misread as any modesty concerning our belief in the superiority of sociality over all other social forms. When fully emancipated social cultures become available as real options, we think the vast majority of the world's people will opt for them. We then think that most of those who prefer tyranny will become less keen with no one to oppress; most of those who accept exploitation as 'necessary' will review their verdict with only themselves to exploit; most of those who revel_in the rat-race will find it a duller game without losers to prove themselves by .. Meanwhile, if the key assumption holds, how would a mere subjective group become a fully emancipated social culture? The existence of a subjective group to any set of ideas is itself a factor, an
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 107

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 108

objective force, on the stage of history; just as much as, say, the potential for development of a new method of weaving. In the course of a subjective group fulfilling itself, becoming a movement, it exerts pressure on the social framework. A greater or lesser ... shift occurs in: the real situation. This applies equally to a local campaign for better street lighting, or a full scale political movement. However, society is actually responding to the growth of the movement, rather than its existence. (This is often obscured by time-lag factors.) As the movement saturates its subjective group and levels out, so the social framework completes its adjustment, and new equilibrium conditions are established between all social forces. That, un-be-known to the faithful, is the end of the matter in most cases. Exceptions are: (i) When (and so long as) social con·ditions are themselves escalating the subjective group, and hence the movement; (ii) When the fact of no progress reacts as a disintegrating force on the movement itself. But most movements reach equilibrium with society, and then live on for many years, not knowing their date with destiny is past, becoming part of the landscape - institutions even. We can all think of a few. Values struggle and a new phenomenon Now when (and if) a conscious subjective group, a movement, becomes ever to a mild extent an objective group this introduces a new real factor to the social scene. The frame of reference of those concerned, of people in contact with them, and of society as a whole, is altered. Where this frame of reference is tilted in favour of the movement's ideas, the result is likely to be an increase in the size. (and depth) of the subjective group. Of course, society is again adjusting to the 'becoming', rather than the fact. of the partial objective group. If equilibrium is reached, that is once more the end of the matter. Except that there will have crept modestly into existence some real conditions of Iife other than those called for by the social pressures and structures - mode of production and all - hitherto existing. Equilibrium may not be reached, order to trace the development let us assume this; assume it for a movement committed to values struggle. increase in size of the movement, the strengthening of its values, m possible the extension of the scale scope of objective social cha within it. This in turn will further ex and consolidate the movement. A continuous
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 108

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 109

dialectical process develops this time with no certain saturation; level. An alternative culture will growing, having a progressively hi sociality index than the dominant culture[s](s) in which it may reside · social cultures will ignore existing boundaries.) There will be no political; confrontation with society, no response, politics to this or that issue of the no oppositional politics to the stan injustices. The culture will have a c subjective identity: its people think of themselves as just that, not as citizens of this or that state, Legally, it will have no status what ever in the eyes of national govern Its people will obey laws, pay d suffer exploitation, do alienating w, (The last two only partially reduced internal arrangements.) Their total sit ion will be similar to that of the habitants of a completely subjugate COlony. The first, peaceful, phase will end when the cultural divergence reaches limit of tolerance of the dominant culture(s). As and when the new c re feels able to do so, it will grow this limit: it will begin to defend it' against imposed pressures. The struggle that ensues will in some aspects be a colonial struggle for e emancipation. In other respects, a more comparison would be with the struggle of religious minorities for acceptance by the dogmatic religious states mediaeval Europe. Just as it w thought impossible that two or me faiths could co-habit within the same nation, so it will be declared unworkable to have two or more cultures c cohabiting the same territory. The exact form that the struggle amy take is difficult to foresee. Like colonial struggles, it will be waged from a position of material weakness and moral strength. It will possibly include phases of defensive violence against brutal measures, though presence of the, colony within the dominant cultures will impose unusual S' strategic restrictions on the latter. Another imponderable is the effect of a h sociality culture on the remain population of the old cultures: if desertion rate from these societies exponential, then they will indeed prove paper tigers. Perhaps the m powerful weapon of the alternative culture will be this: it will not seek replace one dogma, one absolute morality, with another. The final outcome will release upon the world a new phenomenon: voluntary state. Its birth will .mark even greater milestone in human history than the emergence of the secular state from the struggle for religious tolerance. Woody’s essay will be continued in the next Undercurrents . . . _______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 109

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 110


Second Thoughts
A FEW MISTAKES have, unfortunately, crept into recent issues of Undercurrents. Most of them are relatively trivial, but we thought that to preserve our reputation for absolute accuracy and utter objectivity we'd better print some corrections. Here goes. In Undercurrents 10, the solar collectors described on page 28 as being "connected in series" should, of course, have been described as "connected in parallel" - though the accompanying diagram made this clear anyway. In Undercurrents 9, there was a mistake on page 12 in the circuit diagram of the BRAD 'black box' for controlling solar water heating systems. Diode D1 should be connected the other way round (we didn't know that BRAD had added this correction to the circuit when we went to press)_ And on page 28, the table showing "The potential bomb-making capacity of the world's reactor programme" should have the figures in its last two columns reversed. (You didn't really think that Luxembourg was planning to have 80 nuclear power stations, did you?). In Pat Pringle's table on page 36, which showed the nutritional composition of vegetables per ounce. a line relating to potatoes was omitted, and the line above, relating to peas, contained some of the figures for potatoes. For peas, the thiamine, riboflavine. nicotinic acid and vitamin C contents should read: 0.09; 0.04; 1.0; and 7, respectively. And the missing line should read: "potatoes: 0.6; 22; 2; 0.2; 0; 0.03; 0.01; 0.5 and 5.5. In Undercurrents 8. we stated that an article on Steve Baer's solar house appears in UC6. In fact it appears in UC5, which is now out of print. How Straight is the Old Straight Track? A Correction John Michell has asked us to make it clear that he himself does not consider that the five points that I took as defining a ley in my article in Undercurrents 11 (p.21) lie on one single alignment. In fact in his book The Old Stones of Land's End (p.18) he describes two alignments (Boscawen I from Boscawen circle -Cross A .... Stone 3 and Boscawen II from Boscawen circle - Stone 4 -+ Stone 5). These two alignments, he says, "deviate by no more than one degree". However, he does not state how this figure was estimated. Simple arithmetic shows that if all the grid references given are accurate (which Michell says they are not) then these two lines deviate by about 0.5°, Of
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 110

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 111

about 10 metres over 1 kilometre. Work is in hand on a computer study of the Land's End alignments, using a program written by Pat Gadsby, a Com­puter Science Consultant. Maps will be scanned using a digitiser, to generate grid references to 10 figures instead of 8. We hope to report the results in Undercurrents 13. STOP PRESS! The first run of Pat Gadsby's program has yielded some interesting results. Working on the 52 stones and crosses listed by Michell, it found 460 possible 3-point alignments less than 50 metres wide. This is twice the number that would be expected if the points were distributed at random, so there is no way that these alignments could be due to chance. How many of them would be accepted as leys by the ley-hunting fraternity is another matter: Michell himself only lists 30 3-point leys between the same set of points. However, he doesn't state the standard of accuracy he used to decide whether to accept or reject an alignment, so it is not possible at this point to compare our set of alignments directly with his. We hope to carry a full report of this work in Undercurrents 13. Chris Hutton-Squire Crossing Your Mind With Silva: How to go about it. The response to the article on Silva Mind Control last issue was so great that we felt we should print details of how to contact them. The guy who co-ordinates Silva's operations in the UK is Paul Fransella, the lecturer for the UK courses. Unfortunately he lives in the States, so there will be a delay letter-wise. Write to: Paul Fransella, c/o Silva Mind Control Of Florida, PO Box 8591, Orlando, Florida 32806. 'Head Office' for the organisation is SMC, PO Box 1149, 1110 Cedar, Laredo Tx 78040.

_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 111

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 112

Hutton-Squire & Bradshaw BAREFOOT IN IN THE SURGERY
Dr. John S. Bradshaw is a medical man who, with others, helped lIIich in the writing of Medical Nemesis, and who provides the medical element in the ‘Alternative Society' organisation. He wants to start a new type of medical journal for doctors, medical students, and paramedics, and also to set up two' Amigos Life Centres', each as an integral pan of a viable community centre that will enable people to discover how to stay healthy. Chris Hutton· Squire interviewed Dr. Bradshaw recently in london, and this is a record of what was said. Dr. Bradshaw, what would you say are the essentials of IlIich's position on medicine? IIich says that the changes in the pattern of disease in western countries during, say. the last hundred years have not owed much to specific doctor intervention, but rather have resulted from purer water supplies, better housing, education, improved nutrition, and so on. But weren't these changes doctor-inspired? Well, that is what all doctors say. And it is true that doctors played some part but not, I think, the major part The changes were mainly due to industrial development, to aesthetics, to faith in the virtue of rational man and so on. Anyway, lllich goes on to say that, in the 1910 to 1950 period, with the discovery of insulin for diabetes, liver for pernicious anaemia, sulphonamides and so on, medicine entered a brief golden age. At least one's chances of benefitting from an encounter with a doctor became better than fifty-fifty. We had the best of the old priest·physician and of the new technologist physician - not that he isn't a bit of a priest too. And then? And then, since about 1945 or 1950 medicine has entered its high·technology phase, and has become counter-productive: what is meant to cure ills produces them instead. IIlich claims this has been parallelled in e· "cation and transport Illich classifies the doctors' ill-doing under the general heading of iatrogenesis (meaning 'caused by doctors') of which he says there arc three kinds: clinical iatrogenesis: that is, side effects of drugs. operations, and investigations; social iatrogenesis: that is, medicine's invasion of society and the mutual reinforcement of the medical mode and the industrial mode. Most of our diseases today are
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 112

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 113

caused by the industrial way of life, and are treated by analogues of the very industrial machines that caused them. This category also embraces doctors' certification of deviance or of simple disgust with our society as disease; and, most importantly. structural iatrogenesis: that is, the removal from the individual of all responsibility for decisions about his own health and sickness. What the individual used to copy with by himself, says Illich, - given some help from the extended family, his neighbours, the priest, and perhaps the doctor (witch or western) - including disease and death, has been expropriated by the high-technology medicine man of today. Health-wise, the individual has been castrated by the medical institution. Do you think IIIich has been misunderstood? Yes, I'm sure he has, especially by doctors. Clinical iatrogenesis is the only one of the trio doctors seem to have latched on to, though Illich thinks it the least damaging. Also he does not think pain is ennobling, which a lot of doctors think he's saying, but rather that to make pain something always alien to oneself, to be managed by a doctor with drugs or whatever, diminishes the scope of life. To live is to suffer, and to suffer is to live. Do you want to live in a sterile. painless operating theatre. or where the action is - and the pain? A promise and an expectation of total elimination of suffering, pain, and death (our unmentionable topic) is to make life a meaningless nonsense. Illich is profoundly serious though a joker as well. You know him? Yes, I know him fairly well; though what human being knows another? Do you agree with what he says? With most of it; though I think it's a shade up-stage for most people. lIIich's thinking is very tight and very deep. Although most people can understand at least some of the symptoms of the disease he is trying to characterise exactly - for example, the mess our own NHS is in; or the constantly increasing health demands of the laity; or the present state of medicine in the USA; or the falling expectation of life in some western countries. Certainly they provide very good reasons why we should at least give him a careful hearing. His prose, mind you, is rather heavy going for some people. He has been criticised for not suggesting alternatives to the various industrial institutions he criticises. Yes, and I think this is partly justified. He says he provides touchstones by
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 113

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 114

which to judge the validity of the various alternatives that are open to us; but as has been said to him, if there are so many, why not suggest one or two? - otherwise, the touchstones become a shade suspect And you, what do you think about alternatives? I think au fond the only alternative that will work in the health field (and other fields) is a radical change in society. I do not mean so much a political change, though that would doubtless follow, (and I'm certainly not left or right-wing in any conventional sense - I think the terms have become irrelevant) as a revulsion against our materialistic, hightechnology, non-human, growth-orientated culture; the culture that has produced motorways and supermarkets and jet planes; and pollution and oil slicks and Minamata disease, and Hiroshima; and laziness and envy and greed; and of course, coronary heart disease and obesity and road deaths and - well, you name it and our society has produced it. In this respect, as IIlich says, the socialists of the world, in the West anyway, are as guilty as the reactionaries - they simply want to distribute the cake differently. But they think cake is what we need - a bigger and better cake, with more icing. Well, and how is society to achieve a change? Only if and when we reach the brink, I . suspect; then we'II see that to turn back is the only · way to-survival. I don't mean go back to,samebucolic paradise that never was, or to mediaeval squalor (though that did produce our cathedrals and not Concorde), but rather to go back mentally, and then painfully dismantle while simultaneously rebuilding our society. Walk on a tightrope, in other words. I don't think, incidentally, we are going to do it - not until millions, perhaps tens of millions have died; perhaps the lot of us. All right. But short of such fundamental change, what changes would you like to see in the health field? If one is thinking of ad hoc change along more or less conventional lines, one would go first perhaps for nurse practitioners, doctor surrogates, physician assistants and so on, all of which are being tried and found useful in the USA and Canada. Doctor substitutes, in other words. Feldshers. The priests have got too high, so let's use the deacons. Any other alternatives? Yes, in China a clearly viable alternative in the form of the barefoot doctors, who operate in the country and the cities and the factories, has been at work with great success for the pas t 10 years. Enormous success.
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 114

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 115

This is the doctor substitute idea carried a stage lower - or higher. depending on how you look at it. The Chinese have also made a radical change in their society. of course. They've controlled overpopulation, or made a good start to it; eliminated hunger, kept out the motor car, encouraged the bicycle (and therefore the health-promoting exercise that goes with it). and so on. Not that I'm advocating Maoist Communism, by whose practitioners I suspect I'd be regarded as a deviant greatly in need of re-education from the word 'go'. But at the moment China, I think, is the most fruitful and hopeful country in the world, and I suspect will continue to be for the rest of this century. And apart from- North American experiments and Chinese barefoot doctors, what? Well, the doctor substitutes and barefoot doctors are simply the positive side of the de-institutionalisation of medicine that is needed, and that has its negative aspect too - that is, the dismantling of a lot of the;medical superstructure. People believe IlIich- wants to de-institutionalise medicine. though he denies it. He says quite rightly that one needs a specialised healer, and specialised techniques for certain fevers, for fractures, sometimes for childbirth, obviously for hernias or skin diseases or eye diseases, and so on. It's a long list. However he does, even though he might deny..!.!, believe in a partial deinstitutionalisation - only he calls it deprofessionalisation. On one hand no more heart transplants, no more high-rise hospitals; on the other hand the giving back to the laity of much of the responsibility for its own health. If one compares different western countries', there's no correlation between health and the amount of money spent on Health or between health and the density· of doctors on the ground or of hospitals. More doctors, in other words, can mean less health. I don't quite follow that I am simplifying, though> not oversimplifying: doctors and the trappings of modern technological medicine are produced by the same grand process that produces the diseases from which we suffer and die. Let me give an example: the commonest killing disease in the western world is coronary heart disease. It kills more people than all forms of cancer combined. We know pretty well what predisposes to it - cigarette smoking, lack of regular vigorous exercise, eating too much. especially saturated animal fats and sugar and white bread, high blood pressure, obesity, and one or two other items. In other words, the way we smoke, the way we eat, the way we drive around in motor cars and sit in front of
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 115

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 116

television se· - our life style, in other words, causes it. And coronary heart disease kills 150,000 people in this country every year, some of them in their thirties and forties. Now there are other killing diseases lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, obesity and all that goes with it, raised blood pressure, hardening of the arteries. peptic ulcers, appendicitis, two or three diseases of the large bowel (including cancer) - that are almost certainly produced also by our way of life; not to mention minor ailments like piles or varicose veins. We are killing ourselves, and for the first time in history we know just how we are killing ourselves - anyway, doctors know - and we are doing almost nothing useful about it Heart transplants for coronary heart disease are a joke, a sick joke at that. What I am saying is that we do very little about altering our life style, perhaps understandably because, if we were to alter it, our entire lives would be very different - western industrial society would probably have to be altered. I keep coming back to this. What we do instead is to apply more scientific and technological expertise to treating the diseases at a later stage, more of the very expertise that produced the disease in the first place; brilliant expertise, but almost useless, certainly expensive, and obviously irrational. Driving round in motor cars and sitting watching TV helps produce coronaries; so if you have a coronary, you'll be whisked off to hospital in double-quick time in a special motor car called an ambulance, and·your heart beat will be monitored on a television screen, and so on. Incidentally, many doctors think 'you'd fare just as well if you stayed at home with your coronary. The engine certainly has run away;with the driver. .The more disease the m1:?re doctors: or the other way round, if you prefer. We · re chasing our own tail, and someone must break the trance-inducing vicious circle we've got ourselves in· . And any other recipe apart from cutting the medical establishment down to size? Well, obviously; after what I've just said, prevention of diSease_ This is just- another aspect of the de-institutionalisation or deprofessionalisation process. Putting health back into the hands of the· people. I mean early prevention too, or, primary prevention as doctors call i.t, starting in childhood, at birth even, when the seeds of our western diseases are sown; though, as I've indicated, whether this is feasible without a radical change in society I doubt. Anyway, doctors have been singularly inactive at such prevention - except in arguing about its value, Iike the mediaeval churchmen on about how many angels could dance on the point of a needle - and they've been singularly unsuccessful when they have tried
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 116

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 117

their hand at it. Perhaps they find it boring, there's no intellectual challenge to it. In other words, perhaps we are dealing with a problem that is not susceptible to clear-cut rational solutions (the kind doctors like), but is rooted in the collective unconscious, if it's not societal. Anyway, if the reasons·for smoking, or driving motor cars too often and too fast, or eating saturated fats are, in part at least, basically as deep as that - in the psyche, collective or individual - it is very likely just an exercise in institutional pathos to do what doctors mostly do, which is to tell people how dangerous cigarettes or saturated fats are and then expect them actually to do something about it. People are not motiv·ated by exhortation unless it really taps their reservoir of guilt, anxiety, paranoia, and so on; or else appeals to their idealism or altruism; or unless you so order society - say, in the way Chairman Mao ordered Chinese society that a personal change becomes easy, almost inevitable and painless: the group supports the individual. But where does the motivation for altering society come from? Incidentally, apart from giving up cigarette smoking, doctors themselves are staunch adherents of the western life style, despite a few honourable exceptions; and since they see the end results of that lifestyle, in disease, what hope can there be for conventional exhortatory health education? You are· saying we must get away, in the health field, from the institution to the individual? Well, yes, that in part - from the huge institution that manages things for you to the human-sized group inside which you can manage things yourself - with your neighbour. This is IIlich's whole point The institutions of medicine, education, transport, and so on and so on have expropriated the individual's right to stand on his own two feet: say, to learn a language he wants to learn from those who are prepared to help him learn it, or to manage, with a bit of help, much of his own illness - or better, prevent it; or get from A to B at a reasonable pace - say, at up to 20 m.p.h. BUl can't we do that now? No, some of us can, some of us can progress at 600 m.p.h., but only at the cost of depriving others ·of the chance of moving around at a much slower pace - though one well above walking pace. Of course, in cities the transport institution is manifestly counter-productive for all of us today - traffic has almost stopped moving. 100 m.p.h. motor cars standing still, their drivers being brain-washed by the car radio, their coronary arteries silting up. lIIich's critique, you see, is of western industrial society as a
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 117

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 118

whole: he has selected medicine as just one of the modes, though he thinks a crucial one, to be scrutinised. And just as one cannot separate medicine from the society that fosters it and that it succours in turn, so and this is vital - one cannot, one must not separate health from the life of which it is an expression. What must one do to be healthy? Answer: one must live a healthy life. And living healthily has very deep roots. It is as simple as that, and as complex. And healthy living, let it be added, may include - indeed, has to include - a certain amount of disease, apart from the terminal kind. The terminal kind, and death are, of course, by definition as essential to a healthy life as birth is. One simply cannot have a healthy life without a beginning and an end to it. It is our ability to deal with the end, and with threats of death that matters. Well now, what concrete alternatives would you personally like to see here and now? Getting down to the nuts and bolts, how will you put these theories into practice? In this country today? - I should like to see set up what I call some AMIGOS Life Centres. Just a couple. If they were a success, obviously they'd be copied. I'd call them I Life' Centres because Health' Centre has a different, clinical connotation already. 'AMIGOS' to suggest the spirit that would hopefully prevail, and because AMIGOS is made up of the initial letters of Alternative Medical Information, Group, and Open Sesame' Life Centres. Open Sesame? Yes, I want them to be open to all of the laity in the same way as a good home - as the world - is open to a child, to have an easy egalitarian atmosphere, to give hope where often all our industrial society now offers is frustration and greyness and the miasma of higher wages, and to enable people to ask any questions about health - and find answers in books and so on, or from people. And the other elements? The AMIGOS Life Centres would each be within a larger community centre. I cannot stress this too much. AM IGOS is not some kind of supermarket where packaged health and nothing else is sold. By 'community centre' I mean a viable heart, a living heart, to a community of, say, 5,000 people, if there ever is such a living heart today. And I want the whole thing to have its structure and exact mode of functioning determined by the laity. Why?
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 118

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 119

Because I'm not a man behind a counter selling a package. Because I trust the laity, acting as a body. Because, as I said, doctors and allied professionals have been conspicuously unsuccessful in improving our health recently, a} distinct from, say, repairing hernias or removing stomachs or giving penicillin. Because all the successful preventive organisations are lay-inspired and lay-run: Alcoholics Anonymous, the Samaritans, Weight Watchers, Psychoprophylaxis for Childbirth, and so on. And what will your AMIGOS Centres consist of physically? First an AMIGOS Kitchen. The Kitchen is the best room in any good home, I think. I'd like a big stove, and light, health-giving refreshments to be available (though not compost-grown or in any way gimmicky - whole meal·bread sandwiches, say; no sweets, chocolates, or cigarettes). Room for about 40 - 50 people. The atmosphere of a pub without the alcohol, a place where as part of a more general community process and almost imperceptibly as a distinct part of it, people will absorb ideas on health through pores - not be taught them. How will you achieve that no-drink, pub· like atmosphere? I have no idea. The laity will find out. I've thought of ritual dispensation of tranquillisers, a sort of profane communion if you like. I'm joking - but at least it'd be a less costly ritual than that of the prescription pad. From the AMIGOS Kitchen encounters I'd hope groups of, say 10 or 12 people would emerge, interested in slimming, or giving up cigarettes, or taking vigorous exercise, and so on; and they would then meet in one another's homes regularly, and, above all, help one another in their particular endeavour, support one another. And the second element? The AMIGOS Quiet Room, a kind of library of health maintenance literature leaflets, booklets, books, perhaps cassettes, and filmstrips, though I'm really against technical gimmickry - all for the laity. The third element would be the AMIGOS Help Room, in charge of a nurse - say, aged 35 to 40. The Help Room would be her office, where she'd advise some people quietly (without making any diagnosis) that she thinks they'd better go to see their doctors, or that such and such a group would suit them, and so on. Nudging them, not directing them. And the local doctors? I'd like the family doctors and some nominated by the local hospital or hospitals to come in from the start to advise on the Centre and to visit it,
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 119

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 120

but as people, not as the topmost pinnacles of hierarchical pyramids; to talk with people in the Kitchen, not to hold clinics or give lectures unless the laity invited them to. I'd like also, perhaps above any other connection, a link with the local Community Health Council. The Councils were set up last year under the new NHS to help inject a democratic element into it. They are bodies without a role, as I see them; and AMIGOS is a role without a body, so ... How would you get it all started? An advertisement in the local paper to the effect that a new kind of slimming group was available at AMIGOS would bring the women running; or walking perhaps. And I think one might have to form a group that I call 'Phone Friends', people with a telephone who'd be prepared to help one another out the way the Samaritans help those in despair,. but in a wider sphere you know, someone who's tempted to have a cigarette or eat a plate of biscuits would ring a friend and talk and talk instead of puffing or munching. And that could lead to the development of the first anti-cigarette group, the first slimming group, and so on. Then off we go. Any facilities for sports? Ideally, yes; and for dramatics, encounter groups, and so on. And this might be easy in some community centres. But it's not essential. Ideally one would like, say, a swimming pool the way the Peckham Centre had one many years ago; though that would be a luxury - and certainly I would not want the doctor-run clinics that Peckham had. Anything else? Yes, some young people (say, aged 18 to 22), working in the community already, intelligent but who had not been to university, with warmth and empathy; to be called CHEs, which stands for Community Health Educators. They'd act as sources of information for the Centres. If, say, no men were coming to the slimming groups, or the anti-cigarette groups were weak, we'd ask the CHEs to find out why, and they'd nose around and then report back. We'd give them a follow-up service - whatever they wanted within reason, a newsletter and so on - after an initial quick firstaid cum health-education course. These, of course, are the barefoot doctors, westernised version: one can at least see if the idea wiII work here. And you, where do you come into this? As little as possible. I'd like to be invisible, or almost so. I want to start a couple of Centres, find a place for them, choose the nurses who'll
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 120

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 121

oversee them (the AYAHs, as I call these nurses - which means 'Aide to Your Action on Health'), get the literature, and then let them rip. I don't want to be Big Brother or 'The Doctor'. I want to be a shadow. I want no hierarchical pyramids, no bosses, no miraculous expertise that will enable one to tell people exactly what to do. I haven't got any of that, and neither has any other doctor most of the time. I want people, including doctors, to help one another - and to find out how they can best do that. And the money for all this? There'd be small charges for the refreshments and for membership of thegroups. People value what they have to pay something for, however little. And I have promises from one or two sources of health literature, and of some help with the monitoring research that would obviously be needed, and so on. (We'd have to look at changes in attitudes to unhealthy habits, changes in the habits, and finally changes in disease prevalence.) The main part of the cash I haven't got yet; and I'm not quite sure I ever shall get it Why not? Because the almost reflex response of the charities I've been to is 'Which University Department of Social Medicine/Community Medicine/ Epidemiology is sponsoring you?' Now I know a number of people in all those fields who are interested in AMIGOS, and who would - or I think would - certainly sponsor the project. But I am trying to break or at least to alter the system (not that there aren't plenty of cracks to be seen in the superstructure already). Can one ask the system, the establishment, to help produce its own radical, perhaps painful transformation? Ought one to? Is it permissible? I don't know. Also I'm not, of course, keen on letting the establishment take over AMIGOS - which might be the price of sponsorship - because it could also be the kiss of death. So what do you propose to do? I'd like, while trying to resolve that central dilemma of sponsorship and because one has to do some breaking down before one begins to build I'd like to start an antimedical-journal. One that was critical both of medicine - or at any rate of those aspects of it that I've criticised here and of the medical journals it succours and that sustain it in turn. Perhaps to be called New Medicine. For the AMIGOS people? No, for doctors and medical scientists and nurses and so on, plus medical and paramedical students. This would provide a philosophy, a rationale, a
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 121

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 122

mystique for the AMIGOS thing while the Centres themselves would provide the action. I'd really like it to cover the intelligent laity as well but I'm told, firstly, that you can't talk simultaneously to the laity and doctors (which I simply do not believe), and secondly that a lay journal costs the earth to launch, which I do believe. Perhaps, in time, there'd be a separate journal for the laity - especially the less intelligent laity, the people w· o matter. And what's it going to consist of, this anti·medical-journal? Well, the Royal Society of Medicine Library takes over 2,500 journal titles. This is not the fault of the Society, of course: it is the victim of the system. But 2,500 is sheer lunacy. We could probably manage perfectly well without 2,000 of them. My anti-medical-journal would wake up the students and para-medics by abstracting humorously or wittily the articles in a range of medical journals that seem almost totally irrelevant to health (they're usually ego-gratifiers for the authors), or by juxtaposing abstracts for example, one about the cost of the very latest in our doubtfully beneficial coronary care units with one about the miserable amounts spent on early prevention of coronary heart disease. It might even alert some of the doctors. New Medicine would also have abstracts of positive articles, pointing out a better way - on early prevention, for instance: the kind of thing we'd be practising in the AMIGOS Centres. Not the usual dry-as-dust abstracts, which have put so many abstract journals out of business, but live ones with a message for live people - though always technically accurate and just. Anything else to the journal? Well, we might start getting original articles after a bit; or rather, original antiarticles. And some sharp cartoons and other illustrations relevant to the main themes. And we'd have leaders, of course, and letters, and abstracts of letters in other journals (their letters are often more informative than their articles - because the original articles have got so high-priestly). And news about the wider ecological scene as a matrix. After all, doctors have played some part in causing overpopulation, and if anybody starts throwing plutonium about, it'll hit doctors the same as everyone else. My journal would be a cross between Lancet, Private Eye, and, say, the New Yorker: technical expertise plus sharpness plus style. All I want is the journalistic moon, in other words. And what are its chances? Well, perhaps better than the chances for AMIGOS, though people tell me it's silly to think of launching any new journal in the present
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 122

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 123

economic climate. But, in fact, it'", that climate makes the need for such a journal starkly obvious, in my opinion. The time is ripe for somebody to start taking the mickey out of high-technology, institutionalised medicine, as part of a larger anti-institution endeavour. Ivan IIlich thinks much the best way to alter institutions is to make fun of them. Indeed, he has more than once suggested that we need a journal of just this type; and he has a· reed to be the patron of New Medicine. Are you more keen on the journal than on the Centres? Yes, I think I am: partly because it is more in my line of country than is AMIGOS, partly because I think perhaps the gospel has to be preached before one starts building the churches. And oddly enough, those most taken with the idea of the journal are some very hard-bitten types in the medical publishing field. So it might take off? It might, though I doubt it will make all that much difference - because we live in a profoundly unhealthy society, unhealthy in the deepest sense. I mean our Western, materialistic, technologico-scientific industrial society, Communist or capitalist It's clearly, I think, headed for disaster, mega·disaster complete with an assortment of high priests, its own effete aristocracy, mendicants, and woe-criers - Iike me. We're all in it together. And the only solution is probably 'religious' - in very large inverted commas. But why bother to try anything if you're so pessimistic? Realistic is perhaps a better word. Why? - For the sake of my children; and yours, and the next man's; and for the sake of their children in turn. We must hope for salvation. As Illich says, 'salud' means both health and salvation. I try for health: I hope for salvation. IIlich says about the afterlife that he hopes for it but doesn't expect it. He hopes for a surprise on his death-bed. I think man kind is on its death-bed - I hope it's going to get a surprise . The Alternative Society, 9 Morton Avenue Kidlington. Oxford

_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 123

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 124

• • • • • • REVIEWS + SMALL ADS

BETTER RED THAN DEVOLVED The Red Paper on Scotland. 368 pp. £1.60 from bookshops or EUSPB, 1 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh EH8 9LW. "Any study of Scotland today must start from where the people are, the realities of day to day living, extremes of wealth and poverty, unequal opportunities at work, in housing, health, education and community living generally." So begins the Red Paper on Scotland. Deprivation and lack of adequate social provisions are widespread throughout the UK. But Scotland has more than its 'fair' share of social problems·and economic deprivation and less than its 'fair' share of housing, educational and employment opportunities, social and welfare facilities and general economic prosperity. Successive Governments have classified large areas of Scotland as 'development' regions, yet the unemployment rate in Scotland remains up to three times higher than that of the South East of England even in times of economic boom. Twentythree per cent of the Scottish people (1\4 million) live at, or just above, the poverty line. One in ten houses in Scotland are substandard, the percentage of children of working class parents in Scottish Universities is decreasing to a level probably below that of the 1920's, and there is an incidence of rickets in Glasgow slums. As Richard Bryant's article in the Paper points out, it would take an extra 41p per person per year to raise Scotland's social services merely to the average position of England and Wales. This situation is no accident. It is, as the Red Paper attempts to show, deeply entrenched and is a result of the whole economic and social structure of the West - a result of the ways in which capitalism concentrates its power and investments\';· · and bleeds whole areas dry without even attempting to cover up the wounds adequately. Tho Highlands, where 9% of the population own 64% of the land, have their share of [he problems. Carter in his article raises t· e problem of basing a socialist strategy for the Highlands on land issues. The power of the Highland landlords is based on land, and any strategy must challenge that he· · m\.'I1Y. Secondly, the idea of industrial development, equated with · high technology, must also be challenged. He emphasizes the need for an intermediate technology, where self-sufficiency could be achieved by more intensive use of the Highlands' labour and land resources- the same preconditions as the Chinese model. He emphasizes that such a
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 124

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 125

strategy for decentralisation can only be viable if combined with altering the structures of inequality. Scotland's problems are gaining recognition, but solutions reflect a superficial analySiS of these problems and many are based on the popular myth 'from rags to riches' - where the discovery of oil is seen as Scotland's liberator. But the bulk of the oil industry is in American hands and the 'oil boom has not meant increased prosperity or higher living standards for most Scots. Rather it has meant soaring prices, inadequate amenities, social dislocation, hazardous conditions of work for the people involved in the industry. (200 have died so far in the North Sea Industry, according to North Sea Oil Action Committee). This parallels the experience of exploited peoples in colonies throughout history. Despite promises, neither the SNP's nor Labour's policies represent a challenge to this situation. Smith analyses the 'Political Economy of North Sea Oil' and discusses the implications of oil as a fuel, or as a supply of raw material for one of the world's growing industries- the petrochemical industry. He shows, for example, how the pharmaceutical industry in Britain is presently dominated by mainly US monopoly prices, and an antimonopoly alliance of Trade Unions and community groups. This emphasis on community action runs through the book and seems to reflect a kind of neo-syndicalism which appears to be growing in Scotland in the form of increased demands for workers' control and community democracy. The Scottish experience of deprivation in the midst of affluence and heightened aspirations, the false promise of a boom through oil, and alienation from a centralised and bureaucratic Westminster government, together begin to explain the recent dramatic rise of Scottish Nationalism. But what would Independence really mean for the Scottish people? Independence on'the basis of oil would lead to less independence for the Scottish economy rather than more. We would be essentially a single commodity-producing country, subservient to the wishes of the multinational corporations and living on borrowed time, for neither the supply of oil nor the demand will last forever. Moreover, the social democratic solutions advocated by the Scottish Nationalist Party have proved themselves powerless to bring fundamental change. Inequalities of wealth and power continue to persist everywhere in the Free World' (including Scandinavia). Like Burnett, we would ask how and why a Scottish social democracy can succeed where others have failed. When the question of freedom for Scotland is raised we must ask: Freedom from
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 125

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 126

whom and from what? In answering these questions we realise that independence without socialism brings little more than a nominal "change of government, as the example of Eire shows. The traditional parties have responded to Nationalism with the promise of devolution, but as McGrath says: "Devolution is a game that Waddingtons ought to patent 'You have gained a minor Concession. Collect £50 and wait 5 years before your next throw. Your minor Concession produced a boring incompetent Assembly. Devolution Discredited. Pay £50 back and lose 10000000 votes:." Reform through the SNP or Westminster clearly offers us no solution, for capitalism is the root cause of Scotland's economic and social problems. Massive structural change is needed if we are to create real alternatives to what exists now,: and we must not underestimate the problems - or the potential in contemporary Scotland. Brown puts it succinctly in his introduction to the Red Paper: "What appear to be contradictory features of Scottish life today - militancy and apathy, cynicism and a thirst for change - can best be understood as working people's frustration with and refusal to accept powerlessness, and lack of control over blind social forces which determine their lives. It is a disenchantment which underlines an untapped potential for co-operative action upon which we must build." Edinburgh Science for People 71 South Clerk Street, Edinburgh DIALECTICAL CALGACUS Calgacus, No.1. Winter 74/5. Ed: Ray Burnett. West Highland Publishing Co. 64 pp. 40p. (SSp by post). subscription: £3 for six. SOME PEOPLE say that Nationalism plus Socialism equals National Socialism; in the case of Scotland, it may well be that Nationalism without Socialism will degenerate into Fascism. The aim of Calgacus is to prevent such a process and at the same time to act as 'an unaligned but committed forum' for the Scottish left. Coming from the same stable as the West Highland Free Press the excellent quality is to be expected, although the drab cover may discourage the casual buyer. For three years, the Free Press has printed local news, weddings. sport, regular columns (some in Gaelic). longer articles which seek to expose the motives underlying the words and acts
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 126

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 127

of government, big business, the military, landowners and developers, as these affect the local scene; those who believe that the ruling class is a figment of Marxist imagination could learn much from West Coast daily life. Careful investigation, material from a diversity of sources and an extensive letters section ensures that the local readership is not alienated by crude Marxist dogmatics. Calgacus$. however, is clearly aimed at the intellectual left. This issue is about Politics and the Law, an attempt to show how the 'impartial' ,processes of Law are used to implement Government policy. Articles on internment in Northern Ireland seek to underline its use as a laboratory for techniques of containment, which could just as easily be used against rebellious elements in England or Scotland. Further emphasis is placed on this article with articles on the 'Shrewsbury Two' the BWNIC 14, and the trials of one Scots and one Welsh 'extremist'. Are they the thin end of the wedge? Some will be surprised that a Scottish Review contains only three main articles directly about Scottish issues, whereas eight others concern England, Ireland or Brittany. Obviously, there is no intention to allow Nationalism to split the solidarity of English and Scots people. Future issues will undoubtedly reflect this solidarity. There is also a growing awareness of Celtic connections, similarities in the situations in Scotland, Wales, Brittany and Ireland and their likeness to the colonialism and neocolonialism in the Third World. The Celtic left could become a significant force for change in the future. Apart from one article from Rob Gibson, there is no attempt to woo the "Scots Nats". World Socialism is still the first aim, but now there is a recognition that cultural uniformity is not part of that. There are characteristic differences in the Scottish economy and power structure and there is such a thing as a Scottish culture. All this is willingly acknowledged, but the woolly·minded, apolitical stance of the SNP is not accepted. The magazine's commitment to the Arts is real; almost a third of the magazine is given to poetry, a good short story, an interview with the Breton musician. Alan Stivell, an account of the work of the 19th century Gaelic poetess Mairi Mhor nan Oran, reviews of poetry, records and books. Forthcoming issues will cover Scottish theatre and include an events listing.
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 127

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 128

Essential reading for Scottish radicals, will Calgacus be of interest to other Under·currents readers? Clearly it is not for that portion of the readership who throw up their hands in horror at the merest mention of words like class, repression or exploitation. True enough the heavy hand of' authoritarian socialism,is in evidence: Brian Trench tries to explain why the left should continue to support the Provos, in spite of recent bombings; and there are two articles praising the UNB, a revolutionary Breton 'nationalist' party which accepts centralised party democracy, and rejects spontaneity and libertarian ideals. The bulk of the articles (such as Bob Purdie on Kitsonism) give a welcome dose of realism, and reject the myth of Britain as a country whose government and army act decently and humanely and which unwillingly accepted the burden of Northern Ireland. The line taken is that this is just the latest in a long line of colonial situations where troops, special powers acts, boot, baton and torture are used to frighten and control not just 'extremists' but entire indigenous populations. Perhaps we still can't envisage such methods of control in action in England or Scotland, but it perhaps wouldn't take much in the way of economic or ecological crisis plus a few extremist bombings from left or right to tip the balance. The editorial ends with a prescient remark; "It is over 50 years since the tanks rolled into Glasgow and the State deployed the military against striking Scottish workers. It is unlikely to be another 50 years before we see it again". Not 50 years but several weeks later the Glasgow dustmen’s strike was broken by troops. Tanks were not used but if a 'socialist' government and a 'socialist' provost can use troops in strike-breaking, then a future Tory administration may well he tempted to be a bit tougher. The WHFP also has two excellent community papers, the West Highland Free Press and the new Fort William Free Press, each weekly. Subs are £5 per year or £250 for six months. They're at Breakish, Isle of Skye, Scotland. Mike Grey TAKING THE LAW INTO YOUR OWN HANDS Legal Frameworks Handbook - for communes and collectives. SOp from laurieston Hall, Castle Douglas, Kirkudbrightshire. 40pp. MANY PEOPLE are easily put off by the thought of legalistic rigmarole and small print. But if you want to avoid inequality in your collective as far as property ownership goes you'll need a legal framework. And you can do all the work yourselves in setting it up so don't be shy: get yourselves a bespoke framework with the aid of this booklet! The booklet
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 128

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 129

is the outcome of a conference held at laurieston Hall in 1974 and has been written by people at laurieston with assistance from Robin Fielder of RadTech and Trevor Howell of People in Common amongst others. It deals with arguments for and against the various types of legal entities (trusts, companies, housing associations, etc.) as well as financial problems such as raising money, and has a section of suggestions for internal rules for communities. There are many examples of actual cases of communities using the various types of framework, and a set of model rules for a housing association is included. There is an excellent bibliography. So this is an extremely meaty and well written little book. If you're about to set up a commune or any sort of collective enterprise where you'll be owning property communally it will go a long way tQ helping you sort out the various legal problems. I understand that future editions will cover legal frameworks for alternative work projects. It is also hoped to have a conference at Laurieston Hall about this in the winter. If you're interested or have any practical information to offer write to Dave Treanor at Laurieston. Peter Cockerton MAKING TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING Transcendental Meditation. Jack Forero. £3.50 George Allen & Unwin. There is an Indian story: After 12 years of ascetic life and deep meditation a yogi found the truth and experienced enlightenment. God Vishnu, the protector of the. world, then became worried lest 'maya' (the illusions of this world) should disappear from the earth .and the whole purpose of 'samsara' (the cycle of birth and death) should become meaningless. He called all the angels and devils to him and asked their advice. The devil god said he would deal with the matter and he went to the enlightened one disguised as a young Brahmin disciple. He begged to be allowed to spread the message of enlightenment all over the world for the benefit of everyone. Receiving neither objection nor assent from the yogi, the devil went ahead and created an organisation with millions of disciples. He came back to God Vishnu and told him that there was no further need for him to worry. The western managers of Maharshi seem to be fulfilling the same role. Reading the 17 page evangelical introduction to Forem's book one can't help feeling that the movement is much more interested in perpetuating itself than in the real experience of meditation. The movement aims to have 3.6 million teachers throughout the world - at the moment they have
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 129

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 130

4000. (The emphasis seems to be on quantity rather than quality). Yet I am sure there are more than 3.6 million religious\teachers already in existence and the world is no nearer to religious enlightenment The days of organised religion are over. Little spirituality is to be found in the institutions of religion-and huge ambitious organisations can only obscure the simple nature of meditation. Especially when almost every organisation and sect seems to believe that it knows the truth and its way is the only way. The author of this book is no exception. He claims that TM produces beneficial effects immediately and cumulatively and brings happiness to all. In my view if anybody is practising meditation to find happiness that is the surest way to cause unhappiness. Happiness must be followed by unhappiness as day is followed by night. At the deepest level of consciousness there is no such thing as happiness or unhappiness there is only the blissful union of all opposites. But it you want to sell an organisation the most superficial gimmick is to say we have the means or techniques for your happiness, come to us". The author tries to show the value of meditation by alluding to pseudo-scientific experiments conducted with the aid of mechanical instruments which only prove the obvious. Spiritual realisation is a science in its own right and it must be understood by experiencing it as Teilhard de Chardin and Aurobindo' were able to do. But when the author tries to convince us that meditation is good because certain physiologists and psychologists have said so, he appears to think that if TM were not accepted by objective scientists it would be of less value. I would argue that the whole division between science and spirituality is an artificial one_ Both those who think that only objective proof is valid and those who believe that only faith is valid are wandering among half truths_ Meditation can help to unite the objective and subjective. There is no need to think in terms of the superiority of the one or the other. Scientists without spiritual awareness of the whole have put forward partial solutions to this problem or that problem and ecological catastrophe. On the other hand, spiritual souls have often ignored the social and material realities of life. Perhaps the new consciousness, through meditation, will be able to unite the two. But in movements like TM there is little hope for such union. Realisation of the self and awareness of the whole being is inherent in Meditation. If this is not happening then one has to conclude that meditation is not taking place. There are as many ways and techniques of meditation as there are individuals practising it. All meditation is transcendental: there is no one Transcendental Meditation'. Non_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 130

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 131

transcendental meditation is not meditation. The senses are subtle, the mind is more subtle but the intellect is the most subtle. When one is able to go beyond, utterly beyond, these three subtle levels one reaches a very deep level of consciousness and that is meditation. The TM movement has initiated many people into meditation but I don't believe that TM will save the world at a stroke as the author would like us to believe. Satish Kumar • Aurobindo footnote: Aurobindo was an Indian poet. philosopher and physicist. He was active as a guerilla fighter against the British and escaped to Pondicherry which was at that time a French colony. He founded Aurobindo Ashram where he practised meditation for many years. Aurobindo Ashram is now a world spiritual centre. UNDERGROUND MAP The Survivalists. Patrick Rivers. Eyre Methuen £7.75. 224 pp. EVERV NOW and then books emerge which try to describe what's happening in the underground sub-<:culture. They often have an immense impact - people are always keen to find out how the other half live. Patrick Rivers has attempted to document the activities of individuals and groups who are, in response to impending ecological crisis, tinkering with alternative technology, community self-sufficiency and alternative life styles - he calls them survivalists. He correctly sees this as a multistranded movement made up partly of those with a radical critique of current modes of social and technological organisation and partly of those seeking individual security, peace, and metaphysical enlightenment One way to assess a book like this is in terms of its aim - which is apparently to communicate with the man in the street. Unfortunately it seems to have been assumed that to do this requires a racy, journalistic style, reminiscent of the Daily Mail or, more charitably, a colour supplement article. Perhaps this is necessary, but it makes for embarrassing reading at times. The reader is taken on rapid tour of various projects - BRAD, New Alchemists, Laurieston Hall and so on - a trip interspersed with facts, figures, chunks of theory, commentary and analysis. This material is often presented in an uncritical technically and politically naive way, and sometimes with an over-rhetorical pompous! flourish. But despite (or perhaps because of) the book's visionary enthusiasm it may succeed in
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 131

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 132

convincing individual newcomers that there are real alternatives to the present social and environmental impasse - even if it provides no real strategy for the transition en mass. Despite the journalistic style there is a lot of information and some convincing arguments tucked away in this book - and it is backed up by a fairly comprehensive source guide and bibliography. The author certainly takes pains to relate to his audience he maintains, at least initially, a sort of personal detachment, if not objectivity, which should appeal to the uncommitted but interested reader. There is a love-hate relationship throughout. the book with the values of the counter culture. u •.• they were not all young and stoned, and it was not strictly necessary to grow a beard and eat brown rice to feel at ease with them ...... This culminates in the author's eventual capitulation: he and his wife are attempting to set up a small self sufficient farm. Whether the same magic will work on his readers is unclear. Many people are terrified by the future: books like this which offer a positive, hopeful and non-technocratic alternative must be of some use. But if we are to go beyond recognizing this alternative as a possibility, and on to creating it as a reality, then we will need better guides than this. CHEAP SLAVES ARE SO HARD TO COME BY NOWADAYS World Energy Strategies by Amory B. Lovins, Friends of the Earth 1975. 131 pp. £2.50 + 15p p&p from FOE L ., 9 Poland Street, London WI V 30G. ($5 in the U.S.A. from FOE Inc.). This excellent book is a powerful counterblast to the lies and propaganda put out by the P R men of the energy lobby and faithfully reported by the straight press hacks. Lovins is not concerned with the immediate tactical question of how to deal with the Arabs or how many reactors to build this year but with long term strategy: what possibilities are open to us from about 19S5 onwards, how can we choose between them, and what should we do now (and more important not do) to make the transition to a sustainable energy economy. Our rulers, of course, aren't thinking about these problems at all. Their 'policy' is to use up our existing reserves as quickly as possible and then to rely on fast breeder reactors. They have no idea what to do if these monsters prove to be so dangerous or inefficient that they can't be used. 50 we have to do their thinking for them, with only a fraction of their resources, and this book is an example of what can be done. Lovins
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 132

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 133

surveys the whole field with admirable brevity but with an extensive list of references, particularly for the more contentious parts. The first chapter, on energy conversion, starts with a particularly striking fact: world energy conversion is equivalent to giving each one of us 50 slaves at his elbow. The trouble is, not only is the supply of cheap slaves running out, but some people have more than others: an American has 300, a Briton 200 and a Frenchman a mere 100. Nigerians have just over one each. This is a good way to look at energy problems: human labour time and concentrated energy are the two primary inputs to our economic life. Our wasteful affluence has been achieved by substituting energy for labour time in every sphere of life as though it were a free good. If this substitution is going to have to stop or be reversed we are going to have to do some hard thinking about what tasks we will set our energy slaves and what we will do ourselves. Subsequent chapters deal with the main sources of energy: fossil, nuclear and renewable. There is a chapter on the physical and financial constraints on the deployment of new energy technologies, one on the technologies of conversion, storage and supply, and one on energy conservation. There is plenty of scope here; the 200-odd million Americans use more electricity for airconditioning than 800-odd million Chinese use for everything! Having given the facts, Lovins then considers some of the issues that need to be settled in the political arena; the skewed distribution of energy sources and use; the risks of accidents more terrible than anything we have yet seen (for example, an exploding tanker of liquefied natural gas equivalent to 55 Hiroshima bombs); and the ethics of committing posterity to looking after our nuclear wastes for the rest of history. Finally he sets out his conclusions which make a good foundation for the construction of an energy policy (a) rapid energy growth cannot continue much longer; (b) most technical fixes that increase energy supply are slow, cOstly, risky and temporary; most social or technical fixes that reduce energy demand are fairly quick, cheap, safe and permanent; (c) means of minimising the social and environmental costs of using coal are urgently needed; (d) renewable sources of energy should be developed; (e) nuclear programmes should be suspended until enough infallible
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 133

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 134

people can be found to operate them for the next few hundred thousand years (a hereditary caste of priests, perhaps?); (f) oil and gas reserves should be used as late and as slowly as possible; (g) we should change our lifestyles so that we can live happily with fewer slaves at our beck and call; (h) technical aid should be given to Third World countries to help them exploit their local renewable energy sources; (i) Third World countries should not try to develop energy intensive industries; conventional economic analysis is an inadequate tool for policymaking when non-renewable resources are involved. Not bad thinking for a bourgeois liberal still trying very much to work within the system. For a more radical view, hopefully the English version of the Swedish A Low Energy Society - But How? (see UC 9) will be out in the Autumn. What we really need is someone to consider the problems of this country in detail and work out how we might make the transition. That is, if we're really serious about stopping Walter Marshall littering our shores with derelict Fast Breeder Reactors. Finally a word about the price of this book (£2.50 for 131 pages, 30 of which are blank or nearly 50). Comparing it with other similar books recently published, I reckon that it is at least twice as expensive as it need be. The result will be that instead of the mass sale that this book deserves, the only people who will buy it will be the affluent Is this what Friends of the Earth intend? I was unable to get from them a clear explanation of why they hadn't been able to produce a separate British edition in partnership say with Penguin who would surely have snapped it up. I got the distinct impression that they weren't too worried about the price. Lovins himself remarked that the book was still good value because it contained so much information not available elsewhere! This is just not good enough. Our rulers will only adopt a sane energy policy when public opinion forces them to. So the first duty of a campaigning organisation like FOE must be to get the message out as cheaply as possible to every corner of the land. One has the uneasy feeling that they are more at home lobbying the powerful in the corridors of Whitehall. Chris Hutton Squire THE BATTLE OF THE BUBBLE A Review/History/Gripe/Grope/Hope/ltold-you-so by Peter Harper (no kin), of New Times, Class War Comix No.1., by Cliff Harper, Epic
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 134

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 135

Productions, 76 Peckham Rd, SE5; 25p. IT ALL STARTED for me a few years ago when I was introduced to a funny man with a twinkle in his eye and some xeroxes under his arm. He turned out to be Cliff Harper. I went to see his etchings of life after the Revolution: a collection of remarkable. drawings intended for a series of comic books. At that time there weren't very many drawings but their potential seemed extraordinary. The world depicted in them was like scenes out of News 'from Nowhere: sunny, clean-looking countryside with Beautiful People riding horses. running windmills, living in communes in idyllic Tudor mansions, and wearing medieval costume. There was something about the grainy texture that made it seem extravivid, like old Buster Keaton films. The style was in a way straightforward, but had a static, even monumental, character which made time move slower. I suppose it wasn't really art, whatever that is; more a kind of inspired draftsmanship in which virtually everything in that new world was derived from real things in this world: the people, the furniture, the buildings, the tools and machines were all precisely copied. All the 'items' were very carefully selected for their visual or symbolic qualities, and although the composition of the pictures was superb, there was little sense of flow within or between the frames: each was a self-sufficient tableau of discrete elements in a crystalline, intellectual world of symbols where people seemed rather mechanical and machines seemed almost human. This may seem rather arid, but I really dug the purity of it all. In particular, because there were no words, each frame was full of possibilities, and one's fancy could roam freely, investing personal dreams in a relatively impersonal frame·work. Of course, it wasn't by any means completely open. There was a general plot: the scene was set after the revolution', and a Leninist party was in power in the cities. The groovy people in the pictures were supposed to be keeping the red and black flag flying in the countryside. For me, as an amateur utopian and eco-freak, it was irresistible: an amazing dreamy world of anarchist collectives doing their romantic, rural, ecological AT thing. Imagination had indeed seized power. I was hooked. I promised to help Cliff get the thing published. He could never make up his mind whether to do it through a straight publisher, with all the hassles that would involve, not to mention the principle of the thing; or to try and go it alone, with the even worse hassles that would involve. We took the xerox samples of No.1 New Times around to various publishers and agents, and they all said lovely pictures, ducky, bring it back when you've
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 135

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 136

done the words". The words, the words. In retrospect, it was crazy to do the pictures before the words, but Cliff trucked on with frame after frame, leaving carefully sculpted bubbles of protoverbal utopiary. The plot got more detailed and the sequence of frames more or less fixed. We spent happy hours arguing about what the hell was going on in each frame and why, and how it linked up with the rest, and the personalities and roles of the characters and so on. It became a question of creating words and shoehorning them into the pre-existing bubbles. Cliff asked Will Pollard to do a set of words, and he did. But Cliff didn't fancy them for some reason and produced a working set himself. They were more or less dreadful. Meanwhile I took to wandering round with xerox copies of the virtually complete but wordless frames, showing them to people and asking their opinions. That was the high point for me: an indefinite richness of possibilities in a wordless state of becoming. Maybe we should have left it at that But to do so would have been culture and not Propaganda, so words it had to be. What sort of words would fit? Perhaps to counterbalance the static pictures, extrazappy fast-moving words were needed? Or should they be formal to match the pictures? Should they be explicit and heavily political, or funny and allusive, leaving it to hints and symbols to get the message over? I felt rather strongly that they should be Iike snatches of overheard conversation, but it was terribly hard to tell in advance what would be averagely best for the average reader coming at the whole thing cold. Our friend Bernard Seal worked with Cliff on the working version, and they finally came up with a version that had all the right content, but which I felt rather unhappy about. It was like a failed toad-in-the-hole, with certain goodie sausages of inspiration in a turgid matrix of hectoring. humourless rhetoric. I suggested reworking it to make it more colloquial and Cliff agreed, but even this version was crummy. I reckoned it was better to wait. But we'd been hanging around for months dithering over the words, and one day, unable to stand it any longer, Cliff went ahead and inked in his own divers'-booted words anyway. Obstinate bugger. Meanwhile, we had decided to publish it ourselves, and Bernard and t had managed to borrow some money from longsuffering friends and wellwishers for publishing It was all ready for printing bar a few details. At the last moment it was pointed out by Ame, Cliffs wife, that the fellers in the story were doing all the
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 136

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 137

talking. It was too late for major redrawing or moving bubbles about, so Dr. Cliff set to work on a bit of crude but clever plastic surgery with his Rotring. The resulting sex-changes added a number of hefty-looking dykes to an already rather androgynous population, but restored the proper balance. Cliff had also prepared an 8-page synopsis of the whole series of six comics, outlining the basic story of each. This is helpful to read in order to get No.1 in its proper perspective, particularly as it shows that only the first three are set in the country, the last three being about the struggle in the cities. It also lists sources that have particularly influenced Cliff, including works of Kropotkin, Berkman and Serge; Lotta Continua's Take Over the City; Seymours' Self Sufficiency; A Blueprint for Survival;' and of course News From Nowhere. The synopsis was printed separately, and a condensed version appears inside the front cover of New Times. Black Wedge in Brighton did a lovely job of the printing, and we sat back to see what would happen. And what did happen? Well, to cut a long story short, it just didn't work. Most of my worst fears were confirmed. Of course it depends what criteria you think apply, but generally speaking it's been a failure. In retrospect I think this arises from a series of misconceptions about the comic form, but before I get into that, there's the more basic question of who it's supposed to be for. There's a phrase on the front of the synopsis about how the series · i11 become available to the people'. So who are the people? Cliff had a quaint notion that workers all over the country would be queuing up to buy it Rather touching, really,but in event its readership was obviously restricted to freaks and middle class intellectuals', if only on account of the channels of distribution. But they didn't appreciate it either, by and large. Cliff put his finger on it one day when he said sadly, I· There's something for everybody to hate". And that indeed is how it seems to have gone. Apolitical freaks are put off by the adapted Russian Revolution poster on the cover and the title 'Class War Comix'; pacifists object to phrases like 'the people arm themselves'; tough·minded radicals are put off by the rural romanticism; literati are offended by the leaden words; and for sophisticates and anybody with a vestigial sense of the ridiculous, there is something undeniably autosatirical about New Times (like Radio 3 announcers when you're stoned): this permitted New Society's reviewer his savagely mocking review, and persuaded some people at BIT that the whole thing was produced by the Special Branch.
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 137

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 138

Before this experience I hadn't-really thought about what comics were and how they worked, although I had been very interested in them as a medium of propaganda and collected examples such as Rius' Los Agachados in Mexico, 'Our Norman' in Socialist Worker, and the brilliant 'A Proper Place' printed by Community Press in Islington a couple of years ago. Looking back over these, and comparing them with Superman on one side and New Times on the other, it seems that the medium and habits of reading it have grown up together and difficulties arise if the conventions are not followed. Basically, people seem to read the words very quickly, using the pictures simply as a context. Elaborate drawings and exact details are unnecessary or may even impede the rapid flow of the action. They need to be simple and dramatic. Messages can be conveyed, but they need to be an honest part of the story, or carried in symbols and allusions. New Times seems to misjudge the medium on many of these points. Zipping through the words in the usual manner, one tends to overlook the fine points of the drawings which are after all the main element of the work. Going through at a slower pace, the static Qualities of the pictures strike one as incongruous. And the density of frames and bubbles is rather lower than most comics, so one gets to the end feeling that not enough has happened. For the same reason, the attempt to explain complex political positions in such a restricted space is by the end merely frustrating. And as a means of disseminating ideas in a popular medium, the words are too heavy and didactic, and the symbols seem to be too subtle or unappealing (the Vietnamese anarchist heroine, the 'armed love' motif on the child's sweater, the red and black flag on the roof, the videotape recorder lying on the floor, the Paris '68 poster in the workshop, the Elizabethan bisexual musicians' commune [wow! I etc). For such reasons it doesn't work as a comic in the conventional sense. Could it work in another way? To me it invites recognition as a fine piece of craftsmanship, setting forward ideas in a considered manner. In such context the symbols could become significant and fascinating and the drawings appreciated for what they are. Unfortunately this possibility is itself marred by the attempted comic form. The words, and even the bubbles themselves, distract one from the pictures and prevent one from climbing into the possibilities of that crisp and fantastic world. Specific efforts to mimic comic conventions (such as emphasis for dramatic effect) come over as merely crass ('We're developing a new fuel system, based on WIND GENERATED ELECTROLYTIC HYDROGEN!'). With a different style of
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 138

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 139

words, it might possibly have worked. After all, some frames (the sausages ... ) are superb and show what could be done. So what should be done in later numbers? No doubt Cliff will tread his own path if he feels he should, whatever anyone says. But we have fallen between two stools with New Times. We must either do real comics, zappy and ephemeral; or get into loving craftsmanship with pretensions to immortality. The attempt to do both has failed. In my opinion Cliff could not do real comics without literally changing his spots. This would be a waste of formidable talent and (by now) experience. I vote for the Hoch Kultur solution. Anybody got any ideas? It might be better to shift the burden of exposition to slabs of text at the beginning or the end, freeing the bubbles from heavy rhetoric and allowing them to follow the promptings of whimsy, drama, poesy, or what we will. Alternatively, what about the Rupert Bear format, with doggerel couplets under each frame? No? Anyway with a text somewhere and no bubbles, allowing the pictures to speak for themselves. This would also have the effect of making the reader move through the story more slowly, and its open possibilities would still exist through looking at the pictures alone. I think we do need cheap, mass-selling propaganda comic-books (as Orwell called for in his essay on boys' papers), and 'A Proper Place shows what can be achieved in this direction. But New Times is not in that category, and I think Cliff's extraordinary gifts are better employed in carefully crafted visual analogues of the Utopian novel, helping to maintain supplies of that essential vitamin of the Left - the one that keeps the juices of the imagination flowing and stops us looking mangy and losing our teeth - critical but generous visions of how it could be. A footnote for kids. New Times makes a really great colouring book.

Small Ads:
COMMUNITIES THE GENESIS COMMUNITY is being born. A detailed proposal defining the community will go out In July to upwards of 300 very carefully chosen people, all of whom are significant to the proJect and most of whom have expressed considerable Interest In Genesis during the last 12 months. It will be on the strength of this proposal that some of these will come together as founder members of the community at a remarkable gathering In November 1975. Approximately five months later some of us will move
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 139

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 140

on site (almost certainly In either New Zealand or Southern Ireland) to start building a new a9EI community the like of which has not been seen before, one providing every Imaginable opportunity for human and spiritual growth, It seems that we have the capacity to do this. Genesis Is ShOwing" signs of being part community, part network of people, with locations In AustralasIa, the United States and Britain. If you are Interested In what we are doing, write to us briefly enclosIng return postage. we shall ask yOU to answer a very searching Questionnaire before sharing our elaborate plans further, Keep flowIng! Keep growing! We love you: The Genesis COmmunity, BM. Genesis, London WC1 V 6XX. READERS of Undercurrents 10 will remember John Seymours' article about the Centre of Living In Wales to be set up to enable would-be small farmers to learn the necessary skills. This scheme Is now under way and abOut fifteen people are there learning about the land, plants and animals by working on his farm. He originally envisaged other farms being bought In the neighbourhood to provide more land and accommodation. This has not happened, and while the demand Is there the facilities for teaching are not. Another[ nearby farm Is badly needed to provide space for the large numbers of potential students to learn buildIng, carpentry, blacksmithing andA T projects, A small group within the Centre Is looking for more capital to buy an adjoining farm, which Is Ideal In every way for the Centres expansion and as·a productive unit for occupation by a group Into organic growing and selfsufficiency. People with money who might want to be part of this should write to J & J, No. 1 Holway Hill, Taunton, Somerset, INTERESTED In alternative technology? Interested In developing a totally new revolutionary POlitics Outside the traditional or libertarIan left? We are an organisation of revolutionary non-marxists who don't believe In class struggle, bUt do belle .... In non-centrallst organIsation and liberation from all roles, both at home and at work. Interested? ••• contact B. M. LEEWAY, London WC1.6XX. COMMUNE - are you Interested in Joining an established group to form a 10 people unit who are planning to buy a farmhouse In order to progress from the present 5 person urban commune. Main outlines of commune: non nuclear, progressive self manufactlve, communards retain "straight" occupations, radical, communards to contribute approx, £.200 Initially. write with personal details to R.T. Norton, 257 Legrams Lane, Bradford BD7 2EJ, West Yorkshire.
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 140

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 141

I HAVE a farm-house with large garden and out-buildIngs In rural Aberdeenshlre. I need more people to help build an alternative lifestyle. Self-sufficiency, education, crafts, meditation are pOssible directions. Frank Lledwlth, South Wlndhlll, by Maud, by Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, ECOLOGICALLY INCLINED country male, late 30's, Interests nature, rural crafts, music and the simple things of life seeks practical and creative female with similar views to get to know, later perhaps marriage. Box E1, c/o Undercurrents. SHELTER COUPLE SEEK accommodation In seml-communal mixed house In S.W. London or adjacent areas. Phone Lloyd or Mandy 874 2170. TO PROSPECTIVE URBAN COMMUNITY: Earth Workshop Community (+C.A.G.E.) moving out to country would like to sell Its Exeter house to a Craft - AT - organic based group wishing to mO .... West. Detached Georgian house with fI .... bedrooms, walled organic garden, semibasement workshop, display possibilities In street windows. Good whole food shOP nearby. Central heating from Baxt Burnall; house Insulated for low energy living. Reasonable price. Tel. Exeter 79447. FOR SALE. RADNORSHIRE. Traditional Welsh stone & slate roofed modernised cottage. Secluded elevated position on Hergest Ridge with superb rural views. 3/4 bedrooms, kitchen, Iounge, study, bathroom. Electricity, private water supply, Rayburn, septic tank, telephone. 1112 acres land, grazing, large veg, garden & flowers. Common grazIng rights for sheep. Poultry house, large shed, outside toilet. woodshed & store shed. Vehicular access by rough track over common & pedestrian right of way over neighbouring farm. £'10,000 o.n.o. Tel. Gladestry 640. WORK A DIFFERENT KIND OF JOB Interested In new ways of working together? Want to have more say In your own IIfe? Don't miss the new Issue (No.3) of In The Making, a directory of proposed productive projects, 1975 edition. From 22 Albert Road, Sheffield 8. Price 22p per copy, Including post. Subscriptions 60P. BRAD'S SOLAR ROOF PLAN. Complete do-it-yourself Info (drawings, costlngs, suppliers, snags, plumbing, even the electronic control circuitry) for the elegant canopy that made the New Scientist cover story of September 19th J 974. 8 months hot water (126· , 52 C) for 1p/day; we've had over 21 kilowatts from our 60 sq.m. roof, And
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 141

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 142

at £8/sq.m., It's cheaper than tiles. NO rip-off, 25p plus SAE from BRAD, Churchstoke, Montgomery, Wales. (Any surplus, we promise, goes to fund further AT research). HEDGEHOG HANDING CARDING and Spinning Equipment - made to order for beginners and professionals. Handcarders, Drum carders, and Canadian Indian Spinners. I trY to keep prices low. SAE enquiries welcomed. T. J. Willcox, Wheatcroft, Itchlngfleld, Horsham. sussex, THINKING OF BEEKEEPING All equipment. Send for list. Honey Producers, 66 High Street, Malmesbury, Wilts. COACH HIRE - 41 seater for hire at low rates In London area, Untours, 34 Leamington Rd •• Southall, Mlddx - phone 01 - 5741668. 99.9 PER CENT EXTERMINATED since the onset of farm mechanisation. Heavy Horse Preservation Society seeks donations of money, unwanted clothing, used stamps, old postcards, coins, jewellery', to sell for Horse Rescue Fund for the few survivors, HHPS, Old Rectory, whitchurch. Salop. CLAP 4% TAX. NObody Is too poor to pay this tax! Send 17p in stamps for the latest CLAP handbook - it's a goOd read In its own right, a bimonthly directory of alternative-society projects. Pay this tax, or don't complain if by 1984 there are no revolutionary. imaginative, co-operative and visionary projects left in this country. Community Levy for Alternative Projects, c/o BIT. 146 Great Western Road, London W.ll. (tel 01-229 8219) OR DOES YOUR PROJECT NEED MONEY? If it's community-baSed. concerned with the environment, please send for details of how to apply. BOOKS - Environment, Low Tech, Pollution, Survival etc. Send S,A.E, for lists. Bogus, 60 Princes Avenue, Hull, Yorks. SOLAR HEATED BUILDINGS A BRIEF SURVEY. by W.A. Shurcllff 122 pp, s: 10 (pOstpaid) from Solar Energy Digest, PO Box 17776, California 92117. "This new and enlarged edition of Dr. Shurcliff's continuing survey provides concise Information on 132 past, present and future solarheated structures, primarily In the USA but Including a few from other countries." COURSES MIDDLESEX POLYTECHNIC BSc and BSc Honours In Society and Technology. This four·year sandwich course offers you the opportunity to
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 142

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 143

study the natural and social sciences and their Inter·dependence. You can enter with A·levels In any two subJects. The course provIdes an understanding of the complex relationships between science and technology, enabling you not only to understand your own place in contemporary society. but to work responsibly with the benefits technology can bring. Write or telephone for further details and an application form to: The Admissions Office, PO Box 40, Middlesex POlytechnic, Queensway, Enfield, Mlddx. EN3 4SF. Phone 01 - 805 0892, Undercurrents Advertisement Rates. Small Ads cost 2p per word, up to a maximum of 150 words, although bigger ads may be acceptable in some cases. Payment must be sent in advance. Display Ads (1 page maximum). Full page (11 in by 7· in) £50.00 Half page (llin by 3'" in, or 7· in by 5V,in) £24.00 Quarter Page (5V,in by 351ain): £11.00 Eighth Page (5V, in by lMin, or 2Min by 35 .... in): £ 5.00

_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 143

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 144

Boyle The Undercurrents Wind Generator
WE'VE SPENT most of the summer Ir' ing to iron out the bugs in the Undercurrents/LID wind generator we described in the last issue. We've met with some success - and a few disasters. A few people wrote to us to say they were disappointed we hadn't given a complete cut-and-dried design there and then in UC 11. One person even said he thought it was a sales gimmick to get people to buy the next issue! In case any other readers are under the mistaken impression that Undercurrents is some AT equivalent of NASA, with vast engineering and test facilities at its disposal, capable of producing gleaming, precisionbuilt prototypes in a few weeks, Jet us make it clear that we have no more facilities than the average man-in-the-&street. Indeed we don't really want to have super·sophisticated equipment because we want our work to be of a nature that's accessible to, and duplicable by, ordinary people people's technology, in fact. You have been warned! First of all, about that disaster; it happened purely through our own stupidity. Instead of securing all the guy wires to the ground using the stakes made of 4ft of angle iron which we ourselves ha had recommended, we skimped and used a piece of thin tubing for one stake. A big wind came along and in no time the repeated tugging on the stake caused it to shear, from sheer metal fatigue. Down came the tower, smashing the propellor to smithereens and, luckily, missing a parked car that had been moved only an hour before. We got off lightly. We learned at very little expense how careful you have to be to make sure that everything, is absolutely secure when you put your windmill up in your back garden. Don't take any chances: you might not be as lucky as we were. The Electrics Another thing some people said to us after the last issue was: 'Why don't you use an alternator instead of a dynamo. Alternators give a higher output at lower RPMs: Well, basically, it is a myth that most alternators give higher output at low RPMs. A few speCialised alternators, such as those designed for marine engines, may do, but the vast majority of alternators, as is evident from Lucas manuals, only start to deliver current
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 144

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 145

at around 1000 RPM, and only deliver their maximum au output at 3,000 to 4,000 RPM. Which isn't really surprising, since they're deSigned as replacements for dynamos in cars, and would be expected to have similar characteristics. Their main advantage is higher output at higher RPMs. There may, however, be other reasons for using an alternator: we'll get to that in a moment. The main reason we didn't use one was cost: you can get dynamos for virtually nothing in scrap yards· but alternators are very scarce and expensive As we said last time, our aim was to avoid re-winding the armature of the dynamo (the bit that rotates) if at all possible, since rewinding involves so much work. So we decided to m<\make the 12V dynamo charge 6Volt batteries, reasoning that we could get 6V out at about SOORPM providing the magnetic field from the field coils could be kept the same at 6V as it would be at 12V. We did this by re<connecting the field coils in parallel, instead of series. The diagram shows how to do it. It shouldn't take more than half an hour. Loosening the long bolts which run though the dynamo body from front to back is the perhaps most difficult part. Penetrating oil helps if they're very stiff. Then ease off the back cover, pulling the brushes off the commutator as you do it. This will reveal the field coils and their connections as shown. It's just possible that you may, by mistake, end up connecting the coils so that their magnetic fields' oppose' one another, rather than 'assisting' one another (we did, at first). In that case you'll get absolutely no output from the dynamo whatsoever. Simply reverse the wires to one field coil and it should be OK. It's a good idea to set up a crude test rig to see how your dynamo is performing on the ground. We clamped ours to the bench and turned the pulley at high speed by connecting it, via a car fan belt, to a similar pulley connected to an electric drill chuck. That way, you can rotate the armature at about 900 RPM. Our drill is a 2-speed Black & Decker which has 900 RPM as its slower speed. (If you think that's crude, well, we told you we were just amateurs.) Connect up a voltmeter and an ammeter as shown in the diagram so you can monitor its·open-circuit voltage, and the charging current, at 900 RPM. One Significant point: try to get as big a dynamo in the scrap yard as you can. We ended up using one from an old Rover 90, and found that it had a significantly higher output than the smaller, more modern dynamos like the Lucas 890 replacement model we'd started with "1"1. .. big dynamo has screw-type terminals (instead of push-on terminals), about 20 per cent larger diameter. and a big brass 'screw' which you remove to oil the rear bearing. On test, we found the
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 145

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 146

big dynamo had a DC armature resistance of Y.J ohm, and a field coil resistance (with coils in parallel) of 2 ohms. The figures for the smaller dynamo were 2/3 ohm and 2 ohms respectively. The big dynamo's lower armature resistance is no doubt part of the reason why it produces a higher output. Performance Up aloft, as part of the working wind generator, we found that it took moderate to fresh winds (roughly 20 mph) before the propellor would spin fast enough to start the dynamo Charging. This is in spite of the fact that we have a very fast propellor with a tip-speed ratio of about 8, which should mean that the prop spins at some 750 RPM at 20 mph. It's very difficult for us to estimate how the mill performs at it maximum rated windspeed of about 25 mph - i.e., the speed above which we've decided it would be unsafe to allow the rotor to spin. At this speed the prop ought to be rotating at more than 900 RPM (the speed of the bench test). The performance is difficult to estimate because we don't have a wind tunnel, (but then, neither does the man-in-the street) and we have to wait for suitable winds. Neither do we have accurate wind-measuring equipment. But we estimate that it's giving about a 4 amp output in 25 mph winds. That works out, with a 6V charging voltage, at a "rated' power of 25 watts or (incidentally, you might like to try charging at only 4 volts: we're not yet sure whether this gives slightly higher overall power au output). Another variable that's upsetting our estimations is that swinging tail vane, which keeps moving the mill away from the wind (as it's designed to do, of course: just when things get interesting. We'll be trying a stronger spring, but then the prop speed may get just that little bit too fast for comfort in high winds. More about the tail vane later. There aren't any easy answers here: you just have to experiment over many m months with different wind conditions to see what works best. The Brake. We've simply covered the wall of the dynamo pulley with a ring of rubber cut from an old car inner tube, stuck on with strong adhesive (we used Dunlop Thixofix). This works fine as a brake liner and hasn't given any problems. Incidentally, we just use a rope attached to the brake wire to operate the brake. We don't need to use the pole and hook mentioned last time. Tail Vane. We found the damped door closer we talked about last issue had too strong a spring. At the moment we're just using several thick elastic bands in parallel, but since these perish outdoors, we'll be fitting a
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 146

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 147

spring soon. Eventually, we'II be fixing up a home-made piston damper, too. The Invertor: We haven't found an invertor necessary so far, because we've decided to use 12V caravan-type fluorescent lights, which have their own built-in invertor, They're available from Halfords at about £3, which is less than you could build them for. (Kits are advertised in Wireless World. We run them off two wind charged 6V batteries in series. The radio works off two 6V batteries, too. If you want a bigger invertor, CTT have several Norelco models available from about £30. We hope to have the circuit of a DIY SOOW invertor in the next issue. Batteries. You can make two 6V batteries out of a l2V by separating it into two halves, This can be done if the battery has lead 'straps' on the top connecting the individual cells. Revitalising old batteries is a dodgy business. If possible try to get new batteries, and you'll save a lot of trough'. But here, courtesy of Wind and Windspinners supplement, are two tips I. 'Fill with rain water and shake, Drain and fill again. Put on slow charge overnight. Drain and repeat 2 or 3 times until electrodes are chocolate brown (pOSitive) and grey-white · negative). Refill with electrolyte (available from your chemist as battery acid) and charge slowly.' 2. 'Dissolve 1/2-oz epsom salts per battery in a minimum of hot water. Pour electrolyte solution out of battery and into a container. Add epsom salt solution to electrolyte and pour back into battery. Charge at 6 to 10 amps continuously for 3 or more days. (interruption of charging means starting again). When bubbling begins, batteries are taking Charge.' Incidentally. this supplement, like Wind and Windspinners itself, is really worth having., even (hough it concentrates on Savonius Rotors. Both are available from Earthmind at Josel, Sagus, California 91350. USA. We'd be interested to hear how effective readers find these tips. We tried just adding epsom salts, but found it pretty ineffective. Rewinding the Armature. At first. Wt:, thought that this would be a good thing to do, but now we're not so sure:,. Instructions for re-winding an old Lucas dynamo W· re given in the May, June, July, August and September 1954 issues of the now defunct Practical Mechanics. The details of how to re-wind a more modern dynamo probably differ in
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 147

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 148

some respects, but the prinCiples are the same. You strip off all the old wiring from the armature and start again from scratch winding new coils with thinner wire. The PJl article goes into considerable detail about how (0 go about the job. We give some relevant extracts below. Unfortunately. unless you really know what you 're doing, and are familiar with the theory of DC electrical machines (for instance, du you know what a 'wave winding' is'!) we reckon you would be very ill-advised to try it since it's pretty complicated and tedious, " In the finished wave-wound armature each slot will carry two coils of wire, a bottom and a top one, The more turns in these coils. the slower the charging speed, but a compromise is necessary between wire diameter and current-carrying capacity. For 6-volt work the minimum number -of turns per slot is 18nine in each coil-and 18 s.W.g. enamel or s.c.c. will fill the slot under these conditions. This wire has a listed safe current of 7 amps, but since the current is generated in two parallel paths meeting at the brushes the maximum armature current would be about 15 amps.' "A winding of 2 I s. w .g. will carry J.o amps, and is the slowest winding recommended for use in this dynamo. With care 40 turns of enamelled or s.c.c. 21 s.W.g. can be put in each slot, but 30-36 turns of 20 S.W.g. enamelled _ wire is a better winding for general use. It is a convenient size of wire to handle, but good governors arranged to operate at 10 amps are a necessity. It is slow enough for 12-volt working. The choice of wire will depend on individual conditions but should be between the limits mentioned. Old dynamo field coils provide a useful source of suitable wire. The winding diagram explains the whole procedure." We're sceptical, however, about whether all this tedious re-winding is really worth the effort: we've recently begun to re-explore the other alternative to re-winding which is gearing, and we think that on balance it is the more attractive option. Someone recently suggested we should try 'gear belts', These are like the Vee belts used on cars to connect the fan and dynamo to the crankshaft pulley except that they're not vee shaped. They used special toothed pulleys and belts with notches which fit into them. The nice thing about gear belts is that they transmit power with very low friction - we've heard figures as low as 10 per cent loss quoted. The total amount of friction in the system is very important when you're gearing a prop 'up' to a dynamo. If you're gearing 'up' say by five times. then you effectively make the prop five times as difficult to start. We may, for this reason, use an alternator when we try our gearing
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 148

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 149

experiment, because it has a much lower starting friction than a dynamo, since it has sliprings rather than carbon brushes. A15o. with gearing, we can probably get the alternator to turn at the high speeds at which it will start to deliver more power than a dynamo. But Alternators bring another problem, which is also relevant to a problem we've experienced with the dynamo on our UC-LID wind generator, the problem is: how to cut in the field coils when the prop is spinning fast enough to charge, and out again when it slows down. In theory, the 6V cut out and voltage regulator (from an old Ford Popular) should do this, but we find it isn't sensitive enough to cut in at low Charging currents of a couple of amps. We may have to adapt the system used on some alternator-based wind generators (like Sencenbaugh's), which is to have a wind-pressure sensor - a small vane which operates a microswitch when the wind is strong enough, More about that, next issue. Godfrey Boyle WIND ACCESS Books. The Generation of Electricity by Wind Power. EW Golding. 318 pp. Spon 1955. Out of print but available through your local library. The textbook. Strong on site surveying and how to relate power availability to mill sizing, but you won't find DiY plans in here. Electric power from the wind Henry Clews 1973. 29pp. 52.00 postpaid from: Solar Wind 0>., PO Box 7, East Holden, M.E. 04429, USA. Good introduction, plus description of their work. Power-from the Wind. P. C. Putnam. 224 pp. 1948 Van Nostrand. Description of the huge Grandpa's Knob project the antithesis of scrap technology. Wind Power. VoI.7. Proceedings of the UN Conference on New Sources of Energy, Rome Aug. 1961. 480 pp. 1964 I believe its been republished, but very expensive. Described as the most complete technical reference on wind power'. Wind and Windspinners. M. A. Hackleman and D. W. House. Good on electricity theory and the pros and cons of alternators and generators. Also good general explanation of required control mechanisms, Unfortunately. they got hooked on Savonius rotors but having decided on this type. have done it well.
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 149

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 150

Wind section in Energy Primer. Takes you through theory, determination of demand, siting, AC alternator v. DC generator, blade design and feathering techniques, and drawings for a recycled wind generator'. Published by Portola Institute. Available from Whole Earth Truck Store, 558 Santa Cruz Ave., Menlo Park, California 94025.55.50. Also includes comprehensive bibliography. 50 Plans VITA (Volunteers for International Tech·nical Assistance) have four simple low-cost designs for water pumping windmills: two multi·blade farm types 51.00 each. (cat. Nos. 11133.1 and 11133.3); helical sail, 50.75 (No. 11131.1); and Savonius rotor, 50.75 (No. 11132.1). Available from: VITA 3706 Rhode Island Avenue, Mt. Rainier, Maryland 20822, USA. The Brace Research Institute's DIY leaflet No.5 (51.00) tells 'How to construct a cheap windmachine for pumping water'. Technical Report No T.1 0 describes a performance test of this mill, an oil drum Savonious. Brace have also developed a 10hp Airscrew windmill described in Technical Report No 43. The Airscrew is also described by R.E. Chilcott in the Aeronautical Journal Vol 73 No 700 April '69 (available from: The Royal! Aeronautical Society, 4 Hamilton Place, London WIV OBQ.) Brace's publications list is available from: Brace Research Institute, MacDonald College, McGill University, Ste Anne de Bellevue 800, Quebec, Canada. Wind works sell detailed plans for a 25ft diameter sail windmill ($25 for 15 sheets of Drawings and 20 page construction manual) and for a 12 ft diameter 3 bladed windgenerator (515 for plans). Both of these are really beautiful! Windworks also produce a very comprehensive bibliography on wind (53.00). all available from: Windworks, Box 329, Route 3, Mukwanago, Wisconsin 53149, USA. Jim Sencenbaugh has produced plans for his 10ft diameter windgenerator (512.00) available from: Sencenbaugh Wind Electric, P.O. Box 11174, Palo Alto, CA 94306, USA. Marcus Sherman of the New Alchemy institute describes the design for a 25ft diameter sailwing windmill in The Journal of the New Alchemists, Number 1. (54.00). In the same journal, Earle Barnhart describes an inexpensive electricity generating windmill utilising automobile parts. There are also two articles on low cost windmills in Vol 2, available from: The New Alchemy Institute, Box 432, Woods Hole, Mass., 02543, USA.
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 150

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 151

Pliny Fisk (of Max's Pot), has designed a 1.75kw wind cycle'. Low cost wind generator using canvas sails and bicycle parts. Specifications available from: Laboratory for Maximum Potential Building Systems, University of Texas, School of Architecture, Austin, Texas. Commercial Windmills CTT (Conservation Tools and Technology market the 200W Winco Windcharger (Rated wind speed 20 - 23-mph, produces 12v, and a wide range of the Swiss Elektro windmills (ranging from 50W to 5KW). A windcharger plus 10ft tower costs £214, plus VAT and delivery. Elektro mills sell for £700 to £2,235. CTT are hoping to manufacture Elektro mills under licence, which would bring the prices down, but this depends on demand. Further details available from: Conservation Tools and Technology, P.O. Box' 134, Kingston, Surrey KT2 6PR. Brian Ford

_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 151

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 152

UNDERCURRENTS/LOW IMPACT DESIGN Product Reviews The Winco Wincharger.
THERE'S VERY little to say about the Winco except that it's an excellent machine - if you can afford £250 plus tower and batteries. U's purposebuilt, so there are none of the generator hassles that plague amateur machines which ha .. to rely on car generators. It can deliver a maximum of 14 amps at 12 volts in a 23 mph wind with the prop rotating at 900 RPM, so its output is about seven times that of our little machine - but then, it costs about 20 times as much. Dun cost about £15, and could've cost almost nothing if we'd scrounged more parts, whereas the Winco would cost at least £3 SO. So you pay yer money, if you have it. and makes yer choice. This Winco Windcharger is currently spinning merrily atop Julian Keable's house in West london, not far from the Westway motorway. It provides standby lighting via an assortment of car head lamps. Julian himself describes the experience of putting it up as "terrifying", but the ordeal doesn't seem to have bothered his sons, Crispin and' Boppy', judging by the following account of how they helped their father with the work. 'We first put up the scaffolding on 31st March. We had to tie it to the building to keep it from swaying too much. The next day we took away enough tiles on each side of the ridge of the roof to be certain that we had room for the base of the windmill to fit quite easily. Then we cut off the slats that hold the tiles up in this area, and bolted two boards of the right size to the beams that held up the slats. Then we placed a piece of tarred building paper over both these,e boards and nailed a piece of roofing felt on over it After that we assembled the first five feet of the tower in the garden below, and used a rope to haul it up. Then dad crawled over to the other side of the section we had laid out for it, and we eased the first five feet of tower onto the roof (dad was hoping to climb in through one of our skylights afterwards). After that we put two small slats under two of the legs to make it absolutely level. When we had finished this we bolted the whole thing down. When this· base section was bolted onto the roof we replaced the tiles: where the base was, we chipped the tiles to fit. At this stage dad was going to climb in through our skylight as he was cut off from the scaffolding by the base, but he found that the base was so strong that it would hold his weight, so he climbed over it!
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 152

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 153

The top section of tower, the generator and the blade were hauled up all in one. When this section was bolted in place over the bottom section, the tail was carried up and attached with bolts behind the generator. We put that assembly on the top of the tower. Then we put the brake cable down through a gap in the ridge tiles and down into the attic. The top of a washingup liquid bottle was put round the cable to' prevent it leaking. Then we attached the electricity cables to the appropriate places below the generator. The positive cable went down one leg of the tower, and the negative down another, and then we fed them both up under each side of a ridge tile and into the house. This was so that the drops of rainwater would drip off the cables instead of running into the house. The electricity cable, lead to two 12v batteries, wired up in parallel to give twice the capacity of one 12v battery. They are also in the roofspace, 50 as to be nearer to the windmill. We now have reading lights by our beds powered by this, and there arc also fog lamps (used for cars) spread over the house.'

_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 153

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 154

• • • • • • • • • • Boyle Is Your Electricity Really Necessary?

YOU'VE SEEN the ads. "Save it" - that's the slogan that screams at us from street·side hoardings and leaps out from the pages of our national newspapers. "Save it" is the Department of Energy's war cry in its campaign to engender a sense of guilt in each member of the British public who hasn't got round to filling his wall cavities with foam, who fails to insulate his loft or who takes the car round the corner to the local pub when he could walk. But what the "Save it" campaign rails to tell the British public is that all these conservation measures would save only a fraction of the energy squandered each year by the last of the big energy spenders: the Central Electricity Generating Board. The minds of CEGB planners seem to be set permanently in a bureaucratic rut which blinds them to any energy futures other than those implying continued growth in electricity demand. This conclusion emerges clearly from some very interesting papers delivered at a recent CEGB Symposium on Long Term Studies. Many of these papers are now available from the CEGB - some, indeed, have been published in popularised form (complete with colour illustrations printed on art paper, entirely at electricity bill payers' expense) in the May issue of the Board's glossy new magazine CEGB Research. The largest paper is on the "Potential of Natural Energy Sources', and is subdivided into detailed sections dealing with Solar Energy, Wind Power, Wave Power, Tidal Power and Geothermal Energy. Other papers deal with Electrical Energy Storage, The Use of Waste, Heat from Power Stations, and the possibility that Hydrogen may replace Electricity. But some controversial passages from the papers have been edited out, and the paper on the Use of Reject Heat from Power Stations appears to have been suppressed entirely. Requests to the CEGB Library for a copy are met with the reply that the paper does not exist: but Undercurrents has a copy of the original. Its suppression may not be unconnected with the fact that the paper's authors resort to extraordinarily-dubious logic in their attempts to show that the use of power station waste heat for district heating is not economically competitive with district heating supplied by a central boiler. But more about all this in a moment. Before looking in detail at the CEGB planners' curious view of the future, let me turn to another recently-published energy study. The study is lengthily titled "Energy Conservation: a Study of
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 154

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 155

Energy Consumption in Buildings and Possible Means of Energy Saving in Housing", and it's just been published by Department of the Environment's Building Research Establishment. The first thing that strikes you on reading the BRE report is the enormity of the energy savings that would be possible if this country adopted an enthusiastic policy of energy conservation in buildings alone. The report's main conclusion is that "by undertaking the technically feasible options" and without any reduction in the environmental standards of comfort) "over 15% of the national primary energy consumption could be saved eventually by “energy conservation in building services". This "over 15%" figure consists mainly of an estimated 14% potential saving in the Domestic Sector (housing). Conservation measures in other buildings (shops, offices etc) were "roughly estimated to be able to save 2 to 3 per cent". To highlight the significance of that 14% figure, let's remember that the Domestic Sector of the national energy economy consumes 29% of all our primary energy (primary energy i· the energy contained in fossil fuels, or in hydro or nuclear electricity; as distinct from secondary energy, which is that contained in manufactured fuels such as coke, and that supplied by fossil-fuelled power stations. Two more useful terms: net energy is the amount of energy actually received by consumers. gross energy is the amount of primary energy consumed in the course of prodUCing and distributing their net energy.). So this is equivalent to a saving of 14/29, or nearly 50 per cent, of Domestic Energy consumption, by action solely in the domestic sector. That's quite an impressive saving by any standards. But how's it to be done? The report begins by looking at the sources, and the end uses, of primary energy in the UK In 1972, we consumed 8.83 x 10 (2.45 x 1012 kWh) Gigajoules of primary energy. But our nett energy consumption - that is, the amount we actually got to consume after losses in distribution and in conversion into s· secondary energy - was only 6.16 x 10 Gigajoules (GJ). So nearly a third of the country's primary energy, 2.67 x 109 GJ, was wasted before any of us even got the chance to secretly leave the central heating on all night or to indulge in the sinful luxury of an unlagged hot water tank. It's interesting to examine exactly how all this waste (euphemistically termed the ··energy overhead" by our Civil Servants) comes about. Very little of it is caused by either the oil, coal or natural gas industries: "overheads" (i.e. the difference between gross and net consumption) are 7.5% for oil, 2% for coal and 5.6% for natural gas. (Energy overheads for manufactured fuels like coke are considerably higher-around 27% - since
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 155

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 156

their processing requires energy.) But when you look at the figures for the electricity industry, the overheads amount to an enormous 64%, of which only 3.5% was due to the overheads of the primary fuels like coal and oil used for electriCity generation, leaving a nett overhead of 60.5%. Putting it another way, of the 2.87 GJ of primary energy fed into the electricity generating system, 2.1 GJ was wasted and 0.77 GJ eventually found its way to consumers. And 90% (1.88 GJ) of that 2.1 GJ of waste was due to non-utilisation of waste heat from power stations. This 1.88 GJ represents 21 % of the nation's primary el)energy consumption, and no less than 70% of the country's total "energy overheads". In short, the biggest wasters of energy in the country are not you and me, but the Central Electricity Generating Board. Moreover, as the BRE Report makes clear, the key to energy conservation in buildings in the UK, apart from obvious measures like better insulation, lies in minimising our consumption of thermally-generated electricity - and particularly in a drastic curtailment of its use for space and water heating. By no means every advanced industrial country is as profligate in its consumption of electricity as we are. The BRE Report takes care to point out that in Britain: '·The per capita consumption of electricity in the domestic sector is more than twice as much as in the original six EEC member countries. Belgium and Holland provide particularly good examples as they share with the UK a maritime climate. The domestic sector per capital consumption of electricity in the UK is about 2.5 times that of Belgium and twice that of the Netherlands". Energy consumption in the UK is officially sub-divided into four main Sectors: Industry, Domestic, Transport, and Other Users. (Other Users is defined as Public Services, Agriculture and Miscellaneous). Their shares of the country's primary consumption are 40%, 29%, 16% and 15% respectively. The BRE Report gives the "overheads" of each Sector as a percentage of the total consumption in the Sector. The figures are: Industry 40%; Domestic 66%; Transport 10%; and Other Users 65%. It is clear that the Domestic and Other Users sectors are those with the largest wastage (sorry, overheads). "This feature", says the Report discreetly, "is highly correlated with public electricity consumption. The Domestic and Other Users sectors, where energy will in general be consumed within buildings, took twothirds of the total production of
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 156

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 157

public electricity. This accounted for 45% of the gross consumption of energy in these sectors, although it provided only 20% of the net requirements". Focussing on the Domestic sector, the Report gives a breakdown of the net energy consumption of an average household as follows: Of the average· annual consumption of 81 GJ, 64% was used for space heating, 22% for water heating, 10% for cooking, and 4% for lighting, television and similar applications. The important thing to note here is that it is only in supplying that final 4% of household energy that electricity is really necessary. All the other domestic energy needs can be supplied by sources with far lower energy overheads than those of the electricity grid. Yet electricity is in fact used to supply some 20% of nett household energy consumption (and because of the high associated overhead, this is equivalent to 50% of gross domestic consumption). In its conclusion! about how this waste in the Domestic sector might be minimised, the BRE Report touches on a number of areas in which the CEGB is implicated. Its first conclusion, in marked contrast to that of the CEGB, is that the use of waste heat from electrical generation for district heating "offers a considerable potential for energy savings". "If the present domestic requirements for heat and power had been met by combined schemes operating at an overall thermal efficiency of 70%, the total UK primary energy consumption would have been 10% less" . Later on, it treads on a few more CEGB toes: "The use of resistive electric heating for space heating, hot water and cooking is inefficient in the use of primary energy. If the existing UK domestic use of electricity for these services had been provided by direct use of fossil fuels, the energy consumption would have been 3 to 4% less". (the 3 to 4 per cent, by the way, refers to gross national energy consumption: this is equivalent to a 9 to 12 per cent saving in the Domestic sector). Solar Collectors. and heat pumps, favourite techniques of we AT enthusiasts. merit generally-favourable mentions from the BRE. "The use of solar collectors to augment the hot water supply of existing
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 157

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 158

dwellings, wherever practicable. would result in a reduction in the UK consumption of primary energy of I to 2 per cent". Solar collectors, the Report adds, are "particularly suitable for new dwellings". "Heat pumps", says the BRE, "lend themselves particularly well to UK space heating requirements. If the present domestic space heating and hot water requirements had been met by electric heat pumps the UK energy consumption would have been about 7 to 9 per cent less". But we eco-freaks. who tend to regard the heat pump as a nice device for tapping otherwise unusable low grade heat. may forget that electrically powered heat pumps may prove to be a major trump card in the hands of the CEGB. Heat pumps can give two or three times as much heat energy output as is supplied to them in electrical input. It can therefore be argued with superficial plausibility that, as the BRE puts it: "Heat pumps powered by electricity generated without waste utilisation use primary energy at least as well as individual domestic fuel fired appliances". (my italics). In other words, the CEGB might well argue, if you use heat pumps it doesn't matter how much energy you throwaway up the power station chimney. What this argument doesn't say. of course. is that heat pumps and the use of waste heat make still better use of primary energy. An aspect of heat pumps less fraught with political overtones is the notion of a heat pump powered by a stationary internal (or external) combustion engine. This approach (tOUChed on by the· Report but not pursued) could lead to extremely high effective efficiencies if the waste heat from the engine was usefully employed. A similar idea. equally inadequately explored, is the notion of a wind-powered heat pump, Which Would You Prefer: Heat pumps. in short, certainly do not have to he Creatures of the CEGB grid. On the subject of thermal insulation, the Report makes the point that: "If the existing housing stock had been cavity-filled where possible, if the loft insulation had been improved, and windows double-glazed, the UK energy consumption would have been 3 to 4 per cent less, taking account of the past evidence that some of the potential fuel saving in old properties with only partial heating would have been taken up in increased comfort", As for that other environmentalists' favourite, the wind generator, the BRJ: says that "in principle the potential savings from aerogenerators could represent a few per cent of the national primary energy consumption", but that environmental restrictions are likely to
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 158

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 159

limit this potential. Hmmmmmm. More about that, anon, CEGB Armed, then. with the BRE's figures on just how much energy in Britain is wasted, and how much could be conserved. let's now turn back to the CEGB's Long Term Studies. The use of waste heat from power stations, one of the major conservation measures suggested by the;;' BRE Report. is given a very curious treatment by the CEGB planners in their paper on the subject. "The studies reported here show:' they say. "that at present, the use of reject heat from steam turbines is unlikely to have major economic advantages over producing heat in a simple boiler. largely because the associated loss of electrical output will need to be made up by fossil·fuelled generating plant, with high fuel costs" What they're saying, in other words, is that,in order to use waste hot water from power stations it must be extracted from the turbine at a temperature higher than the normal I OOC, which is too low for heating purposes. A temperature of between 70 and 1300C would be required. This makes the thermodynamic efficiency of the turbine generator lower, so it produces less electricity, and this electricity must be made up by electricity from another power station, which involves burning more fuel. What the authors of this odd piece of logic fail to see, presumably because they cannot contemplate an actual fall in the demand for electricity, is that if domestic consumers \were supplied with heating from power stations, they wouldn't need to run their energy-gobbling electric fires and electric immersion heaters, and so there would be no need to generate more electricity elsewhere to make up for the decreased electrical output from the local power station. But even from their somewhat jaundiced perspective, the paper's authors concede grudgingly that the "Use of heat from steam turbine stations ... might be competitive for a scheme designed to operate at a relatively low temperature, providing the scheme is not too far from a fairly high efficiency power station to reduce the capital costs associated with heat transmission". As for the other CEGB Long Term Studies, I propose to concentrate on the Solar and Wind sections of the paper on Natural Energy Sources, partly because wind and solar power are the most widely and equitably distributed of the natural energy sources, and so offer the greatest potential for utilisation by the decentralised society we have frequently
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 159

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 160

advocated in these pages; partly because the CEG B is more dismissive of these sources than it is of wave power, geothermal power and tidal power; and partly for space reasons. For similar reasons, I won't delve into the papers on the hydrogen economy and on large scale energy storage, interesting though they are. Solar Energy The solar energy paper starts with a short preamble setting forth the vital solar statistics in a fairly uncontroversial way (see UCIO). It then looks at methods of generating electricity from the sun - solar cells, thermoeIectric schemes such as the Meinels' mammoth "power farm" in the Arizona desert, and Dr Peter Glaser's megaproject for a 10,000 tonne orbiting satellite which would beam several thousand megawatts of power back to earth by microwave. AU of these are dismissed as unlikely to be economically competitive with . that touchstone of energygenerating virtue. nuclear power. Then comes a section on the use of the sun to provide low grade heat. This consists of an analysis of the amount of energy consumed in Britain in space and water heating by the domestic and commercial sectors. No attempt is made to assess the contribution solar water and space heating could make to reducing the total demand for energy in general and electricity in particular. Under the heading "costs", it is suggested that "complete domestic hot water all the year round could be supplied in the SW of England at a collector cost of £95 with further (possibly comparable) costs of installation. This would correspond to a fuel cost equivalent of 9.7p/kWh (at 10% interest)." Again, no attempt is made to assess the overall energy national savings possible by such measures. Perhaps the thought that solar collectors could effect a I to 2 per cent drop in national demand (as estimated by the BRE) with an attendant reduction in demand for electricity. is too uncomfortable. . In the next section. on biological conversion of solar energy. the authors Prototype Solar Council house at Milton. Keynes. Solar energy is being used not only for heating hot water but to provide 60% of space heating requirements. contend that the maximum conversion efficiency of solar radiation to stored chemical energy is likely to be 6%, and that although certain crops in Britain can attain efficiencies of 3 to 4% under favourable circumstances,in practice, averaging over a whole year, the most efficient energy crop is likely to be coniferous forest, with only about 1% efficiency.
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 160

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 161

Now that may be a fair summary of the situation at the moment, but many believe that it would be entirely possible to achieve much higher efficiencies by such techniques as selective breeding of plants to increase their yield of combustible matter and growing plants in rich nutrient solution with an enriched supply of C02 - perhaps in earth-covered solar heated greenhouses like those being developed by the New Alchemists for use in Northern climates. But even if 1% is the highest practical efficiency of biological conversion (equivalent to 10 kWh per sq metre per year), the authors' contention that excessively large tracts of land devoted to coniferous forest would be necessary to generate significant quantities of energy is open to question. It may be true, as they suggest, that "the supply of all the UK's demand for petroleum and gas for 1971 would have required coniferous forest covering 43.5% of the country's surface". But such statements represent a (deliberate?) attempt at reductio ad absurdum. · o-one is suggesting that all the country's cars should be powered by wood instead of Gil. What is possible. however, is that wood burning could provide a significant portion of domestic heating requirements. If we assume, as the BRE Report does, that "the present average demand for useful energy for space heating works out at about 34 GJ". This is equivalent to some 9180 kWh a year. Savings through insulation. cavity filling. and so on, says the BRE. would cut demand to 24 GJ (about 6700 kWh). To supply this demand from forests would therefore require some 670 sq metres per household in theory. or in practice about 950 sq metres if wood-burning stoves of 70% efficiency were used. Since there are 19 million households in the country. the total area of land needed would be 19 x 950 x 106 sq metres. or 18 x 109 sq metres of forest. Now this is a little less than the total area of forest in Britain, which 19.5 x 109 sq metres. And though it would not be possible to use all the forest area of the country solely for fuel. a great deal of the wood grown in forests at present is wasted. Forestry companies interested in timber for construction often use only the trunk of a tree and leave the other branches to rot. And trees used for paper mostly end up as waste paper, which could be burned instead of decaying slowly in dust bins (after several recycling processes, if necessary). And new areas of forest could be grown On land unsuitable for agriculture. Forests at the moment comprise about 7% of our land area. This could easily be increased to 10% and the only noticeable difference would be a more pleasant
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 161

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 162

landscape. Wind Power The paper on the potential of wind power begins with a discussion of basic wind power theory. (see UC II). The work of the Electrical Research Association in the 19505 is quoted: the ERA's conclusion at that time was that only at an average windspeed exceeding 8.9 metres per second (20 mph) was it economic to generate wind-powered electricity. Some 39 sites which met this requirement were identified. The ERA proposed the construction of a monster 3.67 MW rating machine with a 69 metre diameter rotor, which would give a· annual energy output of 11 x 10 kWh (some 3100 kWh per kilowatt of rated output). Based on ERA calculations, extrapolated with a good deal of guesswork to today, the authors estimate a capital cost of £170/kW for such a machine. Such machines, the CECB suggests, could be employed in two ways, in conjunction with pumped (or other) storage facilities like the installations at Dinorwic and Ffestiniog; or to supply peak power in periods of demand, which would otherwise have to be supplied by low-efficiency standby plant at a high cost. In the latter role. the paper's authors suggest, a large wind machine would cost about £ 18.7 per kilowatt of capacity per year, compared to £24.8 per kilowatt for conventional plant. This saving, some 25 per cent, is for some reason described as only "marginally economic". And although such a windmill would become even more economic with rising fuel costs, the authors argue rather lamely that this advantage might be offset by till' increasing efficiency of standby peakload plant. If used in conjunction with storage facilities, the paper contends that wind power at £ 170/kW would not compare with nuclear power at £2301 kW because its load factor (the fraction of its potential energy that is actually delivered) is low - about 0.2 to 0.4. Nuclear power can achieve very high load factors because of its low fuel cost. so wind power Cannot compete, say the authors, "short of a major,,?r increase in nuclear fuel costs . But a major increase in nuclear fuel costs in preCisely what the CEGB itself is anticipating when it advocate ... the need for breeder reactors to stop the price of uranium going right through the roof. It is inconceivable that uranium costs will not escalate enormously in coming decades (see UC 9). Furthermore, the capital cost of £230{kW quoted for nuclear power is on the optimistic side. The paper then attempts to demonstrate the environmental unacceptability of wind power by estimating the number of windmills needed to replace a single 2,000 MW central power
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 162

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 163

station. " ... the large number of sites required would mean accepting a lower mean wind speed, say 6.7 m/s (15 mph). The most economical 70m diameter machine would have a rated power of about 2MW and a specific output of 1800 kWh/kW/year. A total of 4,800 machines would be needed, .. their impact on the environment would be enormously greater than that of a single 2,000 MW power station and the cost would be roughly double that from the station". Well, for a start, this calculation assumes that the 2,000 MW station is operating with a 100% load factor. Let us be more realistic and assume, generously, that the station is nuclear and achieves a load factor equal to that achieved by nuclear stations in the UK in 1971-72, namely 75.9% (fossil fuel stations had much lower load factors). Then it will produce only · of the energy allowed for by the CEGB and the number of windmills needed to replace it becomes 3,600. But the environmental impact of those windmills, it can certainly be argued, would be considerable. What this comparison ignores, however, is the environmental impact of the present system of electricity generation. To be specific, what about the environmental impact of all the thousands of electricity pylons scattered about the country? According to this year's CEGB Statistical Yearbook, there are 20,950 towers carrying high voltage power on the: main national grid over a total route distance of 6.786 km. That's one tower every 320 metres of grid, on average. There are many more towers than this, however. Lower voltage lines (below 132 kV) are now under the control of Area Electricity Boards, and don't show up in CEGB statistics. But the figures for 1974, before the transfer of these lines to the Area Boards took place, show that there were, in toto, some 15,778 route km of transmission line (the number of towers is not given). If we assume the same spacing, however, there must be at least 49,300 towers In all, excluding Scotland. (In fact, the number of towers is probably much greater, since low-voltage towers are spaced at less than 320m. But then such towers are not so tall, so their total impact is probably equivalent to the smaller number of larger towers we have assumed). Let's assume that-the towers are 100 ft high, on average: this is about the height of the towers on the main 400 kV to 132 kV lines, Let us suppose that wind generators are erected on the sites of these 50,000 100 ft towers and the towers themselves act as pylons for the transmission lines - as is pOSSible if vertical axis machines are employed. Such tall windmills could look considerably more attractive than the towers used at present (the picture on the front cover of the July 25 issue
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 163

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 164

of Science illustrates: I'll be coming back to that in a moment). Suppose the windmill is capable of 100 kW rated power output (based, quite conventionally, on a 20m swept area for each of six vertical·axis machines per tower, and 25 mph rated winds). Such a mill would be capable of delivering, say 1500 kWh per kW per year (to be pessimistic: this is less than the 1800 kWh/kW quoted by the CEGB earlier). So one such windmill should deliver 150,000 kWh per year, and all 50,000 should deliver some 7.5 x 10 kWh delivered by the CEGB last year, that doesn't sound a lot - only 4%, But that doesn't mean it couldn't be very useful. If we go back to the BRE Report, the figure for the net necessary electricity consumption per household (3 GJ per home, for running TV, lights etc) leads to a total consumption of IS x 109 kWh for the 19 million house·holds in Britain, So our array of windmills on existing pylon sites could supply half the necessary domestic electricity consumption in Britain. And if we doubled the height of each verticalaxis windmill to 200 ft, which would not increase its environmental impact very much, we could get four times the power output from our 50,000 machines - i.e., twice the necessary domestic electricity consumption, and 16% of the total National electricity consumption at present. The paper do.:s suggest that "on· solution to the problem of locating large windmills is to place them offshore either on towers set in the sea bed or on large buoys. " .. .If necessary, the whole British electricity demand could be supplied in this way, albeit at far higher cost than at present, but this would involve finding suitable offshore sites for perhaps 50,000 machines". (Perhaps recycled oil rigs, after 1990 when the North Sea oil runs out, could be converted into offshore windmill platforms?) But, curiously, the authors' recommendation that it might be worthwhile building and operating a prototype offshore wind generator "so that the costs of such a scheme could be more accurately assessed", has been deleted from the version of the paper available from the CEGB, and from the "popularised" version published in CHCB Research. But one off·shore idea which apparently finds favour among CEGB dreamers is in the realm of Wave Power. CEGB Research enthuses that ocean waves afford "an almost continuous inexhaustible supply of free energy. It amounts on average to nearly 80 kW per square metre of wave frontage. This implies the availability within UK territorial waters of more than 120,000 MW - more than twice the CEGB's present installed capacity", After discussing the various problems involved in actually
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 164

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 165

getting any of this 'free' energy ashore, the paper suggests that the power could be used in situ in a "floating factory" situated beside the wave generators themselves, The significant thing about this proposal is the kind of factory the CEGB has in mind. A suggestion that could be particularly" attractive to the CEGB is uranium separation from sea water ... "Virtually limitless supplies of Uranium might conceivably be produced in this way and could have a profound effect on the future of nuclear power. Fast Breeders would no longer be necessary for nuclear fuel economy". (my italics) So the CEGB doesn't see natural energy sources like wave power as a means of avoiding the need for nuclear power, with aU its attendant dangers. It views them as a means for generating 'cheap' fuel to keep its nuclear power programme going, and as a way of avoiding uranium shortages in case all those silly environmentalists succeed in banning the Breeder reactor from our shores for ever. (The fact that it would almost certainly take far more energy to ex tract the uranium than could ever be recovered by fissioning it in a reactor is clearly secondary in CEGB minds.) The tired thinking of CEGB planners (mirrored in the recent reports by their fellow-bureaucrats at the Department of Energy and the Central Policy Review Staff) is clearly rooted in an inability to accept the idea that the days of the "growth economy" are numbered and that a transition to steady-state economy is inevitable even though it is a logically unavoidable fact that in a world with finite resources, growth must cease sooner or later. But the scientific elites of other countries do not all share our perverse desire to march against the tide of history. Take, for instance, the imaginative plan outlined in the July 25 issue of Science by Prof Bent Sorensen of the University of Copenhagen, in which Denmark would stabilise its energy consumption at the present level and supply Its entire energy needs by harnessing the sun and the wind. Sorensen believes that "the traditional manner of growth, characterised by diminishing returns related to the quality of life, should be replaced by our implementing a policy aimed at stimulating growth that will improve the quality of life. Sorensen further contends that "compared with nuclear power, the renewable sources such 6S wind and sun, which favour decentralised utilisation, would facilitate development in the direction of plaCing more emphasis on the quality of life". He then goes on to sketch out a scenario in which Denmark's rate of energy consumption would stay the same as now, at about 20 x 10 to the 9 watts. The amount of energy consumed by
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 165

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 166

heating (now mainly oil-fired) would decline steadily to about half its present value. The amounts of energy consumed by the Transportation, Agriculture and Food, and Household and Commerce sectors would stay almost the same as now. As for the Industry sector, Sorensen's plan allows the energy consumption of production industry to stay about the same, but he expects the recycling industry to increase its consumption (because decreasing resources would necessitate increased energy consumption for recycling) to a point where it roughly equals that of productive industry. This energy demand would be met by a large number of solar collectors' and wind generators, whose energy would gradually replace coal and oil over a 75 year period, At first, wind electricity would supplement that from fossil fuel power stations, but from the year 2000, wind-generated hydrogen would start to bite into oil consumption, being increasingly used as a fuel for transport. To meet the static energy demand, Sorensen calculates that solar panels (water·heating type) of J 80 sq km in area, and wind generators totalling 150 sq km in swept area, would be required. These would take up less than 1 % of Denmark's land area. Whether we can ever get the technocracy in Britain to start thinking along these lines (without the impetus of a major jolt to public consciousness provided by, say, a catastrophic nuclear reactor accident) is doubtful. OUf coal, gas and North Sea oil reserves loom so large on the planning horizon that, coupled with the glamorous high-technology challenge of a massive expansion in nuclear power, they induce a complacent stupefaction in the minds of our rulers. It will be interesting to see whether Tony Benn, the new Energy secretary, is capable of living up to his revolutionary rhetoric. Although in a truly democratic country no-one man would have such power, in the present situation Benn is uniquely placed to exert a major influence on the nation's longterm energy strategy. Will he take the soft option and fall for the nuclear lobby's lurid promise of unlimited power to prolong indefinitely the consumer society, with its false promise that economic growth will better the lot of working people? Will he go down in history as the politician who not only polluted our skies with Concordes, but went on to pollute our landscapes with nuclear reactors as well? Or will he seize the opportunity to initiate the creation of an egalitarian. low-energy society powered by the inexhaustible, decentralised energies of the sun, wind and water? I wouldn't count on it. We'll probably have to do it ourselves. Godfrey Boyle
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 166

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 167

Chisholme House Beshara School of Intensive Esoteric Education Imperfect Man is the Macrocosmll "Our discourse is with him who has resolution and energy in seeking to know himself in order to know God, and who keeps fresh in his heart the image of his seeking and longing for union with God; and not with him who has neither aim nor end ... 1975 Course from Oct. 1st 1975 to Mar. 3lst 1976 Cost £600 Enrolment forms and further information from: The Secretary, Swyre Farm, Aldsworth. Gloucs. teI.: Windrush 377 _______________________________________________________________ BSc, (Hons) Social and Physical Sciences Our concerns are well expressed by Theodore Roszak in Where the Wasteland Ends: "Science is not. in my view, merely another subject for discussion. It is the subject. It is the prime expression of the West's cultural uniqueness. the secret of our extraordinary dynamism. the keystone of technocratic politics, the curse and the gift we bring to history. Where social thought on the dilemmas of urban-industrial life refuses to touch science critically it betrays its essential conservatism and can only finish with shallow understanding". If these concerns are yours and if you are interested in interdisciplinary study in a demanding context, then write for further details to the Senior Faculty Assistant. Faculty of Science and Technology. Newcastle upon Tyne Polytechnic. Ellison Building. Ellison Place. Newcastle upon Tyne NEl 8ST. _______________________________________________________________ RESISTANCE THROUGH RITUALS YOUTH subCULTURES Demystifying youth culture, radical intervention, generational consciousness, method, significance of style, why no girls, doin' nothin', reggae / rastas / rudies, teds-mods, skinshippies. CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY CULTURAL STUDIES UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM BIRMINGHAM 15 wpcs 7summer 1975 _______________________________________________________________ Ecologist AS WE APPROACH THE POST INDUSTRIAL AGE, a totally new set of solutions is required to the problems that confront man today: - poverty - unemployment - disease malnutrition crime - war - pollution etc. The need is for ecological solutions rather than technological ones, solutions that do not require the massive expenditure of ever scarcer resources, that solve problems rather than mask them by eradicating their symptoms, that lead to stability rather than instability and collapse. THE ECOLOGIST - Journal of the Post Industrial Age, whose editors wrote the now famous Blueprint for Survival (Vol 2. I. Jan. 1972) has for more than three years published articles that contribute to this end . subscription: 1 year (2 issues) - individual £1.80 ($4.50 USA) library £2.80 ($6.75 USA) 2 years (4 issues) -individual £3.40 ($8.00 USA) library £5.40 ($13.00 USA) individual copies £1.00 Annual SubSCription £5.50 (U.S.A. $14.501 Members of the Conservation Society, Friends of the Earth, SOIl Association,£5.00. Students attending full time course £4.50 (Annual Index (50p) Included free with all subscriptIOns). Name Address Month of first issue required......................... I Cheques, money orders, postal orders should be crossed and made payable to the Ecologist, and sent to Subscriptions Dept., Ecologist, 73 Molesworth Street, Wadebridge, Cornwall.
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 167

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 168

UNDERCURRENTS BACK ISSUES Magazines worth £s yours for mere pence!
TRY one of these sumptuous magazines for yourself! Each issue con­tains between 52 and 60 exciting, action-packed pages, lovingly printed in glorious black and white by British craftsmen on the finest quality newsprint, carefully wrapped in a magnificent imitation art cover, and precision bound with two hand-crafted staples of the finest English steel! THRILL to the delights of our fact-filled Guide to Sources and Contacts in Alternative Technology! DROOL over the Do-it-Yourself windmill water power and solar collector designs! LEARN THE SECRETS of Heat Pumps, People's Radio, Phone Phreaking, and Gas-Powered Transport! ASTONISH YOUR FRIENDS with your intimate knowledge of little­ known underground installations! BLOW YOUR MIND with the political theories of an alternative culture! YOU, TOO, can own these wickedly-handsome volumes for a mere sap. ($ 1.25) per copy delivered to your door! Only by selling direct to the public can we make these prices possible! Hurry, hurry, buy now while our limited stocks last! Complete with FREE wrapper, worth at least 1/2 p! Undercurrents 6 Heat Pumps I Alternative Electronics I Organic Living Experiment I DIY Windmill Design I Alternative Technology Sources Guide I Running Your Car on Gas I Small-Scale Water Power I What's Left of Alternative Technology? I Stan Gooch reviewed by Colin Wilson I Have Plants a Secret Life? . "The Heat Pump does offer one big advantage the abilitY to tap heat sources that have for centuries been out of reach" "It's relatively easy TO create consumption-alternatives because we have fairly direct control over the technology of consumption .. Creating alternatives in the sphere of production is not so easy be­cause it's a social thing _ and therefore requires mass-scale political action to change." Undercurrents 7. Special Communications Issue Telephone Tapping & · mail Opening: who does it & how I A Phone Phreak's Confessions I The Government's Doomsday Communicat­ions Systems I TV Cameras Spy on City Streets I The People's Radio Primer I Switched·on Uses of Ham
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 168

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 169

Radio & TV I Cable TV: \\what's in it for the Media Moguls I AT in the Shade I Did a Stray Missile Shoot Down an Airliner? "A very useful intelligence-gathering tool is the printer-meter. This device, when attached to the equipment assigned to your telephone at your local exchange, prints out a tape of every number dialled." "It is a pleasant diversion on a winter evening to discuss surfing with the Honolulu operator or to chat about the weather with the Sydney operator. " Undercurrents 8 Prince Philip Visits National AT Centre I Eddies' Paranoia Corner I COMTEK Festival Report & Pictures I BRAD Community I Organic Living Experiment I Sward Gardening Introduction I The Other London Underground Radio: Opening Up the Air Waves I Building with Rammed Earth I Multi-blade Windmill Design I Wind Generator Theory I Hermeticism: Technology Needs Transcendence I Plus: a look at Undercurrents finances . " .•. it took two more days ••• for the dampened spirits of those who had first camped in that empty field to be lifted by the realisat­ion that COMTEK '74 was slowly becoming the joyful, mass celebrat­ion of people's technology that everyone secretly hoped it would be.'· . "It would be naive to think at someone /like the Duke of Edinburgh isn't an incredibly powerful figure in the country ••.• therefore he is someone whose sympathy is most valuable to the whole AT movement” Undercurrents 9 Special Feature on Nuclear Power Dangers. Kiddies' Guide to Nuclear Power I Waste Disposal Dangers I The Breeder - Fast & Deadly I End of the US Nuclear Dream I The International Protesters I Energy AJ:analysis of Nuclear Power I Nuclear Proliferation Perils I The Terrorists' DIY A·Bomb I Uranium Supply Shortages, . . ' PLUS: Nuclear Blackmail - has it already been tried? I Bunker Secrets de--bunked I Solar Collectors: product review I Nature et Progress Conference in Paris: full report & photos I Hudson Institute Critique I Can Home-Grown Food make a Significant Contribution? "· en one source, solar power is a good example, is available in abundance, has been used by man in one form or another for centuries, is cheap and easy to exploit and will be around for at least as long as humanity, and the other depends on the extraction of a rare metal, its isotopic enrichment is perhaps the most difficult and expensive process yet developed, is attended by all sorts of dangers, all of them serious and some of them hardly understood, and could lead ultimately to the destruction of the world, it is difficult to fol­low the logic of those who deem the first impracticable and the second the energy source which will save mankind. II "Ephemeral figures, quietly
_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 169

______________________________________ Undercurrents 12 September-October 1975 Page 170

shot, their bodies burned - was this the end of the European Freedom Fighters and their People's Bomb?" Undercurrents 10 Joint Issue with Resurgence Magazine. Solar Collectors: Complete Background Theory and low-cost DIY Design I Towards An Alternative Culture: Part 1 Land for the People I New Villages Now I Sward Gardening in Practice I Anarchist Cities I General Systems I Future of Alternative Technology I Schumacher: A Conscious Culture of Poverty I Living the Revolution: Milovan Djilas I Industrial Slavery Can Now End I Nuclear Protest Builds up Steam .... "Trees are solar collectors - so the simplest way of obtaining solar heating is by burning brother wood. The only economically-viable installation is a well-informed 01 Y design using ready-made collector /' plates originally designed for domestic central heating - radiators in other words. " ", ... the struggle for social change cannot be waged with the ballot box, nor yet with the gun. The alternative culture is happening. Or rather, it is trying to happen." Undercurrents 11 Nuclear Nightmares Come True I Bee Keeping I Back to the Land: What happened in the '30s I Mysterious Energies: the Hidden Secrets of Ancient Britain I Building with Compressed Subsoil Blocks I Wind Power Special Feature: Background Theory & Part I of the Undercurrents-LID Wind Generator Design I New Methane Digester Design I The House That Jaap Built - an Autonomous Dome in Holland I Mind Expansion: An Evaluation of Psychocybernetics and Silva Mind Control I Getting Your Goat: Goat-keeping Demystified I Towards An Alternative Culture - part 2 .... "It is chastening to realise the gulf which lies between oneself and even elementary thought control." · ' ... we should realise, when thinking our way towards self·sufficiency, that it will be difficult to make the system work at the macro-socio­economic level if we do not, at the same time, consider radically re­structuring the entire economic system. Without this more radical change, "well-meaning philanthropy can lead to (or be a disguise for) incipient fascism and a return to authoritarian feudalism."

_______________________________________________________________________ UC12: page 170

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful