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The Huntingdon File


The Huntington File
In June 1973, Samuel Huntington, Professor of Government at Hc.rvard University, former consultant to the Secretary of Defense, and distinguished advocate of ‘forced draft urbanisation’ (concentration camps) in Vietnam, came to
Sussex University to give a lecture and a seminar. As a result of a demonstration
organised by the Sussex Indochina Sulidarity Committee he could not give his
lecture, A shc..rneful betrayal of academic values? Or a brave attempt to peel off
the slap from the scabby face of American imperialism?

The following are eXtracts from a forthcoming book about the subject.*

alarmingly being eroded by the growing Involvement of academics (and especially scientists and
social scientists) In the formlJlation and Implementation of Government policy, not only in the USA
but aiso in this country, that for the University of
Sussex to extend an invitation to one of the most
ghoulish and notorious incarnations of this trend
is a disgrace and an insult to this entire community.

We are NOT campaigning to inflict physical injury
on Huntington, for this would neither be in any
way commensurate with the hideousness of the
acts for which, directly and indirectiy, he has been
responSible, nor would it begin to draw people’s attention to the broader social and political forces at
work which have produced a man like him. As with
the Shockiey affair at Leeds UniverSity, we would
prefer the University to reconsider the matter, and,
in the light of further evidence of the nature of
Huntington’s academic and ‘practical contributions
to humanity, withdraw its invitation. I f this does
not happen, and if the University contlrilles to
align itself with Huntington – since we do not think
that in this matter there can be any sitting on the
fence – we shall organise our protests as loudiy and
as powerfully as possible.

In this connection, we should like to emphasise
and re-emphasise that the campaign is NOT being
conducted by a ‘tiny minority’ of students; that we
are NOT a seiect and clandestine force of Sinister
intent; but that, on the contrary, we are an
extremely broad alliance of concerned people and
our sessions are entirely open, pUblic, and democratically conducted. We have also spent much time
and energy researching into Huntington’s writings

same thing as (although they include) rational debate. Universities tend to talk about
and to defend their activities in terms of the
latter (‘academic freedom’, the university as
Samuel P. Huntington might count himself an a ‘talking-shop’) while actually practising the
unlucky man. After all he is in no way extra- former, and this contradiction and selfordinary. Considered by maTlY to be medideception are, precisely, at the heart of the
ocre as an intellectual, he is said by others to problems discussed in this book.

be ‘distuingished’ as an academic. The two
things are not, of course, incompatible. He is
no more than typical as a ‘social scientist’ in
the service of imperialism. His sins are those
of many of his colleagues. He is, as R.H.S.

Crossman chose to put it, a ‘HClrvard man
with practical experience of Vietnam’. And
his name was known and his papers had been
studied partly because Noam Chomsky had
happened to refer to him as an example. So
he happened to be the one who was invited
and he happened to be the one who was
stopped. Although much of this book centres on him and on that event at Sussex University this is only because the details of the
concrete case are helpful in relation I to the
general issues. Without this concrete detail
discussions of such things as academic freedom and ideology can remain a bstract and
superficial. The detail helps to identify the
real complexities of the phenomena that
need to be understood. But, as for Huntington, no apologies need to be made. He is
here because he is exemplary. But being no
more than an example is certainty no excuse.

The documents are worth studying not
only for the information they provide about
and activities, and the more deeply we have deived
the more convinced we have become that the Unithe wide range of positions and arguments
versity of Sussex would do itself – and the people
that were produced ~m such questions as the
of this town – something much more than an injustice by according this man the distinction of setideological content of social science and the
ting foot on this campus.

limits of academic freedom. They are also a
We utteriy reject the charge that we are against
record of argument in action. They represent
‘free speech’. A prominent member of staff here
has pointed out that no sane person would object
not simply a number of abstract positions
Huntlngton is being Invited both to the University
to a reputation for being intolerant of what’s inproper – to lecture to the American Studies Departamong which one could choose but the dytolerable. The substantive issue at stake is, In our
ment on ‘The Soldier In American Society’ – and to
view, that of Huntington’s views on and roie in
namic process of ideological and political
the Institute of Development Studies – to present a
American aggression in Vietnam. However, even if
struggle in which documents were produced seminar on ‘American policy towards developing
the ‘free speech’ argument were further pursued,
societies’. He is being invited in his capacity as an
and if it couid be established that it is always
and positions adopted in the course of ateminent American political scient~st (he is Profeswrong to curtail this freedom, no matter how destempting to achieve certain ends. The outsor of Government at Harvard University), aithough picably inhuman or dangerous the views that somecome of the argument was not only a conthe ‘controversiai’ nature of his views and activities lone may hold, then Huntlngton himself has rejected
I this freedom. According to reliable sources, he has
clusion in the logical sense of the word but a are to some extent appreCiated by those inviting
explicitly refused to take part in a public session in
concrete consequence. In the course of the
Our objections to Huntlngton are based not simwhich he would answer questions concerning his
piy <:,n what could be considered unpleasant or iderole in Vietnam. He proposes to come here simply
struggl( people set themselves the task not
ologlcally unacceptable aspects of his work – and
to deliver his lecture and to conduct his seminar
only of evaluating arguments but of persuaIt's here that our campaign differs from that mounthereby maintaining a dominant position in the'

ding people and organising actions. The con- ted against Professor Eysenck at the LSE. For Hun· proceedings and curtailing the right of his critics
tington is not simply an academic. He Is also: Chair· to exercise their equal freedom of speech. We therecrete, effective character of discourse was
man of the Council of Vietnamese Studies of the
fore feel that on no grounds whatever can HuntlngSouth-East Asia Development Advisory Group
ton’s visit be supported.

apparent whether this was a matter of attempting to ‘stop Huntington’ or to ‘discip~!~~yD:rGci!f~~~e~ ~~:61::r~~~~Utl~;~t~~i~~~~~-e – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – line’ those students and faculty who had par Agency for International Development. He Is therefore one of the prime examples of an academic who
ticipated in the ‘Stop Huntington’ campaign. has
moved beyond the sphere of education and
Ideological and political struggle are not the scholarship and Into Government – where, In the

From the introduction
by John Mepham

Press statement
released by the Sussex
Indochina Solidarity
Committee, 5 June 1973

* Social Science, Ideology, Free Speech.

A collection of articles and documents about
the Huntington affair, by Susan Hacker,
Geoffrey Nowell Smith, Ralph Milliband,
Anthony Arblaster, Roy Edgley and John
Mepham. Edited by John Mepham. To be
published April 1974 by Harvester Press,
Brighton. AlJout 140pp; price about £0.70.

Royalties to Medical Aid for Vietnam.

context of the Vietnam war, he has quite explicitly
been Involved In the decision-making process, providing gUidelines, shaping policy and Planning strategy. He has applied his theoretical approach to
‘political order’ to the practical problem of reshaping Vietnamese society in such a way as to
counter rural and national upriSings. To this end he
has cold-bloodedly advocated the marshalling of
the rural population into towns and refugee-camps
by terror-bombing – a process he calls ‘forced draft
urbanisation’ – plus the systematic destruction of
any possibility of life In the countryside.

we feel that at such a time as this, when ‘academic
freedom’ as we understand it is IncreaSingly and

From the introduction
by J hn Mepham

This book is about universities and about imperialism and about the connection between
the two. It is also about a not unrelated
problem, that of ‘academic freedom’. The relation between these problems is manifested
in practice in tlle conflict between the principle of academic freedom on the one hand
and the conduct of ideological and political
struggle against the universities’ complicity



in imperialist oppression on the other. That
the universities do make a real, concrete contribution to the conduct of imperialist policies is not something that everyone will find
obvious. There are even those who put such
words as imperialism and oppression between
inverted commas as if to suggest that these
things are merely the figments of demented
extremist imagination. What is certainly true
is that imperialism is a complex reality and
that the character and extent of the universities’ contribution to it requires serious analysis.

One of the reasons why it is not easy to
understand universities, why they are such
very opaque and puzzling institutions, is that
by and large university people themselves
talk and think about their activities in a way
that is extraordinarily self-deceiving, uncritical and unscientific. Academics are not, on
the whole, very good at understanding themselves. They tend to rely, when discussing
their own activities, on concepts and principles which, to put it mildly, fail to meet
the standards of rigour and clarity which
they set themselves when they are discussing
Shakespeare’s sonnets or the structure of
DNA. One such principle is that of academic

On the one hand, then, we have the reasonable demand that the universities, and in
particular the so-called ‘social scientists’

within the universities, should think serioUsly a bout. t4e nature and implications of their
work, a bout the real, concrete relation between their work and the realities of the social and political world. On the other hand
we have a certain principle of conduct and a
certain ideal, encapsulated in the principle of
academic fre.edom, which university faculties
claim to set for themselves and demand.of
others. Hence the confrontation between the
apparent simplicity of an abstract ideal Qn
the one hand, and the complex reality of academic life, with all its concrete restric~ons,
exclusions and complicities on the other.

For whatever people may wish the fact is

Dear Mr. Edgley,

Closed minds at Sussex
Sussex University students have been told to
join the three monkeys today. They have not
been asked whether they want the blindfolds,
gags and earplugs which are being handed out
by the Sussex Indochina Solidarity Committee.

That decision, the committee has concluded, is
too important for the students to take. Having
failed to persuade both the University Chancellor and the head of the American Studies Department to cancel the invitation extended to
Professor Samuel Huntington to speak at Sussex, the committee has decided to do its best
to disrupt the lecture. The reason is its Professor Huntington’s views on Vietnam. That the Professor is not proposing to
speak on Vietnam makes a senseless plan even
more meaningless.

Professor Huntington is one of the most distinguished political scientists in the United
States. Two issues disturb the left-wing student
group. They abhor his analytical articles on
Vietnam, which they claim ‘cold-bloodedly advocate the marshalling of the rural population
into towns and refugee camps by terror bombing’; and they claim he must accept responsibility for the policies because of his work as a
consultant to the Defence and State Departments. The Professor claims his views have
been misrepresented. Certainly there is nothing
which convicts the Professor in the thick wad
of campaign sheets forwarded to the Guardian
by the students. What a man desaripes is not

that these things have, in practice,pome into
conflict. This has been dramatically so
throughout the ‘western world’, especially
since 1968. The ideal of academic freedom is
continually negated in practice by the operation of all the complex mechanisms whereby universities restrict the areas of theoreti- .

Cal inquiry which are deemed by them to be
legitimate, whereby they forcibly narrow the
minds of their faculty and students. It is also
sometimes negated in that more concrete
manner whereby unnacceptable intellectuals
are removed from university faculties. The

A~.II~·. m” mm ft:’C’lI,.. ., uw IllIDtiftl’On .how.ldn’, have been
lhouw.tdmoll, nnlMlroundil’t..l (‘ven IfUlcrlhouldhaveanopportunltvin I’Tt’Hnt ht.”….. -Utml.hwhether I.ord Arr ……·ould

ht-… nlll(‘ ..(>(ltol~rmUt.U.durl””tbrb.nleol Britain I. ~rhat*UI


in·o:·edlntheHl&fttin~mllroteat:atSUaaell. partl(‘Ulllrhafu’r
aee.n.aome of the lettera intM-(;uardllUl ••·h,(·hr(‘mlnm.’1lml’u.np1e .. anth’of.ome rcccnl.ll nalta nfminl’tQ [nclLlllrlOtat 1
foundcurioua. Iptlhe ImprC•• lOnthlll it .a (‘onauk’red ratlk’r Caul·Ik’,
In Senior Common !loom {‘irdc•• to ~(‘ome O’erh’ l’mllllonal li.l’ .•
crit.(‘ah””·ithreltardtothem:a•• :l·rcofp.e:uJMtl~LlIlatlonab·lbe

When the matter brokc, J “”‘aa asked b’ P..’U~’ Duff of ICDP 10 I’rlU> n
letter to the (iu:ardLM. 1I:1’inj[ nothLnl!: much IQ a:l~’, 1 hea.taU·d, hut
dedded tu do it nfter …..elnl!: the (ill’ Icttcrthnt “(‘,u Mdotlk·r.lII·rotl·
about thc free spce(‘h 1• • Ul’. I don’t know wbct””r thc’l”cr pnnlcd it.

I Ji[athernot, nothllnnll: re(‘civerltheatre:lmnfaiLll8(‘lhatuau:lll’



The wholc Huntinftkm m:ttter ill c,.utct·urtous, I’elllh’, Ill ••·rilmp:a
lea·eab.outeh·nodoubtofhi.po8>ition.and …. h.lclhclcfth.. lln_
doubtedlyc:ol:tp:j[crntedlllll I’olc – hcnpptu·cntl.· ….
ptanne .. -still the.·(, can 00 no doubt thnt his ie …. s:l ..ea.ortormtcllectuall.ed[lchm:anni.m. Yeti am quilt’aurc th:ltncltherhc or hi.

eolleap;ue.under.tnndnt:lll …. hythe· f.,cUwfQ(‘lsofauch(·ontempt
and diap;uat. TheY:ll’e, nfte .. nil. me …~h· fulmlinl!: their nC’:ldemu’ .·c.pon.lbilityofser’iectothe.t,’lte (-the people. j[u·etllibcntldemoeratic(‘antlandde.(,,·ibln,;thefncta-nndltls.nfterall,nfa(‘tth:at
drl … inj[ a peaSllnt populntion mto n:’fu,;cc (‘amps :lid UI’blUl sluma mar
be ‘UJeanawer’to re·olutlonan’natlonnlism.1 hn,•• ,orI
ofthl.mattertobe …lrtuallyatan impa•• e. Tbua, IquoteSam Huntlngton·ahorror.tosomeont’lUIdtheylisten, uncomprehendin«I)’,
failing to aee “‘hat is \·ronj[. I I’ondcr …. hethc.·(‘due:lted eerman.

;;:~a::;i:.had tile .ame re.ponse to technical article. on de.ip;n of

Anyway, icanKUel., fromexperleneeo(myown, “”‘hatklndo(re.ponae you are getting from dlstingui.hed academic nnd intellectual
circlea.lau.pecttbat[lftllUldi.e …enmoreadvnncedintheartllo(
hypocri • .vandcynicillmthlUllhel’S, and have tbe Impre•• lonthat
British intellectual. exprea. often a degree of len’llIty to American
po ….erthati.perhapa.omewhatrarehere-.I bopettlln’tt:ettingyou
down. For wh.t It i. worth, I wu really p1e..ed and Impre.sed to
aee that you were willing to take up auch an unpopular eau.e at a dlf~’.::.:I:~nt and to try to Inject .ome lIanity into the ‘free .peech’

open~.Uon.(Jntheotherhand.IUndlldlffl(‘Ultwbecome …ouaed
Ilhoul tM m.tkr. :n…. full h’lloul.,· of the liberal K.demlc. become.

aPl •• rlll” onl” … hen ont.. (‘OMIt~n a bit of rC!ceQt hlator)·. T …. la INS,
LI”,,’U ·lrtualh’lmloc».tbleln Rr.-tonlolll:aInUlopenhearlllllforoppo.IUonlollw.·ar.1 re(‘aJln’n·.cll in October 1965, theflr.t
O(‘(·:l.AI~ofalll:en(‘~allnl(‘rnallonal pro&eat .. al … tthe”,,·ar, …‘mllk’d In IIrr:lnlll:(‘ :I m(‘chnlll: In Roaton. l’nh’cra’I,’ .Uea were ·Ir1u.a)ly
l’llduded. !x.·(·· “”·(·.·l·n’afr:lLdtht.-jlla,(·1.’ “,,’ould hctorn:tpalrt, We
flnall”8(‘Ull’dontlk’ n”a’nnCommon. huttht.-mcel.nIll:WIUL’loIlckly
broken ul’ b’ a (‘omhLnahon of I”c::llllhulll:a Md J’oIIT atudcnta march1ne
en m..aefr”mt:to.·dormLtofleaandfr:llem.tiea. I …. oneofttw
‘ape&ken’ – not a “”‘nrd I’U hell.rd Md “”‘C were lu(‘kr that the meet””
(flal}t’nC’d …. lthw,1 real Iotenec. lI”Aa no aecret. The B~ton Globe.

probabh’lh,·mo.tilhcnl paper .ntne l’S-d(”oted itaentlrefrOGt
“alll:(‘ tbe follol .nl!: da~’ to :I deaulptlon of the c(‘enta, ‘loIite ac(‘Urate.

lUId~ltt’ajlpronnJof lbepatrlotl(‘ reallonaeofhered-bloodedyOl.l.ftl
feIlO\’awhoreapondedintht.-onl,approprlalel·a)·totbe Imp.lI:tenreof
thoa(‘I·howcre.ulQre.tlnj[thatthercmlj[htbe.omethintt”‘·rOlll …. itb
bombinjt!’orth”lclllam. The radlowudeotedto·lrtuaUrnothlngel.e.

Thcrc I’U DOt a lIeep of Ilrotellt from the ad’O(‘atellof free.peeeh for

In Mar(‘h 1966, theHConci lnternatioaal day. ofprote.twere.llll,…… i.u.

Thiltinll’, I’C Jea’e up on M opcn meeting, lUIda,::lin n.lledouttheunl· …. llCI·:wSC of fear of too reaction there. Wetbou.Kht a cN.lrch
mi«htbcthe allproprlate place to red!eethe ri.k of ·lolehCt!. WrCllC
Ilj[lIln. The Arllngtorlst. C’hurch …. aa again the.eene or a mob attack.

The front of the Church (whl:rethemeeUDtI:””ubeld, Yo’udefacedand
.erioua “Ioleacc \’as ar;aln a’erted, this time, whentbe Police Cap.

taln \·’lek in the faee by a tomato and Ka’e tbeorder to mu.e. of
polieetoeiearUtearea. onlrafe…. miftUteabcfore, “”‘ehadukedhim
\’hether itwun’t pos.lble to at leutpre …ent the barrllle and were told
that it wu ftQfte of hi. tLlIsine •• , Again, no prote.tfrom liberal ICademlea, In fact. all of thl ….. a. (‘()D’enlenUy forgotten when it became
fa.hiOlllblew(:!Midly)oppo.ethel’arafe””year.llter. Tbeacademlc
oppoatlion to the war la place. Uke MITardHar …ardne …erreaeheda
fraction of tbe scale of outrage agalnetthe ‘left-wingtotalltariab.’wbo
were peneeuttngpoor HuntinlloJl andotbera like him by cp.Iot.lnghll

:;:~r:..e:::,enf~~ ~~;~ .ometlme••Inking to inr: inging OG hi. rlgbt

Noam Chomsky

necessarily what he prescribes.

But even if their charges were based on
truth their would be no justification for the
disruptive tactics they are planning for today.

Not one of their four justifications stand up
to any examination. First they suggest tAatiAvitation is an implicit endorsement by students
and faculty of American policy in Indochina.

Nothing could be more absurd. Since when has
a British university as such endorsed any political policy outside the field of education? It is a
depressing measure of the students’ values that
to invite someone to speak should be interpreted as an endorsement of his views. If free
speech is to be stifled in the universities where
;;an it flourish? Second, they suggest he has
been invited to brainwash students rather than
lecture them. So much for the committee’s
faith in the intellectual standards of their fellow students. Third, they believe the invitation
‘confers academic respectability on a pseudoscientist’. A professor from the most distinguished university in the United States does not
need an added ‘respectability’. Fourth, they
cannot divorce the professor’s academic activities from the bombing of Indochina. That
smells of double standards. Were they equally
upset by Communist atrocities? The best
people to put the Indochina committee in its
place are the rest of the student body. They
should turn up in force today.

Council for Academic Freedom and Democracy was founded in Britain in 1970 for the
purpose of exposing the operation of these
mechanisms and of defending academics
against them. Sometimes, however, the
threat to the ideal of academic freedom has
appeared to come from a different direction.

Student campaigns of protest have occasionally resulted in the disruption of academic
activities and by and large the academic profession has reacted to this perceived threat
to its freedom with concern and anger.

As for the status of the book itself, I
think it should not be approached as an academic exercise. It is not merely an attempt
to work out solutions to interesting but inconsequential puzzles. It is an intervention,
albeit of a modest and fragmentary kind, in
an ideological struggle. And it is conceived
from a political standpoint and not from
some mythical point of neutrality or impartiality. Having a political standpoint and
knowing what it is, is no impediment to
truth. And this means that it should be
remembered that what all this discussien is
ultimately about is Indochina, is the fascist
extermination of democracy in Chile, is the
system of international politico-economic
relations called monopoly capitalism and imperialism. Given this it may seem to be a pity
that the struggle has to pass through the tedious detour of arguments about academic
freedom. But this detour is necessary
whether one likes it or not. It is made necessary by the objective structure of the situation within which these arguments and
struggles are conducted; by the relative auto·
nomy of the universities, their discourses and
practices, by their specificity as a site of political and ideological struggle. But it should
be remembered, as the discussion in this
book winds its way into the analysis of the
universities, that the perspective from which
the argument should be conducted is one
from which one does not lose sight of those
larger and more brutal realities which the
universities somehow contrive so effectively
to conceal.

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