To the Editors:
I found the advertisement of anthropologists in your October 13 issue in poor taste. It is certainly their democratic right to declare that the American government “forfeits its legitimacy and right to rule” because it prepares national defense which includes the build-up of atomic weaponry. But to challenge their colleagues in the Soviet Union and in the People’s Republic of China to do likewise, amounts to asking them to risk—at best—their jobs, and—at worst—their lives. As someone who lived under both National Socialist and Communist dictatorships I have, long ago, set a rule for myself: never ask other people to risk anything which you yourself are unable or unwilling to risk. I believe it would be a good rule to follow also for American anthropologists.
January 19, 1984