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Apr. 25, 2012

Vol. 112, No. 11

The danger of 'people-driven committees'

In response to: In defense of Teichberg ’96

Posted on April 18, 2012

In response to Mark Dallas ’96’s defense (letters, March 21) of Vladimir Teichberg ’96 (A Moment With, Dec. 14), and as one of the 1970s graduates who had attacked Teichberg (apparently due to a lingering “Cold War mentality”), I would point out that Teichberg’s phrase was “people-driven committees,” not “people-driven assemblies,” as Dallas mistakenly writes. The implication that I read is not that of “local town hall meetings” in which everyone participates but of small groups of people purporting to speak for and act on behalf of “the people,” which Occupy Wall Street has been doing when it claims to represent the 99 percent   nonbillionaire population. I definitely am not part of the 1 percent, but I take offense when Wall Street occupiers (and their offshoots) claim to represent me. If Mr. Dallas studies his 20th-century Russian history, he will discover that indeed it was such unelected “people-driven committees” that formed the underpinnings of Soviet bureaucracy.

Robert Beebe ’75
Little Falls, N.J.

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