flutes. Here Venus is the goddess of hospitality, and hernworship does not admit to any mysteries. Every tribute tonher is a feast for the nation.”nThe lives of the Tahitians were filled with various formsnof human sacrifice. Heywood: “Infanticide was considerednby the Indians as a praise-worthy act of self-sacrifice.”nCaptain Bligh asked a district chief about this custom: “Thenchief said it was to prevent an over-population. They haventoo many children and too many men, was the constantnexcuse. Yet it does not appear that they are apprehensive ofntoo great an increase in the lower class of people. The mostnremarkable instance related to me of the barbarity of thisninstitution was of Teppahoo, who was a district chief, and hisnwife, Tetteehowdeeah, who is considered a person of thenfirst consequence. They had eight children, every one ofnwhich was destroyed as soon as born. That any humannbeings were ever so devoid of natural affection, as not tonwish to preserve alive one of so many children, is notncredible. It is more reasonable to conclude that the death ofnthese infants was not an act of choice in these parents, butnthat they were sacrificed in compliance with some barbarousnsuperstition, with which we are unacquainted.”nIf there is a connection between morality and conceivingnpower, the Tahitian ruling class denied that insight to thencommoners via enforced eroticism. This diffused theirnminds and souls into indifference. Thus the people couldnGarden of EdictsnChernobyl, as Charles E. Zieglernwrites in his Environmental Policynof the USSR (Amherst, MA: Universitynof Massachusetts Press) “is anprime example of Soviet technologicalnhubris.” In his survey of Sovietnenvironmental (mis)management,nZiegler, a political scientist, attemptsnto define the underpinningsnof this “hubris.” Unfortunately, thensheer extent of the Soviet disasternends up obscured by politicology.nMarxist theory, Soviet law, PhilippenC. Schmitter’s “corporatism,” evenn”Soviet-American cooperation onnenvironmental protection” meshntogether to mute what Bulgakov,nAksyonov, or Voinovich have saidnwith great power. Short of travelingnto the USSR, discourses such asnZiegler’s make it very hard for anyonento understand the junkyardngrime, seediness, soot, and mud ofnSoviet “reality.”nIn their attempt to improvenupon Creation, the Soviet “corporatistnbureaucracy” have silted upnrivers, built counfless Zeks into use-nREVISIONSnless Arctic canals, or slapped togethernshoebox cities for uprooted peasantnmasses. Areas the size ofnEngland have been eroded, deforested,nor merely poisoned, with billionsnof tons of mercury, lead, PCB,nsulfur, carbon monoxide, or radioactivenisotopes. Ever reverent, thenSoviets never doubt that Sciencenwill find a way to clean up its ownnmess.nDisregarding huge slag heaps ofnpaleolithic flint, today’s Prometheusesnseem to forget the bondnbetween production and waste. Inn”Real Socialism” the influence ofnRousseau and Marx prevails, and,nas Ziegler observes, “Soviet thinkingnrelies on the concept that goodngovernment and good laws cannmold people into ideal citizens.”nSadly enough, in making a fetish ofntechnology, the Soviets are merelynmagnifying all the moles and blemishesnof our own attitudes.nIt is “by no accident” that onlynSoviet writers and artists have raisedna voice against suicidal “progress”n— Oleg Volkov and Mikhail Sholokhov,namong others, have inchednnot escape from the bottom rung. Margaret Mead fainflyngrasped this process: “Death and sex are openly observednbut the intricacies of social life are a closed book to thenyoung.” Yet, like Freud, she saw this as positive, believingnthat a child’s exposure to death and sex would make themnunneurotic and that the Samoan’s deemphasis of thennuclear family “eliminated undesirable emotional sets.”nBut, in fact, all it did was destroy their emotions. Mead: “Ancouple who spent their wedding night being observed by tennother people will not be flustered, but will shrink in shamenat touching hands in public.”nCaptain Bligh: “Tinah, the district chief, took me to thenplace where we found a number of women, one of whomnwas the mother of a young female child that lay dead. Onnseeing us, their mourning not only immediately ceased, butnto my astonishment, they all burst into an immoderatenlaughter and while we remained, appeared much divertednwith our visit. I told Tinah the woman had no sorrow fornher child, otherwise her grief would not have so easilynsubsided.”nIn Samoa, only people of rank had nuclear families as innthe West. And only their children knew the social structurenand ceremonies. Mead: “The non-nuclear family of thenlower orders did not provide personal motivation or responsibilities.”nIs all this what we really want for ourselves?nnnaway from the party line by opposingnthe destruction of Lake Baikalnand the Don River. It is true that innthe USSR even dissent works fornthe system, by providing the rulersnwith bargaining chips in their dealingsnwith the West, but Sholokhov,nthe one-time Cossack, did stand upnfor Father Don. Like many othern”engineers of human souls” in thenCommunist East, he spoke of whatnno scientists could quantify — thengreen banks of his river, morningnsunlight in the birches, and thenliving clams in the shallows.nSholokhov is dead, while thenDon and the Baikal are dying. Fornall the Soviets’ pious criticism ofnWestern technocracy, parts ofnUkraine and the Urals are radioactive.nAppeals to reason, as our ownnsocialist Upton Sinclair knew sonwell, never hit as hard as a directnblow to the gut — neither statisticsnnor graphs will ever influence thosento whom a slate-colored river is justnso much polluted water under thenbridge. (MS)nFEBRUARY 1988 / 13n